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Treatment options for Hypogonadism

Originally Posted by meatbuilder
Thanks for the ideas, Renholder. I think I’ll look in to melatonin. I’m not that distressed by the sleep disruption itself - although there is some relationship between low T and sleep.
The overtraining possibility has occurred to me - although I never experienced signs that many folks equate with overtraining. This would be a tough one for me to address, and if I don’t want to wind up in a padded room changes would have to come in baby steps.

If I am able to confirm that I have a cortisol issue, I’ll have to force myself to move toward higher intensity but shorter workouts. (Although it’s the right thing to do anyway, it does not a very appealing prospect at my age!)

At some point, I will have some forced time off from the gym to correct a hernia, and eventually an even longer hiatus if I break down and fix a shoulder issue. Not looking forward to either “vacation,” but maybe it will be part of a reset process.

Melatonin is worth checking out. I assume you do not have sleep apnea? Could be worth looking into, as that may cause low testosterone.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-16964783

Why is it important for you to train 5 times a week with weights for extended periods of time? Are you convinced that less is not more? For me less is far more, but I had to severely overtrain my body before discovering it (and I suspect that period may have done permanent damage to my body and explain my problems today).

Not overtraining and holding workouts below the one hour mark is one of the things recommended for cortisol reduction. Now, you don`t know if you even have abnormal cortisol yet, so I`m just throwing it out there.

Originally Posted by meatbuilder
I might try supplementing with licorice root extract as an experiment. According to Charles Poliquin, it extends the half life of cortisol. If I have low cortisol, by boosting a.m. levels might help to
establish more normal rhythms and better sleep. I’ll also look into testing.

GY

I use licorice root extract. It works well for me. I use it first thing in the morning.I have stage 3 adrenal fatigue. I have to dose hydrocortisone 4 times a day to be able to function. Believe me, you don’t want to get to this stage. Make sure your adrenals are ok. Your sleep pattern is not good. Possibly it’s just from overtraining. Overtraining is another word for adrenal fatigue.

Do you drink things like gator-aid? The reason why I ask is, people with adrenal issues have a problem holding on to sodium in their system. There is a ratio of potassium to sodium that the body tries to maintain. Getting too much potassium, if the adrenals are weak is very bad. It is recommended that people with poor adrenals drink salted water. I use a half teaspoon of seasalt in 8 oz. water 3 to 4 times per day. It’s not very pleasant but it helps big time.

Have you ever had your morning glucose tested?

Now please be aware, I don’t know much about your general health. I have not read the entire thread. I may be barking up the wrong tree here. It just seems that things you’ve posted sounds similar to my situation.


Starting stats 3/2/12: BPEL 5.625, EG 5.375, Flaccid L 3.50, Flaccid G 5.125, Mild to moderate ED

Goals: It's growing and looking good. ED is slightly better. 4/30

Renholder: I agree that no one “needs” multi-hour workouts twice a day. I just love the process itself even though it is clearly not the best strategy for maximizing gains (sick puppy, you say?). Plus, I’ve done it for so long that its a pretty entrenched habit. Still, since I’m now experiencing problems that could be attributed to over-training, I’m going to try to make some changes and stick with them for a while at least. (No sleep apnea. Several years ago when I was bulking, 20 pound heavier, and an extra inch or so in neck size, I had a mild case, with a few long intervals of not breathing but only very low CPAP pressure tried. Fortunately, it (and complaints of mega-snoring) went away completely when I shed a few pounds, because I did not like the machine at all.

Bowie Knife: Can you tell me about your licorice extract use and dose? The Poliquin piece I saw talked about a cream, but doesn’t say anything about dose. However, his own web site markets an oral form and it looks like it aims for 600 mg once or twice a day. As I understand it, oral is sometimes associated with increased blood pressure. That might be great for someone who has really crashed, but I’m not there at this point. When I donated a kidney, I remember one of the main points of long term advice was keep the BP in check. So if I go oral I should keep an eye on it.

Oh, I rately have anything like Gatorade, but maybe I should consider it, since I nevet salt food. As far as I know I’ve nevet had blood glucose tested. (If the transplant folks looked at it, it must have been fine, since nobody ever flagged it for discussion.

Anyway, after this last thing I promise to stop hijacking the hypogonadism discussion!

