Failed Test + HCG: Postmortem...what happened?
- 09-11-2007, 09:57 AM
Failed Test + HCG: Postmortem...what happened?
I have gone off of "regular" Test + HCG TRT and back onto Nolvadex.
I was very reluctant to make this move since the Test + HCG combo brings some benefits that are of high importance to me: Libido, muscle mass, strength, confidence, etc.
Let me finish a quick summary of these past 4 months and then we'll discuss.
- 09-11-2007, 10:07 AM
Before Test + HCG: I had been on Nolvadex at 20mg/day for about a year. I found it to be very stable TRT, but it had some annoying problems:
1. Low and sporadic libido
2. Getting tired extremely quickly when doing anything physical like running, lifting weights, etc.
3. Very dry skin
4. The combination of Nolvadex + Armour Thyroid makes it extremely hard for me to gain any muscle. I think this is mainly a thyroid issue because I have to eat like a horse (~4000 calories/day to maintain my weight).
Overall, felt pretty good, but definitely room for improvement.
Last labs before ending this protocol:
- 09-11-2007, 10:09 AM
09-11-2007, 10:09 AM
Weeks 1-2: Tapered off of Nolvadex during these weeks. Week 1 was 10mg/day and Week 2 was nothing. Dr Mariano thought it was a good idea to get as much out of my sytem as possible before going on regular TRT.
I definitely felt a drop in how I felt during these weeks, particularly week 2. Very tired, unmotivated, etc.
I continue the adrenal/thyroid nutritional complex (Iodoral, Chromium, Selenium, Pregnenolone) per Dr Mariano's orders.
09-11-2007, 10:12 AM
Week 3: 100mg of Test IM + 400 iu of HCG
I made it through those 2 weeks and very much looked forward to the start of this protocol.
I injected the Testosterone and was very sore the next day. I also felt kind of dizzy and "medicated". Shook it off as my body adjusting.
It could have been psychological, but even on week 1, I started to notice increases in gym strength.
09-11-2007, 10:14 AM
Weeks 4-7: 100mg Test sub-q + 500 iu of HCG
I had days where I felt extremely tired despite adequate sleep. I got back on Medrol at 4mg day. I had been able to wean myself off of it during the final 2 months of the Nolvadex protocol.
Started feeling really good. Energy and strength were up. Libido was way up. Constant boners and in general, my penis always felt full of blood.
I felt much more calm in general. Weight is up about 5 lbs at this point and it feels like solid weight. I do notice that I do not feel as 'driven' as before...just more content to sit around and enjoy myself without having to be such a busy-body.
Blood test at the end of week 6 shows:
At this point, I am concerned by the drop in AM cortisol, the drop in Free T3, and the drop in DHEA. Overall though, I feel great and decide not to fix what isn't broken. I do feel occasional light dizziness (particularly on the days of the Test injection), but not a biggie.
09-11-2007, 10:24 AM
Week 8: 120mg/week of Test + 400 iu HCG
My Free T is way up, but Total T still has room for improvement. In addition, I notice a fair amount of leakage from the sub-q Test injection, so with Dr approval, I up the dose to 120mg (.6cc vs .5cc). I figure the extra .1cc will take care of any leaked out Testosterone.
Still feeling great. Strength gains are fantastic and I'm up about 12 lbs at this point. I don't seem to need to eat everything in site to hold onto muscle.
09-11-2007, 10:27 AM
Weeks 9 to 14: 120mg of Test + 400 iu HCG
Let the good times roll. I'm feeling good, but do notice an increase in adrenal fatigue type symptoms. The LCD monitor at work bothers my eyes. Dizziness is becoming more frequent.
My main goals in every day life are getting laid and going to the gym. I feel no guilt in feeling this way since my body got "punished" so bad the previous year. My after-hours consulting business stalls as I decide not to take on any additional work. I'm content with what I have.
Strength and libido are still rockin', so I am still very happy. Extremely pleased with body composition. Muscles feel full and hard.
09-11-2007, 10:31 AM
Week 15: 120mg of Test + 400 iu HCG
Trouble begins. I start feeling a much more pronounced level of dizziness and brain fog worsens. I feel tired despite being well rested.
My motivation to go to the gym starts to fade and my penis no longer feels full of blood all the time. It is retracted and feels "empty".
09-11-2007, 10:36 AM
Week 16: 120mg of Test + 400 iu HCG
Concerned with how I feel, I take another blood test around this time.
My concentration is shot, libido seems to have waned, and I am constantly dizzy. Strength is still there.
Hangin' on. I really want this to work, so I am doing my best to fix it.
