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Low testosterone?

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by Rockt, Aug 29, 2010.

  1. Rockt

    Rockt Senior Member

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    Went to see a urologist this week because I have some symptoms of kidney trouble. He was surprisingly interested in my CFS issues and said that my symptoms jumped out at him as seeming like low testosterone/hypo-gonadism, (the body stops producing, or produces very little, testosterone). So more tests, but he said he's had patients with very low energy, cognitive dysfunction, muscle mass loss, etc., rebound well from testosterone replacement therapy. He prescribes a gel that you rub on your skin.

    Anyone heard of this, tested for low testosterone, benefited, etc? I'd love to hear your feedback because this gives me some hope for help. It's also a serious undertaking because I think once you commit to hormone replacement you're on it for life... and it's expensive, (though I'd rather be poor than sick).

    Here's an article I found relating low T to CFS, (from http://www.fibrotalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=111&t=1260&p=6138):

    Male Menopause & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
    Editor: An older article but it's informative, well-researched, and one of the few articles on this topic.
    ============================================


    Male Menopause & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
    by John W. Addington


    It might come as shock to some but men can suffer from a form of menopause similar to what women endure. In fact this malady, sometimes called male menopause, shares a number of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) symptoms. Could it be then that some men thought to have CFS are actually suffering from this treatable hormone deficiency instead? While the answer is not so straightforward, often those treated for male menopause find relief from at least some of their "CFS" symptoms.


    What is Male Menopause?


    Male menopause has been studied for decades although it often goes by other names. Some experts feel the name "male menopause" is inappropriate since this condition varies somewhat from the better-known condition women endure. The outcome for women going through menopause is infertility, while men may still be capable of reproduction in their 70s.


    Dr. Todd Nippoldt, a hormone doctor at Mayo Clinic, explains another difference. "Female hormone production plummets over a relatively short time frame. In men, there's a gradual decline in the production of male hormones." Thus the decline in production of sex hormones in most men is usually slow and progressive.


    Nevertheless there is considerable variation among men in that tapering process with a resultant variation in symptom severity. Dr. Robert Tan, a Geriatric specialist, has extensively studied and written about male menopause. According to his research, Dr. Tan informs that "not all men undergo male menopause to the same degree or extent." Echoing this comment a Geriatric Nursing article on male menopause states, "in men, the experience of hormonal decline varies greatly."


    Which hormones are involved in this age-associated decline? Primarily testosterone and DHEA. The testes chiefly produce testosterone with a portion the body's supply also coming from the adrenals. This hormone is responsible for stimulating male sexual characteristics, libido, and the development of male sex organs and the production of sperm. Testosterone also aids in protein synthesis, immune function, the growth and muscular development of men and supports skin and bones.


    DHEA mainly comes from the adrenal glands and this hormone in turn generates the production of testosterone. DHEA has anti-stress and immune strengthening properties along with the ability to improve sleep, mood and energy levels. Because of its contribution to vigor and vitality DHEA is sometimes called the fountain of youth.


    Other hormones that decline with age and contribute to the symptoms of male menopause are growth hormone and melatonin. Reduced growth hormone leads to diminished muscle and bone strength as well as low energy levels. Reduced melatonin disturbs proper sleeping cycles needed for normal growth hormone production.


    Hypogonadism is a condition similar to male menopause. Hypogonadism simply means a decrease or altogether missing production of hormones produced by the testes. Unlike male menopause, hypogonadism does not necessarily relate to the aging process and may cause infertility. Otherwise, many symptoms between the disorders are the same. Hypogonadism can result from a disorder of the testes themselves or dysfunction of other glands which control the testes. Tumors, trauma, radiation, genetics, surgery, drug usage or nutritional deficiency may be the initial cause.


    What Are the Symptoms?


    Dr. Anton Dotson from the Cenegenics Medical Institute in Los Vegas lists some of the symptoms of male menopause as


    Decline in muscle mass and strength


    Increase in body fat mass


    Decrease of bone mass


    Decline in sex drive and sexual difficulties


    Decreased sense of overall well-being, perception of energy level, and vigor


    Decline in stamina and exertional performance


    Decline in cognitive skills, concentration and memory


    Coronary artery disease and higher cholesterol levels


    Dr. Alan Mintz, from the same medical institute, explains that symptoms can "include loss of strength (if left untreated, this can lead to gradual muscle atrophy); loss of energy (getting tired early in the evening, falling asleep in front of the TV); stiffness and aching of muscles and joints." Most experts agree that chronic fatigue is a primary symptom of having diminished sex hormone levels.


