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My Journey with Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) – Part 1
This will be the first of a continuing series of posts I will be making chronicling my journey with testosterone replacement therapy, or TRT. I will regularly be giving updates on this blog as to what my experiences are, so that any of you guys planning on doing this someday can learn from my experiences, success, and mistakes. I will be writing these posts from the standpoint of a complete beginner.
-By Caleb Jones
It's stupid and a waste of time. I want no part of it. Therefore, while you are more than welcome to say whatever you want in the comments, I will personally be ignoring any comments that say what I'm doing is completely wrong. I have spent months researching TRT from many different sources and am proceeding under the close guidance of a doctor who specializes in this area. Over time, I'm sure I'll make some minor mistakes and I will be modifying my approach to fine-tune things. Beyond that, any OMG-you-shouldn't-be-doing-that-you-should-be-doing-this-like-me-because-I'm-right-and-everyone-else-is-wrong comments, which I'm sure I'm going to get because that's the nature of guys on the internet, will be ignored (at least by me).
Okay, here we go!
Step One - Research
The first thing I did was do a lot of reading and research on the topic of TRT. This included web sites and a few conversations with several doctors and fitness experts. Danger and Play's site was one of the sources I used, and I can't recommend these guys enough; lots of good info there.
Unfortunately, most information on TRT available online is given from the standpoint that you want to be a young, ripped, jacked-to-the-max, super-monster. That's is not my goal, so I had to do some extra research to get perspective from a guy with a "normal" body without any need to look like Jay Cutler.
My goals with TRT are, in order of importance to me:
1. Improved energy levels and motivation. I don't have a problem with either of these areas, since I'm a pretty happy, motivated, high-energy guy. However I can tell a little difference in this area at my age (42) than when I was 22. I run three businesses, date 3-4 women at a time, travel often, and am very busy. Any improvement in energy levels is always welcome. An Alpha Male can't have too much energy in my opinion.
2. Fat loss. TRT will not "make" you lose fat, but if you are dieting, resistance training, and exercising regularly, which I am, it will help you shed the pounds faster. As always, fat loss is a continuing source of frustration for me, thanks to my endomorphic body, low metabolism, and love of food. I've lost a lot of weight but have plenty more to go.
3. Male birth control. TRT takes your sperm count to essentially zero. FUCK YES! My dream come true! In a few weeks I'll be able to cum inside women to my heart's content without worrying about child support! YAY!!! (More on this in a few minutes.) This one benefit alone, in my opinion, is worth the entire time and cost of going on TRT.
4. Maintain a more youthful overall appearance. For us "older" guys ("older" in this context as in over age 35) TRT can help maintain a younger, more healthy look (provided you life a healthy lifestyle).
5. Improved sexual function. Like with energy levels, I have no problems here but any improvement is always welcome. My cock works fine, I've never needed Viagra, and I have no major complaints, but that being said, I can definitely tell a difference between how it works now and how it used to work back when I was in my early 20s. Obviously, a little extra lead in the pencil would certainly be a benefit to my lifestyle.
6. Muscle gain. Not a big need for me since I've always been highly endomorphic, so gaining muscle has never been a challenge, even now at my age. When I was younger I had huge muscles while barely spending any time in the gym. Even now, in the last few months, I have gained enough muscle mass that I now have new stretch marks on my shoulders and biceps, and I did this at a caloric deficit. So like I said, not a problem, but once again, any improvement in this area will be nice. Plus, the more fat I lose the more I will want bigger muscles anyway, because you'll actually be able to see them.
7. Various other benefits, such as strengthened bones, improved sleep, improved insulin sensitivity, improved focus, improved cardiovascular function, and a few other things I'm not particularly worried about but are nice things to have.
Using the web sites Private MD Labs and Life Extension, I had several blood tests done (cost: ~$160). I get blood tests all the time (including a full STD panel three times a year, religiously) so this was nothing new to me. The most important one was the testosterone test and all related numbers, such as vitamin D, FSH, LH, and estradiol. (Don't worry about it if you don't know what those mean, or Google them if you're curious. The point is they're all related to testosterone.) I kept the results to show the doctor, who I knew would be wanting them before we began TRT.