Originally Posted by meatbuilder

Bowie Knife: Can you tell me about your licorice extract use and dose? The Poliquin piece I saw talked about a cream, but doesn’t say anything about dose. However, his own web site markets an oral form and it looks like it aims for 600 mg once or twice a day. As I understand it, oral is sometimes associated with increased blood pressure. That might be great for someone who has really crashed, but I’m not there at this point. When I donated a kidney, I remember one of the main points of long term advice was keep the BP in check. So if I go oral I should keep an eye on it.

Oh, I rately have anything like Gatorade, but maybe I should consider it, since I nevet salt food. As far as I know I’ve nevet had blood glucose tested. (If the transplant folks looked at it, it must have been fine, since nobody ever flagged it for discussion.

meatbuilder, since you have one kidney, I don’t feel comfortable with suggesting courses of action to address any situation. Since I am not a doctor and I don’t know your situation, I don’t want to cause any harm to you if you should pursue any type of treatments that I mentioned.

I will suggest to do the adrenal saliva test to see where you stand. Taking shots in the dark with licorice root may not be a good idea. The salt ingestion probably is not a good idea for you.

Please take very good care of yourself.


Starting stats 3/2/12: BPEL 5.625, EG 5.375, Flaccid L 3.50, Flaccid G 5.125, Mild to moderate ED

Goals: It's growing and looking good. ED is slightly better. 4/30

Thanks, bowie knife. I don’t want to push you where you are not comfortable going.

I’ll probably try some licorice root orally and just watch the BP. If I see an adverse pattern, I’ll just drop the oral and either find the cream or abandon the experiment.

I don’t want to create a false impression about the BP issue. As I understand it, elevated BP is hard on organs generally, and it doesn’t really discriminate on the basis of how many organs you have. Chronically elevated BP would simultaneously damage both kidneys in a person who has two. Because medical issues that affect only one kidney are apparently quite rare, donation has practically no affect on anticipated donor longevity. So really, I’m just trying to be a good former patient and do what everyone should do concerning BP.

Originally Posted by meatbuilder
Renholder: I agree that no one “needs” multi-hour workouts twice a day. I just love the process itself even though it is clearly not the best strategy for maximizing gains (sick puppy, you say?). Plus, I’ve done it for so long that its a pretty entrenched habit.

Is it twice per day five days a week or did I misinterpret you?

Only you know how hard you are pushing yourself and if you are stronger from week to week you should probably not worry, but this does not sound ideal considering the symptoms you are presenting here. Do you take deload weeks with regular frequency?

Depressing testosterone levels and general well-being by training too hard is very common and I have experienced it first hand myself.

Quote
Although overtraining can have a damaging impact on your performance in the gym, your hormone levels also pay a heavy price.

In one study, a group of five endurance-trained men were studied before, immediately after, and three months after overtraining, which was defined as twice the previous average weekly training volume with unchanged intensity [4].

Basal testosterone levels decreased by almost 40% (from an average 8.68 ng/mL to 5.37 ng/mL). Cortisol levels also rose by nearly 50%, going to 215.3 ng/mL from 145.7 ng/mL.

Although both cortisol and testosterone had returned to normal three months after the men resumed their previous training program, the same can’t be said of their sperm count, which remained 52% lower than baseline.

You got it right, Renholder. I’ve been doing it so long (maybe 8 -10 years) I never really gave it a thought, since I never experienced things I would have associated with over-training. Even with that split, I generally hit most bodyparts only once a week, so individual muscle groups got (and sometimes needed) substantial recovery time. I haven’t really incorporated deload periods (unless no gym was available on vacation). However, without any formal regimen, I definitely had periods when I pushed harder or less hard. Anyway, since I feel like crap now, I’m planning to get the cortisol saliva test and see what that tells me, and I’ll make some changes in the gym for now.

I am tired of feeling like Elvis is never in the building. Today, I spent about an hour and a half looking for my turned-off phone - which I later found in plain view in one of the places I checked at least three times. A little later, I went to a movie to beat the heat (bad storm downed lots of trees and knocked power out). After parking the car, I managed to leave the engine running (and the air conditioner on full blast) through the movie. On a good day I’m pretty bad, but lately its just been ridiculous.

On a different note, my recent lab work is partially back. Total T is somewhere in the low to mid 200s. (I got an oral report but don’t recall the precise number, if he gave it to me.) Free T and SHBG weren’t back yet. However my free T was consistently low in the other testing, so I’d be surprised if that was much different.

Originally Posted by meatbuilder
Vikingwhore: I’m curious about what your disrupted sleep pattern is like. I saw some references to being tired despite a good night’s sleep and some references to getting sleep but not at normal times, but I’m not clear what’s going on.

