2x Recovery Story - various natural supplement methods

Note: I’ve had a lot of problems trying to post on this site before, so I’ve just been using the yahoo egroup to update people on my progress. This is the fourth update on my “dopamine routine”, copied verbatim from the egroup.

Hey All,

Here’s the latest on my dopamine routine and the progress I’ve made
thus far. To reiterate, here’s the evolution of my routine:

Beginning: Tyrosine/Phenylalanine (increase dopamine), C3 (reduce
cortisol), progesterone cream (increase GABA, thereby reducing
cortisol), other little things like milk thistle

Middle: Cut out everything but Tyrosine, Phenylalanine, and
progesterone cream

Now: Am taking just tyrosine and phenylalanine.

And, as far as progress goes, I’m almost 100% back to normal. I have
night time erections, strong morning erections (not 100%, but
three-ish months ago I was at 0%, so I feel amazing), libido comes in
waves–at times it’s stronger than others, but I can feel overall that
it’s regulating. Brain fog is completely gone, I feel a much stronger
will to live and enjoy life than I have since I took finasteride, and
moreso in general I just feel like I give damns about things. I’ve
gone back to wanting to listen to music, talk on the phone with my
friends, ride my bike and enjoy the warm weather, etc. I just feel
more creative/compassionate/all these things I liked about myself
before I took finasteride. Sex feels way better, I HAVE CRUSHES ON
PEOPLE for the first time in years, and I maintain erections
post-ejaculation. Given my personal struggle with this problem, my
progress over the past few months is like night and day.

The only adjustments I’ve done to my routine recently are two-fold: I
cut out progesterone cream (I just had this intrinsic feeling that I
didn’t need it anymore) and increased my daily dosage of tyrosine and
phenylalanine from 2 grams each to 3. I think this second step is
what’s made a huge difference.

This slight adjustment in my routine and its consequent effectiveness
have posed a very difficult question in my mind. Before I ask it, I’d
like to remind everyone that we, as a community of dis-eased men, are
suffering from essentially the same side effects: anxiety, depression,
emotional displacement, and sexual dysfunction. It’s obvious that
these four conditions are symptomatic of the same problem–in other
words, whatever cause we have for all these woes is the same.

So, with that in mind, are we all clinically depressed? I personally
don’t like how candidly depression is diagnosed in people, especially
in the US, but I feel like our endocrine systems are exactly that–so
depressed they can’t stand up on their own and need some sort of
outside assistance, be that medical or what have you.

It makes too much sense to me to ignore. Several anti-depressants
essentially mimic this dopamine routine in a more intense way. I feel
that as the dopamine routine I’m following is directly having a
positive impact on all of my symptoms, it’s likely because it is
medicine for an actual condition I didn’t suspect I had: depression.

So what to do now? I feel like if I keep following my dopamine
routine, I will eventually go back to completely normal, than be able
to taper myself off these amino acids. (It’s worth mentioning I went
off my amino acids for two weeks to see what would happen, and
absolutely none of my positive progress diminished–once I went back
on them at higher dosages, I began feeling more and more progress at
noticeably faster rates). I’m also considering taking Wellbutrin, a
dopamine reuptake inhibitor commonly sold to treat depression, to sort
of add rocket boosters to my routine.

I’m not claiming to know exactly what’s going on in our systems, but
the rational side of me says that it’s absolutely impossible for a
drug to chemically rewrite someone’s mind to the point that they can
no longer enjoy life. Even poisons don’t do this to people; even if
you chemically castrate someone, those effects eventually fade away.
I just don’t think anyone in our situation is allowed to lose hope,
because it’s so unlikely that there’s hope to be lost. If absolutely
nobody had made any progress from their lowest point despite repeated
efforts, I might consider this problem unsolveable. But, well,
evidence anecdotal and personal suggests something contrary. People
have improved, even at tiny steps at a time, but this is enough to
prove that our lives are not over.

I still stand by my idea that finasteride is a dopamine antagonist,
which wreaks havoc on quite a few seemingly unrelated systems in the
body. As dopamine levels diminish, cortisol increases, which further
complicates the situation by preventing the metabolism of key hormones
such as DHT, Testosterone, and Progesterone. People might see bouts
of progress by taking testosterone and progesterone supplements (I
know I did), but I think the most effective way to treat this problem
is to get it at its source: dopamine. Be that through natural methods
(amino acids) or more artificial ones (anti-depressants), I have a
strong hunch that this is the ticket out of this misery.