Once I had enough information gathered and I had the monthly budget in place to do this (I'll cover costs in a minute), I called eight or nine different TRT clinics/doctors in my local area. You actually don't need to use a doctor to do this; you can buy testosterone at your local Costco for very cheap without a prescription or a Costco membership. However, I wanted to start my TRT adventure with the assistance of a doctor. Over time, perhaps a year, once I get the hang of all this, I may drop the doctor to save money and continue on my own.
Some of the clinics were expensive, some were cheap. Some answered my questions, some refused to answer my questions and wanted to "sell" me. I dumped those ones fast. Finally I chose a clinic where I could talk directly to the doctor whenever I wanted, even before paying anything. He happily and thoroughly answered all of my questions (of which I had many) and seemed very knowledgeable. I chose him and made an appointment for my initial consultation (cost: $200) a week later.
As soon as I hung up the phone, I went to Amazon and ordered this microscope (cost: $66). Why? For the male birth control aspect. I have to look at my semen under a microscope to make sure I can see my swimmers. Then, 5-6 weeks after TRT has begun, look again the same exact way to make sure I don't see any. If I don't see any (or very few, since you need millions to impregnate a woman), I'm good to go and don't have to worry about some future woman screaming at me for child support. FUCK YES. I am sooooo excited about this! A rock-hard, teenage-like cock and the inability to get any women pregnant...holy shit...in about two months I WILL BE A SEX GOD.
The linked microscope above is the least expensive one I found that came with slides and has the correct magnification (400x) to view your sperm. Since I'm an Amazon Prime member, it came two days later, free shipping.
I had one of my MLTRs "assist" me in extracting some semen for my scientific research. ("That's right baby. That's it. Good girl. Do it for science.") Soon I had a nice drop of my milky white goodness on a slide and was looking at my millions of tiny swimming children under my microscope. This was really fun and brought out my inner nerd. Watching my bad boys truck around was really cool. Millions of energetic little tadpoles, all with my face on them, swimming around, diligently looking for one of Sofia Vergara's eggs. Awesome. I actually felt a little sad when I washed them down the drain a little while later. Sorry, dudes!
The point of this exercise is to get to know the microscope and how the sperm look for when I do this again in a few weeks to confirm they are indeed gone. I needed a basis for comparison. I will probably do this one more time the very first day I start the actual TRT injections.
I also went to my local pharmacy and purchased some alcohol wipes (needed for swabbing for the syringes) and disposal unit for the used needles (cost: $10 for everything).
I notified all the regular people in my life, including my family and my women, that I'll be starting TRT. This caused universal panic. "Oh my god, YOU are going to get MORE testosterone???" Apparently everyone thinks I have enough testosterone already. I wonder why they'd think that? (Evil chuckle.)
Step Three - My First Appointment
Bringing my blood test results and all my written questions with me, I met with the doctor and we got along great. I mentioned my book and why I was doing all of this, plus talked a little Blackdragon stuff, and he was very interested despite being married. He's on TRT himself, and was trim, fit, and happy; always a good sign in a doctor. One of the medical interview questions was regarding my sex life, and as always, I saw raised eyebrows when I rattled off all the numbers regarding my recent sexual history. Years ago this used to embarrass me when I talked to doctors, but these days I'm accustomed to it.
He gave me a quick examination, we went through my medical history (which was minimal, since I'm very healthy), and went over my blood work. My total testosterone is 584, which according to him is high (as in good) for an overweight 42 year-old man. Hell yeah baby. Chalk that up to regular exercise and weight-lifting, a decent diet, a naturally happy, low-stress personality, 4,000 IU of vitamin D daily, plenty of other daily vitamins (including chelated zinc), and lots of sex with hot chicks.
However, my LH was low (2.5) and my FSH was also low (3.6). Chalk that up to my "old age" of 42. We all still have bodies and brains of cavemen from 50,000 years ago, and by now I'd either be dead or a very old grandpa. So my stupid, outdated biology is signaling my body to create less testosterone than before. No problem; we'll fix that. The good news is that my estradiol (estrogen) level was great at 24.3, which is nice and low but not too low.
