T Nation

Recovering from TRT Use

Hello All,

First time poster (33 years old) looking for some advice as many of you are very knowledgeable and may have some experience to help my recovery. I am grateful for any feedback.

Here is my story:

History of addiction to opiates and alcohol on and off for about 8 years. I am currently 18 months clean. History of SSRI use on and off for the past 14 years. I am currently on a low dose of Zoloft 37.5. On and off TRT for the past 4 years. I have used Androgel and axiron which both raised my testosterone to the 800 - 1200 range. Currently off Testosterone but am taking HCG and have just started my third month.

Month 1 = 1,000 iu injections 3x a week.
Month 2 = 750 iu injections 3x a week.
Month 3 = 250 iu injections 3x a week (current)

Ultimately I am trying to finish tapering off the SSRI slowly and also not need testosterone in the hopes that the HCG will restart my HTPA (LH).

Below are many test results and dates along with what treatment I was on:

August 2013 (Axiron for 2 months)
TESTOSTERONE,TOTAL 2012… 250-1100 ng/dL
TESTOSTERONE,FREE 641.8… 35.0-155.0 pg/mL

The doctor called me immediately and told me to stop the gel which I proceeded to do!

January 2014 (5 months since using TRT)
Triiodothyronine (t3) 108… 71-180
TSH 2.170… 0.450-4.500
T3 uptake 40… 24-39
Free thyroxine index 3.4… 1.2-4.9
Free testosterone, serum 382… 348-1197
Thyroxine (t4) 8.6… 4.5-12.0
Free testosterone(direct) 14.8… 8.7-25.1

April 1, 2014 (No TRT treatment)
Free testosterone, serum 356… 348-1197
Free testosterone(direct) 9.8… 8.7-25.1

June (Major crash and felt terrible. Started Androgel for a few weeks and it was discontinued due to insurance reasons so I had to stop.)

July 1, 2014 (No TRT treatment)
Testosterone, Serum 221… 348 - 1197
TSH 3.050… 0.450 - 4.500
Free Testosterone(Direct) 8.2… 8.7 - 25.1

Found a TRT clinic in NJ and started HCG end of July 2014

August 1, 2014 (1 week on HCG)
Testosterone, Serum 279… 348 - 1197
TSH 1.810… 0.450 - 4.500

September 1, 2014 (6 week after starting HCG)
Testosterone, Total 349… 348 - 1197
Testosterone, Free 119.4… 35.0 - 155.0

Going for a blood test this week to see where I am at…

Your thoughts?

Your dopamine system may be messed up. You might find Wellbutrin useful. Supports mood and does not have any of the typical SSRI issues.

You sleep OK.

Please read these stickies, lots of good info.

  • Advice for New Guys
  • Thyroid basics
    – check your waking and mid-afternoon oral body temperatures, these are the bottom line for thyroid function
    – have you been using iodized salt long term [years]?

fT3 is the thyroid hormone that gets the job done in the cells. You need fT3 labs.

T3, T4 fT3 and fT4 should be near mid range, TSH is better near 1.0 [TSH ranges are insane]

Your TT levels are not high enough. I don’t think that hCG is going to get you there. However, your FT was encouraging. So wait and see.

Do you have any more labs? Your E2 [estradiol] is very important.

see the advice for new guys sticky
take DHEA if DHEA labs are below mid range. DHEA-S should be high at your age
fish oil and other EFA’s would be helpful for many reasons

Please post lab data with ranges. There is a lot more involved than low T. Low T is a symptom, not a root cause.

Thanks KSman.

I have committed myself to reading through the stickies and am currently absorbing the plethora of information. I am doing my best to learn.

I am weaning off the psych meds as I really do not want to be on these type of meds including Wellbutrin.

I most recently changed to sea salt.

My sleep varies. I wake up a lot and feel like I am in a dream state most of the night when I am sleeping.

I just got my other labs which were also taken a few days after the September 1 lab that had my Total T at 349. So a few days later it was this. (How can the testosterone vary between 349 and 248 within three days of being taken at the same time? lol)

Estradiol 26…â?¤39 pg/mL
FreeT3 3.2…>18 Years…2.3-4.2 pg/mL
DHEAS 455…31-40 Years 106-464
IFG-1 224
FT4 1.1…>18 Years 0.8-1.8 ng/dL
Total Testosterone 248… 241-827 ng/dL
Free Test 64.7…35.0 - 155.0 ng/dL

I have pretty much always included fish oil in my supplementation. I was taking pharmaceutical grade dhea but stopped.

I am going for another blood test tomorrow morning. I have test cyp injections but am just not sure if I want to go down that road if its possible the HCG will work.

Wellbutrin [not a SSRI] does not re-wire your brain. It will help if your dopamine systems are damaged.
Trazodone is good for sleep, very inexpensive.

Sea salt will make you iodine deficient.

– check your waking and mid-afternoon oral body temperatures, these are the bottom line for thyroid function

You have LH/FSH from before TRT?

TT was done by two different labs and ranges different. Not surprised to see different numbers.

I dug into the archive and found my lab results before TRT!

Pre TRT levels 2011 (30 years old at the time and am now 33 years of age)

TSH 1.020…0.270 - 4.2
T4 7…4.5 - 12.0
T3 Uptake 37.7…24.3 - 39.8
FT4 1.23…0.93 - 1.70
Free T4 index 2.6…1.5-3.8
T3 Total 88…80-200
T3 Free 2.7…2.5 - 4.3
Total Test 331…249 - 830
Free Test 11.44…8.8 - 27.00
LH 7.3…1.7 - 8.6
FSH 3.3…1.5 - 12.4
Progesterone 0.78…20 - 1.40
Prolactin 7.9…4.0 - 15.2
Estradiol 27.70…7.63 - 42.60
IGF-1 336…116-424
SHBG 13…10 - 57

Am I allowed to post this in a new thread or do I just keep it here?

I would like to make sure I get the right test done for blood work tomorrow. My doc is usually pretty good with my requests so what should I make sure he tests for as I am looking to see where I am with everything (thyroid, hormones, etc.) being on just the HCG monotherapy for roughly 3 months?

My temp was as follows today:

7 am - 96.8
1 pm - 97.0
4 pm - 98.5

What does this mean in terms of thyroid?


My complete test after about 5 weeks of HCG monotherapy

These three were low
LH 0.7…1.5 - 9.3
SBGH 10…10 - 50
Total Testosterone 248… 241-827 ng/dL

Estradiol 26…<39 pg/mL
FreeT3 3.2…2.3-4.2 pg/mL
DHEAS 455…31-40 Years 106-464
IFG-1 224
FT4 1.1… 0.8-1.8 ng/dL
Free Test 64.7…35.0 - 155.0 ng/dL

I have two options.

Option A. Go with my endocrinologist who got me approved for 100 mg test cyp every week for the next six months all covered by my insurance (then the insurance re-evaluates i guess.) He did tell me that I should stop the HCG as “You dont need that unless you are having trouble trying to get your gf/wife pregnant”. He also told me that using an AI is “nonsense” unless the labs show its necessary. So basically with him it will be test cyp at 100 mg a week and thats it but free. He is however open minded about getting whatever blood work I need to get done every 1 or 2 months.

Option B. I have an TRT doc who prescribes test cyp at whatever doses are necessary but he charges 200 a month for his program here in NJ. He also is available by phone and email and whatever else i need prescribed the cost stays at 200 a month. This does not include blood work which can be expensive out of pocket I believe.

Thoughts? Recommendations?

I am truly grateful for any insight.