T Nation

No More Lurking / My Story


#1

Well, I've lurked around here for some time, off and on for a few years but since I wasn't active in the gym and didn't feel I belonged to the 'over 35 crowd' ( De Nial is just a beautiful river in Egypt) I never got around to posting.

My background is as follows, back in the old country (Iceland) I started in the gym when I was 12, by the time I was 14 I was 5'9'' and around a 170lbs, lifted 180lbs on the bench, squatted 298 and dead lifted 298 4 months before I turned 15, had some help there Jon Pall Sigmarsson the world's strongest man in the world at the time was the guy behind the counter, anyhow I kept at it and by the time I was 20 I was up to 218 pounds at six feet with ca 10% bodyfat and then I found out why my friends in the gym got so ripped.

They were actually using steroids !!!

Three months later I was 245 pounds and I had to walk through doorways sideways, I lifted weights and played fullback in our little American Football league, got offered a scholarship in the states and trained my ass off.

I did a few cycles and now when I look back we didn't juice to heavily at the time, mostly Dianabol, Winstrol and Primabolan, six to eight week cycles and the amounts wouldn't be considered sufficient today.

These times were the end of an era, Steroids were not illegal for personal use, you could go on a vacation in Spain, Greece or Italy, simply walk into a pharmacy and shop, once you came home the customs officers would look through your bags, lift up a plastic bag full of tablettes and ampoules and ask 'what is this?' and you would answer 'steroids', he would then ask if it was for personal use and one would reply that it was so and then he'd place the bag back and keep looking for any extra booze or cigarettes that you might be trying to bring through. Ahh.....

As for needles and syringes you can still walk into any pharmacy and simply buy whatever you need.

Anyhoo, this being before the internet information was scarce, Clomid, Nolva and the likes were off the table, as a result my teenage gynecomastia went berzerk, I actually got milky drops out of my nipples within a few months, having universal healtcare I went and got surgery which wasn't totally successful since they left some of the glands behind.

Shortly afterwards I chose a school in the states and since I was 23 by that time I figured I had missed the boat when it came to Football I chose palmtrees and a beach rather than running around with a football. Six months earlier they had banned steroids and I picked up mountainbiking instead when I got to California.

Through the years I would balance out at around 220lbs, 16'' arms, no sixpack but still able to wear size 34 jeans, every now and then when I didn't watch my weight I'd sidle up into the 230's and size 36 was there, then I moved back home from NY at 28 and by the time I turned 30 something happened.

I looked in the mirror and I was 260 pounds, round as a beer keg, my G.E.R.D was so bad that I had to have surgery, everything that could go wrong went wrong, the doctor fucked up while I was on the table and 3 days later when I came home from the hospital my stomach ruptured and I had to go back in, Peritonitis set in and I was hanging on by a thread for 2 weeks, quite effective as a weigh loss method since I came in at 260+ and left at 212, the surgical wound got infected and stayed unhealed for almost 3 months, a third surgery followed and that time I got a morphine overdose and died for a while and the surgical wound got infected......

Fast forward a few months and I'm in Sweden with my new wife, I'm supposed to be happy having survived all of this but I just felt... Wrong somehow.
I went into that hospital and someone else came out. Every little scratch would get infected, I smelled strange, artificial, sick.

Constantly tired and moving around felt like I was swimming in molasses, my weight was around 240 or so and my belly was big, so I did some research, could it be the thyroid?
No your thyroid is fine....... no numbers, it's just fine.

Fast forward a couple of years, the smell went away, the infections stopped but my energy never came back, going to the gym lasted a few times then I would lapse for months, hiking, cycling all of that just wasn't enjoyable anymore. Depression and divorce followed.

Fast forward to 2009.
My life is pretty great, nice place in the country, wonderful girlfriend, dogs, horses, sheep and chickens with a fantastic studio in the city but...

Still tired and the molasses although a little thinner haven't gone away, every morning started in pain, felt like I ran a marathon before bed, libido long gone, insomnia but when sleep falls 12 hours is not enough, morning woodies are a distant memory and no SSRI or Wellbutrin helped with the depression and anhedonia and a complete lack of motivation so this february my girlfriend kicked me in the butt and I went to see a doctor.

Could you check my thyroid.

Well it was borderline, TSH was at 3.53
ref 0.2 - 4.0

I now take 100 mcg T4 and 20 mch T3 every day

Could it be the Testosterone ?

