Thanks for letting me know the medication you're using.
As noted in what I already posted, gels are normally
used for "males not desiring fertility", whereas to
restore fertility, injections are more common.
Let me add the following to what I've already provided.
Okay, first of all, some of the side effects you're experiencing
are listed as possible side effects for Androgel, on Healthsquare:
"More common side effects may include:
Acne, application site reaction, *breast enlargement*, *emotional
instability*, headache, high blood pressure, prostate disorder"
Emotional instability can also be described as emotional lability,
and, in your terms, aggressiveness and irritability.
"Less common side effects may include:
Breast pain, *decreased sexual desire*, depression, difficult
urination, disorder of taste or smell, hair loss, hot flashes,
insomnia, nervousness, male reproductive gland disorder,
swelling of the hands, ankles, or feet, teary eyes, weakness"
I added asterisks to emphasize certain pertinent effects.
Second of all, excess aerobic exercise can decrease muscle,
as noted in this article on the Phil Kaplan site:
"If you exercise aerobically, beyond your body's ability
to provide regular fuel, the body reaches into muscle
tissue and as you lose weight, you lose muscle!"
So I'd suggest no more than about 12 minutes a day of
aerobic exercise, with the rest being weightlifting with
low reps. The more muscle you have, the higher your
metabolism will be, and the more fat you'll burn. Low
rep weightlifting will build muscle better than anything,
and this will increase your body's ability to produce
Part of the problem is addressed in multiple posts on
the Men's Health Bulletin Boards (these may take awhile
to load). The instructions for Androgel prohibit applying
it to the sex organs, and some people ask why that is,
and orion answers:
"Androgel is formulated to absorb slowly over several hours
thus closely approximating your normal daily testosterone
cycle. Applying the gel to your testicles will result in
rapid absorption giving you a high testosterone level
followed by a steep decline. Such spikes in testosterone
are not advisable and can cause several side effects
including impotence and breast enlargement. Follow the
Assuming you're applying it to the arms and abdomen, as
suggested, it may be that you're still experiencing too
rapid of an absorption rate, producing the spikes and
results noted above.
Even so, JinL also notes:
"When you first start Androgel or any tetsosterone supplement
you get a boost for about 3 weeks. "Everything" feels better.
Then you decline to about where you were before. This is
because your testicles were producing a little bit of
testosterone then the HRT told the pituritary that you had
enough "T" & it shut down the testicle production of "T" &
sperm.. Thus you backslid on your testosterone levels. The
"T" levels should be in the upper third of the normal range.
The lower third is for guys over 80.
If you include some low dose HCG [human chorionic gonadotropin]
injections every other day it might keep the natural "T"
production by the testicles, ask your doctor.
Read "The Testosterone Syndrome by Eugene Shippen"
If you plan on any more children then find a doc that will
let you try HCG before doing much testosterone supplements,
as the "T" shuts down the sperm & testosterone production.
Also ask him about getting a prescription for compounded
testosterone. If he does not try you on HCG you will
probably need a higher dose than Androgel. The compounded
testosterone that is twice as strong as Androgel is about
1/4 the price of Androgel.
You also need to keep getting the hormones tested every few
months, make sure you get the estrogen E2 tested, if it gets
too high you will grow breasts. An OTC pill, DIM can lower
the Estrogen E2 if taken with vitiman E & Zinc"
More posts on the page:
DIM is Diindolylmethane. The following formulation includes
Vitamin E, but not zinc:
I didn't find anything specifically discussing penile atrophy,
but certainly that and your voice getting higher are consistent
with what we've seen, which suggests that your estrogen E2 level
is too high, which can result in gynecomastia, or enlargement of
the breasts in men, which is one of the more common side effects
of Androgel, as noted earlier.
I think you should certainly feel entitled to discuss this
further with your doctor, and if he is unresponsive, seek
a second opinion. It's his practice, but it's your body.
Please do not rate this answer until you are satisfied that
the answer cannot be improved upon by way of a dialog
established through the "Request for Clarification" process.
Additional information may be found from an exploration of
the links resulting from the Google searches outlined below.
Searches done, via Google:
androgel "side effects"
"aerobic exercise" fat
"The Testosterone Syndrome by Eugene Shippen"
DIM tabs -guitar
Clarification of Answer by
06 Feb 2006 11:41 PST
1. Aerobic exercise -- You have recommended 12 minutes of aerobic
exercise. I am trying to understand this because it is so contrary to
everything else that I have read and heard about aerobic exercise and
"fat burning". I have heard almost universally that aerobic exercise
is of no benefit at all for weight and fat reduction if it is not of a
long duration, say 30-45+ minutes. All aerobic machines at the gyms
include a "Fat Burn" setting that features a low speed and very long
duration. I've heard that fat burning only begins to occur after at
least 30-40 mintues of aerobic exercise. A. Can you elaborate on your
recommendation of 12 minutes in light of my desire to burn the fat
around my abdomen? B. Is there any possibility that a high estrogen
level is contributing to my abdominal fat?