There are a few ways to do TRT. Injections with a needle, creams, and a pellet that they implant into your body that time-releases the testosterone. From a time management standpoint, the pellet is by far the best. However, you really can't adjust dosage on the fly with a pellet, so I chose injections. I may switch to a pellet down the road once I get the hang of all this.
There are three kinds of testosterone you can take for TRT: propionate, cypionate, and enanthate. There are pros and cons to all of them, and we could get into a long, complicated, and largely irrelevant discussion about the differences. But for a normal guy who doesn't need to look like Hugh Jackman and doesn't want to inject needles every day, cypionate is fine, so that's what I'm going to be taking.
I will be injecting 100mg twice a week in my quad (thigh) muscle. I made sure to get the highest gauge needles I could, 29 gauge, which means the needles are very thin, resulting in the least amount of discomfort.
He ordered the testosterone and syringes which will be shipped to my home, and explained how to do the injections. I have also seen plenty of YouTube videos about this, so I think I'm good to go on that.
He also recommended that I get one small bottle of Anastrozole to have just in case I need it. I will only need this if my estrogen levels spike once I start the TRT. If they do, I can immediately take some of this and it will bring my estrogen levels back to where they need to be. Hopefully I won't need it.
Knowing my biggest complaint is my body weight, he also recommended MIC/B12/B6 shots that I could take every 3-5 days, which assists in fat loss. It's essentially a super-blast of vitamin B. I take vitamin B pills already, but your body only absorbs about 30% of that. These shots have a near 100% absorption rate. It was inexpensive enough that I agreed to it, and there are no side effects. I can always stop taking it if I find it's useless.
Lastly, we also added HCG to my regimen. This will prevent my current testosterone from reducing, which is interesting. I thought TRT would reduce my natural, bodily testosterone to near-zero while I relied on the injections. Instead, with HCG, it will maintain my current testosterone. The testosterone I inject will "stack" with it. Very cool. His opinion, though he admitted there were no scientific studies to back this up, was that your body's natural testosterone is better than any externally introduced testosterone. I tend to agree with that logic. (Note: This is HCG, not HGH, which is human growth hormone, which is a completely different thing I will not be doing.)
My goal was to take my testosterone of 584 and get it to 1200 or so. The doctor said I may not need to go that high; I might feel fantastic at 900, 1000, or 1100, and anything beyond that won't make a difference. Again, I don't need to bench press 500 pounds or look like Dwayne Johnson, so this sounded like prudent advice. We'll watch my levels and play it by ear; yet another good reason I chose injections rather than the pellet.
So how much will all this crap cost me? I've listed the costs of every step above as I did it, but most of those are one-time things. At the moment, my average monthly cost for all the above will be about $185. This does not include blood tests I'll need every few months, only for the first few months, which will run me an additional $60-$100.
I say "at the moment," because over time this monthly amount will decrease. In about a year's time I won't need the doctor's guidance and will (likely) be getting the testosterone and syringes myself. This will bring the costs down to around $80-$100 a month or so. Then I'll keep on doing this the rest of my life. My Alpha Male 2.0 lifestyle demands that I remain in top, youthful condition...for the rest of my life.
As I write this blog post I'm just back home from my appointment, and I expect all the stuff to arrive in the mail within a day or two. I will start injections immediately, and after a week or two I'll give you guys an update.
I am really excited about this and have been wanting to do this for a long time. Many men say they've felt the best they've ever felt once they start TRT. Can't wait to join the ranks. More on this soon.
