My story (on and off finasteride for 6 years)

Welcome to our community. Please fill in the following template as a way of introducing yourself, and helping others to understand your background and situation.

Where are you from (country)?

UK

How did you find this forum (Google search – if so, what search terms? Via link from a forum or website – if so, what page? Other?)

Google search

What is your current age, height, weight?

27, 75kg, 6 foot 1

What specific drug did you use (finasteride, dutasteride, saw palmetto, isotretinoin/Accutane, fluoxetine, sertraline, citalopram, leuprorelin, etc…)?

Finasteride

What dose did you take (eg. 1 mg/day, 1 mg every other day etc.)?

1mg per day

What condition was being treated with the drug?

Hairloss

For how long did you take the drug (weeks/months/years)?

7 years on and off

How old were you, and WHEN (date) did you start the drug?

20, 2013

How did you quit (cold turkey or taper off)?

Cold turkey

What side effects did you experience that have yet to resolve since discontinuation?

Check the boxes that apply. You can save your post first, then interactively check/uncheck the boxes by clicking on them. If your symptoms change, please update your list.

Sexual
[ x] Loss of Libido / Sex Drive
[ x] Erectile Dysfunction
Complete Impotence
[ x] Loss of Morning Erections
[ x] Loss of Spontaneous Erections
Loss of Nocturnal Erections
[x ] Watery Ejaculate
[ x] Reduced Ejaculate
Inability or Difficulty to Ejaculate / Orgasm
Reduced Sperm Count / Motility

Mental
[ x] Emotional Blunting / Emotionally Flat
[x ] Difficulty Focusing / Concentrating
Confusion
[ x] Memory Loss / Forgetfulness
Stumbling over Words / Losing Train of Thought
Slurring of Speech
[x ] Lack of Motivation / Feeling Passive / Complacency
[ x] Extreme Anxiety / Panic Attacks
[ x] Severe Depression / Melancholy
Suicidal Thoughts

Physical
[ x] Penile Tissue Changes (narrowing, shrinkage, wrinkled)
[x ] Penis curvature / rotation on axis
[x ] Testicular Pain
[ x] Testicular Shrinkage / Loss of Fullness
[ x] Genital numbness / sensitivity decrease
Weight Gain
Gynecomastia (male breasts)
Muscle Wastage
[x ] Muscle Weakness
Joint Pain
Dry / Dark Circles under eyes

Misc
Prostate pain
[x ] Persistent Fatigue / Exhaustion
Stomach Pains / Digestion Problems
Constipation / “Poo Pellets”
Vision - Acuity Decrease / Blurriness
Tinnitus (ringing or high pitched sound in ears)
Hearing loss
Increased hair loss
Frequent urination
[ x] Lowered body temperature

Other (please explain)

Ok so here’s the deal. I’m 27 atm and I’ve been on and off finasteride since I was 20. Only recently has it dawned on me how profound an impact finasteride has had on my life and I want to share my story, partly to get things of my chest and to create a log of my experience but also to add to this community and increase the source of information available. If anything I write can help someone with their situation or give them insight/ solace the time and energy to write things up will have been worth while. It has been a very long struggle with finasteride and my memory of the early years is a little hazy but I will do my best to summarise my experience as accurately as possible.

20

I noticed that my hair was thinning while I was in my second year of university, it was a diffuse general thinning and although my friends didn’t seem to notice it plagued my thinking and became a fixation of sorts- I’d watch TV and instead of following the story I’d just assess hairline’s.

Running my hands through my hair and catching the hairs on a piece of paper I would see hundreds of hairs at a time. The final straw was a photo of me at a club with short hair where you could see right through to my scalp, after doing some reading online I ordered some Propecia. I had a vague awareness of the potential side effects but was just too caught up in the hairloss for that to stop me.

I started taking propecia in April of that year and within a few days of starting I noticed an ache in my testicles, a decline in libido and a general uneasiness but I persisted through in the hope that the would adjust and the sides would disappear when it did. After about a month I’d seen no improvement in sides and decided to stop taking the drug.

For the next few months I saw little improvement in symptoms but at the time my understanding of my well being was confounded by a few variables that made me uncertain if finasteride was in fact the true cause of what I was experiencing:

  • I used recreational drugs regularly (cannabis, alcohol, cocaine, MDMA, psychedelics, study drugs). For this reason I could not distinguish the underlying cause of neurological symptoms as all of these drugs have effects on mood, cognition, and motivation.

  • During this time I had a difficult break up that I really struggled with and seemingly threw me into a depression, on reflection I now think finasteride may have exacerbated or perhaps even been the cause of this.

I failed my university exams that year because I was so distracted, failing exams was unusual for me as I had always done well academically but again I pinned my failure more on the partying and overthinking the break up and overthinking my hairloss.

In the summer I went to my GP because I was worried about my completely diminished libido which was easier to link to the finasteride. I also remember mentioning that I thought my testicles had shrunk in size, she examined me and told me that things looked ok and that I was silly to take a drug given to old men. She told me to wait things out and that things would resolve with time.

Symptoms:
No libido
Loss of spontaneous erections
ED
Premature ejaculation
Inconsistent semen quality
Brain fog
Insomnia

21

I had to retake the year I had failed at university and my general sense of that year is just an overwhelming depression, at the time I thought this was because I was failing my degree and overthinking my hairloss but looking back I think I was in the midst of a finasteride induced depression. Despite focusing my energy on work I really struggled to make any progress, seemingly in a very short period of time the work became too complex and difficult for me, I barely scraped a pass this year after two attempts at the examinations. At the time I thought that my recreational drug use was the underlying cause of this.

I did not have sex this year, at one point worried by my complete lack of interest in women and sex, I went to see a prostitute to see if I could reignite some sort of desire, the thought amuses me now. I managed to maintain a semi erection for a short period of time and ejaculate but the whole encounter was farcical.

Symptoms:
No libido
Loss of spontaneous erections
ED
Premature ejaculation
Inconsistent semen quality
Brain fog
Severe depression
Severe Anxiety
Insomnia
People going out of their way to say that I looked tired and asking if I was ok

22

In my final year at university I shaved my head and hoped for the best. I cut out all recreational drug use and made a concerted effort to improve my health- I joined a gym, started running, and started playing football again. I saw some improvements in my neurological symptoms but was still overwhelmed by bouts of inexplicable depression. Over the course of the year I became increasingly isolated and withdrew socially, in part this was due to a reluctance to drink but at its core it was down to an uneasiness with my new appearance, having a balding shaved head at university is not ideal. Half way through the year I left university and returned to my parent’s home and did not return for my final exams. My belief at the time was that my ill health and depression were due to the psychological aspect of hair loss.

Again I had no sex this year with little in the way of improvement in that department as I remember it.

Symptoms:
No libido
Loss of spontaneous erections
ED
Premature ejaculation
Inconsistent semen quality
Extreme fatigue
Brain fog
Severe depression
Severe Anxiety
Insomnia
Anhedonia
Loss of humour
Poor progression in the gym- I made no progress in strength or size despite good effort

23/24

Distraught at having failed my degree and losing my social life I was severely depressed. My initial experiences with finasteride seemed a distant memory and I was willing to retry the drug in order to see some improvement in my hair, something that I thought would fix all my problems. At the time I was reluctant to accept that finasteride was responsible for my ill fate as there was little evidence in the literature for persistent side effects following discontinuation of the drug. I discarded it as a variable because of this and focused on other things such as exercise, mental health, nofap, vitamins, abstinence from recreational drugs.

I restarted the drug when I was 23 and to my surprise noticed an improvement in my neurological symptoms and also some hair growth, however my libido was still nonexistent. This continued for the next two years with continued improvement in neurological symptoms and hair regrowth to the point where I could pull off a respectable head of hair. My depression subsided and I went about rebuilding a social life and reapplied to university, this time to do medicine. My brain fog improved and though I seemed to have developed a persistent anxiety it was manageable.

