T Nation

Optimal Estrogen Levels


#1

Hey guys,

Have been on TRT for ~4 months now.

Started off without an AI and estradiol checked in well over the range. Started taking 0.25 mg of Arimidex 2x a week, which completely crashed my estradiol to undetectable levels. Over the last 6 weeks, reduced dosage to 0.125mg 2x a week, which has put me back in the normal range (31 pg/ml).

My bioavailable test is in the top quartile at 11.8 (1.6 - 13.2 range).

Unfortunately, still not feeling much in the way of libido and morning wood has been weak. There was a period during TRT where I had unstoppable wood and a really high drive…trying to get back to that level.

Would increasing the arimidex dosage to target the low 20s really make a big difference? Before starting TRT, I was at 23 pg/ml.

Just want to be informed before my next doctor consult.

Thanks.


#2

There is definitely a sweet spot for estrogen. I think the 22-23 is a good reference. I know when I wasn’t messing around with an AI my e2 was in the 30s, no negative symptoms but my morning wood was lacking. Took some DIM and the morning erections were waking me up from a dead sleep. But its hard to pinpoint with the DIM , I may switch back to arimidex at some point. Anyway, I definitely think you should increase your arimidex (cautiously) to try and lower it from the 30’s.


#3

Good to know - thanks alphagunner.


#4

Sounds like your TRT honeymoon phase is at an end, it happens to a lot of us. Once you start TRT it can take a few days or weeks for your HPTA to be shut down since your pituitary gland sees you have plenty of testosterone in the blood, this forces a shutdown. It will likely take weeks to months for you to start feeling the benefits, recovery for some takes longer.


#5

This is even considering that I’ve been on TRT for 4 months?


#6

Yep, I’ve been on TRT for 5 months and am still SLOWLY feeling improvements. There are some who find the correct protocol right away that recovery fast and those that need adjustments to dosages to really feel their best. Too much T and you feel little benefits, too much and you feel horrible. Are you taking testosterone, what’s your protocol?


#7

Hey Alpha,

Are you still on the DIM? How many caps do you take and why do you say it’s tough to pinpoint?

I’m guessing you gauge by morning wood (e.g. if no morning wood, then take caps…if morning wood, don’t take or reduce caps?)

I remember pmgaming posting something like that.


#8

Yes DIM is my only E2 control right now. And you are correct, I generally use my morning wood as a guide. Also erection quality. If I notice im getting soft when I have a hard on, i know it might be creeping up. Protocol: 40mg Test Cyp every 3.5 days . DIM as needed. No HCG.

When i first started taking it i took the 2 caps in AM and 2 caps in PM for a few days, then i got strong morning wood and i backed off. Now i take it irregularly. Generally i will chase the morning wood. I think the problem now is that the DIM is too strong, so when i take even 1 capsule, it drops me below my sweet spot, and takes a day or so before woods return. Might mess around with taking half a capsule, or trying again to get on a every 5 day schedule or something.


#9

Thanks.

Can I ask what brand of DIM you are using?

Is your libido and erection quality pretty good most days now then? Sounds like you’re doing great and can get a feel for when you need to take another pill.

Just took 2 caps of Nature’s Way DIM plus…will take another 2 tomorrow to start off slow (especially since I’m also on Arimidex).

My protocol is 14 mg Test Cyp dailly…250 units HCG 2x a week (I’m 31, so need the HCG)

Emailed my doc today to get his thoughts.


#10

Don’t use both DIM and Arimidex. Just increase your arimidex. I just can’t tolerate the AI but arimidex is superior to DIM. DIM only changes e2 to other estrogens. Arimidex prevents the conversion. So more free testosterone.

Erection quality is great. Libido good. I’m battling high shbg but I’ve had good improvements.


#11

Cool…

Yeah my doc recommended the same thing today…told me to test out the arimidex 3x / week instead of 2x / week

Really hope this nails it

My test now measured at 12.8 (1.6 - 13.2)…I’m praying this works! On paper I should be feeling great…hopefully this next adjustment gets me there.


#12

Your choice, but if it were me, I would just slightly increase my dose of arimidex, but keep taking it every 3.5 days, when you inject. Err if you are on that schedule. But yea I think you should just keep it simple and take a little more. Go on how you feel too, do minimal increase at first, see how you feel. Lately ive been pretty dialed in, im being woken up by throbbing erections. No complaints


#13

Must feel amazing!

Yeah, I have a feeling the 0.125 mg 3x a week may be a bit too much.

I crashed with 0.50 mg / week in my system.

0.25 mg / week has taken me to 31 pg/mL.

Going up to 0.375 mg might take it too low, but will try it out for a couple weeks and see how I feel. My doc wants to wait 6 weeks before re-testing but I’m sure I will know if I’ve crashed way before that.

If that doesn’t work, I guess it means I might have to try lowering the dose of arimidex as maybe I will be one of those guys that is better with higher estrogen levels.

Frustrating trying to get dialed in…


#14

I should add that when i was taking 0.25 mg 2x a week, I was also throwing in Calcium D-Glucarate and DIM (stupid, I know lol)…I’m sure that factored into the crash as well

So maybe I will just test out the 0.125 mg 3x a week and see how things go.


#15

Undetectable E2 is really a level below the reporting levels where some degree of accuracy is expected. Some E2 can report <29pg/ml when the wrong test is ordered.

Looks like you have read the stickies and gained knowledge.

Libido is a brain function that is affected by estrogen levels. These brain changes involve changes in gene expression and changes to brain patterns. These things take time. Meanwhile try to be more positive to lay down some good patterns of thought during this time of brain plasticity.


#16

Have started the new protocol of arimidex 3x a week…not feeling much different yet, but will keep the group posted

On a related note, I currently inject 10mg of test cypionate daily (70 mg / week).

Do you think I might get a boost in libido and sex drive if I switch to 2x weekly injection (35 mg on Monday and Thursdays)?

Almost wondering if I would have a stronger drive on the couple days after injection.


#17

Is there a reason you were injecting everyday? Usually people with low SHBG inject everyday, but for most others, twice a week is good.


#18

My doc initially told me to do it everyday (he did not test for SHBG).

He just said he finds his patients usually stabilize a bit better with everyday injections.

I’ve asked him what he thinks of switching to 2x a week…

Getting pretty frustrated now…in a couple of weeks I will have tried arimidex at:

0.25 mg 2x / week - crashed E2
0.125 2x / week - E2 @ 31 pmol/L but no major difference in libido / sex drive
0.125 3x / week - haven’t felt anything major yet

Really don’t know what to do next if this doesnt work…especially seeing that my testosterone is right at the top of the range.


#19

Maybe try aromasin?


#20

My doc wants me to wait it out for 4 - 5 weeks to see if the Arimidex @ 3x / week changes anything…

If it doesn’t, will see if I do better with less Arimidex and more estrogen…

If that fails, will ask about aromasin

Trial and error…but gotta be patient I guess.