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  1. #1
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    testosterone reality

    I recently had my testosterone checked. I'm 43 and it came back at 399 total, 9.3 free. Doctor says it's normal. Everything I've read said average for my age is over 600. I only ride 2 or 3 times a week; and if I ride 3 times a week I never feel like I've recovered. Even my upper body workouts have become impossible.

    anyone around my age get tested and what were the results/outcomes? did you use prescription or over the counter supplements? what kind of results?

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    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Get another doctor.

    Mine came in at 485 when I was 70 y/0
    Last edited by 10 Wheels; 11-04-13 at 08:40 AM.
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    Senior Member wolfchild's Avatar
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    Low-fat diet based on carbohydrates is the number 1 enemy of testosterone. Stop eating refined processed sugars and carbs. Your body needs fat and cholesterol to make testosterone. Forget about drugs and pills, what you need is to start eating lot's of animal products such as eggs, cheese, full fat milk, yogurt, various types of meat, fish and lot's of fruits and veggies.

    Another way to boost your testosterone is do very high intensity weight training. Lifting heavy weights for low reps. Compound excercises with free-weights are much better then machines. Do a search and I am sure you will find some answers. Personally I don't have that problem but a lot of men do. In fact most modern men today have 30% lower testosterone then their forefathers 50-60 years ago, I blame our modern diet and lack of physical intensity and our soft easy way of living.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
    Low-fat diet based on carbohydrates is the number 1 enemy of testosterone. Stop eating refined processed sugars and carbs. Your body needs fat and cholesterol to make testosterone. Forget about drugs and pills, what you need is to start eating lot's of animal products such as eggs, cheese, full fat milk, yogurt, various types of meat, fish and lot's of fruits and veggies.

    Another way to boost your testosterone is do very high intensity weight training. Lifting heavy weights for low reps. Compound excercises with free-weights are much better then machines. Do a search and I am sure you will find some answers. Personally I don't have that problem but a lot of men do. In fact most modern men today have 30% lower testosterone then their forefathers 50-60 years ago, I blame our modern diet and lack of physical intensity and our soft easy way of living.
    solid

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    thanks for the advice. I'll try to take out my oatmeal or fiber one in the morning and substitute it with eggs. Other than that I eat lots of chicken, baked or grilled, and the occasional cheeseburger or steak, broccoli or spinach with a potato. That's 5 or 6 days a week. I might eat pasta one day, and if I do I have chicken with it. I rarely eat fast food, no alcohol at all. I will take your advice and try and add some fruit in too. i'm going back in 3 months to be retested.
    Last edited by signalnc; 10-16-13 at 09:31 PM.

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    I'm 47 and also have trouble recovering from riding 3 times a week. I did a mail in test for total Testosterone and it was 340.

    I tried taking Muscletech Anotest for a month and it did seem to help with recovery, but it also caused diarrhea about 1 hour after taking it.

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    Wheelsuck Fat Boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
    Low-fat diet based on carbohydrates is the number 1 enemy of testosterone. Stop eating refined processed sugars and carbs. Your body needs fat and cholesterol to make testosterone. Forget about drugs and pills, what you need is to start eating lot's of animal products such as eggs, cheese, full fat milk, yogurt, various types of meat, fish and lot's of fruits and veggies.

    Another way to boost your testosterone is do very high intensity weight training. Lifting heavy weights for low reps. Compound excercises with free-weights are much better then machines. Do a search and I am sure you will find some answers. Personally I don't have that problem but a lot of men do. In fact most modern men today have 30% lower testosterone then their forefathers 50-60 years ago, I blame our modern diet and lack of physical intensity and our soft easy way of living.
    Very good post.
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    Senior Member bmontgomery87's Avatar
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    I agree with wolfchild. I'd personally explore "natural" ways to raise my testosterone for a few months, then if that doesn't work, find another doctor and discuss TRT.