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yannick 2014-10-02 05:30:13
Get tested, a medical doctor who was very incompetent put me on TRT because i was not able to cure my chronic back pain, problem is that i was waiting for blood test results which included T levels but he said he was sure that i had low T. When you get blood test at the public clinic the results take at least 6 months. I was put on Delatestryl (T enhantate) at 100mg per week. The first 5 weeks my body was flying, it was incredible i had gained 15 pounds of muscles, and my energy felt good and my pain was better. I had done steroids in the past when i was younger now being 42y old. After 5 weeks aromatization started and all the excess testosterone got converted into estrogen and i started to gain huge amount of fat and water retention. I went from 217 pounds at 5 feet 11 inches to 261 pounds in the spam of 4 months my waist shot up from 38 inches to 44 inches. We got the results from my T test and i was at 700, natural, you don't give TRT to a guy that as a natural test level of 700. This medical doctor was very incompetent and put me true hell, i stop using testosterone after that used HCG to restart my natural production and letrozole for all theses side effects, i got them from a good source and a sport doctor who fixed my back pain with prolotherapy. Never assume you have a low testosterone level because of your age, the test is very important to determine that because the side effects can be hell to deal with, for me it took me well over a year to lose all that fat and to get back to normal, even then i am still at 225 pounds so i was not able to get back to 217.
Toli Kolocotronis 2014-10-02 05:47:43
Wow 100 mg twice a week with your testosterone already in the 500's should easily get you well over 800! Most doctors would not even prescribe anything at your current level. I'm on the exact dose you are starting out at myself. I use a 25g needle to inject and a 18g to withdraw. Good luck BD.
coltrane 2014-10-02 07:34:07
Hcg will not reverse the birth control point you made, 4 months of trt with hcg 500iu 2x per week and i learned the hard way
London Pua 2014-10-02 08:36:54
Hey BlackDragon, Long time reader here, I just wanted to say thank you for this AMAZING outstanding blog, - and I am looking forward to getting your Alpha Male book and joining your inner circle soon. Anyways a few questions: 1. what made you decide to start TRT? 2. in what circumstances would you recommend others take TRT? 3. I am 32 now, what is the average age you would think its reasonable for someone to start TRT? 4. and what are some possible side effects. - and a bit off topic but have you heard of guy called Marc Rudov?search for him on youtube, it will be like listening to your twin. lol.
Kurt 2014-10-02 08:44:28
Well researched BD, good job. One pointer: if you are injecting small volumes (less than ~1/2 mL of oil) you don't need to inject into muscle. Subcutaneous is fine, although the roid heads will disagree ("you'll get an abscess dude!"). That's how I do my self injections. Simpler, safer, quicker. If the volume you inject per week ends up being high, I would just break it down into smaller volumes and inject sub-1/2 mL subQ. I buy cypionate at a concentration of 250mg/mL however, so it's a little easier for me to do 200mg cypionate/week this way than it would be for you with the lower concentration oil you're getting. Kudos on going with injections. There really is a sweet spot and it will take you a year or so to find it. I can testify on the improved sexual function; like you I thought everything was pretty good "for my age" but then I got things back to where they used to be in my early 20s. You're going to love it!
New Hombre 2014-10-02 09:09:47
I am close to your age, but my T is lower than yours, and I'm considering going on TRT as well. Really looking forward to reading about your experience with it. Would like to see a post on your diet / training pre-TRT. At 42 building enough muscle to get stretch marks is impressive.
Blackdragon 2014-10-02 09:53:08
Yannick - Yes, I've had a battery of tests and will have another battery of tests in 40 days. Any man doing this MUST test the shit out of their blood during the initial stages, for exactly the reasons you describe.
Most doctors would not even prescribe anything at your current level.Which is exactly why most doctors suck. "Hey, your testosterone levels suck ass compared to when you were 20, but at least it's good for your age, so let's do nothing about it! Let's just watch helplessly as your body and mind get slowly worse as you get older! Yay!"
Hcg will not reverse the birth control point you made, 4 months of trt with hcg 500iu 2x per week and i learned the hard wayMy understanding is HCG will prevent natural testosterone reduction, but will not prevent FSH reduction which signals the production of sperm. But I will double-check this with the doctor ASAP. And again, I will be diligently checking my sperm under a microscope regularly before I rawdog cum into anyone.
if you are injecting small volumes (less than ~1/2 mL of oil) you don’t need to inject into muscle. Subcutaneous is fineYes, you're right. The doc said the same exact thing, and he left it up to me (subcutaneous or not). He said subcutaneous is perfectly fine. I'm going to be using 29 gauge needles that are only 1/2 inch long, 1/2ml (loaded to the "6") twice weekly. With that short of a needle I may not even be reaching the muscle, which is fine. He said to start with the thigh and when I get comfortable I can switch to the delt, subcutaneous.
like you I thought everything was pretty good “for my age” but then I got things back to where they used to be in my early 20s.Exactly! I wish more doctors understood this basic and simple concept. We want to be good, not good for our age. Who the hell wants to be "good for your age" when you're 70?
