T Nation

Starting TRT Again, and the Road is Bumpy

What’s up y’all,

Started TRT again after a couple months off. Came off of test E due to the rollercoaster ride of injecting 200mg every three weeks and went on gel 5g. I was gel in the past a few years back and it seemed to be fine. Doc didn’t want me to inject more often, I’m fine with it.

Today is day three. Libido is coming back with a vengeance, which is nice. But man, I’m getting palpitations, my heart is beating so hard and my sleep is not great at the moment, super restless and can’t stay asleep for long… plus nightmares. I think I remember this happening on the E as well.

Does this happen to anyone else on start up? I’m assuming it’s my body adjusting. I’m curious about what your start upside effects were if any, and how long they lasted.

Recently I restarted TRT after an 8 month hiatus and encounter the exact same symptoms, palpitations, heart rate would fluctuate throughout the day and my sleep hit a miss and even restless at times. TRT doesn’t cause nightmares.

Your body is adjusting to TRT and should subside in a couple of weeks or usually at or slightly beyond 6 weeks.

Some docs just aren’t willing to experiment with dosing which is sad because everyone’s needs will be different and your doc is doing his patients a disservice by refusing to optimize treatment. My first protocol was 200mg test E every 3 weeks and my endo at the time refuse to do anything else and is just a hint you have the wrong doc for the job.

Maybe, but he was letting me inject at home so technically I could have done whatever I wanted. When I expressed to him what was going on he asked if I wanted to try gel instead, I said sure. I could have just pressed for more frequent injections, or I could have just done it without even asking, but I figure with gel if I can’t stand how I’m feeling it’s easier to jump off and have it out of your system within a few days vs waiting for the E to metabolize over a couple weeks. I ain’t mad about it. Just trying new things until something clicks for me. I also can’t imagine injecting once or twice a week for the rest of my life.

I haven’t heard of anyone doing well on androgel, although I’m sure there are some.

I have heard of a lot of guys doing well with the compounded scrotal cream. Worth a thought at least. I’d continue on with the androgel, and If your levels are good in 6-8 weeks, but if your not feeling well by then, I would consider switching to another form of TRT.

Interesting. I find it hard to believe that people don’t do well on Androgel. At the end of the day you’re getting the testosterone that your body isn’t making. Maybe what you’re referring to is in regards to a certain expectation? Like I won’t be able to hulk out on it? I’m aware injections are better for lifting, but testosterone is testosterone isn’t it? If the gel gives me a steady state of test daily and my levels go up to an optimal level, then why wouldn’t the gel be as good? I don’t know, seems all the same to me. If I’m getting it through gel or IM as long as I’m getting what I’m lacking and in need of. Am I missing something here?

Living with optimized T vs living with Low T or even not so great T is worth the injecting.

When I found out I was Low, I was happy going on the patches and didn’t want any hassle of injecting. Then I had an allergic reaction to the patches and had to quickly go off of them.

Injected once a week for about a year. Twice a week is significantly better, and for the most part I actually look forward to injecting both times each week. The whole “rest of your life” bit is overrated. Once you get into doing it, your mind adjusts to it. Humans are the most adaptable creatures on the planet. Plus you get better at it, so what once took ten or more minutes and a lot of effort, now only takes minimal effort and four minutes.

Also the patches were a whole freaking ordeal every single day which beyond the allergic reaction was actually annoying me. I know that sounds like a contradiction but it was every day and the patches never had me feeling as good as the injections do, and they took significantly more time to mess around with due to the glue. Plus you could feel it on you all the time, and I had to take all kinds of precautions not to get it on wifey.

For sure, in your case I’d be doing the same. I was injecting for almost three months but I thought maybe the protocol was exasperating my anxiety. I came off it for a while as asked the doc if I could do weekly, he suggested just trying the gel to see if it gives me the same reaction, so I’m giving it a go. I’m early 40s so assuming I’ll live until 70 I’ve got lots of time to trial and error my game plan. I’m just slightly off my target bf %, so I’m not looking for a miracle here, just a slight nudge. 5’10, 180, 16.5% BF.