Again I had no sex during this period. After such a long time without having or seeking sex this stopped being a concern for me. I was obsessed with becoming a doctor and framed my lack of interest in sex as a positive that would help me get there.

Symptoms:
No libido
Loss of spontaneous erections
ED
Premature ejaculation
Inconsistent semen quality
Shrunken flaccid penis
Poor progression in the gym

25/26/27

In my first year doing medicine (25) I scored some of the highest marks in the year and this made me wonder about my performance in my first degree, it was at this point that I started to piece together the effect that withdrawing from finasteride had had on my cognition and memory during that period. I had always done extremely well academically and failing a degree was a very extreme and unusual behavioural response on my part. I continued with finasteride during this period and I look back on this year with fondness, I seemed to have rediscovered the humour and positivity that I had lost while dealing with hair loss and finasteride.

I began to go on dates again and have ended up with girls in my bed on several occasions but have always been resistant to let it progress to sex as I am still unable to muster a primal drive or appetite for sex.

In the summer between my first and second year at university I tried the keto diet and nofap simultaneously for a period of three months and felt the best I have ever done in my life. I felt an almost constant euphoria and life began to take on a colour, depth and emotion that I had completely lost sight of. There was no improvement in libido or penile function but every other aspect of my life saw drastic progress. This ended with me falling out of keto when I went back to university and I have been unable to recreate this experience.

Unfortunately, In my second year (26) I developed a strong anxiety that would fluctuate independent of rhyme or reason and a return of the typical head pressure. Physically I began to notice a persistent fatigue that affected my motivation and led to a drop off in my work ethic. This is something that I was not willing to tolerate, I care too much about medicine to let anything get in the way, and this remains my primary concern.

At this point I also began to give serious thought to the lack of intimacy and sexual relationships in my life. Previously I had banished my anxieties with the idea that I had plenty of time in the future to make up for this baron period and that it was more important for me to focus on my career and build a life for myself but after six years without intimacy I was starting to worry that perhaps I had misjudged the situation. This month (March 2020) I noticed changes in penile morphology (narrowing of my penis and the dreaded hourglass shape) and I decided that it was time to stop finasteride. My third year as medical student has come to a premature end due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a period of six months with no exams or work pressure has opened up where I can attempt a withdrawal from finasteride.

In the first week of the drug I noticed little change.

In the second week there was an initial rebound in libido and sexual fantasy and a return of spontaneous erections. I walked past a girl on my way to the supermarket and could not believe how attractive she was, she held my gaze and ran her hands through her while looking at me, she played on my mind for the rest of that day. I hadn’t experienced that level of lust for years. I began to notice a fuller flaccid penis and improvement of the hourglass shaping of the penis.

I am in my third week now and the sharp libido has abated recently, I have begun to notice dry eyes and fatigue however overall I feel much better than I did on the drug. I have known this drug long enough to know that the next few months and perhaps years are going to be a ride. As I have mentioned my real concern is my career in medicine, it would break my heart if I experienced a cognitive decline similar to the one I experienced in my first degree. I am usually quite a strong and optimistic character but losing medicine the way that I lost mathematics is not something I could bear.

This whole situation has been bizarre, from starting to lose my hair at such a young age to suffering from such a strange set of persistent side effects, having your penis fall of while trying to save your hair! You couldn’t write this stuff. I know that one day I will look back and laugh. Everything should become a joke with time, especially the events that make us sad when they happen, it is what they deserve.

I will try to update weekly to keep you in the loop.

Current symptoms:
Unusual penile morphology
Occasional ear pain
Dry eyes
Cold extremities
Fatigue

(The symptoms progress with the day, mornings are usually good)

4 Likes

Hi, I have some thoughts that I would like to share.

Soya is a phytoestrogen, a molecule that mimics Estrogen and acts on Estrogen receptors. The fact it is improving your symptoms is good evidence that your symptoms are caused by low Estrogen.

The dry hands and whiteness you are experiencing are certainly a consequence of low Estrogen.

Dry hands: Estrogen promotes collagen and elastin synthesis in the skin as well as moisture retention. This is a common problem seen in post menopausal women who are low on Estrogen. Further to this, Phytoestrogens have been shown to improve dry skin caused by low Estrogen in this patient group.

(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6451761/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2705153/)

Whiteness: Estrogen is a vasodilator and low Estrogen has a constricting effect and limits blood flow to the extremities. It is likely that if you are seeing this symptom that you also occasionally experience cold extremities (hands and feet). The vasodilatory and cardio protective effects of Estrogen are well studied and there is a surge in the incidence of heart disease as women pass the menopause. The evidence for this can be wiki’d. The cold penis reported may be an extension of this but that is conjecture.

I have recently come to the forum and I am a little surprised by the fixation on DHT and AR as the basis of PFS, for some sufferers this may be the case but for the larger majority I believe the focus should be on Estrogen. Testosterone, Estrogen and DHT are inextricably linked and any disturbance to one results in changes to the other two. There are two main reasons why I Estrogen deserves more attention than DHT 1) the role of Estrogen in adult male physiology far supersedes that of DHT. 2) The body is more sensitive to Estrogen disturbances- Estrogen must be maintained in a narrow optimal range with deviation above or below causing adverse effects, this is not the case for DHT where the entire spectrum from no DHT to supra-physiological levels of DHT usually present with a healthy phenotype.

I should add that I have a strong belief that the majority of attempts that aim to understand the condition with bloodwork as their basis are misguided, symptomology is far more important. DHT and Estrogen bloodwork is misleading as they are for the most part intracellular molecules formed by reactions in local tissue.

Symptomology is key, do not get lost in the detail, convoluted theories about gene regulation and receptor insensitivity may be interesting but you need to take a step back and focus on the factors you have good strong evidence for and understanding of. Focus on the most likely causes first and move on only when you have ruled them out. We will never be able to elucidate the underlying mechanisms on an Internet forum by piecing together research papers. It may seem harmless but there is a real risk of unsubstantiated theories gaining a herd traction and leading to protocols that cause more harm than good, and that would be a real shame considering how pure our intentions are.

There seems to be some overlap but also occasional sharp differences in the presentation of PFS, a common pathophysiology hasn’t been identified and so you need to listen to your body to figure out what has been disrupted in your particular case. This requires you to pay very close attention to your symptoms and have a good understanding of the role of the main hormones in male physiology. You must become your own doctor. As a start read everything about the role of DHT, testosterone and Estrogen in the body, be sure to understand how they interact with each other. Every change that is underpinned by hormones needs to be considered, they will all point you in the same direction.

Is your beard getting thicker?
Do you have cold extremities?
Are you able to maintain strength?
Is your skin dry?
What in particular about your memory is worse? (T and DHT are associated with spatial memory while Estrogen with verbal memory)
Do people comment that your eyes look tired?
Have you suddenly noticed that you recognise fear on people’s faces more often then you’re used to?

This list is endless. Once you understand the hormones you will know what to look for.

Use this information to figure out how your hormonal profile stands in relation to the three main hormones (High/normal/low Testosterone, high/normal/low Estrogen, high/normal/low DHT).

Scour bodybuilding forums for case studies of experiments that have been run tinkering with these hormones. This is a treasure trove of information into how these hormones affect people, you will get an insight that is not available through research papers.

Once you have a sense of your own particular hormonal profile experiment with natural and weak regulators that alter these three hormones.

E.g phytoestrogens, resistance training, masturbation, nofap, HIIT, supplements,

How do these interventions make you feel? Do these make you feel better or worse, how much better or worse? Use this information to further calibrate your sense of your own hormonal profile. This is the starting point for you to tailor your own solution.