Voila!
I came in at 6.3nmol with is around 181 ng/dl I should be around 22.5 nmol and a 85 to 99 year old should be around 14 with a minimum of 10 this was in june

in july it was marginally better at 9.7 their reference is that men under 50 should be over 10

Been waiting for summer vacations to be over so that I can rectify this but now I've gotten impatient so I asked my father in law (conveniently a doctor) for a prescription for Tamoxifen (nolvadex) 20mg p/d, HcG 1000 iu 3 times a week plus 60mg Tostrex (testogel) p/d

This will probably drive the endo bonkers when I get there in the fall but I'm tired of only firing on a couple of cylinders, it's my life that is passing me by and I'd like to take part in it.

I hope you haven't fallen asleep reading this long ass post but I guess I've saved up a bit over the years..... I'll post my full lab results a bit later.

All the best from Sweden

B


#2

labs

test 1 april

cholesterol 12,6 ref 3,3 - 6,9
triglycerides 13,7 ref 0,45 - 2,6
TSH 3,53 ref 0,2 - 4,0

got Lipitor a statin type drug

test 2 june

cholesterol 6,2 ref 3,3 - 6,9
triglycerides 3,4 ref 0,45 - 2,6
TSH 3,45 ref 0,2 - 4,0
free T3 5,1 ref 2,5 - 5,6
free T4 14,0 ref 9 - 22
Testosterone 6,3 ref > 10 about 181 ng /dl
SHBG 11,0 ref 11 - 55
ostradiol (E2) 61 ref < 150

got 50 mcg T4 and 10 mcg T3 per day

test 3 july

cholesterol 5,4 ref 3,3 - 6,9
triglycerides 4,0 ref 0,45 - 2,6
TSH 1,93 ref 0,20 - 4,0
free T3 3,8 ref 2,5 - 5,6
free T4 9,0 ref 9,0 - 22
ostradiol (E2) <50 ref < 150
Testosterone 9,7 ref > 10
SHBG 11 ref 11 - 55
Test/SHBG quota 0,88 ref > 0,45
Prolaktin 10 ref 0 - 15

doc increased T4 to 100 mcg and T3 to 20 mcg and sent me to an endo that had closed for the summer


#3

Wow, crazy story. So has the thyroid meds helped? Have you started your hgh/test yet and how is that treating you?


#4

I feel a bit better after I got the thyroid meds, less pain in the mornings and I can walk around without socks on for the first time in 20 years, even if it was boiling hot outside my feet were always like popsicles, plus I've dropped about 20 pounds which is good but some muscle mass is sliding off, lost about an inch on my upper arms, the triceps have gotten very small very fast, I'm not too worried, I've never had problems with adding muscle but loosing weight has always been a huge battle, I figure once I get my Test in order it will come back with a vengence.

No HGH yet, don't know how positive they will be about even running those tests, I had to basically debate with my doctor on the reasons for every test I wanted to do, next time he's only running thyroid tests and I have to wait for the Androgen department to get back into a working routine before I start that process.

This is the Androgen Department at Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden. Supposedly world class but TRT/HRT is a rather controversial subject here, especially for a 39 year old with wide shoulders.


#5

Thanks for your honest storey - makes me so glad I am going the long way round - wish you all the best in bouncing back


#6

Went to the pharmacy today and picked up 60mg of Tostrex/Testogel per day, 20mg Tamoxifen per day, tomorrow I pick up my prescription for 500 IU HcG, 3 times a week. Shit I'm excited :slightly_smiling: Feels like today is the beginning of the rest of my life..........


#7

been on the HRT protocol for 8 days now, just wondering when I can expect to feel a difference in my symptoms? Can't say I feel much yet.


#8

It is very common that guys who have hypothyroidism cannot absorb transdermal T products. That non-absorption is actually [a poorly recognized] symptom of hypothyroidism. If that is the case, don't let some idiot keep increasing the dose. That will not work at best and at worst may hike up your E2. You would need to inject T. As long as you are injecting hCG, there is not much merit to T-gel to avoid needles.

Do not take high dose hCG long term, taper down to 250iu SC EOD after a while. High dose hCG can down regulate your LH receptors, a big problem.

If your testes are not hCG responsive, then your problem was in the testes. If they do respond, the problem was in your hypothalamus or pituitary.

Test for prolactin as that can cause severe hormone problems, especially if you have any signs of gyno.

Low LH could be from a adinoma on the pituitary gland. If so, other pituitary hormones may be messed up, including adrenal control and HG. A adinoma can press on the optic nerves creating reduced peripheral vision or other visual field distortions. Your pituitary seems to be working properly as seem my your labs and TSH response to the T4 therapy.

Do not take the SERM and hCG together. That is two things trying to do the same thing.

Stick to T+AI+hCG.

When you restore T levels, cholesterol levels will probably go down and you may be able to drop the statin drug. You should take a CoQ10 supplement when taking statin drugs.

Your serum E2 levels are not too important at this time as TRT will lead to big changes.

