Author Topic: HRT: Any gotcha problems?  (Read 621 times)

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Offline flyinginside

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HRT: Any gotcha problems?
« on: May 22, 2021, 09:58:24 am »
So I'm still a way off from starting MTF HRT. In fact, I'm seeing a GP next Wednesday, just to get things rolling along. I'm really excited to be on my way...!

Thinking ahead, though, I wanted to ask -- assuming I start HRT -- what are some problems, hiccups, frustrations to keep in mind? I like to look ahead and hedge my bets; it's just in my nature.

I've read widely about the process, of course, so what I wanted to get were some personal experiences, like, "Grrr, I wish I would have ____" and "Be sure to ____."

Like, did you find that you gained fat more easily? Did you take any supplements or make any lifestyle changes to encourage/discourage certain physical or emotional changes? Did you ask your physician for any particular additional medications or treatments to make your transition easier? Things like that.

Anyway, thanks in advance!

-Eleanor

Offline ChrissyRyan

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Re: HRT: Any gotcha problems?
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2021, 10:42:13 am »
Eleanor,

I had a growth spurt with my breasts the past nine months.
So if you are MTF be aware that you will need to deal with your bodily changes throughout your transition.

Sure, the female body is what most of us want.  It is all in the timing, although we cannot control all of the variables of our transitions.

There are numerous social, legal paperwork changes, and relationship issues to deal with plus our livelihoods.   And a lot more too.

Having breasts, for instance, unless you can get away with “man boobs” I suppose, can be a problem at times as well as a joy. 

Do keep with physician health monitoring and gender therapy and try to have one true friend.
One true friend is worth a lot more than 20 so-called friends.  He or she will help you in ways that should give you comfort.

This is not the easy life for many but some of us seem to have few bad issues.  I wish you the best!

Chrissy

Be a good example of good behavior.  Always be kinder than needed.  Be tender to others.  You are as beautiful as the thoughts you think and the words that you speak.   Always stay cheerful, be polite, kind, and understanding.  Knowledge and action shown without love is not impressive.  If you look for the good in people you will find it. Healthy relationships are so important to good living.  Serve others.

Good living, joy, unity, love, and happiness can come from following these practices: Never let selfishness or conceit motivate you.  Regard others as more important than yourself.  Do not limit attention to only your interests, but include the interests of others

It is not usually about how fast you transition, it is about how well you transition.  

Offline Battle Goddess

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Re: HRT: Any gotcha problems?
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2021, 10:46:27 am »
Never woulda thought I'd be so d*mn happy with it.



Emotional health was a great concern, as mine is none too good at the best of times. I was particularly wary of how estrogen would react with lamotrigine, a med I depend on for keeping in balance. Some say they neutralize each other, some say E activates lamotrigine, blah blah, who knows. Lamotrigine is a lifesaver, but it can behave a little erratically.

Since starting HRT, I have had to tweak the dosage of lamotrigine I take. We've also adjusted the dosages of some others. It is what it is. Psych med cocktails are always shifting.

I also feel incredibly better emotionally overall. Is it because I finally got my issues out in the open and started addressing them? Of course. Is it because my body looks more like I wish it always had? Absolutely. Because I don't feel masculine? Heck, yeah.

I have to say, though, there's still something deeper to having a normal level of E in my body now. There's an element of fitness to it, a sense of having found the right spot, the right space, the right biochemical adjustment I'd never known I'd needed before. That, too, might be something to watch for.
"It's not really a choice. Because we're not choosing to transition...we're choosing to be happy." -- SarahC

"Have a gentle manner ❤️" -- Chrissy Ryan
"Working on it" -- Battle Goddess


Introductory Post: https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,242617.msg2196235.html

Whiny HRT and Transition Blog: https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,244163.msg2217618.html

Spironolactone January 10 2019
Divigel January 20 2019
Estradiol Valerate March 14 2019

Offline RandiL

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Re: HRT: Any gotcha problems?
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2021, 01:54:58 pm »
I'll add a note of, I'll say neutral expectations. Pretty much all my effects have been positive, with strength loss being the only negative, and I expected that one. But nothing really outstandingly positive either. It's more on the subtle side for me.