To people who are reading this and wondering if your situation was
worse than mine, I’ll reiterate my history. I was prescribed propecia
at age 19, took it for less than 4 weeks, and was practically
impotent, libido-less, and miserable for three years. Only a few
months ago did I decide to take it into my hands to actively solve
this problem, and that’s exactly what I’m doing–solving it. I feel
like this drug has robbed me of my college years, but if anything I’m
grateful to know that I can have my life back. There is no doubt in
my mind that this is the worst obstacle I will ever face in my life,
and just reminding myself of that gives me the will to keep fighting.
In addition to this problem, another thing we all have in common is
time: we are not in a race to fix ourselves, and there is no sense in
giving deadlines for well-being and dizzying ourselves with scrutiny.
You shouldn’t be in a rush, it’s just going to add to your anxiety.

I’ve been doing a lot of researching, as well as exercising and
reflection, and it’s really helped center me. And, in all honesty,
once it occurred to me that I might be clinically depressed, something
inside me went off like a bell and I’ve felt so calm with my situation
since then. And that’s when the pace of my improvement rapidly
increased, because I feel a million times more confident with the
nature and direction of this ailment.

I apologize for writing such a long email, but I hope it gives most
everyone here something to think about. As always, it’s wonderful to
receive private emails from people on the board, and I’m always happy
to discuss progress and ideas–although I am pretty busy most of the
time now, so my emails might be surprisingly brief!

1 Like

Hey bro, how much time do “beginning” and “middle” refer to?

Also, can I ask you, what is the C3, and the milk thistle??

Did you take anything else?

Also, where do you find that, and whats the easiest way to get that “natural progesterone cream”?
Is this a TRT supplement also, I’m not aware.

Thank you very much for sharing this very inspirational story man! I, and I’m sure the rest of us (we) really really need these. You’re the man for posting like this. Good luck, enjoy your freedom.


Wow what a great story. You are only about 22. You show a lot of maturity beyond your years in that post. Are either of your parents in the medical profession. Your story is very inspirational.

So looking back at your self treatment in your post you used but then discontinued a lot of things. Do you think all served a purpose or if you were to do it again  would you skip some? How did you know when to discontinue?  I think your on to something here. I would be interested to know if your progress continues as some have had temporary success only to see results diminish after about a month. How many months ago did you start this treatment? Please keep in touch with us.

Thank you for sharing this.

why would you say that grail???

Say what Boston. What part are you referring to.

dude its just not cool. ask him how he’s doing after some time, but don’t say that man. Its not cool

i thought it seemed harmless enough. Boston, we’re trying to get to the bottom of this, not tiptoe around people’s feelings.

Boston if anything I meant just the opposite of what your thinking. He’s implied he has been on this routine for at least 2-3 months. He’s over the 1 month threshold. I have a strong feeling he’s going to succeed. Because of my own depression I agree with his initial hypothesis and therefore his treatment. And besides what I say is not going to affect him.

Many of you have said lets compare symptoms. Go to the blood test section and log in under “lets compare symptoms”. Boston, Brainfogged, Legenden, Mew, JC anyone. ( yes I know it should have been under the personal profile section. It was 3 in the morning when I wrote it).

how do you apply the progesterone cream? How do you measure out the proper amount? And better yet, what is the proper amount? Thanks for your help.

Congrats on the recovery! I’m very happy for you.

How long were you suffering from side effects after you stopped taking fin? If I’m not mistaken, you suffered for a little more than a month, correct? If that’s the case, I’m wondering if your body healed itself apart from the supplements and progesterone cream that you took… just a thought…

Congrats on the recovery again!

UGA I believe he says he was suffering for 3 years. Read the 3rd to last paragraph.

ah, i see…


Since letsconvenience has been having issues with posting to the site lately, I have copied his latest updates to the Yahoo group and posted them here.

If he is able to post here, I’m sure he will reply to any questions but don’t hold your breath…:[/i]

Wed Apr 25, 2007 5:19 pm

Hi Everyone,

This is likely going to be the last update on my routine. I am happy
to say that, as far as I can tell, I am back to normal after 3 years
of being askew on finasteride.

As you know if you’ve been keeping up with my autonomous
experimenting, I’ve been trying different combinations of
hormone/neurotransmitter therapy. I eventually concluded that, in my
case, a dopamine defficiency was the root cause of all my problems. I
was using L-Tyrosine and L-Phenylalanine to help my body produce
dopamine, which was working great for a while, but my routine started
stalling on me, and I wasn’t sure what to do next.

