[quote]Bri Hildebrandt wrote:
I am one of the fortysomething club who thankfully am not hypogonodal.
However, many of my friends and acquantances who are around my age are experiencing that “decline” (don’t know how to explain someone else’s description!)
There seems to be a couple of camps with regards to partial or complete shutdown of the body’s natural endogenouse testosterone system with the intake of exogenous test.
camp 1: The first camp says that once you take a certain threshold of test (say 50 mg), your natural system is 100% shutdown.
camp 2: The second camp says that the body’s natural test system is nothing more than a typical analog feedback control system; i.e. as levels of test rise or fall, the governing command signals to the testes (LH, FSH) rise and fall in proportion. The argument here is that exogenous T is exactly the same as endogenous T and the body can’t tell the difference.
Question: Say a person has an output of T that is 50% of normal range. Would supplementing with 50% exogenous T reduce this person’s natural output of 50% down or would it stay the same?
Though I am not hypogonodal and don’t suffer from T issues, I AM hypothyroidal and take small amounts of levoxyl and cytomel everyday to keep me in the normal range. Every bloodtest results I see, I see my baseline thyroid natural output (which wasn’t enough) not changing in the presence of exogenous thyroid.
It would appear the replacement of “only what is needed to reach normal” doesn’t effect my thyroid control system. I suspect the same with the testosterone system (and thus am a member of camp 2), but would like to know other’s technical opinions.
Unfortunately you can’t just top up your testosterone levels in order to get to normal or high normal. Your body wants to stay at a certain homeostatic level based on a number of different factors; testosterone, estradiol, LH, prolactin, etc… which can negatively affect the feedback loop. If you’re at 50% and add another 50 to try and get to 100, your body will down regulate in order to stay at a level where all the other factors dictate it’s balance.
I can imagine it also depends on whether you’re primary or secondarily hypogonadal as well. If you’re primary your testicles aren’t properly responding to LH in order to make more testosterone, so the feedback inhibition may be less if you’re adding more exogenous testosterone, thus making it easier to top up I’d think.
Being primary hypogonadal is also a relative term I believe determined by the desired testosterone level you are trying to achieve. If you’re aiming towards high normal levels of testosterone but can only achieve mid-range levels by manipulating estradiol, prolactin, and LH, then it’s possible you could define yourself as being hypogonadal still.
I don’t believe in only looking at numbers. You should be looking for efficacy based on optimal values like how you feel and things like muscle mass, body fat, mood, stress tolerance, cholesterol, lipid values etc…
I think it’s also important to look at circadian rythyms and it’s effects on testosterone production. If you’re taking an exogenous source with a half life of approx a week like testosterone enanthate, it changes the feedback look differently than if you were going to be taking say… a very short half life testosterone like suspension, only in the mornings.
I’m not sure if there’s been much research done on this for HRT but with other steroids like Dianabol, taking an only morning dose protocol compared to throughout the day results in different levels of feedback inhibition. Bill Roberts has theorized about this.
Many people try to increase both endogenous T and exogenous at the same time trying to get the best of both worlds. They’ll take anti-estrogens(Arimidex), dopaminergics(Dostinex), and LH increasing drugs(HCG), to increase exogenous production, then fill in the remaining gap with exogenous T, like enanthate injections or Androgel.
Hopefully that sort of answered your question. I’m still learning about this stuff so any one else can chime in to correct or add to what I’ve said.[/quote]
You have made an excellent point about primary versus secondary hypogonadism. My opinion: I agree that if the issue is with the 'nads, then “topping off” with some extra T might not effect the original mechanism. If one had a doctor willing to monitor the levels over a period of time, the eventual dialing in to what “topping off” really means to an individual can be determined.
If you don’t mind, I would like to forward your words to my pals in order to give them some more thoughts to consider for the next time we have our discussions.