Would like to see a post on your diet / training pre-TRT. At 42 building enough muscle to get stretch marks is impressive.Great idea; I will include all that information in the next post. To be fair, I don't have big muscles, and I don't lift much. I just experienced quick newb gains. Honestly, my weight lifting up until about a month ago has been regular but minimal. I just have a body that loves gaining mass...that's muscle AND FAT. Blessing and a curse. This is all part of me working to remove the "curse" part.
BA 2014-10-02 14:27:33
Hey Blackdragon, I've been on TRT for more than 2 years now. Feel free to hit me up if you've got questions.
Kurt 2014-10-02 16:11:19
"I’m going to be using 29 gauge needles that are only 1/2 inch long, 1/2ml (loaded to the “6”) twice weekly. With that short of a needle I may not even be reaching the muscle, which is fine. He said to start with the thigh and when I get comfortable I can switch to the delt, subcutaneous." Yeah, 1/2" won't really get into the muscle much. So why try? IM injects can cause pain the muscle, and every once in a while you'll hit a blood vessel, which can cause a mess. You also want to be sure to aspirate when you inject into a muscle to prevent shooting straight into an artery. So if you aspirate and see blood, you have to pull out and retry. Going into a muscle you'll have to inject very slowly too if you want to reduce pain. None of this is necessary when injecting subQ. Just pull up a pinch of belly skin and shoot it in there. Even if you shoot in a few air bubbles you won't feel any pain if it's just into some fat. No big bleeders to worry about. Simple, quick. The release of the cypionate is supposedly more even when you inject it into fat anyway. 2X/week is what I do as well, even though people say with a long ester like cyp that you only need to do 1X/week. I like the idea of having the levels real even all the time though. No hormone swings for us please; we're guys.
New Hombre 2014-10-02 16:40:33
I'm currently trying clomid to boost my natural production. It's commonly used by body builders post cycle to help restart their natural production. There has been some research showing success in treating low testosterone with it. Time will tell. After a few more months, I'll get bloodwork to see if it has improved and if not look at going TRT with injections.
Blackdragon 2014-10-02 18:09:40
Kurt - I just did my first injection into the thigh and it was fine. I'm always going to aspirate anyway, subcutaneous or not. I'm anal that way. Mixing the HCG powder was fun. Makes me feel like a mad scientist.
Blackdragon 2014-10-02 18:14:25
Hcg will not reverse the birth control point you madeI double-checked this with the doc. He assures me that at the low dosage I'm taking (0.25ml per injection, 2x / week), my sperm will be still history within 5-6 weeks. Yay! Of course my handy dandy microscope will confirm (or disprove) all of this at that time. We'll see in two months. I'm going to have a GREAT December.
Greg 2014-10-03 02:49:04
Thank you for this, it's a good model for making a decision. One thing I don't get is "I notified all the regular people in my life, including my family and my women, that I’ll be starting TRT. This caused universal panic." What is the point of this? You knew your family would not be supportive and the women, were they more attracted? Wasn't being sterile a turnoff? Or is it just permanent sterility?
Shameful 2014-10-03 08:37:49
I'm interested how to get testosterone from Costco without a prescription. I've been doing TRT under medical supervision for over a year and its amazing, but state has forced him to scale me back and I would love to take more.
coltrane 2014-10-03 10:04:55
I double-checked this with the doc. He assures me that at the low dosage I’m taking (0.25ml per injection, 2x / week), my sperm will be still history within 5-6 weeks. Yay! Of course my handy dandy microscope will confirm (or disprove) all of this at that time. We’ll see in two months. -- i can promise you your doctor is wrong, married with no plans of anymore kids, assumed what you did, although my doctor did warn me to be careful and i didnt listen...came home to a positive test from my wife a month ago..if the birth control is that important to you, ditch the hcg, can always add it back down the road..
