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Author Topic: LOW TESTOSTERONE HELP !  (Read 1552 times)

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Offline tommy246

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LOW TESTOSTERONE HELP !
« on: November 12, 2009, 10:09:54 AM »
 i decided to get some tests done privately  last week as i am treated through the national health system free here in spain i didnt like to ask the hiv doc to do it.
I noticed many threads mentioned many people with hiv lack vitamin d, calcium , and selenium, i also read that lack of energy/fatigue could be lack of testosterone so i tested for these 4 things. TODAYS
RESULTS , calcium 91 (80-105) ok, vit d 30 (12-54) ok ,selenium 86 (40-150) ok all okay and to my surprise i have low testosterone 1,9 (3.5 to 11.0 is normal. So i have a few questions for anybody who has had this problem. I will fill you in about me in case its important. ME 49yo,6ft 2inches, 105k,fit muscular ,good sex drive( 1 wank a day  lol ) low energy ,easily tired for few years now(2 or 3 ),hiv neg jan06 ,hiv pos dec 08,numbers 591 cd4,59.000 vl, 16% on atripla for1 week now all ok.
1.Is this common in males with hiv or does it have nothing to do with hiv.?
2.Is it easily treatable and is it a permanent thing ie supplements for life/regular injections etc ?
3.Is it urgent to let my hiv doc know about this as not due to see him for 1 month. ?
4.Is my level very low  ie,low enough to cause fatigue/low energy. ?
5.What health problems can this cause. ?
Thankyou for your kind help.Tommy.
jan 06 neg
dec 08 pos cd4 505 ,16%, 1,500vl
april 09 cd4 635 ,16%,60,000
july 09 ,cd4 545,17%,80,000
aug 09,hosptal 18days pneumonia cd190,225,000,15%
1 week later cd4 415 20%
nov 09 cd4 591 ,vl 59,000,14%,started atripla
dec 09  cd4 787, vl 266, 16%
march 2010  cd4 720 vl non detectable -20  20%
june 2010  cd4  680, 21%, ND

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: LOW TESTOSTERONE HELP !
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2009, 10:20:16 AM »
Yes, it's common.  I first encountered it before the age of 40, even though like you I was still wacking off daily so it never really bothered my sex drive, but it did contribute to low energy and increased depression.  I took twice monthly injections thereafter for about four years, followed by a year of topical gel (the gel was not initially on the market when I was first diagnosed with low testosterone).  However, I eventually got my numbers up into normal range and went off everything, and have had zero hormonal supplementation now for four years.  For me, the main reason I went on hormonal therapy is that it increased my appetite, and my decreased appetite was contributing to HIV wasting back then.

It's not urgent for you to address this with your doctor, you can wait until your next appointment.  There is also a school of thought that long term use of hormonal therapies isn't that good for you, which I think is why my doctor recommended I discontinue it once my numbers were normal even though they were at the low end of normal.  I'm personally not to keen on the supposed increase in risk from prostate cancer, and I can't recall exactly but I also experienced high blood pressure during the period right after I discontinued all of this, and to this day I have to take medication for it.

Basically it's my personal opinion that you need to weigh the risks.  If you have no decrease currently in sex drive, and no increase in depression, and no appetite/wasting issues then what is the benefit of going on hormonal therapy?  Just to solve a number on a laboratory report?  The thing is, most men hear "free testosterone" and they think "fab!"
« Last Edit: November 12, 2009, 10:25:10 AM by Miss Philicia »
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline tommy246

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Re: LOW TESTOSTERONE HELP !
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2009, 10:31:57 AM »
My sex drive is fine (dont tell my wife),good appetite,no depression,just the energy levels that bother me,but that could be down to my fairly high vl and low %,maybe i should wait and see if the atriplas working and gives me more energy,then get tested again to see if its risen.
jan 06 neg
dec 08 pos cd4 505 ,16%, 1,500vl
april 09 cd4 635 ,16%,60,000
july 09 ,cd4 545,17%,80,000
aug 09,hosptal 18days pneumonia cd190,225,000,15%
1 week later cd4 415 20%
nov 09 cd4 591 ,vl 59,000,14%,started atripla
dec 09  cd4 787, vl 266, 16%
march 2010  cd4 720 vl non detectable -20  20%
june 2010  cd4  680, 21%, ND

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: LOW TESTOSTERONE HELP !
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2009, 10:35:33 AM »
Yeah, definitely high viral load makes you tired.  Once I got mine suppressed I found I had lots and lots more energy, it was like night and day.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline Inchlingblue

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Re: LOW TESTOSTERONE HELP !
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2009, 11:02:52 AM »
Our bodies are programmed to always keep a delicate balance in terms of enzymes, hormones, etc. so it's tricky when we need to step in to help.

I do think it's important to deal with low T levels, although as Miss P said, it's not like it's an emergency, you can wait until your next appointment. Low T levels have not only been linked to fatigue and low sex drive but it's important to maintain healthy levels in order to maintain one's muscle mass and not start drying up like a prune before one's time. I would not be surprised if low T levels contribute to body shape changes that have been associated with HIV, so keeping the levels normal can likely help in that regard.

High T levels are bad too. When I went on Androgel due to low T levels, I was applying it every night before bed and in about a month my T levels shot up very high, above the normal range. I have since regulated it and only apply the gel about 3 times a week or so and I may go off it at some point and see what happens.