I wonder if there could be a connection to your workout schedule. I saw you do double split workouts and at least sometimes have pre-workout green tea. I wonder if some combination of post-workout cortisol levels and pre-workout stimulants might be affecting your sleep, especially if your p.m. workout is fairly late in the day. If you do have a blood check, it might be worth trying to include cortisol, since high levels can affect sleep.

I have done double split workouts 5 days/week for years, and I’m beginning to wonder if it might be contributing to my sleep issues. I frequently have high volume, longer duration workout that violate the “maintain high intensity and get done quick” rule - even though I believe the rule to be sound. I don’t do green tea (tried the extract once and it was the ONLY supplement I ever found too nasty to swallow). However, I do consume large quantities of coffee all day. (I’ve self-medicated with coffee for decades, and except for an occasional acid stomach issue, that has never messed with my sleep.)

I have no problem getting to sleep (possibly because I engage in minor sleep deprivation during the work week). However, most nights I wake up after a couple of hours - not “wired,” just wide awake. After a half hour or an hour, I usually get back to sleep, but it prevents a prolonged period of deep sleep.

Anyway, I know a few guys who don’t like p.m. workouts because they feel too amped to sleep for quite a while afterwards. If double split workouts are driving up your cortisol levels, or if you are just particularly sensitive to cortisol, maybe that could be the issue?
Alternately, it sounds like you have been through a lot in the last year and maybe your neurotransmitters are still trying to get re-set.

Hi, no I don’t split my workouts I finish my workout within 75.mins and train anything from 3- 5 days a week making sure to get enough rest, which is key.
Have also cut down on the caffeine, but still I have trouble sleeping, have been this way for years. ( Or did you perhaps mean double-split by me including HIIT workout 3 times a week right after hitting the weights?)

As you say it might just be my neurotransmitters, have heard it might take years. Will get my cortisol levels checked as well just to be sure.

I do have the same problem with waking up after a couple hours of sleep with that ‘wired’ feeling’, and I usually end up staying awake for hours after that. Sometimes I might feel tired and sleepy through the whole day due to not getting enough sleep thinking that, tonight I will sleep well, but when the night time comes I might end up wide awake through the whole damn night, that’s right about when I start feeling psychotic and depressed.

Thanks for the tip and response. Appreciated.

Originally Posted by meatbuilder
You got it right, Renholder. I’ve been doing it so long (maybe 8 -10 years) I never really gave it a thought, since I never experienced things I would have associated with over-training. Even with that split, I generally hit most bodyparts only once a week, so individual muscle groups got (and sometimes needed) substantial recovery time. I haven’t really incorporated deload periods (unless no gym was available on vacation). However, without any formal regimen, I definitely had periods when I pushed harder or less hard. Anyway, since I feel like crap now, I’m planning to get the cortisol saliva test and see what that tells me, and I’ll make some changes in the gym for now.

I am tired of feeling like Elvis is never in the building. Today, I spent about an hour and a half looking for my turned-off phone - which I later found in plain view in one of the places I checked at least three times. A little later, I went to a movie to beat the heat (bad storm downed lots of trees and knocked power out). After parking the car, I managed to leave the engine running (and the air conditioner on full blast) through the movie. On a good day I’m pretty bad, but lately its just been ridiculous.

On a different note, my recent lab work is partially back. Total T is somewhere in the low to mid 200s. (I got an oral report but don’t recall the precise number, if he gave it to me.) Free T and SHBG weren’t back yet. However my free T was consistently low in the other testing, so I’d be surprised if that was much different.

Yes, I definitely think you should give it a thought. Take one week completely off and see what happens. It will be tough, but you`ve got nothing to lose.

In a way, this could be really good news if you have in fact been depressing your testosterone levels by over-training, since you may be able to find a natural solution. I don`t personally see a problem with hitting the weights five times per week, but twice per day as well? If you prefer such a regime (5 days and ONE workout), make sure your workouts are below the hour mark and volume is moderate.

Personally, three days per week is more than enough for me and I rarely pass the hour mark.

Deconditioning is a very important part of my workout regime. I`ve had 4 weeks now with consecutive higher weights and hit an all-time high in deadlift and bench last week. This 5th week is deload and I will perform one single workout where I do bench, dead, chins and a few other compound lifts WELL below failure. Back to normal resistance training the week after.

Mid 200s does not sound very good. Was it mid 500s last time?

Let us know what happens.

