Labored breathing on PCT, please help


New member
This is my first post, I've posted this on another forum, looking for shared experiences and advice. I've lurked for a while and decided to join when I couldn't find advice for a situation quite like mine. There are a lot of variables involved. It's part log, part questions
If you read this whole thing, thank you. If you want to skip to the basic screw-ups I need help with, I'll put an asterisk where things are most pertinent. Any constructive advice is welcome, even the advice I may not want to hear.

My history: I'm 30 yrs, 5'10, 244, around 13%bf, living in Texas. I lift weights 5x/week, been lifting since 17. I train bjj 5x/week since 19. I demand a lot from my body and wanted more out of it so after what I thought was enough research (years of reading around forums, trying to gain a working knowledge) and some over enthusiastic encouragement from an older friend, I decided to do my first real cycle. Since 26, I've done epistane-only, epi/halo, var-only, and proviron cycles with little to no issues that I know of. Stupid wastes of time.
After a var only cycle ending before summer '17 ending in lackluster results, I decided to do a real test cycle, and now that's what I'm coming off of and having issues with.

*Cycle: 12 weeks of test cyp 500/week, 2x250, no ancillaries added. Going into and early in the cycle I used ghrp, igf des, mechano growth factor, and caffeine/ephedrine. Afterwards, I switched thermogenics without taking a break.

I've always been a heavy caffeine and stimulant user. Ephedrine, synephrine, PEA, DMAA, etc.
I came off ephedrine and caffeine onto a synephrine/pea thermogenic mid cycle and took it for about 8 weeks, ending around a week or two before the end of my cycle.

When quitting caffeine I tend to get a little depressed, something I conveniently forgot before starting my cycle. I recently learned another possible side effect of quitting caffeine cold turkey is theophylline withdrawal, aka asthma-like symptoms.

Last pin was Wednesday the 27th of December. pct started 18 days later, the 7th of January. Nearing the end of my cycle, last two weeks of pinning and a week or so after that I took hcg 200iu daily on the advice of some people in a forum along with research chem aromasin at 6.5mg/day. Didn't really notice anything one way or another, size wise. Loads were runnier, though.

*Planned PCT:
clomid 50/50/50/25
Super Clomid (enclomiphene): 50/25/25/25
nolva 20/20/20/20
Aromasin 12.5/12.5/12.5/12.5
Thermogenic daily, krill oil.

*Actual PCT by days since I started
Clomid 50/50/50/50/0/50/50/0
Super clomid 50/50/50/50/0/0/0/0
Nolva 20/20/20/20/0/0/0/0
Aromasin 12/12/12/25/0/0/0/0

Clomid is well known china pharm grade, off-white pills, some have some blueish spots. I don't know if I can name the brand, so I won't.
The other three are research chems from the same source as the peptides.
I was also taking a thermo with DMAA and eating low carb to keep the fat off while resetting. I later learned that's not the way to pct.

*Here's where my troubles started.
Sunday,-Tuesday I started to feel a little different, softer, emotional, calmer, less sharp. Still manageable.

Wednesday, I woke up in a hurry, accidentally took double the aromasin along with everything else, started having trouble getting a satisfying breath in the car on my way to work. I thought I calmed down for a while, tried to work out, feeling came back, stopped lifting, went home. Aromasin overdose? Not so likely. Anxiety, panic attack? Maybe. I had to lay in a certain position for my lungs to feel like they were opening enough. Couldn't go back to work, couldn't go to jits.

Thursday, I took nothing. Just krill oil. No caffeine. Felt calmer, but still not great, went to work and still had to focus on my breathing.

Friday, got back on pharma clomid only, 50 mg. Tried a leg work out, same issue. Felt great at first, low reps, high weight, then everything was just telling me to stop. Started getting emotional, crying, texting exes, par for the course, from what I've read.

Saturday, 50mg clomid in the morning. My friend came over and eventually I was so uncomfortable that I had her take me to the urgent care and disclosed everything. Doc said I'm probably going through "steroid crisis" and sent me to hospital.
Get to hospital, ekg is normal, everything is normal, bloods, HR, 130/80, nothing showing up on X rays or anything. That's good news.

