Nathaniel's Story

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)?
United States (live in California and New Jersey)

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?)

What is your current age, height, weight?
30 year old male, 6’1", 185lbs

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

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

What condition was being treated with the drug?
Male Pattern Baldness

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

Date when you started the drug?

Date when you quit the drug?

Age when you quit?

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

How long into your usage did you notice the onset of side effects?
70 days

What side effects did you experience that have yet to resolve since discontinuation?
During finasteride i only experienced erectile dysfunction and dizziness, after finasteride i experienced a bunch more issues

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.

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

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

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

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

[ ] Other (please explain)
tingling hands and feed, numbness in hands and feet

What (if any) treatments have you undertaken to recover from your side effects since discontinuation of the drug?
GAPS diet
Supplements (multi-vitamin, Creatine,DHEA,)

If you have pre or post-drug blood tests, what hormonal changes have you encountered since discontinuing the drug (please post your test results in the “Blood Tests” section and link to them in your post)?
Low Proalctin
High LH
low in vitamin B and Vitamin D (but within range)

Anything not listed in the above questions you’d like to share about your experience?
after stopping finaseride my only side effects were abdominal an testicular pain for 3 months. Then i “crashed” and had a suden onset of the many symptoms i listed above. My worst symptoms are brain fog, fatigue, and penile numbness

Tell us your story, in your own words, about your usage and side effects experienced while on/off the drug.
took finasteride for 3 months, towards the end of the 3 months i experienced dizziness and erectile dysfunction so i stopped. Dizzyness and ED went mostly away but i started getting abdominal and testicular pain. This went on for 3 months. In that time I also had antibiotic treatment and even 2 vaccines for HPV. After 3 months off finasteride i had a “crash” where I had a sudden onset of severe mental, emotional, and sexual side effects listed above.


  1. Name of the therapy/substance:
    • Dosage:
    • How often you took it:
  2. Status
    • Still using [ ]
    • Stopped with no lasting change to initial symptoms [ ]
    • Stopped with persistent change to symptoms [ ]
  3. Duration of use: Days [ ] Months [ ] Years [ ]
  4. Response when you started:
    • Greatly improved [ ]
    • Slightly improved [ ]
    • Stayed the same [ ]
    • Slightly worsened [ ]
    • Greatly worsened [ ]
  5. Current response (if you’re still using the therapy/substance) OR Response in the time before you stopped the treatment
    • Greatly improved [ ]
    • Slightly improved [ ]
    • Stayed the same [ ]
    • Slightly worsened [ ]
    • Greatly worsened [ ]
  6. Lasting changes to initial symptoms after cessation (if you have stopped for more than 3 weeks)
    • Greatly improved [ ]
    • Slightly improved [ ]
    • Stayed the same [ ]
    • Slightly worsened [ ]
    • Greatly worsened [ ]

Try to stay hopeful. Many do improve over time. I totally feel you on the fatigue and brain fog being a killer. I have these symptoms too and they have eased up a bit over time. The fatigue especially since at one point I was basically bed bound.

50% recovered and still improving – nathaniel protocol


Disclaimer 1:

I fully support research to find a cure for PFS and I donate money to the PFSfoundation each month on a recurring basis and I strongly urge everyone to do the same. Funding research is extremely important.

Disclaimer 2:

I am not a doctor; I am not a scientist. I am just an IT engineer who has PFS. Please consult with experts when beginning protocols and obviously the worst thing would be for someone to get worse or commit suicide. I am simply sharing my perspective and am not encouraging others to follow.


While we wait for research and a cure, I am pursuing functional medicine protocols (also called alternative medicine or integrative medicine). The protocol I have done to get me a 50% recovery is outlined below.

My high-level strategy is:

Give the body all the resources it needs to heal itself

The foundation of health is a healthy diet and a great gut microbiome.

Patience - It can take a minimum of 6 months to rebuild a healthy gut microbiome so I am being patient and measuring success week by week, not day by day.

Functional medicine is good to deal with multi-system illnesses and PFS is a multi-system condition because it affects brain, penis, emotions, gut, and more.


I am a 30 year old male. I took finasteride for 3 months, had mild symptoms then stopped. Had mild symptoms for 3 months and then crashed. I am writing this post 6 weeks after crashing and 3 weeks after starting my personal protocol, “the nathaniel” protocol outlined in this post.

Symptoms and improvements:

For my symptoms and improvements below, assume that 0/0 is how I felt during my PFS crash and that 100/100 is how I felt before finasteride. As an example, 50/100 means that I am back to 50% where I was before finasteride and that I am 50% better than my crash.