It then occurred to me to fight fire with fire–i.e. since an
artificial substance did this to me, I should be able to drug my way
back to normalcy! I started taking a dopamine reuptake inhibitor
(bupropion), and have been pretty much back to normal ever since.

By normal, I mean NORMAL. Everything. Every little thing. Normal.

So if you haven’t tried following the neurotransmitter aspect of
recovery, I suggest you look into it. I used the Edge Effect by Eric
Braverman for reference, and the four main ingredients to my recovery
were the above-mentioned amino acids, progesterone cream, and
bupropion. Since bupropion is a prescription drug, you’ll need to
make an appointment with a psychiatrist and/or neurologist.

I wish everyone the best of luck, although none of you need to rely on
good fortune to have your situations turned around. I personally feel
that there has always been a cure for our problem, we just had to
figure out the dis-ease.

Thu Apr 26, 2007 5:29 pm

Thank you, everyone, for your kind words. If you’ll read over my
previous posts, I think you’ll find detailed answers to most of your
questions, but I’ll give a brief summary here.

  1. Background
    I noticed my hair was thinning when I was 19, and thought I might have
    something like hypothyroidism since it never occurred to me that I
    could be going bald. I was prescribed finasteride (ironically by a
    man who assured me there were ‘absolutely no side effects’), took it
    for a month, and have experienced side effects (the whole gamut) for
    three years.

  2. Why dopamine?

After reading the Edge Effect, I became very interested in
neurological aspects of health. I started reading about the
relationship between dopamine, cortisol, finasteride, testosterone,
and eventually progesterone after reading a few posts on this site.
Dopamine has a fundamental relationship with all of these hormones,
and it occurred to me that if finasteride was having a detrimental
effect on hormonal balances, it could mean that finasteride is
actually a dopamine antagonist. This is the hunch I based all of my
treatment on.

  1. Dopamine supplementation, initial improvement

I began to take L-Tyrosine and L-Phenylalanine every morning, ranging
from 500mg to 2g over the duration of time. Within a few days of
beginning this routine, I was amazed with the amount of cognitive
function that returned. I had no idea I had been that ‘fogged up’ on
finasteride, so to speak. I continued taking the amino acids.

  1. Progesterone cream

It seemed obvious by this point that anxiety was the number one
problem I needed to and was readily equipped to deal with. Anxiety
would burn up my dopamine, stress me out, and make me depressed. The
Edge Effect mentioned that GABA can help quell anxiety, so I took a
topical progesterone cream to increase GABA. While my anxiety did
subside, it give way to a horrible depression. Even though I was
steadily improving, I felt more bummed out than I ever had during my
three years in a limbo state of health.

  1. Dopamine supplementation, eventual decline

After 2-3ish months on my supplement routine, I stopped noticing signs
of improvement. This was quite a disappointment because I thought I
was essentially home free. I had a sort of flash of inspiration in
which I saw a line in my mind. The line represented the threshold
between normal and abnormally low levels of dopamine. I had built
myself back up to this threshold, but whenever my body consumed a
slight amount of dopamine, the levels would recede to below normal and
I would crash. I decided I needed something that would prevent my
dopamine from being disposed of after it was used.

  1. Anti-depressant bupropion

I decided to take bupropion, a dopamine reuptake inhibitor that
basically does exactly what I just described–prevents dopamine from
being disposed of after it is used. Within a very short time period
of taking bupropion, I noticed an increase in energy and cognitive
functioning, and honestly felt like I was back in control of my life.
All of my finasteride-related symptoms are mostly gone, and each day
I can feel them shrinking and shrinking, to the point that they will
poof out of existence and I won’t have to revisit this chapter of my
life. Hurray!

Routine Summary:
I’m currently taking 150mg of bupropion, plus 2g of L-Tyrosine and
L-Phenylalanine on weekdays.

I never had hormone tests done because they always struck me as so
peripheral to the problem. The way I saw it, wonky hormone levels
were indicative that a problem existed, but were not the problem
itself; i.e. when you have pneumonia and it gives you a runny nose,
you treat the lungs, not the sinuses. The more I read up on
interactions between finasteride and certain neurotransmitters and
hormones (god bless you, university science lab report internet
repositories), the more and more it occurred to me that everyone with
these symptoms is suffering from clinical depression, and a massive
case of it at that. So, with that in mind, here is what I think the
‘finasteride problem’ is, more or less.

