Home   |   Contact   |   Help

Get Our Newsletter
Sign up for our free newsletter to get training tips and stay up to date on Catalyst Athletics, and get a FREE issue of the Performance Menu journal.

Go Back   Catalyst Athletics Forums > Training > Special Populations

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-01-2010, 08:11 PM   #1
Jarod Barker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 320
Default TRT for my Dad

Wasn't sure which sub-forum to put this in, but this seemed appropriate.

My dad is 57 now, and he's slowing down. Doesn't help that he's a 2-3 pack a day smoker... (yeah, how bout that, my lungs are worse than his and yet he's the one who smokes, talk about good genetics). He's getting weaker, can't lift things he used to, he's always worn out, always sore. I just feel bad, because growing up, my father and I used to work on grandfather's farm, and he was able to just about anything. Now, he needs my help with practically everything.

So... I was thinking, maybe I should look into TRT for him. I'd imagine that he's at that point where "andropause" (is that the term they're using now?) is setting in. I don't begrudge taking care of him. But I'm worried that if I'm forced to relocate, how will he get by without me? Does anyone here have any experience with TRT? What kind of effect could I expect for him? I'm not expecting a miracle here or anything, I've done some research and read up on it, but most anecdotal reports are from young guys who talked their docs into giving them TRT It is my understanding that once you start though, you can never come off of it. So, that slightly worries me should he ever lose his health insurance, or if the government screws up healthcare in some way, shape, or form. I wouldn't want to get him into something that he could never stop if circumstances were to change for the worse. I thought maybe something like test gel or cream might be enough to get him back to his old self. He's definitely lost alot of muscle mass the past few years, and that really worries me.

I'd be interested to hear any experience or opinions on TRT. I know 57 isn't that old, but like I said, he's been a smoker his whole life, and he's worked in mines and mills and coal fire plants, so he's not really in the best possible health for his age.

Thanks guys!
Jarod Barker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2010, 09:33 PM   #2
Garrett Smith
Senior Member
 
Garrett Smith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 4,368
Default

Silly question. Is your dad interested in TRT or are you trying to do this for him? If it's the latter, you might just want to save your breath. Pun intended.
__________________
Garrett Smith NMD CSCS BS, aka "Dr. G"
RepairRecoverRestore.com - Blood, Saliva, and Stool Testing
My radio show - The Path to Strength and Health
Garrett Smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2010, 09:52 PM   #3
Steven Low
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,091
Default

You know that smoking decreases testosterone by some absurd amount like 30-40%... probably more if it smokes that much.

Might wanna get him off the sigs instead of looking into TRT..... and what Garrett said.
__________________
Posts NOT intended as professional medical, training or nutrition advice.
Site // Bodyweight Strength Training Article // Overcoming Gravity Bodyweight Book
Steven Low is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2010, 10:59 PM   #4
Jarod Barker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 320
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett Smith View Post
Silly question. Is your dad interested in TRT or are you trying to do this for him? If it's the latter, you might just want to save your breath. Pun intended.
We had talked about it the other day. He saw one of those commercials on tv, you know the type. "Do you have less energy than you used to..." He thought maybe that was his problem. I told him I'd look it up. I said it, but I didn't mean it at first. But then I started thinking about it, and he is losing a step or two. So, then I figured, "hey, maybe I should look into it for him." I think I would feel less pressure to take of him if I saw that he was healthier and stronger.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Low View Post
You know that smoking decreases testosterone by some absurd amount like 30-40%... probably more if it smokes that much.

Might wanna get him off the sigs instead of looking into TRT..... and what Garrett said.
I had no idea it was that much of a decrease, but that doesn't surprise. I really wish I could get him to quit, but it doesn't look like that's happening any time soon. He's tried quitting multiple times, and I don't think he's ever even lasted a month. He started smoking ridiculously young, like 15 or 16, so I don't think he can even remember what it feels like to not be addicted. I'll work on him though, I'm always trying.
Jarod Barker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2010, 05:03 AM   #5
Garrett Smith
Senior Member
 
Garrett Smith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 4,368
Default

A couple things.

If he's interested in TRT, it may be an in for you to demonstrate what the smoking is doing to him, in terms of trading something he's already doing (smoking) for what he now wants (perceived benefit of higher testosterone levels).

He will need to get blood (or saliva) hormone tests and likely some other blood panels. I'm guessing he's not one for frequent doctor visits (smokers generally aren't). This could be the first step to showing him the cumulative effects of his habit.

First thing, and possibly the best thing overall, for his health will be things to help oxygenate and distribute bloodflow where it is needed. If he's ever needed something like Viagra, this is an obvious example there are blood flow issues. There are herbal/nutrient combos that can do this.

At least get him on a good dose of fish oil, maybe even some of that Toco-8 vitamin E first. If he won't do that, I wouldn't go much further with it.
__________________
Garrett Smith NMD CSCS BS, aka "Dr. G"
RepairRecoverRestore.com - Blood, Saliva, and Stool Testing
My radio show - The Path to Strength and Health
Garrett Smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2010, 08:33 AM   #6
Jarod Barker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 320
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett Smith View Post
A couple things.

If he's interested in TRT, it may be an in for you to demonstrate what the smoking is doing to him, in terms of trading something he's already doing (smoking) for what he now wants (perceived benefit of higher testosterone levels).

He will need to get blood (or saliva) hormone tests and likely some other blood panels. I'm guessing he's not one for frequent doctor visits (smokers generally aren't). This could be the first step to showing him the cumulative effects of his habit.

First thing, and possibly the best thing overall, for his health will be things to help oxygenate and distribute bloodflow where it is needed. If he's ever needed something like Viagra, this is an obvious example there are blood flow issues. There are herbal/nutrient combos that can do this.

