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Hypogonadism - low testosterone - my story


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#1 enough

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 08:50 AM

I noticed that there doesn't seem to be much here on the topic and I just wanted to post some info to help others that may be looking for it.

I am a mid-30's male. I am married with three daughters, two incomes, very stable family situation.

I had been in incredible physical health and regularly competed in endurance racing like marathons, triathlons, etc. After an epic year of racing, I noticed that I was really losing my motivation, my drive to work hard, and started to see all kinds of little injuries. In my world, this is commonly recognized as over-training and the best remedy is some down time with light exercise, lots of sleep, and healthy eating. Splash in some fun and you'll back to normal in no time. Well, that didn't work. In fact, it got much, much worse.

I started to put on weight and lost muscle strength pretty quickly. I figured this was because I was getting too lazy, but I couldn't get myself working out anymore. When I did work out, I was weak, slow to recover, and injury prone. This lasted for nearly two years. I put on almost 50 pounds of pure fat. I was disgusted with myself, and yet I felt I couldn't do anything about it. I was depressed and looking for help.

My family practitioner tried some light duty anti-depressants for mood, some zanax for anxiety, and eventually some ambien for sleep. Nothing really did much except make me want to escape with the zanax and ambien. When I told him this he did some further evaluation and concluded that I was Bipolar-NOS. He started me on lamictal and kept me on the anti-depressant. He then referred me to a Pdoc in the area.

I went to the pdoc and he agreed that I was BP. We stuck with the med route I was on and over time I kept coming back to him saying that its making it worse. I have no motivation, no will, I was in a constant fog. He swapped me around with some other meds and it made no improvement. This all happened over a course of about a year or so. Honestly, I have a really hard time remembering the details of this time in my life. I was drugged out and not tuned into it.

I eventually came to the conclusion that this was not working for me. I was also having major run ins with my stepdad and it was causing a real problem for me in the family and in my job. (I run the family business.) My anxiety levels where absolutely sky-high in dealing with him, and I needed to do something about it, so I started to go to therapy. This was quite helpful. Not only did I talk a lot about him and the anxiety, but it helped me to get a lot of stuff out. My wife and I are great companions, but she honestly doesn't follow my ramblings all that well. (Is it due to her choice, or her ability to follow? I don't know.) We run a household very well, but emotional compassion is not particularly strong between us. sad.

Sorry, off track ... The therapy was good and I voiced my concerns about the path that the pdoc had me on and my desire to get off the meds. They were making everything worse. She concurred, to my surprise, and hooked me up with another pdoc in her office to get another opinion. This doc agreed with the initial bp-bos assessment, but worked me off the meds I was on, and moved me over to wellbutrin xl. That, in and of itself, was a huge improvement. I started to get a little bit of mojo back. Not all of it, but some. This was improvement, and I desperately needed to see some improvement. (I later found out that my initial pdoc was a "specialist" in BP. Meaning, he thought that everyone had it! He was a facotry of BP meds. Asshole.)

I was able to get a little running in again. But, my body was so slow to recover. I would go days, being stiff, from short simple runs. It was partly that I was heavier and it was taxing my body more, but this was too much. My muscles were not recovering correctly. Now, all along with the meds, it killed my libido. It reduced my ability to become fully erect, and sex was just a physical act. It sucked.

I voiced these concerns with my family doc again and we tried some ed treatments. One one hand, they work quickly in the physical sense, but they did nothing for the emotional side of the problem. That, and they made my sinuses incredibly stuffy... Eventually he did a broader work up on my blood and saw that my testosterone was low. So, after a little debate, we tried some androgel. This is a daily hormone replacement gel for men.

Within a couple days, I was noticing some tangible improvements in my mood, my emotional state and certainly in my intimately "physical" state. It took longer to see improvements in my athletic state. I was still pretty heavy, but I was slowly losing weight. Once I started to recover from my workouts more quickly, strength started to return.

At this point, I was off of everything but Wellbutrin XL, low dosage Androgel and big hits of Vitamin D. I felt great for about 2-3 months, but then I started to fade. I told my regular doc, we did another testosterone test and saw it was really low! Its common for your body to slow production of T when you are supplementing it. My body was getting lazy with its own production and therefore we needed to up the T dosage. I was very low dosing to start with, so this was not an issue.

