Running log for those interested in a real world account of taking clomid
There are no questions in this section, just my experiences and ponderings
Earlier today (after three days or so of taking the multivitamins) I noticed that colors seem brighter and more vivid. We can probably add Vitamin A deficiency to my list.
I have wrapped my head around this enough to take my first 25mg clomid pill a few hours ago. I tend toward sensitivity to drugs, but damn. 3 hours in, I have a grin on my face that I haven't felt in a very, very long time. The fog in my head isn't gone, but it's lifting, thoughts are more ... fluid. I expected this to take weeks to feel any effects.
I dosed all the vitamins listed earlier and another 25mg clomid. Today I seem more cold and calculating, and my grin is more devious today. I think I'm getting used to having more test back in my system.
The iodine pills arrived, I think I'm going to do one a day for 60 days instead of 4/day for two weeks.
Acne is returning, but I'm healing a LOT quicker now too. Might be a good tradeoff.
I think I'm going to lower my dose to 12.5mg/day. I may lower it further. The research doesn't show any difference in T improvement between 50mgs and 25mgs, so both doses are likely fully saturating the receptors, leaving some to circulate in my system and cause other problems.
I have reduced my dose to 12.5mgs clomid. I think my voice is getting deeper, I have always had a kinda high pitched squeaky voice, but I thought it was because of a regional accent that I grew up with.
I am having some strong DOMS, haven't had that in a while. Might be because I haven't lifted in about a week while I was in panic mode over my test results. Belt is starting to loosen, could be because of T or my dietary changes or both. My diet is pretty clean at this point, still need to add more vegetables in though.
Fatigue is pretty much gone. Yesterday I was actually able to do two lifts in a row. I think soon I'll actually be able to do the three stronglifts lifts in one session. That was unthinkable a few weeks ago.
Need to do some more cardio, my stationary bike was broken for a few weeks, I repaired it, but I fell out of the habit.
A very strange realization has come to me. I'm don't think I'm getting any of the cognitive effects of the e-cig anymore. Apparently, the nicotine will help me focus if I'm in a foggy state, but if I'm feeling good and thinking clearly, it doesn't seem to improve that further.
Tired from lack of sleep, but libido is definitely up. I have broken through some plateus this week on OHP and Bench that have been dogging me for months. My shoulders also feel pretty damn good, I was having some amount of tendon pain. I also changed my grip to bulldog, that may have also helped with my shoulders. Most of my other lifts I just deloaded because I didn't lift for almost two weeks. I'm pretty confident I'll bust those plateus too. My pump is also much larger than before.
Part of me really thinks this is all in my head, but I have been eating allergy meds like candy for a year, I have had plenty of opportunity for (and would have welcomed) the placebo effect.
Skin is getting greasier and I'm breaking out like a teenager. That's definitely not in my head.
For me, one week of lifting with clomid is greater than two months of lifting without. I have seen posts that clomid doesn't help lifting, and that might be true if your T is normal, but it's clearly not true in my case. So nice to finally see some strong gainz.
I am keeping on my conservative Stronglifts program and only raising 2.5# per session (instead of 5#), but I haven't failed a lift yet. My stamina is getting better too, I just have to get into the habit of doing more lifts at once.
I may end up being able to squat three times a week like the program prescribes. That was absolutely unthinkable before.
Day six update, hubris hits. I have been feeling great, so I skipped my rest day. Failed my OHP. Turns out I'm not invincible... yet!
I remembered to take my temperature again this morning. 97.6 with the ceiling fan on blast. Seems that the iodine is doing its job.
I haven't updated for a while.
My testicles are now nearly a handful, they weren't before.
I have had some piercing pain in my testicles, enough to grit my teeth, not enough to drop me to the floor. It lasts about 2-5 seconds then passes. Perhaps it's growing pains... Either way, it doesn't concern me much.
Libido is still improving. I'm a fairly horny SOB now.
Still making good gains at the gym.
Sleep has become much better. I now sleep like a stone and I sleep to my alarm or 15 minutes before. If I wake in the middle of the night, I can return to sleep. This is a great change.