I won’t know how the gel is working until I get my next labs, but I know for sure I’m feeling it. My test was about 375 with bio in the low, but only just. I have a torn meniscus that gets super achy when I’m not on test and I know it’s early but it’s feeling much better as it did when I was injecting E. Again, libido is great atm, and I actually have some motivation to go to the gym… but I’m avoid it because, you know, covid. Sleep sucks but I remember that being a thing with IM E. The above are only slight improvements, but improvements nonetheless.

So other than allergic reactions, why would Getting test through the gel not work As well as IM, or subQ? I mean this isn’t the first time I’ve heard it; but no one has yet to actually explain it to me… it’s def WAY more expensive and WAY less hardcore than stabbing myself, but is there some kind of biological reason why it wouldn’t be effective? Don’t get me wrong, I’m sticking to the new protocol for the next 12 weeks, just curious.

I’m not the foremost expert on this but I think the main reason is the absorption, and that over time your body will absorb less of it. My understanding is that gel is better for libido, and injections for everything else.

On the bright side for you, the allergic reaction tends to be to the glue that holds the patches on, not the T gel itself. My own worries about the gel were all about contact with others and the pain of trying to keep it off clothes, etc.

To be clear, I was terrified of injections, even to the point (when I had to go on them) of trying to convince my doctor to let me do subcutaneous - he didn’t want me to and I didn’t. The idea of a “deep muscle injection” just made me feel awful inside and I didn’t want any part of it.

Once I got past the roadblocks, it’s pretty much like doing anything else. I’m paranoid about cleanliness and infection so I work in the same area every week and I use a brand new laundered towel to lay everything out on. And I alcohol the area as well as my fingers before I work with everything. I’ve done so many now (two years worth), it no more interferes with my life than brushing my teeth. But again, it’s the benefits I have felt from “optimizing” which outweigh anything else. I’m talking a total life transformation. If you get that from gel, go for it, but I guess my point is please don’t sweat this idea of “injections the rest of your life”.

We all went through that thought process at one point, and for the people who have success with the injections, it ends up being a fairly insignificant concern to the point of irrelevance.

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Thanks for this.

We shall see how it goes.

There’s quite a few folks here that have documented previous gel usage. It would be beneficial for you to read those. Usually starts ok enough and after a certain period begins to slowly wear off until the initial positive effects are no longer felt and they switch to another method.

Through my research I have found 38% of men do well on your typical topical gels, the rest either don’t absorb anything or do in the beginning and later run into absorption issues.

How did you get that number? Seems 88% probable that you likely just pulled it out of the air.

Be honest, you did, didn’t you?

I find lots on t-gel but nothing very informative. Any way to link me in the right direction? I mean, I’m sticking with it for at least a month if not 3, but Like I said, I’m curious

Did you get that from any valid research? I am curious how you arrived at that. I would think a product with only 38% effectiveness would not survive long in the market.

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I’ll have to do some looking tonight. There are several threads where guys lost the effects over time and stopped responding to gel. Some quicker than others but it seems there’s a trend.

Bummer if it’s true, but time will tell regardless.

I see a lot of guys on gels not doing well. That’s why they see me. But, it’s a biased sample. I’m thinking guys using gels doing well are happy and not looking for other approaches to TRT, so I never see them.

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Yep. It’s good to know beforehand so if it does happen they recognize it and already have an idea on how to proceed. I actually have a friend who’s a sales rep for one of the larger gel brands (pellets too I believe). I saw his booth when I first started TRT and was interested in gel because I hadn’t yet felt good on injections. We became friends and over time he confided in me that he was on gel for a year and a half before it gradually started having less of an effect and eventually switched to injections which he much prefers. That’s what initially made me lose interest and then seeing multiple threads with guys having the same issues.

This. Problem is people doing great on any medication don’t usually take to the internet to rave about it, but people who have something to bitch about do.

Also this. I have a back up plan in place. I just want a steady dose. If I have to hack my injections despite my doc then so be it, but for now I’m trying to trust and play it safe.