09-11-2007, 10:43 AM
Week 17: 100mg Test + 600 iu HCG
I give oral DHEA a try at 50mg/day in divided doses. I notice immediate relief from the adrenal symptoms. YEAH BABY. About 5 days into it, I experience terrible anxiety from the DHEA and immediately discontinue. Adrenal fatigue sucks, but anxiety is worse.
A meeting with Dr Mariano goes well. He is concerned by my low cholesterol since it is the building block for all hormones. He states that he commonly sees levels that low in mentally retarded patients. LOL He states that my Testosterone levels could be contributing to the low Chol and that my use of HCG at the end of the week does not provide constant enough or adequate enough pathway stimulation.
We increase the dosage and frequency of HCG, drop the Testosterone down a little, and up the oral Pregnenolone from 100mg/day to 200mg/day.
Overall, I'm feeling very worried with how I feel, but feel that it is fixable and move forward.
09-11-2007, 10:48 AM
Week 18: 80mg Test of 750 iu HCG
Having previously been on HCG monotherapy, I recall that I didn't have adrenal issues on it, so I shift the therapy towards more HCG and less Test.
My efforts fall short though as now I am having huge energy crashes during the day. Around 3pm, I feel like I've been drugged and it is a struggle to stay at work. My memory and concentration are shot. Dizziness is a chronic problem. I try a different brand of DHEA at only 25mg/day, but still get anxiety from it.
I am in the process of trying to get a promotion at work and the way I feel is severly impacting my performance. I am sure that my direct reports notice that I seem very forgetful and lethargic. I need to fix this ASAP.
09-11-2007, 10:50 AM
Week 19: 200 iu HCG ED + 40mg of Nolvadex ED
I cannot take the symptoms any longer. The energy crashes are making me scared to drive home. I dump the Testosterone and get back on Nolvadex. It is a known "safe ground" for me. Previous use has shown that it takes about 2 weeks for it to start bringing up LH.
With the addition of Nolvadex, my libido returns and I feel noticeably better. However, I am very short tempered and moody. It makes being around my kids difficult.
09-11-2007, 10:53 AM
Weeks 20 to 21: 20mg of Nolvadex ED
I am back to where I started and in the last 3-4, I have lost most of my muscle gains. At the midpoint, I was up about 14 lbs and have lost about 10 of those 14 lbs.
The brain fog fades, and my appetite goes through the roof as before. My productivity at work goes way up. Energy crashes stop.
I am very upset by the loss of strength and libido, but the cost was too high. My clothes feel much looser and I hate it.
I feel much better though.
09-11-2007, 01:36 PM
E2 level 3/27
E2 level 7/19
Might be a reason why
Plummeting DHEA as well.
09-11-2007, 01:52 PM
I empathize with the fatigue and loss of libido; I went through this for a few weeks not long ago and although I think the reasons were different (I'm not on HRT yet), I felt like I was bottoming out.
So, just some moral support here, keep one foot in front of the other.
09-11-2007, 02:43 PM
When you came off the Nolva after about 1 year of use, as you say, and your T was 585 and free T was 179, did you give any thought to stopping right there and seeing where you balanced out? Have you tried such a jumpstart approach using Nolva in the past? Do you know if Marianco ever attempts to "jumpstart" in such a way?
09-11-2007, 03:04 PM
585/179 was achieved while on 20mg/day of Nolvadex. If those had been my levels while on nothing AND I felt good, I would not have gone back on regular TRT.
I don't know where I would be with no Nolvadex, but if history repeats itself, I'd end up in the 200's again for Total T. I'm a little reluctant to try that since I've felt like crap when I gone that route in the past. It might be worth a try along with some support from Resveratrol.
09-11-2007, 03:08 PM
rick055: Thank you.
PC: DHEA was definitely a factor. I know this because adding oral DHEA helped the adrenal symptoms (great), but brought bad anxiety (not so great). I think the better solution would be to augment its mother hormone, Pregnenolone. Dr Mariano is a fan of oral Pregnenolone, but would not put me on the cream. Although I think I would have done better with the cream, I chose not to second guess his clinical experience and knowledge.
Better than the cream would be not to be on TRT at all, if possible.
After being on Nolvadex for 4-6 weeks, I may try to go off of it and use Resveratrol or Dermacrine Sustain if I feel like I'm heading downhill.
09-11-2007, 03:54 PM
Why no preg cream and pills over cream? That is crazy talk, preg is not well absorbed orally.
That is weird about the anxiety. I believe what is really going on, and is going on all along, is that you are VERY sensitive to changes in estrogen. DHEA is well known to crank up E levels. Maybe thats why you got bad anxiety - increasing E.