Potential Description of Finasteride Problem:

  1. Take finasteride, decrease dopamine levels
  2. Experience sexual and mental side effects
  3. Totally freak out about sexual side effects, become super anxious
  4. Anxiety creates a vicious circle that consumes more dopamine,
    making your mental faculties even duller
  5. Body increases cortisol production to compensate for decreased
  6. Increased cortisol leads to massive anxiety problems
  7. Time goes by, few people naturally recover at this point because
    their nervous/endocrine systems are totally fucked
  8. Live life in a depressed state, aka ‘the finasteride problem’

It might sound over-simplistic, but then again, this is just a gist.
But if you think about it, pretty much every remedy people are coming
up with can just as easily be prescribed to treat depression. The
natural supplements, exercise routines, herbs, lifestyle adjustments,
etc. In fact, if you read up on symptoms of serious depression,
they’re surprisingly similar to what most people in this community are
experiencing. Not to mention there’s quite a bit of research on the
direct link between finasteride and depression itself.

I’m not saying that depression is all there is to this problem, as
it’s clear that other people have been affected by prostatitis,
candida, etc., but I think depression is definitely something we all
have in common. I can’t speak for everybody and say that what worked
for me will work for you, but I strongly encourage everyone to read up
on this problem as much as you can, make a recovery routine, and stick
with it for a few months before you make any conclusions either way.
Another extremely important thing to keep in mind is to be supportive!
I know being in this situation is lame and can really darken your
world view, but there are quite a few Pessimistic Petunias on this
forum, and all you folks do when you bicker and nitpick is bring
people down. So be inquisitive, but not critical/obsessive. We’re
all in this together, so to me the obvious thing is to be supportive
of everyone.

God speed!

Tue May 8, 2007 4:21 am

I realize this link has been posted on this site before, but since a
lot of people have began addressing the relationship between
finasteride and neurotransmission, I thought I would put it up again
in the spirit of intellectual pursuit.

bio.net/bionet/mm/neur-sci/2 … 58929.html

What’s interesting about this article is that it provides a common
link for several approaches people have taken to accounting for the
Finasteride Problem, or FP–incidentally, I’ve been using this
abbreviation for a bit, and I encourage everyone to do the same. Why?
Because it looks waaay cooler and I think would be a good hook for
the press to use once word gets out about what an obviously bad idea
it was to hawk this stuff commercially.

Before I discuss bits of the article, I’d like to give everyone a
synopsis of my situation. Basically, I’m fixed to a near complete
extent, a state I’ve attained mostly through dopamine supplementation.
Right now I’m taking bupropion, an anti-depressant that inhibits
dopamine reuptake, and while I am experiencing positive sexual side
effects, I still feel that something is missing. It’s like a blind
spot on my eye–I know something’s not there, but I can’t see what it
is and I can’t see beyond it. (that was a simile,
incidentally–nobody jump on the ‘finasteride makes you blind’
bandwagon, pls)

I’ve been digging around for articles about the relationship between
the prostate and neurotransmission. To make a long story short, I
ended up reading a few articles that state serotonin can act as a
fungicide, which may help encourage friendly bacteria growth (this is
a point of interest for people who think candida albicans may have a
role to play in this sordid affair). Furthermore, there seems to be
some definite relationship between serotonin and 5ar, but I haven’t
read anything satisfactory yet–although it might be worth mentioning
that I did read something to the effect that serotonin can help build
5ar receptors (again, no bandwagons).

I understand that given my very dopamine-centric routine, I’ve been
inhibiting serotonin to some extent. It’s quite possible that my
serotonin was already low before getting on this routine, and
increasing my dopamine has alleviated some aspects of this problem,
while making the remainders easier to sense.

So! My next step in 100% totally forever kamblooey-blamming this FP
out of my life is serotonin/GABA supplementation. I’m planning on
taking SAM-e, inositol, and possibly 5-HTP although I’m going to wait
and see how everything else works out first. If I get positive
results, I may consider adding progesterone cream back into my
smorgasbord of healing.

I apologize for my characteristically long and rambly post. To
summarize for those who don’t feel like reading it all:

  1. This article is interesting and worth reading a second time:
    bio.net/bionet/mm/neur-sci/2 … 58929.html.

  2. I’ve corrected my personal bout with the FP to a near perfect
    extent with dopamine therapy, but something’s still not quite right.

