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Thread: 23 Year-Old with Low Testosterone

  1. #1
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    Default 23 Year-Old with Low Testosterone

    • starting strength seminar jume 2024
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    Rip (or Keith Nichols, Jay Campbell, Trevor Rachko, anyone else!),

    I had some bloodwork done in early August for my annual physical, and I also asked them to check my testosterone levels. I was rather displeased with the results. My total test was 423 ng/dL, which my doctor told me was "mid-range healthy." My free test was 9.1 pg/mL, which was outside the healthy range of 9.3-26.5.

    Everything else was normal except for:
    -Triglycerides (253 mg/dL when the healthy range was 0-149)
    -HDL Cholesterol (39 mg/dL when the healthy range was >39)
    -VLDL Cholesterol Cal (42 mg/dL when the healthy range was 5-40)
    Suffice it to say that I was consuming too much fast food, and I am working on limiting that.

    Anyways, a contributing factor is that I have been on anti-depressants (celexa i.e. citalopram) for the past 3 years. My psychiatrist swears that it shouldn't impact testosterone levels, but I'm not so sure. Over the past 3 months I have been weaning off the AD (in coordinatoin with my psychiatrist) and should be off it entirely in 2 weeks.

    I am planning on getting my bloodwork redone once I am entirely off the AD. A few questions:

    1. Do you have any opinion on whether or not taking an AD would impact test levels?
    2. How long should I wait after getting off the AD before I get my bloodwork redone in order to see if it was impacting my test levels? My primary care physician says 2 weeks but that seems rather quick.
    3. Any other recommendations for increasing test? I feel like my levels are rather low for someone who is 23, and I know that depressive symptoms can often be the result of low T. The idea of going on TRT at age 23 is not super appealing, especially considering that I want to have kids one day.

    Thanks for your time and knowledge!!

  2. #2
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    How long have you been on the "AD" shit? Who put you on it? Why?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    How long have you been on the "AD" shit? Who put you on it? Why?
    I have been on the anti-depressant from May 2021-present.

    I was very depressed. Thankfully I've been able to do some significant work mentally and thus feel comfortable with weaning off, and that process has gone well enough. The depressive symptoms aren't gone, but they are somewhat improved and I am much better at handling them now.

  4. #4
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    Again, who put you on the drugs? As a "depressed" person, what were your lifts?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    Again, who put you on the drugs? As a "depressed" person, what were your lifts?
    My psychiatrist was the person who prescribed them for me. I was referred to the psychiatrist by my therapist. I spent time thinking through the decision to take the AD and discussed it with the people closest to me, and felt like it was the right call at that time.

    I started taking the drugs in May 2021. I started following the SS Method in April 2022. From April-September 2022 I gained 40 pounds (185-225lb bodyweight) and improved all of my lifts accordingly:
    Squat (5x3): 115->255
    Press (5x3): 65->118.5
    Bench (5x3): 135-->182.5
    DL (5x1): 135-->325

    Since September 2022, I have been unable to move past those weights (and have somewhat regressed) due to a combination of injury and a lack of discipline in training rhythms due to depression. That's on me, and I recognize it. For what it's worth, increasing my squat has felt genuinely impossible at times, even though my form has been signed off on by you--perhaps that is related to low T?

    Again, I recognize that I need to be more disciplined in training rhythms, and I am working on that. I'm hoping that getting off the AD --> increased T --> increased motivation to train and improved recovery/strength gains.

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post

    Rip,

    As always, I genuinely appreciate your time and willingness to respond to my inquiries. Truly. I recognize that I am not doing the program well, and thus shouldn't be expecting much progress in terms of training. I am changing jobs in June and that should lead to a lifestyle much more conducive to doing the program. I am not asking you about my training, because I don't feel like discussions of my training are worth your time at this point since I am not currently doing the program.

    My goal in this post was simply to ask about my testosterone levels. I have listed to many of your podcasts with testosterone knowledge (Nichols, Campbell, Rachko) and I value your opinion and insight on this matter. Would you be willing to focus on my questions related to testosterone? I am working on fixing my training, and when I have done so, I will follow-up with you regarding my progress.

    1. Do you have any opinion on whether or not taking an AD would impact test levels?
    2. How long should I wait after getting off the AD before I get my bloodwork redone in order to see if it was impacting my test levels? My primary care physician says 2 weeks but that seems rather quick.
    3. Any other recommendations for increasing test? I feel like my levels are rather low for someone who is 23, and I know that depressive symptoms can often be the result of low T. The idea of going on TRT at age 23 is not super appealing, especially considering that I want to have kids one day.

    Again, thank you for your time and knowledge. I appreciate both.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheChubbyViking View Post
    1. Do you have any opinion on whether or not taking an AD would impact test levels?
    I don't know, but it sounds plausible. Look it up. I do know that SSRIs are no better than placebo for depression, and that your"doctor" put a 20-year-old kid on the goddamn things, without even thinking about your sex hormone levels.

    2. How long should I wait after getting off the AD before I get my bloodwork redone in order to see if it was impacting my test levels? My primary care physician says 2 weeks but that seems rather quick.
    What difference does it make? You can always repeat the test.

    3. Any other recommendations for increasing test? I feel like my levels are rather low for someone who is 23, and I know that depressive symptoms can often be the result of low T. The idea of going on TRT at age 23 is not super appealing, especially considering that I want to have kids one day.
    Other than getting outside, training, eating correctly, having a nasty girlfriend, and getting healthy, the only way to increase testosterone is to add testosterone. If you actually believe that adding testosterone will sterilize you, don't do it. I guess your "doctor" told you this too.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    I don't know, but it sounds plausible. Look it up. I do know that SSRIs are no better than placebo for depression, and that your"doctor" put a 20-year-old kid on the goddamn things, without even thinking about your sex hormone levels.



    What difference does it make? You can always repeat the test.



    Other than getting outside, training, eating correctly, having a nasty girlfriend, and getting healthy, the only way to increase testosterone is to add testosterone. If you actually believe that adding testosterone will sterilize you, don't do it. I guess your "doctor" told you this too.
    I'm not trained in the medical field, but I've researched anti depressants; my opinion is they cause more harm than good, and can adversely affect hormones. Also, they're highly addictive to neurotransmitters and withdrawal is a bitch.

    Eat more grass fed steaks, and cut out the sugar and refined processed poisons; and as Coach said, get some sunshine.

  10. #10
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    starting strength coach development program
    CV, are you in the US?

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