Blackdragon 2014-10-03 12:40:58
Thank you for this, it’s a good model for making a decision. One thing I don’t get is “I notified all the regular people in my life, including my family and my women, that I’ll be starting TRT. This caused universal panic.” What is the point of this?No point. Because I wanted to. And to notify the one or two trusted women in my life that "fun time" is coming (or cumming).
You knew your family would not be supportive and the women, were they more attracted? Wasn’t being sterile a turnoff?There was no change. A woman you're already fucking and who already likes you won't care. A woman on a first date will. I won't be telling those women (I'll be using condoms with those ones anyway.)
Or is it just permanent sterility?No no. You're sterile only while taking the testosterone. If you want babies, you go off of it, wait a while, then you're sperm-producing again.
I’m interested how to get testosterone from Costco without a prescription.I can't speak for other Costcos, but at the one nearest my house in Washington state, you just walk in, and when they ask for your Costco card you tell them you're going to the pharmacy. They let you in, and you just go to the pharmacy counter and ask for it. A 10 ML vial of cyp costs $68.
i can promise you your doctor is wrongOh yes, of course he is. We'll find out in 2 months who's right; you or my doctor. And you really should have used a microscope.
Shameful 2014-10-03 15:34:50
Thank you Blackdragon I have to go try that this weekend, and report back from Utah.
j 2014-10-04 03:02:13
You will decrease your endogenous production of testosterone using an exogenous source. It is a simple inhibition of a feedback loop between your pituitary gland and your testes. All physicians, such a myself, are aware of this. Be prepared to eventually be dependent upon the exogenous testosterone because you will develop testicular atrophy over time.
Blackdragon 2014-10-04 14:53:32
Be prepared to eventually be dependent upon the exogenous testosteroneIf that happens (and it may or may not with HCG), then yes, I am prepared. I plan on doing this literally the rest of my life, and I don't mind if my balls shrink a little. I actually consider that another bonus of doing this, since in all seriousness I have really big balls. Slightly smaller balls would be nice. (Do you know how hard it was to type those sentences without laughing?)
Kurt 2014-10-04 15:24:47
Yup, this is probably for life. So far, I haven't looked back! I guess it is a consideration if you might get yourself into a situation in which it becomes impossible to take exogenous testosterone anymore. Then life could really start to suck when your levels crash to nothing. I suppose there may be certain medical conditions that would force you to go off TRT? Dunno. I'll take my chances. It's so easy to do injections once or twice a week. I've even found some great all-plastic syringes (no rubber plunger) that I can pre-load and take with me when I travel, so I don't have to be dependent on having a lot of equipment with me. A few alcohol swabs and some pre-loaded syringes and I've got all I need to keep up TRT while backpacking in Patagonia for a month.
j 2014-10-04 18:32:15
"I plan on doing this literally the rest of my life, and I don’t mind if my balls shrink a little." Shrink a little? How about a lot: It is a poor choice to make. It would be better in the long run to increase endogenous production naturally with anaerobic exercise (especially squats), getting lean muscle, getting good sleep, reducing stress, avoiding alcohol, reducing carbohydrates in the diet while increasing good fats, getting proper vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, etc. You would rather take an easy shortcut than work for a long term goal. Like the comic book Green Lantern, without his ring he has no power, just like you will be without your box of needles and drugs. It is a reflection of the society we live in; fake boobs, fake lips, fake butts, fake hair, fake men.
Kurt 2014-10-04 18:38:50
"It would be better in the long run to increase endogenous production naturally with anaerobic exercise (especially squats), getting lean muscle, getting good sleep, reducing stress, avoiding alcohol, reducing carbohydrates in the diet while increasing good fats, getting proper vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, etc." OK, so I did just that for 2 YEARS. Bumped my T level up about 120 points. Was good for me but didn't exactly turn my life around. Then I got on TRT and now I feel like a million bucks. Why should I give one solitary fuck if it's not 'natural'? I only have so much life left to live and I choose quality, even if it may come at a risk of absolute quantity. Evidence in the form of bodybuilders that have been doing steroids for 40+ years and remain perfectly healthy would indicate to me that the risk/reward calculation here is really a no-brainer.
j 2014-10-04 19:05:01
"Evidence in the form of bodybuilders that have been doing steroids for 40+ years and remain perfectly healthy" http://m.espn.go.com/mlb/story?storyId=5244705&src=desktop Denial ain't just a river in Egypt...