  3. Serotonin/GABA supplementation may be the final piece of the puzzle.

  4. According to my train of thought, using progesterone again may
    help with said supplementation.

On a sidenote, I’m less interested in discussing severity of side
effects, and a lot more interested in exchanging emails with people
about theories of recovery. I mean, we all know this drug is bad for
you, and it only does one thing–inhibit 5ar. Its manifestations and
their extremities on a case by case basis aren’t as interesting to me
as bouncing ideas back and forth about how to beat this. So if anyone
has any thoughts they’d be willing to share with me about the nature
of the FP, including interesting articles/whatever, I’d be very glad
to hear from you.

On a related note, I’d be particularly interested in any information
people may have about the relationship between finasteride and liver

Again, sorry for the rambley email! I’m rooting for each and everyone
of us, which I do mean very sincerely.

1 Like

Another post from “letsconvenience” on the Yahoo group, which I have copied here

Thu May 24, 2007

Hi All,

I’m using a lot of GABA supplements that the Edge Effect recommends to
round out my recovery process, and I wanted to recommend them to you
all. Although the questionnaire in the Edge Effect indicated that I
had a negligible lack of GABA, the past two weeks on the supplements
have been great. I’m sleeping way better, can concentrate 100%
whenever I need to, and can organize my thoughts with much more
regularity. It has also helped with regulating my sexual response
system quite a bit. I strongly recommend everyone look into it. I am
currently taking every single GABA supplement that the book
recommends. I usually take them after dinner, and within the hour I
am out like a light.

It is worth mentioning that when I initially started taking the
supplements, I was over-whelmed with feelings of depression for about
four days. The drop in mood was so intense that I considered
abandoning the whole idea, but I stuck it out and my dark mood lifted
within the week. I think it’s interesting that some people have
described feelings of depression while taking progesterone cream, and
progesterone produces GABA.

Either way, I recommend trying a GABA routine, I feel like it’s the
final piece in the puzzle. Some people may benefit from taking
dopamine supplements in the morning as well.


Final post (?) from letsconvenience on Yahoo Group

Wed Aug 22, 2007

Hi Everyone. As I think this may be my last contribution to this
community, would someone mind posting it to the propeciahelp.com
forum? I always have difficulty logging into the site.

I discovered this community a little under a year ago, and since then
have embarked on a process of self-experimentation to get myself back
to what I once considered normalcy before taking finasteride for about
a month. I started with the broccoli routine, then went on to try my
luck with dopamine supplementation, a hypoglycemic diet, and
fasting–all of which provided very positive results. It’s recently
occurred to me that I might have figured out what’s going on with all
of us. While I’m definitely not 100% sure, I have a very strong
feeling that what I’m about to describe is what ties all of our
symptoms together.

Having said that, I need to leave my apartment in 15 minutes, so I’ll
be brief.

As we all know, finasteride is used to minimize DHT production. It
can thereby provide two functions: one is to prevent or reverse male
pattern baldness, and the other is to treat prostate cancer/something
along those lines. It’s fair to assume that people who take
finasteride for cosmetic reasons are still receiving allegedly
‘medicinal’ benefits from the drug–i.e. a shrunken prostate.

But what if, say due to a hereditary disposition, your body did not
tolerate having a shrunken prostate? Presumably, it would try to make
it big again in order to return it to its original size. Since the
prostate is an organ, and an organ is just a collection of tissues,
the easiest way for your body to increase the size of the prostate is
to send cells to inflame it. In other words, taking a drug designed
to shrink a prostate could ironically cause it to become inflamed,
which I can only contribute to some sort of genetic variation in some
men who take the drug.

Assuming your body has willfully inflamed the prostate, it gets caught
in a sort of Catch-22. The body is deliberately keeping the prostate
inflamed because it feels this is an appropriate response to its
having shrunken, but at the same time, your body is naturally
programmed to eliminate inflammation. And, as most all of us know by
now, your body’s strongest anti-inflammatory is cortisol.

I think that our bodies are ‘trapped’ in a cycle of deliberate
inflammation, which causes chronically elevated cortisol levels. I
think this is the Finasteride Problem.

Although cortisol is an anti-inflammatory hormone, it provides several
other functions, one of which is pouring sugar into the blood stream.
With chronically elevated cortisol levels comes chronic
hyperglycemia, leading to eventual insulin resistance and decreased
insulin levels. Since insulin is a key player in metabolizing
androgens, not having enough of it will undoubtedly wreck your
endocrine system–i.e. making your hormones go all out of whack (low
T, high E, what have you).

I think it’s as simple as that. In order to lower these chronically
high cortisol levels, we have to stop this inflammation. Down to 5
minutes, ahh!