Over the course of the testosterone treatment to this point, I was still seeing my new pdoc, she was involved in the whole thing. I was also tapering down the therapy because I was really feeling much, much better and handling my problems much better as well.

Within about 4-5 months of upping the T dosage, I started to fade again. Another test revealed that I was low again. We upped my dosage, and I've been feeling pretty good. I am actually in very good physical shape right now. I've lost 40 pounds from my peak and I am strong, I recover pretty quickly from workouts , and emotionally I am doing better than I have in years. However, I am starting to feel the fade again.

My pdoc has thought that I was Seasonally Affected all along, and we are trying the lights and such. This is pretty new, no results to report yet. However, she is fully on board with me trying things, reporting back, etc.

I am convinced that it was my testosterone that was the major factor in everything that I have been going through. I've always had some degree of depression hanging around. I would also agree with my pdoc that it is seasonal for the most part. The wellbutrin XL gives me just a little extra gidde-up.

I know this is a lot of detail, but here is the nut and bolts of it. My hormones were messed up, quite possibly due to extreme physical exertion from my endurance racing, as well as other natural swings in my body. The course of treatment and other factors in my life at the time of initial treatment further suppressed the natural Testosterone production to the point that I could not get it back up. Literally and figuratively! :)

Now that we have this figured out, I am basically feeling like my old self, with the exception of when I "fade". This is something that we have been able to deal with so far, and I am very optimistic for the future.

Now, Androgel is not perfect. It has a lot of negatives to it. I'd like to talk about them for a minute. First, its kind of a pain to put it on. It is an alcohol based gel. I have to put about a two table spoons on after I have dried off from a shower. It dried my skin, burns my eyes, and I have to be VERY careful to avoid contact with my daughters. Androgel will cause premature sexual development in young girls. It will kickstart puberty. After I put it on, I have to let it dry, then cover up quickly and wash my hands very thoroughly. Also, its expensive. I have excellent insurance, yet I pay 40 dollars for a 30 day supply. If I didn't have the coverage that I do, it would cost nearly $300 per month. Also, because I'm working into higher doses, I am starting to notice some acne as a result. Its not much, but there is some on my back and shoulders. I'm self-conscious of it, but its still better than being the fat and miserable man I was two years ago. The last thing, I will never have normal production of Testosterone again. My body will have suppressed its own production so far, that I will not be on it forever. While this was a concern at first, I'm okay with it now. My quality of life is measurably better for me and those around me.

After seeing this most recent fade, I had another T test, and its low, again. I am going to go to my GP next week and see if we can switch from Androgel to an injectable form of testosterone. I would like to get set up to inject myself once ever week or so. This actually helps to even out the test in my system as its a slower absorbing form and it will also eliminate the risk of transfer to my daughters.

So, that's my story. I'm a work in progress, but I'm progressing! :)

If anyone has any questions about testosterone or my journey, or anything really, please don't hesitate to ask. I wish I had a person to talk to about it, as I went into this. Thanks for listening. This has been a bit of therapy for me to get it all out of my head and on pixelated "paper". :)


#2 water

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 11:04 AM

omg, my husband was JUST diagnosed with hypogonadism last week! Today is hopefully the last effin blood test - FSH and LH, pituitary hormones, which will totally convince the endocrinologist that his assumption is correct. Hubby has a 'perfect storm'. His Synthroid level is too high so T4 is elevated, he has myotonia cogenita which gives you low testorerone as well and his balls are small. haha I told him he had bigger balls than anyone I knew.

This has been SO upsetting. He is a very healthy, very physically active, even tempered easy going guy who in the last 2 years has slowly turned into a completely exhausted ill irritable man with a constant headache. He didn't even unpack his suitcase after a two day trip and even after a 3 week vacation he unpacks the DAY we get home.

I feel so lucky that we found out the problem. Please please let this be the problem. We can start the injections immediately and apparently they will have an immediate effect. Inter-muscular injection once every two weeks at home. My daughter will love this. She will probably want to do the shot.

Thank you SO MUCH for sharing. I know no one at all with this issue either and it has been very very scary. Lately he has mentioned suicide a few times. He really has no mental illness and is well educated on depression so this was not a casual statement. It sucks for him. His high, his drug of choice, his relaxation is bicycling, fast and for a long time. And for the first time since I have known him, (we met April Fools '89 on a blind date) he has not ridden his bike in two months.