*BP 145/94 on my left arm while sitting. Moved it to my right arm higher up and got 130/80.
SPO2 98%
Pulse 61
Temp 97.8 (Tympanic)
Resipirations 16
*Tests they performed
CBC w auto differential, CK, CKMB, cardiac monitoring, comprehensive metabolic panel, *cortisol, d-dimer quantitative, *free t4, lipase, NT-proBNP, protime-INR, pulse oximetry, *TSH, troponin I, x ray chest 2 view

Doc says it's probably anxiety and side effect of clomid, which I knew was possible. My anxiety is real, but my breathing issue seems more real than just anxiety-induced. Dr tells me to stop taking clomid, writes me a script for 6 day prednisone course for "adrenal crisis" and xanax. Probably won't take the xanax.

That night was so uncomfortable I couldn't sleep. Eventually gave up trying and I drove to a 24hr pharmacy to get the script filled. Got home, managed to pass out, felt my temperature change in my sleep, got hot, heart started going in a positive way, felt like I wasn't running on empty, stopped shivering.

Granted, it's only been my first dose of prednisone, and symptoms have improved, but they always feel ok in the morning. The afternoon is when things really go up and down. Second dose coming up soon. I have stopped taking clomid.

Last variable to throw in this mix is that I went out the Saturday night before I started pct. Nothing too crazy, but I never go out. Drinks and smoked a friends 6mg nicotine vape, completely forgetting why I threw my vape away in the first place; I kept getting upper respiratory infections from it, both mild and serious. I'm not a regular nicotine user or drinker.

Morning woods were strangely good til Friday. Even now, I can coax it to attention, but the urge isn't there. Par for the course, I know.

Sorry for the long post. I wanted to be as detailed as possible, because there are some smart folks on here. I know I sound like a scared 20 year old, but I'm not. I'm a scared 30 year old who clearly wasn't ready to handle this shit.

*With all this considered, I believe my biggest mistakes (other than doing the cycle to begin with) were taking stimulants throughout the cycle, smoking the vape, and taking too much clomid, in fact, taking any research clomid at all.

*Any advice on getting through this would help. A big question is, considering depression and asthma symptoms are a common withdrawal symptom of caffeine, should I start back on a small amount of caffeine? Usual dose is 200mg, I was thinking 50-100mgs. I understand caffeine can also contribute to the anxiety, but at this stage I don't know if it will cause it or alleviate it.

*Should the breathing issues subside, would there be any point in getting back on clomid, 25mg for 3 weeks? Is it possible, albeit unlikely that I kick-started my recovery well enough to avoid getting back on it? Should I switch to the research chem nolva/aromasin since they have much, much shorter half lifes?
I've never taken xanax and I'm worried about coming off it and throwing another variable into the mix.
Also my appetite has not been big despite the prednisone dose.
Are there any options I'm not seeing? Any supps in the meantime for depression or natural test boosters? Should I try to see a urologist?
Sorry again for the long post.

* Hospital Blood Test Results
The following are from the blood tests at the hospital:

Value Standard Range

Free T4 1.20 ng/dL 0.78 - 2.19 ng/dL
D-Dimer, Quant (FEU) 0.21 ug/mLFEU 0.00 - 0.50 ug/mLFEU
Cortisol 8.13 mcg/dL Not specified
TSH 1.50 UIU/mL 0.47 - 4.68 UIU/mL
NT-proBNP 20.6 pg/mL <=450 pg/mL
CKMB 2.34 ng/mL <2.40 ng/mL
Total CK 365 U/L 55 - 170 U/L High
Troponin I <0.012 ng/mL <0.034 ng/mL
Protime 14.0 sec 11.3 - 14.7 sec
INR 1.1 INR 0.9 - 1.2 INR

Nothing was out of range except total Creatine Kinase, which was high.
Free T4 and TSH are on the low end of normal
Cortisol normal range was not specified, but a quick google search showed these as normal values, and I was tested around 6-7PM:
Morning - 7-28 ***956;g/dL
Afternoon - 2-18 ***956;g/dL
Stimulated* - ***8805; 18 ***956;g/dl *When stimulated by ACTH
Suppressed** - < 2 ***956;g/dl **When suppressed by dexamethasone
To my understanding though, cortisol issues arise from a poor ratio of cortisol:testosterone, not necessarily from being out of range. Correct me if I'm wrong, and I probably am.
I'll request a hormone panel at the doc tomorrow, Free/Total Test, Estradiol, LH/FSH, any other suggestions? prolactin? t3?

Midnight Tuesday morning- I was feeling relaxed and confident in my breathing all day until laying down for bed. Since I havent been training at all, I haven't been tired. Just took half a xanax.
My appetite even came back some, today.
I had a headache around 10 so I drank some extra water around 1030 with my prednisone dose. Headache is gone, breathing problems are back.