Basically, the most effective ways to make your body go on an
anti-inflammatory kick all on its own are three-fold:

  1. Go on a fast, or near fast. Check out the Master Cleanse, or go on
    a juice cleanse, or something. Your body uses an enormous amount of
    energy to digest food. If you don’t eat for a while, it can use all
    that extra energy to do some spring cleaning. I’ve personally done
    the Master Cleanse, and it’s effects on someone in a chronic state of
    unhealthiness are amazing.
  2. Ibuprofen. It’s safe, cheap, and readily available. I’ve been
    taking 1200mg a day for the past two days and have already gotten
    tremendously improved morning erections.
  3. Broccoli Routine. Broccoli is full of quercetin, in addition to a
    bunch of other great junk. Following the broccoli routine is
    essentially taking an incredibly powerful natural anti-inflammatory,
    which I believe is why so many of us here on the boards get such
    consistently good results from it. Note that if the broccoli routine
    doesn’t work for you, it’s probably because your prostate is
    particularly inflamed, and you need to try a stronger approach (like

2 minutes! I’ll try and throw in a few last observations.

  1. Dopamine. Any problems with insulin will cause your body to be
    unable to properly metabolize dopamine. I think this is why everyone
    who’s tried taking Tyrosine and Phenylalanine only improves to a
    certain extent. Your body just can’t make the dopamine in the
    quantities that would really help you as long as its insulin levels
    are impaired.
  2. Hyperglycemia. I think most everybody’s sexual and mental side
    effects are a result of elevated blood sugar caused by chronically
    high cortisol.
  3. Doctors ignoring us. No doctor is going to think a shrunken
    prostate is a bad thing. This is likely why everyone thinks it’s so
    mysterious. I’m sure if you could someone enter one of our prostates
    in a tiny machine like in a movie, there would be lots of cartoon
    cells produced by our body that are confusedly trying to inflame a
    shrunken prostate.

Well, time’s up. As always, anybody is welcome to contact me with
feedback, questions, or discussion. In closing, these are the steps I
recommend you follow to beat this thing:

  1. For two weeks take all the Dopamine and GABA supplements that the
    Edge Effect recommends (dopamine in the morning, GABA at night).
  2. After two weeks, go on the Master Cleanse. It doesn’t have to be
    the whole 10 days, probably 2-4 is enough to experience enough
    positive effects to believe that it works.
  3. After sticking with the Master Cleanse to your heart’s content, go
    on an extremely low-calorie diet (mostly fruits and juices, lots and
    lots of green tea if it’s readily available) in addition to taking
    Ibuprofen for a while. I’m on this third step right now, and I feel
    wonderful. It’s sort of like the twist-tie that will keep the garbage
    bag of all my progress nice and binded together.

Well, there you have it. My final post. It’s been a great journey,
and I hope my experiences and the consequent sharing of them help a
few people out. I wish everyone the best of luck, but I don’t think
this is a matter of fortune, just anti-inflammation.

Interesting theory but I personally doubt the cortisol connection, not many (if any) people here have elevated cortisol levels after taking this drug.

Also, if it were as simple as drinking brocolli juice, popping Ibuprofen and fasting to solve our problems, none of us would be here, lol. But if any people want to try it, by all means go ahead… just don’t expect any miracles.

FYI I have done the brocolli treatment and while my junk did hang a bit “looser” and was less “shrivelled”, it did nothing for my libido. The effect also wore off after I finished the treatment.

Finally – what’s with writing this post with 15 minutes before you have to leave somewhere? Strange…

Note it’s also his last post. So don’t bother questionning it cuz he doesn’t have the confidence to back it up.

I love it:

The last part may have been questionable. However, does anyone know what results the rest of his routine provided? Namely the amino acids and bupropion? If anyone knows kind of a basic guideline of this routine along with an opinion on how effective it has been for different people, I would appreciate input. I have been taking some amino acids and they have helped out quite a bit.

Greetings fellow sufferers,

A few of you may recognize my handle name, as I posted here semi-frequently several years ago. To refresh anyone’s memory (or just introduce myself), I took finasteride for about two weeks when I was 19, and suffered the typical gamut of side effects for upwards of six years. I took a pretty pro-active role in trying to figure out what my issues were after visiting seven different doctors in three countries to no avail, and ended up using myself as my own human guinea pig. I tried different hormone regimes, diets, and even a fast, and eventually ended up pursuing different supplement routines to boost neurotransmitters (specifically dopamine, but I also dabbled with GABA, serotonin, and acetylcholine).