I understand a lot of you are suffering and there is a real drive to fix the issue and it pains me that this condition has caused so much misery and suffering. I really do believe improvement is possible with the information available to us if a strong problem solving approach is applied.

All the best

[deleted]

This post on finasteride and dry eyes might be of interest:

I am now around 10 weeks since stopping finasteride and for the last 10 days I have been back to baseline and consider myself free of finasteride effects bar the changes in penile morphology but my feeling is this will correct with time.

I have kept a log of my thoughts since stopping finasteride that I will post in its crude entirety below as well as blood tests over the period. In it you have access to the day to day changes in thinking to what I thought was causing my issues and the interventions I trialled and the progression of symptomology over the period and that is how it should be taken, my thoughts contributed and coalesced to form the viewpoint I have now.

My view now is that my symptoms were caused by HPTA axis dysfunction following abrupt cessation of finasteride, this led to a hypogonadal state and my recovery was the consequence of a natural readjustment (TIME) that was not influenced by external factors. This was supported with overall beneficial interventions such as intermittent fasting, Vit D supplementation, calcium supplementation, magnesium supplementation, circadian regulation (trying to get my body into a routine- take supplements at the same time, eat at the same time, sleep at the same time). Circadian regulation is the primary way in which to maintain a stable hormonal profile.

Over the period I had symptoms of hypothyroidism, hypoestrogenism, histamine intolerance, allergies, anaemia, muscle wasting, everything the forums on this sight are choc full of. There are two very important points that everyone should keep at the forefront of their thinking:

  1. Hormonal stability is more important than any particular profile.
    By this I mean that constantly changing protocols is a recipe for no progress whatsoever. If there is an issue ( a deficiency/ up regulation/ down regulation) that is stable over time the body will adjust and compensate however if there is constant fluctuation there is no possibility of this as the body is not given long enough to solve the problem. This leads onto my second point.

  2. The timeframe over which symptoms settle is much longer than current thinking understands it to be: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3474193/

This is a very important article. After castration and loss of sexual behaviour, testosterone was administered and sexual behaviour returned in mice after 9 days despite serum testosterone reaching peak levels a few hours after administration. 9 days for mice is 1 human year for an adult male. The implication here that you can find the solution today and correct your hormonal profile but the outcomes and behaviours of the change won’t be apparent for a good while. You need to stick to a hormonal protocol for up to a year before you will see its benefits

On my current protocol I feel very good and better than I ever remember feeling. I intermittent fast (eat only between midday and 6pm, but eat whatever I want), Vit D (6000 IUs a day), Magnesium (800mg of elemental magnesium a day), Calcium (1g a day).

I seriously recommend everyone begin Vitamin D supplementation, PFS or not. Vit D is a bit of a misnomer it is a hormone on par with the others (test, estrogen, DHT), almost all cells have Vit D receptors and it is responsible for the regulation of 100s of genes. Studies have shown that large proportions of the populace are deficient/insufficient, I am not saying it will cure your PFS but it will improve your situation and symptomology. I take 6000 IU a day. The following is a casual discussion between Joe Rogan and a researcher on the benefits of Vit D, it is worth a watch and does a better job of hammering the point home than I can do.

11 Mar - 24 Mar 2020

Stopped finasteride on the 11th, simultaneous with nofap.

I think nofap is important as orgasm usually causes anxiety, weak voice, perceived increase in hair loss, general weakness and generally just does not seem to go well with my current hormonal state.

I have felt good with a complete easing of anxiety and an increase in libido and sexual fantasy. Women seem more attractive. My voice is stronger and more powerful.

I am making progress with press ups that is positively surprising. I feel more powerful and composed. There is no pressure in my head.

It is the corona pandemic and so I am at home most of the day and I have noticed an occasional fatigue since stopping that is unusual.

26-27 Mar

The extreme libido has abated and has been somewhat flat the last few days.

Anxiety is non existent however there seems to be a sense of fatigue at times.

I have cold extremities

29 Mar

I woke up this morning with an ache in my neck and having had poor sleep. I look really pale with extremely dry lips and have no appetite. I have little energy for exercise. I have had some sexual thoughts and a couple of mild spontaneous erections. This is all suggestive of low oestrogen.

My beard feels thicker and fuller and I noticed an increased body odour yesterday, early signs that DHT is increasing. My mood is also surprisingly good, even though I have low oestrogen symptomology I prefer this state to the finasteride state, however I feel my social functionality (appearance, mannerisms) are worse. People have pointed out that I don’t look well and there is a tendency to avoid me.

I spent the entire day lying on the sofa working, I did a good amount of work and in this regard I am doing better than on finasteride but there was a real downturn in spontaneous physical activity, which is a sign of low estrogen.

Plan:

  • Make a symptom questionnaire that is easy to fill in everyday and allows for easy tracking.
  • Figure out the finasteride elimination so that you can try to figure out what the optimal levels of DHT and oestrogen are for you.
  • Book GP appointment, this is something you should consult your doctor about, remember to show emotion.
  • Make a mind map for all the drugs and behaviours (no fap, season, diet, stress) that affect your hormonal profile.
  • Take a blood test in this post finasteride low estrogen state.
  • Read up on the conversation of testosterone to DHT, oestrogen and any other pathways: ratios, time
  • Read up on oestrogen metabolism and ways of regulating the hormone with behaviour and substances.

My current theory on your situation is: on finasteride there is reduced DHT and increased oestrogen:

  • Reduced DHT responsible for cognition issues, poor memory, pressure in head, loss of ability to visualise concepts, poor performance in the gym, changes in penile morphology, poor response to alcohol.

- Increased oestrogen responsible for mood swings, anxiety, high body fat, no libido.

When you come off finasteride there is a period of optimal function: high libido, good performance in the gym, energy for days, good cognitive performance, humour, spontaneous erections, increased emotions, people want to be around me, girls preen themselves for me, strong posture, feeling of power etc. etc. Essentially exactly where you want to be in all regards. At this point oestrogen, test and DHT are optimised. The first step is to figure out what the hormonal profile looks like at this optimal stage and the second step is to figure out how to maintain this state consistently.

As time progresses of finasteride you begin to develop symptoms of low oestrogen: cold extremities, joint pain, fatigue, pale dry skin, inconsistent libido, low appetite, neck pain, disinterest in sugar, pins and needles.

Though penile morphology, memory, concentration, anxiety, social interaction, response to alcohol, feeling like my penis belongs to me, are all better than your state on finasteride, which suggests that DHT has a minimum threshold below which you suffer negative symptoms but that above this you are okay.

I have a very strong pounding heart even at rest almost always.

————

I am interested by the period last summer where I was full of energy and women flocked to me. If I remember correctly I had a turbulent mood/ road rage (smashed the house up and fought with mum) and anxiety (swallowing tick and reluctance to speak) through the period. I was super blunt and would occasionally snap at people, I could feel testosterone and rage rising up in me and could muster it on demand if I liked. I would often see fear on people’s faces when they interacted with me. I was very careful with my words and became quite selfish and indifferent to others. I listened to Skepta’s new album on repeat. Progress in the gym was not great but cardiovascular performance was great. I ate a normal diet but supplemented with high dose vitamin D and high dose magnesium daily. My libido was low to non existent , On rare occasions I would wake up with morning erections but it was inconsistent. I had no genuine After exercise my penis would shrivel up. My skin was clear and my hair was the best it has been in years . I was very flat emotionally during this period. My energy levels were perfect I would exercise 14 times a week and so estrogen was likely between optimal and too high. Despite the attention from women I didn’t pursue any girls and so the attention is not important and for that reason this is not a hormonal profile we should aim to replicate, instead we should aim to improve on it, in particular mitigating the anxiety and lack of libido. Your v oice was also non-existent during this period, weak and raspy to the point that your were afraid to speak.

