T Nation

TRT Log (Veteran’s Perspective)

Initial stats-
32yo -Male
5’8”
162lbs
~ 15% BF

Initial labs-
TT- 380
Estradiol- 23.6

Rx-
200mg Test Cyp (100mg 2x/week)
1mg Arimidex (0.5mg 2x/week)
1,000iu HCG (500iu 2x/week)

-not taking any other medicine or drugs.
-don’t drink any alcohol at all.

I just wanted to make a log of my TRT journey from a veteran’s perspective. Recently, I’ve read a few studies that say there MIGHT be a link between PTSD and low testosterone. All I know is that I’m a Vet who happens to have low testosterone. Maybe getting my hormone levels in the normal range for someone in their 30s will help some of the things I’ve been struggling with since I got out of the military. For the first 5 years after I got out of the military I was heavily addicted to heroin. The next 3 years I was trying to get clean. I just couldn’t deal with the transition from active duty to civilian. That’s paraphrasing but it’s not possible to explain unless you’re a vet. And if you are a vet, no explanation is necessary. I almost committed suicide. Many of my friends did. Fortunately, I have been off ALL drugs (including Rxs) and alcohol for over a year and a half. Although I’m clean now and I have my life together, I still don’t feel “normal.” I understand I will probably never be normal again but I think there’s a good chance that once I get my hormones in order, that I’ll feel better at least.

I’ve already been on TRT for almost two weeks. I started on 7/1/19.

Initial Impressions-

-Overall I have more energy.
-More strength in the gym.
-I’m able to enjoy being with my family more and be more “in the moment.” Which is really nice because I have been pretty emotionally numb in the past 8 years.
-no bloating or water retention.

I’ll probably update this every week, just stating how it’s going and noting my weight/ bf%. I have labs scheduled @ the 90 day mark and I’ll post those.

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Good stuff. Welcome
Aboard.

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Two weeks and already doing well, do not be surprised if it all comes crashing down for a short while, it’s just your HPTA shutting down which can take a couple of weeks to work itself out. Your dosage is probably going to be too much for the fact you’re doing so well so soon, time will tell.

You’re in what we call the TRT honeymoon phase.

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I think after my labs at 90 days, if my TT is up to high normal, my Dr. is going to lower my Rx.

Would lowering my HCG dose to 500iu week help my LH not become desensitized?

If you feel great make sure you emphasize this to your doc. TRT docs look for resolution of symptoms but sadly most PCPs and endos just look at the numbers.

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Yes, I definitely will tell my Dr. that I feel great the next time I talk to him. It is a TRT clinic, so fortunately, I have people helping me that know what they’re doing.

I’m just glad that I went ahead and got bloodwork done a month ago. I can’t imagine if I went on another 10 years without knowing my testosterone was so low.

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Hi, thank you, and welcome. As someone who suffered from PTSD for years before inexplicably becoming low t, I would not be remotely surprised if there was some link between the two conditions.

The worst part for me is the symptoms of the two overlap greatly to the point where you don’t necessarily know where one starts and the other ends.

I believe TRT in combination with some CBT would probably help you greatly. TRT has been a godsend for alleviating my suffering. When I was shooting once a week I would find that my “PTSD” symptoms would return in those last couple days before the shot, especially the night before. Like clockwork. Just FYI.

I don’t know how your PTSD is doing but if you want, I have some really good advice in how to deal with and reduce some of those symptoms, particularly the anxiety.

Meds to treat PTSD cause low t, and increased SHBG.

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Yes be thankful. Im 47 and started requesting T tests every year at my physical about 6 years ago due to being symptomatic. I was testing in the low 400s- high 300s for years and then one year it really bottomed out. But I was living with low T for a long time but couldn’t get treated. Once it hit 265 my doc OK’d T cyp but I was 45 so most of my life I was probably low T but in the “normal” range. Based on how I feel now that I am optimized I was fucked up with low T my entire life. I feel complete now. Like a whole person. I can’t believe what I used to think was my normal feeling.

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Amen.

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I’m still getting used to using this forum and I’m not sure how to quote responses like y’all have been doing.

I agree though, a lot of the symptoms are the same for PTSD & Low T.

I’m open to hearing your advice. What is it?

Highlight and it should come up with a button that says “quote” and then it will insert it into your reply.

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Not to sound conceited or put too fine a point on it but I’m about to give you some gold. All you have to do is want to get better. This is something I discovered that helped me through a time when I was both PTSD and low t. I didn’t know I was low t, and I was seriously low. The fact that it worked in those circumstances is nothing short of a miracle. I have also told other suffering people about it, all of whom come back to me relatively quickly, and are blown away by how well it works.

I’m not selling anything here. Just giving it to you straight.

What you need to do is slow down. Sounds easy, right? And also hard. But I don’t mean it like you think I do. Not calm down. Slow down. I’m going to tell you exactly why you should do it, and then how to do it.

When you are “rushing” to do something - that could be anything… to go get something to eat… to get a job done… to check a text that has come in on your phone… any of those things… anything where we “rush” to the next thing… your brain assumes this is a sign of danger and it puts your body into fight or flight mode. This is a natural response to the feeling of having to do something “fast”. Especially in those who suffer from PTSD, who feel it like no one else could ever understand.

