T Nation

HRT - How's It Possible?

Hey Everyone,

I never thought I would have a problem with T-levels and I think I am still in denial now. Last year I went to see a doctor about an unrelated medical issue and he wanted to do blood work. He later informed me that my T-level was “in the tank” (my T-level numbers were under 200) and that I was “tapped out and finished” when it came to competitive powerlifting and remaining drug-free.

He wanted me on HRT and I refused it and then wanted an ultrasound done on my liver. I figured this guy was “fishing” so I never did any of it and didn’t go back.

I continued to train and experienced some strength gains and competed at the AAU Worlds and did great. The progress continued very slowly into this year and I competed in a meet last Summer and did very well with all PR’s on my lifts. I concluded that the doctor that I had seen last year was just goofin’ on me.

A month ago I went to another doctor for a minor injury I was suffering from and then this doctor decided to go “fishing” as well. I saw him last week and heard the same thing I did last year. My T-level was 137 and he told me that I had hypogonadism. I couldn’t believe it.

Despite my protests he insisted that I go on HRT. I was against this because I thought it would make me have a positive drug test for competing. The doctor told me that it would only bring me up to normal levels.

I am 39 years old and have been drug free my entire lifting career. It was hard for me to accept this diagnosis because I didn’t have any of the symptoms that I should have for someone that has this low of a T-level. I feel great, have a normal sex life, continue to get a little stronger here and there…the list could go on and on.

I couldn’t point to anything in my past that could have caused this problem. All the doctor could say was, “You have the problem and that’s that.”

I had read posts on this forum before about the nightmares with Androgel. I asked the doctor if that was what he was going to put me on. He said was going with Testim, Before I left the office he insisted that I have an injection of testosterone to help get me started. What the heck, right? I took it. He’s got me on Testim 5g a day. You know the drill.

How’s it possible to have this low of a T-level and yet have no symptoms at all?

What can I expect from Testim? I have done some reading on this and I know that my own production will stop once I get on this. Will I now to start to have the symptoms that I am supposed? I just still can’t believe it. It just doesn’t make sense. I keep thinking that the doctor had somebody else’s lab slip mixed up with mine.

Has anybody else experienced this?

With so many people having trouble finding doctors that will help them, it’s strange that you have one willing to treat you when you have no apparent symptoms and don’t desire treatment.

I went several years with low testosterone without realizing that I had it.

In my case, I had some symptoms but didn’t understand them - I thought it was work burnout/complications from diabetes (even though my diabetes was under great contol).

And even thought I was low, I was able to work out, put on a little muscle, and even have crappy erections.

I was low for so long that I thought it was “normal” to feel the way I felt, which is what I suspect might be going on with you.

It would have been great if a doctor had intervened.

You are right to be skeptical, but just make sure that the doc has covered all bases with you so that he is not missing something else. . .did you ever have those liver functions done? (because liver disease can effect test levels)

[quote]Raw Power wrote:
I had read posts on this forum before about the nightmares with Androgel. I asked the doctor if that was what he was going to put me on.
[/quote]

BTW, I just wanted to point out that there are many many posts on this forum too where guys say that androgel works great for them and is getting them to great normal levels.

It is a good treatment, and it probably works for the majority of people who go on it.

OTOH it doesn’t work for some people. Like me. But that doesn’t make it a nightmare, and it doesn’t mean it won’t work for you.

I have heard of some people who have had poor results with Testim, who did well with Androgel. And vice versa.

Androgel is weak at best. Most guys respond somewhat, but it’ll never match injections.

You should inject not only what he prescribes but consider additional things, to get near the top of your level.

I do Kina Mutai, TKD, and swim/row. If you want to stay active, get near the top of your level, or take up ping pong.

By the way – even tho you may not test positive at a meet, technically you are still breaking the rules as using HRT of any sort for any reason is banned. So if you do plan on continueing to compete in PL make sure that the federation allows HRT drugs or does not care.