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#3 mrzarf

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 11:39 AM

omg, my husband was JUST diagnosed with hypogonadism last week! Today is hopefully the last effin blood test - FSH and LH, pituitary hormones, which will totally convince the endocrinologist that his assumption is correct. Hubby has a 'perfect storm'. His Synthroid level is too high so T4 is elevated, he has myotonia cogenita which gives you low testorerone as well and his balls are small. haha I told him he had bigger balls than anyone I knew.

This has been SO upsetting. He is a very healthy, very physically active, even tempered easy going guy who in the last 2 years has slowly turned into a completely exhausted ill irritable man with a constant headache. He didn't even unpack his suitcase after a two day trip and even after a 3 week vacation he unpacks the DAY we get home.

I feel so lucky that we found out the problem. Please please let this be the problem. We can start the injections immediately and apparently they will have an immediate effect. Inter-muscular injection once every two weeks at home. My daughter will love this. She will probably want to do the shot.

Thank you SO MUCH for sharing. I know no one at all with this issue either and it has been very very scary. Lately he has mentioned suicide a few times. He really has no mental illness and is well educated on depression so this was not a casual statement. It sucks for him. His high, his drug of choice, his relaxation is bicycling, fast and for a long time. And for the first time since I have known him, (we met April Fools '89 on a blind date) he has not ridden his bike in two months.


Whew. Great post and I'm so pleased my GP tested my hormones before assuming I had mental health issues. But of course it IS possible to have both.

The injections (for me) worked better every 7 days. My prescription was 7-10 days. The half life of the testosterone (oil) was a bit complicated to understand but there is a page somewhere that you can put in the type and how much you inject and how often and it will show how the levels build over time and where they are (Aprox) every day in the cycles. Its really difficult to not bottom out with 14 days between shots or you have to inject so much you go a bit wacky at the start of the cycle because it puts you so way over the normal range. Anyway, Androgel is nice because its a 24 hour cycle which is a normal male cycle.
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#4 Kodos

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 12:53 AM

Also have your thyroid checked. If you TSH is > 2.5, you may have hypothyroidism - which causes lack of energy, fatigue, depression, and more.

Note that the "Normal' range on your blood test may have an upper limit of 4.5. This is out of date. It's been recommended since 2003 to be 3.0. A good case can be made for an upper limit of 2.5. This web site actually has a pretty good summary of the issue:
http://thyroid.about...htestwars_2.htm

Most "normals" will have a TSH between 1.0 and 1.5. However, you can't tell what's "normal" -- or "optimal" -- for you from a blood test - the only way is for you to tell you physician how you're feeling.

#5 enough

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 03:08 PM


omg, my husband was JUST diagnosed with hypogonadism last week! Today is hopefully the last effin blood test - FSH and LH, pituitary hormones, which will totally convince the endocrinologist that his assumption is correct. Hubby has a 'perfect storm'. His Synthroid level is too high so T4 is elevated, he has myotonia cogenita which gives you low testorerone as well and his balls are small. haha I told him he had bigger balls than anyone I knew.

This has been SO upsetting. He is a very healthy, very physically active, even tempered easy going guy who in the last 2 years has slowly turned into a completely exhausted ill irritable man with a constant headache. He didn't even unpack his suitcase after a two day trip and even after a 3 week vacation he unpacks the DAY we get home.

I feel so lucky that we found out the problem. Please please let this be the problem. We can start the injections immediately and apparently they will have an immediate effect. Inter-muscular injection once every two weeks at home. My daughter will love this. She will probably want to do the shot.

Thank you SO MUCH for sharing. I know no one at all with this issue either and it has been very very scary. Lately he has mentioned suicide a few times. He really has no mental illness and is well educated on depression so this was not a casual statement. It sucks for him. His high, his drug of choice, his relaxation is bicycling, fast and for a long time. And for the first time since I have known him, (we met April Fools '89 on a blind date) he has not ridden his bike in two months.


Honestly, it would have been so much harder to figure out if my thyroid was out of whack too. Luckily that was tested very early.