    Hormone balance whether in women or men, contributes to emotional stability. That explains why those undergoing male menopause may experience mood swings, irritability, depression, nervousness, and anxiety. Sleeping patterns can also be altered contributing to less-restful sleep.


    How may male menopause and CFS or FMS be related? Doctors who treat patients with CFS or FMS have found abnormal levels of sex hormones in both their male and female patients. Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum is the director of the Annapolis Research Center for Effective FMS/CFS Therapies. He states that "low testosterone is a major problem in 70 percent of my male patients with CFIDS/FM."


    Similarly, studies have shown the hormone DHEA, which promotes the production of testosterone and other sex hormones, to be low in CFS patients. Dr. David Brownstein has written several books on natural hormone therapy. He has 'observed consistently low DHEA levels in most individuals with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.' Likewise studies have shown that growth hormone which is reduced in male menopause is also diminished in those with CFS.


    That CFS and male menopause may be related seems logical based upon the research establishing abnormally low levels of the hormone cortisol in CFS patients. The hormone chain reactions that lead to proper levels of cortisol are intertwined with the hormone chain reactions that balances the testes production of hormones. Alterations in one chain can easily effect the other chain. So perhaps in some patients with CFS while the original cause of their problems may be alterations in the cortisol hormone chain, abnormally low levels of sex hormones result that actually bring on the symptoms.


    Is There Treatment for Low Sex Hormones?


    There is good news if you suffer from low levels of sex hormones. Hormone replacement therapy has been effective in bringing relief. The British Medical Journal recently discussed sex hormone replacement therapies in an article on male menopause. It noted that this therapy was valuable in relieving many of the symptoms of diminished sex hormone levels. The article spoke of one study on testosterone replacement therapy that "showed significant improvements in energy levels and tiredness."


    The Journal of Urology also recently carried an article on male menopause. This article provided a comprehensive coverage of testosterone replacement therapy. Testosterone can be administered via skin patches, creams, injections, and pills. Dermal patches best approximate the natural cycles of testosterone release. Because orally taken pills may be absorbed and dissipated too rapidly, erratic mood swings can result. As noted in The Journal of Urology injections are the "most cost-effective" method but can also have "noticeable ups and downs" in their effects.


    For his male patients with reduced testosterone, Dr. Teitlebaum recommends injections of 100-125 mg testosterone every 7-10 days coupled with daily application of testosterone cream after 8 weeks. He prefers this to testosterone patches or tablets. Explaining another approach, Dr. Teitlebaum says "I'm beginning to suspect that avoiding other possible side effects by using the hormone cream twice daily (instead of getting high and low levels by taking the shot every week or two) is better."


    Caution when receiving this kind of care is essential. Replacing diminished sex hormones is a form of steroid treatment and can have unwanted side effects. Thus when undergoing sex hormone replacement therapy it is always best to be under the care of an experienced physician. Using natural, as opposed to synthetic, hormones can greatly decrease the risks involved.


    One natural, over-the-counter product that may help with low male hormones is progesterone cream. When progesterone is absorbed by the skin it can be converted into other sex hormones including testosterone. Additionally our bodies can naturally convert progesterone into adrenal hormones found to be low in CFS patients. Further, progesterone administration can correct symptoms of an underactive thyroid including chronic fatigue and muscle aches and weakness.


    Life-style chances may assist as well since smoking, excess alcohol consumption and drug abuse can reduce testosterone levels. Exposure to excessive physical and emotional stress should also be controlled if possible as this can negatively impact male hormones. Some also encourage trying to avoid exposure to household chemicals and environmental toxins such as pesticides and synthetic foods because these have demonstrated anti-testosterone effects.


    SOURCES:


    Hypogonadism, MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia (2001) http://www.nln.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency ... 001195.htm Male Menopause: Does it Exist? MayoClinic.Com (Oct. 24, 2000) http://www.mayoclinic.com/invoke.cfm?id=MC00003


    Male Menopause-No Myth, Harvard Medical School Newsletter (Nov. 30, 2001)


    Balch & Balch, Prescription for Nutritional Healing (2000)


    Brownstein, Overcoming Arthritis (2001)


    Brownstein, The Miracle of Natural Hormones (1998)


    Dotson, Methods of Testosterone Supplementation for Men and Women, Cenegenics http://www.cenegenics.com/abstracts/abs11.html


    Gould & Petty, The Male Menopause-Does it Exist?, British Medical Journal 320(7238):858 (Mar. 25, 2000)