I'm noticing more vascularity. Could be from muscle gains or the T. Scale doesn't show much change, but I'm not pushing myself to lose weight or gain. I'm trying for a little while to chase the fabled, legendary recomp. We'll see how that goes. I really cannot stand the thought of getting fatter, but dammit I'm finally getting some gains!
I have felt some nipple itch at night, but I don't see any gyno. I also don't have the emotional E related sides that others have experienced.
update: Ok, my recovery time is bordering on amazing. I failed on my third set of BP two days ago. I stripped 10# off the bar and finished my 5 sets. Two days later I tried again at the higher weight and made it through the full 5x5. This is completely unheard of for me.
I'm starting to feel like the clomid poster-boy.
Squats have always been the bane of my lifting. They have always felt heavy, and the most disheartening thing was even after I would deload 10-20% the weight never felt any lighter. Yesterday, however, I did my squats (only 5# off my 5x5 pr) and they felt... almost light. The progress keeps coming!!
Family has visited for the past week. I gained some weight entertaining. It is time to go on a light cut.
I am at or exceeding my previous PRs for all lifts except squat.
Last night I noticed my vision has become slightly sharper. Again, this could be the vitamin-a supplementation.
I have lowered my caloric intake. I don't count, I just eat like I'm not on a bulk and go to bed slightly hungry. Unfortunately, when I cut calories, I have a tendency to hurt myself lifting. This time is no exception.
I screwed up my shoulder pretty good. I felt something coming on but I thought I would be ok to do squats, but nope, that made it much worse... I'm fortunate (unfortunate?) in that before I do any serious damage, my body will scream out in pain as a warning. So I doubt I have done any lasting damage, but I'm taking it easy this week. I'm only doing some rotator cuff accessory work with a resistance band. It seems to be helping and my shoulders are feeling fuller.
Otherwise, my mood is great, I still have lots of energy and motivation. Sleep is still good.
My voice has definitely become deeper, there's no question now. My working hypothesis is that I have always been lower half to lower quartile in testosterone, but the really bad effects have only kicked in when I have been extremely low. My T is now probably higher than it has ever been as evidenced by my voice.
I have been having some itchy nipples for maybe two weeks. Not much, and mostly at night, I figured it was all in my head. It's getting worse and starting to ache. I have scheduled a follow up appointment with the doc. Feeling really tired today, but mood is still upbeat.
I just got back from the Dr. I have a script for an AI and they pulled blood to test for T and estrogen (I assume e2). I favor treating symptoms, but it will be interesting to see the results.
Yet another update:
I took 1mg arimidex earlier today. Dr said take 1mg to start and 1mg/week divided in two doses. 1mg is clearly too high a dose for me, I'm dizzy, have chest tightness, short of breath and nausea. Nipples were itchy eariler, expecting it to continue, but the other stuff seems to overshadow itchyness.
Started lifting, after a few sets had a feeling that I might drop the bar on myself, no more for now.
My go forward plan is to reduce dose to .5mg/week by dissolving a 1mg pill in 14ml water and take 1ml per day. This should give me a more consistent dose without a big peak which I clearly cannot handle.
One day later:
Itchy nipples gone. There was some nipple swelling, it's almost gone too. Feeling better than yesterday, but I have some brain fog today. I am considering dosing .25/week of armidex. Labs results should be back Monday or Tuesday.
Lab results back from before arimidex:
E2: 32 (<=63) 52% increase
Testosterone: 575 (300-1080) 195% increase
SHBG: 30 (16.5 - 55.9) 25% increase
Free Test: 13.0 (4.8 - 25.7) 189% increase
I'm now on about .5mg/week arimidex divided in daily doses. I'm apparently very sensitive to E2 because I was getting sides from E2 at 32, which most would consider low.
I'm surprised that my test is still that low, it does confirm that I have been low T pretty much my whole life. After I figure out my dosing on arimidex, I may take my clomid dose higher.
At the moment, I feel pretty darn good. I have been trying to make sure I get enough protien more than I have been trying to go on a caloric deficit, I am definitely putting on more muscle.
