T Nation

Defining if You're a Non-Absorber of Test Cream?


I have been on test cream for just under a year. Having a debate with my doctor on what defines a non-absorber.

Overall I am feeling better, but do think there is more potential.

Before I started specific results were:

Test 15.5 nmol/l (range 8.4-28.8)
Total test 35.8 pmol/l (range 25-80)
TSH .35

My most recent stats had me at:
Test 10.7
Free Test 56.1
TSH .54

So modest improvement in free test, but still think I may not be absosrbing the cream as properly as I should....my doc feels those are decent results for compounded cream so any perspective would be appreciated.


whats E2 look like?? First number you need to know especially dealing with creams.


E2 has actually been fine throughout the last year (I get tested quarterly). It has been less than 20 each time.


Why do you think there is better potential, are you just looking the numbers are physical symptoms telling you that?

TSH- can you post a scale from your lab work? .035 This is damn near hyperthyroid levels, everyone in here always focuses on hypothyriod and doesn’t realize hyper presents some of the same symptoms, mostly this would be anxiety, heart palps, insomnia etc… Any of this?

If you have been on over a year with those labs what few I have seen and are keeping E2 in check, is this with an AI or not? You probably are a decent absorber, looks like TT could be little higher but ratios seem to be ok as of now.


I have seen improvements, but when I read through a lot of others experience on TRT I get the sense I am not fully experiencing the full benefits. So from a physical point of view I dialed in my diet/training, and have seen 400bps reduction in body fat. Anxiety has improved, but still existsâ?¦same with confidence and energy levels.

Nevertheless, it is gains that I may have been able to hit with my training/diet/meditation alone. Not sure how much an impact the test cream has had. The tests really made me think twice as from a blood work point of view the needle hasnâ??t really moved that much.

TSH was actually hyperthyroid in many cases, I have been testing between 20-50 when the lab ranges are .30-5.60 miu/l. My hyperthyroidism has been around for ages (first saw when we used a fertility clinic to have our first child). I have had some anxiety, insomnia, and heavy sweating, but endoâ??s really felt no treatment was necessary as I would generally flirt with the range. Plus they said and I quote “better to be hyper than hypo”


Please read the stickies, there is huge amount of good info.
There is a thyroid basics sticky, but it is centered around hypo and iodine deficiencies. Hyper can be a result of been hypo for a long time as a result of iodine deficiency.

Transdermal testosterone absorption rates are around 10% at best. To get high normal T levels you would need to apply 70-100mg T per day.

We see guys that have hypothyroidism are poor absorbers of transdermal T. We have not seen enough hyper guys to reach any conclusions.

We sometimes see transdermals lowering a guys T levels.

Read the stickies. There is also one on finding a TRT doc.


Thanks. I have dug around, but as you say there is little around hyper thryoid and its effects. I have formally been borderline hyper for at least 10 years, likely well before that…generally the doctors comments were not an issue as I have not presented aggressive symptoms.

I do think I am coming to the realization that there is reason why so few guys are on test creams. They are simply not the most effective…next quarter will have a chat with my doctor to about going the pin route.


Finally shifting to IM injects 2 weekly of Test ethanate. I have been using compounded cream from over a year, and while results were good on occasion they were inconsistent (some tests dropped, others were nice and high). I suspect my T levels were all over the map during the quarter.

I am a unique case as my thyroid is actually hyperactive. Test cream abosrbtion is challenged at many levels, but my doc has seen most cases with hypo thyroid being poor absorbers…he was expecting a much better result from me…never really came.

Nevertheless, looking forward to my first injection Sat…seems everyone is right, you start with cream, end up with a needle.


here’s my story - i know it is anectodal and sample size=1, but this is what happened to me.

low t, about 2 years ago (~350 tt), all the typical symptoms. went on androgel at doctor’s recommendation (i should have pushed for shots). worked fine for a while. then symptoms returned. (e2 has been monitored the whole time). last test had me at tt ~ 350, same as before treatment. final said, time for shots. 2 shots in, feeling a little better already, though most of it is placebo i dont doubt. at least now i dont have to worry about absorption rate. shots are easy and really more convenient.

suspect hypothyroid, going to have it tested when able.

i also got a b12 shot a while back, and the MA commented it was hard to get the needle in, said i had really thick skin on my shoulders. right where i apply the androgel. wonder if i’ve had thickening of skin over time, which might have contributed.