The protocol at the time was:
Finasteride 1.25mg daily - lowers DHT, increasses oestrogen
Nofap - no hormonal shifts, stability in hormonal profile
Gym every other day - increases test, increases oestrogen, increases DHT
High intensity exercise everyday (boxing, running, squash) - increases test,
Summer
No work pressure
Vitamin D - high dose
Magnesium - high dose

My feeling from the period is that nofap caused a shift in my hormonal profile, the exercise increased the amount of testosterone, and the vitamin D and magnesium lowered my SHBG which increased the amount of and responsive to both testosterone and oestrogen. Most of all I feel good in summers, I always do, blue skies and the sun have an amazing effect on me.

It is important to differentiate strength training and cardiovascular training as your body and hormones react differently to both.

Hormonal shifts and changes in hormonal profile are causes of a change in symptoms as much as any specific profile is.

30 Mar

Today is the first day post finasteride that I would not feel comfortable turning up to work as a medical student (Finasteride stop + 20 days).

I have been extremely forgetful and have had poor spatial awareness- constantly bumping into things and misplacing things. Despite this I have no anxiety and my internal landscape is peaceful. This is a worry as I it has the effect of masking my poor functional state.

I have felt relatively anti social compared to the last few weeks, I was reluctant to talk to my mum on the phone. A few days ago I enjoyed an hour long conversation with her.

Today social interaction has been very strange, a strange sort of underlying anxiety that makes you unable to hold eye contact and lose the ability to convey the right emotion- conversations suddenly become emotional when you don’t want them to.

My libido and penile morphology on waking are good, I had a couple of spontaneous erections.

While reading this morning I found that high levels of estrogen with women correlated with an increased ability to identify fear in the faces of others, this correlation did not exist for positive emotions. This may in part explain why you began to notice fear in men and women last summer and had the general sense that people where scared of you.

All of your states need to be tested in the real world, socially and functionally. Your sense of well being is not a good indicator of how you’re going to perform at work or with friends. The way that other people react to you is an objective indicator .

As time progresses I feel my memory and cognition deteriorating, I have memory and mind blanks, I woke up today and could not remember what month it was.

Plan:

  • Try to improve symptoms with oestrogen inducing foods and behaviours
  • Take blood test when it arrives
  • Take blood test when symptoms resolve in initial finasteride period

Estrogen

  • Estrogen is important in the transport of glucose into skeletal muscle cells and a reduction in estrogen leads to a reduction of glycogen stores in cells
  • Estrogen is an important vasodilator and cardioprotective, low levels are associated with cardiac dysfunction.
  • Estrogen the most important regulator of spontaneous physical activity.
    ———————-------------
    1 Apr

I am increasing my intake of soya as it is a phytoestrogen , today:

  • I am struggling to concentrate
  • My skin is still dry, thin and lifeless.
  • I still feel a tiredness between my eyes though this is not brain fog or head pressure, much tamer.
  • I snapped at someone and was aggressive
  • I have had reduced libido compared to the last few days. 2/10.
  • I have 5/10 spontaneous physical activity
  • I am still suffering the symptoms of low estrogen
  • I also feel functionally worse, my ability to form arguments and communicate is at a low.
  • I ignored a call from my borther today, this is not a viable state.
  • My thumb has started to twitch uncontrollably, it micro twitches when I am using the phone.
  • The previous few nights I have had broken sleep, last night it was not broken.

I think this may be a consequence of a sudden hormonal shift.

Moves between hormonal profiles cause a scrambling of symptoms as your body adjusts, I think this may be transient, stick with a protocol for a short period of time to get past this. Stability of hormonal profile is key ! Be consistent with any protocol and give it time.

Libido is the true indicator of your functional state. If you wake up in the morning with good libido and erectile function you are in a good state. Libido is what you are aiming for.

Having done some reading my cold intolerance is severe and I think there may be an interaction between my sex hormones and thyroid hormones . There is also a lot of overlap between the symptoms of hypothyroidism and what you are experiencing.

The ear pain you experience is very specific for a thyroid issue.

There is some evidence that low estrogen states predispose to hypothyroidism.

After eating soy I feel extremely lethargic and my vision has become blurry. I have also become much less social with my housemates.

I am worrying about this in too much detail, get your bloods done and stay on this protocol until mid April, go to your GP if things don’t improve.

———————

2 Apr

I masturbated today after a 23 day nofap streak. There was a good amount of thick white semen both times I masturbated. A few hours later my cognition and mood and sociability were at optimal levels, no sign of libido however.

What effect did the soy have on your sleep? My Garmin is telling me that I had 45 mins of deep sleep which is much more than usual, though I doubt its accuracy.

I took the blood sample this morning, I had nocturnal erections that woke me but I felt very impotent in the morning. I have lost that feeling of composure that followed the few weeks after finasteride and there is an undercurrent of uneasiness, though it is minimal (1/10), it is more that I don’t feel super relaxed and peaceful internally as I did then.

My skin is papery and feels lifeless. I masturbated earlier and this change in texture extends to my penis which feels very weird when erect. I am pleased this change is affecting all my skin and not just my penis. My hands are the most affected, the skin feels very thin and papery.

I feel asocial and have no real desire to interact.

I feel a pressure behind my eyes that I feel prevents me from having soft eyes and makes me want to avoid eye contact.

My erect penis was at 70%, narrower than normal, orgasm intensity was reduced maybe at 60%, though this is difficult to assess. It did not have that fully engorged feel or appearance.

A couple hours after masturbation I feel good, I have a pressure behind my eyes but other than that I feel energised. The papery texture of my hands has improved slightly but nowhere near normal.

As the day has progressed I have felt better and better, the masturbation had a positive impact .

Blood test- It would be great if it came back saying you had low testosterone and the solution simplified to TRT. Look at the SHBG, yours seems to show wide fluctuation, high levels when you feel worse and low levels when you feel better.

Up until now I had thought that coming of finasteride was causing a progressive increase in DHT as time progressed and that this caused the sense of calm that I felt and that the shift to a PFS state was caused by a decrease in estrogen as more testosterone was converted into DHT and less into estrogen. This was based on my being able to maintain a serene internal landscape while other symptoms began to arise (white papery skin, aching joints), to me suggesting that DHT was still high but that estrogen was decreasing.

However the serene internal landscape has dissipated and I am in a very low level anxiety state.

This has made me think that perhaps after coming of finasteride there was a surge in DHT, during which time neuroprotective steroids where created and stored, that this increase in DHT was met with AR down regulation leading a return to a low effective DHT state once the stored neurosteroids have been depleted.

I need to keep an eye on hairloss, it is a good indicator of DHT levels, do not shave your head, I have the feeling that my hair is not falling out anymore and has stabilised despite me being off finasteride. I have not had any acne breakouts which I would expect with such a surge in DHT.

It is important to get a true sense of the effect of DHT, estrogen and test on your body.

I think a lot of my symptoms arise from having become super estrogen sensitive and small fluctuations causing issues, my body needs consistency of hormonal profile before it allows your libido to return.

Interventions that improve symptoms

Soy makes your emotions come out - suggesting low estrogen
Nofap helps make your voice stronger and deeper - suggesting low androgens
HIIT - makes you feel better and increases libido suggesting low androgens

Based on how I see things now I think TRT would help improve your symptoms, I hope that the bloodworm supports this.

If my assessment is correct I am currently low test, low estrogen, high SHBG

Conjecture

You have symptoms of low thyroid hormones and low testosterone. Maybe there is an antibody attacking the identical alpha subunits of TSH and LH?

————————————

3 Apr

I masturbated to pornography today and was overcome by overwhelming fatigue and slept till 6pm.

