Has anyone ever looked into growth hormone level in PSF/PSSD?

I know this post may come off a bit of topic. But I see some similarities between TBI (traumatic brain injury) / CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) and PFS:

  • both share symptoms like fatigue, memory impairment, sleep and mood disruption, changes in personality
  • both show that the gut-brain-axis is affected (disrupted gut bacteria)
  • both show disruption in hormone profiles

In this article:

They showed that GH (growth hormone) is reduced in TBI and that it may account for fatigue etc. Also it should have a protective effect on the brain. It is responsible for muscle and tissue growth (PSF has muscle and tissue shrinkage), it protects against osteoporosis (PFS has increased osteoporosis risk). Growth hormone is mainly released during high intensity exercise (which could be the reason why some PFS patients had some success under exercise). The article also stated that hormone replacement with GH would stop the fatigue as long as it is given.
They also said the TBI patients had lowered or different amino acid values in their blood (amino acids are also raising the growth hormone. They think it is the altered gut bacteria are the reason, why the gut can’t absorb the amino acids well and that this may lead to the low growth hormone.

Now the question:

  • did anyone ever look into growth hormone levels in PFS and PSSD to see if it may be low?
  • as the gut microbiom is also disrupted in PFS (and maybe in PSSD), are the amino acid levels also altered and how does that affect hormone levels and muscle mass?

Has anyone heard of GH ever been tested in PFS/PSSD?

Yes, I had my growth hormone tested about 3 weeks after my PFS crash.

Result: Growth Hormone: 0.1 (0.0 - 10.0) ng/ml

It was basically non-existent. I saw a doctor about my results and she didn’t care. Basically brushed it off.

And yes, I suffer from EXTREME fatigue and brain fog. Also have vision impairment. I’m basically bed-ridden right now. I literally cannot do anything. I cannot exercise. I also have back pain.

Anyway, if altered gut bacteria is the cause of low growth hormone, then it seems fixing the gut should be the first thing we should do. A lot of recovery stories have focused on strict diet, probiotics, and exercise, all of which fixes the altered gut microbiome. I’m still early in my PFS, but based on what I read I really think fixing the gut is important in recovery.

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That’s impressive!!

I just Googled the symptoms of low GH. It strikes me how 1:1 the symptoms are with PFS

Vision impairment is also part of PFS btw. probably lack of one of there hormones that are produced by help of the 5ar.

You are right, to fix the gut is a good idea, but as the hormones, the mood and the lack of sleep affect the gut too it may be difficult.

Look into prebiotics, everything that has a lot of fiber, inulin is fine. Exercise is actually affecting the gut positively, just like meditation.

One of the best microbiome researchers Tim Spector says a healthy, diverse microbiome is mostly associated with the number of plants we eat. He says a healthy microbiom sees gets about 30 different plants a week. That seems a lot but if you count spices, tees and so on you can easily get more that 30 different plants a week. That’s what I do.
Bad for the microbiome are medication especially those changing the pH of the stomach, hard alcohol, McDonald’s (can reduce your microbiom diversity by 40% in less than 2 weeks if you eat fast food only), hard alcohol etc., antibiotics, you get it…
I personally stay away from suplements that contain living bacteria. It is just a few strains and for your body it is like an invasion of trillions of alien soldiers.
There is evidence that probiotics could also be harmful or less effective than prebiotics.
If you want cheap probiotics that have past the test of time go for joghurt, Kefir, temphe, pickles… People have eaten this for a long time and it’s more than just single strains.


@simonsayss and at @Hiei an endocrinologist told me that the gold standard of GH testing was the GH stimulation test. It isn’t the blood draw that @Hiel got.

If you’re truly interested in determining your GH levels, you could try to get it measured that way! It’s the most accurate and probably the only one an endocrinologist would actually act on.


My HGH came back at 0.1 as well. Doctor said you aren’t a teenager anymore so it’s fine. Same doctor who said “finasteride is a great drug it reduces my sex drive and keeps me out of trouble”.

I should mention this was a fasted test so my GH should be sky high.

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That’s really interesting. I think we’re onto something here. Stronguy, when did you take this test into your PFS?

Because we both took Saw Palmetto and we both got the same 0.1 level. Do you also have high prolactin? I got tested for that too and mine was quite high.

It appears that Saw P has impaired our pituitary gland function. And according to OP and many other theories on this site, the cause could be the depletion of certain microbiome bacteria, which then could cause HPA axis dysfunction.