Yes some breast growth in 6 months but that's the only obvious physical effect.

Emotionally I feel more positive and I laugh more. But I could also attribute that to getting out from under the stress imposed by my wife and to living more outwardly and consistently as myself.

I'm happy with my HRT and hopeful for further positive results. But patience is really important!

Sent from my dual-floppy Victor 9000 using Tapatalk

Forging my new, best life as Randi

My personal blog thread: Randi the lost traveler, finding the right road at last

My HRT thread: Randi's HRT Journal


Offline flyinginside

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Re: HRT: Any gotcha problems?
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2021, 08:26:23 am »
Thanks, everyone! Every little bit helps! (Though of course, ultimately experience is the best teacher!)

-Eleanor

Offline Maid Marion

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Re: HRT: Any gotcha problems?
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2021, 11:22:05 am »
Many report a loss in height, as well as strength.

Both a big negatives as I'm already short.

Marion

Offline Battle Goddess

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Re: HRT: Any gotcha problems?
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2021, 11:33:32 am »


Ultimately, experience is the best teacher!

-Eleanor

This.

The one ironclad rule of any personal experience compared to others' is that always and inevitably, Your Mileage Will Vary.

There isn't much to fear anymore from HRT, medically speaking. Nobody is going to drop dead, grow horns, or turn into a blueberry upon the first dose.

In fact, it takes time for much anything to happen. You don't puberty overnight.

Best is to research research research, overcommunicate with your endo, journal your changes patiently and calmly, blood test routinely, and enjoy the ride.

You can always stop if you get uncomfortable or you feel unsafe. You can always start again later if you feel like it then. If medical issues arise that compel you to stop, so be it. Maybe they can be addressed and you can resume.

It's a leap. Or at least, it was for me. Check out the first post in my HRT blog for that story. Read further for more about my experience. You'll find you're not alone.

I won't tell you to start HRT. That's only for you to choose. I will say, though, that it made a world of difference for me.

"It's not really a choice. Because we're not choosing to transition...we're choosing to be happy." -- SarahC

"Have a gentle manner ❤️" -- Chrissy Ryan
"Working on it" -- Battle Goddess


Introductory Post: https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,242617.msg2196235.html

Whiny HRT and Transition Blog: https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,244163.msg2217618.html

Spironolactone January 10 2019
Divigel January 20 2019
Estradiol Valerate March 14 2019

Offline Julie H

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Re: HRT: Any gotcha problems?
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2021, 03:30:18 pm »
Many report a loss in height, as well as strength.

Both a big negatives as I'm already short.

Marion
I was wondering about that I seemed to have lost about 3" in height. Some of that I am sure is because of age but 3" in 5 years seems to be a lot.

Otherwise I am on spiro and I can get dizzy standing up so I have to take my time. I also have to pee a lot. As for any physical changes I haven't really had any at all, I asked my doctor about progesterone in hopes I can control how much I change.
Julie

Offline Battle Goddess

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Re: HRT: Any gotcha problems?
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2021, 04:24:14 pm »


I am on spiro and I can get dizzy standing up so I have to take my time. I also have to pee a lot.

Betcha you're hypotonic.

In other words, you're down a quart. You can process so much urine that you get low blood volume. When you suddenly stand up, the blood sloshes out of the upper part of your body faster than your heart can pump it back up, and you fall over. My kid gets that way.

You just have to hydrate more, which sucks because you just end up peeing more, but whaddaya gonna do? Anymore I don't feel that my kidneys filter water so much as water filters my kidneys.

