Hey there, so Ive got actually three tests over last year I want input on as well as a little (ok pretty long) anecdote to go along with it an put it into context.
I am a 25 year old guy, and for about the last 5 years I have had most of the symptoms of low t to varying extents. I have had allot of the symtoms that are listed on this forum foggybrain/difficulty concentrating, depression, Low Labido (I can still get erections), dry skin, often brittle nails, low desire to socialize, chronic sleep problems, low self esteem, and I did feel as though I had a hard time building muscle (although I will readily admit that until more recently I did not work out for more than about 3 months at a time).
10 months ago, after I had begun to phase into adult hood and begin to pursue a career in the health professions, I decided it was time to deal with the depression (I think its relveant to say that I bit the bottle and the cancer sticks hard up until about a year and a half ago, and had always assumed that fact that a felt like shit were due to those vices). This pursuit caused me to look up some mental health youtube channels, and I stumbled upon concept of low testosterone as a cause of depression, so I had my PCP run my total testosterone. And low and behold it came back very low.
The First Results: 9/16/2015 (TAKEN AT 5 PM)
(all relevant data)
TT 184 ng/dL (241-827)
fT4 1.14 ng/dL (0.76-1.80)
AST 30 U/L (0-37)
ALT 21 U/L (12-78)
TSH 3.20 (0.34-4.82)
Hemocrit 46.1% (40.0-52.0)
I then looked up on where to do next (my PCP had no idea, he actually didn't even know the test was supposed to be taken in the morning) and so I came here and actually made another post looking for help (which you guys gave great advice for). I then went back to my PCP and got another more thorough round of blood work done. These were also incomplete but in different ways (oops). I also had LH/FSH done, but I can't find them, they were pretty average from what I remember.
The Second Results: 10/23/2015 (0938)
Test/Serum 428 ng/mL (348-1197)
FT 11.9 pg/mL (9.3-26.5)
E2 24.3 pg/mL (7.6-42.6)
Chol, Total 156 mg/dL (100-189)
Triglycerides 83 mg/dL (0-114)
I ended up hitting a wall with finding an endo, and with a pretty high test (relatiely), and TRT being such a commitment, I decided to try to see explore less drastic solutions. In the time since the second test I started taking Welbutrin along with a root called Rhodiola Rosea (both on recommendation with a doctor) and I really did notice a relative positive shift in things, although only relative. I still feel like I am still experiencing significant low T symptoms. Also in that time I worked to eliminate any and all things that could be holding my Testosterone back, I lost 15 pounds and am at bout 15% body fat. I drink less than 1/mo, and when I do its often 1-2 drinks. I quit smoking as well. I exercise 5/6 times a week, either free weights/body weight, cardio, and 2 days at a local bootcamp. While my endurance had imporved, I have found it very hard to gain strength (I have made almost no progress with free weights, and the couple of times I've gone without lifting for a week or so (just cardio) I feel as though I am back to square 1 with the reps/weights I can do. I completely changed my diet, which is honestly almost perfect (all home cooked, leafy greens, only complex carbs, good proteins, portion moderation). I also try to meditate to reduce stress.
I won't say that I don't feel better than I did a year ago, but I still feel far off from where I wan't to be, and I still have what I consider to be distinctive Low T symtoms (I do want mention that I still "ski with one pole" however when I do I do it more as a release or distraction than much else, and the conclusion has been dull for as long as I can remember). I decided to test my T again to see if all the changes I made had had much of an effect. That day I made sure I was fully rested, well fed the day before, and got it within 45 min getting up. I had also had a week off, as I usually lead a very stressful lifestyle, working 30+ hours a week along with taking a full load at school, so stress was at an all time low. My T had to have gotten higher...
The Third Results: 6/11/2016 9:34
TT 374 ng/dl (348-1197)
FT 9.3 ng/dl (9.3-26.5)
I've made the decision that I am going to follow through with this and get a definitive answer. I have made an appointment with a Bioidentical doctor, with a free consultation. Do you guys have an opinion about those kinds of more alternative doctors? Any one have any advice for someone with my situation of being low normal (I'm not in the dumpster like some of the posts I see). Ultimately, I have a strong gut feeling that some form of hormone therapy will help me. I would be remise though If I didn't ask if any one who reads this thinks it's a bad idea, given my age and the numbers themselves. Other than making sure I get all the recommended things checked for this next test, are there any tips on how I should approach this type of doctor. I also intend to explore the more traditional route with a PCP and see if I can go see an Endo/Urologist through insurance, if nothing else than to get a conservative opinion.
Also, and this is a more general question, but I live in the Bay Area/ Northern California Area, so If any one has any doctor recommendations I would be greatly appreciative!
Thanks for reading! I really think this is an amazing community!