Well, fast forward to now. I’m doing a hell of a lot better, and it turned out that most of what I was doing was moot. Granted, I got some great results from some of the self-devised protocols I attempted, but even the longest-lasting results eventually faded away into some tide of side effects. Finasteride kept seeming to win out. Blast!

Anyhoo, long story short: I found a pretty amazing nutritionist who really got me on the right road to recovery. I’ll spare you the details of how I found him, or my whole health odyssey in general, but here’s the meat and potatoes of everything you may be interested to know. Please note that I am not a doctor, merely a theoretical syntactician with a rabid new-found interest in naturopathy, and that I can’t guarantee everybody on this board has the same problems, or that what turned out to be my personal solution will work for everybody (or even anybody) else.

  1. Diagnostics
    I found a nutritionist who facilitates hair analyses through Analytical Research Labs based in Phoenix, Arizona. I kept my head hair so short that I had to send my pubes off to be whizmagigged in a lab. Reputable hair analysis gives a pretty accurate account of the composition of different minerals and nutrients in your body, and based on the results the lab delivers, a competent nutritionist can make several recommendations (supplemental, dietary, and lifestyle) to get your body into optimum shape.

  2. What the crap was wrong with me
    According to my first analysis (I’ve since had two and am about to send off for a third), I had two main problems. Primarily, my sodium:potassium ratio was crazy low (about 1.2:1 when 2.5:1 is ideal), which was causing massive fatigue and indicating the ever elusive “adrenal exhaustion.” Secondly, my body had stupidly high amounts of copper.

  3. Copper Toxicity
    Copper toxicity is just the state of having too much copper in your body, but it fucks with you like whoa. Unfortunately the literature on it is appallingly slim, but Analytical Research Labs and Dr. Larry Wilson have some informative (if not a little poorly presented) articles on the subject. I highly suggest you all read them, as copper toxicity accounted for all the seemingly paradoxical side effects I was experiencing after finasteride: fatigue, low cholesterol, low blood pressure, low sex drive, low blood sugar yet no appetite, brain fog, and anxiety.

  4. Recovery
    After my first analysis, my nutritionist made a few dietary recommendations (namely to consume protein whenever possible and to cut down on sugar and starches) and also advised me to take a handful of supplements (a multi-mineral, multi-vitamin, calcium/magnesium supplement, digestive aid, ground-up adrenal glands, and ground up thyroid glands). After the progress I made by my second analysis, I was able to cut out the thyroid stuff, and am now taking five supplements three times a day. Everything is pretty low dose, and between them and a sensible diet, my side effects are greatly diminished. I have a ton more energy, can think much more clearly, deal with stress like I used to, and–I’m sure what everybody’s hoping to read–my sex drive and erectile function is back. Every so often I’ll go through a bout of detoxing (basically, my body produces enough energy to start pushing out more and more copper, which can cause side effects to temporarily flare up while the body processes it), but 90% of the time is fantastic, and good/normal days vastly outnumber the bad ones.

  5. Concrete Information
    My nutritionist’s name is Alex Tuggle, and his clinic, Holistic Back Relief, is based in Berkley, California. He’s foremost an accupuncturist but deals extensively in nutrition, and I can verify that he’s the real deal. He deals with people over the phone and online, so you don’t have to worry about expensive travel fees.

The initial hair analysis is $140, and each subsequent one is $90. Alex will provide a 90-minute consultation for each test free of charge, and I called him every once in a while to ask him a few questions or run something by him, and he always made himself available. Retesting is recommended every 3ish months. The supplements the lab and Alex will recommend can cost anywhere from $50-100 for a month’s supply, which I realize may be steep for some, but they’ve done me a whirlwind of good, and given how much money I’ve spent on blind stabs in the dark, this isn’t much of an expense to bite off.

Unfortunately, depending on how bad your symptoms are, recovery takes time. When I first started the protocol, I felt absolutely amazing for about two weeks, but then I started detoxing (i.e. ejecting copper from my soft tissues into my blood stream) and felt god awful. The supplements are designed to help minimize the side effects as greatly as possible, but they’re not always enough. There might be a few moments of hell, but I can personally attest that the detox side effects are no worse than the state I was in after experiencing gradually worsening finasteride side effects for close to six years. After about five months on the program, I felt consistently good with little bouts of detox here and there.

