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Old 01-10-2020, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
985 posts, read 224,183 times
Reputation: 1061

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A few months ago I noticed something wasn't right with me. My sex drive was low, as was my energy. I was always feeling tired and irritable. I did some research and found out that sometimes being obese can affect testosterone levels in men. I did feel a little better as I read up on how exercising can sometimes bring the levels back up, especially if you are young. I am overweight, but have been exercising for the past few years now. I was originally 350 lbs when I first started, and at one point I was 220. But yet I still didn't feel like me.


I have a membership with Ancestry and decided to do a health report from them. The report showed that my testosterone levels were lower than the average person for someone my age. So I made an appointment with my doctor and got a physical, and also told her what was wrong. Sadly I did gain some weight back, as 2019 was a hectic year for me. I currently weigh 297, but I am back at the gym and eating better and have already lost 10 lbs. My doctor took some blood work and said the levels were low, but wanted to take more blood in the early morning to get a better reading. The second report showed my levels were very low.


She prescribed me testosterone and said I may or may not need to take this for the rest of my life. It's a topical gel I have to rub on my shoulder once a day. I have been doing this for almost a week now and I do notice that it's working. I did some research on how it can improve my life. I have noticed I can concentrate better, I am not as depressed (I do struggle with depression but it isn't a high level of it), my anxiety levels are low, and I have more energy. The only side effect I have been experiencing so far is going to the bathroom more frequently. However, I am worried that this won't fully resolve my issue. I am trying not to get in my own head, but I am afraid if this doesn't work, that I won't be able to live a normal life, or even have a normal sex life for that matter.


I almost cried thinking about it the night before because I am only 31, yet my testosterone levels are far below what they should be for a male of my age. Is there anyone else on CD with this issue? Is the medication working for you? What are some other ways to cope with this?
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Old 01-10-2020, 03:10 PM
 
Location: on the wind
8,892 posts, read 3,881,809 times
Reputation: 30244
Have you been retested since starting the medication? Doesn't monitoring need to be done periodically? Your medication might need adjustment occasionally as your system changes. Not too much is static. Maybe you are worried over nothing. That's not going to help you feel any better. Get the facts first.
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Old 01-12-2020, 09:15 AM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
3,252 posts, read 1,269,659 times
Reputation: 7201
Testosterone levels are notoriously useless in clinical medicine. The normal range for the general population is very large. Serial levels are more valuable -- who cares what average for everybody is?-- it's YOUR normal that's important.....Of course, if you're well below normal range, or even if in the normal range but you have symptoms or signs of hypogonadism, that's what really counts.


A little history: testosterone is destroyed by stomach acid, so oral pills can't be used. In cases of hypogonadism, injections had to be given. Nobody likes shots....Then they invented a trans-cutaneous delivery system, so now the advertising guys ae called upon to develop a market ie- they have a treatment in search of a disease.


If your sexual function (ability & desire) is normal, if your hair distribution is normal, then you probably don't have a testosterone problem.


OTOH- your weight problem (assuming it's obesity and not just big bones & all muscle) may be due to low testosterone effects +/- other endocrine problems (hypopituitary situation).


Psych symptoms are so common that they are difficult to attribute to physical disease, plus there's the psych effects of being sick-- somato-psychic disease (you're sick and don't like it) vs psycho-somatic (you imagine you're sick).


Work up includes further tests of endocrine function --ACTH/cortisol/ Aldosterone/FSH, LH levels for starters, semen analysis & maybe chromosome studies. Those results may lead to further tests.


Testosterone replacement based solely on a "low normal level" is probably not needed and unwise.
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Old 01-12-2020, 03:11 PM
 
Location: on the wind
8,892 posts, read 3,881,809 times
Reputation: 30244
Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
Testosterone levels are notoriously useless in clinical medicine.

Testosterone replacement based solely on a "low normal level" is probably not needed and unwise.
Don't tell me you don't believe all the advertising about "low T" and how this or that miracle supplement will turn underperforming, non-competitive, fat out of shape men into bronze-age warriors again?
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Old 01-13-2020, 09:08 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
985 posts, read 224,183 times
Reputation: 1061
Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
Testosterone levels are notoriously useless in clinical medicine. The normal range for the general population is very large. Serial levels are more valuable -- who cares what average for everybody is?-- it's YOUR normal that's important.....Of course, if you're well below normal range, or even if in the normal range but you have symptoms or signs of hypogonadism, that's what really counts.


