T Nation

Dopamine Questions & Concerns

This is interesting. Awesome information brotha.

For general reference a TT of
600 ng/dl should have an optimal E2 of 37.8 to 43.6
300 ng/dl should have an optimal E2 of 18.9 to 20.2

I was on wellbutrin for 5 years and it was really great especially the first few years. It takes 6 weeks to feel anything from it but it is an amazing drug. The great thing about it is coming off there are little to no withdrawal symptoms. I only came off of it because I wanted to take tamoxifen and it basically blocks tamoxifen from being effective. I would highly recommend wellbutrin as the risks are low especially compared to SSRIs which are absolute hell to come off of and can make some people numb to the world (they have their place and when needed are a good thing). Wellbutrin definitely helped my libido. I was taking Subutex which kills libido and when given wellbutrin I was able to get fully hard again as well as have a sex drive. The one thing I would say is you have to give it enough time to work (at least 2 months). The only semi-negative thing about wellbutrin is it will give you mild anxiety. The trade off is it also gives you a ton of energy.

Before taking wellbutrin I fought my doctor (had horrible experiences with SSRIs) and told her I didn’t need it. After years she convinced me and it was life changing for me. I had renewed drive and energy that I never knew existed. I was on 300mg XL. When I came off I did 125mg XL for two weeks, then every other day for a week and then nothing. Had zero noticeable withdrawal symptoms.

Also, when I got my T level to 1999 and my E2 to 77 (185mg/week no AI) my sex drive went into the stratosphere. I could have sex 800 times a day.

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hmm really? I always though E2 HAD to be mid to low 20s regardless. Thats why i thought everybody took aromasin/arimidex while cycling to keep it in that range. This is interesting info.

Mid to low 20’s for people with normal low test in the 300’s. Or bro science. Actual science shows how detrimental a low or high T to E ratio can be.

Did the effects of wellbutrin wane after removing the drug from your system? We’re you able to sustain libido and erections after discontinuation?

So with that being said, can you elaborate more on how one would use an AI during a cycle or even TRT? How does one manage to keep a proper ratio as opposed to try to keep e2 as low as possible?

I plan to on cycling during trt every now and then. This would be beneficial info to know in order to manage in the future.

Yes my libido is as high as libido could possibly get. It didn’t get that way until I went to more frequent injections. That’s also when I quit using an AI and just let E2 roll. Wellbutrin helped my libido go from zero to decent. I did hard drugs for years prior.

I’ve only been off wellbutrin a few months. I have a little less drive but nothing crazy. I don’t feel too much different but I think it’s because trt has helped with dopamine plus my diet is much better. I’m sure after a few years wellbutrin starts to lose some of its effect but the first two years were unbelievable.

What’s your particular dosing regimen dude?

And I’m assuming you got your T/E2 correlated before changing your regimen or did you just change and roll with the punches?

The new school thought (which I subscribe to) is no AI on trt unless symptoms are clear and present (that’s after giving yourself long enough time for the body to normalize after a new protocol. I was deathly scared of gyno and felt every little thing was caused by E2. I followed ksman to the T and chased E2 of 22 but eventually was talked into not taking an AI and man did everything improve. There are some people that need to take it but they are the minority. When you get into high dose cycles you like 750mg of T then you may need to take an AI bit there are guys even at that amount that don’t.

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I guess constant testing. If healthy, E2 will only go up proportionally with your T. Ratio should maintain. People who experience problems usually have some issue processing excess estrogen through their liver. T goes up, E goes up, T gets metabolized and goes down and so does E. Best to test on peak and on trough and see if the ratios stay constant.

Thats how i used to be!

I used to cycle 500mg/wk with test cyp and never needed an AI once. It was only towards the last 3rd where i started to get tired and all the classic e2 symptoms. Never been the same since then.

I do wonder if i should apply occams razor (simplest explanation is the best one) on this one. Doing hcg with an AI and test has never given me balance when i think about it.

I’ll try your method and see how it works. Hopefully i find some success along with wellbutrin in my future.

I’ve been feeling hopeless for awhile, i got a little more life in me now!

Thanks for the input!!!

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Btw the way, do you judge your need for an AI through bloodwork only or by your feeling day to day?

@darkdescartes
I would say both. I think a lot of what people attribute to estrogen is something other than estrogen. For instance much of what I thought were E2 symptoms turned out to be anemia and taking iron & B12 helped that a lot. Thyroid problems often go undiagnosed as well. It’s imperative that when you don’t feel well to get a full spectrum blood test done and see where you are. E2 is one of a gazillion things that could be causing problems but because of old school bro-science we attribute everything to estrogen. We don’t really even understand everything estrogen does and are only just now realizing it’s role in all sorts of things. I think the safest way to think is that an AI is a last resort and only to be used once everything else has been ruled out.

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Your title is about dopamine … Testosterone supplements are known to increase serotonin.

I ran dopamine and serotonin tests to see where I stood. Sharing FYI.

@traveling-man
Did you ever figure out what the dopamine test said? The <80 of <20? I was trying to make sense of that but couldn’t. I didn’t realize you could test dopamine. Well definitely be doing that soon just to see.

I know this test is very inaccurate because dopamine varies greatly throughout the day

My opinion only, so take that for for what it’s worth.

First, SSRI’s are a bad idea. The neurological damage long term far outweighs the short term symptom abatement.

Have you tried adding DHEA and a good adrenal support complex to your protocol? DHEA levels are far from optimal, and cortisol is a little high, suggesting slight adrenal fatigue.

Edit… I just saw that you did this test early in the morning so cortisol may not be as high as I originally thought, but it would be worth having another test in the afternoon just to see where it is.

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@bmbrady77
Wellbutrin is not an SSRI (if that’s even what you were referring to) it’s a dopamine & norepinephrine re-uptake inhibitor. Much less side effects than the ones that affect serotonin. It’s the same thing as Zyban that they give to people to quit smoking. But I agree SSRIs should be reserved for suicidal people or someone at an extreme low because the side effects (the ones we know about) are extremely harsh.

My cortisol test was taken around 2pm and was 17.6 (AM 6.2-19.4, PM 2.3-11.9). My DHEA-s was 311 (100-415). Can you make any sense from that? Would supplementing DHEA be an option in this case?