T Nation

Why I Stopped Anastrozole


#1

Earlier in the year my liver numbers and kidney numbers were all flagged high. My hair also began to fall out. Previously I had been taking iron due to anemia from last summers health problems. Too much iron can do that to your hair. However I stopped the iron supps in December. Here I was in April/May with my hair falling out and near perfect E2=22 scores.

The other change was that I was using liquid anastrozole instead of the expensive pills. I think I did a terrible job of dosing from the bottle. I have done 2 things since then:
1) Stopped anti-E
2) Stopped constantly eating protein and consuming workout 'shakes' instead of food

Liver numbers fell back into the normal range. Kidney numbers fell also but creatinine is apparently always going to be 1.6 for me, but the key here is it is a stable 1.6.

My hair stopped falling out with higher E2 and seems to be growing back in everywhere. Most preggo chicks have hair that I have seen, most alcoholics with loads of E2 are not bald.

How has less protein and no E2 mgmt effected my body composition ? Well at Lifetime Fitness pool with my daughter and her friends last weekend 2 young girls came up and asked me if I had just competed in a bodybuiling contest. I am not a big guy but have low body fat and crazy vascularity.

I do believe that E2 can 'help you grow' and am going to leave it where it is for the time being. I am also going to stop the insanity of eating so much protein all the time as it was clearly hard on the kidneys.

I understand that for most guys anastrozole is a key ingredient, just has not turned out that way for me.


#2

Interesting post, thanks for sharing.

I know that I feel like crap without my adex, but I feel like crap if I overdo it as well. Even one .5mg dose and my joints kill me, and my mood and energy turn to crap. I have to listen to my body very carefully and occasionally skip a dose or two.

You can certainly overdo it with protein, as with anything else. I only do one shake per day, post-workout, because of the fast-metabolizing advantage of whey. Otherwise I agree that your food should come from food. Milk and eggs are the best overall bodybuilding foods IMO, unless you're lactose-intolerant of course.


#3

So you changed your diet as well and conclude that anastrozole was the problem? What kind of science is that? You are providing advice and need to be more responsible.

So what was going on with your cholesterol levels and thyroid levels? Your symptoms fit low cholesterol and/or low thyroid levels too.


#4

I offered no advice in fact I clearly stated that I understand that anastrozole is a key ingredient in TRT for most men.

The liver/kidney numbers needed improvement, GP said to drop all workout products and simply eat food, low protein food. I took the middle road.

My hair falling out was not from eating the kinds of meal replacements I have been eating for years. The BIG change was the introduction of liquid anastrozole which I admitted I mismanaged. I can afford the regular pills but am irked to pay $4 for 1/4 milligram of anything so I tried the liquid and it was a failed experiment, heck it might have been responsible for both but I had 2 urgent problems to solve and could not wait to resolve them in series.

My primary point is the idea that E2 is protective of hair. When I first took anastrozole pills I had some hair fallout. With conversion to liquid anastrozole it fell out all over my scalp. Since allowing E2 to rise none of it is coming out and is growing back in.


#5

Cholesterol is mildly high, T1-T4 check out ok, pituitary I assume is ok since I had a 4 hour MRI of the head and they cataloged all kinds of things including thickened mucous in sinus cavities - guessing a tumor on the pituitary would not have gone un-noticed.


#6

That is the funny thing, my joints never bothered me even down to E2=22 or it might have even been 12 I will have to check. I did ask here if low E2 was associated hair loss, did not get many replies - I think KSman thought it was possible.

I fell for the marketing hype of the bodybuilding foods, I have noticed my gut problems are diminished as well. My body likes slow food, it seems bizarre to workout and eat chicken, lean meats after years of shakes but that is clearly the best way for me to live healthy.


#7

T1-T4? What the hell is T1 and T2? Total T3/T4 or Free T3/T4? What was your TSH?

Lifting weights creates falsely high liver markers for a couple days after lifting. You may have lifted before your tests which flagged them as high even though you had no liver problems.