    Hernandez-Lopez, Drugs Do Not Relieve Male Menopause, British Medical Journal 321(7258):451 (Aug. 12, 2000)


    Kallen, Truth and Testes: The Pros and Cons of our Manliest Hormones, Men's Fitness (Apr. 1999)


    Kemp, Hypogonadism, eMedicine Journal 2(11) (Nov. 16, 2001) http://www.emedicine.com/ped/topic1118.htm


    Kessenich & Cichon, Hormonal Decline in Elderly Men and Male Menopause, Geriatric Nursing 22(1):24 (Jan./Feb. 2001)


    Lee, ProgestaCare http://internet-magic.com/6Faq.html


    Lee, Progesterone in Men, http://www.w-i-n.com/lee07~1.htm


    Mintz, Andropause, Combating Symptoms of Male Menopause, Cenegenics http://www.cenegenics.com/ccabs/abs7.html


    Perry, Complementary Medicine-Exploring the Alternatives, Saturday Evening Post 269(3):58 (May-June 1991)


    Rose & Block, A Woman's Guide to Male Menopause, Lets Live http://www.letsliveonline.com


    Stearns Lee, The Care of Masculine, http://www.naturodoc.com/library/hormones/masculine.htm


    Tan, Letters to Editor Re:Andropause: A Misnomer For A True Clinical Entity, The Journal of Urology 164(4):1319 (Oct. 2000)


    Tan, Male Menopause- Help is Available http://www.dnai.net/~mags/Male-Menopause.html


    Teitelbaum, From Fatigued to Fantastic (2001)
     
  2. slayadragon

    slayadragon Senior Member

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    twitpic.com/photos/SlayaDragon
    Both ME/CFS and mold illness patients seem to often have testosterone deficiencies.

    These can be issues for women as well as for men.

    Supplementation seems to be helpful for some people. It's the one hormone that I still use.

    Best, Lisa
     
  3. liverock

    liverock Senior Member

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    Before undertaking any attempt to increase testosterone levels its essential to be checked for any possible prostate cancer symptoms. This is normally done by a PSA test and digital rectum check by the doctor for any nodules on the prostate which may be indicative of cancer.

    Another problem with low testosterone levels is overactivity of the aromatise enzyme.

    As men age a lot of the T produced is converted by this enzyme to Estrogen and that can be a cause of low T.

    Some men find that using T supplementation doesnt increase T levels because a lot of it is converted to estrogen. A high level of sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) will also keep free T levels from increasing.

    I would make sure that your doctor is monitoring all these factors to make sure your hormones are increasing in the right ratio with each other.

    http://www.lef.org/protocols/male_reproductive/male_hormone_restoration_01.htm
     
  4. Rockt

    Rockt Senior Member

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    Thanks.

    Yes, I'm concerned about just supplementing Testosterone and not addressing the rot cause. The doc did order a host of tests, including PSA. We'll see.
     
  5. jace

    jace Off the fence

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    A poster on foggy friends (.org) called silverblade found testosterone replacement (using the gel) very helpful too. In fact, I haven't seen him around for months now. The ME section on his website has no new writing either. His digital art is pretty scary/cool, for those that like that sort of thing.

    Another thread teased out of the wastebasket of CFS diagnosis?
     
  6. August59

    August59 Daughters High School Graduation

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    I had low T long before I ever got CFS. My PCP just wanted to check all my hormones and associated levels. Thyroid, LH, FSH, SGBH(?), Testosterone (Total & Free), Prolactin and Estrogen. Every thing was within range except Total T was just above the bottom limit of normal and Free T was just out of the normal range. We rechecked in 3 months and Total T was now out of normal range and the Free T was even lower, but proportionally the same as before. We decided to try Androgel 5mg. and in 3 months my Total T was at 1/3 of the normal range and Free T was about 1/4 of the normal range and I felt much better and doctor decided that that was the best indicator, but did not want to get into upper 1/3 of normal ranges as this when you start to see estrogen levels rise. I have been on androgel for 8 years and my Total & Free T are still about where they were when I first started the Androgel. We recently checked Estrogen (Estrone and Estradol, I think) and Prolactin and they were all normal.
    The low T feeling that I had was a very specific and narrow feeling, where as the CFS is an ever changing multiple symptom situation and by far worse, but as you know CFS is so variable between sufferes. This probably the fact that I caught it early and I say this because I had to switch to a compounding pharmacy at one point that messed up my dosage and and my Total T dropped to 88 (very low) and I felt as if I was going to die (literally). This came on very fast and once back on Androgel I felt better within the first week.
    My advice is to check all levels of all hormones to determine why it is dropping and I would always check it at least twice before starting Low T therapy. Keep the T at the lowest possible dose that it takes to relieve symptoms. Chronic pain meds will drop your T like a brick and you have to supplement the T or stop the meds.
    Another practice being used now is using HCG to jump start testosterone production and then seeing if it will stay up.
     
