Lifestyle Training My Experience Finding Optimal Treatment

trt testosterone replacement therapy review

Note – This is the final of a four-part series. Click here for Part 1, here for Part 2 on symptoms, and here for Part 3 regarding my TRT results.

Update 2/01/2016: After a brief hiatus, (now is once again taking patients. Use the code Lewis27 to get a free consultation, $25 off your monthly fee, and another 10% off your first month.

After my low testosterone diagnosis in March 2014, I was chomping at the bit to begin correcting my problem.

Little did I know at that time that I was still 5 months away from finding a medical provider who understood what I needed and was ready to help me receive adequate treatment.

If you're struggling with low T symptoms or a low T diagnosis, the last thing you should have to deal with is a resistant medical professional.

Many doctors are hesitant to provide treatment, while others are willing but unfamiliar with the most current, safe, and effective methods and complementary medications.

These are major barriers to entry for most guys in need of TRT.

I encountered all of this first hand and, after many hours of online research, was relieved to find (

I've been a customer with them for a little over a year now and the difference between them and my previous doctors is unbelievable.

Below, I'm going to share my struggles with two different doctors and then my experience with the good folks at (

But, before you know what to look for in a care provider, it's important to know what constitutes optimal treatment.

What is the ideal treatment protocol?

While testosterone replacement therapy is still a relatively young field and will likely continue to evolve over time, there are definitely better approaches to treatment emerging.

Not all delivery methods are created equal, sometimes other medications are needed, and the timing of all these factors can play a huge role in your results.

So let's take some time to discuss these factors in greater detail.

The problem with testosterone gels

Although extremely popular due to heavy marketing, gels tend to be hit or miss.

They’re highly dependent on absorbency, which can vary from person to person and day to day.

Most men have great success with gels at first as they’re very fast acting (peak within a day), but first hand accounts report that they become less effective over time.

The thickness of the skin at the application site can affect absorbency. So applying to your shoulders one day and your flanks the next may result in slightly different dosing.

Whether or not you use your hands or another object for application is also a factor as a portion of the medication can be lost in the thick skin of the palms and never make it to the blood stream.

The hydration status of the your skin should be considered. Moisturizing is important, but you have to be careful not to use a lotion with an oil base as it'll block absorption of your gel.

There's also the risk of transferring testosterone to others through physical contact. At the time I was seeking treatment, my wife and I were trying to conceive, so gels were definitely out for me.

There's also the inconvenience of daily application and timing considerations for water sports or extreme sweat-inducing activities.

In a nutshell, there are simply too many variables with topical applications.

One thing to note about using creams and gels is that they closely mimic the natural fluctuations in testosterone throughout the day. You get a spike of testosterone in the morning after application, and then a dip as the day goes on.

Whether or not there is any benefit to this isn't apparent, but it's worth mentioning that gels provide a more natural hormonal rhythm which may prove to be beneficial in the future.

Why choose injections 

When manipulating hormones, accuracy and consistency are essential. And that means injections are best.

What is the ideal injection frequency?

If a doctor is pushing anything less frequent than once weekly injections, run the other way.

Guys who receive large but infrequent injections typically feel like Superman for the first 5 to 7 days, but feel worse than before they started treatment in the next week or weeks that follow.

This is due to the exogenous testosterone suppressing natural production. So once the supplemental testosterone leaves the body (with a half life of 8 to 12 days), you're left with levels worse than when you started.

So you're basically out of luck until your next injection.

Just know that weekly or twice weekly injections are best. And for that, your doctor needs to be okay with you doing self-injections.

One shortcoming of injections, aside from having to stab yourself, is that they don't provide a normal fluctuation throughout the day as gels do.

After injection, testosterone levels slowly rise, peak around Day 3, and then slowly diminish over the next few days.

hCG and AI

As I mentioned in An Intro to Testosterone and TRT, it's important to be mindful of the body's response to hormone manipulation

This is a major pain point for most patients. Not because it's difficult to manage, but because a lot of care providers prescribe the bare minimum medications and don't pursue optimal treatment.

Even if guys do manage to find a doctor willing to accept their symptoms as legitimate and prescribe testosterone, many have difficultly obtaining the supporting medications involved in optimal TRT.

Countless accounts of doctors refusing to prescribe hCG and an AI can be found on any forum.

Even in the presence of estrogenic side effects (like sore, puffy nipples) and atrophied testicles, many doctors will decline to prescribe an aromatase inhibitor or hCG.

This forces many patients to rely on inferior over-the-counter substitutes, make illegal purchases, or live with unnecessary side effects.

My experience finding treatment

I've mentioned that I had a difficult time finding the right doctor, but what was the process like, exactly?

Here's my experience from beginning to end.

Strike 1: General Practitioner

My first step was to see my existing general practitioner.

I told her about my symptoms, describing my anxiety, depression, and complete inability to gain muscle.

I’m pretty sure she just heard that I wanted to be a bodybuilder and was looking for legal steroids, because she completely disregarded everything I said.

She actually commented that, “all these things are probably just mental.”

This felt like a slap in the face. I'm generally a very private person and have never felt comfortable talking about medical issues, even with doctors.

It took a lot for me to admit these weaknesses, as I tend to take the “show no vulnerability” approach to life.

But I could feel that something was wrong with me and I needed help.

Her resistance to even consider a blood test infuriated me. After some convincing though, she finally agreed to order the hormone screening (just to humor me).

If you want to skip this haggling process, get your blood work done through and get a free consultation, $25 off your monthly fee, and an additional 10% off your first month and when you use the code Lewis27.

When my total testosterone  came back at 289 ng/dL, she thought there must’ve been a mistake (even though the test was taken under ideal conditions – within two hours of waking up and fasted).

She had me come in for blood work again, and this time the results were 287 ng/dL.

Despite initially thinking my results were so low there was an error, she concluded that since I was near the very bottom of the reference range that particular lab was using, everything was fine.

Never mind my description of symptoms.

It was a very helpless, lonely feeling to finally figure out what could be causing all of my problems, but to not have anyone in my corner to help me with a real solution.

I insisted on discussing treatment, so she reluctantly referred me to a urologist.

Strike 2: Urologist

The urologist wanted me to have blood drawn again and it came back at 292 ng/dL. This was obviously low but he wanted to test for additional hormones, so he ordered yet another draw.

The fourth came back with a total testosterone of 225 ng/dL. This blood test was taken about 3 or 4 hours after I woke up so I was showing a normal decline throughout the day.

This makes 4 needles in my arm, many tubes of blood, and a significant time frame just to come to the same conclusion:

My testosterone was low as fuck!

Because he didn’t want to rush into putting a 28-year old man on testosterone (a very wise choice), my doctor put me on hCG mono therapy which is a lower intervention attempt at raising testosterone levels.

The idea is that, rather than introducing a synthetic version of testosterone, using hCG to mimic luteinizing hormone (LH) will stimulate the testes to produce more testosterone.

There was some initial lag time between being prescribed hCG and actually beginning my treatment.

At first, my insurance company refused to pay for the medication since they classified it as a fertility treatment and not hormone replacement.

Without insurance, a single vial of hCG was going to cost $270! I declined until I could straighten things out.

Luckily, I was able to get the medication approved over the course of many weeks and dozens of phone calls acting as a middleman between my urologist and the insurance company.

When I went in for my follow-up blood work after 6 weeks of hCG, I no longer had insurance, and was paying out of pocket.

I ended up being billed $930 for blood work alone!

trt testosterone replacement therapy review

I received a discount for paying in full up front, but it was still an outrageous sum.

Six weeks of hCG mono therapy brought my TT up to 451 ng/dL. However, my free T was still at 7.2 with a reference range of 9.3 – 26.5. So the number that actually mattered wasn’t even in the ball park.

Basically, a sedentary, 80-year old man still had higher free testosterone than myself.

Since the hCG was marginally effective at best (I didn’t actually feel a relief of symptoms), I inquired about testosterone.

My urologist started talking about creams and gels. Given the hit-or-miss nature of topicals, I wasn't interested in taking a gamble on manipulating my hormones and asked about injections.

At that point, he looked toward the ceiling, thought for a minute, and said that he was pretty sure he could do an in-office injection every month or maybe every two weeks if I wanted to go that route.

And that was it for me.

These medical professionals were basically useless and I was tired of being jerked around.

It was becoming emotionally and financially exhausting bouncing around from doctor to doctor.

So it was back to the drawing board for a while, but after much research, I finally found (now

And it changed my life.

Home run: (Now

The first thing that I have to point out is that this isn't an anti-aging clinic with salesmen dressed in lab coats.

All of the doctors in the network are legitimate, licensed professionals. My doctor, for example, has been practicing family medicine for over 25 years.

Blood is drawn by phlebotomists and analyzed by established labs (I use LabCorp). ( essentially acts as a manager between you and a network of doctors, labs, and a pharmacy that provides your treatment. Through sheer numbers, they’ve been able to negotiate very reasonable rates for TRT.

As an Iron & Tweed reader, all you pay is a $225 (regular $250) flat fee per month.

This covers the cost of everything you need including doctors visits, blood work (remember my $930 bill?), medications, and medical supplies.

The medications included are testosterone, hCG, and an aromatize inhibitor if you need it. This is the most current and safe combination for lifelong hormone replacement therapy.

There are no initiation fees, co-pays, or other hidden charges, just $225 per month for life changing treatment.

I've been using this company for a little over a year now and have never paid a single dollar other than the above mentioned costs.

My Experience with (

I currently get all of my TRT-related medical care through ( and it's been an overwhelming positive experience.

Here is my breakdown of the different components that comprise my care with (

Doctor Relationship

As I noted earlier, I initially struggled with doctors who either didn't care or didn't know how to properly treat me.

Having a severe hormone deficiency was bad enough without adding an adversarial relationship with my doctor and having to direct the diagnostic and treatment process to the list.

I've actually been severely underwhelmed by every doctor I've had in my entire life.

They all seemed to dismiss any symptoms I brought up (from my back pain, which I later found out was due to a herniated disk and broken vertebrae, to scary headaches brought on during heavy lifting), so I'd never had a positive experience with a medical professional.

Since my first two doctors were under-educated on TRT and resistant to provide treatment, much of the burden of learning about proper treatment fell on me.

So I was pleasantly surprised to find that my doctor through ( was very knowledgeable.

When I went in for my first visit, he told me that my levels were low enough to proceed and he began discussing treatment.

I was impressed because everything he was saying aligned with the most current and optimal treatment procedures and medications I'd spent so long researching.

What a relief to have a doctor I trusted to take the reigns on my treatment!

Not only does he excel at treating low testosterone, he puts me at ease when I'm discussing my treatment. I can tell him about my initially shrunken testes, emotional progress, and body composition changes without fear.

While I can't vouch for every doctor in the ( network, it should at least be reassuring that all of these doctors have willingly joined a network of medical professionals who specialize in providing TRT.

Medications and Supplies

After the first visit, your doctor will call in the necessary prescriptions.

The pharmacy will then call you to confirm your address, and the medications and supplies are shipped right to your door.

This includes testosterone cypionate, hCG, an aromatase inhibitor, syringes, needles, mixing supplies, and even alcohol wipes.

