T Nation

Why HRT?


#1

To be quite honest I really never heard about HRT till I came to this site. From what I have been reading seems several of you are pursuing HRT or already on HRT. My question is why? What made you pursue HRT? Were there symptoms? What are the long term effects? I'm 37 years old and workout 4 days a week, I've known that test decreases with age, but isn?t that normal. Is this similar to HRT for women when they are experiencing menopause? I'm just trying to understand HRT and determine hype from fact.

Thanks in advance


#2

Have you checked out the symptoms of low test levels?

Avoiding those symptoms, if done safely, would be quite beneficial to quality of life.


#3

Yes a decline in testosterone is normal as a man ages, but it should be a slow steady decline. It seems these days, more and more men as young as their late 20's are experiencing acute declines in their levels of testosterone due to a number of factors. Poor diet, obesity, bombardment of environmental estrogens, excessive hormone content in meat products, certain prescription drug usage and lack of excercise all contribute to lower testosterone levels.
What are the symptoms and how do you know if your testosterone is low? Here is a list of symptoms that are associated with low testosterone levels. If you have a few of these it is worth having your bloodwork done to determine if your levels are low. Weight/fat gain particularly in the belly and chest area, little or no sex drive, erectile dysfunction, sore joints, constant fatigue, lack of interest in pretty much everything, depression, on occasion-tender nipples due to elevated estrogen, mental fatigue-loss of mental clarity, and loss of physical strength. These are all typical signs of low testosterone. At 37 a man should not have most of the problems listed, can happen, but generally shouldn't. If a man has these symptoms he is pretty much going to feel like crap. That's where HRT comes in. The doctor will try to get your levels back to a healthy range. Typically they shoot for a level consistent with a 21 year old male which is anywhere from 600-800ng/dl. The extremely low range is 241ng/dl or below. The "normal" range is 241 -100ng/dl, but you have to consider normal for one man might be 400ng/dl where as for you it may be 700ng/dl. It is better to be the higher side of normal than the lower. During and after treatment you'll notice a lot of the symptoms start going away and within about 3-4 weeks you start to feel really damn good again. Sometimes you can get off HRT and if you keep your diet clean, exercise and minimize estrogen exposure you can come off the therapy and maintain your testosterone levels give or take a few points flucuation. I think the majority of men, however stay on therapy for the duration of their life. usually these are the older men, but can happen to guys in their 30's as well.

Hope this answered some of your questions


#4

I'm in my 30s so have no near term plans for HRT at all. But, I fully expect to be on HRT once I hit my 60s till I hit the grave. It may be normal to have test levels drop then, but if I can afford it, I'm not going down that path. I'm not working all my life towards retirement so I can sit on a porch widdling walking sticks.


#5

I would suggest getting your t levels tested now so you understand what your levels should be.

Knowing that you expect to be on HRT later will help the docs diagnose low t levels.


#6

I am also in my 30s, and started my HRT along with DIM this week. You might not think your test levels are low, neither did I, but it pays to find out.


#7

I have no problem with HRT WHATSOEVER...but please lets not hide what it truly is. Yes some men really do have low test and therefore have a real reason to go on HRT...but lets face it..very few people actually have low test when they use this. This is just a way to get roids legally...i know of 2 people off the top of my head that arent even 21...one is 19 and one is 20 who went to TWO DIFFERENT HRT DOCTORS...we arent talking one case here...paid about 100 something for their blood tests...both of them placed in the normal rangem, but both were elligable by the doctor for HRT and both got what they wanted. Its just a way to do roids legally and soon i think we are going to see this uncovered in the media. But again i find nothing wrong with this...as long as people admit the truth. And as i said before...yes some men really do need hrt and get it for that reason.


#8

[quote]facko wrote:
Its just a way to do roids legally and soon i think we are going to see this uncovered in the media. quote]

Ummmm, no it's really not.

My T-level was 1/2 that of the average 90 year old man. Trust me, that's no way to live. Now that I'm aware of it, I think that there are many middle aged men who suffer from low T and don't have a clue about it. Those guys with man boobs, and bellies, and don't want to work out anymore or jump on their wives just don't realize that it's not normal to come home from work and only want to sleep on the couch in front of the TV. Solvay, maker of Androgel, believes there is a 5 million man market for their product in the US, that might be too low.

Even worse, I'm afraid you're right about the media picking up on the HRT scam and causing more federal legislation to make life even harder on those of us who really need it. When I go to Walgreen's to pick up my t-cyp vial refill, I have to hand over my driver's license for verification and sign what looks like a federal log book for it. What's next?


#9

Something else to add the list of symptoms of low test:

Aging skin can be thin and inelastic. When the back of the hand in pinched up into a fold, it tends to stay there. When pulled to one side, the skin responds with spider lines and folds. Same can be seen on the face to some extent.

For me at 57 years, this was a very obvious thing. After two months of test, my skin is thicker and elasticity restored. Pinched skin on my hand recovers almost instantly. Similar effects on my face. In some, skin will improve with estrogen. In my case, my E did not change from baseline before HRT started. This makes one look younger and that is a visible anti-aging result. This is something that is stated as a HGH benefit. Most HGH programs for men also include test. One might claim that test HRH aka TRT increases HGG. But in my case, my IGF-1 decreased VS baseline, so that supports the idea that test alone improves skin thickness and elasticity.

The nice thing about this is that it is easily seen and evaluated. It also suggests that other similar anti-aging changes may be happening that are not visible.


#10

I am pursuing HRT because, plainly and simply, I am suffering from TESTICULAR FAILURE, as diagnosed by my endocrinologist. HRT is all about getting me back to normal levels of test.

Here are the symptoms I experienced (from another thread:

I stopped being able to focus or learn anything new. My brain, which used to be kinda functional and shiny was fuzzed out dirty brown mess of cotton. Goodbye libido. None of the things I used to like to do had any interest to me -- everything just required too much effort. And constantly bone-tired, so damned fatigued. and irritable. and so on.

--

I had the symptoms for several years and thanks to this site and others I was able to figure out what was going on with me and get tested.


#11

No offense to those who actually have low testosterone, but when I read advice on this forum to have your testosterone tested while hungover with little sleep, I tend to agree with you.


#12

The fact that people abuse every system ever devised does not mean that there aren't legitimate cases where people need HRT.

Don't lump them together...


#13

The last thing we need is a dumbass media "expose" on TRT. After suffering from symptoms for years, I was just diagnosed w primary hypogonadism, after a year of fighting like hell to get a referral to an endo. I need it, and it wasn't at all easy getting treatment

I would hate if it became harder for people who really need treatment to get it because of a media scare.

A half-assed ratings-grabbing story, followed up no doubt by false outrage from some cynical "family values" politicians would do a lot of harm, IMHO.


#14

If they are under a doctor's supervision, why does anyone care?


#15

Good point!