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Author Topic: Still Symptoms? Maybe It's Not Just Estradiol  (Read 20054 times)

Kierkegaard

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Still Symptoms? Maybe It's Not Just Estradiol
« on: February 24, 2015, 07:24:19 pm »
Here's an interesting thing I noticed.

When I was on intramuscular shots my estradiol (obviously) was a good deal higher (absolutely and relative to my T) than since I've started subq shots.  While on IM I got my estradiol up to about 60 pg/ml with obvious symptoms, but not bad enough that I was unable to work.  Since being on subq, a few months ago I could get to around 25 pg/ml before I started having symptoms, and any higher would result in the same approximate symptoms as when I had my estradiol at 60 pg/ml while IM.

About a month ago, for whatever reason (finding my right dosage that isn't too high, starting turmeric, etc.) my SHBG dropped by about 20 points and my free T shot up compared to my old number.  So now I can get free T to around 18-20 pg/ml with about 50 mg a week of test (with E2 levels at around 20 pg/ml), whereas a month ago (again, for whatever reason) 77 mg per week resulted in about 16-18 pg/ml of free T.

My "aha" moment came when I started noticing that even when my estradiol number got lower (but not too low) and I was having the same symptoms (intermittent fatigue, bloating, water retention, sleepiness, head fog, insomnia, etc.), my free T was getting higher.  What does this mean?  That my free T is the most likely candidate between it and estradiol for causing problems.

Which got me thinking.  What else can higher free T levels screw with?  That led me to thoughts on aldosterone, a stress hormone (given that this hormone involves water retention/bloating problems).  But what happens when you look up aldosterone on a hormone tree?  It ultimately goes back to progesterone and pregnenolone.  What else is connected to pregnenolone?  Cortisol!  Okay, so maybe there's a connection with cortisol or another hormone. 

I don't know what the connection is.  I know my DHEA is very high, which should mean my cortisol is relatively low.  Low cortisol could mean that my ACTH and other stress hormones are higher than they should be. (My understanding is that cortisol is a glucocorticoid, which works in response with primary stress hormones such as epinephrine, norepinephrine, and others, such that low cortisol might mean that these primary stress hormones are more likely to run amuck without cortisol moderating them.)  I also know that Dr. Gordon and Dr. Crisler talk about "backfilling" DHEA and pregnenolone because these hormones tend to get lower as people are on TRT.  So I'm planning on checking my pregnenolone and progesterone soon and seeing what could be up.  My sense, though, is it might be a cortisol problem during those intermittent times when I'm having symptoms.  Again, the conclusion is that it probably isn't estradiol by itself that's causing problems, like I used to think, but the increasing free T levels; another bit of evidence is that the best two weeks of my life involved low doses of IM injections (30 mg every four days), meaning free T around 10-12 pg/ml, at which time I felt the best ever: best sleep, best clarity, best sex, etc.  This realization with the stuff above is making me think that maybe, given my biology (and lack of knowledge of other hormones, such as cortisol, growth hormone, etc.), having lower levels of free test is really the best, not so much estradiol, and could be a reason for why IM injections might be better for me: lower T but not too low estradiol like you get on subq injections.

Anyone have experience with getting pregnenolone, progesterone, and/or cortisol tested before and/or after TRT?

ETA: Peak has mentioned the mystery of some guys having higher blood pressure when they're on TRT.  I have this problem, but only for half a day or a day with slight elevations after my injection.  I also have a higher pulse and sometimes a sense of being ramped up.  All of these can be determined by cortisol.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2015, 07:44:36 pm by Kierkegaard »
"The same thing that makes you live can kill you in the end." -- Neil Young

March 2014: Dx low T (158ng/dl)
September 2015: Dx hypothyroidism, other adrenal hypofunction
2016: chronic fatigue, unspecified

Depression and anxiety guide: http://www.peaktestosterone.com/Help_Anxiety_Depression

euphorixx1

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Re: Still Symptoms? Maybe It's Not Just Estradiol
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2015, 07:35:43 pm »
This is exactly what I am experimenting for the past 2 weeks or so I switched my injection protocol to be:

60mgT E3d with 250IU HCG, IM.

Between 1/9 and 2/3 My T and E came up to 949(tt) 32.5(FreeT) and 29(ultrasensitive E2)

I slowly, began waking up with more and more anxiety.  Caused by nothing.  Yesterday I could barely sit still at work, everything drove me nuts, every email, every person.... I felt so god damn anxious...

I too have DHEA in the 500s, so cortisol should be low...but I still have weird anxiety.

Today was supposed to be another injection, but I skipped it... I already feel much calmer.  This is fantastic information, but I think you are right... freeT might cause issues in guys that have high DHEA.

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Re: Still Symptoms? Maybe It's Not Just Estradiol
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2015, 07:35:43 pm »


euphorixx1

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Re: Still Symptoms? Maybe It's Not Just Estradiol
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2015, 07:37:31 pm »
TO note.  I am going to go a few more days without injecting and see how I feel..I think I am going to find out that I need very low test doses to feel OK... maybe 80mg a week or so...

Kierkegaard

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Re: Still Symptoms? Maybe It's Not Just Estradiol
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2015, 07:49:24 pm »
The question for me is whether it's my cortisol that's too low or it gets too high around injections.  Your symptoms, euphorix, sound like they could be cortisol-related.  The biggest question of all might be whether estradiol has anything to do with this elevation in nervous-like symptoms. 

An experiment could pretty easily figure this out.  Get a 4x/day salival test, but instead of taking it at four different times in the day, take it four days in a row relative to your injection at the same time and after relaxing yourself (deep breathing, meditation, etc.) for a little to make sure no extraneous stressors confound anything.  If you see a significant change on the day of or following your injection, you can bet cortisol is the issue after all. 

I also would like to know the influence pregnenolone and possibly progesterone have on things.  Preg is the master hormone of the body, so it's pretty important, so checking it could be helpful and supplementing as needed. 
"The same thing that makes you live can kill you in the end." -- Neil Young

March 2014: Dx low T (158ng/dl)
September 2015: Dx hypothyroidism, other adrenal hypofunction
2016: chronic fatigue, unspecified

Depression and anxiety guide: http://www.peaktestosterone.com/Help_Anxiety_Depression

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Re: Still Symptoms? Maybe It's Not Just Estradiol
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2015, 07:49:24 pm »


euphorixx1

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Re: Still Symptoms? Maybe It's Not Just Estradiol
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2015, 07:55:10 pm »
Well I incorporate HCG into my protocol, not sure what that does besides keeps my testicles full.

I will know if its E2/freeT related in a few days, since I am skipping my injection. My E2 and FT will drop, so if I feel less anxious I know those are the cause.

THe funny thing is for most of the time on TRT I Have had ZERO anxiety.  Its only when my T gets over 900 and stays there, that anxiety comes back...the two have to be related.

PeakT

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Re: Still Symptoms? Maybe It's Not Just Estradiol
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2015, 08:29:08 pm »
Well I incorporate HCG into my protocol, not sure what that does besides keeps my testicles full.

I will know if its E2/freeT related in a few days, since I am skipping my injection. My E2 and FT will drop, so if I feel less anxious I know those are the cause.

THe funny thing is for most of the time on TRT I Have had ZERO anxiety.  Its only when my T gets over 900 and stays there, that anxiety comes back...the two have to be related.

What's your SHBG right now.  Any idea?
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If you are on medications or have a medical condition, always check with your doctor first before making any lifestyle changes or taking new supplements.  And low testosterone is a medical condition.

euphorixx1

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Re: Still Symptoms? Maybe It's Not Just Estradiol
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2015, 08:32:00 pm »
Well I incorporate HCG into my protocol, not sure what that does besides keeps my testicles full.

I will know if its E2/freeT related in a few days, since I am skipping my injection. My E2 and FT will drop, so if I feel less anxious I know those are the cause.

THe funny thing is for most of the time on TRT I Have had ZERO anxiety.  Its only when my T gets over 900 and stays there, that anxiety comes back...the two have to be related.



What's your SHBG right now.  Any idea?