Over the past maybe week, I have been noticing trouble focusing and reading small print. I was hoping it was in my head and not a side effect from the clomid. Last night I had a hunch, took my contacts out early, and I now see better without my contacts than with them. My vision was never bad (20/35 uncorrected) , and my presciption has barely changed over the past 20 years.
I strongly suspect that my vision is improving. I'm going to wait at least a few months before going in to the eye doc so I can see if things stabilize...
Vision improvements from last week are gone, it's possible my blood pressure was raised, increasing ocular pressure and causing my eyes to become more rounded.
Shoulders still bothering me. I was perhaps overzealous with my working out. I have stopped all stronglifts excercises except squats and bench press. I have also stopped my shoulder work with the resistance bands. Time to get in some isolation work! Curls and calf raises until the shoulders can take the compound lifts again.
Nipples ache slightly. I upped my dose of arimidex today by about 30%. Will tune as needed.
I can easily see people going off their therapy because of side effects. This is something that needs to be actively managed and tuned.
Shoulders are almost better, I have discovered I have a rhomboid strain/tear that I'm working through. I think I pulled it swinging an axe (pioneer workout!) a few weeks ago. Still no core lifts, doing a lot of curls and wrist curls (grip!) instead. Added shoulder stretching as shown in Alan Thrall's utube video, seems to be really helping my posture.
Mood is still upbeat. It's interesting getting used to having highs and lows again instead of a steady state of feeling crappy all the time. The bad days now are still lots better than before.
I have upped my arimidex dose to .625mg/week in divided daily doses.
My appetite is through the roof. I want to eat everything in sight.
So far so good!
I have adjusted my arimidex back down to .5mg/week.
Shoulders are still bothering me, I feel like such a slug, I really want to get back to my lifts. More curls in the power rack, oh the shame (at home, no one can see you doing curls in the squat rack). Still working on mobility stretches...
Libido still up. Mood upbeat.
This week I should finish my course of iodine and I'll be back to maintainence doses via my multivitamin.
Update: Temperature this morning was 97.8. Looks to be back in the expected range.
Facial hair has filled in to the point where I could actually grow a beard if I were so inclined. Libido is very strong, it's almost too much. I'm gaining muscle at a rate I did not believe was possible outside of going on a cycle (which I never have). I'm still managing my shoulder, but after a steep deload, I'm doing ok. Motivation is great.
Things seem to be stabilizing, I'm going to suspend my blow-by-blow clomid log. I'll update with new bloodwork when I get it (probably 3-6 months after start) but I'm not in a rush to do so. The numbers don't matter all that much to me, it's just a curiosity at this point.
Thank you to all who post here and especially KSMan.
Almost 3 months
Ok, strange update here. I was a bit lazy this week, didn't shave my head as often as I usually do. The wife pointed out that my hair is actually growing back from where it was receeding. While I don't have a full head of hair yet, it's almost to the point where I would be comfortable having hair again if that's what I wanted (I don't). I did some research, apparently, low T results in elevated DHT which results in baldness. That's yet another sign that I have always been low T and low T has affected almost all areas of my health.
I started taking 25mg clomid ED a few weeks back. I bumped up the AI slightly too. Muscle tone is improving, my lifts are still improving and my nagging shoulder injury is almost gone. Voice has become deeper to where others have noticed it. It is very easy to put on muscle mass now, it's almost that just touching makes me grow now, whereas before I'd have to take myself to the absolute limit to trigger any growth. I have added some accessory work in, lat pulldowns, incline press and a lift to target my rhomboids.
So far so good!
Ongoing research and questions:
How does the HPT axis influence the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis (HPG axis)? Are there any feedback mechanisms here? Is cellular metabolism the feedback mechanism?
When is one expected to reach peak plasma SERM levels? The calculations are making my head spin. Given a daily dosage schedule and a half life of 5 days.... I have figured this out, when I get an hour, I'm going to write up how to do the calculations.
What is your suspision regarding the fasting cholesterol, fasting glucose and AM cortisol tests? I'll ask for those at my next appointment, but he's going to ask "why?" and I'm don't want to give him a blank look. Have I overlooked a sticky, I didn't see these tests mentioned anywhere.
Many thanks in advance for any comments.