Basics on hormone replacement therapy
Hormone Replacement Therapy - Info
As we grow older our testosterone levels start to slowly decline while estrogen levels increase, In some bodybuilders this process happens alot sooner than others because of the continuation of attacking your HPTA, Continually shutting your system down for weeks on end then trying to recover it isnt an ideal approach, over time this will effect your own natural production of test, In many cases the damage occurs to your HPTA and there is only one option which comes alot sooner in life than it should - HRT.
With hormone replacement therapy we try to balance our sex hormones; testosterone, estrogen and progesterone to the same levels that they were at in our mid- twenties, symptoms of lower than normal test are; muscle loss,fat gain, gyno,depression,anger, low libido, erection problems,testicle shrinkage,energy level,low self esteem, irritability, unusual sleeping pattern and relationship problems, infact every part of your life is effected and the day to day living becomes a toil.
First, blood tests need to be done to estabolish how your T- levels and some medical and lifestyle background will determine why your sex hormones are out of balance. A blood test needs to find the levels of your free and total testosterone,estradiol,total estrogens ,LH, IGF-1, prolaction, DHEA, and several other hormones,
The blood test will determine what type of treatment is needed for balancing the hormones best, not all people should go straight on testosterone replacement therapy, with Andropause (male menopause) our bodys go through a slow process where free testosterone levels slowly start to decline, if you were to go straight onto testosterone replacement it could potentially shut down your HPTA fully when it was still producing a certain amount, careful planning will help find which treatment is best for your individual problem. Bodybuilders who go straight onto test replacement may find that they need to stay on it for the rest of their life so sometimes other methods might suit the person better.
When the testes fail to produce Test and men have primary hypogonadism or hypogonadotropic hypognadism Test replacement is the answer, there are a few methods what could solve the problem but knowing the risks what come with each treatment will help to understand the benefits to risk ratio. We produce around 4-7mg of Test per day in a circular pattern with Max levels attained in the early morning and min levels in the evening. Mimicking and stabilizing these levels would be the best approach for treatment.
The best course of treatment would be a therapy what maintains serum concentrations of the hormone without giving significant side effects. many different treatments are available including injectables, tablets and transdermal systems. Within bodybuiling world many go with injection. Estered forms of Test are commonly used with injection of 200-300mg every 14 days (long esters) or shorter ester's can be used but frequent injection normally put alot of BB's off.
Normally these injection will be good enough to produce enough serum Test levels, many need to adjust the dose or frequency to suit but with more mg comes more possible sides so be careful. Constant monitoring of Test levels to make sure they are in the normal ranges is needed, also men over 40yrs old should have their prostate check on a regular basis. Other sides of such treatment may be lipid abnormalities (reduce HDL,LDL & elevation in blood viscosityl), polycythemia,sleep apnea, and prostate changes.
In many cases when treatment is implemented sides of andropause will stopped. many will feel a new person and a feeling of well being beholds them. There are positive changes in body composition to more lean mass and decrease BF.
Bodybuilders who are constantly shutting down the HPTA and using steorids over many years have a great potential of damaging their own systems. I've seen so many young guys who are on HRT due to steroids, please think very carefully because what you may do now at this stage could effect your in later life or even sooner. Because we use such higher than normal dosages of Test we get accustomed to the great feeling it produces and when we come off many suffer. I've not known one long term bodybuilder not suffer some of the sides mentioned in this thread. If steroids is the direction your going to achieve your goals makes sure you do it as healthy as possible, spend as little as possible on cycle to achieve your goals and try and keep shutdown to a minimum time. Remember it easier to recover from a short shutdown than it is longer ones.