My breathing went back to not so great, but still better than before Saturday.
Went to the doctor, he said it could very well be anxiety causing the breathing issues, that seems to be everyone's main guess. He seemed a little confused as to why I was put on prednisone.
He said a little caffeine would be alright for my mood and not worsen my anxiety, so I took 50-60mg caffeine broke a 200mg into 4 pieces) around 1.
It's 4 and I feel a little more alert, a little warmer, and a little more upbeat, nothing crazy. I can't tell if my chest feels lighter or heavier, but it's a little easier to force my breaths to feel more satisfying. Hoping a crash will help me sleep better later.
Still off Clomid.
I weighed 236, down 8lbs from Saturday. Appetite is back to meh.
Had blood taken for Test, free test, LH/FSH, E2, and basically ran it all under a "checkup".
I've had a couple bouts of angry/sarcastic thoughts, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Would anyone who has experienced this, please chime in on how long it took to breathe better, if not feel better? I don't really care about retaining muscle at this point, just about breathing normal.

Is there anybody else who has experienced breathing problems from Clomid? Were you treated for them, how long did they last?

Is this the reason some guys jump back on gear? Would it be unwise to get back on and taper down? Would I just end up having to go through this, again?

Well, you seem to be taking a shit load of clomid. Typically you run 50mg a day thru pct with nolvadex ONLY. You did not use an ai during cycle but for whatever reason you are using aromasin in pct. Not a good call at all.

You gotta keep in mind that steroids are hormones. When you use steroids, you are manipulating your own hormones. Steroids will change many of your different hormone levels that can cause adverse effects as you now know. There are protocols and guidelines to use when running a cycle. We have stickys on beginner cycles so I'm not going to dive into that.

I can only guess why you are having your issues. I'm not certified or licensed. You tossed some hormones into your body without knowing what you were doing and wondering why you are feeling the way you do. Your anxiety and panic attacks are probably the cause of that. Your clomid dose was on the high side which can cause bad sides. Running an ai in pct can have a bad effect too. You got so much going on that it is hard to pinpoint it.
I would suggest running a standard pct.
Nolvadex 40/40/20/
clomid 50/50/50/
You will have emotional changes transitioning from a cycle to pct because your hormone levels are changing. Same with pct and after. You would do yourself some good to research proper first cycles and pct.
We have a sticky here called the ology faq's thread. Give it a read. Maybe when you understand where you went wrong it will give you peace of mind. Understanding what you were putting into your body and when will probably clear up a few things also.
hey bro, whats your BP at? has it been consistent throughout your cycle? high E2 issues i say, are you experiencing any bloating, gyno sides?
When I get shortness of breath I go give blood. High blood volume and high hematocrit often equals shortness of breath and exhaustion. I give blood every 6 weeks.
Best wishes bro. Hope ya find something that works for you
When I get shortness of breath I go give blood. High blood volume and high hematocrit often equals shortness of breath and exhaustion. I give blood every 6 weeks.
Best wishes bro. Hope ya find something that works for you

This has to be it for sure, donate blood to lower your hematocrit and red blood cell count since its probably high now and then youll feel a whole lot better. plesse keep us posted!
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Im very concerned about your breathing issues, check your Estrogen level again as you stated that you had checked it and all was good, what numbers did you get? i suspect yor prolactin and E2 levels are high and thus causing water retention around your lungs.

Here is a list of some of the symptoms of high E2 (you don't have to
experience all of the symptoms to know that you have high E2):
* Depression
* Trouble reaching an orgasm
* No erections while sleeping (i.e. "night wood" or "morning wood")
* Anxiety
* Panic Attacks
* Prostate problems
* Gyneomastia
* Water Retention
* Dizziness/Vertigo
* Increased Blood Pressure
* Decreased Libido
* ED
* When penis is limp, it doesn't hang low (it seems to try to crawl back up)
* Asthma like issues (due to increased water retention around the lungs)
* Trouble sleeping at night - waking up multiple times per night
* Lack of Libido
* Crying while watching TV shows/movies
* Easier to get angry (think PMS)
* Insulin Resistance (getting tired after eating a meal - if left
untreated, it can lead to Type II Diabetes)
* Larger stomach
* Redness on the face and/or chest
* Feeling hotter than everybody else
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first thing that popped in my mind was water retention in your lungs due to high E2 is what may be causing your labored breathing issue, how soon can you get your blood works done?
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could this just be a case of panic attack?

seems you use a lot of different compounds.. esp stimulants.. and coming off going on.. changing all those compounds.. it can affect your levels of paranoia, anxiety, and cause panic attacks..