I think Dermacrine Sustain would be a good idea. You could run it right along with Nolva.
09-11-2007, 04:38 PM
Sorry to hear about all your troubles sonny... High estrogen is the cause of your anxiety for sure..
Your hormonal profile looked a whole lot better when you're on the Nolvadex to be honest with you. That's despite the less libido etc.. Your problem seems to be solely estrogenic.
I hope you'll find a protocol that will make you happy.
09-11-2007, 05:35 PM
PC: you are VERY sensitive to changes in estrogen.
Yep, I totally agree. Man, you really AREN'T here just for your good looks.
BigAk: I definitely feel more myself on the Nolvadex. Always a lot going on, many hobbies, busy body, etc. I felt more calm and relaxed and had more of a "go with the flow" kind of feeling on Test. It was kind of nice actually! But yeah, with SERMs you basically tell your body "This is how much estrogen you get. Let everything else fall where it may." and that seems to work well for me. It is definitely very stable therapy for me. While on it, I rarely got my blood tested...never felt the need to. With Test + HCG, monitoring and adjusting was always a priority and I think it's because on that program, Estrogen is a moving target and that doesn't seem to agree with me.
09-11-2007, 05:39 PM
Hormonally, yes, I think it is different. I believe he felt that adequate HCG would keep the Chol -> Pregnenolone conversion happy enough. I don't think that was the case for me, but unless I try Test + HCG again, I won't need it anyway. We'll see.
09-11-2007, 07:24 PM
im not sure the DHEA is just estrogen. I have recently increased my daily dose from 25mg to 50mg and within a DAY my energy (and also anxiety) have increased. I like the enrgy, not the anxiety.
but that quickly for estrogen? im not so sure.
09-11-2007, 10:42 PM
09-11-2007, 11:06 PM
09-12-2007, 09:11 AM
09-12-2007, 08:17 PM
Also note that Sonny was doing great on HRT, but as soon as his E2 crept up everything went downhill.
A 28 E2 level might not seem bad, but for someone who is normally in the teens, having that E2 level double is bad, its no wonder he didn't feel good.
There is no doubt that DHEA will quickly crank up E2 levels.
My DHEA levels float around the mid 500's, and as long as Im on some sort of AI, everything is smooth sailing. The minute Im not on something, its, well, not good
09-13-2007, 10:59 AM
09-13-2007, 01:06 PM
09-13-2007, 01:33 PM
09-13-2007, 03:47 PM
09-16-2007, 04:17 PM
I've been on off Testosterone Cypionate for 4 weeks and off of HCG for about 2.5 weeks.
I've lost 7 lbs in the last 4 weeks. Libido is dead. Body feels like it is in a catabolic state. Joints have been killing me, too.
Mentally, I've felt better and more able to focus on work, etc, but this is not going to work for me long-term. I cannot stand the feeling that my body is 'wasting' away. I'm thinking of running Test + HCG again along with Arimidex right out of the gate. We've already established that I am very sensitive to E2 changes and when E2 goes above 25 or so, I start having problems.
09-16-2007, 07:12 PM
09-16-2007, 07:23 PM
BigAk: Thanks for the encouragement. I've been on the Nolvadex for 4 weeks now and in the past, that is usually enough time to see it start working. I guess I'll tough it out another 2 weeks and see how it goes. I definitely like the lack of brain fog, but the dead libido and lost muscle is a drag.
The difficulty in gaining muscle/strength was a noted side effect of Nolvadex when I was on it throughout most of last year. We think it might be due to the fact that while on Nolvadex or HCG, I have trouble getting my DHT up. It's always on the low end or low. On Test + HCG, it's always in the mid or middle-high.
I just don't remember it being quite this bad and I don't remember the joint probs that I'm having now. I'll meet with Dr Mariano in the next month or so. He was a proponent of me staying on Test + HCG and shoring up the adrenals to tolerate it, but we couldn't make that work.
09-16-2007, 09:36 PM
What about adding in some Resveratrol, and lowering your dose of tamoxifen ? That's something I'm thinking of trying soon.
09-16-2007, 10:12 PM
coz: I think I'm gonna run some Dermacrine Sustain alonside the Nolvadex and see if that helps. I think things will improve on the Nolvadex, but hopefully the Resveratrol (in the Derma) will speed things up.
09-16-2007, 10:19 PM
Are you still supplementing the oral DHEA, pregnenolone ? Any reason why Dermacrine sustain and not the original Dermacrine ?
09-17-2007, 01:22 PM
09-18-2007, 01:16 PM
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