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Old 07-23-12, 02:46 PM   #1
BILL SCHMIDT
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It must be low T

The older I get the steeper the hills become and the longer it is to recover from a ride. My TV says "it must be low T". Have any of you guys used testosterone replacement therapy and has it helped your riding? I would like to know if it is worth the trouble of getting tested.
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Old 07-23-12, 02:50 PM   #2
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It is just a simple blood test.
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Old 07-23-12, 03:37 PM   #3
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It is just a simple blood test.
Exactly. Just had mine tested and it was right in the middle of "normal."
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Old 07-23-12, 03:40 PM   #4
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It is just a simple blood test.
Had mine tested last week, no results yet.
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Old 07-23-12, 03:47 PM   #5
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I just had mine tested and the doc said it is low. I'm supposed to get some patches to wear. I haven't noticed that much difference on hills, but feel more tired in general than I used to and just don't have the drive.
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Old 07-23-12, 03:54 PM   #6
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I am using a testosterone cream per Dr's advice. Went to him for other then bike riding concerns... Before I got the script. those other concerns were laid to rest (psychological reasons I suspected later) but i went ahead with the therapy. The differences are not day and night at the levels that i use, (which is about 3/4's of what was perscribed). But I do feel a bit more solid in my athletic efforts, both on and off the bike. I had the discussion about the effects of over use (that you read of in the popular media) and was comforted in knowing that the adverse effects require a massive dose over and over for a while. Not something this Dr's kid would do. Again when i lay off the daily application for a few days I can feel the difference but it's not dramatic for my situation.

This therapy is pretty harmless if done as perscribed and can be stopped at any time. It is costly and it took a few weeks for the bennies to be realized for me. I went through a few months before i felt I learned enough to make a long tern decission. I found the dose that made a difference in my activity level and now stay at that amount. The hassle is that my DR only writes a month at a time (actually about 5 weeks for my dose use) and requires a blood test every few months. Not too big a deal given the damage one could do if not monitored.

Don't be scared about asking your Dr about this. They hear all kinds of stuff and only want to hepl our lives be full. Andy.
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Old 07-23-12, 03:59 PM   #7
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I should have added that athletic performance drops off with age. Given the same training/activity levels the male body looses an amount of muscle mass each year after a certain age. Our need for recovery gets greater. This is independent of testosterone levels as I understand things. This is why you start with a blood test. Andy.
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Old 07-23-12, 04:19 PM   #8
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Keep an eye open for BillyDon's response. He's been using Androgel for about six month or so and has some things to say about it.

For me, based on the discussions in this sub-forum, I had my doctor test me when he ran the usual bank of blood tests that diabetics take. My numbers came out on the low end of the normal range. I talked to my doc and asked him if I could try it for awhile, mostly to help in recovery after intense rides, (hard or long). He was skeptical, but treats me as a partner in my health, so went ahead and agreed to let me try it. As Andrew says, it takes awhile to kick in. I've been using a low dose of Androgel for about three or four months or so. The biggest benefit that I have noticed is indeed with recovery after a ride ... and the next day. Used to be that I'd be wasted after five or six hours in the saddle, especially if I pushed it ... now, I feel fine. Next day I'm ready to go again. So, in that regard, it is helping me. Did have one follow-up blood test and my testosterone readings are coming up, but still below the median of normal range. It's kinda expensive, about a buck a day, but worth for the ride recovery benefits.
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Old 07-23-12, 05:20 PM   #9
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MidwestKid ,

I had the same problem as you about a year ago -- don't have the drive . I did the blood test and everything came back normal . I found out later the reason for my lack of drive-- part mid-life crises , stress from work and family life . I have been on anti-depression medication for the last 6 months and feel a lot better .
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Old 07-23-12, 05:55 PM   #10
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I've gone through the whole 'low T' thing...tried the topical gels, and found them way to expensive with my insurance. I now have a bioidentical testosterone pellet implanted into my hip every six months or so. I find that when my T level gets low, I lose the ability to concentrate, my sleep is impacted and I feel listless. I'm a cycle commuter, not a racer, but I know that if I don't feel well, I don't ride too much, so the pellets are keeping me on my bike and commuting. I have blood work every six months to check the T levels, and a few weeks later meet with the doctor and have the procedure. It's a lot less expensive than the topical gels, and a lot less fuss, with a small incision and a couple days off the bike while the incision heals. Just my experience...

Tractor Tom in Okeechobee, FL
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Old 07-23-12, 07:19 PM   #11
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I checked my total T and it was fine, but maybe I need to check the free T. I'm also feeling a little anemic, and I'm short for my age. Cat 2, here I come!
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Old 07-23-12, 08:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BILL SCHMIDT View Post
The older I get the steeper the hills become and the longer it is to recover from a ride. My TV says "it must be low T". Have any of you guys used testosterone replacement therapy and has it helped your riding? I would like to know if it is worth the trouble of getting tested.
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It is just a simple blood test.
I've been meaning to update the thread I started in January on this topic, so I'll just do it here I guess.

10 Wheels is correct. Anyone getting a physical is probably already having blood drawn so just ask for the test from that blood sample. Simple. It isn't expensive.

As to efficacy, assuming T levels are low:

I've just completed my first six months on Androgel and the results have been very good. I am no threat to the racers among us and never will be, but I've seen a small but significant improvement in my strength and endurance on the bike and perhaps even moreso in life more generally. I can train a bit harder and not go to work tired and sleepy. My body is starting to resemble what it looked like 20 years ago or more.... lower body fat and more lean muscle mass. My spouse is pleased with the results as well but as a gentleman I cannot say more on this.

IMO this is not something you can just take and suddenly feel stronger and go charging up hills on your bike within a day or two. Weeks, months, and probably even years may be required to fully realize the benefits... you still have to train you know. I did feel more energy and spring in my step fairly soon after starting my treatment though.