First, let me note that this is beyond the scope of the original
question, and amounts to an additional question, so I would prefer
to be succinct here, while pointing you in the right direction.
The 12-minute figure was based on the link I posted, from the
Phil Kaplan website:
"Many women make the mistake of undereating and over-aerobicizing!
If you exercise aerobically, beyond your body's ability to provide
regular fuel, the body reaches into muscle tissue and as you lose
weight, you lose muscle!
People who get started on my program begin by performing
only 12 minutes of aerobic exercise per day....and they
lose fat! The reason is twofold. Firstly, they develop
a nutritional concern for supplying the material for muscle
maintenance, and secondly, their aerobic exercise is
customized so it keeps them within their fat burning limits.
By losing muscle through aerobic exercise, you then become
dependent on that exercise just to maintain the condition
you're in. Take a break from the aerobics and your body will
rapidly accumulate new fat stores."
Read the whole page here:
Another writer, Dr. Bernarr, D.C. D.D., has this to say:
"If you vigorously exercise before you eat, you will eat less."
[A good time for so-called aerobic exercise, but done in an
anaerobic way, such as wind sprints vs an hour on the treadmill
at a long-distance running pace].
"Lean muscle has the highest resting metabolic (calorie burning)
rate of any tissue. The more muscle you have, the more calories
you burn, day and night! Muscle burns calories even at rest,
while fat tissue is virtually dead weight."
"To lose weight, do as little aerobic exercises as you can.
Aerobic exercises (with oxygen), do not help you to lose weight.
Aerobic exercise only helps you gain endurance and will take you
forever to burn up your fat." [As you've noted, with the added
risk that you'll start losing muscle mass.]
"To lose weight and fat, do anaerobic exercises (not using oxygen,
without oxygen). Anaerobic exercises are sprinting, running up
stairs rapidly, jumping high, long and vertically with intensity,
rapid cycling, rapid rowing, rapid swimming, weight throwing,
weight lifting with low repetitions, hand balancing, gymnastics,
chins, parallel bar dips, roman rings, rope climbing, tubing,
bands, pulleys, wrestling and martial arts. [He leaves out
Anaerobic exercises are intense exercises that can be tolerated
for only a few moments. They are short bursts of all out
activities. They are activities using muscle groups at high
intensities that exceed the body's capacity to use oxygen to
supply energy. They create an oxygen debt by using energy
produced without oxygen. They are activities in which oxygen
demands of muscles are so high that they rely upon an internal
metabolic process for oxygen."
Much more on the page:
As for your weight gain being related being related to estrogen,
I would say it's more likely that, since Androgel decreases your
body's production of testosterone, this is similar to the weight
gain many animals demonstrate after being spayed or castrated.
Once your stores of fat begin to increase, fat itself produces
an increase in estrogen, per this article on fat from AskMen:
"Carrying a few extra pounds may also wreak havoc on your
hormonal balance, leading to a variety of illnesses and
health risks. Estrogen, the classified 'female hormone,'
is a fat-storing hormone that is also naturally present
in small amounts in men. But when you gain weight, estrogen
levels rise and other health problems ensue.
Although estrogen is necessary in men, as it regulates a
healthy libido, improves brain function (especially memory)
and protects the heart, when the levels are too high,
testosterone levels are reduced, and many men experience
fatigue, muscle tone loss, decreased sexual function, and
in some cases, enlarged prostates. In other words, there
are no good side effects to increased estrogen levels in men."
Much more in the multi-page article:
2. The estrogen test that you refer to. I live in the USA and I use
LabCorps for my testing. What is the exact medical name of this
estrogen test? Is this name universally used and/or recognized by all
USA physicians and lab testing facilities?
E2 Estrogen testing will be understood by your doctor. Estrogen
is commonly tested as follows:
"Estrogen fractions (over 30 different forms of estrogen have been
described; the most common forms tested are estrone [E1], estradiol
[estradiol-17 beta, E2], and estriol [E3])"
So if you tell your doctor you want to be tested for estradiol,
or estradiol-17 beta, if you want to impress him, he can order
tests specific to this variant.
Additional searches done, via Google:
"increased estrogen" "weight gain"
E2 estrogen test