T Nation

Help-Test Levels and Options?

Hi, Im clueless to test levels and what TRT, HCG, and the other things I am reading about on this forum. However I really would like to learn since I have a doctor who is interested in helping me and actually requested the test-not me.

Background on me, 33, training age 21 years, olympic lifting, powerlifting, played football through college, and after was a Division One S&C coach for years as well as a SWAT officer.

3 years ago I had a “simple” injury, that a “simple” surgery was supposed to fix…and 3 years later and more surgeries to correct the botched first one, along with internal infections, run down immune system, stress issues, sleep issues, GI issues, and doctors unable to determine how to resolve my situation keeping me off any workouts until someone would make a confident call.

Well, in some ways I am going to have to learn to live with an altered lifestyle, probably will have to medically retire from police work, and will not be squatting 600 or cleaning 350 anyone soon if ever again…BUT I do need to get back in shape and am allowed to start light lifting and cardio.

Prior to this almost 3 year layoff, I was 5’10, 245, usually between 10-14% BF naturally. I just did the BodPod at a exercise phys lab and Im a freaking 25% BF at 230. So in 3 years Ive dropped 15 pounds and doubled my BF %.

Even though I am sleeping more now as the doctors harped on, back on a better eating schedule, basic supplements, and light workout start up routine, I am sluggish as hell. I am sore and stay sore…

I do not have the sex drive or the hyper drive overall for life Ive always had, one of my doctors literally diagnosed me as an “epinephrine addict”…but now at 230lbs and 25% BF I am a POS.

8am blood draw after fasting:
Low vitamin D
Low vitamin B12
I have 3 pages of results of things I do not know which are important for you to know to help me, but Ill type up the testosterone result section and other items below it I dont know if they are related.

Testosterone Total 360
Testosterone Free % 2.58
Testosterone Free 92.9

T4 Free 1.32
TSH 2.39

I contacted the NCAA and am trying to get the results of my lab tests from them when I was playing college ball 10 years ago. I got tested every freaking year, sometimes twice a year.

Although tests are “random” I know my sports med staff was always asking me if I was juicing and I wasnt, but I always was on the list to be tested. Id like to see where I was at 18-22.

And despite knowing it drops off after that, I contined training alongside hockey and football players doing their weightroom, track, and dryland training. Up until this injury I could still rep out 350 cleans, 500 squats, etc type heavy lifting, do hard interval training, and still work as a coach on top of a full time police job where I did plenty of physical training and testing for SWAT.

I never was tired, lethargic, or fat as I am now, even if I wasnt eating properly or getting enough rest due to the job. I still would recover and be able to sustain great workouts and post substantial numbers in the rack.

I highly doubt I was 360 3 years ago when this happened. I can expect being on my ass and being in and out of medical treatments for issues took its toll on my body, but I want to know how the hell to get my T levels back up, and I may have a doctor willing to help since he wanted to talk about it.

As I start progressing back into my workouts will my T levels naturally start kicking in gear again and I should just be patient. Or if given the option, do some supplemental test injections, HCG, Clomid, AI?

What questions should I be asking the doctor, and if those of you on here that seem to know what you are talking about and have experience, what would be the optimal fantasy protocol for me to get my doctor to prescribe?

Besides B12 injections, has anyone done Vitamin C injections, gluithione, or other non traditional vitamin injections?

I just want to get back in the game the best I can…and will be in it for the long haul…so dont want to do something now that shuts my nuts off for good, if there is a chance they will come back once I start training a little harder over time as I recover from my health issues.

However the temptation is there to get a little help if doing some test would get me through a short jump start period. Or would asking him for HCG and Clomid be worth a shot first?

Im all ears…and very appreciative as this is such foreign territory to me…

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Thanks brother. Look forward to others input. Ill get the sheet out when I return home and try to find the other information for you, and if not ask the doctor next week how I can get tested for those things.

Yea I dont want to shut down my nuts, Im already depressed and chubby, holding it all in my gut. Most people think I still look athletic but thats with a shirt on I carry it well. I still have decent legs, traps, shoulders, Ive always had the natural caveman middle linebacker/grappler build, and Im still in 38" waist pants, but my midsection looks like Im freaking bloated with my shirt off and 25% BF makes me want to puke everytime I think about it.

I will have to learn to live without 350lb cleans or 600lb squats, but I cant deal with this feeling like #$%^ and being chubby, high blood pressure, fatigue, muscle soreness, joint stiffness, all kinds of weird stuff going on now in my body. Been a 5th gear person my entire life athletically and addicted to training and never got halted this bad…

Your TT is low but your Free T and Bioavailable T look pretty good so I would be curious. Both of your free T numbers look better than mine when my natural TT was over 600. Take a look at E2.

Your t level is average, for todays standards, which is to say about 50 years ago, it would have been that 700 is average, but anywhere from 350-1200 is considered ok,

It was most definitly higher when you where younger and a lower bodyfat% is certainly a reason for a higher level too, I don’t suggest injecting T,

You definitly need your b12, as you slowly lose brain size and function (I.E.Vegitarian, lack meat in their diet so virtually no b12), squats & deadlifts, complex lifts that work multiple parts increase anabolic response,

The snatch is a great example as a matter a fact, just take your time, slow progress is still progress, and I know a greatly experienced athlete such as yourself has to struggle with that, I wish you best of luck and a speedy recovery; well, speedier than it has been.