I'm not sure what rules exist with your health care system but checking the T levels of any man in his late 40s, especially if that man has HIV, should be pretty standard and something that you should be able to ask your doctor about doing. Maybe he'll even be annoyed that you went and did it behind his back?

Offline tommy246

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Re: LOW TESTOSTERONE HELP !
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2009, 11:21:49 AM »
Is it common to for  testerone levels to get back to normal after starting haart, or is treatment neccesary and secondly once you have raised your levels back to norm can treatment finish for good.
jan 06 neg
dec 08 pos cd4 505 ,16%, 1,500vl
april 09 cd4 635 ,16%,60,000
july 09 ,cd4 545,17%,80,000
aug 09,hosptal 18days pneumonia cd190,225,000,15%
1 week later cd4 415 20%
nov 09 cd4 591 ,vl 59,000,14%,started atripla
dec 09  cd4 787, vl 266, 16%
march 2010  cd4 720 vl non detectable -20  20%
june 2010  cd4  680, 21%, ND

Offline tommy246

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Re: LOW TESTOSTERONE HELP !
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2009, 12:11:15 PM »
Is it common to for  testerone levels to get back to normal after starting haart, or is treatment neccesary and secondly once you have raised your levels back to norm can treatment finish for good.
[/quote   
Anyone any idea ?]
jan 06 neg
dec 08 pos cd4 505 ,16%, 1,500vl
april 09 cd4 635 ,16%,60,000
july 09 ,cd4 545,17%,80,000
aug 09,hosptal 18days pneumonia cd190,225,000,15%
1 week later cd4 415 20%
nov 09 cd4 591 ,vl 59,000,14%,started atripla
dec 09  cd4 787, vl 266, 16%
march 2010  cd4 720 vl non detectable -20  20%
june 2010  cd4  680, 21%, ND

Offline Inchlingblue

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Re: LOW TESTOSTERONE HELP !
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2009, 12:15:57 PM »
tommy, I think it depends on the individual.

As Miss P said, he stopped taking it, I assume his levels went back to normal (right, Miss P?)

I have a friend who has been poz since 1985 and he was on it and then stopped.

I am planning to slowly go off it and see, not yet but soon.

The thing is if you go on it and then you go off it, you would need to get your T levels measured and if they stay back in normal range, you can stay off it.

It's a good idea to have one's T levels checked every so often when one is of a certain age (over 45).

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: LOW TESTOSTERONE HELP !
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2009, 12:36:26 PM »

As Miss P said, he stopped taking it, I assume his levels went back to normal (right, Miss P?)

Yeah, re-read my post as I said that was the case.  The numbers are at the low end of "normal" but they are normal.  But my larger point was that the reason I went on it in the first place was to assist in regaining lost weight due to HIV wasting, which I had twice.  I had fatigue issues as well but I'm quite certain that was more due to having a detectable viral load for 18 years.  Once I went on Fuzeon and suppressed my VL my fatigue issues were greatly lessened.  So the bottom line is that there was no reason to continue with hormone therapy, while at the same time exposing myself to possible other risks.

I'd still argue that in the absence of fatigue, libido, depression and/or weight loss issues simply having low numbers on lab report isn't a compelling reason to go on hormone therapy.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline Inchlingblue

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Re: LOW TESTOSTERONE HELP !
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2009, 01:04:34 PM »

I'd still argue that in the absence of fatigue, libido, depression and/or weight loss issues simply having low numbers on lab report isn't a compelling reason to go on hormone therapy.

It's probably fine not to treat T levels on the low end of normal ranges but if levels are below normal then I think it's important to treat, regardless of any obvious symptoms. And how likely would it be for someone with lower than normal T levels to not have fatigue and/or loss of libido and/or weight loss, etc? They pretty much go hand in hand.

Also, there have been studies (can't find them now) that have linked low T levels with more likelihood of body shape changes if one has HIV.

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: LOW TESTOSTERONE HELP !
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2009, 01:57:55 PM »
It's probably fine not to treat T levels on the low end of normal ranges but if levels are below normal then I think it's important to treat, regardless of any obvious symptoms. And how likely would it be for someone with lower than normal T levels to not have fatigue and/or loss of libido and/or weight loss, etc? They pretty much go hand in hand.

Also, there have been studies (can't find them now) that have linked low T levels with more likelihood of body shape changes if one has HIV.

I'd be interested in the low T/Body shape info, but I doubt if you find it it's more than speculative at this point.  So how are you, or not, accounting for increased risk of prostate cancer and/or higher blood pressure?  I just don't see the benefit in hormonal therapy if you don't have the issues I stated in my previous post.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline tommy246

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Re: LOW TESTOSTERONE HELP !
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2009, 03:45:18 PM »
Reading johns hopkins site he says  treatment sometimes is a fine balancing act of pros and cons especially as to much can cause coronary damage and certain prostate risks ,low testorone can also cause muscle loss and bone problems, i would only take this short term and then only if my fatigue doesnt improve with haart .
jan 06 neg
dec 08 pos cd4 505 ,16%, 1,500vl
april 09 cd4 635 ,16%,60,000
july 09 ,cd4 545,17%,80,000
aug 09,hosptal 18days pneumonia cd190,225,000,15%
1 week later cd4 415 20%
nov 09 cd4 591 ,vl 59,000,14%,started atripla
dec 09  cd4 787, vl 266, 16%
march 2010  cd4 720 vl non detectable -20  20%
june 2010  cd4  680, 21%, ND

 


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