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Yes my prolactin was very high considering my TSH was on the lower range. It could explain why fasting and sprints make us feel better as those stimulate HGH.

Wow! My TSH was 2.29 too! Here’s my lab results:

This could be imply that, although all DHT-blockers like Fin, Dut, and Saw P affect us similarly, Saw P specifically has a different mechanism compared to the other drugs, and thus affects our body in a specific way. Which could explain why we have such similar test results. Unfortunately there isn’t much information about SP.

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It could also explain why some users feel better on Forskolin, which is a cAMP activator.

Apparently Forskolin stimulates growth hormone release.

But… they also found Forskolin can also stimulate prolactin secretion in addition to growth hormone.

And finally this study says that dopamine and somatostatin inhibit forskolin-stimulated prolactin and growth hormone secretion. This could possibly explain why some users have felt better by combining Forskolin and L-Dopa.

I’m not sure how to interpret all of these studies on forskolin because I don’t have a good brain right now, but it may be worth looking more into.

There’s probably something to this.

I took pharma HGH for about 3 months at 2-4IU.

1st/2nd month I felt amazing, all symptoms cured and I put on a ton of muscle, my dick was like teenage level too.

3rd months started developing alot of health issues from the GH, knee pain, insomnia, terrible digestion.

GH does work, but the human body doesn’t respond well to just pinning in some hormones, especially if you already have compromised health.

It doesn’t matter if it’s T, GH, or whatever else. Pinning some hormones is never going to be completely healthy. Hormones are finely balanced things, and we simply don’t have the technology to alter them correctly.

EDIT: I was 21/22 when I took the GH

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That’s pretty insane we have the same TSH level and high prolactin. I too have low vitamin D and interestingly, double the recommended level of b12. My genetic test predicted that I would have high b12 capabilities and low vitamin D retention.

I have been taking forskolin and I have only had positive effects with it. In terms of our prolactin, we should look at increasing dopamine and/or taking b6 (pyridoxine not pyridoxal).

It is not much conclusive to measure growth hormone levels I recommend Indirect measurement via IGF-1 levels.

And yes mine are also low.

Bro high prolactin induces strong inhibition on erectile function and libido. Fix it as soon as possible.

I also had a little bit too high prolactin (finasteride), vitamin d was 22 ng/mL although it was summer and I was in the sun without sunscreen every day for 2 ours (although I don’t see the link between 5ar inhibitors and vitamin d). The link to GH is easier to explain

Yes, that would be the next step. But if the problem lies in the microbiome disruption (resulting in less arginine reaching the blood) - the stimulation test is probably going yield normal results.

A) Interesting therefore would also be the amino acid values in the blood of patients.

B) Whether high dose arginine supplementation could reduce some of the symptoms fatigue, cognitive problems etc.

I haven’t got a DNA test done, but I’m gonna guess that we also have pretty similar genetic profiles, based on our similar lab results. I think a lot of PFS sufferers have similar genetic markers that made us susceptible to PFS.

I have a B6 supplement but It’s P5P (Pyroxidal 5 Phosphate). Is there a particular reason why pyridoxine is a better form?

My IGF-1 was actually tested. You can see it in the blood test results I provided above. It came out to be 151, within the range of 98-282 ng/mL. I’m not sure what that means in the context of low growth hormone level, though.

I think I found some information that could possibly be useful regarding your questions.

First I found the following conversation from a medical practioner named Chris Kresser.

He states this about the gut:

The second problem is HPA axis dysregulation, which is also referred to as adrenal fatigue syndrome. I think this and the next problem we’re going to talk about, the gut, are probably the two biggest issues with hormone imbalance. Pregnenolone is the mother of all hormones. It’s the precursor to all of the different adrenal and sex hormones that are produced in the body, and the enzyme that converts cholesterol into pregnenolone – so cholesterol is the precursor to pregnenolone, and that’s why cholesterol is so important in the body. We’ve talked about this before, and I don’t want to go too far down this tangent, but really low cholesterol can be a problem for hormones because, as I said, cholesterol is the precursor to pregnenolone, and pregnenolone is the mother of all hormones in the body.