There are pluses and minuses to all HRT therapies as well as injections versus skin applications. Don’t listen to blanket generalizations. Give each a 90 day trial and see what works best for YOU.

[quote]vroom wrote:
With so many people having trouble finding doctors that will help them, it’s strange that you have one willing to treat you when you have no apparent symptoms and don’t desire treatment.[/quote]

That’s true! After reading the posts on this forum I realize I have the opposite going on. I don’t want the treatment and the doctor is demanding that I do and wants to give me shots despites my protesting! I know it’s ridiculous. Maybe I should consider myself lucky, shut-up about it and see where this journey takes me. I don’t have another meet until next Summer so who cares, right?

[quote]e-loo wrote:
I went several years with low testosterone without realizing that I had it.

In my case, I had some symptoms but didn’t understand them - I thought it was work burnout/complications from diabetes (even though my diabetes was under great contol).

And even thought I was low, I was able to work out, put on a little muscle, and even have crappy erections.

I was low for so long that I thought it was “normal” to feel the way I felt, which is what I suspect might be going on with you.

It would have been great if a doctor had intervened.

You are right to be skeptical, but just make sure that the doc has covered all bases with you so that he is not missing something else. . .did you ever have those liver functions done? (because liver disease can effect test levels)

[/quote]

Well so far the doc hasn’t said anything about liver ultrasounds. The doc last year did and I bailed and thought he was full of it because he was a P.A. and not a regular doc. He probably knew what he was doing and I was the idiot for not staying. I’m learning.

[quote]e-loo wrote:
Raw Power wrote:
I had read posts on this forum before about the nightmares with Androgel. I asked the doctor if that was what he was going to put me on.

BTW, I just wanted to point out that there are many many posts on this forum too where guys say that androgel works great for them and is getting them to great normal levels.

It is a good treatment, and it probably works for the majority of people who go on it.

OTOH it doesn’t work for some people. Like me. But that doesn’t make it a nightmare, and it doesn’t mean it won’t work for you.

I have heard of some people who have had poor results with Testim, who did well with Androgel. And vice versa.

[/quote]

Yes, I think I choosed the wrong word of “nightmare” regarding androgel. What I should have said was, “poor results”. The “nightmare” I was really thinking about was the stories of some of you men getting jerked around by doctors and not increasing the dosage of what they are on or refusing to do anything about the problem at all.

[quote]Headhunter wrote:
Androgel is weak at best. Most guys respond somewhat, but it’ll never match injections.

You should inject not only what he prescribes but consider additional things, to get near the top of your level.

I do Kina Mutai, TKD, and swim/row. If you want to stay active, get near the top of your level, or take up ping pong.[/quote]

The doctor told me that I need to stay away from heavy training and stop competing in powerlifting. His suggestion was for me to “take up sewing”.

He told me twice and didn’t laugh so I assumed he was serious. You know how some of the doctors are.

[quote]firebug9 wrote:
By the way – even tho you may not test positive at a meet, technically you are still breaking the rules as using HRT of any sort for any reason is banned. So if you do plan on continueing to compete in PL make sure that the federation allows HRT drugs or does not care.[/quote]

I am thinking about this quite a bit. That was why I refused at first. All the doctor kept saying was, “You have a medical reason for it.”

I responded, “It doesn’t matter. The federations don’t allow it.”

Before I knew it he was out the door and the nurse walked in and asked me what side do I want the shot it.

I compete in the AAU and USAPL. I am wondering what the out-of-range T-level numbers are for coming up positive. The doc said HRT would only bring me up to normal levels.

We’ll see what happens.

[quote]Raw Power wrote:
Well so far the doc hasn’t said anything about liver ultrasounds. The doc last year did and I bailed and thought he was full of it because he was a P.A. and not a regular doc. He probably knew what he was doing and I was the idiot for not staying. I’m learning.
[/quote]

Blood work outta tell your doc if your liver is functioning normally – they usually test that every year when you get your physical.

