This is my first post. I came here after googling about testosterone replacement options. But I'll get to that in a second.
What's my point in posting? Looking for advice and maybe just feedback from others in a similar situation. Plus I have my first appointment with an endocrinologist in the morning after getting a low T test.
I'm a 41 year old white male. 5'8" (lost an inch in a bad motorcycle wreck), 160 pounds. I spent all of my life up to age 31 in varying stages of obesity, peaking at about 234 pounds. I lost 70 pounds that year the old fashioned way (eat less, sweat more). I'm now in pretty good shape for my age. I run and lift 5 or 6 days a week, have a resting pulse in the 50's, and can jog 10+ miles at a 9 minute mile. My cholesterol is great.
Other health history that is probably not relevant: I broke two vertebrae and an ankle about 3 years ago. Have a 4 vertebrae fusion from T-10 to L-2.
I've been fighting a periodic stress induced problem for about 7 years now starting in 2005. I've had 4 "episodes" now. They always start in periods of high stress and last from 1 month to 6 months depending on how long it takes me to get on top of the stress. I get depression, anxiety, and I have a very specific form of insomnia where I wake up many times a night with bladder pain like I need to urinate but little or nothing is actually voided. These episodes are really hard on me, my family and my job. I've had a full urological exam, there is nothing physically wrong with my urinary tract. Plus the fact that it always comes and goes with periods of high stress unfortunately rules out physiological causes and rules in psychosomatic issues (or so I thought until my T test).
I've tried various medications for the stress, some I really disliked but finally settled on an SSRI called imipramine. It seems to increase my tolerance to stress and help with the anxiety / depression. I thought I had it beat this summer and tapered off the SSRI but with the fall came kids school stress plus wife's busy season stress plus holiday stress plus shorter days and I plunged into another episode and am currently fighting it now.
When I get into these depression / anxiety states, the only time I get any relief from the symptoms is when I am sleeping or working out / running (which is part of the reason I'm up to 12 mile runs now).
This time when I went to my doctor I requested a testosterone test. I scored a 269 ng/dl with normal listed as 348 to 1197. This test result is about 2 weeks ago. There also was a Thyroxine and TSH test that came back in the normal range.
Now I am hopeful that all of my stress related illness can be traced to the low testosterone. I honestly wish I did not need any chemicals at all to get by but I would rather replace something my body is missing than take the anti-depressants. It makes sense to me. Low T can cause depression / anxiety / insomnia. Testosterone and Cortisol (stress hormone) have an antagonistic relationship. Working out raises testosterone and that seems to relieve the symptoms. It also explains why this started "out of the blue" as my testosterone levels dropped as I aged.
Ironically, I seem to be doing a lot of the things that are reputed to naturally boost testosterone already. I eat a low fat diet except for I love nuts. I eat mostly Mediterranean style. I run, I lift, I meditate, and I try to get 8 hours of sleep a night. I was doing this before I had the test.
Tomorrow I meet with an endocrinologist and I'm trying to figure out everything I want to ask now.
Has anyone here had depression / anxiety symptoms lessened by testosterone replacement?
I am a profuse sweater and I live in SE Texas. Does that make the patch a better choice than gel?
I have a family history of prostate cancer, do I need some screening (PSA?) before I can replace?
Any advice welcome,