You are going to get fixed and that is great. Allow yourself some optimism and satisfaction about taking these steps. And thank your GF for getting you started. She has saved your life!

Start asking about availability of Arimidex/anastrozole.


#9

If you are absorbing transdermal T [doubtful with your thyroid condition], the T is docking with the T receptors that are then pulled into the cell and transported into the nucleus of the cell where gene transcription [RNA] is changed. The cells have to respond to these changed influences. Then the aggregate effects of these changes alter the functions of tissue mass and organs as a whole. Somewhere along the way, your brain starts to change and patterns of process and thought change. This can take time.

Transdermal T can develop end state serum T levels very fast. You should get serum TT tested now in the morning BEFORE you apply the T-gel. You need to resolve this absorption issue soon. If levels are poor, switch to injections.


#10

It is not widely recognized that DHT is important for libido. In fact men who produce normal amounts of T but no DHT have no interest in sex at all. If they are given DHT, they have libido.

In Europe, you can get DHT or DHT like drugs such as proviron [oral drug]. That could be very good for your recovery [start with 50mg/day then down to 25mg/day]. Male genitalia need DHT to develop and for maintenance.

Hair loss drugs that reduce DHT can limit libido for some. At worse, these drugs can permanently shatter a young man's HPTA. This is rare, but we have seen two cases on this forum and I have found others on the WWW.

Your penis may lack sensitivity. In the age relate hypogonadism set, it is not uncommon to have men report that their penises feel numb. In the USA DHT like drugs are not available. One used to be able to get compounded DHT cream but no longer. You may be able to get some DHT cream from a compounding pharmacy or even as a prepared pharmaceutical product. That can be applied to your [clipped/shaved] scrotum to increase DHT levels. You could apply to your penis, but transfer to a female could be very harmful. Testosterone cream [5 or 10% weight by volume mg/ml] can be applied to the penis and that also greatly improves the nerves of the penis. Again you need to avoid transferring to a female... but small amounts are not harmful. You would need to watch elapsed time since application or wash it off. Small amounts can improve female sex drive.


#11

Hi guys and thanks for the answers, I'm going in for a blood test later today and I'll get the results on wednesday, only checking TSH, T3, T4 and Total Test.

KSman, I asked for Arimidex and should get it later this week, I have however found that the lump of gyno in my right nipple has reduced in size by 50-75% in the last two weeks, it has been the same size for years, my Prolactin levels were at 10 on a range of 0-15 so I suppose that may be a contributing factor, on wednesday I'll see where my Thyroid levels are at and whether my Test levels have improved and we'll see if the absorbtion is a problem. I did suspect Prolactin to be a factor since I actually got a milky secretion out of my nipples when I had problems with gyno back in the day when I was working out heavily and running cycles without any PCT, this is 17 years ago or so, I had the gyno cut out but they did leave some glands in the right nipple since I didn't respond to the local anesthetic, this they found out after they cut open and emptied my left nipple, I do not recommend the experience.......

The problem with injections here in Sweden is that they only have Nebido 1000mg given every 12 weeks and to me that is just asking for trouble, I have heard rumors about some people getting Testoviron as a replacement if they had problems with Nebido but that is still only a rumor.

I will go in for further tests in december or january and then I suppose they will run down if this is a prolaktinoma, hypopituitarytism or something else. When I do go in I will want to be on something that has a short half life so that I can go off all medication if they so require before testing starts, seems like a foregone conclusion on my part since my doctor would not check my LH or FSH, saying they were not needed :slightly_smiling:

All in all I do feel little changes, I've added a couple of pounds but my love handles have shrunk at the same time, my musculature is getting harder and since I have had some size in the past my muscles have a memory of being quite above average size.


#12

Proviron and such medication is not allowed over here, things are quite conservative/restrictive and if I didn't have a personal relationship with one of my doctors where he knows and trusts me I would have had a really hard time with getting Nolvadex, Arimidex and HcG. My second doctor who is treating me for the Thyroid will find out about my HRT on wednesday and it will be interesting how he responds, his answer to me having two Testosterone test at 6.7 and 9.7 when the range was >10 nmol and he admitted that I should be around at least 25 was to send me to a hospital with a 6 month waiting period...... I didn't feel like throwing another six months of my life down the drain and went around him.


#13

Have you asked a pharmacist about testosterone treatment options from their side of things?


#14

there is a state monopoly on prescription drugs here, although they are right now opening up the market the state will still control what you can prescribe from the doctors side and the pharmacy can only supply you with the medication you got prescribed and the list is usually very, very short. What is not on their list does not get imported, sold or used in hospitals.