I have found the gel to be a trouble free means of application and it is covered by my insurance... but YMMV on all that. YES, the test is well worth it.

I started a thread on this topic about January 10th I believe... and there were several satisfied users posting as I recall. Here's the link:
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ighlight=Low+T

Last edited by billydonn; 07-23-12 at 08:44 PM.
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Old 07-23-12, 09:58 PM   #13
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To the OP, I would say get a complete blood panel done, including the T test. Your symptoms might be low T, or hypo-thyroidism, or anemia---or even sleep apnea!

I would encourage all guys over fifty to get their T levels checked. T-levels can sometimes be very low (which seems to be a risk factor for prostate cancer) and you can have no symptoms at all. I had symptoms of weakness, fatigue, muscle and joint pain with some swelling of the hands and wrists at a level of 300. My doc put me on a trial of T-Cyp and within two months all of the symptoms were gone. I've been injecting T-Cyp, 100 mg, every 10 to 12 days now for 16 months. So far, so good. Symptom free, feel good---but I won't be any threat to any racers! The amount of steroids taken by some of those guys is up to 10 times the therapeutic dose, so it's no wonder they have bad side effects.
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Old 07-24-12, 09:41 AM   #14
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T-levels can sometimes be very low (which seems to be a risk factor for prostate cancer) and you can have no symptoms at all.
Interesting. I thought "high" T-levels were thought to cause prostate cancer.
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Old 07-25-12, 10:03 AM   #15
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There are natural ways to raise your T.

http://www.nowloss.com/ways-to-incre...g-steroids.htm

The last thing is D-aspartate, I haven't tried that.

In my experience, the two biggies are weight loss and pumping iron.
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Old 07-25-12, 02:34 PM   #16
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I like the "avoid sissy cardio workouts" part of that. That must be what I was doing wrong for so many years.

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Old 07-28-12, 12:43 AM   #17
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Interesting. I thought "high" T-levels were thought to cause prostate cancer.
Hey Matt, I finally got to a working 'puter so I could post a link for you to read. In short, if you have prostate cancer then T is the last thing you want; but T also seems to protect against prostate cancer. Here's the link:
http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2008/...-Cancer_01.htm
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Old 07-28-12, 04:32 PM   #18
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Hey Matt, I finally got to a working 'puter so I could post a link for you to read. In short, if you have prostate cancer then T is the last thing you want; but T also seems to protect against prostate cancer. Here's the link:
http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2008/...-Cancer_01.htm
Thanks, that is interesting.
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Old 07-28-12, 07:10 PM   #19
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Tested for and found to have low testosterone 2 or 3 years ago. Started taking IM testosterone once every two weeks( much cheaper than the patches).
I have seen a great improvement in my overall attitude, energy level and response to training. I have probably been hypo-T most of my life unable to gain significant strength or muscle mass. I now find that my strength training is worth it with continuing gradual increase in size and strength. This has carried over to my riding.
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Old 08-01-12, 06:50 PM   #20
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Got my results yesterday, right in the middle of the normal range.
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Old 08-02-12, 07:33 AM   #21
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Got my results yesterday, right in the middle of the normal range.
Bummer.... now you'll need to look for other causes for your cycling performance!
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Old 08-02-12, 10:01 AM   #22
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I have both Low-T and low B-12. I take the androgel and weekly injections of B-12. Supplements dont work on the B-12 for me. Noticeable improvement on the energy level but dont know which I owe it to more.....
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Old 08-02-12, 01:38 PM   #23
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I got diagnosed with low T several years ago. My number was about half of the "low" level. I've got Androgel, and it seems to help me recover a little bit better. But the hills are still getting steeper every year.
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Old 11-09-12, 04:43 PM   #24
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If I might be forgiven for summoning a thread from beyond the grave...

Just got off the phone with my internist. Dang if the levels aren't low now. If my PSA is OK I'll be doping legally in no time.

For the thread participants, I'd be interested to know how the T treatment is going for you. I've been tired for years.

I asked my internist if he might also give me some HGH or Procrit. He told me not to push my luck
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Old 11-09-12, 05:15 PM   #25
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I've been on T supplements for about 3years. I was run down, listless and no desire for anything. I had the blood test - which by the way was not part of my normal screening with my yearly exam because I was only in my mid 40's - and found out I had a level of 120, which is way low of the 600-1000 that is recommended. In fact 120 is the high end of the range that most women test at! We talked of the creams and patches but the doc recommended the shots because he had seen many men have skin reactions to the creams and patches. The shots are easy but if you have issues with needles then you may consider the others. At least once a year you should have your levels checked. Mine is a set of 2 blood draws once just before the T shot and one 1 week after to get the high and low, this makes sure that you are getting enough and at the right intervals. My levels came in about 600 after a few dosage and interval adjustments.

Within weeks I was ravenous sexually and had a lot more energy. I felt sharper and slept a little better. I was also very obese and got the desire to do something about it. A year later I pursued weight loss surgery and lost 170 pounds. I kept up the same dosage as before the weight loss and found myself getting real anxious and a lot of rage. I went in to get tested and my level was 1400! With a lot of weight loss I was taking too much as there was less body mass to dilute the T injection. I am now taking about 1/8 the dosage I started out at. I now weigh 170 pounds less than what I did when I started the T shots. I am pretty physically fit and in very good shape for a man of 51.

There is a higher risk of prostate cancer, my doc says that the risk is usually worth it as the benefits are usually pretty good. It helped me get serious about my weight problem and fixing it, my sleep apnea, blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol all came under control too. So in my case it has been a life changing decision.

Last edited by Rootman; 11-09-12 at 08:30 PM.
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