T Nation

Long Term TRT Success Stories?


#1

This site is great for new guys thinking about, or beginning TRT. However, many of the posts are stories of guys on poor protocols, negative stories, ED etc. Obviously guys that are doing great most likely aren’t posting here because they don’t need to, but it makes me wonder how many guys have experienced long term success on TRT.

I’m 36, and currently have devastatingly low T at 119. As bad as I feel now, this site has taught me a lot our how delicate and intricate the hormone systems is. Small changes in thyroid or pituitary production can have significant ripple effects throughout the body beyond just testosterone. Makes me less than 100% certain that I can commit 100% to a lifetime treatment plan.

I’d appreciate hearing from guys with long term success. How long did it take for you to dial in your protocol? Once set how often do you tweak it? Does the process become routine and systematic? Do you prefer intramuscular or subcutaneous injections? How do you feel after 1, 2, 3+ years on treatment?

Any insight from long term patients would be appreciated.


#2

Many who have got this right are not lingering here at all.

The benefits are forever, but tempered by effects of aging and other health issues. The excitement of injecting goes away and it become boring after 10 years.

Getting dialed in can be very fast and easy. But the barriers of idiot doctors, collective ignorance in many countries, inadequate labwork availability, insurance companies, limited money can all get in the way. I could get guys balance in 6-8 weeks, but I am not in a position to do that.

Many docs/clinics who do TRT have T tunnel vision. The health care systems are really disease management companies who are clueless or powerless with regard to health optimization.

Doctors and whole healthcare systems are slaves to lab normal ranges and they really do not understand what those ranges really mean or the fact that a normal range dictates that only a few percent can be abnormal and thus open to treatment.

So TRT stories are mostly about how most have a string of events about how the process was mismanaged by doctors who are clearly incompetent also lacking deductive reasoning and critical thought. But they are completely sheltered by ‘standard of care’ which means that if many other doctors are doing the same shit, they cannot be held accountable. So stupidity can become the standard of care.


#3

I’ve been reading here for a while… time to get involved. Thanks for your post!

I am 55 and have been on TRT for 5 years and synthroid since 2013.

TRT is working for me and I cannot be nearly as active without it. In 2012, my initial T reading was 290 and I had all the bad symptoms. I had been active with physical activities (skiing, Mtn Biking, swimming, weight lifting). I was probably very low T for nearly 2 years as motivation declined and various aches and pains (tendonitis’s) accumulated. The killer for me was the mental fog and constant lethargy.

Initial dose was 1ML weekly of the 200mg cypionate. After 8 weeks, my dosage was reduced to .9ML weekly. A year later, I was started on synthroid. At the time I was in Arizona and had decent doctors to work with. I was able to get good testing and learned a lot. I also participated on the Men’s health board and learned a lot there.

I am in Utah now and find good medical care is impossible. I have my appointment next week. I have to argue with my doc to order the estrodial test and the CBC (hematocrit) test. Incredible.

I am always studying my health. Something is always popping up and challenging my lifestyle. As such, I am always reading about TRT. In the past, I have tried to reduce my dose and to inject more frequently. These past attempts failed to improve my situation and I returned to weekly injections.

What is working for me right now, is to very dose by activity level. I have switched to twice weekly injection (intramuscular in the glute, Friday morning and Monday night). When I am highly active, I inject .45ml each time. But, I have months where I am sedentary, over eat, and perhaps drink too much. During this time, I am able to reduce my injection to .35ml. I have been doing this since 3/2017.

I have never read how T utilization can be affected by activity, but a constant dose does not work well for me.

I am active right now. I am MTN biking at elevation nearly an hour every other day… routinely hitting Max Heart rate. I am also swimming nearly an hour a day and weight lift at least an hour a day. I am not a body builder by any means (5’10" and 160lbs.) I just stay fit to maintain my activities… mtn biking and skiing.

Because of my reading here, I tapered off my synthroid and last March and started experimenting with Iodine and licorice root tea. Haven’t come to any conclusions just yet.

At the moment, my health challenges are lack of sleep (a problem since 2/2011) and a high resting heart rate… 85bpm (which is why I am re-examining my thyroid issues).

I am committed to maintaining my active lifestyle for as long as possible. TRT is an important part of that…if the medical profession will allow it.