[quote]e-loo wrote:

Blood work outta tell your doc if your liver is functioning normally – they usually test that every year when you get your physical.

[/quote]
This HRT situation came about because of the findings from my physical. He did a complete physical on me and didn’t mention anything about wanting to check my liver so I assumed that I was good-to-go there.

I thought the guy was crazy when I went in for an upper back/shoulder injury and he started doing EKG’s, blood sugar tests and wanted a whole series of blood and misc. lab work done on me.

[quote]Raw Power wrote:
e-loo wrote:

Blood work outta tell your doc if your liver is functioning normally – they usually test that every year when you get your physical.

This HRT situation came about because of the findings from my physical. He did a complete physical on me and didn’t mention anything about wanting to check my liver so I assumed that I was good-to-go there.

I thought the guy was crazy when I went in for an upper back/shoulder injury and he started doing EKG’s, blood sugar tests and wanted a whole series of blood and misc. lab work done on me. [/quote]

You make this sound like a bad thing. Your doctor did HIS JOB, found a problem and actually tried to treat it. Why the living hell are you complaining like this is a bad thing?

Also, how tall are you, how much do you weigh, and are you out of shape?

This could be a condition you have had most of your life meaning, to you, it would feel “normal” even though you weren’t. I personally don’t understand the ethical breakdown you seem to be having. I also think a description of what you actually look like would explain why your doctor did what he did.

I’m just going to add a couple of cents here because I feel so strongly about this issue.

Your doctor may or may not be right about your condition/treatment, but one thing is certain. He’s an asshole and you should dump him. He’s the doctor, but it’s YOUR LIFE. What, exactly, is more important than your life and well being? Is not upsetting some jerk of a physician more important to you than your health? If it is, you definitely need more testosterone and you also need to reexamine your priorities.

Any doctor that talked to me like yours seems to or acted like I had no choice in the matter of my treatments would soon learn the error of his ways. I’d tell him to go fuck himself. In those exact words. Why are you letting this jerk treat you like a child?

[quote]happydog48 wrote:
I’m just going to add a couple of cents here because I feel so strongly about this issue.

Your doctor may or may not be right about your condition/treatment, but one thing is certain. He’s an asshole and you should dump him. He’s the doctor, but it’s YOUR LIFE. What, exactly, is more important than your life and well being? Is not upsetting some jerk of a physician more important to you than your health? If it is, you definitely need more testosterone and you also need to reexamine your priorities.

Any doctor that talked to me like yours seems to or acted like I had no choice in the matter of my treatments would soon learn the error of his ways. I’d tell him to go fuck himself. In those exact words. Why are you letting this jerk treat you like a child?
[/quote]

I understand where you are coming from, but having worked in the healthcare field, most patients seem to misunderstand or half hear things that are said in the clinic. This is actually taught to us…that most patients only understand about 20% of what is actually said to them requiring us to repeat things over and over. You can’t force a patient to take HRT. The picture being painted is that they basically just walked in with a needle, held him down while he screamed, and injected him.

I find that hard to believe and not just because of the profession. I’m military and I can’t just do shit to patients without CONSENT. Period.

So you don’t think that you want to do this and have some testing rules to consider.

You might try the TRT for a while and you have lots of time to bail out later if you don’t feel that there is any benefit for you.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Raw Power wrote:
e-loo wrote:

You make this sound like a bad thing. Your doctor did HIS JOB, found a problem and actually tried to treat it. Why the living hell are you complaining like this is a bad thing?
[/quote]

It’s a bad thing if I don’t need it. When asked how I could have this problem when I don’t have the symptoms all of a sudden I could hear crickets churping in the background in the silence. If I have a problem…hey, I will accept it. You said you’re in the medical field. How much time do doctors really take to cover all the bases with a patient when they have a waiting room full of people.

I’m not complaining…just concerned and a little skeptical. If I could have been told some of the reasons and causes from the doc I could have left there with the answers I needed instead of having to search them out on my own.