"It's not really a choice. Because we're not choosing to transition...we're choosing to be happy." -- SarahC

"Have a gentle manner ❤️" -- Chrissy Ryan
"Working on it" -- Battle Goddess


Introductory Post: https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,242617.msg2196235.html

Whiny HRT and Transition Blog: https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,244163.msg2217618.html

Spironolactone January 10 2019
Divigel January 20 2019
Estradiol Valerate March 14 2019

Offline pamelatransuk

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Re: HRT: Any gotcha problems?
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2021, 06:46:00 pm »
Hello Eleanor

I agree with all the advice provided by the other respondents and the only point I wish to add is this:

Obviously you know your GP or Endo will monitor your E&T Blood levels and set and amend your E dosage accordingly. Just be prepared that it may take several months for your Blood Readings to settle and for your true applicable dosage to be determined.

Wishing you all the best at your GP Appointment on Wednesday 26th and future happiness and success.

Hugs

Pamela xx

Offline Rakel

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Re: HRT: Any gotcha problems?
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2021, 07:48:33 pm »
As I have said previously, not everyone can tolerate Spironolactone. This was first marketed in the US as a diuretic, a medication to get rid of excess water to help lower blood pressure. It will affect your kidneys to make them filter out a lot of water from your blood, which results in low blood pressure and sometimes causes dizziness.

Later on, Spironolactone was found to block the Testosterone receptor sites, making any Testosterone in your blood less effective.

Years ago, many people transitioned without Spironolactone. With therapeutic doses of Estradiol for about 4 to 6 months, your bodies own production of Testosterone will be way down. Some people who cannot tolerate Spironolactone opt for an orchiectomy before GCS. Others just continue with the Estradiol and delete the Spironolactone. The choice is yours.




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Offline ChrissyRyan

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Re: HRT: Any gotcha problems?
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2021, 08:12:47 pm »
No “gotcha” problems. 

Sometimes I get moody.  I am almost always cheery.

I am not attributing the moodiness to the HRT, it is probably just something about everyone experiences occasionally.

 :)

Chrissy
Be a good example of good behavior.  Always be kinder than needed.  Be tender to others.  You are as beautiful as the thoughts you think and the words that you speak.   Always stay cheerful, be polite, kind, and understanding.  Knowledge and action shown without love is not impressive.  If you look for the good in people you will find it. Healthy relationships are so important to good living.  Serve others.

Good living, joy, unity, love, and happiness can come from following these practices: Never let selfishness or conceit motivate you.  Regard others as more important than yourself.  Do not limit attention to only your interests, but include the interests of others

It is not usually about how fast you transition, it is about how well you transition.  

Online Rachel

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Re: HRT: Any gotcha problems?
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2021, 05:05:56 pm »
My experience was a doctor started me on Spiro, then added in estrogen in pill format. Next the dosages were increased. Then I was switched to inter muscular injections. IM had much more of an effect than E pills.  At about the three month mark I was put on progesterone for a while. I am now back on progesterone and it is having a good effect this time. When I first was on P it had no effect. I do not know why.

Sometimes a person is put on finasteride or dutasteride. There are issues for some with suicidal idietion on Finasteride. I do not know about dutasteride. I had to get off finasteride. Also, finasteride is a 5 alpha reductase inhibitor. You may want to read up on what 5 alpha reductase  does for testosterone and estrogen conversion to others forms of T and E. I wish I knew this before I took it.

I may take a lot of heat for saying this so i will say it about myself and not generalize it to others. Being off T and on E and Spiro I found I had some dysphoria reduction. Expressing I had fear but reduced dysphoria. Having GCS cured me of dysphoria.  I found being off T and on E I felt much better. I think I was nicer and less on edge. Somewhere  along my hormone journey the feeling that something will go wrong went away. I had that feeling since I was young. My therapist had a term for it but HRT helped that feeling go away.

There are some awesome changes. Skin is softer, Hair looks better, complexion is better, my color lightened in my face. I had to exercise and watch what I eat. Muscle went away, from a combination of stopping lifting and hormones. I am lifting again and it feel amazing to be back.

HRT was the beginning of addressing my dysphoria.

I am a girl and there are differences between girls and boys that our society expects. I am very happy now in the role but it is a change. HRT was the beginning of that change.

Rachel
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