So I'm really just looking for some good resources, as googling 'testosterone' or 'free testosterone' brings up a million increase your sex-drive, or ad riddled pages. I've been getting treated for 'major' depression in the Navy for a while now, and while I'm doing much better than I was, I'm still tired/worn down most of the day and can't quite get out of a funk. Just recently (I've been being treated since April) the doctors here ordered a whole mess of blood work, from vitamin-D, to testosterone, to cortisol. All of the numbers were within their expected ranges, so everything seemed fine. But I got a chance to look at the results (no personal print out, not sure how much I can fight for that) and my testosterone levels, both free and bioavailable, were pretty low. As in, on a scale of like 50-200 (I can't remember the units sorry) my free was at 80.
I'm not trying to be one of those supplement freaks looking for a miracle to help me increase my muscle mass, decrease body fat and become a sex maniac, but I think something is off, and just want to have some help finding genuine resources to read. I'm 24 years old, male (obviously), and I have definitely noticed decreased libido as compared to my old self. Thanks for any help.
If you just google testosterone or free testosterone, you're going to get a lot of random stuff. Google ranks pages very specifically, so being specific with your search terms will get you more.
Search around on Pubmed and other medical literature sites for what you think it could be. These operate similar to google in that you'll need to be reasonably specific.
Some search terms you'll want to use for your situation:
Normal testosterone in adult males
Normal free testosterone in adult males
Symptoms of low testosterone
Relationship between cortisol and testosterone
Testosterone and depression
testosterone and libido
a little tweak to your keyword search can have a big impact on what results you get in the search engines. Broad search = broad results. If you refine things or even make it an exact match using quotation marks i.e, "testosterone and depression", you'll get whatever the search engine can find with that exact phrase.
Um.... what time of day did you have your bloodwork done? There are alot of factors that can change your T level. If you take it multiple times throughout the day you'll see a great deal of fluctuation.
I guess just start from the top and work your way down. Are you overtraining? How's your diet? How's your life? Getting much sleep? Those will all affect your T level.
But I don't mean to digress, you really need to complete treatment for your depression first and foremost. I'm not asking you to post it here, but for yourself, consider the reasons you're depressed. Address them. If you're depressed for no reason at all, then I would start to focus on hormonal issues.
I had a prof in my undergrad who liked to remind us that depression was the most over diagnosed and over treated issue. If your spouse dies or something awful happens to you, it's normal to be depressed. If you know why you're depressed and you have a good reason for it, then you're normal.
In any case, if you do find that it is testosterone related, Dr. G and I have been impressed with Primordial Performance's products. You could try running their Testosterone Recovery Stack (phosphatidylserine, resveratrol, and vitamin e tocopherols) with their Testosterone Conversion Factor 1 (d-aspartic acid). I know it boosted my T serum level about 200 ng/dL.
Anyways, I know that wasn't what you were asking for, but I hope it helps.
Some common things, none of which I have tried, except ZMA:
Chad's stuff +
Some people see effects, some people don't. Good luck figuring this out, and please post a review when/if you make a decision.
Derek- I'll spend the weekend doing specific research, even your google link turned up some good stuff. Symptoms seem to be accurate. But the more I read the better I'll feel about it.
Chad- the test was done first thing in the morning, because some of the tests had to be done after a fast of about 8 hours, and I think I've read that T is highest right after you wake up, but I'm not completely sure. As far as the depression, it's what confuses me the most. The primary thing that was causing it has been removed, but a lot of the symptoms still remain, they're just not as extreme. Plus this has happened before, so I'm trying to explore all options.
Training might be the problem, as I've noticed drops in mood and energy after a lot of consecutive training days, or not enough time off. I'm very hesitant to call it overtraining though, because I just don't think I'm bombarding myself with more than I have in the past, when I felt awesome. Inability to stay asleep is one of my primary symptoms, so that might be a chicken and egg situation. The sleeping pills I was prescribed are helping a lot with that.
And finally, thank you for the product recommendation. If I do end up supplementing like that, there are WAY too many products that say they help, glad to have an internet voice I can trust.
Samuel- good suggestion list. I've seen some of those mentioned before, so I'll have to do some (but this time specific) research on them.
I'd be real careful where you go from here. In this day it is all too easy to find some Doc who'll be more than happy to cooperate if you decide to start TRT. Not sayin' you are set on doing this, just a personal observation. TRT often becomes a lifelong matter for those who go down that path because there are so many variables involved when you begin playing with the endo system. I did a lot of research a couple years ago as I'd thought this might be the answer for me. Was tired all the time, couldn't work out and stay healthy, no wood, no libido, etc, etc. Had ALL the blood work done, everything was within healthy ranges. I was willing to do ANYTHING before trying TRT because it scared the eff out of me to tell the truth. Just read some of the forum messages you find around the web if you want to know what I'm talking about. So, I asked myself, how can I make solving this problem I have as simple as possible? Starting with the basics and looking at my life it was pretty obvious I carried a pretty strenuous load most of the time, working full time, a family, going to engineering school year round, working out, drinking coffee continuously, anything sounding familiar to you yet? I was sick and tired of being sick and tired so I've cut back where I felt I could. For me this meant cutting out the coffee, cutting back on the work out schedule (even to the point of dropping it altogether when other stresses get too high) and forcing myself to get enough rest every day. How did I know if I'd gotten enough rest every day? Simple, morning wood will tell most men the answer. I know, it is funny but it is accurate! I know my circumstances don't accurately describe yours but you can stop and analyze yours in a simple and fundamental way, you might be surprised at what you find that can change things for the better. Be very careful here, you are very young yet to do anything without slow and deliberate thought.
More sleep in a completely dark room.
NO metcon. No workouts that leave you feeling worse than you began them as the 2-hour-post-workout point.
Take some time off training.
Eat more, a lot more, of good stuff.
Those are the simple, free things that you can do.
At 24, you're likely just training yourself into the ground, not eating enough, and not sleeping (well) enough.
Good advice Garrett, you hit it pretty spot on. I just don't think I can actually take time off from training. It helps me way too much mentally. Good food and sleep can be improved though. Now I'm off to asking a question on the nutrition thread about easy vegetables.
The low testosterone is epidemic among those over-exercising.
Do what you like. There is no substitute for proper rest & recovery. Ignore at your peril.
Dr. G really helped me out fixing this for myself. I had low test levels, high cortisol levels. I was overtraining and under recovering. The high intensity work just isn't sustainable. Don't get me wrong, I understand the role of HIT, and I do see the results that it can elicit, but over a longer timeline, it just runs you down.
Take time off now by choice. It's much better than the alternative, like when you catch back to back flus and then start getting stress fractures left and right.
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