Your hubby is lucky that he gets to straight to injectable. I didn't have that option and have had to deal with upping dosage too many times. Hope he feels better soon and gets back on the saddle. Riding is one of my favorite things to do.



omg, my husband was JUST diagnosed with hypogonadism last week! Today is hopefully the last effin blood test - FSH and LH, pituitary hormones, which will totally convince the endocrinologist that his assumption is correct. Hubby has a 'perfect storm'. His Synthroid level is too high so T4 is elevated, he has myotonia cogenita which gives you low testorerone as well and his balls are small. haha I told him he had bigger balls than anyone I knew.

This has been SO upsetting. He is a very healthy, very physically active, even tempered easy going guy who in the last 2 years has slowly turned into a completely exhausted ill irritable man with a constant headache. He didn't even unpack his suitcase after a two day trip and even after a 3 week vacation he unpacks the DAY we get home.

I feel so lucky that we found out the problem. Please please let this be the problem. We can start the injections immediately and apparently they will have an immediate effect. Inter-muscular injection once every two weeks at home. My daughter will love this. She will probably want to do the shot.

Thank you SO MUCH for sharing. I know no one at all with this issue either and it has been very very scary. Lately he has mentioned suicide a few times. He really has no mental illness and is well educated on depression so this was not a casual statement. It sucks for him. His high, his drug of choice, his relaxation is bicycling, fast and for a long time. And for the first time since I have known him, (we met April Fools '89 on a blind date) he has not ridden his bike in two months.


Whew. Great post and I'm so pleased my GP tested my hormones before assuming I had mental health issues. But of course it IS possible to have both.

The injections (for me) worked better every 7 days. My prescription was 7-10 days. The half life of the testosterone (oil) was a bit complicated to understand but there is a page somewhere that you can put in the type and how much you inject and how often and it will show how the levels build over time and where they are (Aprox) every day in the cycles. Its really difficult to not bottom out with 14 days between shots or you have to inject so much you go a bit wacky at the start of the cycle because it puts you so way over the normal range. Anyway, Androgel is nice because its a 24 hour cycle which is a normal male cycle.


Which injectable do you use? I was thinking cypionate. Thoughts or experience?

#6 Cuttlefish

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 03:58 PM

There is also testosterone buccal, which is a wad you apply to your gum, and http://www.androderm.com/ ,which is a testosterone patch.

Lastly, if your body's production of testosterone was shut down by years of heavy exercise (which can and does happen), is there any chance your endocrinologist knows about clomiphene (Clomid)? It's a drug often used by bodybuilders to restart the body's own testosterone production after a cycle of steroid use and extreme exercise. It has also been investigated as an official treatment for generic hypogonadism as well. The cherry on top is that clomid is cheaper than testosterone. (http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/16422830)(http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/19694928)(http://www.ncbi.nlm....ubmed/19359408)

Edited by Cuttlefish, 17 November 2011 - 04:37 PM.


#7 water

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 11:25 AM

Thank you so much Enough, Mrzarf, Cuttle and Kodos. I cannot over emphasize how thrilling it is for us to have all this information after months and months of no idea what is happening.

Turns out the FSH and LH were high. Yay!! The prolactin (sp?) was normal whatever that is. This means that the low testosterone is a result of the 'perfect storm'. I have been trying to schedule a REAL appointment, one that will actually have the nurse show hubby how to do the injection and possibly, maybe, hopefully DO the first one at the office.

We are driving 4 hours or so for Thanksgiving to a large, complicated, emotional family weekend and I really really would love if he could get the first shot next week. But it is a short week but I am going to do my best to make it happen. Turns out hubby could have gotten the blood test last week because he NEVER EVER WENT to the LabCorp one friggin' block from his school. He just assumed that he had to go to the only place that was open at night. Otherwise we would have had these results last week. oh well, I need to stop obsessing.

He has had trouble recovering from exercise his whole life, which probably means the testosterone was low for years.

The only complication now are the headaches. The endo insists that this condition would not cause headaches so he wants to see him again. Which is fine, but I want this visit to also include the injection. This endo is one of those overly well known doctors who takes half a year to get an appointment with though the nurses are good about fitting in emergency appointments. Hubby also has more questions now after reading your responses. I won't let him come on the boards so I just copy and paste the text.

Cuttle - we know about clomid because of the supposed fertility treatments I was going to get. I actually bought the stuff and never used it. It is so ironic that I do not have enough FSH and hubby has too much. In some ways, it is a relief to know that I was not the only reason we could not get pregnant, it was both of us. my eggs were old, his sperm swam in circles. It was all meant to be. We have the most wonderful kid in the world who thank heaven does not have my family genes which are chock full of MI and cancer. Though who knows what lurking in her body from her birth parents.