What "kidney markers" were "dangerous"? Creatinine and BUN are often flagged high for people who lift and eat high protein, but if they are high for this reason is not unhealthy in the least. The fact you paid any attention to high creatinine numbers shows your (and your doc's) lack of understanding about blood work.

But I'm glad you conclusively ruled that anastrozole was the sole problem from this highly scientific study of yours, despite the minor problem that you did a "terrible job of dosing from the bottle". I'm sure that can't be the reason for your problems.

I bet you bought lots of whey concentrate, but your typical non-protein shake diet has no dairy in it. I wonder why you had gut problems?


#8

3/11/2011

TSH 1.9 .45-4.5 NORMAL
T3 33 24-39 NORMAL
T4 6.6 4.5-12.0 Normal

10/2/2009

TSH 1.9 .45-4.5 NORMAL
T3 31.3 27.5-32.5 NORMAL
T4 Free 2.57 1.9-3.4 NORMAL
T4 Total 8.2 4.5-12.5 Dead Center Normal

Clearly not my problems so I don't care how many T's are tracked.

I halted lifting and protein for days before tests, repeated tests and started involving my doctors because the numbers were not going down for kidney nor liver. Serum Uric Acid, Urea in urine, BUN and Creatine were all flagged high and were at the highest in 10 years of labs. Liver AST/ALT are normally 30's or lower and suddenly were in the 80's.

I lifted a lot before the latest round of tests and ate high protein because the tests were an add-on while in Boulder for dental work, it was convenient since I work in Denver. The numbers were much lower despite that.

My kidneys have to be watched because I take medication for a disease and convinced my doctor to switch the medication which can be hard on the kidneys. The GI said to continue the meds. The GP is discouraging high protein. I asked specifically if it was just driving the numbers higher or doing real damage and he said high protein can damage the kidneys.

Unless you have an auto-immune disease called Ulcerative Colitis I do not need any lecturing from you on my diet. It is a very complicated problem but the answer to your 'bet' is that I consume a lot of yogurt and keefir on a daily basis. Now that these problems are a non-issue I need to check my platelet count because the compilation of bloodwork over 10 years shows me that a platelet count above 500 always precedes massive internal bleeding and hospitalization. Each time this occurs in the months July-September. No problems now for 12 months and I aim to keep it that way. I am just wasting my time here. Apparently nobody else had any problems with liquid anastrozole quality so this was merely from sloppy usage or something about it just disagrees with my system. I can return to pill form or skip it as I do not seem to need it. Besides, getting buff and lean are secondary to remaining alive and raising my child. A 64k trip to the ICU for a week last year with a UC related stroke that nearly killed me shines the light on what is important and what is not. This is not.


#9

I fully understand that this is a personal story and some of these meds do not work for you. Fair enough.

BUT, everyone reading this has to keep in mind the key word PERSONAL (n=1)...you have many medical issues. You're taking medicine that can harm the kidneys...you have GI issues....your situation is not at all typical and is a very unique case.

I disagree with some of your conclusions about E2...by your theory, all these fat middle aged guys with more E2 than their wives should have a full head of hair and be able to gain muscle just from looking at weights...not the case at all).

I also know that there is no medical literature demonstrating that protein is hard on the kidneys of an OTHERWISE HEALTHY INDIVIDUAL. The studies that doctors love to cite while recommending a low protein diet were performed on people who already had advanced kidney failure, so it is stupid to extrapolate from that to make recommendations to the general population.


#10

I am sorry about the tone of my first post... but don't you think your extensive personal medical history made it a bit irresponsible to make blanket statements about E2 based on your experience? I mean, you have a very unique individual situation.


#11

That is probably a fair assessment. I am working 70-80 hours per week to payoff medical debt and rushed my post.