So your body assumes something must be wrong and responds in the only way it knows. Like it’s in danger. Which means an anxiety response.

I did say it could be something as mundane as “having to check a text to see what it is”. It sounds ludicrous to consider that that could be a “danger” signal. Like I’m full of crap. Yet just the hypothetical phrase alone as I’ve stated it - and no actual text in your pocket that you have to read - is likely to inspire some sense of panic in those who already live in a heightened state of paranoia and fear.

So what is your job now? Your job is to slow down. To keep your mind, as effectively as humanly possible, in a state of “slow”. Now this is not always possible, as we all have lives to live, and sometimes shit just has to get done. But shit doesn’t have to get done at all times. Not even most times. There’s a lot of freakin’ hours in a day. People who are anxious enough get overwhelmed and check out completely. For hours. Days. Weeks. Life goes on. Their life goes on. There is more time than we think. Especially when you live on the shitty-ass PTSD merry-go-round clock.

Wonderful. How the heck do I accomplish it?

What you do is something I call “narrating the day”. Your job for now, and it is a simple one, is to consciously narrate your day to yourself. It can be in your mind, or if you’re alone and you’re just starting to try it, it can be out loud. Narrate your day. That means, find whatever you are doing and tell yourself you are doing it. Or about to do it.

“Right… time to go make that cup of coffee.”

And then narrate it. You don’t have to be ridiculously granular about it. But when you start out, you can tell yourself it’s time to fill the pot with water. Or to get the k-cup. Or to scoop the grounds into the reusable k-cup. Or to throw it away. People may recognize this as a form of “mindfulness” but it’s far less ethereal and way more accessible than that. Don’t worry about what to call it or what anyone has told you in the past. I am telling you exactly how to do it. And how to do it effectively.

So for example… when it’s time to sit with your coffee or your tea, tell yourself - “Right… now I’m gonna sit with my drink”. Obviously you can go about the business of your life. You can’t very well read the internet while telling yourself you are reading the internet. Your job is to do it slow.

This gets carried out in a logical way. Break things down into steps. In the beginning, as best you can, think of yourself as a character in a book. You are the narrator. To an audience of one. You can tell yourself anything. May as well be this.

It will calm you down. And you will enjoy the feeling. In a while - a fairly long while of feelgood practice - it will become second nature. At the beginning, you have to implement it at all possible times. From the moment you open your eyes in the morning until you lay down at night. And as you go on, and you inevitably find yourself feeling anxious, you will equally find that you have not been narrating for the last 15 minutes… half hour… hour. Day. So what do you do? You get right back to it. Gentle reminder. Don’t beat yourself up. It’s going to happen.

Have to go rush to pick up the kids? “Right… (you don’t always have to start with right, I’m just showing you what it sounds like)… I’m getting my keys. I’m going to go get in the car now. Let’s put the radio on.”

It will feel kind of dumb at the beginning. But your mind will find the natural flow to it. You will end up feeling calmer. And you will end up with an anxious feeling again and then realize you haven’t been narrating. Your answer is to go right back to narrating! It’s like this little safety button you can press to calm down.

It works. This is life-changing shit for the people I’ve explained it to. Go to it. Good luck.

Your LH comes from the pituitary gland. You will be making somewhere around zero of this by week two or three on TRT. The HCG just keeps your balls producing in the absence of LH production and not much else. If you’re worried about having your dose cut, scale back two weeks out from the test and make sure to get your test BEFORE your dose that week, and don’t tell the doc.

I really appreciate you taking the time to write all that out.

I remember when I was just about to EAS, I started seeing a psychiatrist because of the panic attacks I was having. He Rx’d me SSRI’s & benzos which obviously helped short term with the attacks but he wanted me to do CBT. He was practically begging me to go buy a book on it. I never did. All I wanted was the refill of the benzos.

I was so “on edge” and hyper-vigilant for the first few years after I got out. It was a real nightmare. I have slowed down a lot since then. I am doing better, no doubt, but I will try what you’ve suggested. Thank you.

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Okay thank you. I think I still have 9 weeks until my next set of labs but I will make sure I don’t take my Rx’s before the bloodwork.

Yes, I am fortunate that I was able to catch it this early on!

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image

Week # 1

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Week #3

20 DAYS IN

-I’ve gained 1-2 lbs
-looks like my bf% has gone down
-more stamina and strength in the gym
-much more endurance during cardio
-mood is overall much better

I know I’m only 3 weeks in but I’m feeling better. Btw here are my ORIGINAL LABS

Just in case y’all want to look over them.

Still taking:

TEST CYP: 100mg/2x week (200mg/week)
Arimidex: 0.5mg/2x week (1mg/week)
HCG: 500iu/2x week (1,000iu/week)

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You are only a few weeks in correct? Is there a reason you started off taking an AI?

Nice build, you definitely will put some size on those shoulders if you lift heavy and eat enough. TRT has gotten me back to my old “military” mindset self, of wanting to PT everyday and staying fit.

Also please post a picture of your cat with your next progress picture (I saw his tail), I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks.