This is more of a rant than anything else but allow me to take you on my 6 year long journey thru hell with trt.
6 years ago I ended up having low T which I'm pretty sure was the result of taking dhea for several months (which actually helped me by the way) then quitting it cold turkey. The first 3 months being on TRT was like magic. I literally felt like I was 18 again. I lost 25 lbs not even trying, had a hint of a six pack, had energy like crazy, horny like a teenager and my dick would stand straight up if the wind blew. But sadly that came to an abrupt halt just 3 months into it and I have felt like complete garbage ever since.
This is what trt has done to my body so far, besides the usual feeling like a complete pile of shit that has laid out in the sun, dried out, been trampled on then sucked up by a lawnmower and shot across the yard. It started with high BP around 150/100. Mind you my BP was ALWAYS 120/70 no matter what until trt came along. That started 3 months into it, possibly sooner but this is when the nurse first checked it the day I went in for a shot and told her trt was no longer working. I started having depression and extreme anger at this point.
It took two months to get in to see an endocrinologist which ended up being a huge waste of time. He took me off of trt for 2 months to check my LH and FSH levels. At the end of that two months they were high......well duh. My brain was screaming at my balls to make T but they wouldn't cooperate. My T was a whooping 370 2 months off of T. By this time I had already gained all of the weight that I had lost plus some, I had zero energy, zero ambition, zero libido and had no interest in anything. I'm still at that point right now 6 years later. I finally talked the endo into letting me do the shots myself (he wasn't even going to put me back on T even with a T level of 370) and started doing them every other day and the anger and depression subsided. This was due to high E. If my e gets above 30 it gets very very bad for me in multiple ways.
About a month into being back on T I started having severe heart palpitations, they just showed up out of the blue one day. I'm talking about all day long, 24/7 my heart felt like it would pound out of my chest. After a meal it would get even worse. For 2 hours after a meal my heart rate would be 120+ while I was kicked backed in the recliner and would pound even harder. I dealt with this for probably 2+ years then all of the sudden it fixed itself. I never did figure out what caused it. I still have minor palps from time to time but nothing like it use to be. About this same time my feet started burning like the pits of hell 24/7. You talk about misery, that will cause it. I was to the point that I thought I had become a bad diabetic so I started keeping a check on my sugar level. Guess what? It was just fine. Fasting glucose was just a tad high and after a meal I never saw it go above 140 so yeah, no diabetes wasn't causing it. Several months later, just like with the heart palpitations, the burning feet just disappeared. I have no clue.
After I got fed up with the endo because he was a complete moron I started doing my own labs and noticed that my sodium had jumped 6-8 numbers from pre trt levels, my CO2 had dropped 6-8 numbers and my potassium had went up. So I began a 3 year long journey on researching kidneys and acidosis trying multiple things along the way to get my kidneys back to normal. Nothing helped. I pee maybe twice a day now and I retain water like a woman on her period. I wake up every morning with my hands and feet swollen so bad that some times I can barely close my fist. Gee, I wonder why my BP is so much higher? I'll get back to the kidneys in a minute.
Somewhere along the way I started feeling extremely bloated 24/7 to the point where if I eat just a sandwich I feel like I have eaten a huge Thanksgiving meal. It is absolutely miserable. By the way, I have no appetite anymore. I eat because I know I have to. I use to love food but now I crave nothing. I eat a small breakfast and then supper later at night and my stomach never growls and I don't crave food but I always feel completely full. Misery.
What's next? Let's see, as I mentioned I get no enjoyment from anything, I don't want to do anything and if I could sleep 24/7 I would. I have to force myself to do my daily chores much less work on any hobbies. I don't enjoy them anymore which is the complete opposite of what I use to be. I was always planning, thinking about or working on some project, I lived for my projects and hobbies. I couldn't care less about any of them now. Oh yeah, almost forgot, I haven't had sex since I've been on TRT, that's 6 years, and you know what? I don't care. I have absolutely no desire for a woman and that is the weirdest feeling considering I use to be horny 24/7, literally.
We can't forget the fact that I had to give blood every 2 months because trt caused my hematocrit and hemoglobin to go high. I was actually told by one doctor that trt doesn't cause that.
That's weird because every time I've come off trt they both would drop back to normal.
Oh I forgot another thing, I developed a thyroid nodule that was discovered 3 months into trt by the idiot endo. That's about the only thing he accomplished was finding that. My thyroid levels are where they were pre trt but the nodule is big enough that the otolaryngologist says that it's over the size that he would normally remove BOTH sides of my thyroid. I said unless you can prove it's cancerous HELL NO. I've got enough trouble with what trt has done to my body much less having to regulate thyroid along with it.
