Low testosterone

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Discussion

cjs 28

157 posts

196 months

Wednesday 9th June 2021
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I use Optimale after getting nowhere with the nhs . Saw their private doctor who explained it’s like a lottery with the NHS and men’s health .
I pay £89.99 / month and have two blood tests a year

pidsy

6,980 posts

134 months

Thursday 10th June 2021
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cjs 28 said:
I use Optimale after getting nowhere with the nhs . Saw their private doctor who explained it’s like a lottery with the NHS and men’s health .
I pay £89.99 / month and have two blood tests a year
Thanks for that. They seem to be a bit more transparent in what they offer. Made contact with them so we will see what happens.

Chainsaw Rebuild

1,700 posts

79 months

Thursday 10th June 2021
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This might be a silly question but, could you see the private Dr at first then go back to your GP and say "I have been taking this treatment privately and it is working for me, can I have the same thing on the NHS now we know this is what I need?"

Calza

1,699 posts

92 months

Thursday 10th June 2021
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get some red light on your balls for 15 minutes a day!

unseen

142 posts

138 months

Thursday 10th June 2021
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I'm really sorry to read about the hoops some of you chaps are having to go through to receive adequate treatment. My symptoms started around my early 40's with low energy / libido and mood fluctuations including horrible anxiety (for no reason) - I thought I was going mad at the time but stumbled across low T as being a possible cause. I went to my NHS GP and had a test (always best done first thing in the morning) which confirmed Low T and was then referred to an NHS Endocrinologist for further investigation (physical exam, blood tests and MRI). Confirmed secondary hypogonadism - basically my brain (pituitary gland) was not consistently sending the signal to my nuts to produce sufficient T.

've been on Testosterone replacement therapy for about 3 years now - initially the gel and for the last two years a quarterly Nebido injection. The gel gives a much more natural steady level of T but it caused rashes on me so I switched to the injection (which stings like a female dog) and gives a more pronounced peak and trough in levels so is a slightly more compromised experience but easier to live with on a day to day basis.

Hope those seeking treatment are successful and my very best wishes.

272BHP

3,098 posts

213 months

Thursday 10th June 2021
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Chainsaw Rebuild said:
This might be a silly question but, could you see the private Dr at first then go back to your GP and say "I have been taking this treatment privately and it is working for me, can I have the same thing on the NHS now we know this is what I need?"
It is possible but usually the options open to the NHS are limited. A good private practice will tailor the treatment to you and have access to many forms of Testosterone, HCG, E2 blockers etc whereas the NHS will offer a gel, sustanon or nebido and that's probably your lot.

The NHS will also want you to be between 10nmol and 15nmol total T at your trough reading and that means you are probably not going to feel great all the time. A private clinic will be quite happy to keep you at higher levels if your body can handle it and if you feel happier at those levels.

If someone makes the commitment to pay for their own treatment with savings on other parts of their lifestyle like limiting alcohol, food treats etc then the difference they can make to their health and well being could be astonishing.

cjs 28

157 posts

196 months

Thursday 10th June 2021
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Definitely more options privately, at first you think the cost per month is expensive but like sky tv you just get used to paying it !
I was on sustanon for the first 12 months but after the second blood test changed to enanthate. Originally on .5 per week but now on .6 , again after blood test it was recommended that I inject.3 twice a week to keep levels more stable .

Sim75

656 posts

116 months

Monday 14th June 2021
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Very timely thread for me.
Total T levels are around 8-12, Free T is 2.9 - which is right at the bottom end (2.7 - 12 being the range)
FSH and LH were typically 1 and 1.5 respectively and MRI showed no issues with my pituitary gland.

Have had all the typical symptoms for many many years - constant tiredness and fatigie. Irritability. Headaches. Anxiety. You name it.
I've gone through thousands of pounds in vitamin suplements as well as being on anti depressents for a few years (which did help a bit) Although i've since read that SSRI's can push your T levels up a bit so that might explain why the relief was way more immediate on those tablets than expected.

Bloods for everything else is absolutely fine.

Private endo has given me a presciption for Nebido injections, but if i'm being honest i think i'd rather take the gel and ease myself in.
NHS doctors have said they will pick up treatment once stabalised, but not initially. I've managed to get everything thus far covered on BUPA, but doubt that will continue as they don't cover prescriptions nor monitoring.

Just been googling the Ledger clinic in Doncatser and the Mens Health clinic in Poole. A one stop shop to handle all the tests and monitoring does seem attractive. Money wise, i'd bloody pay 10 x that to feel normal again!

