Ok. This will probably be a long read, but is actually just the cliff notes version of my last 2+ years (with a total of 17 blood tests conducted by 8 different doctors).
Partially this is to share, and partially this is to let people know that HRT may not be an easy quick journey, but you should never give up. Things can get better, but it will take time.
I am 36 year old male, wife, 2 kids, stable office job.
Lifelong ADHD (treated with Ritalin as a kid - side note: Ritalin is terrible for kids and messes them up in my opinion. Now on Desoxyn or Vyvanse which helps somewhat)
Lifelong overweight (6' 2" 250+ average weight now down to 225 after two long years)
Low T symptoms for the last 8 years but didn't know it was from low T.
-increased ADHD behavior
-dropping energy levels / exhausted every night
-weight gain / inability to lose weight
-inability to gain muscle
-general symptoms of depression
Tried self treating for years by taking a huge variety of various supplements = no improvement.
Asked dr. about it 2 years ago.
Had to push for a testosterone test. (FYI - I am only posting the blood test highlights as all of the results takes up 4 full pages in excel.)
227 ng/ml Total T
894 pg/ml Total Estrogen (false high from Saw Palmetto?)
Got 2.5mg Androderm patch and a "You are good to go. Now go away."
Patch not working. No changes.
Went to an Endocrinologist.
Taken off of all supplements.
More blood tests.
210 ng/ml Total T
4.9 pg/ml Free T
48 pg/ml Total Estrogen
Caused by low LH.
MRI for pituitary tumor - none found.
Got 7.5mg Androderm and a "You are good to go."
741 ng/ml Total T
22 pg/ml Free T
39 pg/ml Estradiol
Felt good to start with, but then tapered off after 4-5 months. (due to hypothyroidism possibly)
Went back to doctor with complaints. More blood tests.
550 ng/ml Total T
20 pg/ml Free T
34 pg/ml Estradiol
"You are good to go. Now go away."
Came back a couple of months later still not feeling good.
Doctor did a ACTH Stim Test but it showed normal. "You are good to go." "but wait I don't feel good." "Sorry. You are fine. Now go away."
Thought maybe my Thyroid was off.
Went to Thyroid specialist.
More tests - pretty inconclusive but put on 240mg Armour (way to high of a dose).
Heart palpitations day one - scared off Armour.
Desperate tracked down yet another doctor through a well known compounding pharmacy.
This doctor was the best one yet, but had limited knowledge.
I had done so much research by this point that I was driving some of the treatment.
Started DHEA and Pregnenelone Supplements.
Tried compounded cream for a couple of months - no good (hypothyroid = no skin absorption)
207 ng/ml Total T
4.3 pg/ml Free T
Tried Lypo-compounded cream - no good.
Started on Arimidex and HcG shots
Started on lower dose of Armour.
Tried to go back to Androderm for a couple of months - no good.
350 ng/ml Total T
15 pg/ml Free T
53 pg/ml Estradial
Still not doing good.
Found another doctor (out-of-network)
Started T-Cypionate shots (200mg biweekly)
Some good days, but huge mood and energy swings
Found had a Vit D deficiency. Started Vit D3 supplements 10,000iu daily
Convinced doctor to try weekly shots - did better but not great.
Would only do shots in office weekly - end of discussion.
Went back to last doctor with new information and convinced him to try T-Cypionate shots 100mg E3D.
Estrogen seemed out of control. Slowly increased Arimidex to 2mg DAILY.
1500+ ng/ml Total T
Would not run Free T
11 pg/ml Estradial
Cut back T-Cypionate to 80mg E3D
Cut back on Arimidex to 1mg daily.
Overall doing pretty good increased energy levels at times, better moods mostly, but still have a severe mental fog, lack of drive, lack of focus that will not go away.
The doctor wanted to help, but had run out of ideas to try. Gave a referral to someone else.
Current new doctor is running every test known to mankind it seems. (he took 26 vials of blood!!!)
Currently waiting for blood test results taken 11 days ago.
Possible low ferritin (36 ng/ml - 150 is ideal I think)
Possible hypoglycemic (fasting glucose at 75-85 on all blood tests)
Possible Reverse T3 problem?
Possible low HGH (IGF-1 dropped from 262 to 171 over the last year)
Possible low cortisol (5.5 ug/dL at 8am)
Possible low white blood cell count (average 5.0 X10^3/uL)
Plus testing for heavy metal poisoning and other things that I am not familiar with.
T-Cypionate shots .4ml 80mg E3D am
HcG .25iu E3D am
(shot schedule: hcg day, T-Cyp day, day off, repeat)
Vyvanse 60mg every am (for ADHD)
Arimidex (.5mg am & pm every day - had to break up because taking 1mg every am = exhaustion at night, taking 1mg every pm = profuse sweating 1 hour after taking dose)
Armour 30mg 3x daily
DHEA 25mg am & pm
Pregnenelone 30mg am & pm
Zinc 50mg am
Copper 4mg pm (zinc:copper ratio needs to be close to 10:1)
Vitamin D3 liquid 15,000iu am
Reduced Iron 29mg EOD pm
Probiotics (1 capsule am & pm)
Fish Oil (2 pills am & pm)
Resveratrol 50 mg am
Green Tea 50mg am
Ubiquinol 25mg every afternoon
Starting tomorrow - compounded Cortisol 5mg daily first thing am
(edited: fixed alien txt caused by copy and paste)