T Nation

How Did You Dial in AI Dose?

I have posted here a few times since beginning TRT. I am at the one month mark (yes i know its early in the process and i am being patient - just doing my homework here) and overall the ride has been positive.

Week one - had a few really moody days and 3-4 days of feeling super depressed toward the end of week 1 but then things turned around

Week 2-3 - energy gradually increased. MW has made a dramatic comeback. over last 15 years its been MIA. Libido increased and increased. Week 3 was really high compared to what i am used to. i have been adding muscle mass and feel good in the gym

So the last 3-4 days things have begun to drift the other direction. My libido has really tanked. I started off on 120 test a week (3 shots) and 750 HCG week (3 shots) … but have begun to taper off the HCG per the advice of others on TRT who say it may be complicating the process. I had a huge hair shed week 2-ish. Today my boys feel tight to my body and cold … if that makes sense. That’s a reversal of how things were 5 days ago. eveything feels like its shrunk

Anyway - i was also told that my E could be getting high since i am around the one month mark. I wont have labs done for another 3 or 4 weeks

So i feel a little down/depressed and libido is shot … making the assumption this is due to and E spike and just wanted feedback on if my assumptions could be right. if so - how do you judge what dose to take an AI?

I realize this is guesswork but figured other guys have gone through this

It sounds estrogen related, I don’t know many who are on TRT and HCG without an AI, but your throwing estrogen on top of estrogen using HCG together with TRT.

I don’t know how you tolerate AI’s so it’s safe to start out low. I over respond to even 1/4 of .0.50 anastrozole.

My T , E and DHT levels were all lower than the normal range (122 and 3 for T and E)

So given that the doc didnt want me to start an AI until the second round of blood work… But now thats a month away.

Can you give me more info on what you mean by 1/4 .5? You are taking a 4th of a half of Anatrozol? how often?

If i am going to add an AI I want to start and low as possible. The doc initally wanted me on 150 test a week and 1000 hcg a week and i asked if we could start low and work our way up rather than yoyo.

One quarter of a 0.050 anastrozole capsule, one time knocked me down to E2 12.

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ok. so how do you take or dose it?

I separate the capsule and only consume one quarter, I eyeball it.

Do you have bloat? Visible, like in your face? Weight gain? If your E2 is high, you will most likely have a bloat effect. If you want to try an AI, its best to know your E2 numbers first, and then start small - like 1/4 pill 2 or 3x a week and then check it again after 6 weeks. It may in fact have nothing to do with your E2. Maybe the dopamine rush (honeymoon period) wore off and now you begin the process of dialing in. Slowly.

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@hardartery @systemlord

Thanks to you both

Yes - i am assuming its E and yes i do think my face is a little puffy (but honestly i think it usually is puffy ). I do feel more emotional like i did week one when my mood was sad.

Interesting that you bring up dopamine. I actually started a thread on there when i first joined to ask about the Test-Dopamine correlation as I had read there is evidence of test levels with dopamine, thus correlating to depression …

I forgot to mention when I hit week 6 my bloating subsides a lot without the use of AI’s.

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Can you explain this ?

Were you on AI from the start?

What is the cause of bloating and what caused it to magically go away? Thx!

I’ll give you another theory. You went thru what is called the honeymoon phase and nothing more. 125mg/wk is a pretty low dose. When you get your bloods I will guess your E2 is around 40-45 nothing to bad. If you SHGB is low that is too high and a micro dose of anastrozle should be taken.

Just like AI now HCG is getting bad rap around here. That is just stupid IMO. Some love HCG some don’t. I’m one who loves it and my balls ache without it. I never noticed any swrinkage just a dull ache that never went away.

You know when you start TRT your pituitary gland stops making LH and FSH the two hormones your balls use to make sperm and T so you have basicly trigger organ failure yes your balls are organs. Will they start back up sometime in the future? Who knows, no one here does. Do you really want to take that chance for a future little finkle_is_einhorn? Not me.

I’ve had great luck with 800iu/wk I have tried 500 and 1500. At 500 my pain came back and at 1500 I felt no different. YMMV.

Good luck and be careful of all the group think going around here theses days there is no real science backing it just a bunch of opinions and you know opinions are like assholes everyones got one and some stink more than others.

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really good info. i appreciate the insight

honesty i have approached this like most things i dont know much about - i would like to take in all insights and input from various in-the-know sources like yourself and other posters here who have been at this a lot longer than i have, see what the doc says, then make up my mind and go forth with a gameplan. the older i have gotten i have learned that doctors arent as smart as we think and that internet forums can be a source of really good (and really bad ( info … with that said, thanks.

I am not hating on HCG btw but from what i have gathered so far it seems there is a divide on guys that like it and guys that dont, and there even seems to be a large subset of guys who do want to be fertile in the future, yet fully believe or are living proof that you can “turn your boys back on” later down the road with an HCG protocol. Honestly, i do want to maintain fertility so this has been a tough one for me as I dont want the estrogen sides and would like to make the protocol as simple as possible to avoid adding “unnecessary” variables …

what do you think causes the honeymoon? does the well being and good vibe return down the road?

Hi Finkle

I’m going on month 7 and have gone through some of what you’ve described. There is a bit of fine tuning to go through, go slow. Research and make the adjustments depending on how you feel. Talk to other Service Providers, they will often give you great advice hoping to get your business so you can learn a ton.

My opinion on the honeymoon phase:

Expectations of improvement - placebo effect not at all uncommon when taking or starting something you know is likely to help you. Especially if you were like me, excited to finally understand what was causing your symptoms and eager to start (also a dopamine trigger). That is short lived though as your body adjusts.

Adjustment: Like a new exercise routine, diet or most drugs you take. There is an adjustment period for your body to understand what’s going on, try to counter or process and adapt. Once that happens you start to settle into a routine and the effect is slightly different. For me I didn’t see big changes, just less benefit slightly over time.

Good call on keeping it simple and not changing much at once. Its difficult to fine tune if you don’t know what to change.

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Any bodyweight gain?

9 lb. I am much stronger. I dont think I am puffy. Muscles feel dense - they feel good.

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Go pay for a lab tomorrow you’ll get results back in 3/4 days.

I started with low e2. Weeks in I swore I had high e2. I got tested and I had only moved 3-4 points. Always back up with labs. You never know with hormones. Maybe when you drop hcg it will rebound.

My balls are fine after no hcg in a month or so. They are normal. I don’t even notice a difference. My lab work showed 0 on both values.

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so what gave you the impression you had high E?

all in your head/

were the symptoms you felt both sypmtoms for high and low E?

or did the small jump affect you?

Yes symptoms. Labido and mood were totally off, but in the end it looks like it wasnt even e2 since it didnt move. I stayed in limbo until i started Thyroid meds. The moral of the story is that dont guess, and use labs to backup symptoms.

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so can we extrapolate the problem with “ranges” as it applies to test and say that thyroid ranges are flawed as well?

i am new to all this - and i am really dumbfounded to see so many stories of docs either refusing to check a guys hormones or being ok with a 20 something in the mid 300s… so with that said what is the “right level” for thyroid and how it plays into this whole equation

What thyroid meds are you taking and for how long? Sounds like you’ve noticed a difference?

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