But I was not suggesting it is wrong for anyone but myself and was wondering if anybody else felt that some liquid anastrozole was bad. I never had a problem with the pill form. I clearly said that I 'get' that its a 'key component' for most men. Labs kept coming back bad and I am sensitive to that for obvious reasons. I stopped the liquid and they are better and my hair is better. I am monitoring a lot of stuff and for me that was scientific enough data that I need to either go back to pill form or stop altogether.

Everything else has been fine for a year, the med switch was one year ago. Why did my hair suddenly start falling out ? The only change is my E2 was the lowest ever which I thought was great at the time. Nobody has the same correlations for hair loss or worsening labs but I am not about to finish that bottle which looks like a kid made the label in high school art class.

Too sketchy for me.


#12

The truth can withstand questioning and my theories are not holding up very well. Thanks for posting. I think my point on E2 is that its not a panacea for muscle growth, just that it may have some protective characteristics for scalp hair or that going too low may effect scalp hair. I was leaner with low E2 but I began to feel I was paying too high a price and that 23 may not be 'my' magic number. I have also been warned by a competing bodybuilder to not take it too low because 'it can help you grow'. Androgen sensitivity.

I think that instead of closing my original post with 'I get its a key ingredient for most..' I probably should have started with that statement. Given the group of people reading it that would have framed it up better as an oddball experience and it would not have been seen as a blanket statement against anstrozole. When I out and out asked if liquid was a problem I got zero replies to that post. I actually thought someone was going to chime in that there was a bad batch a while ago, avoid xxx brand etc. Months later suspicion grew to near certainty based upon first hand experience. I quit and everything rebounded so I posted that result.

Now I know that nobody else has questioned the quality of the liquid anastrozole. Apparently it is unheard of.


#13

Just like with all research chems, it is a crapshoot.

Even if you are buying from the same supplier, there is the likelihood of a bad batch. These things aren't really openly discussed and are usually kept under wraps do to the already gray area. Can't exactly go online complaining that your weed dealer sold you bum dope.

I think this is why you didn't get much response--even if people knew (which is very unlikely given that most of us here are able to get it from a doc), the ones that did would be unlikely to speak up.


#14

spot on


#15

I had problems myself with liquid anastrozle. I wouldnt be shocked if others did as well. I know for MOST people they dont have a problem but there are and should be those few freaks out there that have an issue from it. Glad to know I wasnt alone in having a "side effect"(?) My problem was completely different.


#16

I have used RC anastrozole from two well known suppliers for years and the lab results were consistent with expected results and across lots and brands. I have some brand name Arimidex and switched to that for two weeks before lab work and the E2 lab results were the same.

I did have issues with one batch where the anastrozole crystallized out. That has not repeated.

Given the cost issues, I am very satisfied. There is really no alternative to a liquid product for EOD dosing if your dose does not calculate to an increment of 1/4mg. By the drop dosing is valuable. [Some make their own liquid products from the tablets.]

There are other issues, which can be unpleasant, for the few who are anastrozole over-responders. This is addressed by stopping for 6 days, then resuming at 1/4th the dose. This issue is common to Rx Anastrozole as well. There is no way to avoid this problem and those affected will have the same issues if their doctor prescribes. Doctors do not understand this problem and guys here do have the advantage of our collected knowledge.

If anastrozole truly does not work for you [very rare], there is aromasin to try.

See the estradiol sticky and protocol for injections sticky for more info.


#17

KSman,
Do you have a preference when it comes to the Anastrozole/Aromisin debate?


#18

Just to chime in that I plan on switching from adex to aromasin. Aromasin allegedly has some androgenic benefits that adex does not, but the main reason is due to adex's harsh nature on lipids, which doesn't seem to happen with aromasin.


#19

VTB,

I'm going to make the switch to Aromisin due to it's easier on the lipids. However, some say that it's better to take less of a drug (anastrozole .25 EOD) rather than more (Aromisin 12.5 EOD). Are you going with a 12.5mg EOD dosing schedule?


#20

Yes...12.5 mg Mon-Wed-Fri, so pretty much EOD....I don't see any problem taking a higher mg amount if the active ingredient induces the same effect...