Low Testosterone

DirtyD64
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Low Testosterone

Post by DirtyD64 » Sat Jun 18, 2022 8:57 am

So over the past 3 years I have been having horrible anxiety. I was given buspirone a while back and recently given Ativan to calm the spells. I figured this was just from being a past addict. I hard a serious opiate addiction from the time I was 17 to mid 20s. I was prescribed a large amount of hydrocodone for a shoulder injury and it just went up from there. I dropped out of college and racked up huge unpayable student loans fueling an oxycodone/oxymorphone addiction in college. Later to fix my life I started Suboxone. It helped me get back on track, clean up my life, meet my wife, buy a house, etc. The problem is I was so scared of becoming an addict again I just stayed on the Suboxone. Now I have been on it for just as long as I was the true full agonist opioids.

I don't take a lot of it, 1 8mg tablet daily for now, but I recently went to the doctor to get labs ran. I had also worn a heart monitor because my anxiety/racing heart has gotten awful. I will jump to 120-130 beats per minute and sometimes have a pressure of +150/100. Thing is though, these attacks only happen when nervous and the bad vital signs don't last. Either way the labs were great, liver, kidneys, etc. everything imaginable was healthy, except my testosterone.

Healthy testosterone should be around 300-1100, and mine was 78. The doctor is having me come back in Monday because he thinks it is a mistake. After reading for a while on the internet though I am quite sure it is the medication causing this. There are multiple people who have similar results. Where this gets confusing though is I have a 6 month old child, tons of energy, no drive issues, no balding, no OTHER male issues, etc. So I don't know what to think... Is the medication just lowering my serum testosterone in my blood and my body gets enough? Or is it to blame for weight gain around my stomach and chest, along with the terrible anxiety and nervous spells?

Hopefully I will find out more next week, when I make sure the test was not a fluke. Just a heads up to anyone who has had to take pain killers or go on medication therapy for addiction, watch out, it can affect you in many weird ways. I wanted to share this story because addiction defined my life for a long time, I still haven't cleared myself of the Suboxone completely, but I am taking it one day at a time and trying my best to be a better person. I appreciate our website and all on it, having something to lose myself in like fishing has really helped me focus and find a hobby to better my life and occupy an idle mind.

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Re: Low Testosterone

Post by Hogsticker2 » Sat Jun 18, 2022 11:56 am

As long as you're body is producing high levels of Cortisol, your test levels will likely be low. Are you taking any supplements such as Zinc, Ashwaganda, or anything to help you sleep? Solid, restful, uninterrupted sleep is vital for healthy Testosterone levels.
Another issue may be your Thyroid. Opiates or any other type of narcotic can cause severe thyroid damage. I partied pretty hard in my youth. By the time I was 20, my thyroid was shot.
Definitely have your test levels checked again. You may require hormone therapy. You may think that you feel pretty good, but after we've lived with a disorder for so long, we don't know any difference - It's just the norm. Also make sure that you're eating plenty of healthy fats, such as fatty beef, bacon, butter and bacon. Keep the added sugars to a minimum, and don't drink warm bottled water. There is another readily available product on the market that can help you kick the Sub-O or opiates for good.

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Re: Low Testosterone

Post by DirtyD64 » Sat Jun 18, 2022 12:38 pm

Hogsticker2 wrote:
Sat Jun 18, 2022 11:56 am
As long as you're body is producing high levels of Cortisol, your test levels will likely be low. Are you taking any supplements such as Zinc, Ashwaganda, or anything to help you sleep? Solid, restful, uninterrupted sleep is vital for healthy Testosterone levels.
Another issue may be your Thyroid. Opiates or any other type of narcotic can cause severe thyroid damage. I partied pretty hard in my youth. By the time I was 20, my thyroid was shot.
Definitely have your test levels checked again. You may require hormone therapy. You may think that you feel pretty good, but after we've lived with a disorder for so long, we don't know any difference - It's just the norm. Also make sure that you're eating plenty of healthy fats, such as fatty beef, bacon, butter and bacon. Keep the added sugars to a minimum, and don't drink warm bottled water. There is another readily available product on the market that can help you kick the Sub-O or opiates for good.
What product would that be? I really have had no issues with just a slow taper. Just these results make me want to get it in gear and stop taking it for good. All my other levels were fine, thyroid, all of it. 2 years in a row now with perfect labs, just didn't get my T tested last year. I take beet powder, garlic oil, and a multivitamin every morning, that is it. Again I really hate to down suboxone, it saved me initially. I just wasn't advised of the potential long term body effects. This could all be for nothing if the second test shows a normal level. If not, I will continue my taper off suboxone and take the necessary testosterone replacement. I am a very happy, energetic person. I do have some man boobs and gut (but that could be from eating poorly), but the anxiety is what gets me. I take my blood pressure 5-6 times a day sometimes out of fear it is high. I constantly worry about active shooters or disasters when we are out with the baby. This is what I am scared has formed from prolonged buprenorphine use. That and how sore my ankles have been; low T can affect bone and ligament health too.