A little history: testosterone is destroyed by stomach acid, so oral pills can't be used. In cases of hypogonadism, injections had to be given. Nobody likes shots....Then they invented a trans-cutaneous delivery system, so now the advertising guys ae called upon to develop a market ie- they have a treatment in search of a disease.


If your sexual function (ability & desire) is normal, if your hair distribution is normal, then you probably don't have a testosterone problem.


OTOH- your weight problem (assuming it's obesity and not just big bones & all muscle) may be due to low testosterone effects +/- other endocrine problems (hypopituitary situation).


Psych symptoms are so common that they are difficult to attribute to physical disease, plus there's the psych effects of being sick-- somato-psychic disease (you're sick and don't like it) vs psycho-somatic (you imagine you're sick).


Work up includes further tests of endocrine function --ACTH/cortisol/ Aldosterone/FSH, LH levels for starters, semen analysis & maybe chromosome studies. Those results may lead to further tests.


Testosterone replacement based solely on a "low normal level" is probably not needed and unwise.



I am overweight. I currently weigh 297, and my doctor wants me to shed the 97 lbs. I know I can do it because at one point I weighed 230. I gained at least 40 lbs last year and that was my fault. But I have always struggled with being overweight.
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Old 01-13-2020, 09:23 AM
 
618 posts, read 404,725 times
Reputation: 452
Keep eating a well balanced diet and exercise regularly your test levels should go back up to normal levels naturally. Go back and get tested again once you have lost the weight.

Yes the test cream will work to get your test up. It will work to fix your issue and help you feel better overall.
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Old 01-13-2020, 09:30 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
985 posts, read 224,183 times
Reputation: 1061
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diesel350z View Post
Keep eating a well balanced diet and exercise regularly your test levels should go back up to normal levels naturally. Go back and get tested again once you have lost the weight.

Yes the test cream will work to get your test up. It will work to fix your issue and help you feel better overall.



Thank you. I feel the gel working for sure. Sex drive is higher, more energy, better mood overall. I am back at it at the gym and am eating healthy, and am even doing intermittent fasting.
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Old 01-13-2020, 09:45 AM
 
Location: Retired
683 posts, read 528,697 times
Reputation: 1098
Don't. do. it.

Part of the testosterone they give you will be changed into estrogen, which you do not need. Your balls will shrink, and you will lose your ability to produce testosterone. Only go on the shots if you are consistently, over time, below 150 total T. Your free testosterone is what really matters.

Your doctor just wants to make some easy money.
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Old 01-13-2020, 09:55 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
985 posts, read 224,183 times
Reputation: 1061
Quote:
Originally Posted by Graywhiskers View Post
Don't. do. it.

Part of the testosterone they give you will be changed into estrogen, which you do not need. Your balls will shrink, and you will lose your ability to produce testosterone. Only go on the shots if you are consistently, over time, below 150 total T. Your free testosterone is what really matters.

Your doctor just wants to make some easy money.

Both my Ancestry health report, and the multiple testings I did with my doctor shows my levels are very low. My sister is an APRN and has worked alongside my doctor and speaks very highly of her. I showed her the test results, and she too said to move forward with using the gel for therapy treatment. Some people don't get the same side effects, or even all of them for that matter. So far, the only side affect I have is urinating more frequently. I am also being monitored with usage and was told treatment would cease immediately if results don't improve, or if a new issues arises when I go for a follow up.
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Old 01-13-2020, 10:12 AM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
3,252 posts, read 1,269,659 times
Reputation: 7201
Quote:
Originally Posted by DK736 View Post
Both my Ancestry health report, and the multiple testings I did with my doctor shows my levels are very low. My sister is an APRN and has worked alongside my doctor and speaks very highly of her. I showed her the test results, and she too said to move forward with using the gel for therapy treatment. Some people don't get the same side effects, or even all of them for that matter. So far, the only side affect I have is urinating more frequently. I am also being monitored with usage and was told treatment would cease immediately if results don't improve, or if a new issues arises when I go for a follow up.

Taking exogenous testosterone increases your risk of arteriosclerosis and serve as fertilizer for prostate ca. You may "feel better" taking it, but that's placebo effect. Testosterone has nothing to do with "energy metabolism" but it can cause aggressive personality.


There's no such thing as high normal vs low normal. Normal is normal-- like a home run-- it makes no difference how far over the fence the ball goes. Have a semen analysis-- if the sperm count is normal you do not need testosterone. Period.


First rule of medicine is Do No Harm. ...Second is Treat the Patient, Not the Lab Value.
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