I am new to the forum today and it has been a nightmare 3 years for me. I cant even begin to describe in detail how terrible things have been. After reading several posts, I am encouraged to see there are others struggling with these issues and I am looking to find some encouragement, hope and some information. I will try and summarize to keep this is brief as possible:
I have always been a fairly healthy person. Take my vitamins every day, exercise as much as possible. Don't smoke, don't drink. I had a tough time about 3 years ago with a divorce, job loss etc. I was coping by going to the gym and exercising. I noticed that I was getting weaker however even though I was increasing my time at the gym. I started feeling physically weak, shaking, sometimes dizzy and faint. Went to my doctor and he said probably just stress and to keep going to the gym/etc.
The weakness continued and I could not gain any ground at the gym. I started feeling tired and wasn't sleeping well. After several months of this, I went back to the doctor for a series of tests and a physical. My total T was 239ng/dl. He told me it was flagged as low but that I should just increase my work at the gym, which I did.
Over the course of the next couple years, I became more irritable, weak, and frustrated. I have had almost every blood test on the requisition. I have had multiple diagnostic imaging tests trying to determine the cause of my extensive list of symptoms: exhaustion, insomnia, weakness, shaky, brain fog, unable to think clearly, decreasing libido, less strong errections, loss of morning errections, pain in my joints, body aches, sweating, depression, severe anxiety, feeling cold, hair loss, and the list goes on and on. Several trips to the ER and I have seen 6 different doctors, including two internal medicine specialists, two psychiatrists who put me on various anti-depressants and benzodiazepines with disaterous results, and on and on.
Most notably, I saw an endocrinologist who did more detailed testing and told me that my physical exam was good, my testosterone was low but I was "too young" to be started on testosterone replacement. He said that it would shut down my natural testosterone production permanently and that I should just try to lower my stress.
My family doctor, two internal medicine specialists and a urologist have all told me that testosterone replacement is essentially "taboo" and that other things must be CAUSING my low testosterone. They also advised against replacement therapy.
I have done everything I can think of to try and get better. I have been off work for 6 months now, on disability and barely able to function some days. I truly feel that this is not merely depression or anxiety as everyone has been telling me. I know myself, and I know there is something dreadfully wrong with my body. I have increased my Vit D to 4000IU/d due to a low test back in December and I have done lots of things to decrease stress.
I finally went to a new family doctor and gave him my story. He told me that he would be willing to do a "trial" of testosterone as an "experiment" to see if it might help. He told me however that it was his opinion that I would probably not feel any better. He gave me 100mg testosterone cypionate IM injection, once per MONTH (that's right, per MONTH) for three months. He did not explain any of the potential risks with me (figures). After the first shot, I noticed a big improvement in how I felt for about 4-8 days, then mood swings, sweats, hot flashes, etc. The rest of the month was terrible. Same response on the next shot. I mentioned to the doctor that I had a positive response each time and he told me it was "all in my head" and that there was no way it would make me feel better that quickly. At this point, I'm starting to wonder if I'm going crazy.
After a lot of research on testosterone replacement, I realized this new doctor had no idea about dosing, testing, etc. I finally decided to pay out of pocket for a BHRT clinic. They did a large number of tests and during my consult indicated to me that my Free T was "virtually non-existent" and that my E2 was "somewhat high". Everything else (thyroid, adrenal, etc) they said were all fine (see my signature for results, I have not included ALL the tests, just the relevant ones). They are convinced that my symptoms are as a result of long term low T and higher E2. I am concerned that I may even have osteopenia or osteoporosis symptoms (bone pain, trouble walking, not healing, etc).
The BHRT clinic has told me that I should start 100mg/week of Testosterone Cypionate and 0.5mg/week of Arimidex asap. I have been told I will have to give myself an injection weekly for the rest of my life (yuck, but I have a daughter and wouldn't want to put her at risk with cream) and that I will likely not be able to have more children (I'm still not sure about that). I asked them about Clomid and HcG, but they said they don't use Clomid and HcG probably wouldn't work well enough for me.
I am scared and confused because I am very unwell and have a BHRT clinic doctor saying that he has a likely solution to this 3 year nightmare but with serious lifetime implications, but all my other mainstream doctors are advising against therapy. I need to get better soon, but I cannot afford to mess things up even worse.
Any thoughts from those with experience is greatly appreciated.