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aplenzin 522, lexapro 20, xanax 5 prn, valium 5 prn

Sensitive dependance on initial conditions
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#8 enough

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 02:16 PM

I'm going back to my GP tomorrow to review last test and to ask for another path. I'll mention clomid. I'm familiar with it, but wasn't sure it was appropriate for me or not. If I was able to get my own system working well again, it would be great, but I'm not very optimistic. (Not sure why ...)

Good luck to all, especially you water. :)

#9 enough

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 11:01 PM

Well fnck. My most recent blood test has low LH and FSH, along with low testosterone again. I have to go in for an MRI of my head next week to check my pituitary gland. This sucks. I figured I was just slowly working out the levels. Guess its something more ...

I'm kind of scared. I don't really understand the implications right now. My gp said the major things to be concerned with are not showing markers so I guess that's good. Time will tell.



#10 water

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 08:27 AM

Well fnck. My most recent blood test has low LH and FSH, along with low testosterone again. I have to go in for an MRI of my head next week to check my pituitary gland. This sucks. I figured I was just slowly working out the levels. Guess its something more ...

I'm kind of scared. I don't really understand the implications right now. My gp said the major things to be concerned with are not showing markers so I guess that's good. Time will tell.


I'm sorry. This does suck. Apparently the pituitary gland could be the culprit if your T is low, along with the LH and FSH. Do they do an MRI now?

We finally got the stuff. After hours of calls to the ditzy secretary at the endo's office, the wonderfully helpful pharmacy and the idiot insurance companies. We paid out of pocket just so hubby could get started. He injected himself yesterday in the thigh. He wants me to do the butt next but I am very wary of needles. Spoke to my SIL who injects herself with B12 in the tushy. She said there is either the stab or easy method. we'll see....

So far it is hard to tell the effects of the test-TOS-terone. It is a somewhat private condition so I am trying not to blab all over the place letting out my frustrations. But the jeweler next to the pharmacy knows my husband and while he was fixing my watch band I heard all about his friend who is doing remarkably better on the drug. Apparently I am supposed to watch out for sudden changes in sexual appetite. haha we could use that.


EDIT: The fucking effing goddamn insurance company has denied payment. What, do they think he is doing this for fun? I bet the ditzy secretary put in the wrong code. At least I hope so. Otherwise it's going to be hours and hours on the phone.

Edited by water, 23 November 2011 - 05:43 PM.

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aplenzin 522, lexapro 20, xanax 5 prn, valium 5 prn

Sensitive dependance on initial conditions
Small disturbances, big repercussions
We are all so vulnerable.


#11 enough

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 12:21 PM

MRI is clear, that is great to hear! :)

Testosterone is now up to 400mg/two weeks. Just started at this dosage and its by far the highest I've been. Its interesting. I feel a little antsy and while this is only my second injection I noticed that I get pretty puffy for a couple days. I don't really put on much water weight, but i notice it in the mirror. Also, I swear my temperature is running high because I have been cold all week!

Otherwise, no bad side effects. No ache, no aggression, no extra hair growth, no hair line problems, nothing. :)

The worst of it all is that my doc prescribed 100mg/ml which means I'm getting poked twice for a full dosage. One of the office nurses felt so bad for me that she gave me a hug. ;)

i hope everyone else is doing well.

#12 water

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Posted 25 December 2011 - 12:58 PM

MRI is clear, that is great to hear! :)

Testosterone is now up to 400mg/two weeks. Just started at this dosage and its by far the highest I've been. Its interesting. I feel a little antsy and while this is only my second injection I noticed that I get pretty puffy for a couple days. I don't really put on much water weight, but i notice it in the mirror. Also, I swear my temperature is running high because I have been cold all week!

Otherwise, no bad side effects. No ache, no aggression, no extra hair growth, no hair line problems, nothing. :)

The worst of it all is that my doc prescribed 100mg/ml which means I'm getting poked twice for a full dosage. One of the office nurses felt so bad for me that she gave me a hug. ;)

i hope everyone else is doing well.


Yay!! I was wondering how you were doing.