Does anyone have any experience with either of these places?
Where do you guys normally go for blood tests?

Four Litre

1,685 posts

169 months

Monday 14th June 2021
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Sim75 said:
Very timely thread for me.
Total T levels are around 8-12, Free T is 2.9 - which is right at the bottom end (2.7 - 12 being the range)
FSH and LH were typically 1 and 1.5 respectively and MRI showed no issues with my pituitary gland.

Have had all the typical symptoms for many many years - constant tiredness and fatigie. Irritability. Headaches. Anxiety. You name it.
I've gone through thousands of pounds in vitamin suplements as well as being on anti depressents for a few years (which did help a bit) Although i've since read that SSRI's can push your T levels up a bit so that might explain why the relief was way more immediate on those tablets than expected.

Bloods for everything else is absolutely fine.

Private endo has given me a presciption for Nebido injections, but if i'm being honest i think i'd rather take the gel and ease myself in.
NHS doctors have said they will pick up treatment once stabalised, but not initially. I've managed to get everything thus far covered on BUPA, but doubt that will continue as they don't cover prescriptions nor monitoring.

Just been googling the Ledger clinic in Doncatser and the Mens Health clinic in Poole. A one stop shop to handle all the tests and monitoring does seem attractive. Money wise, i'd bloody pay 10 x that to feel normal again!

Does anyone have any experience with either of these places?
Where do you guys normally go for blood tests?
I can recommend the MHC in poole. Not your usual doc but worth a visit.

272BHP

3,098 posts

213 months

Monday 14th June 2021
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anonymous said:
[redacted]
That statement could be taken two ways, which way did you mean it?

andyA700

1,092 posts

14 months

Wednesday 16th June 2021
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Back in 1995 (In my mid thirties) I was supposedly very fit (cycle racing) but started to get very tired, couldn't sleep well. Went to the doctor and he put me on T patches (Had to give up the racing temporarily). Within a couple of weeks using them I was getting irregular heart beat, so the GP stopped them. From 1996 to 2001, I became more tired went from 70kg to 100kg, gave up sport etc. I then discovered something online called Sleep Apnoea and challenged my GP about it. I was sent to a sleep clinic and they found I was stopping breathing during my sleep at the rate of 68 times per hour. The clinic put me on CPAP and I started sleeping properly. I now have much more energy, do a lot of walking etc.
I just hope the OP comes back, because a lot of what they said was applicable to my case.

toohuge

3,343 posts

193 months

Thursday 17th June 2021
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anonymous said:
[redacted]
I hope I’m not due a parrot …..

I think what the poster means …. Gyms are a good source of natural T from weight lifting and also a source for obtaining T from other means smile

FNG

Original Poster:

3,679 posts

201 months

Friday 18th June 2021
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andyA700 said:
Back in 1995 (In my mid thirties) I was supposedly very fit (cycle racing) but started to get very tired, couldn't sleep well. Went to the doctor and he put me on T patches (Had to give up the racing temporarily). Within a couple of weeks using them I was getting irregular heart beat, so the GP stopped them. From 1996 to 2001, I became more tired went from 70kg to 100kg, gave up sport etc. I then discovered something online called Sleep Apnoea and challenged my GP about it. I was sent to a sleep clinic and they found I was stopping breathing during my sleep at the rate of 68 times per hour. The clinic put me on CPAP and I started sleeping properly. I now have much more energy, do a lot of walking etc.
I just hope the OP comes back, because a lot of what they said was applicable to my case.
I'm still here! Health Matters isn't in my favourites and I'm fked if I can find how to add it, so I don't see the thread pop up until it occurs to me and I go looking. Not helped by post concussive syndrome which means my memory is dogst.

My appointment is a week on Wednesday. I'm broadly expecting the consultant (hmmm, perhaps expecting too much already!) to be pretty clueless or outline how the target is to get me to 10-15nmol, and then go private so I have a chance of getting myself to the ideal level not a broad brush target level... but am prepared to give them a chance, hence waiting for the consultation.

Regarding sleep apnoea, I'm aware of it and have talked it through with my wife and my doctor in the past, and neither of them think I have it. Having said that, my sleep is worse in the last couple of years than it's ever been, so it may be a thing now.

One thing at a time though. Let's see what treatment for low-t does for me, then I have a chance of seeing how much of my current cognitive limitation is head injury, and if I'm still dog tired then I can start looking at my sleeping.

