T Nation

Dirt101 TRT/Lab Work Thread


Hi guys, fantastic site with a wealth of information, thought I would start a thread after recently starting TRT.

-age -- 37

-height-- 5'10

-waist --32

-weight --160

-describe body and facial hair --Fairly heavy beard, arm and leg hair, light on chest and back

-describe where you carry fat and how changed --no recent changes, but always have carried fat in midsection

-health conditions, symptoms [history]--no real prior health problems

-Rx and OTC drugs, any hair loss drugs or prostate drugs ever --No

-describe diet [some create substantial damage with starvation diets] --Diet is pretty good, dont eat heavily processed food and have always had a good metabolism so Ive always been able to kind of eat whatever I wanted. Definitely try to stick to lean protien/veggies/lots of fruit, that said, if we go out I dont hesitate to eat a giant cheeseburger and fries. Watch sugar intake and avoid HFCS like the plague.

-describe training [some ruin there hormones by over training]--Just recently started weight work since I figured that with my T levels back to normal (hopefully) its a good time. Im a cyclist and havnt really lifted since wrestling in high school. Currently training about 3 times a week with a beginner program I found on here.

-testes ache, ever, with a fever? never

-how have morning wood and nocturnal erections changed--no real change, still have morning erections

As for symptoms Ive had all the "classic" symptoms for years, low libido, energy, motivation, bouts of insomnia. I had blood work done when I was 27 due to the above symptoms, I dont have the labs but my total T was in the low 300 range, of course I was told it was normal and never questioned it unfortunately.

Finally saw my Dr in June for low T symptoms, mainly low libido/energy. Had labs done and got the following;

Date 6-7-2011 time 10:31am


T4 8.7 5.0-13.5
TSH 2.40 .50-5.00
Total T 326 285-950
Free T 67 50-247
% Free 2.1 1.8-3.2
SBG 29 10-74
Albumin Serum 4.7 3.7-5.0

Doctor reviewed and said I was technically in normal but definitely low, prescribed Androgel 1% at the lowest dose once a day. Felt absolutely fantastic for about a week and a half then I couldnt really tell that I felt any different which is what led me to start doing some more research and I found this website and learned alot.

I called and made appt to get levels checked and to ask about E2 and cortisol. Got the following results;

07-22-2011 9:57am


Total T 400 285-950
Free T 94 50-247
% Free 2.4 1.8-3.2
SBG 24 10-74
Albumin Serum 4.5 3.7-5.0
E2 13.6 13-54
Cortisol 21.1 8 am 4.3-22.4
4pm 3.1-16.7

We talked about how I felt and that I wished I had gotten my levels checked 1 week after starting to see what they were due to the fact that I felt so good for that 1st week. He said your T came up but not alot, so he switched me to Androgel 1.6 at the max dose (4 pumps or 81mg), first day of higher dose was this am. After reading about some other members experience using the gel it seems to work for some and not so much for others. It is a pain for someone active as I sometimes shower 2 or 3 times a day..pool..workout..etc, not to mention your supposed to shower before having contact with anyone.

So thats my experience to date, just thought Id put it up as Im sure to have more questions, feel free to comment if anything looks wrong and Im thankful for the amount of info this site has.


Yeah the androgel doesn't seem to be absorbing very well. Patients with hypothyroid are prone to this, for whatever reason. Your cortisol looks pretty high (which isn't necessarily a bad thing, jus tusually dont see that on this board). Were you healthy at the time of the test (no cold, sickness, etc.)?

You should consider T injections, per the stickey.

You could also look at tweaking your thyroid, in hopes that your T will also rise, but I don't remember seeing anyone on this site who has had success with that.


Thanks for the reply, Im going to give the 1.6 gel a chance and then ask about injections..as for cortisol, i kind of attributed that to my sleep schedule (i dont have one), im on call 24/7 and work nights/days all mixed together and Ive read that can cause elevated cortisol levels. Also forgot I take fish oil and 5000iu of D3 a day.


Get more thyroid labs done... TSH of 2.4 could very well be prolematic. Free T3, Free T4, TSH are a must... Reverse T3 and ferritin are helpful as well.

The good news is your cortisol is fine.


Lab updates

Well, after 1 year on Androgel I thought I would give an update and also post results of latest labs which seem odd to me. Been using 1.6 gel 4 pumps a day and have been feeling very good. Here are my follow up labs.

September 2011

Test Total 596 285-50 ngdl
Test Free 151 50-247 ng/dl
Test % Free 2.6 1.8-3.2 %
SBG 22 10-74 nmo/L
Albumin 4.6 3.7-5.0

December 2011

Test Total 632 285-50 ngdl
Test Free 151 50-247 ng/dl
Test % Free 2.4 1.8-3.2 %
SBG 26 10-74 nmo/L
Albumin 4.6 3.7-5.0

June 2012

Test Total 295 285-50 ngdl
Test Free 53 50-247 ng/dl
Test % Free 2.0 1.8-3.2 %
SBG 29 10-74 nmo/L
Albumin 4.7 3.7-5.0

Curious what would cause such a large dip in T in my latest labs? I dont seem to have noticed anything as far as the way Ive felt so I was a little surprised. Havnt gotten a call back from my Dr yet to discuss.


You have stopped absorbing it....this is common, and seems to be especially prevelant in those who have thyroid issues to boot. Why are you not checking E2?

You feel the same now as you did in your previous labtests?


Update as of today…

Protocol is 120mg TC, split into 3 doses of 40mg, M,W,F and 250iu HCG Tue, Thur, Sat. Not currently using an AI

So my most recent labs showed my Estradiol at 45.7 (LabCorp, range 7.6-42.6)

My Dr prescribed Arimidex at .5mg twice a week, Im fine with the AI rx, although not knowing how i respond i started with .25mg twice a week and had planned to redraw labs in 4 weeks.

However, i noticed she used the ECLIA test instead of the sensitive for my E2 and so im curious…

  1. What the sensitive number would likely be, higher than that i would think?

  2. I took one dose (.25) mg of arimidex on Tue eve before i realized this, how long should i wait to get my E2 tested so that its accurate?


I will either get it rechecked with the sensitive there or at an online service. Just wanted to pose this questions here in the meantime.