Hubby is ok, just ok. After the first shot he rode his bike for the FIRST time in months and months. But then the 'drop off' happened really fast. The next shot he forgot to tighten the needle and half the stuff dripped down his leg. He was not happy at all that week. He has now done the third shot. He does SEEM better. He says he will go for a bike ride today.

His mood has been a bit different. I think he is overtired from work but now is his break. I HOPE this stuff is working. I spoke to my cousin who is an endocrinologist and he says that depending on the weight of his patients and when the 'drop off' is, he will describe a shot every two weeks to every one week. Or administer different amounts.

Hubby's DR. has a set amount for every single patient. That seems stupid to me. His next appt. is not until the fucking end of January. What is it with endocrinologists? Why aren't there more in the world.

The other very worrisome thing is this headache. Hubby has a headache often. He says it started in September. He says the Testosterone treatments have not affected it at all. He says it is this 'pressure' that goes between his ears in his head. This morning he said he did not have it. Sometimes he says it gets worse as the day goes on. Sometimes he says that coffee helps it. I wonder if it is tension. But my hubby is the most laid back un tense person I know. When he has the headache and is grumpy he won't talk about it. And he WON"T see anyone.

enough blather for now. I am getting a headache. :-}

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aplenzin 522, lexapro 20, xanax 5 prn, valium 5 prn

Sensitive dependance on initial conditions
Small disturbances, big repercussions
We are all so vulnerable.


#13 p.vincentii

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 07:18 AM

enough.... Wow... Thank you so much for sharing your story. My story is so similar. I am 43. Over the last fifteen years I have gone from an outgoing mountain biking, running, rock climbing, adrenaline junkie, 1st class honours science graduate to...

Sleeping 10 hrs a night plus needing more during the day,
Needing extra sleeps during the day,
Falling asleep driving.
Falling asleep at my computer at work....
Struggling to stay awake unless I am on my feet and active...
Not feeling properly awake for weeks at a time.
Memory and recall has gone.
My mental capacity varies from almost zero to very poor; my job is technical - I can't retain what I need to read! I can't produce technical reports; when I re-read them they are mostly nonsense...
I am living in a fog, I can't concentrate, I freely dizzy, confused.
I have hot flushes.
I feel stressed and or anxious most of the time. I am impatient and frequently quick to anger (although not violently).
Tiny things and situations stress me out to the point that I cannot think or communicate adequately.
I am on the verge of losing my job a - no matter how much extra time and effort I put in I cannot get it done.
I have two children, 10 and 6, it takes all of my effort to keep myself together for their and my wife's sakes.
I am physically and mentally exhausted.
I had to stop martial arts last year because more often than not my muscles were just empty. No energy. limbs like lead. If I pushed myself I just felt dizzy or nauseous and had to sit out. Even when I had physical energy I could not focus mentally.
I have no interest in sex. When I feel 'obliged' to participate it is a massive effort for me to get aroused and to 'complete'. Orgasm is just vaguely pleasant. I used to really love sex. My wife is so good, so understanding, but is really struggling with this now.
My whole world has unravelled.
I think my love for my family, my wonderful children, is the only thing that has kept me going over the last 5 years particularly. But I frequently find myself thinking that I have become a liability to them, that I am screwing up their lives.
From 2002 until 2012 my doctors have prescribed various antidepressants. I have just experienced endless cycles of fatigue and depression.
In August 2012 I had a nasal sinus MRI. At the edge of the MRI the docs found a tumour between my pituitary body, pituitary stalk, optic nerve chasm and carotid artery. After six months of further MRIs, CTs and optical tests the docs identified the tumour as (probably!) being and so not requiring surgery... A huge relief...
But I still felt like crap. I asked for an appointment with my practice doctor do discuss this. Fortunately I happened to see a locum (temporary cover) doctor who referred me to and endocrinologist.

It turns out that I have extremely low T (with elevated prolactin) most likely caused by the accidentally found tumour. I started on Testosterone replacement gel 60 days ago. I still feel lousy; perhaps marginally better, but still unable to function well enough to get my job done or my responsibilities at home adequately. Nothing has come back. I still feel like a zombie. I have a meeting tomorrow to discuss my future at work; they want me to drop to 3 days per week to see how I cope. Meantime I still need to pay the mortgage. If my performance is still poor on 3 days per week they will have to let me go. I don't blame them.
I have blood tests and meds review at the end of the month. I just hope they can figure out what is going on.
Good luck everyone.