I was relieved when my first shipments arrived in discrete packaging (from LT LLC) with all the medications and supplies carefully packed away inside.

Regardless of how many medications you need and in what quantities, the monthly price is the same $225 when you use the code Lewis27.

When you're two weeks out from needing a refill, you'll login to your user account, fill out a simple refill request, and wait for the pharmacy to call you.

That's it.

USER TIP: To ensure prompt refills, I like to call customer service after my prescription arrives and ask when the earliest date that I can request my next refill will be.  I then set a reminder in my phone for that date. When my alarm goes off, I hop online and complete the form to order the refill.

Lab Work

After the initial blood test to determine whether you qualify for treatment, once TRT begins, you're scheduled for further blood work at the 6-week mark, the 6-month mark, and then every 6 months after that.

The process of arranging blood tests is all done online.

You login to your user account, download and print the forms, and make an appointment at the lab nearest to you.

You head into the lab for blood draw and they take care of the rest.

The doctors partnered with ( actually know what hormones need to be screened so you don't have to mess around with inept doctors and numerous, unnecessary blood draws like I did.

When the lab finishes the analysis, the results are provided directly to your doctor and uploaded to your account so you can view them before going for the annual in office visit.

If you're anything like me and enjoy being a proactive participant in your medical care, this is a perfect set-up.

Customer Service

My experience with's ( customer service has been quite positive.

I haven't had much need to use them, since the program is so well constructed, but I have called on a few occasions.

The main reason I've had to reach out to customer service was because I missed a dose of testosterone.

That was entirely my fault because I waited until a few days before my next scheduled dose (which happened to be the day before a holiday weekend) to request my first refill.

They were very courteous in explaining where I had dropped the ball and how I could avoid the situation in the future and it hasn't been a problem since.

Every other time I've had to call them my questions and concerns were always addressed appropriately.

In addition to the administrators who provide general customer service, I can also speak with a nurse 24 hours a day with my immediate medical questions.

In the first few weeks of treatment, I was getting hard knots and soreness at the injection site and I was able to call a nurse and get advice on injection techniques.


The real value with ( is skipping the stage where you go to multiple doctors, have blood drawn repeatedly, argue about treatment, drop a shit load of cash, and still end up unsatisfied with spotty, inadequate, or inappropriate treatment.

Please feel free to do your own research and read forums on the subject.  If you do, you'll see that the vast majority of men have a really difficult time finding doctors willing to provide the treatment they need.

From a monetary standpoint, this is still a good deal.

There is a flat fee of $225 per month with the Iron & Tweed discount (Lewis27).

So I pay $45 dollars for refills every two and a half months (which totals a little over $200 a year on refills).

And that's with the highest commonly prescribed dose of testosterone, so I have to get a refill more often than others.

You'll end up paying roughly $2,700 per year to completely change your life.

You could easily spend that much going through your insurance company with co-pays and meeting deductibles.

How to Get TRT

If you’ve read this far in the series (roughly 11,000 words in), you’re likely concerned about your own testosterone levels.

Maybe some of these symptoms sound familiar to you and you’re wondering if a simple vial of oil can drastically improve your quality of life.

If you've already corrected any major lifestyle factors that needed to be addressed, but still aren't feeling the way you want, do yourself a favor and at least get your levels checked.

Update 2/01/2016: After a brief hiatus, (now is once again taking patients. Use the code Lewis27 to get a free consultation, $25 off your monthly fee, and 10% off your first month.

If everything comes back normal, great! You can move on.

And if you find out that you have a deficiency, you'll then have the opportunity to take control and live a better life.

Now, if your current doctor is on board with the tests (and potential treatments) necessary and you're able to get the doctor visits, diagnostics, and medications/supplies covered through your insurance, by all means, DO THAT!

No need to change course.

If, however, you're experiencing road block after road block like I did, I highly recommend (

Make sure to use the code Lewis27 to get a free consultation 10% off your first month.

If you choose to get tested through ( and your levels come back just fine, they cover the cost of your initial blood work and you won't owe them anything.

And if you find that you do have low T, you'll have a team of doctors, nurses, administrators, and lab techs at the ready to help you deal with that diagnosis and start turning things around.

My Final Thoughts

I've shared a lot with you throughout the articles in this low T series.

But let me leave you with this – I now view my life as having two chapters:

Before testosterone and after testosterone. 

Before testosterone, I was physically, emotionally, and mentally weak.

After testosterone, I’m a confident, strong, man who's improved every aspect of his life.

Iron & Tweed wouldn’t exist without TRT.

What's even better is knowing that this is just the beginning for me and there's plenty more ass to kick!

All the best!


Note – This is the final of a four-part series. Click here for Part 1, here for Part 2 on symptoms, and here for Part 3 regarding my TRT results.

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  • Reply
    August 31, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    Nate, the progress you have made is inspiring. I thought I would share my experience trying to get a prescription.

    I was diagnosed with Low T at the beginning of the year. I never associated my issues with testosterone production, but I had similar symptoms to you. I was a rower in college, and the volume/intensity of my workouts led to some ED issues. It took awhile, but I eventually made it to the doctor. The first one told me my testosterone levels were normal (if I can remember about 330). That’s not normal for a 23 year old male. After visiting a new doctor, he had my levels tested again. I was prescribed 1cc every two weeks. After a month, I knew something was off. I was up for 4 days and crashed hard for the rest of the period. The dose was too small to have a real effect, something like that could have ruined my natural test. production. General Practitioners are not specialized in the field and can do more harm then good.

    I made an appointment at an anti-aging clinic. Those guys are great. They are very helpful and even give me a discount, since I am not as established as their other patrons. My dose was corrected, I inject testosterone twice a week, and an AI and HCG.

    I’m coming up on 6 months of treatment. Due to injuries, from rowing, my training was limited, but I’m back in the gym now. Your change in physique was really impressive. I’ve been noticing some minor improvements but am curious to see what will happen now that I am more physically active again.

    Keep up the great work. It is extremely motivating.

    • Reply
      August 31, 2015 at 5:28 pm

      I’m pumped to hear that you’re getting proper treatment!

      You’ve basically summarized my experience, and the experience of most other guys seeking treatment. It’s imperative that guys go to a doctor who knows what he’s doing. Most of the time, a family doctor isn’t going to cut it.

      With your athletic background, proper hormone treatment, and recovering from your injury you’ll be making physique improvements like crazy!

      • Reply
        December 27, 2015 at 11:39 am

        Hope you do realize that being in the upper limit of normal total t is not healthy in the long run. Most males only hover in the upper limit during puberty and those levels are not. constant. You would be better having your levels between 600-700 n/dl. you are injecting 200 mg/ml weekly which is basically a mild aas cycle. Majority of trt patients inject 100-150mg/ml weekly. Just something to think about as higher is not always better. Look up Nelson Vergel.

        • Reply
          December 27, 2015 at 4:57 pm

          Thanks for the feedback, Jeff. I’ll definitely consider that in the long run, but for now it’s kind of difficult to think about scaling back on something that has made such a huge improvement to my life.

          • Shawn
            September 24, 2017 at 11:43 am

            of course you’re going to feel great at 200mg, thats not HRT. It still will make a huge difference in your life if you did scale back down to 600-700. You dont need 200mg and Jeff is absolutely correct. When my levels are around 700ng I feel good but my E2 is always out of control on anything worth an HRT dose. To get to 842ng I was doing 250iu hcg E3D and 40mg test E3D which is 100mg test per week and about 600iu hcg per week and this blood test was drawn 2 days after shot so that is my peak I assume. But to be 1090 almost 1100ng is high. some need to be high but not that high.

            you need to check areas where this can affect you such as lipid and blood panel – CBC, CMP and also kidneys. how much hcg are you taking? i would def drop down to 125 and increase your hcg and you will probably even feel better and be healthier. start from there. moving up from 160 to 200 was a mistake. no you wont die but that 200mg over the long run may develop problems for you down the road.

          • Nate
            October 17, 2017 at 10:22 am

            Thanks for your concern, Shawn. My last blood draw, two days after injecting, had my total T at around 940 on 200mg test and 500 ui hcg. As of right now, all of my other numbers are within range so no problems yet. I will keep your advice in mind though.

  • Reply
    August 31, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    Nate, Im glad your doing alot better and no longer have to suffer. I was wondering if you can help me. Im 30 years old and just got my blood test results. Total testosterone 689 Free testosterone 3.7 What steps can I take to increase the T and feel better?

    • Reply
      September 2, 2015 at 10:52 am

      Dee, your total testosterone looks pretty good, but I’m concerned with the free T levels. To make sure we’re on the same page, what is the unit of measurement on your lab results and what reference range did the lab use? If that number was given as a percentage of total T you may be in good shape, but if it’s ng/dL you may have other problems such as high sex hormone binding globulin.

      • Reply
        September 2, 2015 at 6:12 pm

        Total T reference 250-1100ng/dl
        Free t reference 250-827ng/dl
        Albumin 4.7g/dl
        Globulin 2.5g/dl

        • Reply
          September 2, 2015 at 9:06 pm

          You previously listed your free T as 3.7. Can you check agin what unit of measurement was used because that doesn’t come close to the reference range.

          As far as getting your T up naturally, make sure you’re hitting the weights 3-5 days per week, eating lean meat and eggs a few times per day, and getting a good nights sleep. If you’ve got all that covered, there are certain foods and supplements that can improve your testosterone to estrogen ratio, but the effects will be relatively small.

  • Reply
    September 2, 2015 at 2:17 am

    Thanks for sharing Nate, my doctor’s office refused to draw for testosterone and drew me for a whole bunch of other bullshit, so instead I got a test kit from amazon and I’ll take and send my own sample. I really don’t get the resistance, hormones are the body’s messengers, you need them to function as a human. It goes to show that you have to take charge of your own health; you can’t expect leadership from most doctor’s since the drug and insurance companies own them.

    • Reply
      September 2, 2015 at 10:25 am

      That’s the problem right there. I understand that doctors want to be able to do their jobs and I fully respect their education and experiences. But testosterone levels are given completely different treatment than any other blood value.

      I’m positive that if you walked into any doctors office and said “Doc, I have a family history of heart disease and want to get my cholesterol levels tested” he’d test you right away even in the absence of symptoms.

      On the other hand, if you go in complaining of depression, brain fog, erectile disfunction, and anxiety, you’ll be lucky to find someone to even accept your symptoms as legitimate. If you make it that far, then you’ll likely have to argue your case to have blood drawn.

      Testosterone deficiencies are very real, but the treatment just so happens to involve giving you the hormone that makes you awesome!

      Is the kit you ordered a saliva test? Let me know how that turns out.

    • Reply
      September 2, 2015 at 11:42 pm

      Nate, excuse the last 3.7 I read it incorrectly. Apparently my free t wasn’t tested so im not sure how I would get those results.

      • Reply
        February 7, 2016 at 4:20 am

        Dee, you can calculate your Free T from your Total T, Albumin, and SHBG using online calculator (google it). Check your labs printout for SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin).

  • Reply
    September 3, 2015 at 12:50 am


    I’ve recently switched jobs and health insurance (and am saving a lot of money so I can start my own business like you) and I moved. I am not about to wait the month to two months it takes to get a PCP, get a referral to an in network Enocrinologist, wait several more months for tests to find out I don’t have hyperthyroidism and they can’t explain my Low T (free and total both lower than yours in your story and I’m 26 and healthy).

    However, I don’t want to skip the due diligence of finding out WHY I have low T.

    Any thoughts or recommendations on diagnosing the cause before going straight to treating the symptoms with Test injections?

    • Reply
      September 3, 2015 at 2:47 pm

      It’s good that you want to know WHY your T is low. Aside from lifestyle factors, most of the diagnostic process is going to have to be done by a doctor. Are you having symptoms? If so are they recent? Have you had any injuries to your head or testes? These are the questions a doctor will most likely ask you about during your appointment. He should also do a physical exam, including checking your testes for lumps. If you go to an endocrinologist, they’ll do a full hormone panel to check for abnormalities. For example, high levels of LH can indicate a problem with the testes. What this means is that your pituitary gland is essentially yelling at you testes by dumping larger amounts of hormones. Obviously, an endo will know much more about this than myself, so you won’t know for sure until you get checked out by a professional. Good luck with your health and the business!

  • Reply
    September 3, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    Thanks, Nate for bringing this issue to light!

    My personal experience with doctors was almost identical to yours.

    My symptoms were basically: lethargy, depression, difficulty at the gym. I could just tell something was wrong and suspected it might be T.

    Doctor #1 at UCSF (supposedly one of the best hospitals in the world) refused to even order a test. She reacted to me as if I was trolling for some vanity-related medication. Or like I was complaining about back pain to score Vicodin.

    Doctor #2 was in a private practice office. He ordered the test but declared it satisfactory when I showed up at the bottom of the “normal” range on the LabCorp printout.

    They never bothered to look up what LabCorp’s range meant. I did. It was a range that covered men of all ages. I was around 40 at the time and he’s telling me everything’s okay because I have the T of a healthy 80-year old.

    If I didn’t have the hunch to look up the source of that LabCorp range, I would have just slinked away without treatment, consigned to what basically amounts to a handicap in life.

    Doctor #3 was a urologist. Good intentions. He prescribed some stuff that spiked my estrogen level off the charts. I stopped taking it. He gave up and suggested Doctor #4, an endocrinologist with specific experience in these matters.

    Doctor #4 knew what he was doing, and he prescribed a low dose of Clomid to kick-start my T production. It wasn’t a giant boost, but it was enough of an improvement so that I didn’t feel helpless.

    I also implemented a number of lifestyle changes (better diet, more exercise, less uninterrupted desk time). And I started taking Tongkat Ali, which did wonders for my free-T levels.

    BTW, Tongkat Ali is not the usual hocus-pocus supplement. MIT concluded it legitimately boosts free testosterone. But the problem is finding the real thing. The popularity of this supplement has been held back by notoriously inconsistent and fraudulent product.

    My conclusion: we are still in the “wild west” days of understanding T. Most doctors don’t care enough to educate themselves before pronouncing some nonsense and sending you on your way.

    I’m sure that if this was affecting women, they’d be howling on every news program and marching on Washington.

    I wasn’t aware of, but I’m glad that resource is out there.

    • Reply
      September 4, 2015 at 1:14 am

      It’s a shame that you had to go through all of that, Steven. But it really is typical of what most men go through. Many of the guys I know who’ve brought symptoms up to their doctor have to fight to even get blood work done. We are absolutely in the “wild west” days of TRT. I’m going to have to look into Tongkat Ali a little bit, sounds interesting. Do you have before and after blood work on it’s effects or did it just make you feel better?

      • Reply
        September 23, 2015 at 7:43 pm

        The combination of all the things I did improved my T and free-T by 60% or so. However, I did not do a proper control test for the Tongkat Ali by itself. I wish I did. I felt better when I took it. Everything I did felt like a step up. The low-dose clomid, diet, exercise, & supplement.

  • Reply
    September 4, 2015 at 1:02 am

    Quick question, Nate- What is the length of contract do you sign with What is the minimum sign-up? 6 months? 1 year?

    • Reply
      September 4, 2015 at 1:44 am

      When you sign up, you’ll pay the first months fee, but it’ll be refunded if you don’t qualify after the blood work. You’ll then be billed the $199 on a monthly basis. After that, you can get out any time with three months notice. Also, you can get out at any time without penalty if an unforeseen medical condition requires you to stop treatment.

  • Reply
    September 4, 2015 at 3:06 am

    Hey Nate, enjoy your site lot of good info here. A couple years back I was dealing with some anxiety and depression and had my levels checked. Both time it came back in the mid to upper 400s. My doc actually gave me axiron and I tried it for a few weeks but I stopped taking it when I got the ache and shrinkage. Maybe a bit tmi…but it wasn’t my nuts that shrunk but my scrotum…wasn’t crazy about that. Anyway since reading more about this I gave found that the injections are better and I find myself wondering what it would feel like to have T levels at 1000. Can you describe it? Being in the 400s isn’t great per se, but it could be worse. My biggest fear with going that route at this point is that I still may decide to have kids and I’m worried I may not function sexually the same after reading so many horror stories.

    • Reply
      September 5, 2015 at 11:11 am

      I’ve heard of other guys complaining of that happening to their scrotums. Like being in cold water, right? Being at 1000 ng/dl for me feels more like the absence of all the bad, rather than being on some kind of high. I don’t want to downplay it at all because I feel great, but what I mean is that I’m not running around with limitless enthusiasm and energy. Since being on TRT I can function normally and don’t feel tired, lethargic, or depressed all the time.

      Fertility can be an issue, but from my understanding, hCG should do a good job preserving that. There is also the option of coming off treatment if the need ever arises. Most guys who come off are able to recover the same low levels they had before. And just keep in mind, TRT isn’t guaranteed to make you infertile. It’s not a reliable method of birth control, anyway.

  • Reply
    September 4, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    Wow, Nate. Awesome information. I think I’ll be saving up the money to get my T-levels tested with them as well. So the $215/month was all you paid WITHOUT insurance? That’s amazing. Does LowT .com work with insurance companies at all or do they avoid them and operate more like a regular store? Thanks for sharing this option with everyone.

    • Reply
      September 4, 2015 at 6:50 pm

      Thats all I pay WITHOUT insurance. I do have insurance now, but I don’t go through them as it’d be more expensive. doesn’t bill your insurance company, but you’re always able to submit your bills to see if they’ll pay them. I tried that about 6 months ago and have to keep calling and keeping on their ass and they seem to keep losing my claim. It’s almost not worth the effort. was the best deal I could find. Insurance companies are a pain to deal with and can still be very expensive and anti-aging clinics can charge in the neighborhood of $400 per month.

  • Reply
    September 10, 2015 at 2:45 am

    Great series. Very informative. Im a 41 year old guy , in great physical shape, very clean diet. I work outside doing hard manual labor and I lift hard at the gym 3 x a week. Despite this , I am unable to bulk on the muscle. Last year, after a period of three months with no “morning wood” and very low libido , I went and got my T-levels checked. The reading came back at 369. The doctor thought it was acceptable. I nearly laughed. But with no insurance and little extra money to spare I was limited with my options. So, over the course of the fall and winter I took heavy doses of D3 and K2 and my “morning wood” and libido came back. However, this summer I have experienced another major drop. Coupled with this is an inability for my wife and I to conceive. Your extremely well detailed articles have gotten me motivated to fix this problem. I wonder if my low sperm count (hence inability for my wife to get pregnant) is due to my having not only an extremely roller coaster overall T – level but also a low Free-T level. The free-T level they never checked last summer, so I don’t know what it is.
    Unfortunately I live in a rural region of the NorthEast making it tough to access LowTestosterones clinic for the annual visits. I wonder if any readers have any ideas for alternatives versus trying to deal with highly educated pill pushers in our “modern’ health system

    • Reply
      September 10, 2015 at 6:07 pm

      It’s good to hear that you found some low intervention supplements to help with your symptoms. Men with low T do tend to have lower sperm counts. But if your goal is to have children, TRT will most likely make it more difficult. As far as is concerned, they do offer reimbursement for travel, both flights and driving. Give them a call and see what they offer you. Worst case, you plan a once yearly trip to New York and make a little getaway out of it.

  • Reply
    September 10, 2015 at 10:14 pm

    Hey Nate,

    First off, just discovered your site through B&D. Excellent stuff man. I plan to glean some solid style info from your writing, along with other “lifestyle optimization” tips.

    I had a quick question for ya regarding TRT. Say someone was in the normal range for both TT and Free T, but towards the lower end of the spectrum in both. Will groups like LowTestosterone still be willing to administer a protocol if the individual wanted to experience what it was like to be in the “high normal” range (i.e. 1,000 – 1,200 ng/dl)? All of this assuming that the individual was old enough to warrant a protocol and was living a lifestyle that was conducive to maximizing Testosterone to begin with.

    I ask because I recently turned 31 and plan to get on TRT in the future. I’d rather not wait until I’m 60 to reap the benefits that a higher T lifestyle has to offer, ya know.

    • Reply
      September 11, 2015 at 2:12 am

      Glad to have you here, David! If you think you can benefit from TRT then the best thing for you to do is to call They have a much more realistic idea of what’s normal than your average doctor. If you’re experiencing symptoms, it’s very likely you’ll qualify for treatment. Even if your levels turn out to be too high, you’ll be reimbursed any charges. And from my experience, the doctors do get you into the optimal range.

  • Reply
    Indomitable Audacity
    September 12, 2015 at 11:48 pm

    Great series Nate, I just finished powering through it all. The thing is, I get some of the more common symptoms of low T every now and then, but I’m not sure if that’s because of a hectic, not always on my shit lifestyle or because I’m actually suffering from it.

    I wanted to ask you before I started searching online and possibly running into some substandard info. Are you aware of any alternative methods to test if you have low T?

    Where I am now, there’s nothing like standard medical equipment and people don’t go to the hospital unless they’re knocking at deaths door.

    • Reply
      September 13, 2015 at 3:35 pm

      It really does become difficult to tell if your symptoms are just a “normal” part of life or are actually signs of a deficiency. I always just assumed that life is hard and can really take it out of you sometimes. But now I’m extremely happy that I went in to get checked because I know now that life doesn’t have to be that hard.

      Another reader, Marcus, commented above about ordering a saliva test kit from Amazon. He hasn’t followed up about his results, but the kit has some really reviews online. You can look into that a little further as option.

      • Reply
        October 7, 2015 at 2:32 am

        Hi Nate,
        I will be sure to mention your name to them (do you have a good tele # / contact person there?).

        However if my tests come back “borderline”, and they are willing to prescribe but I choose not to go forward, will there be a charge? My T numbers have always been on the lower side of acceptable – but I haven’t retested in years anyhow some am curious where I’m at now (age 41).

        • Reply
          October 8, 2015 at 10:51 pm

          I sure do, Dave. Give Rosie a call and she’ll be able to answer your question about being borderline and get you all set up if you decide to go in for blood work. Her number is 281-547-7682 Ext. 102 Good luck!

      • Reply
        October 27, 2015 at 3:03 am

        Hey Nate, just a followup from my September comment:

        I did the saliva test for Free Testosterone and got 142 (range: 44-148) and then a blood spot test that gave me 394 for Total Testosterone (range: 400-1200). Not catastrophic but…NOT GOOD! Also did an estrogen test which turned up a 0.9 (range: 0.5 to 2.2). The problem from what I see is my body produces test just fine, it just doesn’t absorb it. I live 40 miles north of metropolitan Chicago so I might swing by the Low T office if I absolutely can’t raise T with intense diet, exercise, and my Anafuse / Ostashred stack.

        I really really like the Virginia Hopkins test kits from Amazon. They are reasonably priced (around $50 for single hormone tests and a few hundred for comprehensive). Highly recommended and very easy to use. I know the tests are accurate because the symptoms the questionnaire gave me…Hypo-metabolism, Low Cortisol, Low Androgens…correlate with the lab results. What I don’t get is how I have so much lean mass (at 15% bodyfat, 5’9 192 lbs) and have low T?

        • Reply
          October 27, 2015 at 1:40 pm

          It’s good that you have some numbers to reference now and can work on bringing them up naturally. It’s a little odd that you’re at the top of the range for free T but at the bottom for total T. I wonder how a blood test would compare. I’m thinking that the explanation for your high lean mass but low T points to a decline rather than lifetime low levels. Best of luck and thanks for the feedback on the Amazon test kit.

  • Reply
    What I Did in September (and the best articles from September) - Bold and Determined
    October 7, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    […] My Experience Finding Optimal Treatment […]

  • Reply
    October 16, 2015 at 8:46 pm

    Just an FYI- I spoke with a rep. and first, the travel reimbursement program as advertised on their website is not available for anyone at this time and second, they don’t work at all with people (even US citizens) living outside the USA. What a shame, since it’s difficult to find reasonably-priced treatment.

  • Reply
    November 8, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    Nate,your story,background and the progress you’ve made is really inspiring.Being 19,I think I have a decent hormonal profile because I’m satisfied with my body and I’m pretty confident,although there’s this lingering thought in my head that I could have a bit more muscle.I’ve only been lifting consistently for 1,5 year,prior to this I’d been training at home with bodyweight exercises.I hit the gym 4 days a week and eat mostly eggs,fish and meat and dairy products and I also sleep well.The only supplements I use are creatine and sleep aids such as valerian and st john’s wort tea.
    I also read Victor’s article on this subject and I was wondering what your opinion is about PHs and injectables? What I mean is that if I put in 5-6 years of ‘natural'(I hate this word) training,do you think it would be appropriate to experiment with more potent supplements so to speak? I’m not asking this because I want to use right away,because I want to take advantage of my hormonal profile for as long as possible.But at age 25-26 my hormonal output may top off and can’t really make any more gains after that.So personally I think that would be an ideal age to start using.I know you can’t advocate what I’m referring to,I’m simply curious what you think about this subject.

    • Reply
      November 10, 2015 at 1:31 am

      Bence, you sound like a young guy who really has his head on straight. At 1.5 years into lifting, you still have plenty of room to grow naturally (and you already have the girlies looking). Spend the next few years becoming a master of the gym and your diet. Once you’re in tune with your body enough that you can pick a bodyweight and change at will, you’ll be in a prime state to get the most out of a cycle. I have nothing at all against PED’s. I’ve never used any steroids, but I’m running 1 Andro right now. It’s the best legal PH on the market and I’ll be reviewing in soon. Good luck!

  • Reply
    Old Roy
    November 21, 2015 at 11:26 pm

    Appreciate your well written story Nate! Hopefully you will eventually discover the cause of your hormonal imbalance.
    I am a 71 yr old and have been on various levels of trt gel since 2011. Was originally diagnosed with low T in late 2010…TT 225, FT 2.3. Started out on 6% gel which provided TT 755, FT 3.5 within 4 months, then crashed to TT 320, FT 2.0 3 months later. Applied gel with DMSO and levels jumped up to TT 650, FT 4.0, then back down to TT 220, FT 1.5. This cycle continued it’s roller coaster ride until Sept of 2015.
    Had CBC panel done in late Aug 2015, and discovered that my blood count was completely out of control. HGB 20.2, HCT 58.7, RBC 6.9. Doctor had me terminate TRT and I donated a unit of blood which then brought my blood count back to the high normal range. Hematologist then did more test to rule out polycythemia vera. Apparently the polytythemia was induced by TRT. Phlebotomy every two weeks until my HCT drops to 44 or less, then I can start TRT again. Endocrinologist is now my target to try and find out the cause of hormonal imbalance, but will continue with TRT until then. Current testosterone levels…TT 252, FT .29…..ugh!
    Developed ED late 2011 but was erratic. Has since developed into zero libido and no erections without Cialis. My wife and I have always had a great sex life and she is the object of my fantasies, so it isn’t a psychological issue. Not sure why but since I terminated TRT my ability to have an orgasm has tapered off to zero also.
    I have been taking max dosages of zinc, boron, iodine, B3, ginseng and several other herbs but no positive results so far. Have lost 17 lbs since terminating TRT, partly due to healthier diet. Am 5’9″ and now weigh 153#. Very athletic…ride bicycle 12 miles at 15-17 mph daily, work out with free weights 5 days per week. Was a runner for 20 years but total knee replacement in Jan 2014 ended that!
    My encouragement for you is to find the cause of your hormonal issue…sooner, rather than later. Being patient is the most difficult part for me. That and the fact there are no doctors within 150 miles that are knowledgeable enough to either diagnose or correctly treat this problem. Anyway, I wish you the best young man!

    • Reply
      November 23, 2015 at 4:40 pm

      Thanks for sharing your story, Old Roy! It’s unfortunate that you’re had these complications and I wish you the best of luck. I currently have terrible insurance and a 9 month old daughter who’s taking up most of the health care budget so exhaustive testing isn’t in the cards for me just yet. I’ll take your advice and look into it further as soon as possible.

  • Reply
    November 22, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    Nate, awesome stuff man. Quick question. Obviously you’re a young guy and I don’t know your plans for the future but what kind of impact does TRT have on the future ability to have kids? Is it something that you stop prior to, use HCG to get fertility back, and then hop back on afterwards? My symptoms fit the bill like yours but as a young guy as well, fertility concerns are present. Thanks!

    • Reply
      November 22, 2015 at 6:51 pm

      There is some concern with TRT impacting fertility. Basically, it isn’t a sure enough thing to rely on as birth control. As a little anecdotal evidence, I was watching the documentary Generation Iron with the current Mr Olympia contestants and some of them had young children. And we know they’re on more than 200 mg of test. But if having kids was a major concern of mine, I would be hesitant to commit to TRT unless I really needed it. I just had my first kid and don’t want anymore so it can only help me. You can, like you said, always come off and use hCG to get things going again. Alternatively, you could try hCG mono therapy. I didn’t feel any benefit from it but Chris from Good Looking Loser said he loves the way hCG makes him feel. Everyone’s different.

  • Reply
    December 20, 2015 at 6:44 pm


    Great series. Really helps to validate my own Low T journey. With Low T centers not taking new patients at this time wanted to share my treatment route. Just started treatment on Friday with Defy Medical. They have a clinic in Florida, but specialize in telemedicine, so no office visits are required. Had my local doc fill out a physical exam form, did blood work, filled out an extensive medical questionnaire and had about a 1 hour consult with Dr. John Crisler who is on Defy’s staff. Great session, very thorough, good discussion, even ordered up some additional tests for a thyroid issue that came out on my labs. I’m on 160mg Test Cyp inject 2x a week (80mg), 100 ius HCG daily and an AI on Test shot days. Follow up labs in 7 weeks for tweaking.

    I have been trying to work through my local GP for about a year or so with no success. He ordered tests and said I was in the range and everything was fine. Was more than willing to script me an SSRI or some medication for “depression” along with some Cialias, but nothing for TRT. Finally told him that I was going to consult with Defy. Not sure he was crazy about the idea, but said he would work with me. I think the biggest problem with GPs is this one size fits all approach to diagnosing and treating Low T. As you mentioned in your articles, they don’t have the training nor experience, and they are unwilling to go outside the standard treatment protocols. Biggest take away is that guys need to get educated and take charge of their health. If your doc won’t support you – find another one who will listen or go to the experts like Low T or Defy.

    Anyway, great series, great site. Just wanted to share my experiences. Very happy so far.

    Keep up the good work. Merry Christmas !!!

    • Reply
      December 21, 2015 at 9:48 pm

      Thanks for sharing, Bill! I’ve learned a lot from Dr. Chrisler’s articles and videos and that’s awesome to have him on your team. As you’ve illustrated, where there’s a will there’s a way. Merry Christmas to you too!

  • Reply
    January 3, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    Nate, great series! You’ve really nailed down the whole TRT thing and captured some of the most detailed information currently out there. I’m contemplating TRT myself, have spent countless hours researching it, and you’ve managed to capture the lion’s share of up to date information in your series. Well done!

    I think a good reference for determining low levels of free testosterone would come from this article:

    Mohit Khera, MD “I diagnose TD based on two criteria: low serum total or free T and signs or symptoms of TD. However, I must stress that in my practice, symptoms are the key driver for TTh rather than any specific value for blood test results…

    I offer T therapy to symptomatic men with calculated free T less than 6.5 ng/dL (65 pg/mL or 232 pmol/L).”

    Michael Zitzmann, MD, PhD “Free T levels below 250 pmol/L (86 pg/mL) are highly suggestive of TD.

    Abraham Morgentaler, MD “I find free T more useful than total T as a diagnostic test; however, it is critical to note that reference values provided by laboratories are not clinically based and of little value. Free T concen- trations less than 100 pg/mL or RIA concentra- tions less than 1.5 ng/dL are consistent with TD. Although I use a total T value of less than 350 ng/dL (12 nmol/L) as indicative of TD, if the free T value is low, I consider the total T concentration irrelevant.”

    All the best,

  • Reply
    January 26, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    Hey Nate. Pretty late reply but I just wanted to say our stories are so similar, except my issues started as a senior in high school and have been persistent up until two weeks ago! So i lived with low t for a while and yes I knew it was low but I think I was denying the horrible impact it was having on my life. Ive been an extremely healthy and fit person for this whole period but something was always off. I do not need to describe all of my symptoms because they are the exact same as you had. Anyways its been a long and depressing road and at the age of 21 my doctor finally prescribed injections. I was excited before I read your article but this made me so much more pumped. Thanks for the awesome story.

    • Reply
      January 27, 2016 at 5:30 am

      I’m glad that you’re getting treatment, Conor. There’s only so much you can do on your own and as you said, you were already living a healthy lifestyle. Keep me posted with your progress!

  • Reply
    Luis Mota
    January 27, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    Great info, I’m in a similar Dr fiasco right now with my Urologists messing with my dosing after I started feeling good. Thinking about switching Docs to, but they are still not taking in new patients. Question is that did you have to be off of your TRT therapy and get new blood tests with Or could you have your old tests results sent over?

    • Reply
      January 28, 2016 at 8:49 pm

      Give them a call. To my knowledge they are taking new patients now or will be very soon. You don’t have to be off your TRT to get in with them. Having another doctor prescribe you TRT is an automatic need for treatment.

  • Reply
    Neal Hammond
    February 6, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    Hi Nate, I so appreciate your article. I had googled “Can low T make you feel crazy” and your article came up. I’m 45 years old, a dad of 3 girls, grandpa to 2 girls, a husband, work as an Accountant for a public utilities for electricity and so sitting down all day and surrounded by women and girls.

    2 years ago, I worked 19 years at a different utility and had been diagnosed at 272 from a local men’s urology with low t and got shots for several months. Felt amazing and my t levels up to 992.
    Well then I ended up taking a different career at a different utility so told my doc that I wasn’t able to come in for shots as I was working out of town. So I did the testopel. Worked great! Workout out,doing ufc fit workouts and felt amazing. Then in 2015 I decided to take Kaiser for medical coverage. About 10 months after the testopel started feeling crappy, emotional, depressed, low energy, mental fog, irritable, not to mention joint and muscle aches. Called my old friend who was my original source that said testosterone therapy was good and he said he felt like “crap” like I do when he didn’t have treatment.
    So I’ve tried now for 2 months thru Kaiser, repeated blood draws, 272 and now 225. I’ve been persistent. My doctor didn’t want to help me and said my range was normal. I told him yes for an 85-100 year old man. He offered to get a second opinion within Kaiser (endocrindologist) sp.
    Well he said the other doctor agreed with him and that I didn’t need treatment. So little did my main doctor know that I was actually calling Kaisers urology department which is like 45 minute drive away in a different city. After calling them last time, they looked at the endocryndologist notes on my case and they said he never said “No” to treatment that instead he had questions.
    So my main doctor must not give a shit about me, and lied saying the other doctor backed him.

    So now, I called their urology again and asked if they could see me directly and they said they would file a transfer request. Thank gosh he allowed it or I would have had to start from scratch again with another doctor. So I see the urology Doctor 2 Friday’s ago. He said he didn’t like the 3 other blood draws of 272, 227 and whatever the other result was… So it’s 8:40 am during the visit and he wants me to do another blood draw! He told me I had to come in first thing in the morning and have zero sex for 48 hours before coming in as my levels would be at the lowest. So I asked hey it’s 8:40 am, why don’t I go over and do the blood draw now. He didn’t want that so I came in the following Monday – 5 days ago and did it. I’m praying he helps me. I’ve explained I was already receiving shots and don’t understand what the deal is. I told him when I had different insurance I was getting TRT. So if he doesn’t help me once these blood draw results come back, I’m going to chew his ass out and then demand meetings with their company president as the way I see it they are denying me my basic right of health and that this is a PRE-EXISTING condition that I had been treated for. I write all of this to hopefully help others too know that it can be very difficult like you shared. By the way you should be very proud of everything you are doing and love all of the 4 part article!

    • Reply
      February 7, 2016 at 5:59 am

      Thanks for sharing, Neal. It’s amazing how many guys are experiencing the exact same hurdles to finding treatment that we have. I really do hope this new doctor will play ball, especially since you already know how good life can be on T. Good luck and thank!

  • Reply
    February 18, 2016 at 12:22 am

    32 year old male. Complete exhaustion, mental fog, no energy. depressed for no reason. My blood report came back Testosterone Total 662 (241-827 ng/dL) but my free testosterone was a weird result: It states: TAT free Testosterone 2 days, then under it states Testosteron, Free 2.28 ( )…. no range? Can you shed some light please

    • Reply
      February 19, 2016 at 9:37 am

      Hey, Moe. Your total testosterone doesn’t look like it’s too bad on paper, but if you’re having symptoms it’s worth looking into. The “TAT” on your blood work just means “turn around time” and the 2.28 is a percentage of total testosterone. The reference range for this is usually 1.5-2.5 so you’re at the upper end. If we do the math (662 x 0.028 = 18.5) you’re free testosterone seems to be right in the middle of the range which is usually around 10 – 30. How are your diet, training, and sleep habits?

  • Reply
    February 18, 2016 at 7:18 pm

    Hey Nate I have a quick question regarding subcutaneous injections. I just got prescribed trt from an anti-aging clinic. I’m actually prescribed 1 cc per week. My total test was 900 but my free t was severely low. Doc said it’s due to high shbg. Now I’m a fairly lean guy which is one of the reasons why I want to start therapy; I want to add some healthy weight/muscle mass. Now I want to do subcutaneous injections like you mention you did. I was curious the needle size/gauge you use to inject yourself since I’m fairly lean as well. Can I use a 27 inch gauge needle, 1/2 inch needle length? I don’t want to go too deep, just deep enough. And do you just hit up the stomach? At an angle? I look forward to your response, which will be much appreciated. Great blog and keep the content coming.

    • Reply
      February 19, 2016 at 9:09 am

      That’s great, Frank! That’s exactly the same size needle I use. I gather as much skin/fat as I can and go straight into the fattiest part of my abdomen, which is within a couple inches above and left or right of my belly button. I don’t squeeze the fat, but just use enough pressure to hold it in place. Last summer I was a little leaner and found it beneficial to sit in a chair and lean forward to get a few rolls formed.

  • Reply
    February 22, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    Great series of posts Nate. You bled on the page here man. Your story is a great example of how powerful testosterone and other anabolic and androgen hormones are. Good stuff man.

  • Reply
    February 28, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    Hi Nate, if I am already on gel therapy will the prime folks still work with me? My Dr. did do tests that show low total testosterone, but the is it. Just started Androgel 1.62% a couple weeks ago, but would like to work with a team that is more experienced than my PCP.

    • Reply
      February 28, 2016 at 6:12 pm

      Yes. They count being treated by another doctor just the same as testing below the normal range. It wouldn’t be ethical, after all, to require you to come off testosterone for months just to test low again and to switch care providers. Please, give them a call and they will get you all taken care of. Make sure to use the code Lewis27 to get the Iron & Tweed reader benefits. Good luck and keep me posted!

  • Reply
    February 28, 2016 at 11:53 pm


    Thank you so much for sharing your story man; it’s really opened my eyes to what could possibly be wrong with me. I called prime body and am actually going to a lab in the morning to get my blood drawn and levels checked. I’m really interested to find out the results. Anyeay, thanks again!

  • Reply
    March 1, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    Hi Nate, I was diagnosed with low T earlier today and have been googling all sorts of information regarding testosterone replacement therapy and was wondering if my results are really low? My total testosterone is 386ng/dl and free testosterone is 83.8 pg/ml. The doctor is trying to prescribe Androgel to me at the moment and I was wondering what I should do if I plan on having children in the future? I’ve been reading that going on therapy might make me sterile and I’m concerned because I’m only 32 and want to start a family in a few years. I am also concerned about the possibility of gynecomastia because I already have a lot of chest fat and the last thing I need is for it to get bigger! Thanks!

    • Reply
      March 1, 2016 at 6:51 pm

      Hey, JP. My first question is how do you feel? Most guys start to report symptoms when they drop below 400 ng/dL, but what’s low for one guy may not necessarily be low for another. If you feel fine at 386, then I see no need to rush into treatment. If you feel like complete garbage, then you’ll likely want to consider it. If you go on treatment, I would talk to your doctor about adding hCG to prevent your testes from shutting down. Although there are no guarantees in life, many guys have success with coming off of testosterone, using high doses of hCG, and then conceiving.

      • Reply
        March 1, 2016 at 8:11 pm

        I don’t get good sleep, have insomnia at times, no matter what I can’t lose fat/gain muscle/strength even though I lift 3-4x a week and I am on a strict diet. Also, I seem to get a crash of energy around the afternoon and feel the urge to nap. Lately I’ve been finding myself moody and lethargic and unable to find energy for the gym. Every morning is a struggle to wake up. Is this sign of low T? One other thing is it seems like no matter how hard I try in the gym, my strength seems to have capped at a certain weight for my squats, deadlifts and bench which should be very easy for me to get stronger. The other guys in my crossfit gym seem to make gains every other week and for me it’s a struggle at such a light weight.

        • Reply
          March 2, 2016 at 9:08 am

          It sounds like you have the diet and exercise factors well under control. Not being able to gain strength, especially on compound movements is a huge red flag. Unless you’re near your natural limit (i.e 300lb bench, 400lb squat)? Before TRT I couldn’t even comprehend getting stronger from one month to the next, let alone from one workout to the next. The sleep and body fat issues also sound like you’d be a good candidate for treatment. I think you should talk to your doctor about adding hCG along with your treatment (you can google some info on it’s benefits). If he’s resistant even though you’re concerned with your fertility, you can always give the folks at a call. They know the value of support medications and include them from the beginning. Best of luck to you, JP! Keep me posted on your progress.

  • Reply
    March 18, 2016 at 10:40 am


    It’s nice to see someone chronicling their use with TRT. I’m not even sure how long I’ve had low T, but I’ve been to so many doctors for so many symptoms, with the same end result–lose weight, eat better, and you’ll be fine. I did lose some weight (I was at 240lbs at my highest) and I did eat better, but the change in my symptoms was negligible. My muscles take forever to bounce back, they don’t feel as strong, and I just generally feel weak and crappy. I do have some mood issues as well–used to be that I could talk to anyone, but now I have this crazy fear of speaking in front of three or more people. And the depression sucks–it’s so hard to lose weight and exercise when you feel like nothing matters.

    So I was really excited when my Endo thought he may have found the culprit–low T. After numerous morning tests and bloodwork, I averaged my low T at about 200–the lowest being 130 and the highest being 280. I waited for a year for treatment because my wife and I were trying to have a baby, and once my son was out and healthy, I was all about slapping that patch on. But I did something I probably shouldn’t have done–massively searched side effects of TRT. Almost every website I look at lists horrible side effects like heart attacks, blood clots, and strokes. They don’t list how often these side effects happen, but I’ve read a few sites that say sometimes it’s better to just feel crappy as opposed to risking any damage to your heart.

    Have you had any side effects from the TRT that you were aware of? You looked pretty healthy before the TRT, but did you have any heart-related issues before and/or after the TRT? My concern is that I do have controlled high blood pressure, but the fact that no cardiologist can find anything wrong with me is leading me to believe that my low T could be causing these issues. I just don’t want to die to feel better, y’know? lol

    • Reply
      March 18, 2016 at 10:57 am

      I know what you mean about researching side effect. I did the same thing and was hesitant to pull the trigger. But after being on for almost two years with no side effects, I’m definitely glad I went through with it. Of course, you’ll have to discuss all of this with your doctor, but consider this. The only immediate side effect from TRT would be an allergic reaction to the oil it’s suspended in (usually cottonseed) and that is very rare. Everything else, heart wise, would take a long time to accumulate. You can always try it out, monitor your blood work, and come off under a doctor’s supervision if anything gets out of whack. Good luck!

      • Reply
        April 2, 2016 at 6:25 pm

        I’m glad testosterone therapy worked for you with little to no side effects unfortunately that’s not the case for several who have TRT treatments. I am one those that will be on treatment lifelong, it’s not short-term. I would think a lot of your readers should be well informed about treatment and potential side effects that are permanent. Those include, testosterone levels never returning back to normal when stopping treatment. The natural production of testosterone will kick in but you’ll never be at the same level before going on treatment and likely be put back on therapy. The likelihood of fathering children reduces without IVF or assistant fertility treatments. My Doctor informed me to bank sperm before starting treatment in case IVF is needed.

        The common side effects are increased acne which occurs on neck, forearms, and cystic back acne. Also rapid hair thinning if prone to male pattern baldness.

        I’ve experienced these since starting treatment. The acne is the main side effect that most would prefer not to have. It’s very hard to go to a beach with constant looks if you happen to experience the same cystic back acne sides effects as me. The benefits of treatment; however for me are life changing but if you happen not to have a blood disorder like me; then I would read up on reviews of the different TRT treatments, have semen analysis and labs done before starting.

        I do not recommend Androgel 1.62% gel, it causes bumps on arms where it is applied. The bumps stay forever even when stopping the gel. I have now since switched to self injecting into thighs; sometimes it’s painful but lasts a week.

        This post isn’t meant to demeaning but to inform those to consider lifestyle changes before starting the lifelong TRT treatments.

        I found the site searching on Google; I’ve enjoyed reading your personal story and wish the readers and you the best.


        • Reply
          April 3, 2016 at 8:30 pm

          Yep, I always tell guys to first exhaust all possible lifestyle factors and to not start TRT unless they’re willing to be on it for life. I’m sorry to hear that you’re having so many sides. Everyone I’ve talked to who’s on TRT has noted almost zero negatives apart from a few zits on their shoulders and back.

  • Reply
    March 28, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    I want to thank you for this 4 part personal series on TRT. I’m 35yr old and have been struggling severely with exhaustion throughout the day, not gaining muscle anywhere near where I used to, gaining fat very easily, feeling down and just freaking tired all the time. Well, after stumbling upon your blog through a random google search, I felt like I was reading a story about myself. I mentioned a month ago that I was going to be contacting Primebody, and I did just that. I have an appt with a doc that they arranged on Friday, so fingers crossed everything goes smoothly. I haven’t seen my lab report yet, but I’m assuming I was low or at least close to low if they’ve gone ahead and got me scheduled with a doc; are you of the same opinion? Thanks in advance!

    • Reply
      March 28, 2016 at 8:17 pm

      Yeah, I think they would’ve told you over the phone if you didn’t qualify for treatment. Let me know how it goes!

      • Reply
        April 3, 2016 at 2:08 pm

        Well, it looks like I’m a candidate and will start probably in the next couple of weeks. My TT was 266 and FT 11.1. I’ll be on 250mg of Test C&E (150mg of each) a week. I’ll also be on HCG and have a small amount of Ameridex. Thanks again for everything Nate, and I’ll be sure to update my progress. Also, if you have any advice that’s not been covered in your blog, please let me know!

  • Reply
    April 2, 2016 at 7:07 pm

    great read thanks nate
    i have been working out on off over the years got serious in oct 2015
    55 years old lost 40 lbs got stronger but just worn out from construction and the gym
    after reading about trt got a groupon code and a check up
    i was shocked at the low level of 146g/dl start on 200 mg monday the 4th
    it going to be like you said in your read before t and after .
    i don’t know what to expect but looking forward to the journey

  • Reply
    April 9, 2016 at 8:35 am

    Nate, many thanks on your openess on this topic!
    27year old male here.
    Have been suffering brain fog for the last couple of weeks / months, always between 12pm and 3h30 pm.
    Last 2 weeks alongside the brain fog, also had dizziness and headache, a zombie like feeling were talking to people felt strange.
    Weird thing is that I mostly suffer these symptoms during the week and not in the weekend.

    Got my total test checked, which came back at 351ng/dl (eating rather clean and bodybuilding min 3x per week).
    My Doctor didn’t even acknowledge the fact that it was low, as the reference range on the test is 160-726ng/dl…

    Did you have brain fog every day (also during weekends)?
    Not sure at this stage if the dizziness and headache are also due to the low T or not, any idea?
    Many thanks for the help!

    • Reply
      April 9, 2016 at 1:55 pm

      You’re welcome, Canelo. Brain fog is a common symptom of low T but the dizziness and headaches aren’t. It’s weird that your symptoms are only during the week. How do you feel about your current job? I felt like a total zombie before TRT. It didn’t matter if I was just grinding it out at work or was actually out having fun on the weekend. I’m thinking that you may be due for a change of pace or should ask your doctor to explore these symptoms further.

      • Reply
        April 10, 2016 at 2:12 pm

        The feeling is hard to describe: it is a combination of brain fog, lightheadedness (similar to low blood pressure) and being tired/moody. I do not feel present even when doing mundane tasks.
        Might be that the stress has something to do with it.

        Unclear at this stage if trt can help..?
        But I am anyway considering it as we all can see how much it helped you.

        • Reply
          April 11, 2016 at 6:23 am

          When you may that you “don’t feel present,” that actually does sound like a common low T symptom. I hope you and your doctor can agree on a treatment plan.

  • Reply
    Nelson Vergel
    April 29, 2016 at 11:05 am

    Great review article, Nate! We would welcome you and help you spread your great content on

    Nelson Vergel

  • Reply
    May 5, 2016 at 11:28 pm

    hi nate things r looking good around here
    posted in april about a low t count 146 went to trt 4 week test came back at748 i can’t understand this ,i feel big jump received 100 ml week plus hcg shot did you ever hear of an increase like that
    thanks jac

  • Reply
    May 6, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    7 days in the late afternoon i get a shot on thursdays 110 mg is the new dose it docent seem like much of an increase

    • Reply
      May 7, 2016 at 6:53 pm

      So that should definitely be when your levels are at their lowest. I say that begin able to get a bigger response from less medication is a good thing and as long as you’re feeling better it’s all good news!

  • Reply
    May 7, 2016 at 11:29 pm

    cool thanks for the input

  • Reply
    May 9, 2016 at 2:56 am

    Hey great writeup! Very inspiring for someone like me (38yr old, experiencing some of the problems you experienced before TRT). Will get my levels tested.

    For your situation, I’d recommend increasing the sat fat intake as i) it’s harmless; ii) it raises your testosterone (as sat fat is a hormone precursor). Thought the only thing strange in your protocol is you kept mentioning eating lean meat… I believe fatty meat (+ bacon + butter + cheese + …), or rather a low-carb paleo diet, is beneficial for high T. Cheers. The best.

    PS: Check out this book called T-RX by Cristi Vlad. It has other lifestyle interventions (like cold showers, HIIT, Body By Science protocol & keto diet) for increasing your T levels naturally.

    • Reply
      May 10, 2016 at 12:01 pm

      Thanks GM. At the time of my first blood test I was eating about 50 percent of my calories from fat. Eight egg omelette, steak, and lots of butter was the norm for me for most of my life. If you’re deficient in saturated fat and cholesterol you can experience low T as a result, but in general, more doesn’t equal higher levels. Now I keep fat on the lower end since I don’t need it for hormonal production and I can keep carbs and protein higher for building muscle. I’ll check out the book. Thanks for the recommendation!

  • Reply
    June 12, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    Hi nate jac here again
    Hope ya don’t mind the q and a session
    I am on 110 ml test and a i thunk hcg shot it was just changed to a 5 day cycle. I think the dose is still low it is now an 80 /20 mix
    Cyp and propionate because of i felt a drop 3 to four days in. The question i am at 180 lbs looking to hit at least 200 lbs . I have been heavier than that before just had a blood work done and started super mandro . Do i need anything with it i am getting a hcg shot. Also will it affect blood test and will i put up some weight with this .
    I eat pretty clean no chemical foods ,if i ate anything out there I could hit 240 easy.
    I saw your shake mix and it looks interesting
    Thanks for any feedback

    • Reply
      June 13, 2016 at 11:20 am

      It sounds like you’re on 110mg every 5 days which is a decent dose for most guys. It’s impossible to tell if it’s enough for you until you see how it effects your blood work. You should be fine running just the Super Mandro along with your TRT but I would make sure you allow plenty of time off before your next blood work as it will likely affect the numbers. Your weight gain is going to be entirely dependent on your diet. If you eat a slight surplus you’ll have a nice steady weight gain.

  • Reply
    June 13, 2016 at 8:53 pm

    cool nate thanks for the reply
    they just took blood on friday started super on saturday
    next blood on 8 weeks . will run the super man for 4 weeks to see how it goes.
    on another note check out (gustin) for boots and jeans they make small batches to order
    i like like cromexcel leather boot
    probably gonna splash for the fall season

    • Reply
      June 14, 2016 at 5:21 am

      I didn’t realize that your blood work was coming up so soon. Since you’re in the diagnosis process, I don’t think you should run super mandro at all. The last thing you want is to have your levels screwed up and not get the correct dose of test. You’re trying to get set up for a lifetime of treatment at this point. You’ll see plenty of benefits from the TRT alone. I would save the Super Mandro until after your 6 month appointment.

    • Reply
      June 17, 2016 at 9:08 am

      I’ve seen the jeans before but the boots are news to me. I’ll look into them. Thanks!

  • Reply
    June 14, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    I am thinking of changing out from this group started April 4 th told them it is dropping off 3 days before thre next round
    Then they changed to a prop cypiante mix and to 5 day cycle which is an improvement
    But still at 110 I know the feeling of the stuff in my body by now and told them I don’t think it is enough. The nurse told me they want me at 800 i think it should be higher plus now i has to go to there office 2 times a week then once a week
    I not an expert but i am sure a higher dose once a week of the straight cypianate would be a better option plus they are testing me every 2 months it is a different protocol than other cycle i have read about
    I have no symtems of any kind

    • Reply
      June 17, 2016 at 9:14 am

      You can always call PrimeBody. The in network doctors prescribe home injections of testosterone cypionate at very reasonable doses. Weekly injections was what my doctor initially prescribed but I asked about doing it twice and he said that was just fine.

  • Reply
    June 29, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    Thanks for the article. I have had 4 hernia surgeries in the last 3 years, (2 inguinal repairs that both ruptured and had to be redone). After the last repair in December, I gained about 15 pounds, while eating fairly well, running about 20 miles per week and lifting 3x per week. I also have a chronic sciatic/sit bone running injury that just isn’t healing (MRI coming up soon). I have been unbelievably depressed, having anxiety attacks, no energy, lethargic, can’t focus, can barely read, just a wreck, a total sob story. In my desperation I asked my specialist who was treating me for the sit bone injury “could low T slow the recovery and healing with this injury?” He said that is a perfectly reasonable request and I got my labs done, 36.7 free testosterone 163 total number. He called me the next day and said I was basically a eunuch. I went to my primary care doctor and they said I had to get labs 3 more times in the morning with fasting. Average number 242. I was so excited to get treated, as I talked with my gym manager and he said it’s gonna be night and day once I get treated. Well, I just saw my doc this morning and was almost fighting with him at the end of the appointment. He “didn’t feel comfortable” treating me. Cited estrogen therapy issues, and basically concerns that did not include ANY science or related facts about treating me (women’s medical issues and men’s are not apples to apples!) His biggest reason, he didn’t feel comfortable. Are you kidding me? I can’t believe this crap. I am absolutely miserable and thought today was going to be the start of getting past a condition that might have been going on for years! Thanks so much for the article. I am most likely gonna need to just pay for the service and you have done us a great service posting your journey!

    • Reply
      June 30, 2016 at 7:36 am

      Jason, our stories are so similar it’s unbelievable! If you call Prime Body today your frustration will be over. Sure, you’ll have to pay out of pocket as I do but you won’t have to argue with doctors anymore. You’ll just get optimal treatment from day one. Good luck and keep me posted!

  • Reply
    July 4, 2016 at 8:16 am

    Nate – just found your blog. Great! Practical question: how do you handle your injections when you travel? I’ve been trying to figure out the best protocol when traveling, especially with my HCT injection, which is meant to be chilled…thanks!

    • Reply
      July 4, 2016 at 4:19 pm

      Great question! I don’t have any experience flying with medication yet. I’ve set my injections up so that I’ll never have to worry about them when traveling for the weekend. If I were to travel for a week and had time to plan, I would just take my test and hCG the night before leaving and not worry about it until I got back. For trips lasting longer than a week I would have to pack my test and hCG, which should be fine as long as you have your prescriptions and medication in labeled bottles. Maybe a little cooler like this from amazon to keep your hCG cold.

  • Reply
    August 1, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    Thanks for your story, Nate. 29 year old male, and like you, I have amazing exercise routine but have seen little to no results over the years. More importantly, I have a wonderful girlfriend who I love beyond but don’t have virtually no sex drive to physically express myself. I don’t take the initiative and instead beat myself up for not being an “adequate man.” I’m starting TRT next week and I’m hoping this turns my life around. I’ve been searching for a solution, seeing tons of doctors and getting tons of lab tests over the last decade.

  • Reply
    HCG 101: Real Talk on Hypogonadism & Human Chorionic Gonadotropin - John Doe Bodybuilding
    August 11, 2016 at 10:00 am

    […] you’ve been in the performance enhancing arena for any sort of time or have been to a Doc for low testosterone then you’ve probably heard about HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) by […]

  • Reply
    September 6, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    Did you take HCG while on TRT? If so why? I have just started my TRT and I am using Prime body. They have done everything that you stated they would and its been a smooth process. Thanks for the feedback mate!

    • Reply
      September 6, 2016 at 7:45 pm

      That’s excellent Niko! They’re a great company to go with especially if you’re having difficulties with other doctors. I do take hCG to keep everything functioning just in case I ever come off. I’m only 31 and who knows what medical options will be available over the next 60 years. Really it’s just to keep my options open.

  • Reply
    September 18, 2016 at 8:13 pm

    Very inspiring story, Nate! I have low T and various symptoms, so I’m thinking about TRT. Yet what worried me most is fertility. I’ve learned from Internet that after taking exogenous testosterone, your body will stop producing its own testosterone, sperm production will be halted too. I haven’t married, and I certainly want to have child. I’ve also learned adding HCG or HMG to the protocol may preserve your fertility. Yet I still don’t have enough confidence about it. Furthermore, when somebody is on TRT, will his sperm be healthy? If he makes his wife pregnant, will the baby have higher risk at birth defect compared to not being on TRT? I know you already have one child, do you want to have the second child? What’s your view over this question? Very glad to hear your reply, thanks!

    • Reply
      September 29, 2016 at 8:27 am

      Getting on TRT will definitely affect your fertility, but how much is the real question. While it isn’t a reliable form of male birth control, I would be cautious if having children is your number one priority. You might want to hold off on starting TRT until that happens. I’m perfectly fine with the one child that I have so it really isn’t an issue for me. Also, there are no risks of birth defects that I’m aware of.

  • Reply
    Ferguson Curly
    September 19, 2016 at 12:28 am

    Is there help available for Canadians? I am 27 years old and I live in Vancouver, BC and I cannot find a family physician who is even interested in having a conversation with me. They all ask me if I have self-esteem or body issues. It’s very frustrating.

    In the last 6 months I have had many similar symptoms. No sex drive, trouble sleeping, huge bouts of indecision over mundane things.

    I will get tested and see if bringing my results to doctors here will change anything but I would love to hear if anyone in Canada was able to get through to someone.

    • Reply
      September 29, 2016 at 8:17 am

      I wish had reliable resources at hand for you, Ferguson. Unfortunately, I’m only familiar with the options available in the US (and even then, it’s slim pickings for proper TRT protocols) and Primebody doesn’t operate outside the United States at this time. A search for TRT and hormone therapy in Vancouver, BC just showed some lifestyle-type clinics, and it’s hard to recommend those without having any experience with them. Your best bet is to find forums (like those on bodybuilding sites) with recommendations from other guys regarding local Vancouver doctors. Word of mouth is kind of the best tool at your disposal at the moment. Good luck!

  • Reply
    David Thomas
    October 12, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    Found a local TRT clinic that does weekly injections, free testosterone test. $200 a month. They do both injections (test and cbg or whuddeverdafuck it’s called.) Should I just on this? Injecting myself doesn’t seem that fun lol

  • Reply
    October 28, 2016 at 6:52 am

    Hello, Nate! i have found your web page when i was first looking for tips to skinny fat, which is my case. I’ve already been in a good shape, 2 years ago, after 3 years of hitting gym hardly and in the last year of the 3 i used a few steroids. But i had to stop with the gym in early 2015 due to college and work. Man, i gotta tell you, i’ve been through a lot since january 2015, i’ve lost my bride, dropped the college, got into depression, and there i was until the end of the year. Just this year i started to fight back against my life issues, bought some equipment, dumbbells, bars and weight to start lifting, but at home this time, i can pretty much say to you, if you’re doing it right, you’ll have great or even the same results as you were in gym, i had 3 years of experience on the gym and that really counts when i’m lifting at home. Your advices on your blog have been helping me since i’ve started. I wanted to grown up naturally this time, but i feel like i’m running into the same problem you once had – the low test -, even if i’m in a better shape now lifting at home then i was in the beginning of the year. I have almost all of the symptoms of low test you’ve mentioned such as depression, anxiety. And i feel like something is different now than back in the gym times, even before steroids, my muscles were firmness, more rigid, and now is kinda soft and flat, and i used to be leaner as well, and my body fat isn’t even that big: about 12. Now i’m having a bad time trying to cut the fat i’ve gained from bulking since May. got way more fat than muscle – i’ve already started to cut some of that fat this month, but i think my level of test is fucked up. Maybe that’s why i can feel like i’m always depressed, i even think i would never be a normal person again, maybe the use of steroids in gym times have something to do with this too, it can be a lot of things, as you know really well about it. But the thing is: I live in Brazil, in my city there’s nothing like the clinic you got your treatment. But i have a doctor and he can give me medical prescription to buy test in the drugstore, so that won’t be a problem. But i dont know how you’re doing it specifically. Would you mind to clarify my mind? I’m asking myself for how long you do your test cycle, and how long do you take a break of it and how you do – if you go into something like post cycle before starting it again. The mg/per week you like to use, if you use other things such as HCG, tribulus, mucuna while in test cycle, and, don’t worry, i will be seeing a doctor as well. I appreciate your job, Nate, and i hope i can have a reply. Thank you very much!

    • Reply
      November 2, 2016 at 11:27 am

      Sorry to hear about your struggles, Igor. But you’re doing the right thing by taking control and improving your situation. For TRT, there is no cycle, PCT, or time off. You take a dose that puts you at the high-normal range and stay there forever. Your doctor will have to give you the exact doses but just for your reference, I take 200mg testosterone, 500iu hCG, and .5mg Anastrazole every week. All three medications are split into two doses.

  • Reply
    Byron A.
    October 31, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    Thanks for the article Nate. I discovered you through B&D from an article they put out regarding Low T. These past couple weeks I myself have been looking into getting blood work done. Many many years ago I made the dumbass mistake of taking prohormones in high school without PCT. I remember like it was yesterday…going inside the “Nutri-Store” and asking the front desk employee on what I could do to increase muscle mass and strength. He then recommended me a “Natural enhancer” that won’t need PCT treatment afterwards. I did not know SHIT about prohormones and what a PCT was in the first place. I was a dumb naïve kid that wanted the easy way to the top. I purchased the product because he sold me into believing everything he said. Took it and felt like a king. After getting off of the cycle, I felt an immediate crash. I disregarded everything and thought “well…I’m young so it shouldn’t hurt me too bad.” Fast forward months after I graduated high school I felt tired, lazy, irritable, depressed, and awkward around people all the time. Never could figure out what was wrong with me. I had developed a few food allergies and I struggle to this day keeping body fat off mainly around my belly and midsection area. This was back in 2007 and I’m starting to realize the symptoms I’m experiencing associated with Low T. I haven’t gone to the doctor in a long time and was afraid to get blood work because I’ve felt regret, shame, and embarrassment from my past choices. But after years of personal growth and mind development, I am proud to say that I’m grateful for the experience I’ve had with my decision because without it, I would still be close-minded and think of only “size…size…size…” instead of general well-being and optimal health that I deserve to live with. The experience has helped me get pass my doubts and fear and to know that I can have a second chance in Life. I am now open to seeing a doctor soon and getting blood work. I recently lost insurance a couple months back because where I work now didn’t offer health insurance. I just barely got insurance over the weekend and it will start at the beginning of November. My plan is to go into a hospital for a general check up first to see where my health is at. Since my high school bodybuilding days, I’ve been eating good natural foods as best as I can and having my occasional cheat meals every once in a while. As far as supplementation, I take greens powders, chlorella, fish oils, vitamin D3, psyllium husks, apple cider vinegar, dandelion root and BCAA’s. I do my best to understand what I put inside my body now unlike when I was younger. I noticed that a lot of men here have had a difficult time seeing the “right” doctor for help due to uneducation. Which is understandable but it’s part of the journey to Self-Mastery. Our journey was never supposed to be easy. If it were, there would be no growth and excitement. As far as doctors, how many doctors should I speak to? I keep seeing people say to go to at least 5 doctors because some are supportive with TRT and some are totally against it? And I’ve also read people of saying to make sure to ask questions about Clomid, HCG, and Tamoxifen. Is TRT required to take for life or until you’re back to your normal ranges?

    Thanks again for all this Nate!

    Forever Grateful

    Byron A.

    • Reply
      November 2, 2016 at 11:17 am

      You’re right on so many levels, Byron, especially about personal growth. Taking prohormones can definitely mess with your testosterone levels and it’s sounds like that’s exactly what happened to you. I wouldn’t say that there’s a set number of doctors you should talk to, just keep going until you find one that will work with you. This can get very expensive, even with insurance. Also make sure that the doctor is willing to provide hCG and an AI. If you want the fast track you can go with Prime Body and their doctors are ready to work with you from day one and will prescribe all the necessary medication. But make sure that this is really what you want to do since it is a lifelong commitment.

  • Reply
    November 2, 2016 at 9:17 am

    Hi Nate,
    I am 49 yrs old. Working out since I was 16 probably 17. Am an ectomorph so not much fat but in very good shape. 180 lbs and 5’10” tall. Slim waist good upper body. Have been exercising but since last 5 years have hardly made any progress. Got my T Levels checked and Total T and Free T are both low. Total T is 330 ng/dl when reference range of that lab is 250 to 827 ng/dl. Free T is even worse at 8.16 pg/dl when reference range is 8.7 – 54.7 pg/ml.
    Problem is I do not have any symptoms. I have erections the moment I am in bed with wife. It takes me seconds to get a woddy. Same is the case the moment i get up in the morning. Almost always. And I get up on time latest by 6:00 am feeling fresh. Never had tea or coffee since recently just 1 month back started taking coffee. Non smoker non drinker.

    My question is i need to gain muscle so thinking of testosterone injections. But then I think if all is well except for muscles then once I stop taking the injectables, then can I come back to even my present levels easily. I do not wish to loose the erections and all. Please advise if I should start

    • Reply
      November 2, 2016 at 11:09 am

      Pawan, if you’re feeling fine I wouldn’t mess with anything. If you were to start injections you’d probably gain some muscle mass, but you would lose most of it if you ever stopped and you would just be risking your natural levels. I hope that helps you with your decision.

  • Reply
    David Thomas
    November 17, 2016 at 9:27 am

    How was your joint paint after you started trt?

  • Reply
    November 21, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    I’ve been fighting low T for about a year now. I got it checked in February 2016, and it came back at 320 ng/dl. Being only 25 years old they would not treat me unless I was under 300ng/dl (which is crazy to me). After starting to slack off in my very demanding job the past few months, I started researching Low T again. I stumbled on your story, and being able to relate to it so much (Gym, inner depression, EXHAUSTED, etc.), I made myself go back and get blood drawn again last week. My blood work came back 57 ng/dl (Free T was .7 !!). Today was the start of my weekly injections, and I couldn’t be more excited to get back to feeling awesome . Just wanted to say your website is kick ass , and thanks for sharing your experience!

    • Reply
      November 21, 2016 at 7:20 pm

      Holy crap, AC! 57 ng/dl is probably the lowest I’ve heard of. Did the doctor have any guess what might be causing it? Either way, you’re on the road to feeling awesome!

      • Reply
        November 22, 2016 at 11:14 am

        No, he did some additional blood work just to make sure nothing else was going on. Everything seemed to be okay, so he felt confident starting me on test and hCG once a week. I explained to him that I have lived a pretty active lifestyle(Demanding job, obstacle races, honest efforts in the gym, friends) and tried to eat somewhat healthy since college, despite how bad I felt . With knowing all that, he said he didn’t have a clue what could’ve caused my levels to drop like that ( Scary, buy i appreciated his honesty). He assured me though, that I would feel like a new person within a week or so.

        • Reply
          November 26, 2016 at 10:27 am

          That sucks that the doctor couldn’t find a cause but that seems to be the common theme these days. I hear from otherwise healthy young males on a consistent basis with unexplained low T. But it’s excellent that you’re on your way to getting better! Just be patient and don’t be discouraged if you don’t feel amazing within a week.

  • Reply
    December 3, 2016 at 8:57 am

    Hello friends my 1st post here, so please help me-
    I am 28 years male facing ED issues from last 2-3 years. My T levels remain just above low borderline level. (around 250 to 350 where lab normal range is 250-900). I go to gym. Though I never took any supplements , I feel that my issues started when I started wearing very tight undergarments in gym. Though I left wearing tight undergarments ,I still face ED issues, with no morning erections, very occasionally semi hard erection. My LH/FSH levels are also at very rock bottom level of normal range. My own analysis tells that ,when I used to wear very tight undergarments in gym (due to wrong instructions of gym trainer) ,I used to feel very uncomfortable and psychologically I used to fear that it will suppress my erection capability.Though, I quit wearing tight undergarments after 20-25 days , Unfortunately, my fears came true. Urologists say my scrotum,penis size are normal. Also, as I have borderline low LH/FSH levels, I suppose my Testicles are still in tact and I might have secondary hypogonadism. So, can Testosterone levels decrease due to psycogenic reasons? ( may be I can become subject of some research.) My Estradiol E2 levels are 48 in range of (00-39) and Prolatin 23 (range 2-17). Last week I diagnosed with Hypothyroidism & will be Levothyroxine for rest of my life.( Till Oct ’16 my Thyroid levels in perfect range so I don’t think my ED issues are due to thyroid.All the reports I mentioned of the period (2months ago) when I did not have thyroid. Oppositely ,stress caused due to ED issues might have contributed to Hypothyroidism.
    Though, I am not married I wish to keep my fertility & want to avoid TRT at any cost at any point of my life. Preferably would like to avoid HGC also as one will have to depend on it lifetime. Apart from severe ED (nowadays even Tadalafil do not work for me, there was a time when garlic cloves used to give me morning erections but suddenly they disappeared), I don’t have any other health issues. In India, if you have T levels in low normal range even in young patients ,doctors say you are ‘normal’. One doctor refused to prescribe clomid saying it can swell pituitary. Please guide what should I do? Any chance that my T levels will reach at least satisfactory levels (wrt to my age) and I will have normal erections.

    • Reply
      December 6, 2016 at 5:33 pm

      I understand that wearing excessively tight underwear can cause a lower sperm count, but that’s due more to heat than pressure. I’ve never heard of it causing low T. Hopefully someone else can chime in and provide some answers.

  • Reply
    December 3, 2016 at 9:05 am

    Hello friends my 1st post here, so please help me-
    I am 28 years male facing ED issues from last 2-3 years. My T levels remain just above low borderline level. (around 250 to 350 where lab normal range is 250-900). I go to gym. Though I never took any supplements , I feel that my issues started when I started wearing very tight undergarments in gym. Though I left wearing tight undergarments ,I still face ED issues, with no morning erections, very occasionally semi hard erection. My LH/FSH levels are also at very rock bottom level of normal range. My own analysis tells that ,when I used to wear very tight undergarments in gym (due to wrong instructions of gym trainer) ,I used to feel very uncomfortable and psychologically I used to fear that it will suppress my erection capability.Though, I quit wearing tight undergarments after 20-25 days , Unfortunately, my fears came true. Urologists say my scrotum,penis size are normal. Also, as I have borderline low LH/FSH levels, I suppose my Testicles are still in tact and I might have secondary hypogonadism. So, can Testosterone levels decrease due to psycogenic reasons? ( may be I can become subject of some research.) My Estradiol E2 levels are 48 in range of (00-39) and Prolatin 23 (range 2-17). Last week I diagnosed with Hypothyroidism & will be Levothyroxine for rest of my life.( Till Oct ’16 my Thyroid levels in perfect range so I don’t think my ED issues are due to thyroid.All the reports I mentioned of the period (2months ago) when I did not have thyroid. Oppositely ,stress caused due to ED issues might have contributed to Hypothyroidism.
    Though, I am not married I wish to keep my fertility & want to avoid TRT at any cost at any point of my life. Preferably would like to avoid HGC also as one will have to depend on it lifetime. Apart from severe ED (nowadays even Tadalafil do not work for me, there was a time when garlic cloves used to give me morning erections but suddenly they disappeared), I don’t have any other health issues. In India, if you have T levels in low normal range even in young patients ,doctors say you are ‘normal’. One doctor refused to prescribe clomid saying it can swell pituitary. Please guide what should I do? Any chance that my T levels will reach at least satisfactory levels (wrt to my age) and I will have normal erections.

  • Reply
    December 13, 2016 at 10:35 am

    Hello, how look Your hcg dosage, You take bigger dossage for every 6 weeks, or use every week, and what dosage? What do You think about sperm production after long trt, if You wanted child in future? Thanks

    • Reply
      December 14, 2016 at 2:18 pm

      I take 250 IU twice per week with no breaks or increases. I’m done having children so fertility isn’t an issue for me but it’s definitely something to consider for other guys.

  • Reply
    December 14, 2016 at 1:11 am

    I want start cycle with tes cypionate,hcg,anastrazole but I am not an expert at all so need your advice.
    Is it HCG and anastrazole are fine for PCT and how do I take it ,if I would inject 50 mg cypionate twice a week for 12 weeks then what for PCT ?

    • Reply
      December 14, 2016 at 1:59 pm

      I don’t have any experience with using these meds to cycle, only normal TRT protocol. On TRT, hCG and Anastrozole are take along with testosterone to control estrogen and preserve testicular function.

  • Reply
    December 19, 2016 at 6:22 am

    Ok tkanks, but what You think about sperm production after trt, when You use hcg, all trt?

    • Reply
      December 19, 2016 at 9:35 am

      That’s a tough question to answer. Testosterone isn’t effective enough to rely on as male birth control, but if having kids were my main priority, I’d definitely weigh my options. hCG should help preserve and/or bring back sperm production, but again nothing is certain.

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    January 6, 2017 at 1:20 pm


    I am 42 years old and I had a test with my Endocrinologist for T test. My T came back at 422 Normal Range is 300-890. However my free T was 4.4 with normal range (8.8-27).
    PROLACTIN 6.5 ng/mL 4.0 – 15.2 ng/mL

    FSH 6.2 mIU/mL mIU/mL MEN: 1.5-12.4

    LH 7.66 mIU/mL mIU/mL MEN: 1.7-8.6

    Do you think I should for TRT shots?


    • Reply
      January 9, 2017 at 7:35 pm

      You’re definitely at the lower end of the range so I think it’s all going to come down to how bad your symptoms are and if you think your test levels are causing them. If you’re suffering from depression, anxiety, and low motivation, it might be a good idea to at least try it out.

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    June 8, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    Hi Nate,
    Is doing a TRT at 27 years old dangerous if I ever want to conceive a child?
    Is good for clients in Canada? I’ll check their website but I still wanted to know from you.

    • Reply
      June 8, 2017 at 4:15 pm

      If conceiving a child is high on your list of priorities then I would think long and hard about starting TRT because it isn’t going to help your chances. You can always come off and there are sever ways to restart your fertility such as using hCG and Clomid (I don’t have any experience with this, thought). As far as I know, Prime Body serves the US only, but still give them a call to check for sure.

  • Reply
    June 12, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    Hey, interesting read, I’d swear I was reading about my own life. You hit on so many things that I’m going through now and I’m 48, but most all of what you said had been my whole life. I’ve been a bodybuilder, an MMA practioner and now I do strength training and HITT classes with okay success based on otc supplements that boost test. But the problem with those is that it boosts a little bit, not nearly as much as TRT would do. And I had taken test before, deca and hgh also back in the day. My main concern now would be cardio, how was your cardio effected with TRT? Is it better, worse or okay? The reason why I would ask that is that in my prior experience with test is that you get pumped up fairly easy, but then again I may have been on a higher dose, I don’t really remember. So I’m just wondering how that’s been for you. Thanks in advance.

    • Reply
      June 20, 2017 at 5:44 pm

      My cardio actually got better on TRT. I’ve heard that cycle levels of hormones can negatively effect cardio but a TRT dose doesn’t seem to.

  • Reply
    July 14, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    Great read. What happens if you stop though? What if you have to suddenly stop (have to relocate to a country where trt is not available or experience money issues or for health reasons)? Will you basically want to blow your brains out coming off this high? I imagine all the mental symptoms will come back in force.

    • Reply
      July 18, 2017 at 2:10 pm

      There are certain medications that will help jumpstart my natural production again. But yeah, it’ll only come back to the previous low levels at best.

  • Reply
    July 20, 2017 at 4:00 am

    Surprised you haven’t switched to Defy Medical. The prices on a yearly basis average out to be less than 2k per year (1200-1500 in some cases) which is by far the cheapest tele-med clinic available.

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