By the way, may I ask what the injury was? Did you have a rehab for it? or are you in the process.

Hello and thank you both for the responses. Im out of town but will look at the sheets to see if my E2 is on there…if you guys have the names of some standarized tests, or specific things I should ask to be tested for, I have an appointment this Tuesday so let me know and Ill discuss it with the doctor.

I gurantee, gurantee naturally I was in the high end up until this fiasco…thats why Im hoping the NCAA keeps things on record, although it was 10 years ago, I was still honestly almost as strong and fit as I was in college so dont think I was drastically lower at 31 (and thats with working two full time jobs,

Sleeping 3-4 hours a day at times, being on call and not always getting enough calories due to schedule)…I still managed to make gains even when sleep deprived, poor nutrition at times due to call outs, and was full of energy and anyone who knows me has a nickname for me that relates to adrenaline and testosterone due to my personality.

I feel like total crap these days, and Im coming up on the 3rd year annivery of my initial injury, which is right on my 34th birthday.

I dont think the few years of age related drop could kill my T, it has to be going from a life of training from literally 6th grade, consisting of full contact sports, and always workouts consisting of olympic lifts and their variations or power lifting, never was into the isolation BB thing ever,

Ive lived a total mesomorph anaerobic full body power compound movement for life junkie workouts. So take that training away for 3 years, my original injury I may have discussed on here before but to spare the details,

lets just say I had a simple GI issue that the doctor told me was a “simple” surgery…cut me open, not until later did I find out he cut some things he shouldnt have,

I had numerous bouts of internal infections and wounds not healing, multiple follow up surgeries trying to correct the mess from the first one, and then continual immune system issues and upper body respiratory problems I couldnt understand, but later find out that doctors had been putting me on anti biotics for all kinds of things and probably killed the good stuff in my gut,

that somehow is related to upper resp infections, and my GI system was so out of whack they tested me for Chron’s multiple times and colon cancer thinking I must have a disease I was so sick for so long and all the surgeries took forever to heal…

and always its a negative, no disease from bloodwork, biopsies, colonoscopies, etc…and through all of this, doctors conflicting on diet advice, medicine advice, pointing fingers to blame on other doctors for my mess, and no one knowing if I should work out or not since they were not sure the extent of damage done to nerves related to my digestive system and pelvic floor muscular issues…

Lifestyle shift may also be screwing my T levels…I went from working a very “hot” patrol area, SWAT, and on days off from that a Big East strength and conditioning coach,

where I still trained in the weightroom and sometimes conditioning workouts with the athletes and could still hang (and as far as OL and PL could still school many of them). Not to mention standing on the sidelines of big time sports games being a big buzz.

My life was full of excitement, action, energy, and much more balance as I also would come home from the coaching or the wild nights at work, and spend a few hours in prayer and meditation, as well led prayer activities and studies for student athletes…

So I just had more positive things going on, to then transitioning in life to seeing doctors each week for almost 3 years, getting tests done all the freakign time, being sick on and off very violently periodically, etc etc etc…It all eventually led to depression and insomnia.

Medically either in pain or sick, pulled from workouts, and pulled from my normal environments of D-I atheltes and coaches, and SWAT cops, to stuck inside on desk jobs with ROD cops (those of you in the field know what that is).

There is no rehab for the injury, there is physical therapy and biofeedback to try to retrain my pelvic floor and abdominal area to compensate for the damage, and also for relaxation response training since every doctor says both from my mental state,

and from the trauma of surgeries and continual testing, my body is stuck in fight/flight mode and in spasms…and my midsection can bloat up and be all hard when they push on the organs, which they say prevents any retraining of my organs and pelvic floor,

until I get the nervous system to chill and relax (which is hard without the relase- I cant go hit the platform, the dojo, or maybe get in a nice pursuit and throw down on the job, spend some time at the range slinging lead, etc)…

THis whole thing about me being stuck in survival mode and needing to relax, also makes it hard to come back to workouts that would boost T/GH…they want me going slow, light, breathing through all movements,

and if I get any tingle in the back of my neck, goosebumps on my arms, or thoughts of wanting to start firing it up like the old days they want me to stop, leave and go meditate…Im serious, from physical therapist, to internist, to surgeons, to nueropyschiatrist…

my job right now is to try to start getting back in shape, but to do it basically without geting mentally fired up (it will trigger my fight/flight responses), or doing anything explosive or heavy (not good for pelvic floor that is a mess and GI organs all tensed up on biofeedback recordings)…

yoga, swimming, tai chi, walking, things like that…and Im allowed light lifting…which of course I already loaded a weighted sled, speed ladders, cones, med balls, X vest, and KB in the back of my Jeep thinking thats good “light” work capacity training to get back into action soon

(Ive resisted it thus far, knowing its probably not what the medical people mean by working slowly back into fitness)…so Im in mental warfare with myself of how to get back in action, following doctors orders, working around my new long term health issues, etc…

If my T levels are any part of it, and I can do something about it or the doctor could, I want to learn more.

I just came across your post when I was doing a search on another topic.

From my point of view and the work I do with my own clients, I would have a different take on your case.

I know it’s been awhile, but do you have any updates?

Hope you’re finding some relief and recovering.

Not recovering or any improvements in situation. Actually have gained a lot of bodyfat around the midsection, during regular non-strenuous activity the distal head of my bicep detached (sounded like microwave popcorn), so just had surgery for that…and all other symptoms remain the same.