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Re: Low Testosterone

Post by DirtyD64 » Thu Jun 23, 2022 3:37 am

So I got the second test back, was so bad the doctor wouldn't read results over the phone and asked me to come in. Second level was 148. That is pitifully low. I will now have to go to an endocrinologist, get bone density tests, etc. Not good. I still don't feel that bad other than the severe anxiety and extreme heart rate (sometimes 40min of hard exercise bike makes my heart race but it goes away instantly, other times walking stairs gives me a racy heart for an hour). I am not tired, I exercise daily, etc. I have cut the medicine in half again and maybe that made the level increase? Just really sad and depressed about this, I thought using a replacement opioid would be safe and the only risk would be a lighter tolerance or milder addiction. The doctor said it could take forever to get in with a specialist and I am just scared. Any advice to anyone using suboxone, it can be a great drug, but they don't fairly warn you of what can happen long term.

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Re: Low Testosterone

Post by Hobie-Wan Kenobi » Thu Jun 23, 2022 6:38 am

DirtyD64 wrote:
Thu Jun 23, 2022 3:37 am
So I got the second test back, was so bad the doctor wouldn't read results over the phone and asked me to come in. Second level was 148. That is pitifully low. I will now have to go to an endocrinologist, get bone density tests, etc. Not good. I still don't feel that bad other than the severe anxiety and extreme heart rate (sometimes 40min of hard exercise bike makes my heart race but it goes away instantly, other times walking stairs gives me a racy heart for an hour). I am not tired, I exercise daily, etc. I have cut the medicine in half again and maybe that made the level increase? Just really sad and depressed about this, I thought using a replacement opioid would be safe and the only risk would be a lighter tolerance or milder addiction. The doctor said it could take forever to get in with a specialist and I am just scared. Any advice to anyone using suboxone, it can be a great drug, but they don't fairly warn you of what can happen long term.
I worked Child Protective Services for a while. I had clients who were on the Suboxone program. Seemed to genuinely work for a few people. The program is supposed to be a "weening" type thing and they end up on it for 8+ years without any reduction in dosage. The prescribing Dr around me also got grant money for research so...I think that had something to do with it. After MANY complaints from professionals and clients, the Dr ended up going to Wisconsin to "practice".

For long term effects, I am not too sure of that side of it. I know the drug can be great when used with other treatments such as counseling such as an addiction specialist. When it is the sole source of "treatment", the body seems to still "crave" regular "drugs", it just gets it's fill via Suboxone instead without any progress to actually getting the body used to not being on any drug.
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Re: Low Testosterone

Post by DirtyD64 » Thu Jun 23, 2022 7:07 am

Hobie-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Thu Jun 23, 2022 6:38 am
DirtyD64 wrote:
Thu Jun 23, 2022 3:37 am
So I got the second test back, was so bad the doctor wouldn't read results over the phone and asked me to come in. Second level was 148. That is pitifully low. I will now have to go to an endocrinologist, get bone density tests, etc. Not good. I still don't feel that bad other than the severe anxiety and extreme heart rate (sometimes 40min of hard exercise bike makes my heart race but it goes away instantly, other times walking stairs gives me a racy heart for an hour). I am not tired, I exercise daily, etc. I have cut the medicine in half again and maybe that made the level increase? Just really sad and depressed about this, I thought using a replacement opioid would be safe and the only risk would be a lighter tolerance or milder addiction. The doctor said it could take forever to get in with a specialist and I am just scared. Any advice to anyone using suboxone, it can be a great drug, but they don't fairly warn you of what can happen long term.
I worked Child Protective Services for a while. I had clients who were on the Suboxone program. Seemed to genuinely work for a few people. The program is supposed to be a "weening" type thing and they end up on it for 8+ years without any reduction in dosage. The prescribing Dr around me also got grant money for research so...I think that had something to do with it. After MANY complaints from professionals and clients, the Dr ended up going to Wisconsin to "practice".

For long term effects, I am not too sure of that side of it. I know the drug can be great when used with other treatments such as counseling such as an addiction specialist. When it is the sole source of "treatment", the body seems to still "crave" regular "drugs", it just gets it's fill via Suboxone instead without any progress to actually getting the body used to not being on any drug.
Well a common misconception is that it works to help with all addictions... it is simply for opioid addiction though so other drug addicts use it for some reason. For me weaning hasn't been so hard, been pushing myself hard at the moment. I really think people get on suboxone for mild addiction when it is really designed for SEVERE addicts. 3 Suboxone a day is WAY worse than a 2-3 hydrocodone a day "addiction". I am about to cut to less than 1 a day, just hoping they can hurry me into an Endocrinologist and get my levels correct. I wish I had tapered long ago, I was just scared of becoming an addict again and losing my wife, house, etc. Things were finally good for once and felt right so I just stayed at the same dose. Now years later I feel okay, just plagued with a horribly racy heart and anxiety. Starting to think my shoulder going bad and ankle pain is from testosterone loss too.