    A better diet and some strength training can not only boost test, but will improve recovery. And if thats the primary issue, you could also try foam rolling, contrast showers, and eating more. I found that I recovered much quicker when taking a little time to focus on that.

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    Senior Member Notgrownup's Avatar
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    I am 48 and mine was below 200 i think it was 165 or so... Androgel for now but i have lost 35 lbs and my Endocrinologist says as i loose weight and exercise like cycling it may improve. I am Diabetic and have severe RA so the meds are a daily part of my day...I really didn't see much improvement with the Androgel but Cycling really helped...I also quit drinking diet drinks, well i might have 1 every 2 weeks or so...Drink more red wine than beer and liquor.
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    Junior Member NeilMyers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by signalnc View Post
    I recently had my testosterone checked. I'm 43 and it came back at 399 total, 9.3 free. Doctor says it's normal. Everything I've read said average for my age is over 600. I only ride 2 or 3 times a week; and if I ride 3 times a week I never feel like I've recovered. Even my upper body workouts have become impossible.

    anyone around my age get tested and what were the results/outcomes? did you use prescription or over the counter supplements? what kind of results?
    I am older than you, but I have some good info about testosterone to counter the myths. Sorry for the length of the post, but this is not a simple area.

    First, I am 56 and have been on hormone replacement theraphy (HRT) for 4 years, although the first two years were useless (details below). Through my own research and an excellent doctor, I have learned a lot about testosterone.

    First, what are the symptoms of low testosterone (low-T)? Here is the list as far as I know -- not everyone experiences all the symptoms:

    - Reduced sex drive
    - Lethargy
    - Reduced muscle mass
    - Fat gathering around your mid-section
    - Depression

    In my case I has a real lack of energy, a twinge of depression (I have ALWAYS be a super positive, happy person, so that was plain weird), reduced muscle mass (I have naturally always had large muscles, so this was also unusual for me) and -- like most men my age -- fast around the mid-section. Oddly, I didn't have the lack of sex drive.

    So ... I was tested 4 years ago (when I was 52) and my total T was 210. The doctor I was going to was out of date on his understanding of HRT and didn't test free T. I tried the patch for 6 months and it did nothing. After 6 months total T was 190. He injected time-release testosterone pellets into my glute (yes, it hurt a lot). 4 months later I was down to a total T level of 180.

    I switched doctors to a urologist that specializes in HRT and he tested both free and total T (as well as a host of other things). This doc was very much up to speed. His prescription for me:

    1. Quit drinking (I did)
    2. Improve my diet (I did)
    3. Start exercising (I did -- running, swimming and -- best of all -- cycling)
    4. Weekly injections of testosterone

    By the way, if your doc prescribes testosterone, but doesn't address diet and lifestyle, find a new doc. Testosterone by itself doesn't do a lot. What it really is good for is unlocking the potential benefits that come when you make those lifestyle changes.

    How did it go? Overall, really well, albeit with one side-effect. He raised my total T to 800 and my free T to 25 -- high normal is 1200 and 30 respectively for a rangy 19 year old. My levels are as high as you would reasonably want to go.

    Pros
    1. A ton more energy
    2. Increased muscle mass
    3. Fat didn't decrease from the T (it did after a while from the diet changes), but it immediately redistributed so it wasn't all in my belly
    4. Generally feeling of well-being

    Cons
    1. Hair loss -- when you go on T it is a common side effect to accelerate any male-pattern balding issues you may have

    Here are the lessons I have learned:

    1. Both total and free testosterone are important, but as I understand it, the number that really matters is free testosterone. Yours is at the low end of what has historically been considered 'normal (9 to 30 ng/dL). So, normal? Yes, technically, but probably lower than an average 43 YO.