There is a sexual reserve that you have and its ability to refill has been damaged by finsteride, it takes a period of nofap before you are able to produce arousal and sperm for a fulfilling ejaculation.

For a healthy individual this refilling is a seamless process and does not take very long. This is because their hormones are working effectively and are at the right concentrations and ratios.

Early ejaculation, before sexual reserve is at an adequate level, is prevented by low libido, however with pornography you can bypass this and force your self into an ejaculatory state before your body is ready, this is catastrophic for your body and something you have abused since you were introduced to pornography.

Axiom: Only ejaculate when the arousal and erection are spontaneous.

Otherwise I have felt good today, I set a personal best on press ups. My internal state of mind is good, however my sociability is less than I’d like it to be. Masturbating when not aroused has definitely thrown my voice off, it is less confident and less deep.

My ability to Sweat is significantly reduced, I no longer need to wear deodorant and even exercise does not cause me to sweat, and this suggests that I have adjusted to a low DHT state.

Axiom: Daily strenuous exercise is a constant, it needs to be imbedded into the deepest layers of your psyche and behaviour.

———————

5 Apr

I have woken up the last few days with weak morning erections and my penis is now returned to pre finasteride fullness in its flaccid state (perhaps with a hint of narrowing/ loss of girth).

Again I am being told that I look tired and I feel tired also, I can see dark rings under my eyes, I also have reduced spontaneous physical activity and a fatigue.

My sociability is very poor, I do not feel anxious but humour is non existent . I have a flat affect and am not seeing the colour in the world. My current understanding is that this is caused by low effective estrogen . My skin is very dry and I can feel that my eyes are tired as soon as I wake up and this persists throughout the day.

I am still unable to sweat, even during workouts. This suggests that I have low effective DHT however. I masturbated twice yesterday and both times the semen was thick, white, creamy suggesting a high sperm concentration however there was very small amounts in total, supporting a low DHT state as the prostate is responsible for seminal fluid.

Strawberries make me feel good.

———————

6 Apr

I need to give this no finasteride no intervention (baseline) state some time to stabilise, I am definitely suffering from hypogonadism at the moment but perhaps it is just adjustment while my body sorts itself out post finasteride. I will give it 8 weeks from cessation of the drug. May 10.

In this period work on raising testosterone levels naturally.

If the following measures do not normalise then I will intervene, I would like to see 6’s and 7’s:

  • Libido - 1/10
  • Erectile function - 3/10
  • Sociability - 2/10
  • Motivation for activity/ exercise - 2/10
  • Appearance - 2/10
  • Access to emotions - 2/10

Take bloods on May 10.

Your cold intolerance has disappeared and so thyroid hormone activity has normalised over the last week or so, there is hope that sex hormones normalise also.

———————————————

8 Apr

The blood test results arrived today, I have low estrogen as expected however my testosterone is normal. The surprise is that my prolactin is elevated. This is something that I need to think about and really factor. It would be absurd to start TRT or any other protocol if hyperprolactinaemia is the cause of my symptoms. TRT will likely be ineffective if hyperprolactinaemia is the cause of your symptoms.

I have noticed that I become very sexual while exercising and my sleep is awful and I have insomnia.

I recently had an intense sexual solo experience on cannabis and I am now thinking that the increase in dopamine as a result of cannabis led to an inhibition of prolactin that facilitated the entire experience. Though it is unlikely that cannabis would be able to act so rapidly to reduce prolactin.

My skin and hair are extremely dry and lifeless.

I will now try supplements to lower my prolactin until May 10. I am looking into Vitamin B6 and dopamine precursors.

Your baseline prolactin levels are higher than levels men experience following sex and are sufficient to sustain their refractory period.

An importnat question, why did your libido increase in a linear fashion once you came off finasteride and reach normal levels before tapering off again. How does this tie in with high prolactin levels?

Cabergoline increases serum DHT 3-fold and also increases testosterone production.

————————————————————————

9 Apr

There is a difference in penile morphology between the distal and proximal half of my penis. I have the feeling this is caused by the low estrogen state induced by finasteride cessation. The difference begins at the level of the kink (Peyronie’s) and the skin is thinner and darker and seemingly less vascularised on the distal half. The distal half is also narrower and is more sensitive in a negative way, during masturbation there is a hint of pain when stroking the region.

My penis is now hanging fuller in its flaccid state and when you are beginning to get aroused it takes that engorged flaccid state that you were used to when you where younger and is a point that you are comfortable exposing your penis at.

I have completely lost that at ease feeling associated with DHT and I am back to an uneasiness in my head and low level constant anxiety.

Based on my reading I do not think the prolactin levels are a cause for concern, there is thought which suggests your elevated levels could be down to the stress of venipuncture alone.

—————————

10 Apr

Prolactin inhibits 5AR and estrogen.

Today something very interesting happened. A dose of Macuna pruriens improved my mood and cognition symptoms, not to optimal levels but there is certainly a positive improvement. This suggests that I dopamine has potential to improve my symptoms.

All of my bloodworms has shown elevated levels of prolactin, the levels though elevated are not consistent with pituitary pathology or any well understood prolactin pathology. Perhaps I have reduced activity in the dopamine pathway? A reduction of dopamine synthesis or issues with D2 receptors?

This would explain the positive response to Macuna pruriens and the elevated levels of prolactin. I have a history of drug abuse and pornography addiction that could underlie the issues with dopamine.

I believe this issue is separate to post finasteride issues. It is exacerbated by the post finasteride state.

Alternatively, your dopamine system is stable and Macuna acting like a recreational drug. Careful not to develop a dependence.

——————————————

12 Apr

Today I feel more energetic and social than usual, tho still not at an acceptable level. This maybe a natural progression or a consequence of the Macuna pruriens that I took yesterday.

I have noticed that I have brittle nails, again a symptom of hypothyroidism or reduced circulation to the peripheries due to low estrogen.

Symptoms arise as the day progresses, the mornings are okay.

Tinnitus can be caused by low estrogen . More evidence that you are hypoestrogenic. Tinnitus and ear pain has been ever present since you stopped finasteride.

I think you have to accept that your body has set no libido at its set point, focus on the other aspects of your life. Maybe you will come to accept this as different solutions fail. The cognitive stuff is a must, medicine and social are more important than sex.

————————————————

12 Apr

My refractory period has decreased considerably, where previously an orgasm would knock me out I can now continue with my day which suggests my body is adjusting to the new state.

I have spent the morning googling images of PAWGS I think there may be an underlying improvement of libido that your porn use is masking.

Today I felt much better, almost as if things are improving, I spoke to my mum and dad effortlessly, though perhaps a little stern and not enough humour. I have not been applying any interventions, no nofap etc.

Perhaps my hormones are normalising and adjusting. I have not had a clean break from finasteride since I started, a break that was not confounded by depression, stress, drug abuse. Let’s see how this plays out.

I still have slight symptoms of low estrogen, tinnitus, dry skin. But the head pressure and anxiety where minimal today.

—————————————

13 Apr

Today I felt completely normal, I walked tall and had good energy. My appetite for carbohydrates has been voracious! I feel my estrogen has risen for some reason. There are some possible causes:

  1. natural progression of pituitary adjustment after stopping finasteride
  2. B6 you had a few days ago
  3. Macuna pruriens you had a few days ago
  4. A yet to be defined cyclical hormonal fluctuation that you go through without realising.
  5. No stress
  6. Something in mum’s food. Spice?

Skin and dry eyes have improved, still not normal however.

More spontaneous physical activity, more social

However, strength has halved, only 10 press up sets, after 19 the other day.

———————

14 Apr

Today was good, similar to yesterday.

However at night after eating Krave I started to experience itching all over, what I had always previously associated with DHT. I now think it is a histamine intolerance caused by your estrogen dysfunction. I am feeling this now and I have suddenly become very anxious and short of breath which is completely out of sync with how I have been feeling the last few days. This is certainly a strong allergic reaction.