Kurt 2014-10-05 09:27:12
"Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt…" Yet your article linked indicates notihng out of the ordinary. Canseco did lots of steroids. His body shutdown natural T production. Now he needs to be on TRT. And..? Did you notice they still described his physical appearance as one of a remarkably healthy man?
j 2014-10-05 13:13:09
"remarkably healthy man" A healthy man is not dependent on drugs to function. Dependency on a drug is an addiction just like these guys: http://www.houstonpress.com/2000-04-27/news/methadone-meltdown/ Just hope the supply of your "fix" never runs out...
Kurt 2014-10-05 13:44:01
Hmm. Your tone of righteous moral superiority degrades your claims in my opinion, and your argumentation doesn't seem to be based on more than your knee-jerk value judgements. Personally, I would classify 'addiction' to be a chemical dependency which is damaging to the individual and which is generally considered to be undesirable by the individual. Long time opiate addicts may once have loved the lifestyle but they usually don't want to stay hooked. The American Society of Addiction Medicine has the following to say: "Short Definition of Addiction: Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors. Addiction is characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death." Neither the ASAM or my personal informal definition would apply to what TRT is. Guys (at least non-stupid ones) choose TRT with their eyes open to the reality that it is probably for life, and if they do their research and choose wisely the results are usually so positive that they have no regrets. I fall into the latter category, being of older age and having no desire for giant balls or children.
j 2014-10-05 16:02:03
"Personally, I would classify ‘addiction’ to be a chemical dependency which is damaging to the individual" I guess using a chemical that damages your sex organs is not an addiction in your mind. As a physician, I see what a delicate balance it is to maintain the body's equilibrium. No matter how hard a diabetic works to maintain a normal blood sugar, he cannot duplicate the efficiency of the pancreas to secrete just the right amount of insulin to maintain blood sugar levels. You mentioned you raised your testosterone level by 120 points. It seems that you are fixated on the lab number. Normal testosterone ranges from 300 to 1000. A 300 level is still a normal testosterone level, and that may be one's set point for their body's equilibrium. Nothing is black or white, just various shades of grey. Addiction or chemical dependency on a drug for bodily function is all a matter of semantics. I like to live as clean as possible, but then again I take vitamins and minerals. We just have a difference of opinion.
Kurt 2014-10-05 19:16:34
"Normal testosterone ranges from 300 to 1000. A 300 level is still a normal testosterone level, and that may be one’s set point for their body’s equilibrium." But is it a good equilibrium? Could life be better at a higher level of testosterone? In my case the answers to those questions are NO and YES resoundingly. Every metric of my health is better at a higher level; my mood, motivation, energy level, lipid profile, blood sugar, sex drive, erectile function, physical strength and endurance, cognitive ability. I don't want the old equilibrium. I do not consider it healthy.
j 2014-10-05 19:43:54
"Every metric of my health is better at a higher level; my mood, motivation, energy level, lipid profile, blood sugar, sex drive, erectile function, physical strength and endurance, cognitive ability." The same statement can come from someone who uses cocaine or amphetamine. You can actually improve all of those metrics and reset your equilibrium without drug use. The body is very sensitive. There maybe long term effects of raising the testosterone level above your natural set point; such as heart attack, stroke, and prostate cancer. I believe we will see lawsuits start coming like we did with the weight loss drugs: http://www.drugwatch.com/testosterone/lawsuit/ There are no shortcuts in life, any worthwhile goal takes tremendous hard work and dedication.
Jake 2015-03-30 09:33:42
I wouldn't necessarily count on being sterile with HCG use as well. Several studies show that HCG can maintain fertility while on TRT. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23260550
Blackdragon 2015-03-30 10:18:35
Already covered. I've confirmed zero sperm count several different ways. Read this.