On average across all symptoms I am 50% better.


Fatigue (60/100)

Abdominal pain (50/100)

Testicular pain (90/100)

Hot flashes (99/100)

Tingling pins and needs in hands and feet (80/100)

Insomnia (80/100)

Headaches (60/100)

Pressure in skull (85/100)

Dizziness (50/100)


Anxiety (90/100)

Depression (90/100)

Suicidal ideation (95/100)


Brain fog/lack of concentration (80/100)

Confusion (80/100)

Anhedonia (80/100)


Libido (35/100)

Penile numbness (70/100)

Erectile dysfunction (50/100)

No connection between brain and penis (60/100)


GAPS nutritional protocol. This is a diet to transform your gut microbiome (gut flora), brain, and overall health and has been shown to improve and even reverse neurological diseases like autism, bipolar, and schizophrenia, as well as physical diseases like Lyme, Fibromyalgia, auto-immune diseases, and hormonal disorders.

The GAPS diet focuses on organic meat/meat stock (60%), organic vegetables (30%), and organic fermented foods (10%). It’s a hard diet but it’s totally worth it. No alcohol, no coffee, no caffeine.

The GAPS diet is an elimination diet meaning you introduce foods one at a time to understand how your body.

I recommend doing the “Full GAPS diet” for a few weeks and then doing the “GAPS Introduction diet”. Then after a few weeks going back to the Full GAPS diet and staying there for 6 months, 2 years, or for the rest of your life.

For meat I mostly eat grass fed organic beef, beef liver, chicken, bone marrow, pheasant, and duck.

For vegetables I cook carrots, onions, celery in meat stock/bone broth

For fermented foods I eat sauerkraut and drink kombucha


I only buy high quality supplements recommended by doctors and naturpaths because I am told cheap supplements at CVS or Vitamin Shoppe can do more harm than good. Here is 2 places to buy high quality supplements: > Store. Thorne medical:

Cod Liver oil (liquid) for brain repair, brain health, and reducing neuroinflammation

Strong Probiotics (many strains, 100 billion CFUs) for gut health

Vitamin B for energy and brain health

Vitamin D for depression

Vitamin C for immune system

Men’s multi-vitamin for overall wellness



I got a few colonics a week apart to flush out my gut. It helped with abdominal pain and rebuilding gut microbiome.

Elimination diet

The GAPS diet is an elimination diet that completely eliminates carbs, sugars, and processed foods. The first week or two of the GAPS diet was rough, I had flu-like symptoms, inflammation and headaches. This was actually a good sign that my body was detoxing. It is called the Herxheimer effect. Do not fear it, embrace it, and avoid Advil or drugs during the “die-off”. You need to lean into pain to heal.

Epsom salt bath for hands and feet

Using hot water on my hands and feet to increase blood flow.

Using Epsom salts in the bath for magnesium to relax and to aid sleep. Sleep is crucial to enable the body to heal itself.

Sleep / No masturbation / NoFap

Sleeping more and no masturbating are helping increase my libido.


I go on walks once per day

I am too tired to lift weights or play sports

Lab tests and results:

Blood test results

Low vitamin D

Low Vitamin B

Urine test results

Cloudy urine

Organic Acid Test results

Poor diet (I need to eat more meat protein and fat)

Nutritional deficiencies

Low amino acid metabolites which means I need to eat more animal protein

High dopamine and low serotonin (depression)

GI Map results

Leaky gut (zonulin test)

Small intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)

Fungal infection (Candida)

Gut dysbiosis

Lyme test results

Waiting for results

DUTCH test results

Waiting for results


I am staying positive and measuring success week over week / month over month instead of day by day.


I am consuming media regarding health, diets, and overcoming chronic illness.


GAPS Diet for physiology (blue cover):

GAPS Stories

The Deep Places

Chronic The hidden cause of the autoimmune pandemic

Do I have adrenal fatigue

The Paleo Cure


Food is medicine documentary:

What’s next:

Next month I am going to start “The Gonzalez Protocol”. This protocol started as alternative care for cancer patients and grew to include care for chronic illnesses like Lyme and Fibromyalgia. It is a 6-12 month protocol that focuses on a strict personalized diet (based on your hair sample), supplements, and detox cleanses.

I am going to look into a detox regime like the one on detox dudes.

More details:

Recent research from the PFS foundation and an Italian university suggests that finasteride affects the gut, which affects the brain, which effects sexual functions. The study was called “Allopregnanolone Counteracts Finasteride-induced Alterations in Gut Microbiota, According to New University of Milano Research”

Search keywords: recovered, recovery, improved, improvement, cure, cured, better, gut, diet, candida, GI Map, GAPS, nutrition, functional, alternative, integrative, lyme, fibromyalgia

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I linked the Nathaniel Protocol to our recovery specialists. I hope that enthusiasm helps you to come out. You are in the beginning and you have the chance of natural healing too.