#4

Thanks for the reply. Really great to hear some good news. Especially great to hear the benefits you’ve experienced.

If it’s OK I have a few questions. No need to reply, as I understand this is personal stuff.

Have you ever used an AI to control estrogen? If so, what did you try and how did it work for you? My estrodial are currently low, but I’m concerned my E2 will spike as my T levels improve.

Have you experienced any negative symptoms while on TRT? Many (not all) people report worsened libido and ED after beginning TRT, have you experienced anything similar?

What do you wish someone would have told you before starting TRT? What questions need to be asked before committing to lifetime treatment? What would have improved your experience?

I live in Phoenix, would you mind sharing which Dr you used to see? I’m working with a urologist who seems to be very knowledgeable, but always good to have a backup plan if needed.

Thanks for sharing, you’re knowledge and experience are greatly appreciated.


#5

Your questions seem to suggest that you have not read the stickies I suggested here: Baseline Tests, Clomid Restart, Low Temps


#6

I’ve been on TRT for 4+ years of varying protocols. I started with clomid only, then HCG and finally T-Cyp. After about a year on T-cyp, I had to add some Anastrozole to the mix to control the E. There are certainly some downsides, I do get some emotional swings here and there, some kids movies that make me tear up a bit more than they should :). Other than that, I can’t imagine ever getting off of TRT. I’m 37 now, and at 33 I had T levels right around 200. Now I test often with my doctor and we try to keep me around 900.

My energy is way up, all my activities have improved tremendously, and I’m just in general happier every day. I’m happy to answer any other questions you have.


#7

My questions were intended to be a follow up to utahmtnbiker’s much appreciated response. Sound’s like he’s been on a solid journey, and I’d, and I assume others, could learn and benefit from his experience. Hope he jumps back in and continues to share his perspective.


#8

So great to hear how much your life has improved! It’s definitely encouraging to hear some success stories.

Starting with clomid, and HCG, I assume that means you were secondary right? If so, did either med help at all, or were they simply unable to get you to adequate levels?

What is your current T-Cyp protocol? Do you notice a material difference in how you feel by changing injection frequency or intramuscle vs subcutaneous ect?

Do you see a specialist like an endo and/or a urologist?

Based on your 4+ years of experience, what do you wish someone would have told you when you first started treatment?

Thanks so much for your time. Your insight is valued!


#9

Re: clomid / hCG

Clomid worked a bit after a few cycles, but the sides were way too much for me, I was buckled over cramping once I got the dosing to a level that worked. HCG also worked, but due to the “hCG diet” craze, the cost shot through the roof and it was just not reasonable to spend $400/month when a Cypionate Rx would cost $5/month.

What is your current T-Cyp protocol?

So right now I inject twice a week 0.5ml, at 200mg/ml. It is a tad high, but when I was down at 100mg / week I was still too low. The way they give you the bottles for Rx, they seem to only give you them in 200mg increments, so you either get 200, 400, 600, 800 per month. That doesn’t allow for a lot of fine tuning in my opinion. So my doc and I agreed that I just leave a bit in the bottle each week, which is fine, because getting all of it out of the bottle is kind of a pain in the ass anyway. So my final guess is around 175mg per week for me. At that same time 1/2 of a 1mg anastrozole tablet which seems to work great.

Do you notice a material difference in how you feel by changing injection frequency or intramuscle vs subcutaneous ect?

I’ve only done intramuscle in the outer quad. I know people suggest to do sub-q, but to be perfectly honest I have never gotten up the will to want to stab myself in the stomach. The outer quad is fine and I’ve never hit anything of value doing that. I’m sure I’ll switch eventually, but I’m sort of being a wuss about it, but I haven’t had a strong argument in favor of changing since my T response has been good with my current methods.

Based on your 4+ years of experience, what do you wish someone would have told you when you first started treatment?

Hmm, my doctor warned me a ton about it and educated me pretty well. Frankly I was miserable before it, so looking back I don’t really have any regrets.

I guess I wish I would’ve known to order a sharps container ahead of time, because I realized after my first injection “oh shit, where do I put these needles?”. I ended up with a mini-stockpile before my first sharps container arrived.