    2. If you are serious about learning about testosterone and your options you need to see a doctor that is current on the research. For example, for years the fear was that hormone replacement therapy for men ran the risk of causing prostate cancer. They did a series of very well-designed studies (Harvard, IIRC) and found that is absolutely not the case, and it is possible that it may even inhibit prostate cancer. One hypothesis is that the incidence of prostate cancer increases with age, while natural T levels decrease. It may be that low-T actually increases your risk of prostate C. The data were inconclusive on this point and further studies are needed.

    3. The best, most effective way to increase T levels is a weekly shot. The gels and pellets are often ineffective, but the shots work perfectly and allow you to titrate the T level you and your doctor feel is best with great accuracy.

    4. I have never heard from anyone who found that supplements or dietary changes actually increased their T levels. I belong to a two golf country clubs and problem 50% of the male members are low T. If a supplement did the trick I think at least one of these old geezers would have told me! I realize I am probably stepping on toes by saying that, but in the spirit of being helpful, and since you did ask, that's my opinion.

    You also asked about recovery time -- I don't know how to measure that so I cannot comment. But, I lift three to four times a week and I have better size and definition than I have ever had. I go at it pretty hard (about an hour per session, isolated on one area, like back or arms or chest). I am pretty sure my recovery times must be pretty good or I couldn't do this. What is a problem, which I am more susceptible to at 56 than you would be at 43, is joint pain. Testosterone doesn't help there. And before someone mentions glucosamine, I have read the research on that and it failed in the well-run double-blinds. I just need to be more careful as I age with my joints. As an aside, I have decided that all the downsides to aging definitely outweigh the advantages of getting a senior discount at Denny's!

    One more note: I have found that people either swear by or hate the concept of HRT. Most of the information out there is pretty questionable. My advice is do a google search and read the original research and also find a doctor that specializes in HRT.

    Good luck. I am happy to answer any other questions you may have.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Notgrownup's Avatar
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    My doctor told me that diet and exercise are the key...He said if i lost enough weight i would feel better...My RA keeps me from exercising but when i do i feel better so i try to go at it the most i can....Being healthy is all around better for you that is for sure...
    BE THE PERSON YOUR DOG THINKS YOU ARE.....

  12. #12
    Senior Member GeorgeBMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
    Low-fat diet based on carbohydrates is the number 1 enemy of testosterone. Stop eating refined processed sugars and carbs. Your body needs fat and cholesterol to make testosterone. Forget about drugs and pills, what you need is to start eating lot's of animal products such as eggs, cheese, full fat milk, yogurt, various types of meat, fish and lot's of fruits and veggies.

    Another way to boost your testosterone is do very high intensity weight training. Lifting heavy weights for low reps. Compound excercises with free-weights are much better then machines. Do a search and I am sure you will find some answers. Personally I don't have that problem but a lot of men do. In fact most modern men today have 30% lower testosterone then their forefathers 50-60 years ago, I blame our modern diet and lack of physical intensity and our soft easy way of living.
    "eating lot's of animal products such as eggs, cheese, full fat milk, yogurt, various types of meat, fish"

    Many believe that will increase your chances of stroke, heart attack & angina, dementia and cancer.

    But, pretty much everybody agrees with the main point he makes: avoid refined carbs....
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    Senior Member wolfchild's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeBMac View Post
    "eating lot's of animal products such as eggs, cheese, full fat milk, yogurt, various types of meat, fish"

    Many believe that will increase your chances of stroke, heart attack & angina, dementia and cancer.

    But, pretty much everybody agrees with the main point he makes: avoid refined carbs....
    That's why I said to include lot's of veggies and fruits, because they have a lot of fibre and antioxidants. People who choose to avoid animal products can still get enough healthy fat in their diet by eating various types of nuts, seeds, organic olive oil and avocados. Getting enough fat in the diet is extremely important for an overall health and wellbeing... Avoid modern industrial oils and fats such as margarine, and most vegetable oils because those things are a toxic poison which will wreck havoc with your metabolism and hormones. Also avoid sugar and refined carbs. FYI. Eating cholesterol will NOT cause heart attack or cancer. Your liver makes about 1000 mg of cholesterol per day even if you avoid eating animal foods which are high in cholesterol.