Big Rig

8,604 posts

164 months

Saturday 19th June 2021
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Can anyone recommend a good private T clinic in the Midlands? I suspect I could be low. I’m 41, have zero sex drive (last time 8 years ago) even treating “myself” to “myself” is maybe a once monthly occurrence now.
Mood swings, I cba to do anything, no passion for life anymore. There’s other things that point strongly to depression which I will address after a t test.
This also started around the time I started injections Enbrel for RA which I believe doesn’t have a side effect of sex drive loss but I could be wrong. I also take a lot of cocodemol and anti inflammatory drugs and I’m overweight. I don’t smoke or drink.
I worked shifts for 10 years and presumed they were responsible for my terrible sleep patterns and quality of sleep but I’ve been aiming day shifts for last 17 months and I still every week have 1-2 nights where I’m still awake at 3am when I have to be up at 5am. When I’m not at work I’ll clean the house then get back into bed and just watch YouTube videos or read books.

I’ve become extremely introverted the last 8 years since the weight gain, feel like I’m largely lost in life atm. My last single close friend announced last week he’s getting married and instead of being happy I shed a tear and was sad for days that I’m gonna be on my own for the rest of my life because I can’t currently see me every having sexual desire ever again.

If it’s only cheap to get you t level checked I’d really love to rule it out.

Sorry for the long post

Edited by Big Rig on Saturday 19th June 23:17

272BHP

3,098 posts

213 months

Saturday 19th June 2021
quotequote all
Big Rig said:
Can anyone recommend a good private T clinic in the Midlands? I suspect I could be low. I’m 41, have zero sex drive (last time 8 years ago) even treating “myself” to “myself” is maybe a once monthly occurrence now.
Mood swings, I cba to do anything, no passion for life anymore. There’s other things that point strongly to depression which I will address after a t test.
This also started around the time I started injections Enbrel for RA which I believe doesn’t have a side effect of sex drive loss but I could be wrong. I also take a lot of cocodemol and anti inflammatory drugs and I’m overweight. I don’t smoke or drink.
I worked shifts for 10 years and presumed they were responsible for my terrible sleep patterns and quality of sleep but I’ve been aiming day shifts for last 17 months and I still every week have 1-2 nights where I’m still awake at 3am when I have to be up at 5am. When I’m not at work I’ll clean the house then get back into bed and just watch YouTube videos or read books.

I’ve become extremely introverted the last 8 years since the weight gain, feel like I’m largely lost in life atm. My last single close friend announced last week he’s getting married and instead of being happy I shed a tear and was sad for days that I’m gonna be on my own for the rest of my life because I can’t currently see me every having sexual desire ever again.

If it’s only cheap to get you t level checked I’d really love to rule it out.

Sorry for the long post

Edited by Big Rig on Saturday 19th June 23:17
I would tell your GP everything you just said here and leave nothing out. Get them to do a battery of tests and go from there.


popeyewhite

15,830 posts

97 months

Sunday 20th June 2021
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anonymous said:
[redacted]
Firstly, the rise in T gained from weight training is tiny and short lived. Secondly if you're on T replacement above a certain dose you're effectively on 'gear' anyway. All 'gear' is basically exogenous testosterone in one form or another. Don't be fooled, many gym goers on T replacement find new levels of strength and recovery but they're basically on a similar cycle to a beginner level AAS course.

FNG

Original Poster:

3,679 posts

201 months

Wednesday 30th June 2021
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Well, appointment was today.

Doc heard all about my head injuries (I've had at least 6 concussions).

Checked out down below while I nonchalantly looked at the ceiling, all ok.

Bloods next week to check all hormone levels, to see if pituitary is working.

Commented that my result of 5.4 (or is it 5.6) is "slightly low" which caused alarm bells to ring.

Ultimately he thinks this all started around the age of 19 (I'm 48 now) as a result of my third concussion which was all wrapped up in being beaten severely in a random attack - cue depression, agrophobia, and high stress levels for a few years.

His summary:
- if the pituitary gland isn't working then he can look at supplementing hormones incl testosterone
- if it's working, I need counselling and/or other (unspecified) help to reduce stress levels, or live with it

So I understand the medical position, it's a two way cycle between pituitary and nads, the cycle's broken, need to determine if the gland has been mullered by me hitting my head off hard things repeatedly or whether it's ok and "just" that I've entered a vicious circle / downward spiral of low mood / anxiety / low sex drive / whatever, and it's perpetuated. I recognise that for a number of reasons I'm permanently in a state of stress to some extent or another, so this does seem plausible but I'm not convinced the most likely treatment route (counselling) is credible.

