Greetings Fellow Survivors,
Like most in this forum, my life was torn apart by PFS. Bone crushing fatigue, loss of libido/ability to be erect, mental fog, depression/anxiety; these were my symptoms and they literally destroyed my career.
I tried everything: rigorous pubmed searches for answers, a 10-day water fast, exercise, every supplement regimen I could find on this forum, meditation, testosterone boosters, everything.
Eventually, I began to feel better, and my last visit to this site was sometime last year. I forgot about PFS because PFS had left me alone.
Since my initial bout with PFS, i had left my career. PFS had ruined my ability to interact with patients in a positive way and my ability to focus on my delicate work on those patients. As a result, I found a less intense line of work in clinical trial research. Now, I design phase I-III clinical trials, evaluate the results, and write reports about the participants’ adverse events. I work mostly in cancer drugs but also in autoimmune disease states. Anyway, it was my new job’s preoccupation with adverse events in trial participants and the detailed descriptions of such events that led me to focus more intently on what exactly it was that I was experiencing when PFS came back…
I had had several minicrashes over the past year, and they had been short lived, so i’d thought little of them. However, this crash, the one that had just started just a few weeks ago, would not go away–and it was a doozie. During this crash, I expereiced all the normal PFS symptoms, but there were some additional symptoms that I had previously overlooked during my bouts of PFS. These included:
- a worn out crampy feeling in the muscles of my inner thigh (bilateral)
- a bloated stomach/gut area
- bowel movement changes
- a tight chest
The more I thought about things, the more I was convinced that this all had something to do with the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Something had upset a balance, and as a result, my GI tract was swollen/inflamed. Unchecked inflation often leads to the accumulation of fluid in the inflamed organ/site and this leads to swelling or an increase in overall size of the inflamed organ. When the GI tract becomes inflamed, there are several consequences, and bloating and bowel movement changes are relatively common transient changes. The tightness in my chest I could reasonably attribute to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The tricky symptom was the strange sensation in my inner thigh muscles. During this crash, and through the many relapses and remittances of the symptoms, i realized that that tightness always preceded and was accompanied by a bout of severe GI upset. It was then that i began to wonder if the swelling in the GI tract (including the bowel) was putting pressure on the nerves, vessels, and musculature of the pelvic region and causing downstream symptoms. Pressure on the nerves innervating the muscles of my inner thigh could be causing the unexplained soreness. With this in mind, I resolved to see what would happen if i could calm my gut down. I hypothesized that i should first lower the amount of acid and gage how to proceed from there. Over the next few weeks I ate very little if any acidic food, I started a 2-week regimen of omeprazole (an OTC PPI antacid medication), and I took antacid tablets throughout the day (qid).
To my astonishment, as the gut symptoms faded away, so did the PFS minicrash symptoms. Just 4 days prior to the breakthrough day, i was unable to get an erection. After my gut calmed down, I was able to maintain a very strong erection, my mental fog and fatigue had gone, and my depression had faded to a distant memory.
Based on these admittedly anecdotal results, i am convinced that some of our cases of PFS may be caused (in part) by gut inflammation.
I suggest those who have found no cure or respite from their symptoms with other treatment regimens try a similar approach and post their results.
My 2 week treatment regimen:
- No or very little acidic food/drinks
- 20mg omeprazole (or equivalent PPI) - 1 time per day, for 2 weeks (only if you are not allergic to this drug)
- Antacid tablets 1 to 2 tablets, 4 times per day, for 2 weeks
It’s not a difficult regimen. I hope someone else can try this and let us know how it goes.