T Nation

Question for the smart guys here

Ok, my hubby and I think he has lower than average testosterone. He’s got most of the symptoms. They appeared when he turned 26 and he’ll be 29 soon. I bet if we get him tested the doc will put him on replacement therapy, but what I need to know is, how long should he be off andro, norandro, tribex, and zma before we get him tested so the test will be accurate?
These products help him, but I’m thinking they could be much more effective if he was on test replacement too. I really think he needs some treatment, and after I read him some things, he thinks he needs it too. Help guys?

Ironbabe,though I don’t know the answer, I think it might help if you posted his dosages and cycle length as well. My BF has always postulated that if you took Andro and Norandro in fairly high dosages,cycled off and got tested just when you bottomed out, before your natural test kicked back in,you would show low Test levels and get a prescription. Also, would one of those Impotence Clinics be more likely to give an AAS prescription? (hope you don’t mind me adding more questions to your post Ironbabe!)

I’m guessing two to three weeks would be enough time. If he works it right he can get injections, which are more convenient if you can self inject (or you could do it for him). my wife and I inject each other without trouble (she’s on hormone therapy, and well…I use certain hormones) Otherwise you can use androgel, but it’s kind of a pain. You have to be careful about sweating and getting any on your wife. Another choice is the patch, a real pain, literally. Good luck.

any other input?

I don’t agree with t-replacement simply because it is not getting to the “root” of the problem. Your husband may be deficent in some vits and mins and could benefit from those.ZMA would help in this area… Also, look into supplementing with omega fats… and whole eggs are great for individuals whose dietary cholesteral significantly affects blood cstol levels, as it is the building block for testosterone… These should help, but if he needs an extra boost, I’d reccomend an anti-aromatazing agent as a last resort… The only way someone should use t-replacement, in my opinion, is if they don’t have any nads…

If you want an accurate test (correctly reflecting his actual condition of health) I’d wait a week or two after discontinuing andro products (including nandro) and Tribex. The ZMA won’t matter. If he is actually zinc deficient (unlikely unless he eats little red meat) then the ZMA is giving a needed improvement, or if he has good zinc levels then the ZMA is either doing nothing or giving him cardiovascular risks from zinc overdose (probably not if he is not eating lots of red meat, getting plenty of zinc from other supplements like meal replacement powders, protein bars etc, and taking a lot of ZMA too.)

It would be preferable, if he does test as having low testosterone, for him to be prescribed Clomid rather than testosterone replacement therapy. Taking testosterone will reduce his LH and FSH production, thus causing the testicles to get smaller, ejaculatory volume to decrease, and fertility to decrease or perhaps will serve as effective birth control. Whereas Clomid will have the opposite effects in all regards and may do the job in increasing his testosterone to where it should be, if it is low now.

Two things to add to the mix. First, here’s a cut and paste from a Biotest Tech Support response I recently received: “Tribex-500 and ZMA are great, but in most cases they’re not going to match the T increase one will get from testosterone cypionate.” Secondly, if your hubby is still on the supplements, you could use this opportunity to grab a quick blood test, then stop taking everything and test again in a couple of weeks. It may give you a clearer picture of both his normal levels and the effect of the stack. Of course, if you do get two tests, you’d want to recreate the first draw – time of day, diet, location, etc. – with the second draw. (BTW, where I get tested, I need to specifically ask for a reading on total serum T, free T, and percent T. If I don’t ask, I just get serum T. I’m told free T is the most germane for our discussion.)

Bill, based on your answer in what circumstances do you think T-replacement therapy should be prescribed? Are low t-levels a sufficient reason?

He takes ZMA, so that’s not an issue. He eats clean and loves beef, so that’s not an issue. I don’t know what he needs - testosterone, clomid, whatever, but we both know he needs something to bring his old self back. Tribex has helped him, but still not to the point he was at. Norandro helped him pack on muscle, and he’ll be starting andro soon to see if that helps him feel more normal, but he needs his testosterone levels higher. His main problem is lack of sex drive. He doesn’t have a problem with erections, he just doesn’t have much of a drive - not the wild man I knew three years ago. He want’s his drive back, more than anything. Whatever will fix that is fine. Oh, and don’t recommend horney goat weed - it didn’t help. What will boost his drive and help him put on muscle the way he should (he eat a whole lot, trains hard, rests well,)?

Personally, I found that my libido was a lot more irregular and unpredictable on Androsol, and after it took a while to get it going again too, back to normal. Similar with Nandrosol, but that was worse; no drive and it took weeks to come back properly. Bill has said in the past though that this is not necessarily directly related to T levels at all. Tribex and ZMA are a different matter, I get on well with them, especially the ZMA. Other things would be plenty of healthy fats, poultry and meat, green cruciferous vegetables and oats too possibly.

Tan, my opinion (which differs from the most common medical opinion) is that treatment
should be tried in the following progressive
order.

  1. Clomid. If Clomid works to bring T back to normal, this is the least invasive, least expensive (at least at Mexican prices), most convenient solution, which when it works is restoring all functions to normal: LH and FSH production, testosterone production, sperm production, semen production, maintenance of testicular size.

  2. HCG. If Clomid does not work, it could be that despite Clomid sufficient LH is still not being produced. HCG will not fix that – we’ll be writing off regaining normal pituitary function there – but if the testicles are in good order, will result in normal testosterone production and maintenance of normal testicular size. It may not maintain fertility – HMG may be needed for that (this drug is also available.) Preferred dosing, 500 IU once per day for HCG but preferably one would measure testosterone levels and adjust dose if necessary.

  3. T replacement therapy. This fixes only one problem, the testosterone levels, and tends to “write off” any chance at recovering normal pituitary function… it’s a lifetime decision much of the time. (Natural levels will be even worse, and recovery will be even harder, if you stop after many months or years of T replacement.)

The exceptions are if your endocrinologist has determined that LH production is impossible for you, or that adequate testosterone production is impossible. In those cases, if he’s sure of it, there’s no point in trying Clomid, or HCG, respectively.

Is there any truth to the idea that some people don’t need a lot of test?

I had a test. test done. It was 351 (range was 241-827) Free test was 110.5 (f+wb) (range was 66-276). I don’t know if they adjusted their ranges for the time of day (it was 3:55).

Anyway the endo. told gave me some other tests (LH releasing and all that I forgot) but finally said (I don’t look like I have low test. Pretty muscular, slim, bench over 300, all that) “test. is a funny thing…if you don’t need a lot for what your body needs then maybe you won’t make alot (something like that)…you’re at the low end…but there’s nothing I can do for you.”

Make any sense at all? Does this imply I’d get a hell of an effect from a moderate cycle or nandrosol??