Some great info already there guys - and I shall follow up each.
YES - I have seemingly noted in the past two years or so of TRT that the Arimidex compound itself, brings with it its own side effects. I have tried using Zinc and natural stuff to control E2, but to be honest I just haven't had the balls to continue on with it. As soon as I get a little bloated after a few days, I race back to the Arimidex. I should probably wait it out, as I'm lean and not gyno prone, but that thought is always there lingering. Another thing is that my skin (back particularly) has been utterly horrendous with acne. And funnily enough, I actually think this is from the Arim, not the androgenic T. In the occasions where I've stopped Arim, it seems like my skin starts clearing up in that matter of days. I've never had bad skin.
Is DIM considered the go-to E2 blocker from a natural source? Do we have an agreed standard on dosing and what to use so to speak? I definitely agree there's no set E2 across the board. High has to be VERY high and low has to be VERY low, over long extended periods of time, before damage starts being done. What I find intriguing is that I have my pre-TRT bloods and have tried matching that E2 with my now-raised test levels. Again, no difference. I'm not sure if I follow the whole test to E2 ratio being of high importance. I've tweaked each numerous times, with little to no difference.
As mentioned, I HAVE also had ongoing testing regarding Estrogen. We've tried lowering dosage to up it, and vice versa. No difference. Whenever I do get random strong morning wood, it doesn't seem to be correlated to any particular E2 level (so long as it's in range of say 15 - 33 and not crashed or through the roof), but something else driving it.
My blood pressure is also good as well. It can go up if I eat a crapload of salt, which naturally I avoid being a healthy eater.
I DID have high cholesterol before the TRT, and the TRT actually corrected it. I guess low LH wasn't giving any of that cholesterol the chance to convert to steroid hormones. My doc was most impressed with that one.
We've pulled everything I can think of off the top of my head - any suggestions for things to look for? What does concern me as stated is the DHEA, cortisol, preg, progest, etc. There's what - 26 or so steroid hormones on an endocrine axis, and we really only just look at E2, prolactin, DHT and Test. Surely others get affected / shut down when one is replaced, and need correcting.
On the porn thing - I should probably clarify actually: yeah I can, but I don't actually have "full blown ED", as I would describe it.
It's not that I can NEVER get hard, it's that it's just not reliable.
In my early 20's I could just TALK to a girl - no contact whatsoever - and I would be hard as steel-reinforced concrete. And I could have sex 3 - 4 times a day.
After anti depressants, a total babe could be naked and rubbing against me, and sometimes my mind would rather read a book. Now on TRT, other times I'd be so into it and turned on mentally, but would get only around 70% hard, barely enough for sex. Other times everything would be perfect, but after sex I would be done for the next WEEK. Forget sex even twice a day or once every day. On very very rare occasions - usually after Viagra for the most part - I can have multiple sessions a day and everything's perfect the way it was. I don't expect this naturally to be honest, but I do expect some degree of normality.
I mean, things *DO* actually work, but not reliably and when I need them to - which is how I class ED. If it doesn't work the way I expect it should, and know it can, there's a problem. Even by myself, with porn, whatever, erections are not reliable.
One interesting thing to note is that brain chemicals have a huge bearing on this and it's Serotonin that destroys sex drive in antidepressants. And I have read there's actually some brain chemical calculations of high testosterone / high serotonin, high testosterone / low serotonin, low test / high serotonin etc that influences how your mind and body works. Not to mention the various other brain chemicals. I've always felt that there was some lingering damage from the Sertraline having altered my brain chemicals, but how to test this - and knowing which one to fix is nigh on impossible. I do believe some steroid hormones even deplete and screw around with this.
I have encountered people who have fought post Setraline damage and recovery by taking Wellbutrin - another type of antidepressant that is well known to INCREASE sex drive and associated physical attributes, but I haven't done enough research yet to explore further.
By far and away the most frustrating thing being on TRT now though, is actually having that drive and energy and desire for sex, but the plumbing just not working!!!! Lucky I'm single because no woman would surely put up with this.
One last thing to note is that even using an Enanthate Ester, I seem to feel better by doing EOD injections in small amounts, rather than two 125mg or one 200mg. x4 of 50mg.
Will post bloods when I get home.