  7. markmc20001

    markmc20001 Guest

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    worked great, for awhile

    I tried the gel and creme from a compunding pharmacy. They were like magic for awhile. everthingy just started working. Appetite, sex drive, motivation, mental clarity, energy, mood. However, after a few months I crashed hard. Very hard.
     
  8. Rockt

    Rockt Senior Member

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    "Another practice being used now is using HCG to jump start testosterone production and then seeing if it will stay up. "

    This sounds interesting, but what is HCG?
     
  9. Rockt

    Rockt Senior Member

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    Mark, what did your doc say? With such +'ve results, is there any way to adjust the testosterone to get back to where you felt good? It sounds like you were on to something.
     
  10. jace

    jace Off the fence

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    Sorry to say, I emailed silverblade, and he's pretty crashed too. I know the testosterone helped him for a while...

    Have I not read that it is hormones that bring MLV's out of latency? A little knowledge being a dangerous thing :worried:
     
  11. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Hi

    I first tried chinese herbs, then a compounded gel, then testosterone injections. No benefit at any dose, only annoying side-effects (like a solid wall of acne over 95% of my skin ie everywhere). I gave up on it. It is strongly suspected that it will trigger XMRV. If you are XMRV or MLV positive, it could induce a major worsening of your illness. Proceed with caution, and discuss this with you doctor. XRMV has an androgen receptor for a reason.

    Bye
    Alex
     
  12. kerrilyn

    kerrilyn Senior Member

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    I tested low for testosterone (and progesterone) and had a doc who said no wonder I was so tired etc and if I used T, it would restore my energy and muscle strength. I started using a bio-identical cream at a dose on the low end of the dosing range to begin with. I didn't notice a difference so the doc said to increase it.

    Within 6 months I had gradually moved up to the top of dosing range and was still waiting for something remarkable to occur. The doc told me that my testosterone was now elevated, but didn't seem concerned. When I got a copy of my results, I saw that it wasn't just slightly elevated, but double the highest number in the reference range. Only thing I had noticed was that I was now cranky. My poor husband couldn't breathe right for my liking, so I stopped taking using the cream and stopped seeing that doctor. He seemed to become angry at me because I wasn't improving as he thought I should. I also thought it was interesting that my progesterone level was not increasing as rapidly as the testosterone was.

    I think it's important to have hormones working optimally and be balanced but I needed a doc who was going to monitor things better and that guy wasn't it.
     
  13. Otis

    Otis SeƱor Mumbler

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    I agree with Alex here. I started supplementing T with Androgel and within days had a low-grade fever that lasted for 6 months and still reappears well after year after I stopped. My Dr. was encouraged by a increase in energy that accompanied the T replacement. He didn't believe my fever could be triggered by the T even though I insisted it was and kept me on the T.

    I finally insisted we stop and my fever partially remitted. It turns out that XMRV can replicate in the presence of androgens, which is what I think happened. I've not yet been tested, but I'm much, much worse than I was.

    I don't know for sure it was the T, but watch your other symptoms and trust your instincts if you are having problems as a result of the T, I wish I had.

    Best wishes,
    Otis
     
  14. markmc20001

    markmc20001 Guest

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    My doc didn't know what to say. He was pretty new at the time I think. However, we tried all the hormones and in different combinations and could never get the testosterone to work right. Or any benefit for that matter. I stopped for weeks and gave it another shot and never got it to work again.

    I think the testosterone may have made me a bit worse than when I origianlly started, some reason I have that impression but really can't remember why I feel that. I had uncontrollable anxiety for weeks afterwards I know that.

    I believe hormone dysfunction is part of why I feel lousy though. I have come close to getting there with the right vitamin combo, chelation, detox(sauna), and yoga. however can't maintain.

    good luck.
     
  15. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1

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    I had no available testosterone at all on testing.. so gyno put in a testosterone implant.

    Since that day the implant was put in, i got my insomina back and now cant sleep at all at night!! Energy wise... things are no different at all for me (thou my already high sex drive has increased either further so now im suffering from even more sexual frustration).

    . It didnt help my mood swings like the gyno thought it would either.