For HRT there is only Nebido 1000 mg injectable, Testim, Tostrex and Testogel along with Undestor Testocaps. That's it...
Arimidex and Tamoxifen/Nolvadex are not indicated for HRT, and HCG in a limited way.

No pharmacy will supply you with Anything, absolutely nothing that is not made by a licensed pharmaceutical company that has been vetted by the government agency. The Testo Creams that you guys talk about are not available and probably never will.

This may be the cradle of modern democracy but smells Big Brother a long, long way.

Fluoximesterone - Not Available
Metyltestosterone - NA
Mesterolone - NA
Androstanalone - NA

Proviron - NA

Everything Else - NA

apart from Deca and Primobolan they are available but not indicated for use in HRT


#15

A little update here and please give me some pointers on the cortisol thing, seems high.

After 2 weeks on 80mg Tostrex (testogel), 20mg Nolva and 500iu HcG 3 times a week

testosterone 7.1 nmol/l ( 204 ng/dl ) given range >10 nmol/l no upper range given but I should be around 22.5 nmol/l ( 650 ng/dl ) at least

This is only a 10% increase from my first test when I came in at 6.3 ( 181 )

5 weeks later things were looking a bit up, I had swapped the Nolva for Arimidex and took 1mg split in two per week. For 2 weeks before the test I only took the Testogel and the HcG

test - 15 nmol/l ( 432 ng/dl ) Range >10 nmol

estradiol - 121 pmol/L ( 33 pg/ml ) Range 0-150 wanted to see a base level without the ai

shbg - 20 nmol no range but comes out test to shbg range 0.75

prolaktin - 6.6 ug/L range 0-15

kortisol - 412 nmol ( 14.9 ug/dl ) am range 100-535 nmol

also had an MRI and no sign of a pituitary tumour but the pituitary is shrunken with a small indication of an ESS ( empty sella syndrome ) with slight herniation compared to my age.

now I'm waiting to go to the Androlog Professor and I had to quit cold turkey for 3 weeks the day of the last bloodtest before his bloodtests, another week to go but I gotta tell you I'm not feeling to hot.

good to know that I don't have a tumour but I wonder if the ESS or the cortisol levels are doing something, I'll do a 24 hour urine test for the cortisol in a few weeks but I know that when I'm stressed I get severe hot flashes and hyperhydrosis


#16

E2 is too high, but E2=33 is typical and could be worse. When you get near TT=1000pg/ml, your E will be serious. Your E2 seems really high for a mid range TT.Some of that is from too much hCG. All you need is 250iu hCG SC EOD. You are doing maintenance and your T dose will do the heavy lifting.

Your E2 seems really high for a mid range TT.

TRT will slowly lower SHBG as will lower E2.

Cortisol: You want to see how cortisol changes during the day. Do this on a normal day with normal stresses and problems. You need a 4 sample saliva test. You can also have a kit handy and check your saliva cortisol when you have your stress reactions... then you will have a measure of what it happening.

Your stress reactions may improve with TRT.

Are you drinking too much coffee?

80mg of T in a gel is sort of a low dose. If you are going to train or sweat a lot, transdermals are a bad idea. Make sure that you make that concern to the doctor. I think that you said that self injecting T was not possible with the health care system.


#17

E2 is too high, but E2=33 is typical and could be worse. When you get near TT=1000pg/ml, your E will be serious. Your E2 seems really high for a mid range TT.Some of that is from too much hCG. All you need is 250iu hCG SC EOD. You are doing maintenance and your T dose will do the heavy lifting.

Your E2 seems really high for a mid range TT.

TRT will slowly lower SHBG as will lower E2.

Cortisol: You want to see how cortisol changes during the day. Do this on a normal day with normal stresses and problems. You need a 4 sample saliva test. You can also have a kit handy and check your saliva cortisol when you have your stress reactions... then you will have a measure of what is happening.

Your stress reactions may improve with TRT.

Are you drinking too much coffee?

80mg of T in a gel is sort of a low dose. If you are going to train or sweat a lot, transdermals are a bad idea. Make sure that you make that concern to the doctor. I think that you said that self injecting T was not possible with the health care system.


#18

Hopefully I'll start on injected T in a few weeks, may be that I have to settle for Nebido which is 1000mg injected every 10-14 weeks, sounds nuts to me but I'll push for weekly shots instead which I can then split into 2 or 3 times a week, this new doctor may have access to other injectables than my regular doctor who can only prescribe Nebido or Testogel.

I'll cut down on the hcg and make sure my ai is in the picture as well.

I drink a cup or two of coffee per day, I do take Ventolin 4mg tablets, a beta 2 agonist, wonder if that brings up my Cortisol. I there anything I can take that can bring down my cortisol?