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    Wheelsuck Fat Boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
    That's why I said to include lot's of veggies and fruits, because they have a lot of fibre and antioxidants. People who choose to avoid animal products can still get enough healthy fat in their diet by eating various types of nuts, seeds, organic olive oil and avocados. Getting enough fat in the diet is extremely important for an overall health and wellbeing... Avoid modern industrial oils and fats such as margarine, and most vegetable oils because those things are a toxic poison which will wreck havoc with your metabolism and hormones. Also avoid sugar and refined carbs. FYI. Eating cholesterol will NOT cause heart attack or cancer. Your liver makes about 1000 mg of cholesterol per day even if you avoid eating animal foods which are high in cholesterol.
    Spot on. Even the Framingham Study, which I believe is rigged against eating fat, finds something interesting. Those with 'high' cholesterol have _less_ chance of dementia and score higher on cognitive tests. If you really take a look at their data instead of just reading the summarized info, you would probably tend to want your cholesterol around 300 or so as long as you run low triglycerides (~50 or so). Triglycerides are a function of carb (specifically refined) intake. Keep it as low as you can and still ride strong.

    Farmyard eggs (especially Omega-3's) are good. Grass-fed (organic means nothing) animal products are good. Fats from whole grown foods (avocados, nuts, coconut, etc.) are good. Fats from cold-water fish (sardines, salmon, black cod, etc.) is good. Fat is not a 4-letter word...Carb is!

    BTW, fruits aren't _that_ good. Fructose isn't your friend. Certainly whole fruits are better than juices, by a long shot, but 1 piece of fruit a day is plenty. Veggies on the other hand, you basically can't overdo. Eat them until you're blowing the bottom out of the toilet. Avoid grains. If you want to ramp up carbs for better performance on the bike (what I've spelled out it ~100 grams of carbs/day), then you can get them from sweet potatoes, yams, maybe some rice. Play with it and see how man carbs you really need. I promise it's less than you think.

    Shoot for 1 gram of protein per pounds of body weight (2.2 grams per Kg of body weight). Eat 60% of your diet in good fats. Fill in the rest with green (or colored in general) veggies and a bit of fruit. You won't be hungry and you'll feel good.

    I'm not saying this is the _only_ way to eat well, but I believe this is a very good way to eat.
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    Wheelsuck Fat Boy's Avatar
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    Good read here, Grain Brain.
    Austin doesn't have hippies. They have slightly rebellious Methodists. - Racer Ex

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    thank you all for your input.

    I am height/weight proportionate, but I probably lack some fat intake. So I am making an effort to take in a little more. When I had my blood work done, my cholesterol and triglycerides came back good. In fact, every other test besides the testosterone was excellent. I am going back to the doctor in 3 months to get my blood work done again. We'll see how it goes.

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    Senior Member wolfchild's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Boy View Post
    BTW, fruits aren't _that_ good. Fructose isn't your friend. Certainly whole fruits are better than juices, by a long shot, but 1 piece of fruit a day is plenty. Veggies on the other hand, you basically can't overdo. Eat them until you're blowing the bottom out of the toilet. Avoid grains. If you want to ramp up carbs for better performance on the bike (what I've spelled out it ~100 grams of carbs/day), then you can get them from sweet potatoes, yams, maybe some rice. Play with it and see how man carbs you really need. I promise it's less than you think.
    Very well said. I agree with you that eating too many very sweet fruits is not as healthy as some people think. I should of been more clear. I eat mostly low-glycemic fruits such as apples, pears, avocados and sometimes few berries. I also stay away from fruit juices because they have too much sugar.