Lastly, the one thing to know, and I wish it wasn’t true, is I still to this day don’t feel comfortable talking to anyone about it. Though I have a RX I pick up like anyone else, the stigma is still that it is “cheating” if you are into any sports. So sometimes I’d love to tell someone I see struggling and who is my age, but I always hesitate because I imagine the response will be “OHHHH THAT’s WHY you are good at X”. Obviously ignoring the fact that I had been doing X for the last 10 years, 6 of which was against my body’s horrible hormones.


#10

Sorry, forgot about the doctor question. I got to a regular doctor, but one who owns a private practice. I first tried going to a primary care family practice type doctor and he wanted to get me on anti-depressants. So I went to another doctor who owned a private practice who seemed to do some more modern treatments and talk more about blood panels.


#11

azwildcats - no problem

I was treated at a facility in Gilbert called Verve. http://vervewellnesscenter.com/ The doctor I was seeing left just before I moved away. I don’t know who is there now. But they had a TRT clientele and the doctors seemed flexible.

I did not use any AI. It was never recommended to me and I was unaware of the need. I have read a little about maintaining estrodial around 22 here on this site. I think my estrodial runs around 30. I was initially diagnosed with osteopenia and estrogen is supposed to be helpful with that. My initial estrodial test was 6.

My libido has never been affected. No ED issues ever. However, the quality of sex is affected. When my estrogen is somewhat high a few days after the weekly injection, there is an estrogen spike and I would get sore nipples and morning wood. When I dose too low, my estrogen is low as well and I suffer from a lack of sensitivity. This would cause problems relating to taking a long time to achieve orgasm (over use injury?). In the interest of full disclosure and helping others, I have an appetite(healthy) for adult videos over the internet.

Also associated with TRT and increased estrogen is a minor emotional effect… I tear up during sad movie scenes.

The primary negative effect of TRT is extra alertness. I am always trying to find the minimum dose necessary to support my lifestyle and be within healthy ranges. When I dose .9ml weekly, I become super alert for the first 2 nights and only get 3 hrs of sleep. If I dose less than that, then I spend 2 or 3 days laying on the couch doing nothing around the day of my next injection. This is known as the roller coaster effect. FYI - .9ml weekly gives me a total T in the mid 900s with the test done just before the weekly injection.

I do worry about the higher estrogen level and possible prostate cancer issues. Monitoring that.

What do you wish someone would have told you before starting TRT?

Nothing really. I read a lot and make most decisions before I see a “medical professional”. I am in Utah now and my situation is deteriorating quickly. For instance, when I initially sought TRT, my DR only worked with the lotions. I had to evaluate other DRs that would work with self injections of T. Cyp.

I just received my recent test results. I recently switched to twice weekly injections (somewhat lower weekly dose) and a new lab was used (Mormon medicine). My T levels are the highest in 5 years (ever) and the acceptable ranges are reduced by 40%. Not good. I don’t expect a pleasant meeting with my DR (general).

This is a lot to write, but I don’t mind sharing my journey. I am not an expert by any means.


#13

Dr Bartles. In Scottsdale. He does men’s and women’s hormones. Been with him for several years.


#14

I have been on trt for 7 or 8 years now. Started with a shot once a week and a few years ago I switched to a shot every 3 days. This way I don’t get any mood swings. My doc has me taking a mix of hcg and b6. i take an E blocker every 3rd shot. I can’t tell you my numbers from my last test because I didn’t even look at them. The doc does full blood test 3x a year and we are both happy with how things are now.
When I went to him I gave him the protocol from the stickies and we went from there, tweaking it for my specific needs.


#15

Would love to hear some more success stories. I’m fairly new to the forum but so much of the posts I see are people struggling to get dialed-in and/or having issues with side effects, as someone who himself is working to get levels stabilized it would be great to hear about the light at the end of the tunnel.


#16

I have been dialed in for more than a year. The results are great and still improving. My dosages stopped changing months ago and I had only one small issue with high E2 which wasn’t that bad and as I lost body fat my need for an AI has dropped a lot. But my every three months blood test caught it before any real problems came up. It has been easy to tell you the truth


#17

Your protocol?


#18

100mg of testosterone cypionate twice a week
300mg HCG twice a week
.25 mg Anastrozole twice a week

I take them all on the same days


#19

It’s that a total of 100 for the week. And a total of 300.


#20

200mgs test a week
600mgs HCG a week
.5mgs Anastrozole a week


#21

My best protocol to date,

50mg twice weekly
No AI
No HCG
No problem