I’m 33 years old, in generally good health. I have a sedentary job, though I do find time to exercise. Four years ago, I was much more active, as I did a good amount of physical labor in addition to my day job.
That ended, and for the past few years, I’ve been in a slow decline in energy and interest in life. Unfortunately, my current situation will not allow me to regain that level of activity.
There have been ups and downs, several days when I’m normal, and then a fall-off to several days/weeks into apathy. It’s not like depression, which I experienced in my early 20s (fiancee at the time left me at the altar), it’s more like a “meh, whatever”.
I just can’t seem to get happy or angry about anything. Complete lack of interest in sex, maybe once every 2 months. I feel that it’s a bit odd when the woman wants it so much more than the man.
In the past few months, things took a turn for the worse - the apathy stretches were longer and more frequent. My wife and my father both suggested I make a doctor’s appointment to have my testosterone.
My dad’s been on t-replacement for a few years, and said my symptoms were similar to what he went through before starting the therapy. There was a significant wait before I could get in to the doctor, and he gave me a few doses of his androgel to try (5mg).
The difference was like night and day. I felt like my old self, and my wife observed the same thing. My general interest in life came back, my interest in my hobbies came back, my sex drive came back. All that great stuff.
Knowing that the androgen would throw off the blood test, I ensured that I stopped 4 days before the test (according to the literature, after about that time, levels return to baseline).
So I had the last androgel a Friday morning, with the blood test on a Tuesday morning. I also abstained from sex and exercise. By the day of the test, I was nearly back to feeling the way I did prior to the androgel.
So, today I got the test results back, and I’m stunned. According to the tests, I’m smack in the middle of normal.
TESTOSTERONE,FREE SERUM 21 ng/dL [9-30]
TESTOSTERONE,TOTAL SERUM 651 ng/dL [240-950]
Having read this forum, and others, and experienced what I did, I don’t know what to do. The doc also did several other blood tests:
THYROID STIMULATING HORMONE 1.99 uIU/mL [0.34-5.66]
THYROXINE,FREE 1.03 ng/dL [0.52-1.21]
ALANINE AMINOTRANSFERASE 22 U/L [17-63]
There’s also a CBC, Kidney Function, and Cholesterol Panel, all which are normal as well.
Other things to know, I’ve been on Adderall XR (20mg) for years for ADD, though that has been going well in general.
Having had the androgel essentially eliminate the problem, but the test come back with a “well within standard range” result, I’m now unsure what to do. I know that the test didn’t include SHBG directly, and there was no determination of estrogen and estradiol. Should I have those looked at next? Perhaps my issue isn’t low T but ineffective T, which the androgel just bypassed?
The change with the androgel was so stark, I have trouble believing that whatever is causing this isn’t related to the testosterone system, but I’m now disheartened, and am worried that the doc is going to think I’m just a nutcase, or a drug-seeker.