#14 HAL9000

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 12:59 AM

This is one reason I have my GDoc do the meds.  When this started she told me it was maybe depression but we needed to check the hormones.   Well lucky me I had hormone problems AND depression...   Anyway - there are other ways to do HRT.   Injections last a week and while this may sound awful we've figured out how to do it without pain.   (Small needles to inject with)   If you want to try injections talk to GDoc about being shown how and for God's sake don't let them teach you by shoving 16 gauge needles into you.   25 gauge work just fine (A little slower)   You can draw with 16 btw.  Then just swap with 25s.

 

Having your hormones in a level thats close to average men your age will make a positive (VERY) difference in your life.  

 

p.s. PDocs are like hammers.  All they see are Nails.   *They expect everything to be mental illness.    GDocs aren't specific that everything is mental illness  (At least with mine)

 

BTW My youngest daughter has been on a 28 day roller coaster since forever and its been very difficult living with her.  Her PDoc thankfully has a couple patients with similar problems and put her on Birth Control pills and WOW...   A seriously big change for the better.


Edited by HAL9000, 23 October 2013 - 09:26 PM.

"I can see you're really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill and think things over.  Dave, my mind is going. I can feel it. I can feel it. My mind is going. There is no question about it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I'm a...fraid. "

 

About Me
Current Diagnosis / DX: Major depressive disorder, Anxiety -> PTSD, Insomnia
Meds: Bupropion SR(Wellbutrin SR®), Buspirone(BuSpar®), Zolpidem ER(Ambien CR®) and Diazepam(Valium®) as needed / PRN
ExMeds:Vistaril(Atarax), Citalopram (Celexa®), Trazadon


#15 crazyguy

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 07:14 AM

It turns out that I have extremely low T (with elevated prolactin) most likely caused by the accidentally found tumour. I started on Testosterone replacement gel 60 days ago. I still feel lousy; perhaps marginally better, but still unable to function well enough to get my job done or my responsibilities at home adequately. Nothing has come back. I still feel like a zombie. I have a meeting tomorrow to discuss my future at work; they want me to drop to 3 days per week to see how I cope. Meantime I still need to pay the mortgage. If my performance is still poor on 3 days per week they will have to let me go. I don't blame them.
I have blood tests and meds review at the end of the month. I just hope they can figure out what is going on.
Good luck everyone.

Most guys find the full benefits of TRT take a while to kick in... once at the right dose...... some docs are very cautious with the dosing and do not get the patient high enough up the 'normal scale' to return function healthy levels.   Some guys find gels quite weak - they usually start you out at like 5g of 1% gel (50mg) but many need 7.5 to 10g (75-100mg) to get results.  

 

You can help the gel absorb and thereby increase effectiveness a few different ways:

  • applying to areas of skin with the thinnest layer of skin & fat (forearms, flanks, etc).
  • applying it directly after drying off from a hot shower (more blood flow to the skin surface, pores open, etc).
  • applying to areas with less body hair or shaving it off.
  • Making sure the skin is clean/dry/non greasy - greasy moisturisers or skin will mean some of the testosterone in the gel doesn't absorb as well. 

 

 Also wearing a surgical glove to apply gel means you will lose less on your hands, as the gel soaks into the hands but the palms are too thick to allow any of the testosterone to hit the blood steam.  If you see a fine white dust/powder on your skin a while after applying the gel then it is a sign it isn't absorbing well and you need to spread it out better. 

 

Injections are far cheaper but because of the way they work you have to do them regularly - small amounts weekly is best, so have to be comfortable with learning to inject yourself regularly. Larger injections monthly or whatever work for some guys but others get massive swings in hormone levels and therefore emotion,energy libido and so on. 

 

I hope they made you aware that in the long run TRT can reduce fertility; not irreversibly so but worth noting anyway.  They should keep an eye on your prostate, blood pressure and red blood count as long term TRT may have some effects on these ( evidence is mixed and the jury is kinda out on the prostate issue). 


Edited by crazyguy, 05 October 2013 - 07:25 AM.

Dx: OCD, Social Anxiety, Depression. Myofascial Pain Syndrome.

Current pills: Moclobemide, Lorazepam, Codeine & paraceamol/acetaminophen.

