T Nation

Memory and Strength/Muscle Mass

I am trying to decide if I should start TRT. Recently went to the doctor to have my levels checked as my energy levels, muscle mass/strength and short term memory / cognitive functions has been declining at a good pace over the past year or so. I am trying to understand a few things as I know once I start there is really no going back.

  1. Have you noticed any improvements to your memory and cognitive functions?
  2. Have you noticed significant improvement in Muscle / Strength as a result of TRT? ( I am a former natural bodybuilder / powerlifter and would really like to hear from some guys experiences who are familiar with lifting)
  3. For the guys doing this for 5+ or 10+ years do you still feel good- any regrets?
  4. For those who know Dr. C in Michigan what is it likely he will prescribe the protocol recommended by KSMan?

Big decision for me and the above will help me decide if I am ready to make a trip to see Dr. C in Michigan or if I should wait a few more years. I am concerned that over time the benefits and sensitivity to the drugs may become less requiring every increasing doses that maybe I should wait as long as I can. Any advice would be helpful.

I only have partial blood information - I am going back to get more tests:

Age: 43

Height: 5-6

Weight: 165lbs

Body fat: 12%

Generally excellent health

Other Meds: Took Propecia for several years but stopped about 3 years ago when no sperm would come out and we wanted to have our second child. Took about 3 months and everything comes out fine now.

Sex Drive: Good - not like when I was 20-30 but have no problems, have sex most days of the week and have nightime and morning hard on

Workout: Bodybuilder type of workout 5x a week ~4 exercises per bodypart, 3 sets each ~10 reps, 20 min of cardio 3-4 times a week

Labs - This is all my GP tested for - Now I am going to go get the proper labs done.

Free T4: 1.2ng/dl (07 - 1.8)
TSH: 1.43 MIU/ml (.5 - 6)
Free Testosterone (Direct): 7.6 PG/ML (6.8 - 21.5)
Testosterone, Serum: 514 NG/DL (348 - 1197)
Cholesterol: Total / HDL / LDL: 186 / 70 / 102
Triglyceride: 68

My plan is as follows: Continue to read on sites like this, get a full blood workup, if I decide to go forward I will go see Dr C in Michigan and see if he can get on the protocol recommended by KSMan. Trying to achieve Free Test in the top 20% with managed E2 to ~22. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I am hoping that will improve my memory/concentration and I can start getting the body I had 5 years ago back, I will follow up with the rest of my lab work that has been recommended as soon as I can get tested.

PS if anyone knows a good Dr. in Columbus Ohio that will allow self inject and is TRT friendly please let me know - it may save me a trip.

Most will not treat at your TT level. Perhaps some will based on your FT. But note that FT levels are highly variable.

The relative benefits for TRT are higher for those who are relatively worse to start with. You are not so bad off now.

There are other reasons why you can feel poorly. Testosterone tunnel vision, can blind you and docs to the real problems. Note that many of the symptoms of low T are the same as [subclinical] hypothyroidism.

Read these stickies:

  • advice for new guys
  • thyroid basics

I know a couple of Doctors closer to you than Michigan. What’s your email?

Thank you for taking the time to read my post. I thought I did read the Thyroid Basics but must need to read again. Since my T4 was in the middle normal range and TSH was close to 1 I thought it was probably not a thyroid issue.

I am going to get a complete workup done to rule out thyroid issue before I do anything. Assuming that is not the issue ? I am really trying to understand the trade (pro/con) to starting TRT. My levels seem relatively low - (at least not in the top 20% as I would want to manage them to) I would really like to know what to expect if I took them to that level. Has anyone with similar levels had to make a similar decision and able to describe the increase in energy, strength, muscle size, memory improvements?

KSman if you think my levels are not that bad then I may just be expecting too much. Is there any way to describe the difference in mental and physical performance moving from where I am at now to the top 20% - or is it just far to individualized?

My doctor just sent me the lab results in the mail with a note saying I had low test and a RX for Androgel. Never asked if I was planning on having more kids, never discussed with me that this will impair my natural production and did not consider that with a wife and a 2 & 5 year old I am not comfortable having the gel on my body that could rub off on them. Thanks to this forum I was smart enough to put the script in a draw and try to find a more educated Dr.

Just got my Estradrol labs back - I think they look good?

Estradiol, Serum MS: 15 PG/ML
Free Estradiol, Percent 2.1
Free Estradiol, Serum: .32 PG/ML

TRT nor thyroid seems to be issues for you. There are other things that can cause the symptoms you are describing. Do you exercise? Omega 3? Vitamin D? B12/Folate? Enough raw green leafy vegetables/chlorophyll? These are things that you can test and think about.

Receptor - diet is very good and I have normal ranges of B12 / folate and Vit D in by blood test. I lift 5 days a week and do 20 - 30 min of cardio most days. My T levels were described as low normal by my Dr. and sent me the Rx for Androgel - Although I thought his approach to fix the issue was all wrong for me I did want to move up from low normal to high normal. I am meeting with a TRT specialist later this week to get his opinion and more detailed blood work.

[quote]2Bstronger wrote:
Receptor - diet is very good and I have normal ranges of B12 / folate and Vit D in by blood test. I lift 5 days a week and do 20 - 30 min of cardio most days. My T levels were described as low normal by my Dr. and sent me the Rx for Androgel - Although I thought his approach to fix the issue was all wrong for me I did want to move up from low normal to high normal. I am meeting with a TRT specialist later this week to get his opinion and more detailed blood work.[/quote]

Your testosterone definitely can be improved but as KSman brought up…is that the issue?