I figured I'd post this in this forum as users here likely have the most experience dealing with hormones issues and potential causes/treatments.
My situation is very strange and I would appreciate any intelligent insights folks here are willing to share.
I'm 27 years old, in very good health (5'9" around 165 lbs @ 8% bodyfat, strong, energetic, plenty of aggression, etc). I have no symptoms of sexual dysfunction (if anything my wife would probably be relieved if my libido was a bit lower) and generally feel good. The only area that's lacking is sleep/stress which could be better due to the nature of my job, but I still get on average 5-6 hours night and the stress is completely manageable and doesn't effect my overall mood that much. I'm a pretty "intense" fellow naturally so often I think the stress is just my natural energy as much as it is worry-driven.
My diet is also spot-on; I eat a "clean" omnivorous diet; high-protein, moderate "good" fats, relatively low carbs, very little refined sugar, almost exclusively organic meat and produce, etc.
So all of this sounds great I'm sure, and I don't really feel like anything is wrong with me. BUT...
Every time I get my bloodwork done, my "T" comes back VERY low. The results I just got have my total T at 208.1/ng/dl. According to the lab, the reference range is 249 - 836. In the past I've occasionally been on the very low end of within normal (ie high 200's or low 300's) but never anything even close to the high end. Unfortunately despite my request the lab did not provide "free test" numbers, just total test.
Other factors to consider are that I've never run any kind of steroid or prohormone. I've run things like Erase/Titanium, BioForge, AnaBeta, IGF-2, etc. At one point I did also take Jungle Warfare back when there was some speculation it was laced with a mild prohormone (I obviously didn't know this when I was taking it, or I would not have used it). To my knowledge, none of these products should cause what seems like a chronically low level of testosterone.
Beyond this, the only other thing I can possibly think of is that when I was very young (6 yrs old I think) I had a nasty bike accident where I smashed my balls really hard on the metal bar below the bike's seat. It may sound funny now but it was one of the most shockingly painful things I've ever felt (the fact that I can remember in detail how it felt 20+ years later is evidence of that). My balls swelled up and were bruised horribly and I ended up needing to get exploratory surgery done at the hospital to just make sure the actual testicles were undamaged which thankfully they were. Aside from immense pain and temporary discomfort while recovering from the surgery (and a pretty badass scar), I've never had any complications or issues relating to the injury that I'm aware of.
With my current "T" levels I am technically a candidate for HRT and other "low T" treatments and I have the funds to engage in such a program without concern. However, I'm also someone who believes in a "if it ain't broke don't fix it" approach, particularly when it comes to my body. But with that said, I do train very seriously (lifting, martial arts, running, etc) and am definitely a hardgainer (I am very lean but even eating a huge caloric surplus it's exceedingly hard for me to add weight of any kind), so I can't help but wonder if maybe I'd be seeing even more dramatic gains if my T was boosted up by 3x or 4x what it is currently. Then again, hormonal manipulation is nothing to take lightly so I have reservations. I also am concerned about the future. I may feel great now in my late 20's but I'm concerned that having consistently low "T" long-term could lead to other health issues down the line.
So my questions are:
1. Has anyone else ever experienced anything like this (ie consistently low "T" across multiple blood tests over many years, but none of the traditional symptoms of Low T)? If so, did you take any action or did you leave it alone?
2. What do folks think about someone in my situation starting HRT? Do the risks outweigh the potential benefits? If it doesn't work out and I stop treatment, do I risk damaging my body's ability to produce T naturally again?
3. For those who've been on HRT long-term do you feel it's been a worthy investment? Has it substantially changed your athletic performance and quality of life?
Any thoughts folks want to share would be much appreciated.
Thanks in advance.