Avoid crap food! Cut out the rubbish and stick to healthy foods and this problem can be managed…

I have eaten krave before and not had this which is a little odd.

Estrogen is known to cause an increase in histamine, the normalisation of your estrogen levels could be causing a spike in histamine production. This response may normalise with time as your body adjusts to the higher estrogen levels.

Apparently B6 promotes the degradation of histamine but is also a cofactor in its synthesis and promotes histidine to histamine.

My sleep cycle drastically shifted last night without any intention or effort on my part. (from sleep at 6am wake at 3, to wake at 8am sleep at 12am). Histamine has a strong role as modulator of sleep cycles in the CNS.

I have ordered some anti-histamines to see how they make me feel. Again this could be a high or low histamine issue, if I feel worse on the anti histamines then I will try histidine. Hopefully I wake up tomorrow and I have forgotten all about this and never feel this itching again.

I have taken 300mg of B6.

———————

15 Apr

I had a 12 hour sleep but on waking I am spritely and spontaneous. I think histamine is very important .

It has the largest role in sleep and wakefulness. That jump out of bed in the morning feeling is histamine related as is sleep cycle orientation.

I have a feeling you are moving from a low histamine to a normal histamine state, that parallels your shift from a low estrogen state to a normal estrogen state (as the two are associated). For this reason you are experiencing symptoms of histamine intolerance and seeing changes In your sleep-wake functioning.

Antihistamines increase NREM sleep (deep sleep).

Histamine promotes wakefulness and disrupts deep sleep.

All periods of good well being (keto, summer where you were working out and getting crazy female attention) ended with lump in the throat reflux and crazy disruption to sleep wake cycle and sleep architecture.

Histamine is associated with gastric secretions and this points to histamine disruptions playing a part in those declines.

H2 (but not H1) receptors have been identified in the erection response and have been shown as a potentially useful treatment for psychogenic erectile dysfunction.

Theory

You always have good periods at home during summer as you spend your time in the living room with the door to the garden open, this leads to environmental exposures that promote histamine release in your body. The elevated histamine causes an alertness and spontaneity that promotes a sense of well being and there is deep and timely sleep during these periods, you experience a period of wellbeing until the levels of histamine increase to the point where you experience acid reflux and fragmentation of sleep.

However the deterioration always seems to coincide with leaving home and there should be a corresponding decrease in histamine release. You also experience itching episodes associated with histamine when you are not at home.

The key finding is that histamine plays a very important and crucial role in your well being, perhaps more so than other hormones. Estrogen and histamine are the two crucial ones.

Estrogen inhibits DAO (Diamine oxidase which breaks down histamine). Over the last few weeks as your estrogen has fluctuated there has been a knock on effect on histamine.

Today has been a really good day in terms of cognition. Perhaps this is the B6 taking effect or an increase in Estrogen or histamine intolerance?

Reading more there may be an effect of diminishing histidine: As your body creates more histamine it uses up histamine and after the upsurge caused by the elevated levels of histamine there is a deterioration when histadine stores run dry and synthesis of histamine is reduced. Thus supplementing histidine with B6 (a cofactor in the conversion) may be important to maintaining the high levels of histidine that make you feel good.

This changed at night, I was unable to fall asleep and masturbated 6 times and felt a change in my state on the horizon .

———————————————

16 Apr

Very low estrogen state again, flat affect, no libido, penile shrinkage. There seems to be a random fluctuation of your hormones. Perhaps sleep is the culprit? Your sleep cycle is all over the place and the disruption to your circadian rhythm is throwing all of your hormones out of whack.

Very thin lips, easy bruising.

This hormonal fluctuation is possibly due to SHBG. Try raising your SHBG levels naturally to discern an effect.

Constant headache has returned.

—————-

17 Apr

Again I felt off and not right.

Theory:

Stopping finasteride abruptly caused disruption to the HPGA. The sudden three-fold increase in DHT caused down regulation of AR receptors and suppression of estrogen. Leading to low DHT (no hair loss, no sweating) and low oestrogen symptoms (well documented above).

This would result in normal levels of DHT and test but symptoms of low test/DHT due to down-regulation of AR receptors and also low serum estrogen as DHT antagonises estrogen. I think there is hope that your receptors adjust and compensate to the surge and new levels of DHT over time without intervention , changing symptomology would be an indicator of this. Increase in sweating and increase in hair loss are good indicators DHT processing by AR is increasing.

Since stopping finasteride your strength has improved, you are able to do several sets of 15 push ups regularly, sometimes more. This is a sign that testosterone is still working on the AR receptor. Your penis is fuller and more responsive than on finasteride, again suggesting that AR activity has seen some benefit from stopping finasteride.

There are some options moving forward:

Let your system play out, hormonal changes take time to settle and cement, monitor your symptology and aim for stability as your body adapts.

TRT - If AR is down regulated this will only improve symptoms of low estrogen. This would be an improvement on the current situation.

Starting on finasteride and then tapering off to allow your HPGA to gradually adjust to the post finasteride state and hopefully prevent mass down regulation of the AR

Finasteride + TRT?

—————
18 Apr

Really cold extremities and loss of fluency when talking.

I don’t have any anxiety however, this may be because I am at home and there are no external pressures.

My voice has remained constant recently, about average depth but with no hesitation or anxiety, despite excessive masturbation. A sign that androgen activity is good?

My speech is stilted however and lacks fluency and rhythm. Almost autistic. The fluency will return when your emotions do.

Stability of hormonal profile is the most important variable in all of this.

———————————

20 Apr

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3474193/

This is a very important article. After castration and loss of sexual behaviour, testosterone was administered and sexual behaviour returned in mice after 9 days despite serum testosterone reaching peak levels a few hours after administration. 9 days for mice is 1 human year for an adult male.You need to stick to a protocol for up to a year before you will see its benefits .

Additionally, sexual behaviour and sexual motivation seemed to be controlled separately, hormonal fluctuations have a greater impact on behaviour and not so much of an impact on motivation. The desire is there but no impetus to act. This is similar to your desire for porongraphy but complete lack of impetus to chase girls.

——————————-

21 Apr

Pretty bad day again today, really frustrated internally, snapping at things, not willing to talk, avoiding social contact, irritable and unsettled.

My left shoulder feels off( stiff and sore) and I am now more and more convinced it is a hormonal issue. Frozen shoulder is a condition that middle aged folk experience in response to hormonal changes.

Sent off a blood sample, which was taken at 8pm.

23 Apr

I would like to give Keto and intermittent fasting a chance again before I think about TRT.

Keto increases SHBG and test and previously I felt like god on it.

Intermittent fasting regulates circadian rhythym and this is important for hormonal stability.

TRT is a big commitment and a lifelong commitment, something that you can come back to but not something you will be able to undo easily. It is certainly something you will do in your life, the question is timing. Is now the right time? Before you have had children etc.

————————

24 Apr

4.5/10

It feels like things are going in the right direction. Still a long way from libido but the physical symptoms seem to be improving.

I took magnesium last night and I had morning wood, my beard feels thicker and I have a little spontaneous sweating today.

———————

25 Apr

Physically I feel normal, cognitively not so. Magnesium and natural resolution are the causes I feel.

Sweating is beginning to normalise, I had the best erection to date last night though still not normal. After ingestion of magnesium my skin feels less dry and more life like.

I still have muscle twitches, lets see how these progress with time. I may still have underlying low estrogen that is being masked by magnesium.

———

26 Apr

Good day felt normal

————-

27 Apr

Back to crap, woke up spontaneously at 3am and couldn’t get back to sleep. Hypothyroidism is a potential concern, the peeling lips, easy cutting, really messed up sleep are very specific for hypothyroidism.

I want no interventions till june, let your pituitary normalise, give it time. Then have a look if things haven’t changed.

Symptoms today:]

Poor memory

Dry skin

Hair brittle

Bags under my eyes

Slow thinking

Pressure behind eyes

Peeling lips

Easily cut

Bloating

—————

29 Apr

VITAMIN D AND MAGNESIUM ARE A COMBO, TAKE TOGETHER FOR EFFECT.

Vitamin D seems to be the answer, return of full erections and good sperm, skin on penis returning to normal texture, good mood throughout day though perhaps a little faitgued.

A 10 week course of 4000IU a day is needed to return levels to baseline.

————

30 Apr

Headache and general malaise since waking. Ate junk yesterday, perhaps we are into the territory of general day to day acute fluctuations not linked to some underlying pathology/deficiency?

Bad day.

Very slow cognition, no depression however, but just very slow and disinterested, general feeling that something is off, extremely thin and papery skin, several cuts on hands following innocuous activities like opening a parcel as your skin is so weak.

Took thyroid blood test at 8.30pm to catch the nadir of thyroid activity, hopefully it comes back actionable, if it is normal that makes this more difficult to solve.

Hashimoto’s is possible, the test includes autoimmune antibodies.

Estrogen stimulates the thyroid and so low estrogen could be causing hypothyroidism.

That weird head pressure behind the eyes is back.

On a more positive note, my humour is back, my muscles feel hard, I am having 80% erections (best I’ve had since last summer) and my voice is always strong. It seems DHT is back and exerting its androgenic effects.

There has certainly been a grdual improvement of overall symptoms since stopping finasteride to now. I hope the thyroid corrects itself with time.

——————

2 May

Body temp 36.7C

Symptoms:

Pressure in head

Twitches in legs

Flat mood

Dry unruly hair/ body hair

No libido

Dark circles around eyes

Dry skin

Fatigue

The uneasiness in the head is constant and unbearable

My plan is to Keto diet again. That period was the best of my life.

———————

4 May

Erections 90% when lying flat watching porn daily, so likely very good when standing up and after some abstience.

Really poor concentration today, however hands seem to be returning to normal texture, improved blood flow to them

——————-

5 May

Vitamin D level came back low, this is the first port of call. Correct this and then assess symptomology.

Aim is to double the current level. Summers have always been good to me as have Vit D supplements. This is a fundamental we need to correct before trying anything else. Get level to 90nmol/l before trying anything else.

My current daily protocol is: Intermittent fasting + 6000IU Vit D + 440mg elemental magnesium citrate

I will continue this until my vit D is optimal and then reassess

————————

6 May

Yesterday was good, 9/10 erection for the first time in years

All of today was good until 6pm when I had a tingling epidote and allergic reaction type response which has completely thrown my mood and sense of well being off, made me flat, fatigued and anxious for the last 6 hours.

I feel fatigued after concentration and exercise, I need to correct that before term starts.

————————

7 May

Concentration is extremely poor and fatigue is deceptive, you wake up feeling like you have energy but as soon as you sit down to work the fatigue, inattention and poor concentration kick in.

Your memory is still not there.

Symptoms:

Severe bloating, this has been constant for the last two weeks

Muscle twitches, these seem to be getting worse

Weight gain, getting fat now

Dry skin

Bags under eyes

Poor memory

Awful concentration - lost the ability to read and digest, cannot work for more than 20 mins

Fatigue

Pressure behind eyes

Blurry vision when you are in sunlight

PLAN:

CORRECT VITAMIN D LEVELS + CALCIUM

ASSESS FOR IMPROVEMENTS - JUN 30

- IF YOU CAN WORK FOR 6 HOURS A DAY THEN CONTINUE WITH PROTOCOL

IF NO IMPROVEMENT: KETO

ASSESS FOR IMPROVEMENTS: AUG 30

IF NO IMPROVEMENT: BACOPA PROTOCOL ON PROPECIAHELP

IF NO IMPROVEMENT: TRT

Today is the first day where I have noticed a very obvious lack of interest in conversation, but not due to fatigue, energy levels have been good, worked out etc, but you just don’t respond to conversational cues from others.

———————

8 May

Everything seems to be improving apart from, libido, memory, cognition and the pressure in the head.

Erections are 9/10

Physical energy is good

Skin seems to be improving but not normal

Head and shoulders conditioner is helping with hair dryness.

Magnesium and vitamin D are insanely beneficial to you, I think you may have been harbouring a life long vitamin d deficiency.

Muslce twitches are still present, maybe getting worse.

12 May

Things seem to have reached a plateau in terms of improvement and I have not yet reached a level that I am happy operating at:

Current symptoms:

Head pressure

Fatigue

Poor concentration

Poor memory

Lack of emotions

Disinterst in conversation

Lack of humour

Poor balance

Muscle twitches

Dry skin

Awful unruly dry hair

Bags under eyes

No libido

Slow beard growth

Minimal sweating

Slow pubic hair growth

Vitamin D deficiency aspect of symptoms will improve as I continue to raise levels, I have ordered calcium and will add that to see if there is additional improvement.

June 1st start Keto if not at 100%.

———————

17 May:

Hair is starting to thin and skin is more oily, sweat is returning, head pressure has been absent the last three days as well as a better mood. Things are looking up. There is a little anxiety about the return of hair loss but you will look extremely handsome with a shaved head if it comes to that so nothing to worry about.

21 May

I feel like I’m back, my emotions are back so is my charm and vocabulary and ease with conversation, this is just at home and I haven’t tested it in the real world but things have definitely improved.

I think the vit D played a huge part, my symptoms improved for the best after starting calcium so this may be having a synergistic role with vit D. Intermittent fasting has helped also.

Current protocol: vit d 6000iu, 1g calcium, 800mg magnesium, intermittent fasting between midday and 6.

Hormonal profile at the start of April (+3 weeks from finasteride stop)



Vitamin profile at the start of May

Thyroid profile at the start of May

Hormonal profile mid May (+ 9 week finasteride stop)

Estrogen has almost doubled from the period after stopping finasteride (where symptoms were at their worst)



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Sorry my posts are so crude with no formatting and analysis but there is too much raw thinking and data for me to process, I hope it will be useful to someone. If you have any questions feel free to ask though I do not imagine myself frequenting the forum to often in the future.

Hi SS1, when do you take vit D and magnesium?

Hi telpek, I take the supplements in the 6 hour eating window (midday to 6pm).

6000IU vitamin D + 440mg magnesium + 500mg calcium at around midday with a meal with some fat in it to help absorption.

440mg magnesium + 500mg calcium with my meal at 6pm

1 Like

i loved reading it brother. good thing to log, however you can see the symptoms are all over the place from day to day, week to week.

Some questions though:
How long has passed since you stopped?
Do you have jointpains?
Do you still have earpain or tinnitus?

1 Like

Hey man,

Your right, it’s all over the place, my body went through a big change and it threw everything out of sync and I got all sorts of symptoms. The fluctuations in my estrogen levels over the period are pretty absurd, my body basically went through the menopause and back, sex hormones like estrogen are so fundamental to our function it is no surprise that the effects are so diverse.

I had really bad joint and bone pain, if I sat on the floor with my legs crossed I would struggle to get up and when I did I would have to hobble and the pain would persist for a while. I don’t have this anymore and I feel strong, flexible and stable. If I do a full body workout (press ups, leg raises, squats, lunges etc.) I feel good and there is no resistance from my joints.

My ear pain and tinnitus has also resolved, I remember it being very bad during the first couple of months off finasteride.

Hope this information helps. I read your story and think there is a very strong chance your body will normalise in the next few months or so. All the best.