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Re: Low Testosterone

Post by Hogsticker2 » Thu Jun 23, 2022 1:46 pm

If the doctor provided you with a referral, keep hounding them and have them put you on the cancelation list. Either that, or go see a different doctor who will start you on hormone therapy sooner. Believe it or not, there are online doctors who will get you started immediately. Just need your test results. I understand anxiety quite well, as a few of my family members suffer from severe anxiety and diagnosed ocd. It will all work out, and you will start feeling much better shortly after you start.

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Re: Low Testosterone

Post by hoohoorjoo » Thu Jun 23, 2022 4:31 pm

Breathing exercises and yoga have helped a couple people I know to beat panic attacks and acute anxiety. This may be simply a temporary side effect of weaning yourself from the opiate. You might want to also include a therapist or counselor in this process.
Try not to let your mind wander. It is much too small to be outside unsupervised.

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Re: Low Testosterone

Post by DirtyD64 » Sat Jun 25, 2022 6:13 am

hoohoorjoo wrote:
Thu Jun 23, 2022 4:31 pm
Breathing exercises and yoga have helped a couple people I know to beat panic attacks and acute anxiety. This may be simply a temporary side effect of weaning yourself from the opiate. You might want to also include a therapist or counselor in this process.
Doing good again for now. Have made it to 1/2 a tablet a day. No real issues so far. Stomach issues are appearing, but mentally I have decided to defeat this demon. I think having a family will help motivate me, along with the terrible testosterone reading I figure this medicine caused.

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Re: Low Testosterone

Post by Cristo » Sat Aug 06, 2022 6:57 pm

Yo man, stay in the fight dude! Keep us posted and all positive vibes your way! I will say this aging in many aspects sucks, eventually failing body, mental game becoming more and more work to just be even some days and then the potential to lose all your marbles down the road. Alot to negotiate and hope better days are ahead for you 8-)
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Re: Low Testosterone

Post by DirtyD64 » Sun Aug 07, 2022 6:00 am

Cristo wrote:
Sat Aug 06, 2022 6:57 pm
Yo man, stay in the fight dude! Keep us posted and all positive vibes your way! I will say this aging in many aspects sucks, eventually failing body, mental game becoming more and more work to just be even some days and then the potential to lose all your marbles down the road. Alot to negotiate and hope better days are ahead for you 8-)
Thanks. I went to a Jonesboro doctor at the end of July, waiting to see what he says. I hope reducing the medicine has increased my levels, but no call from their blood tests yet. He kept asking me if I had ever been injured (kicked in the nuts basically), said he would be surprised if medicine would reduce it that much and it was odd that ONLY my testosterone was low rather than other values alongside it. He actually commented a few times that ALL my other labs were great. Just slightly overweight on my stomach and chest with low T. Will update when I get a call.

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Re: Low Testosterone

Post by Cristo » Tue Aug 09, 2022 9:49 am

Checking in to see how you're holding up dude 8-)
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Re: Low Testosterone

Post by DirtyD64 » Tue Aug 09, 2022 6:29 pm

Cristo wrote:
Tue Aug 09, 2022 9:49 am
Checking in to see how you're holding up dude 8-)
All good, called doctor today. They had mailed some results and a note with two prescriptions that should help hire it. Was almost 200 at the last measure. So it has come up a fair amount since reducing suboxone drastically. Hoping that starting the meds reduce the high heart rate/anxiety and it clears me up. I really need to stop cooking and eating so much too, could afford to lose about 30lbs even though I have thin arms and legs my stomach and chest are flab. Couldn't help it a few days ago and made a cinnamon roll cheesecake.

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Re: Low Testosterone

Post by Cristo » Wed Aug 10, 2022 12:00 pm

Super stoked to hear you are on the up and up 8-)

Man I hate aging with the whole can't burn the excess fat off in certain places that's ridiculous, having to watch what I eat now, WTF?! That's the pits for sure, I also like to eat and cook 8-)
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Re: Low Testosterone

Post by DirtyD64 » Mon Aug 15, 2022 5:21 pm

Well they have me on tamoxifen and anastrazole. 2 very strong estrogen blockers. I am terrified to take them but the pharmacist and doctor swear it will be fine. The internet says otherwise. Found articles where cancer patients chose cancer over this treatment. Just hope this doesn't make my anxiety worse.

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