    Take care.. apparently testosterone triggers XMRV and hence the less you have, the less XMRV replication going on. Maybe that is why i got the insomina back! and of cause the XMRV has been implicated with aggressive prostate cancer, so in guys this is even more something to think about.
    .....

    There is a guy on the not crazy CFS forums thou who has ME/CFS who has found to be deficient in testosterone and who has found it to be very helpful but Ive heard far more say testosterone has been an issue for them then those who it has helped.
     
  16. jace

    jace Off the fence

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    And some people find it helpful to start with, and then find they have to pay a high price for a temporary benefit.
     
  17. August59

    August59 Daughters High School Graduation

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    I had low T and have benefitted greatly from Androgel, but my low T came along a few years before I got CFS. My thoughts on starting testosterone is to start slow because it didn't drop in one day and I don't think you should try to normalize it in day. When I first found out my testosterone was low I still felt good as my levels were just below the normal range (Total = 220, Range = 241 - 827)(Free = 6.5, Range = 6.8 - 21.5). They eventually fell to a Total = 92 and Free = 2.6, which resulted in a feeling as bad as the worst CFS crash I have ever had. I tried injections which did not work at all, then tried a compounded cream which was better but still didn't like it. I then switched to Androgel, plus I use it to mimic the natural testosterone cycle which has testosterone being at it's peak between 7am to 9am (This also the time of day that testosterone should be tested. A lot of people will be low if they had it tested at 4:00 in the afternoon as your T levels drop about 200 to 250 points from 8:00am to 8:00pm.
    My low T was actually the result of chronic pain medication, which is very common problem that is not followed up on as it should be. It also raised my TSH levels and although I had normal cortisol levels my cortisol would not rise in response to stress (lab test for 8:00am cortisol was normal, but I failed the ACTH challenge test). I also had bad responses to it when my testosterone levels got to high and/or got out of rhythm. Also, I'm about 99% concerned with Direct or Free testosterone levels and not so much total. My last 2 test had my Free at 7.0 and my total was 230 (below normal range).
    Again, please remember that all of this happened before I came down with CFS, but levels haven't changed as well my dosage hasn't changed either. I attached a chart of the normal testosterone cycle just for info.
    testosterone%252&#48.jpg
     
  18. hoMEy

    hoMEy

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    one of the things i noticed the couple of times i nearly recovered was that my voice got deeper and facial hair etc started to grow quicker so it would seem that my testosterone levels did boost up to full speed. even my son noticed my voice drop a couple of octaves. so i agree that reduced testosterone is present in m.e. but more as a by-product. given the right circumstances it will flow freely again. i have great concern with hormone replacement therapy, in most particular testosterone. the glandular hormonal balance of the body is very subtle and complex, to boost one area without the others is sure to lead to problems.

    not forgetting of course that this is an anabolic steroid! when the body encounters higher levels of testosterone it compensates by producing oestrogen (female hormone), hence the arrival of man boobs. also gives you a big head (physically), sticky out ears, big nose, hunched back, messes up yer dna so yer kids have physical abnormalities...and all for what??? won't cure you and you'll have to stop sometime and then you'll have a different bone structure etc...i have a few friends who take it and it makes you ugly and robs you of your higher reasoning/wit/spark.

    if you wanna increase your man woof, i recommend preserving your seed. anyone who does this for a month or two will never look back.
     
  19. Rockt

    Rockt Senior Member

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    "i recommend preserving your seed. anyone who does this for a month or two will never look back. "


    Wha'? Please explain.
     
  20. hoMEy

    hoMEy

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    lol! old tai chi and yoga idea...a tai chi teacher i used to know used to say- twice in summer, once in winter- i.e. ejaculation. i've started so i spose i'll have to finish...give yer a larf if nowt else! 2 youtube vidz>>

    part 1 preserving male sexual energy

    part 2 preserving male sexual energy

    i don't post these links cos i fully recommend or back everything they say here, but maybe topromote further research.

    as yer nads fill up thre energy flows upwards into the body vitalising each endocrine system as it goes and thus giving more life-force to the adherent. could write a lot about it, but not sure that anyone is seriously interested so i'll jus give another link and you can take it or leave it...note this is nothing to do with sex being right or wrong or masturbation etc....no moral preaching - it's purely concerned with having more energy/vitality and healing potential. try it for a couple of months if you have trhe will power and note the difference...

    you will feel more alive, vital and human, i guarantee it!

    master your sexual energy

    no giggling at the back of the class please! :Sign giggle:
     

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