DoesItMatter 2015-05-10 06:44:59
Comment deleted for violation of Rule Number One. (And you might want to learn how to spell, too.)
Et 2015-06-03 12:01:06
Hi, I just want to comment on something. On of the commentators stated that trt is basically a shortcut and that natural testosterone can increased naturally. This person claims to be a physician (OH BOY....). I do hope you're trolling. If not, I feel sorry for your patients. Low trt is not always a result of an unhealthy lifestyle. There are many guys who do all the right things,eat healthy exercise etc. and still have low-t. All these guys want is to get their lives back, not get buff. Jose Canseco was an athlete on juice, this is about trt. If you don't know the difference, I highly doubt your intelligence. If a doctor makes claims like that, he probably really, really sucks. I can see it now. Patient:"doctor,I have no sex-drive,my dick doesn't work and I have test results showing I have low t". Doctor: "stop looking for shortcuts! Go exercise and start eating right!" Patient: "doctor, GFY."
Blackdragon 2015-06-03 23:00:51
I do hope you’re trolling. If not, I feel sorry for your patients.That's exactly what I was thinking when I read his posts. Either he's not a doctor, or Jesus, with that kind of extreme worldview and lack of emotional control, I'm sure glad he's not mine.
kate penisic 2015-10-25 10:06:36
Comment deleted for violation of Rule Number 5.
Roy 2016-04-02 16:43:22
Hi Blackdragon!.... I realize it been a while since someone posted on here, but saying Hi...and enjoyed reading about your 'Alpha male' lifestyle!... I'm 'just ' a married guy of 34 years of age and used to have a high testosterone (typical signs... And my parts aint small lol..)... But recently I've had it drop to like 6! 7 years ago back started to fall apart...arthritic shit!.. Couple of bad discs (that ain't quite bad enough to operate on ) and bad facets on low back (the worst of it)... None the less the drop started before the pain meds...makes me wonder what all the environmental fake estrogens are really worse than the scientists think.... Got put on the gel. Great for 2 weeks!... Bit overweight, so I'm sure testosterone got converted to estridol!... Odd thing is even at a T level of 6 I could function sexually just fine!... But unless my wife asked, it was of no importance.... Man, that's NOT me, and damn scary lol!... I Gota find a real TRT here in central wisconsin!.... Best of luck! And any questions let me know!
elijah 2017-02-19 22:19:08
"The most important one was the testosterone test and all related numbers, such as vitamin D, FSH, LH, and estradiol" Are these the only tests you had done? Your doctor didn't do any additional tests? Just asking because I did some searches on "pre-trt blood panel" and found results giving up to 20 different tests that "should" be done pre-TRT. Also in the country where I live, because of the national health care, the doctors tend to do everything as minimally as possible, unless you specifically ask, so I don't expect them to step in and make pertinent suggestions really.
Blackdragon 2017-02-20 10:22:36
“The most important one was the testosterone test and all related numbers, such as vitamin D, FSH, LH, and estradiol” Are these the only tests you had done? Your doctor didn’t do any additional tests?No, that's why I said "and all related numbers." I took a CMC, CMP panel, and a few other things.
elijah 2017-02-21 17:09:14
Yeah that's what I was thinking. I would just be curious exactly which ones you got in the end, although there's lots of info online of course, but you're an excellent researcher as we all know. Basically the doctors here have no idea how to do this. I went in and they wanted to do a T level and a PSA and that was it. No idea how the other tests are even relevant to the therapy. After talking to me about twenty minutes said I am probably more qualified than any doctor in the country on the subject : p
elijah 2017-04-27 02:21:57
My initial test levels are about the same as yours, and the doctor had no idea, so I decided to try the same dose you describe here, 100mg twice a week, of cypionate. That sent me blasting off into 2000+ levels! Looking more online elsewhere, I see this is a pretty standard result. Kind of amazing you're only at 1000.
Shubert 2017-07-11 20:27:52
Hi BD, Not sure if I've asked this question before (it's an honest mistake if I did), but what was the doctor that you used? As in, what type of doctor was he? A PCP? If I wanted to look one of these specialist doctors up, what search words should I use? Also, what questions did you ask him/her? Thanks dude.