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    Senior Member Wesley36's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
    Another way to boost your testosterone is do very high intensity weight training. Lifting heavy weights for low reps. Compound excercises with free-weights are much better then machines. Do a search and I am sure you will find some answers. Personally I don't have that problem but a lot of men do. In fact most modern men today have 30% lower testosterone then their forefathers 50-60 years ago, I blame our modern diet and lack of physical intensity and our soft easy way of living.
    Interestingly, there might be more going on than a lack of HTFU:

    https://groups.google.com/forum/#!to...ne/PCYkYtkoiGY

    The research to be detailed tomorrow in the most comprehensive
    report yet published shows that a host of common chemicals is
    feminising males of every class of vertebrate animals, from fish to
    mammals, including people.

    Backed by some of the world's leading scientists, who say that it
    "waves a red flag" for humanity and shows that evolution itself is
    being disrupted, the report comes out at a particularly sensitive time
    for ministers. On Wednesday, Britain will lead opposition to proposed
    new European controls on pesticides, many of which have been found to
    have "gender-bending" effects.

    It also follows hard on the heels of new American research which shows
    that baby boys born to women exposed to widespread chemicals in
    pregnancy are born with smaller penises and feminised genitals.
    Of course, chemicals in general are not the problem, but yes, a number of chemicals that have become common in our environments have an estrogenic effect. We are seeing effects in a variety of species, not just humans.

  19. #19
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    I came across a few websites that recommend zinc to help boost testosterone too.

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    I read about zinc also and heavy slow weight lifting

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    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Notgrownup View Post
    My doctor told me that diet and exercise are the key...He said if i lost enough weight i would feel better...My RA keeps me from exercising but when i do i feel better so i try to go at it the most i can....Being healthy is all around better for you that is for sure...
    Do you have a good up-to-date rheumatologist? I have a riding buddy with really bad RA who's an absolute animal, or at least tries to be. She's had both her ankles replaced so she can keep riding. It really helps her. She also gets some very fancy treatments, kind of like chemo for it, I think methotrexate plus a biologic:
    http://www.webmd.com/rheumatoid-arth...itis-treatment

  22. #22
    Senior Member Notgrownup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    Do you have a good up-to-date rheumatologist? I have a riding buddy with really bad RA who's an absolute animal, or at least tries to be. She's had both her ankles replaced so she can keep riding. It really helps her. She also gets some very fancy treatments, kind of like chemo for it, I think methotrexate plus a biologic:
    http://www.webmd.com/rheumatoid-arth...itis-treatment
    Yep... i take Enbrel weekly, Methotrexate and Mobic... I see a rheumatologist every 6 months and he is pretty good about tweaking my treatment...
    BE THE PERSON YOUR DOG THINKS YOU ARE.....

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    Senior Member corwin1968's Avatar
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    Another long post:

    Most doctors are completely clueless when it comes to Testosterone Replace Therapy (TRT). Every lab has their own "normal" range but around 300 is a typical lower-end of average for labs. Problem is, a guy can go to his physician with all the symptoms of low-T, get a blood test that comes back 180 and be prescribed TRT, usually a gel. After a period of time the guy goes back to his doctor and gets his T-levels tested. Lets say it comes back 340. He still has all the symptoms and doesn't feel one bit better than he did when he started TRT but because his T level is in the "average" range, the doctor is satisfied. Meanwhile, the poor guy goes on being treated (very expensive...even with insurance) with little to no benefit. This is a very common tale and although the numbers are different, that guy was me as well.

    I did Androgel for four years with some improvement but nowhere near what I wanted. I even got my T levels up to 800 with only a very modest benefit. One of the problems is that my doc wasn't testing free T. Also, fat tissues convert Testosterone to Estrogen so the fatter you are the less benefit you get from TRT and I'm VERY fat.

