T Nation

Contemplating the Big Picture on Taking the Plunge

Been lurking and reading my face off for weeks prior to even getting the blood drawn.
stats:
age: 42
ht: 5’11’’
weight: 180 (down 15lbs from overhauling my diet AND a major life event, more on that in a moment)

bodyfat: ? 15-20%? nobody is testing now with the virus around but im a typical "lean top and bottom with a belt of fat that accumulated from 3 years of being sedentary and a P.O.S.)

gym history: have been an on again off again gym rat for 15 years. Have gotten very muscular for my very light boned frame at one point, gotten shredded several times, and most recently before an injury gotten to my strongest and largest muscle mass.

current activity level: full body lifting program (5.3.1) 3x a week and prior to the virus BJJ 3x a week

ok…

blood
total test

symptoms:
Definitely lost a lot of “zest” over the years but its hard to say because its slow and you get used to it
Libido has definitely taken a dive in the last several years and even when the ex and I were not fighting, i never have the “desire” to start…however…whenever SHE initiated ive had zero issues with erections during the activity. Orgasms however have been lackluster for sometime, and are often retarded which specifically could be psychological, but it does fit into the symptom tree.

BIG variable:
A month ago a 6 year relationship came to a very unexpected end. It wasn’t a good one, tons of stress and fighting over the years, however i was as all in as I could be. The day I took my bloodtest, I had only gotten 2 hours sleep after coming to the decision I was going to propose the next day ( that didn’t go well). It’s safe to say that was the most stressful 48 hours I can recall in my 40+ years kicking around this place.

Questions:
If my test was damn near 500 while under THAT much stress, is jumping on the train even something that should be considered?

Is my free test number the key to what I should be concerned about and how much could THAT be influenced by how far my head has been up my arse the last 90 days?

One part of me thinks I should wait 6 months until the smoke from this personal situation clears and re-evaluate.

Of course the windmill clinic i went through was screaming about how “low” my test was so they can make the sale.

A couple of my buddies who are lifers and competitive lifters say regardless of how high it would be on a good day its time for me to get going with this because they say i dont even realize how much better I will feel.

ok, have at it. I have thick skin, and provided all the above information to avoid as many follow up questions and wasting of time as possible.

It is what it is.

Thanks gents.

oh, previous gear: 2006 did a Tbol cycle…it was a good time…lol…i was young and dumb…tno pct, didn’t have any noticable issues at all getting back on track

You need to re-test. Lack of sleep and tons of stress is going to severely reduce your testosterone levels. I tested 3 times total before going on TRT at 31. First was at 470 ng/dL after a week off of training with good sleep. Other two times were upper 300s with normal training and normal sleep. I would guess i would test in the 200s if I did what you did before the test.

I recommend you test on a morning of a typical day for evaluation purposes.

TRT is not a cure all. There are hoops to jump though (why I am self administering now, and cost factored into that decision as well).

Maybe if you re-test you will come out mid 600s. I would not be surprised.

You are 40+ so getting on TRT with any T level wouldn’t be unheard of. What you may not have read is that it can take months to find the right dose/protocol that gets you feeling great and during that time you can feel worse than you do now. Definitely something you should be aware of beforehand. My levels were in the 500’s when I started and I’m glad I did it but it took quite a while to get to where I felt amazing. There’s plenty positives that come with TRT and if done right can give you an advantage over normal people just make sure before you take the plunge that you read for months beforehand. The more knowledgeable you are the quicker you’ll be able to get where you want to be. Look into who’s info you’re taking in and make sure they are where you want to be. There’s a ton of people still figuring out their own shit that have no problem telling you how to do yours.

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thanks Dexter! Been reading a lot of your input here so appreciate you jumping on my post.

Yes, I have read about the process of getting dialed in and that particularly has me concerned right now with regards to the inevitable “lows” that come with the journey.

While I’m absolutely managing my personal situation and still meeting all of my life responsibilities, its not without significant struggle and it quite honestly is a daily battle at this point. Haven’t even seen my step son in 2 months and no promises whether i ever will again, she’s still holding that card. I say this to say, im really concerned with having hormonally induced “lows” compounding the “life lows” that are at this point part of the process and that process is just something I have to grit my teeth and drudge through.

If I may ask, when you were in the 500s what was your Free T like?

Thanks again Dexter

that’s kinda where im at with that too…now i feel more curious than before

I didn’t test free T at the time but my Estrogen was 48 so I’m guessing it wasn’t extremely low.

The lows that can come initially are not horrible and while they do suck they aren’t that bad especially if you have mentally prepared yourself for the possibility of having them. Not everyone experiences them. If you start TRT a good starting point is 150mg split into two shots (75mg twice a week) and go from there.

You should check your SHBG next time, it’s more than likely why your Free T and estrogen is on the lower end. There isn’t much you can do about it because SHBG increases as we men age binding up free androgens.

I agree that you should look at another test at least after a good nights rest, no training the previous day or day of the test etc etc. Your levels here are lowish and TRT could be justified with the symptoms, but it is not a quick fix so more tests won’t hurt. Your E2 is also fairly low, I know when mine was similar I struggled with mood, libido and fat loss. You might find if this is still the case after more tests, TRT and the resultant rise in E2 will make a big difference. Good luck

Yes, however I agree with the suggestion that you get tested again, if for no other reason than to get a more comprehensive evaluation. If possible, add lipids, CMP, CBC, IGF-1, prolactin, free testosterone, SHBG, TSH, free T3, free T4, DHEA-S, PSA, VitD.

Yes. Regarding the stress influence, difficult to say.

Reasonable approach.

If you do not have an acceptable level of trust with your doctor, I would look elsewhere.

A good point, as the decline is usually so gradual many do not realize how bad they really feel and report a dramatic difference once the start TRT.

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Do not resign yourself to “inevitable” lows. If you look for them, you will find them. The overwhelming majority of guys who go on TRT take 150-200mg injections once a week and never look back. Personally, I started with 200mg once a week and had only positive results, and quickly. I understand it’s not 100%, but those starting TRT and feeling great are not on the internet trying to figure it out, they’re too busy doing all the things they are able to with decent testosterone levels again. Good luck moving forward.

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thank you highpull!

As much as its a good idea not to obsess about lows, be aware that you may go through a period where you actually feel worse than you did before you started. If you do, it generally doesn’t last that long and it happens while your body is still adjusting and figuring out how to balance what you are giving it.

The way I look at it is there is a whole cocktail of hormones inside you and T affects them. This is a good thing, but it can be a bit jarring, with some very nice ups and some not so nice downs up front. Especially when the spigot turns off your own body’s natural production of T.

This is nothing to worry about. I’m only mentioning it so you don’t get too discouraged if you do end up going through that. It can be a heck of a shock because it feels like you’ve come off the stuff. If it does happen, it shouldn’t last long. Maybe a week or two. Just push through.

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