I’m only slightly stupid generally, but when it comes to the biology of all this stuff I find I’m particularly disadvantaged. If anybody has the time or inclination, I’d really appreciate some clarification on a few things.
AR is mentioned a lot. Am I right that there are two distinct things: AR means androgen receptor, which is different to the AR in 5ar, which means 5 alpha-reductase? It’s not always obvious which one is being referred to.
An androgen receptor is something that sticks out of a cell, like an antenna, and gets a signal which tells the cell to do something. What does it tell the cell to do? Does it tell the cell to become something, or to make something?
People talk about the androgen receptor being over-expressed, because it was sort of reaching out to get more signals when the signals were reduced by the Propecia (in my case Roaccutane) - does that mean that there are too many of them? That there’s a kind of over-abundance?
…and then, when 5ar comes back online after the drugs have been stopped, is the 5ar kind of too much? Too much noise? Too much volume, because there are too many receptors picking it all up?
Is that where the misery I experience (mine is all mental) lies? I try to make a picture of it in my mind when I’m experiencing what I’m experiencing. Is it knackered, burnt out receptors…just sort of…not doing anything other than being sandblasted, is it that interface which is actually the pain?
I write all of this because in my 31 years of experience of this, I had 3 days of complete respite once, and I wanted to understand why. When I say respite, I mean a very clear and obvious draining of a swamp (this has no relevance to recent US politics). A kind of waking from an awful dream. Like a tap being turned on, and everything poisonous draining away leaving a brain that was normal. I was sitting in a Starbucks in Glasgow at the time, New Year’s Eve 2015, and I was looking around at the people sitting at other tables and the thought struck me: Jesus, this is how normal feels. It was very distinct. Jesus had nothing to do with it, it’s just a figure of speech.
I think the cause was…wait for it…drum roll…
I’d been drinking gallons of it in the days before, on a kind of intuitive hunch about a digestive issue I’d been having whilst on a retreat at an abbey on Iona.
I say an abbey on Iona. I mean the abbey on Iona. There’s only one. Iona doesn’t have room for two. So it should be the abbey, capital A, on Iona. The Abbey on Iona.
I look up nettle tea now, and find that it blocks 5ar activity - i.e. it does exactly what the Roaccutane did in the first place. How does that work?
By reducing the noise that’s shouting at the androgen receptors, is it actually giving them some kind of break?
Should I drink more nettle tea, or am I only going to make things worse? Am I going to stimulate more androgen receptors to be produced to, in their turn, get more knackered, more sandblasted and create more of this misery?
Does this offer any clues to me, to anybody, about what’s going on, and how I might ameliorate the agony of it? In all my years of struggling with this, this was the clearest incidence of something having an effect, be it negative or positive.
Is all tampering with 5ar or androgens to be avoided?
Apologies for the ramble.