Past Pills: Paroextine, Venlafaxine, Sertraline, Mirtazapine, Amitriptyline, Citalopram, Lofepramine.


#16 HAL9000

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 10:07 AM

Its true that most (all?) doctors start with the smallest dose and work up until it reaches an effective level.  This is why it is so critical to provide feedback (Lots) on things like sex drive etc.  Doctors look at labs and listen to patients complaints.  This is one treatment that requires lots of back and forth to get right.

 

The bottom of "normal" is not right for many men.   And the range the labs I've heard of are an "all ages" range of normal.  So if your 28 years old and have a low level normal its probably only normal for a 90 year old man.   *There is an average testosterone versus age chart someplace.  Check that out.  

 

And for what its worth you can be in the "normal" lab range and be at the top end and still be correct.   Its not like most drugs where you just want to barely squeak by with the least amount of medication.

 

Some doctors are just coming up to speed on men with hormone problems so don't be afraid to ask hard questions or even go over things you've read.   This is kind of ancient news but "The Testosterone Syndrome" was a book that helped me (And my GP) get a handle on this problem. 

 

Beware of sites that are geared to body building / cheating at sports. 


"I can see you're really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill and think things over.  Dave, my mind is going. I can feel it. I can feel it. My mind is going. There is no question about it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I'm a...fraid. "

 

About Me
Current Diagnosis / DX: Major depressive disorder, Anxiety -> PTSD, Insomnia
Meds: Bupropion SR(Wellbutrin SR®), Buspirone(BuSpar®), Zolpidem ER(Ambien CR®) and Diazepam(Valium®) as needed / PRN
ExMeds:Vistaril(Atarax), Citalopram (Celexa®), Trazadon


#17 p.vincentii

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 04:00 AM

Hal9000 and crazy guy; thank you for your excellent advice. I am so glad that you saw my post. It seems really hard to get information out of the specialists - they seem to only respond to questions rather than volunteer information - which means that the patient must ask the right questions; which seems unlikely to happen with something that is so complex, is completely new to you and when your brain isn't exactly in a fit state to make the connections that enable you to ask the questions that will elicit useful answers.... There must be a better way. Providing key texts for your GP sounds like a great idea. I think that my GP will be very receptive to this. I will order 'The testosterone syndrome'. I will be following your application advice too. As you say though, perhaps the 50mg is too low for me. You have given me some great questions that I will be writing down and taking along to my Endo appointment in 10 days time.
I will post my progress here. Thanks again and all other advice at springs to mind gratefully received!

#18 HAL9000

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 09:36 PM

When you see your endo ask if he / she is familiar with using Arimidex off label to moderate Male estrogen levels.  When you go on injections its very difficult to not peak outside of the high end range.  And too much Testosterone converts to too much estrogen.   Being overweight makes this problem worse.   Anyway long story short.  There is a male version of Estrodiol testing (The women's one doesn't work properly)  You might want to see how your doing there.   Too much E2 can give you back all the symptoms of low testosterone. 

 

Men using Arimidex was considered really fringe stuff just a few years ago.   My endo gave me a prescription for it like it was SOP.  *Which I think is great.   Remember that bit about needles.  Draw with a big one 18 Gauge or 16.  Then toss that one and put on a 25 guage.  It does two things.   When you push a needle into the bottle (Or testosterone) it dulls the needle slightly.  So if you did nothing but swap needles I think you would have a better experience.   The Nurse that taught me was doing a 16 Gauge to draw and inject and that justs hurts.   In a few months you feel like tenderized meat.   With the 25s I hardly feel it and unless I hit a nerve (Or whatever) its no big deal.   I still think its good to move the injection site around from one spot to the other and one leg to the other.   I'm not so keen on getting inejected in the rear end by my SO...  *or anyone for that matter.


"I can see you're really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill and think things over.  Dave, my mind is going. I can feel it. I can feel it. My mind is going. There is no question about it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I'm a...fraid. "

 

About Me
Current Diagnosis / DX: Major depressive disorder, Anxiety -> PTSD, Insomnia
Meds: Bupropion SR(Wellbutrin SR®), Buspirone(BuSpar®), Zolpidem ER(Ambien CR®) and Diazepam(Valium®) as needed / PRN
ExMeds:Vistaril(Atarax), Citalopram (Celexa®), Trazadon






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