Am concerned at him calling 5nmol "slightly low" - given trans athletes need to be sub-10nmol for a year to be considered female surely 5 is very low?!

Am very concerned at the prospect of a recommended treatment being to reduce stress levels. I had counselling for about 2.5 years as a result of a post concussive syndrome diagnosis and it's helped enormously but still my symptoms of low-T have got worse; I honestly don't see how repeating that is going to be transformational.

So I suspect the answer is "go private" which will kick start me into feeling better and get into a positive loop, and I'm starting to research that now, but would welcome any other comments / experiences that could help, or correct me if my analysis of today's meeting is wrong.

Edited by FNG on Wednesday 30th June 13:04

budgie smuggler

4,547 posts

136 months

Wednesday 30th June 2021
quotequote all
FNG said:
Well, appointment was today.

Doc heard all about my head injuries (I've had at least 6 concussions).

Checked out down below while I nonchalantly looked at the ceiling, all ok.

Bloods next week to check all hormone levels, to see if pituitary is working.

Commented that my result of 5.4 (or is it 5.6) is "slightly low" which caused alarm bells to ring.

Ultimately he thinks this all started around the age of 19 (I'm 48 now) as a result of my third concussion which was all wrapped up in being beaten severely in a random attack - cue depression, agrophobia, and high stress levels for a few years.

His summary:
- if the pituitary gland isn't working then he can look at supplementing hormones incl testosterone
- if it's working, I need counselling and/or other (unspecified) help to reduce stress levels, or live with it

So I understand the medical position, it's a two way cycle between pituitary and nads, the cycle's broken, need to determine if the gland has been mullered by me hitting my head off hard things repeatedly or whether it's ok and "just" that I've entered a vicious circle / downward spiral of low mood / anxiety / low sex drive / whatever, and it's perpetuated. I recognise that for a number of reasons I'm permanently in a state of stress to some extent or another, so this does seem plausible but I'm not convinced the most likely treatment route (counselling) is credible.

Am concerned at him calling 5nmol "slightly low" - given trans athletes need to be sub-10nmol for a year to be considered female surely 5 is very low?!

Am very concerned at the prospect of a recommended treatment being to reduce stress levels. I had counselling for about 2.5 years as a result of a post concussive syndrome diagnosis and it's helped enormously but still my symptoms of low-T have got worse; I honestly don't see how repeating that is going to be transformational.

So I suspect the answer is "go private" which will kick start me into feeling better and get into a positive loop, and I'm starting to research that now, but would welcome any other comments / experiences that could help, or correct me if my analysis of today's meeting is wrong.

Edited by FNG on Wednesday 30th June 13:04
Normal for the NHS mate, my level is about that and I had the exact same comment.

I actually looked up my level and it turned out it was the expected level of a 70 year old (or something like that) and took the information in with me. Dr. couldn't have cared less. Just kept reiterating that it's "lower end but within the expected range".

I said "yeah but i didn't come here because of the number, i came here because of the symptoms" which seemed to move things forward.

Another annoyance is they always go on about erections, there's so much more to it than that.

Edited by budgie smuggler on Wednesday 30th June 14:00

FNG

Original Poster:

3,679 posts

201 months

Wednesday 30th June 2021
quotequote all
Thanks for the feedback, good to know it’s pretty normal and a bit st. Means there’s room for improvement biggrin

My answers to all the questions will have indicated low-T and the numbers don’t lie either - but he fixated on my head injuries and I think convinced himself that’s the reason for low-T.

While that’s highly probable, it’s naive in the extreme to hear that the patient has had years of counselling, but still got worse, and then advise that the patient needs counselling…

To me, it’s in their hands to kick start the system again with injection or gel. Trying to find root cause is lovely but I’m not a lab rat, I’m a patient looking for a viable solution not a recommendation to talk about it and / or change everything in my life so I don’t encounter stress. Even if that was possible.

We will see what the pituitary tests say. But I think I know where this is heading so I may as well get making alternative contacts ASAP.

popeyewhite

15,830 posts

97 months

Wednesday 30th June 2021
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budgie smuggler said:
I said "yeah but i didn't come here because of the number, i came here because of the symptoms"
Very well put.