A year and a half ago I discovered that I have "sleep apnea". Now this is where things get interesting. I live alone so I have no one to tell me if I actually quit breathing so I set up a camera and recorded myself sleeping for about 2 months. I would also wear a pulse oximeter that records, I would look at the data and see where my o2 would drop, then I'd go to the video and see if I had in fact quit breathing. Nope, didn't quit breathing, no snoring, no struggling to breathe either. Here's what's going on with that, for whatever reason I have become an extremely shallow breather. My o2 levels whilst awake and moving are usually 95-97. If I sit down it will drop to 92-94. When I lay down, not even about to go to sleep, it will drop to 90, sometimes 89 and that's when I'm wide awake. While I'm sleeping it will hover around 91-92 but then dip into the 80's ever so often. Ever since I discovered this I've paid attention to my breathing and I breathe very very shallow most of the time. I can take a "normal" breath and my o2 jumps to 99+. I have a theory about this and here it is, remember my CO2 has dropped 6-8 numbers? Well from what I have gathered from research is that CO2 levels control your breathing rate. If your co2 is high you will breath more rapidly and deeper trying to blow off the co2. So I figure since my co2 is low I am breathing less and shallower therefore I have "sleep apnea", but not from obstruction. I also have a touch of central sleep apnea because sometimes as I am falling asleep I wake up and take a huge breath because I am just not even attempting to breathe. Never before have I ever had that happen until trt. Ain't it wonderful???
Did I mention my eyesight? Part of that could be my age, I am 47, but I do know that when I'm on T it gets a lot worse. Driving at night I see three road signs instead of one and looking at my phone for more than ten minutes makes my left eye watery and they both start getting goop in them and I have to lay the phone down for awhile.
Next, about 14 months ago I decided I was done with trt so I quit the t shots altogether. About 5 days later out of the blue just like with the heart palps and burning feet I all of the sudden acquired asthma. I'm not talking about an asthma attack every once in awhile. This stays with me all day and all night. It feels like I have an elephant sitting on my chest or somebody has me in a bear hug all of the time. I thought maybe low T was causing it so I got back on T a few months later and stayed on it for 2-3 months with no change to the asthma. I still have it severely to this day. Primatene mist inhalers do nothing, albuterol inhalers do nothing. The only relief I get is from mucinex nasal spray with oxymetazoline in it (yes a nasal spray will make my asthma vanish for a few hours and it feels wonderful) or a double dose of diphenhydramine and sometimes nyquil. Of course those two knock me out so I don't actually get to enjoy being able to breathe for very long. I usually will fight the sleepiness until I can't take it anymore just so I can enjoy the relief for just a little while.
This leads me to the next thing that has happened. My nose stays stopped up quite a bit now. I have had to become a mouth breather because of it. Allergy meds do absolutely nothing for this either. The only relief I get from that is with the mucinex nasal spray I mentioned earlier. Mind you, I've had allergies for 20 years but my nose NEVER stopped up from them, NEVER. The worst that would happen would be sinus pressure around my eyes and forehead and antihistamines would take care of that. They do nothing now. That reminds me, it seems like no meds at all have any affect on me. It's like all of my receptors are dead and nothing works on me with the exception of mucinex and diphenhydramine helping my breathing. But here's what sucks, if I use the mucinex for more than a couple of days the rebound effect from it is unbearable so I try to only use it when I must have some relief from the asthma. I hope the asthma goes away on its own just like the heart palps and burning feet did but I'm doubting it will. My father died from a lung disease a year ago, he lasted 2.5 years with it, so yeah I'm a wee bit worried about my lungs right now. It's like all of the sudden my body is overflowing with histamine. I've done some reading on this but my mind just won't let me focus on things anymore.
The sheer fatigue that I feel every single day just wears me down. I have no strength, no physical stamina at all and I hurt all over all of the time. My memory is non existent now and my mind is a jumbled mess most of the time now. I use to have a memory like an elephant and could reason and think with the best of them. Now sometimes I feel like just your average everyday moron because I can't even think half the time.
This is my latest theory on while I feel like a big pile of shit. Like I said earlier I've studied on the kidneys for several years thinking the acidosis was causing most if not all of my trouble and it could be but nothing I have tried has fixed it. In all of my reading on the kidneys dopamine was never mentioned. Well I started researching dopamine a few months ago and guess what I discovered? Dopamine plays a huge role in sodium excretion. In fact, dopamine affects a lot of different things in the body. Anyway, here's the theory, if my dopamine is low or receptors are dead for whatever reason then the low dopa is causing me to retain sodium, hence my sodium level jumping up. This in turn causes my aldosterone to be low, did I mention my aldosterone is non existent? From what I've read sodium levels can directly affect aldosterone so if my sodium jumps up then my aldosterone drops. Aldosterone basically supercharges the kidneys to get rid of acids in the urine. If my aldo is low then I'm not getting rid of acids which will in turn cause low co2 (which is mostly bicarb on a lab test which helps buffer acids) and low co2 equals acidosis, Acidosis wreaks havoc on lots of things in the body. I don't know f any of this is actually what's happening but it's all I have to go on right now.
Low dopamine can also cause asthma. We also know what low dopamine does for energy, stamina, libido, drive, ambition etc, in other words all the crappiness I'm feeling right now.
I'm sure I've left out some small things but you get the point and that point is trt has wreaked havoc on my body and I'm afraid it's not done yet. I'm at a dead end road now because I have no clue what to do next. If dopamine or dopamine receptors are my issue then I'm probably screwed for life. If you are new here I beg of you to try everything possible before going on trt, go down every avenue, exhaust every option before you start playing with hormones because it can ruin your entire life. If this is how I have to live for the rest of my life then i don't think I'm going to make it much longer. I would give up everything I own if I could back up and never take that first shot of T and try everything else first. It is wreaking havoc on my body and I'm not even a resemblance of the man I once was.