About 75% recovered now, 6 weeks since starting protocol. Remaining symptoms are fatigue, dizziness, and sone erectile dysfunction

you should do a monthly update on here. Hopefully you are still getting better.

Hey everyone, I am now 90% better. All my symptoms are gone except for some dizziness and ED but both dizziness and ED have significantly improved.

I am 3 months into the GAPS diet but only 1 month into a supplement and detox protocol which I believe is helping tremendously. I am very confident my ED will be gone in a couple months and I will be completely healed in a few months as I see small improvements.

In addition to the GAPS diet (full) I am also taking a lot of supplements including the basic supplements, detox supplements like NAC, and animal glandulars (liver, adrenal, pancreas).

For detox I am doing coffee enemas everyday, infrared sauna 3 times per week, skin dry brushing daily, the Andreas moritz liver flush every 60 days, as well as 3 day vegetable juice fasts every 60 days (mostly carrot and celery juice).

I am going to continue a gut friendly diet, supplements, and detox for another 3 months at a minimum (6 months in total).

I will report back when I am 100% or sooner with any updates


is your emotional blunting/anhedonia improved?how would you described it btw?

also, did u have muscle loss or loose skin?

Hey, My anhedonia is 100% gone. Most of my cognitive issues resolved after 6 weeks of being very disciplined on the GApS diet. I lost muscle and have been putting it back in by eating more beef. Soon I will get back to the gym. I do not have loose skin

Hi, Nathaniel. It’s great to see you are having these mental improvements. If you don’t mind me asking, how are your ED, libido and numbness?

Hi Nathaniel.

How are you these days?

Hi @Helpme8390, I am doing good. I have fixed all side effects except some remaining ED which I rate at 70% of where I was before PfS. However considering my penis was numb during my crash I’d say it’s a huge improvement. Furthermore I believe I will 100% recover.

This past weekend I had a big breakthrough. I did the Andreas moritz liver flush, followed by a colonic, followed by Bravo Probiotic suppositories.this gave me improvements in my full body including my ED.

I believe in the gut microbiome theory of PFS.

Furthermore, doing the Gonzalez Protocol has helped me a lot as well. I am expecting to be 100% recovered before the end of 2023.

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I am doing a liver flush this weekend!

  1. during that past weekend, were the improvements in your ED temporary? Or have the improvements carried over until now?

  2. I seem to do good with a vegetarian diet, looks like Gonzalez Protocol does support both a vegetarian diet and eating meat. How about you, what works best for you?

  3. The Bravo Probiotic Suppositories, are they part of the Gonzalez Protocol?

  4. I have done 34 liver flushes, but its been a couple years. I haven’t done one since taking finasteride. I am on day 3 of the sour cherry juice. Hopefully a good weekend!

Thank you Nathaniel,

I believe you are the only other current user on this site using these methods, I’m happy to be able to communicate with you so thank you for replying earlier.

Hey! Sorry for a delay. So my mood, cognition, and energy are all back to normal but yeah my libido is still low and still having ED issues. Biggest improvement is I’m now getting morning wood like 30% of time were previously zero.

Honestly I was vegetarian for a while and I think it contributed to being susceptible to PFS- I eat a lot of meat now …at least once per day but only high quality organic and I usually slow cook it for hours so it’s easy to digest

The bravo probiotic suppositories are not part of Gonzalez protocol, something I added in to Target the gut

I hope your liver flush goes well, I read a recovery story on this site about a guy who focused on his liver and gut

Keep me updated on your progress! I’m 9 months post crash and 6 months on Gonzalez protocol. Hoping to be back to normal within 6 more months


Seeing more improvements in libido, morning wood, and ED! Feeling optimistic for a full recovery

1 Like

Happy to write my CURED post!!! 13 months after my crash my libido has returned and my ED is gone. This is after a bunch of mental, emotional, and physical side effects resolved over the course of 13 months.

Things that helped (incomplete list)

  • GAPS diet
  • eating more stewed meat and steamed vegetables
  • high quality supplements
  • detox
  • Andreas moritz liver flush (multiple)
  • multi-day vegetable juice fasts
  • daily coffee enemas
  • castor oil (on my body and genitals)
  • bed time routine
  • sauna, infrared sauna, mild cold plunging
  • believing in healing even when little
    Progress was made