    I reached a point where my insurance quit paying and while my doctor fought them for 3+ weeks, I got no TRT whatsoever. I will say that I have never felt that bad in my life. It was literally like suffering a major depressive episode. I finally got so desperate that I called my doctor on a Friday afternoon and asked if I could just get a shot. They squeezed me in and gave me 350mg of T. I felt fairly good for about a week but the problem is, 350mg is a standard dosage that is expected to last for a month!!! Testosterone has a half-life of about eight days. This means that after about a week I had about 175ml of T, at 2 weeks I had about 88ml, at 3 weeks I had about 44ml and by the time my next shot was due I had about 22ml left in my system. Needless to say, I felt like crap after the first week and was half-dead by the fourth week. In my opinion, this is medical malpractice but it's the standard course of treatement for injections.

    I got to doing some online research and found that the cutting edge of TRT advocates weekly injections. This ensures a much more stable supply of T than monthly injections. Going to the doctor weekly is a hassle so most advocate self-injections, with 100mg weekly being the norm. I talked to my doctor about this and he wanted nothing to do with it. I was getting desperately low on T again and there was a 90+ page thread on TRT on a website I've frequented for over a decade. There were several guys there who had good experiences with an online company. I never thought I would do online prescriptions but I was desperate and signed up. They prescribed 200mg of T weekly by self-injection, 2 doses of Anastrozole weekly to reduce conversion of T to Estrogen and 25 units of HCG twice a week to combat testicular atrophy (a common side-effect of TRT). The package included all the medications as well as all the syringes needed for a 10-week course of treatment. I was told I would see some improvement in about 2 weeks with improvements ramping up over the full 10 week period. I am now in the seventh week and although I'm lagging behind their predictions a bit, I'm feeling better than I've felt in years. I don't have the energy and libido of a 17 year old like some people say they experience on TRT but I do have what I think is probably normal energy and libido for a 45 year old. Now, I weigh 400 lbs and I'm hopeful that the TRT therapy will help me exercise more and lose some of the fat because it's taking larger doses for me to get the same benefit as a normal sized guy on smaller doses.

    Total cost is $200/month and that is out of pocket. Androgel is $400/month if you pay yourself and with my insurance (when they actually covered it) it was still $75/month. It sucks to pay that much but what price can you put on literally getting your life back?

    Anyone that things they are suffering from low T should get checked out. I'm sorry to say that unless you are extremely lucky, your doctor probably won't have a clue how to really treat you so you have to do the research and advocate for yourself. There are stand-alone treatment centers popping up in major cities and they are using the weekly injection with other medications route for treatment. You go to them for the injections and it's about $400/month. Until mainstream medicine catches up, it's going to be very expensive to get effective TRT.

    Here is a link that explains the symptoms of Low T VERY well:

    http://www.lowtcenter.com/symptoms
    Currently riding a 1983 Takara Highlander converted to a single-speed.

  24. #24
    Junior Member NeilMyers's Avatar
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    Corwin1968:

    Your information is excellent. One thing to check, though. I am under the care of a urologist in his concierge medicine practice for about $200/month. I get all the same drugs as part of that 200 (other than HCG ... didn't need i), but also I can see him or talk by phone as much as I want.

    At a minimum I get blood tests (the lab cost is extra) twice a year and we make sure a) I don't have any issues like prostate cancer or low T or too much estrogen, etc.

    I feel this is something that really requires monitoring to be fully effective and safe.

  25. #25
    Senior Member corwin1968's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeilMyers View Post
    Corwin1968:

    Your information is excellent. One thing to check, though. I am under the care of a urologist in his concierge medicine practice for about $200/month. I get all the same drugs as part of that 200 (other than HCG ... didn't need i), but also I can see him or talk by phone as much as I want.

    At a minimum I get blood tests (the lab cost is extra) twice a year and we make sure a) I don't have any issues like prostate cancer or low T or too much estrogen, etc.

    I feel this is something that really requires monitoring to be fully effective and safe.
    Agreed. I plan to look for a local physician I can work with but haven't started my search yet. I live in a metro area of one million plus so surely there is someone here who can do it for a reasonable rate.
    Currently riding a 1983 Takara Highlander converted to a single-speed.

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