16
« Last Edit: February 24, 2015, 09:17:55 pm by PeakT »

PeakT

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Re: Still Symptoms? Maybe It's Not Just Estradiol
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2015, 09:19:03 pm »
using the calculator, you come out to

28.7 ng/dL  =  3.19 %

that's pretty beefy...
THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE BOOK ON TRT/TESTOSTERONE:
https://www.amazon.com/Natural-Versus-Testosterone-Therapy-Myer/dp/1523210532/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1499116128&sr=8-1&keywords=natural+versus+testosterone+therapy
And check out my New Peak Testosterone Program: http://www.peaktestosterone.com/peak_testosterone_program
If you are on medications or have a medical condition, always check with your doctor first before making any lifestyle changes or taking new supplements.  And low testosterone is a medical condition.

euphorixx1

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Re: Still Symptoms? Maybe It's Not Just Estradiol
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2015, 09:25:53 pm »
Thats my what, freeT?

SumTingWong

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Re: Still Symptoms? Maybe It's Not Just Estradiol
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2015, 09:40:21 pm »
Do these changes coincide with you changing your DIM dosage?
I am not medically trained or qualified. This is not medical advice.

Kierkegaard

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Re: Still Symptoms? Maybe It's Not Just Estradiol
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2015, 10:24:10 pm »
Do these changes coincide with you changing your DIM dosage?

No influence. I've kept my DIM dosage the same.
"The same thing that makes you live can kill you in the end." -- Neil Young

March 2014: Dx low T (158ng/dl)
September 2015: Dx hypothyroidism, other adrenal hypofunction
2016: chronic fatigue, unspecified

Depression and anxiety guide: http://www.peaktestosterone.com/Help_Anxiety_Depression

electrify

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Re: Still Symptoms? Maybe It's Not Just Estradiol
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2015, 12:53:48 am »
I have been wondering about cortisol too. On HCG mono I just had it tested and it came out to 13.3 which is not that much of an increase from a baseline of 11. Ideally should be 17-20 right?
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Kierkegaard

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Re: Still Symptoms? Maybe It's Not Just Estradiol
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2015, 02:28:57 am »
I have been wondering about cortisol too. On HCG mono I just had it tested and it came out to 13.3 which is not that much of an increase from a baseline of 11. Ideally should be 17-20 right?

Not sure. One brilliant poster on another board said that HCG can be helpful in increasing cortisol because perhaps LH and FSH are involved in cortisol production, and these two hormones shut down when your body is on testosterone but not HCG.
"The same thing that makes you live can kill you in the end." -- Neil Young

March 2014: Dx low T (158ng/dl)
September 2015: Dx hypothyroidism, other adrenal hypofunction
2016: chronic fatigue, unspecified

Depression and anxiety guide: http://www.peaktestosterone.com/Help_Anxiety_Depression

euphorixx1

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Re: Still Symptoms? Maybe It's Not Just Estradiol
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2015, 02:46:45 am »
One interesting thing to note, is that before I had some anxiety symptoms I did 2 injections of 50mgT and 500 IU HCG... so that likely shot up my estradiol(these injections were last week)  In the meantime I ran out of HCG... SO i havent been getting my HCG... I wonder if suddenly dropping this caused some issues.

Regardless I am going back to HG subQ 125IU ED.

Kierkegaard

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Re: Still Symptoms? Maybe It's Not Just Estradiol
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2015, 03:20:20 am »
Another interesting find: apparently cortisol can bind (albeit weakly) to aldosterone receptors, meaning any bloating you feel from testosterone can be due (whether or not estradiol is a player or if it's "just" T) to cortisol increase rather than aldosterone.
"The same thing that makes you live can kill you in the end." -- Neil Young

March 2014: Dx low T (158ng/dl)
September 2015: Dx hypothyroidism, other adrenal hypofunction
2016: chronic fatigue, unspecified

Depression and anxiety guide: http://www.peaktestosterone.com/Help_Anxiety_Depression

Peak Testosterone Forum

Re: Still Symptoms? Maybe It's Not Just Estradiol
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2015, 03:20:20 am »