Regards,

Renholder

Yeah, last time was mid 500’s, although the doctor thought the result was suspect.
My doctor’s on vacation for a couple of weeks and then I’m on vacation, so I probably won’t get the other results until late in the month.

Meantime, I’m planning to take a leave of absence from the gym this week. Then maybe I’ll cut back to one shorter duration workout for a week, followed by more time off during my vacation, and then reassess.

Originally Posted by meatbuilder
Yeah, last time was mid 500’s, although the doctor thought the result was suspect.
My doctor’s on vacation for a couple of weeks and then I’m on vacation, so I probably won’t get the other results until late in the month.

Meantime, I’m planning to take a leave of absence from the gym this week. Then maybe I’ll cut back to one shorter duration workout for a week, followed by more time off during my vacation, and then reassess.

Sounds good.

Have you been gaining anything at all with your weight training regime lately?

You don`t happen to have been on a calorie deficit as well?

I still think trying melatonin is a good idea both for you and Vikingwhore, but it may take some weeks to get settled in a “normal” sleeping pattern.

The cortisol test should be interesting. I hope to get one done myself.

The “making gains” question isn’t completely easy to assess. In the last part of 2010, I was doing post-donation workouts. A week or so after the procedure, I held myself to maybe 30% of normal loads for those things I could work (no abdominal stress allowed), and gradually worked up to regular loads over a 6 week period.

However, not too long after I was back to normal I had a bad lisfranc fracture and got a deep vein thrombosis in my calf/leg. So, I spent a long time on crutches and in a boot, with prohibitions bearing weight on the broken foot. For a month or two, pain and swelling from the clot seemed to drain most of my energy,, so gains were out of the question. When that subsided, I did the best I could to keep workouts as challenging as possible, but I found workouts were more about maintenance or minimizing losses than making gains. Plus, as energy levels came back and workouts improved, I think it affected my metabolism of the blood thinners and kept me in a sub-therapeutic INR range, so the clot kept growing most of the year (despite high dose meds).

I finally resolved the clot in late December and promptly resumed taking sports supplements for the first time since I began the transplant saga (which dragged on for almost 3 years). I would say I made really good progress during that time in the areas I was targeting - though obviously starting from a diminished baseline in some areas.

Anyway, given my age (can’t really expect major load increases forever), recent history, and some additional twists (including yet-to-be-addressed shoulder orthopedic issues that force deliberately submaximal workouts in certain areas), you can perhaps appreciate how “gains” might be a difficult yardstick for assessing overtraining in my case.

I plan give melatonin a shot soon. Thanks for planting that idea.

Melatonin.

I would like to comment on this. I’m a regular user. Some tips my sleep doc gave me are this:

Try to get the 1 mg dosage. Most grocery stores sell a 3 mg version which is overkill; way more than your body naturally produces.

Take it 2 hours before your scheduled sleep time e.g. if you plan on going to bed at 10, take it at 8.

Cycle it, take breaks. For me, when the bottle runs out, I wait a week before I buy the next one.

It is sometimes referred to as the “dark” hormone, meaning it makes you sleepy when you perceive it to be dark (night). Siting in front of a tv or monitor could interfere with this. Turn the lights down an hour or two before going to bed, wear a sleep mask.

One possible side effect is nightmares/bad dreams. If you experience these, reduce the dosage (cut the pill in half, etc).

It works best if you have a regularly scheduled sleep time. If you work rotating shifts, forget it. Also, you don’t want to be operating heavy equipment while under the influence of this stuff.

Now that all the warnings are out of the way, I just want to say I like using it. I’ve tried otc sleep aids and they usually leave me feeling groggy in the morning.

My favorite place to buy it is here:

http://www. physicianformulas .com/store/Scripts/prodview.asp?idproduct=77

They sell a 1 mg version that is sublingual and mint flavored. Yum!

Sweet dreams. :-)

I don’t want to be “that guy” but I haven’t been on here for a few years, only recently within the past month or so but I came down with hypogonadism shortly before I stopped my PE’ing and logging on, Could someone give me at least a gist of what to do for hypogonadism? please? I read the part about melatonin, I know that it helps with HGH but my issue is HCG and overall testosterone levels, my test levels are at around 310-325, my doctor refused to give me anything and now I’m unemployed and have no insurance, and from what I understand is that most insurances in the USA don’t cover such treatments.

A quick rehash of the thread would be nice, and no I am not lazy, I have a lot of PE literature to catch up on! So thanks in advance :)

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