1 Like

Hey man , It’s been interesting to read your story it really has . I am struggling at the moment as I have had a little dip over the last month after previously doing a lot better . Anyhow you have got me thinking about something …Estrogen . I used the drug finasteride for 4.5 years and most of my symptoms started while I was still taking the drug ( ED , yo-yo libido, Anhedonia and gynocomastia) once I stopped finasteride in September 2019 all these symptoms continued and I got severe insomnia , Anxiety and Tinnitus added to the mix post discontinuation. Out of everything here I rank the Insomnia the worst thing for me to go through and I have it as my number one priority to eliminate- it seems to make every other symptom worse and adds all the drama and frustration associated with sleep deprivation . I have researched the topic of insomnia through medication/ hormonal interference and there’s not a lot of info out there and doctors I have seen just seem to pass you off to the psychiatry wing and say the insomnia is in your head , blah blah blah. The thing that helped the most has been Zopiclone , but that is no long term fix and will eventually come with its own problems if continued (right now I use it twice a week) . This type of insomnia - that I may add even my psychiatrist labeled as “severe” - I have noticed seems to be common in a certain Sex and age group - middle aged women . Several times in sleep forums I have come across insomniacs who describe exactly what I have (0 - 3 hours broken sleep ) and they are all post menopausal women . For a while I thought it was odd but just put it down to them having hormones messed up from their menopause- like my hormones where messed up from medication . However , when you stop and think about it - they are getting MORE DHT and Testosterone produces by their ovaries and LESS Estrogen ( some women start developing facial hair , femal pattern baldness after the menopause for eg) so the Insomnia they are getting must be from something to do with their Estrogen levels plummeting .
Tinnnitus is possibly my least concerning symptom in terms of quality of life , however I associate it with PFS and the ongoing syndrome . When I’m having a rough time the ringing seems to be louder and when I’m doing better the noise seems to be less. I have often thought to myself once that tinnitus goes that’s a clear sign I will be free of this syndrome .
I then read your post on Estrogen and tinnitus and I looked again and sure enough - tinnitus is also common amongst menopausal women from the estrogen disruption . As you have said so much focus here is on androgens and I have come to associate Estrogen as a problem (especially after the gyno) but with regards to these 2 symptoms at least there could be correlation with Estrogen and improvement?

Hey Forwardsnotbackwards,

Thanks for sharing your story to the thread. I completely agree that insomnia is one of the more awful and debilitating parts of the whole PFS picture, it really sucks the colour out of life. I am intrigued by your experience since stopping, how have your symptoms progressed since you stopped taking the drug?

Similar to you I noticed the overlap between the side effects caused by finasteride use/discontinuation and the symptoms of menopause, I am a medical student and through various women’s healths blocks I have had the chance to interact with patients who are going through the menopause and after a while you develop a sense for the kind of role Estrogen plays in the body and how the body reacts when Estrogen levels are low. When I read the stories of people suffering on this site there is a great deal of similarity as there was in my case also.

I am by no means saying that all of the symptoms are caused by disruption to estrogen action but I do believe it to be the largest piece of the puzzle.

Yes it would be interesting to investigate that - especially when some of the Aromatose inhibitors seem to have caused insomnia in some people too.

Well… it was an odd one . Started in April 2015 And didn’t really have any side effects . It got to around dec 2017 when I first noticed something odd - soft erection. At the time I just blamed it on a drunken encounter , that comes with the territory sometimes lol but I realized in the coming months afterwards I was getting the same issue whilst at home- soft , especially when lying down . Standing up they were ok . I didn’t think it was the finasteride at first as I had got to nearly 3 years on it and I thought side effects would appear only within the first 3-6 months . So I carried on taking it . A few more sexual fails - including one where I actually quite liked the girl and the dating had been going really well …until one night she stayed over and it was kind of awkward . I think she probably felt that I didn’t find her attractive or something - but the reality was I was suffering with ED by then . Around 2019 I started getting gynocomastia on one side only (left) and I knew then this stuff had to go . As I had taken it for 4 years I decided to taper down - it was during the taper that some savage insomnia kicked in. It was the nights of ‘zero sleep’ kind . Horrific. Got prescribed Trazodone and it seemed to help at the time . I then took the final pill of finasteride - on September 11th 2019 . All the symptoms I had during the last year remained (ED, gyno , libido loss and also Anhedonia within the last couple of years ) however the insomnia got a little better .
I even thought at this stage I was in the clear and was just worrying I might get some rebound hair shedding in the coming weeks of October when boom ! The insomnia returned full blown . It was more nights of complete zero , the occasional falling asleep at 5am for a couple of hours …all whilst working a 55hour a week job. Tinnitus also developed at this stage - 1 month after discontinuation. Trazodone was doing nothing by now for sleep. My doctor wasn’t the most helpful - just kept prescribing higher and higher doses of sleep meds . He even gave me some Belsomra - which didn’t do anything at all. I was getting real desperate wondering if I should go to ER when the doctor switched up my Eszopiclone to 3mg and I tried it and got a night of 6 hours . Then the same the next night. It made me feel so much better .
I tried going without the Eszopiclone but I would always have a zero sleep night if I did so in the end I just went with - I’d rather be addicted to Eszopiclone and at least get some sleep than try and live a life in this sleep deprived state . So I did . I took it every single night without fail. I’d say I averaged about 4-5 hours per night on it which wasn’t bad but wasn’t great. I always had anxiety but around this time I also developed real bad Generalized anxiety , compulsive checking and reassurance too. It was clearly from the PFS.
I quit my job in LA (I had been unhappy for a while there anyhow ) and moved back to UK after Christmas 2019 to live with family and try and recharge .
From January to April I did really well. Of course I didn’t have hardly any stress now and was in a place where I could recharge and focus on recovering . Sleep improved and i was able to taper down the Eszopiclone and eventually was off it completely by March. The previous Gynocomastia got really punished by me bench pressing it and doing dips in my garage gym lol it really took a beating and it stopped hurting and seemed to decrease in size. I have developed some muscle mass. Anxiety has slowly decreased - it’s not gone totally but it’s improved .
I was doing really well and then around the end of April I had an insomnia relapse . It got as bad as it was when I first quit finasteride , which was odd as I had been doing so much better and I had been sleeping for 7 weeks just using the occasional melatonin or valerian and getting about 6 hours sometimes 7 a night. Anyhow the last 4 weeks have been bad again…I used zopiclone a couple of times but don’t wanna get into a relationship with it again. I use it twice a week at the moment where if I really need some sleep after a bad night . I started using this sleep aid I got in California before I left - it’s a melatonin ,5htp and Rhodiola supplement by Irwin naturals. It has magnesium in it too , plus L theanine , ashwagandha , lemon balm, Passion flower vitamin D , chamomile - pretty much all the herbal GABA babies in it . It has taken a while to kick in but is actually improving my mood and wellbeing in general. I got about 6 hours broken sleep last night on it . I do hope something has shifted - inside I feel it has . I feel great support from people on here , I appreciate everyone that has got in touch with me lately with encouragement and also tips on what to do with some of these symptoms .
If I can diminish the insomnia and Gyno fully first of all (priority symptoms) then I’ll work on the Anhedonia, tinnitus and I imagine I’ll be stuck with ED the longest as it was the first symptom to appear . Things have already got better on that front though so I’m hopeful. That’s my story post discontinuation anyhow sorry if it’s a bit of a ramble!

Hey, not ramble at all, I think I’m starting to get the picture. I have some questions if that’s ok.

How was your sleep before finasteride? What is the insomnia process like for you? Are you lying in bed the entire night unable to get to sleep? What sorts of thoughts will you have while you can’t get to sleep?

You haven’t spoken too much about cognitive symptoms and for me that was my main concern, do you get a pressure/ache type sensation in your head? How is your focus, memory etc. ?

Also, have you had any blood tests done?