T Nation

TRT Dosage (and Estrogen)?


I have another thread here, but think this question is different enough to have its own.

The standard T replacement dosage seems to be 50mg, maybe a little higher. Because of side effects, bad water retention and swelling, I've kept my dose at about 50% or less, transdermally.

My body likes the T, so why would I have such a problem with exogenous testosterone?

Part of the problem is probably aromitization in the fat layer, but is there more to the story? Is there maybe a (declining) set level, with amounts over that going to estrogen?

What are the consequences of using only half a dose? Is it likely to depress my endogenous T even more?


Your statement:

is misleading and not really accurate in this context. Are you talking about 50 mg of straight testosterone per day? That equals about 350 mg/week, which is NOT a standard TRT dose.

If you are talking about 50 mg of gel (x% is testosterone) then that is a meaningless number because you don't address the potency of the product.

Natural testosterone production for a young healthy male is around 7-12 mg/day. So around 70 mg, week on average.

Test cypionate delivered at 100 mg/week (ester weight + test weight) will leave you with about 70 mg/week of pure test once the ester is stripped off...

That said your problem can lie in two areas: Aromatization (E2) and Cortisol

Your body likes to maintain a tightly controlled feedback loop keeping your cortisol, thyroid, and testosterone metabolic rates in harmony with the other. If one is out of whack, the others are forced to compensate. If your cortisol is low, then your body will dump T over a certain point to E2 and DHT to downregulate its T metabolism to compensate.

If you are fat as hell, your problem is two fold as you have more surface area for E2 aromatization, so that's the easiest path for it to go down and it wants to go down some path (due to cortisol being low).

Have you had your E2 and cortisol tested? That would be a good start for you.


Good thing the doses come in individual packets, or I'd probably hurt myself! I'll recalibrate.

Cortisol. Another one to look up, thanks!


Read the protocol for new guys sticky.


Oh, the irony! If you knew how hard I've been studying these pages and elsewhere...

I regret my 50mg dosage comment, it's what was printed on the packet, but it detracts from the question I was tying to ask; i.e., is a lower than usual dose of T a bad idea?

I'm working my way thru VTBalla34's answer about downregulated compensation of the feedback loop. I know these words, and I'll figure it out, but it's going to take some work.

Fortunately I'm not fat as hell, so I won't have to worry about that part. I do need my cortisol tested before we can talk intelligently about it, but am surprised that he would say that low cortisol might be a problem. I would think that high cortisol due to stress would more generally be assumed.



High cortisol isn't the problem that many make it out to be, IMO...not when dealing with hormones anyway. When people come to this board with problems, their cortisol is either good or low in 100% of the cases that I recall on here. I don't remember a single case in which the OP had a high cortisol reading...

It seems that as you age, the cortisol production line is the first to go, and this has a significant effect on your overall hormonal metabolic rate, cascading down to your other hormones...this is assuming that testicular failure has not occurred.

Good that you are not fat! You can still get some aromatization, but you will not be as susceptible to it. In your case, I would definitely look at cortisol and thyroid levels to put the pieces together.

As far as your specific question about a lower than normal T dose being a bad thing, my thoughts are "no its not". As long as you are able to thrive and have optimal health at that dose, then it is the RIGHT dose for you...

But as I recall, this is not the case for you...you want more T, but you experience a lot of side effects, right? How do you feel at your current dose?


Pretty darn good! I had the full dose of T gel today, and think it is doing me good.

I'm not exactly skinny, either. Let's say I could lose about fifteen pounds. I do have a problem with swelling in my feet and ankles, it's pretty bad at a full dose, and I'm 99% sure that it is aromatization, unless there is some other possible mechanism.

My thyroid seems to be under control, and I feel better with my fairly low dosage of levothroxin. I was wondering if I could do the same with the T; take a little bit of it, and counter the swelling with OTC things like DIM and grape seed extract, which seem to help.

The right way to go about this is to find the right doctor who orders the right tests, and makes out the right prescription. No argument. The problem paying for it while I get there.

I was hoping to start small, gather information, and find my way. I'm not big on self-prescribing drugs, but by reading up first, going slow, and monitoring my reaction, maybe I can do this without causing myself any harm? If 50% of a dose is all I can take, is it better than nothing, or should I only be looking at full replacement?


Dude if you feel great on your current dose, and aren't encountering any health problems, then I don't see a need to chase lab numbers or a so-called "full dose"...enjoy what you've got man! many of us here would kill to feel that way!


Great to have that perspective. Thanks, bro!