At least get him on a good dose of fish oil, maybe even some of that Toco-8 vitamin E first. If he won't do that, I wouldn't go much further with it.
Well you've got him pegged. It usually takes an act of God to get him to see a doctor. I remember when he thought he was having a heart attack and flat out refused to go. I can probably count the number of doctor visits we've made in the past decade on one hand.

For some reason though, he trusts my judgement. I'm unaware of any blood flow issues, he had some leg pain a couple years back and got it checked out for DVT or the like, and everything came back great (thankfully). The things I notice most are his decreased muscle mass, he's sleeping more, he has to take more breaks when working, once in a while I'll catch him grabbing his arm or knee, and if we put in a really hard day of work on Saturday, he doesn't have the strength to do it again on Sunday.

I think if I can get him to go in for blood work, then I'd have hard numbers to show him and discuss his health issues. I also think having something quantifiable would be better than just saying, "hey dad, you're getting old." I can tell he's frustrated with his loss of strength, even the fact that he asked me about the commercial he saw tells me he's bothered by it. So, that's probably a good angle to start from.

I've already got him on fish oil, a multi, and ZMA, I'll get him to add some Toco-8 and work from there.

Do you think that if I just get him to quit smoking and supplement appropriately that it would be enough to raise his T levels back to a point where his strength and energy would return?

Thanks!
Jarod Barker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2010, 03:43 PM   #7
Garrett Smith
Senior Member
 
Garrett Smith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 4,368
Default

The importance of oxygenated bloodflow, particularly to the brain, cannot be overestimated. Between the improved oxygenation (less carbon monoxide and combustion byproducts) and better breathing patterns, he would likely feel a lot better relatively quickly. Smoking delays healing, which means practically every other process in the body is likely affected negatively to some degree (since all of our tissues are in some sort of degeneration/regeneration balance).

Lowered testosterone levels are likely secondary here to the primary problem, which is a massive smoking habit.
__________________
Garrett Smith NMD CSCS BS, aka "Dr. G"
RepairRecoverRestore.com - Blood, Saliva, and Stool Testing
My radio show - The Path to Strength and Health
Garrett Smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2010, 04:56 PM   #8
Jarod Barker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 320
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett Smith View Post
The importance of oxygenated bloodflow, particularly to the brain, cannot be overestimated. Between the improved oxygenation (less carbon monoxide and combustion byproducts) and better breathing patterns, he would likely feel a lot better relatively quickly. Smoking delays healing, which means practically every other process in the body is likely affected negatively to some degree (since all of our tissues are in some sort of degeneration/regeneration balance).

Lowered testosterone levels are likely secondary here to the primary problem, which is a massive smoking habit.
Well then the first step is definitely to get him off smoking. He's tried the gum, patches, etc, and he always ends up smoking again.

What do you think of Wellbutrin for smoking cessation? As a non-smoker, I really have no basis for comparison the difficulty of quitting, but I've heard some very good things about Wellbutrin helping people to quit.
Jarod Barker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2010, 05:44 PM   #9
Garrett Smith
Senior Member
 
Garrett Smith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 4,368
Default

Anti-depressants, or increasing a dose of an already on-board anti-depressant, has been shown to help people stop smoking. If this works, it implies that there is a neurotransmitter imbalance. I would address this differently than with pharmaceuticals, that's just my approach.

Biggest hurdle he has to face is that once he quits, it is forever. He will always have a yearning for it, he will have to deal with it, just like almost everyone else who quits anything.

The way I look at it:

First 3 days off are breaking the chemical addiction. This is the hardest.

First 3 weeks off are breaking the habits & patterns, actively making the choice not to smoke when the thought comes into one's head.

After 3 weeks off, if someone goes back to smoking, it is by their own choice.

I use laser acupuncture and a combination homeopathic remedy to help people stop smoking...it works pretty darn well. That said, if someone isn't or wasn't ready to stop smoking, nothing can help them. People can quit anything cold turkey once they are truly ready to make the choice.
__________________
Garrett Smith NMD CSCS BS, aka "Dr. G"
RepairRecoverRestore.com - Blood, Saliva, and Stool Testing
My radio show - The Path to Strength and Health
Garrett Smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2010, 09:29 PM   #10
Jarod Barker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 320
Default

Yeah, I'd agree with that. People really have to commit to the choice. That may end up being the hardest part with him. He's quit for months before, and ultimately ended up back to smoking. I was only thinking of the Wellbutrin because his classic statement to me is, "can't I just take a pill for it?" Such as, "my low back really hurts." And I say, "oh you should stretch your quads, here I'll show you how." His reply, "can't I just take a pill for it."

I'll try my best. But I know that sometimes you just can't save people from themselves.
Jarod Barker is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:30 AM.

Powered by vBulletin Version 3.6.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Subscribe to our Newsletter


Receive emails with training tips, news updates, events info, sale notifications and more.
ASK GREG

Submit your question to be answered by Greg Everett in the Performance Menu or on the website

Submit Your Question
WEIGHTLIFTING TEAM

Catalyst Athletics is a USA Weightlifting team of competitive Olympic-style weightlifters with multiple national team medals.

Read More
Olympic Weightlifting Book
Catalyst Athletics
Contact Us
About
Help
Newsletter
Products & Services
Gym
Store
Seminars
Weightlifting Team
Performance Menu
Magazine Home
Subscriber Login
Issues
Articles
Workouts
About the Program
Workout Archives
Exercise Demos
Text Only
Instructional Content
Exercise Demos
Video Gallery
Free Articles
Free Recipes
Resources
Recommended Books & DVDs
Olympic Weightlifting Guide
Discussion Forum
Weight Conversion Calculator