Alex Tuggle, nutritionist extraordinnaire
Copper Toxicity Symptoms and Treatment: holistic-back-relief.com/cop … icity.html
(Just check out his Contacts link to request a hair analysis)

Larry Wilson
Copper Toxicity Syndrome: drlwilson.com/articles/coppe … ndrome.htm
Eliminating Copper: drlwilson.com/articles/coppe … nation.htm

Analytical Research Labs
Copper Elimination: arltma.com/CopperElimDoc.htm

  1. Protocol Details
    Basically, I took supplements three times a day: in the morning after waking up, then at noon, then again at 5pm. I avoided junky food and was gangsta about eating hard-boiled eggs as frequently as possible to get an adequate amount of protein into my system. I avoided soy protein and whey protein as they seemed to worsen my side effects. It took quite a while for my reactive hypoglycemia to simmer down, so I still did experience dips in mood after eating for a few months.

The supplements I have taken (some of which I am now off) include:
Limcomin (multi-mineral to increase intracellular sodium),
Paramin (cal/mag),
Endo-Dren (adrenal gland concentrate),
Thyro-something-something (thryoid gland concentrate),
Endo-Pan (multi-vitamin to support adrenal glands)
Ox bile (exactly what it sounds like; did wonders for me; I recommend Jarrow’s Bile Acid Formulations)
Dehydrocholic acid (a digestive aid; this did not work for me at all and I quickly discontinued it in favor of the ox bile)

  1. Pontification
    The question we’re all wondering is, How the crap did finasteride do what it did to us? Unfortunately, I can offer no concrete answers, but given all the reading I’ve done, it seems like, at least in some users, finasteride can a) cause liver damage (just google “finasteride hepatitis” for some horrifying reading), and b) drastically increase estrogen levels. Estrogen is positively correlated with copper, meaning that as one increases the other one increases as well, and if your liver is at all malfunctioning, your body will not be able to excrete copper at all effectively. As copper piles up, it keeps estrogen at high levels, and the copper itself literally starts piling up on your liver. Once your liver is full, copper will start piling up on your brain. Between this crap going on and the fact that excess estrogen levels for some reason start antagonizing thyroid and liver function, you can see how anybody’s endocrine system goes down the tubes if they’re susceptible to this poison.

This is just my little brainstorm, and I have no idea if it’s what has actually happened to me, let alone all of us, but I feel a gazillion times better having been on the protocol for a few months. My second analysis showed a ton of crap working its way out of me (my body is excreting much more copper and even manganese, as well as mercury). I’d be happy to post my results as soon as I can access a scanner, if anybody would be interested in looking them over.

  1. What you can start doing immediately
    If you’re interested in pursuing naturopathy (and I highly, highly recommend it), here’s some stuff you can start doing today:
  2. Contact Alex and request a hair analysis kit. It’ll probably take one month to get the results back after you send off for one. He’s been really flexible about payment in my experience. And if you don’t have much head hair, you can send off pubes. If you shave your groin, go au natural for a while.
  3. Start taking ox bile. It’s amazing stuff. I recommend Jarrow’s Bile Acid Formulations, which is available at iherb.com. Take one tablet three times a day (maybe two tablets three times a day if you feel the need), and you can expect some cramping the first week as it helps your body break down some gross stuff inside of it. While on the bile, I immediately noticed a dramatic decrease in anxiety, brain fog, and fatigue. Bile is the main excretory channel for both excess estrogen and copper, so go figure. Note: be near a toilet at all times or you will sorely regret it. Emphasize on sore.
  4. Look into Vitamin B1. Although not heavily emphasized in my protocol, Vitamin B1 has been a god send for me. It prevents the formation of lactic acid, and I feel that lactic acid was the main force behind my brain fog and god-awful calf cramps. Vitamin B1 also increases sodium, which I desperately needed, providing a very welcome boost in an unexpected way. A reasonable dosage is 500mg three times a day, and an additional 500mg whenever you feel the need.
  5. When experiencing a particularly nasty bout of anxiety, try a high-grade cal/mag supplement. Calcium mops up lactic acid and also slows down your entire metabolism, which can take the edge of an anxiety attack. Note that initially, calcium could exaggerate feelings of brain fog.

I realize this is a ton of information to digest at once, but if anybody’s interested, I’ll make myself available via private messages. I’ll also try to check this board for any comments on this thread. I’m not going to reply to gratuitously dismissive messages, but if you have a legitimate question, I’d be happy to volunteer what I know.

In closing, I hope this information helps somebody! If I had been aware of hair analysis and naturopathy when I first got into this mess, I can’t imagine how much faster I would have recovered. It’s been a nightmare for sure, but the good part is that I found my light at the end of the tunnel. I’ve got my fingers crossed that we’re all on the same train track.