The next area of focus is the gut, and again, this is right up there with the HPA axis in terms of its importance. Impaired gut function can mess with hormones in several different ways, so if you have a parasite or a fungal overgrowth or dysbiosis or leaky gut, that causes inflammation. Inflammation suppresses the function of the hypothalamus and the pituitary in the brain, which produce the stimulating hormones, and then it also suppresses the function of the adrenals and the ovaries and the gonads in men that produce the actual hormones. Inflammatory cytokines can also cause hormone resistance, which we talked about just now, where the levels of hormones may be fine but the receptors on the cells aren’t sensitive to those hormones, so you end up getting the same symptoms.

Furthermore, he states this about cortisol.

Anyway, the enzyme that converts cholesterol to pregnenolone is limited, and it requires a lot of ATP, which is cellular energy. It’s an energy-intensive process. That means that the amount of pregnenolone we can make in the body is limited, and there’s something called the pregnenolone steal that I’m sure many of you have heard of, which describes a process where the majority of the pregnenolone that we produce on a daily basis is channeled into cortisol production, and this happens when we’re under a lot of stress because cortisol is one of the hormones that’s involved in the stress response. So if you’re not sleeping well, you’re not managing your stress, you’ve got a lot of stuff going on in your life, and/or you have gut infections or you’re eating a poor diet or you’re dealing with any kind of chronic illness/injury/pain problem, that’s going to create a stress response in the body, and that in turn will divert pregnenolone into that cortisol pathway, and it takes it away from the DHEA pathway, and the DHEA pathway, if you go down that road, that’s where estrogen and testosterone are produced. So if you have low DHEA levels on a lab, that’s often a sign of pregnenolone steal, and getting back to the replacement model, if you just give that patient more pregnenolone, it can actually make things worse because it just channels more raw material into that cortisol pathway.

So basically, impaired gut function can cause inflammation and stress, which then causes HPA dysfunction, or also known as adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue then causes cortisol imbalance.

I believe that the vast majority of us suffer from adrenal fatigue - we share the symptoms. If you google the diet protocol for adrenal fatigue, we can see that it’s similar to the diet protocol of successful recovery stories here.

Also, some users here have reported that they have candida overgrowth. Candida overgrowth can occur from the disruption of the microbiome, as stated above. If you search the web for the anti-candida diet, you can see that it is almost identical to the diet for adrenal fatigue. It is also said that candida overgrowth can also cause adrenal fatigue and vice versa.

Furthermore, I found this website where they discuss in detail how imbalanced cortisol level can affect our body:

Imbalanced cortisol levels can lead to a great variety of health problems, including:

  • Increased anxiety, depression, mood swings and irritability–because, instead of using glucose for fuel, with enough stress the body will start to use amino acids (from protein) which makes amino acids less available to make our brain chemicals or neurotransmitters

  • Increased “leaky gut” –because depletion of amino acids in the gut, especially glutamine, breaks down the gut wall lining leaving us more vulnerable to food sensitivities and poor absorption of our food, depletion of vitamins and minerals like magnesium, zinc and carnitine

  • Increased insulin resistance and predisposition to pre-diabetes

  • Increased fat storage of the excess glucose

  • Inhibited vitamin D activity, which prevents calcium absorption, leading to increased breakdown of bones (osteopenia and osteoporosis)

  • Altered thyroid function–inhibition of the conversion of thyroid hormone T4 to its active form T3

Thus, imbalanced cortisol levels inhibits vitamin d activity, and also causes the body to deplete amino acids! And imbalanced cortisol levels are caused by adrenal fatigue, which can be caused by impaired gut function. It seems it all leads to the gut again.

If you look at the post by Headsup, a lot of this was already included in his theory. He even went into detail about how he thinks inhibiting 5AR caused all this. In my opinion, he was on the right track and seriously onto something.


Diving into GH deeper. Ther stimulation test is done with Arginine i.v. Which is pretty interesting as some people in this forum described short-term improvements on Arginine (especially brain fog). GH has a protective effect on the brain. Brain fog is most likely caused by neuroinflammation. So it makes perfect sense, that the microbiome dysbiosis in PFS is causing problems in the uptake of certain amino acids and therefore resulting in low GH (which may play a role in some of the neurological symptoms). That arginine supplementation is giving only short-time relief may be due to the little GH increase that takes place under arginine.

I think more research should be done to validate whether GH is somewhat lower in PFS, PSSD patients than in healthy young individuals!

I’ve had two GH and to IGF-1 labs

GH was low then low/mid

IGF-1 was high them mid/high