Pumpkin seed oil and topical saw palmetto induced PFS

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.

What is your current age, height, weight?

31, 5’7, 72kg

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

No prior health issues, until I used the following hair loss supplements/products for 6-8 weeks:

  • Pumpkin seed oil (3 tablespoons daily)
  • Saw palmetto shampoo (3/4 times a week)
  • Super hair multivitamin (very potent and taken daily)
  • Folligen Solution Therapy Spray (daily)
  • Lasercomb Hairmax (3 times a week)

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

What condition was being treated with the drug?

Hair loss.

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

6-8 weeks.

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

How old were you when you quit, and WHEN (date) did you quit?

  1. Quit all of the above in November 2020.

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

Cold turkey.

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

6-8 weeks.

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

• Raynaud’s disease in hands and feet. Could be completely unrelated but I suspect connected somehow.
• Low ejaculation volume. This one bothers me, what is it? Prostatitis?

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

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

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

Misc
Prostate pain
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
Lowered body temperature

Other (please explain)

What (if any) treatments have you undertaken to recover from your side effects since discontinuation of the drug?

Treatments (if you can call it that)

  • NoFap (for as long as I could – easy when no libido and frightened of ED/Ejaculation volume). I suspect this helps a lot, gives your body a chance a regain libido.
  • Regular exercise (running and weights).
  • Eating well (fruit, nuts, veg). A lot of watermelon, supposedly natural Viagra.
  • Quit all supplements apart from Vitamin D, Omega3 and green tea.
  • Avoided stress/panicking by distracted myself with work etc.
  • Patience! Prepare yourself mentally for a long recovery. I reached out to mental health phone lines a few times.

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)?

Anything not listed in the above questions you’d like to share about your experience?

Tell us your story, in your own words, about your usage and side effects experienced while on/off the drug.

Although I did not even take Finasteride, this has been an incredibly traumatising time for me. I am still not back to normal but am pleased with the recovery so far. In fact, I am surprised at how quickly some aspects of this recovered, I had been preparing myself mentally for the long haul.

Please let me know your thoughts/questions.

The Start (October 2020)

No prior health issues, until I used the following hair loss supplements/products for 6-8 weeks:

  • Pumpkin seed oil (3 tablespoons daily)
  • Saw palmetto shampoo (3/4 times a week)
  • Super hair multivitamin (very potent and taken daily)
  • Folligen Solution Therapy Spray (daily)
  • Lasercomb Hairmax (3 times a week)

Month 2 (November 2020)

  • Symptoms started after 6 weeks.
  • Crazy amount of hair shedding.
  • Libido loss.
  • Significantly reduced volume ejaculation.
  • Urination felt different. Less dribbling towards the end of weeing but in a bad way.

Month 3 (December 2020)

  • All the same symptoms of previous month continued.
  • Swelling, redness, numbness and tingling of right foot and certain toes. Later diagnosed as Raynaud’s disease. To me, this felt like connected somehow, however many may fairly disagree.

Month 4 (January 2021)

  • Right foot swelling and tingling worsened, causing persistent numbness and tissue damage. Looked just like Covid toes (google it). Was not Covid though.
  • 12/12/20 - Erectile Dysfunction for the first time – in classic Raynaud’s disease fashion. Achieved and maintained erection and then suddenly blood rushed from penis. Like a blood vessel spasm.
  • 12/12/20 – Up all night panicking of realisation of PFS symptoms.
  • Epididymitis for a week (in both testicles – very uncomfortable!). Could barely walk.
  • Multiple trips to A&E. Ultrasound diagnosed Epididymitis.
  • Began NoFap on New Years Day and didn’t touch penis for the entire month. Libido was gone. No erections spontaneous during this time.

February

  • Taking maximum dose daily of ibuprofen to combat Epididymitis for roughly 2 weeks.
  • Erectile dysfunction - Pins and needles in fourth and fifth fingers when attempting to masturbate.
  • Pins and needles in the night too whenever body attempts morning wood. Felt like neurological problem. Extremely scary.
  • Felt like penis had shutdown. No connection between brain and penis. Blood rushed from penis too.
  • Very large pupils. This one was odd, lasted a few weeks. At the time I thought I had some kind of neuropathy nerve damage.
  • Trip to A&E resulted in admission to hospital for 1 week – diagnosed with Raynaud’s disease and partially empty pituitary gland. However, all hormone blood tests appear normal.
  • Abnormally low body temperature.
  • Normal blood tests – testosterone, DHT, cortisol, prostate, zinc, covid, full blood count.
  • Raynaud’s disease seems to have moved from feet to hands.
  • Continuing NoFap since failed attempt at beginning of Feb.

Month 5 (March 2021)

  • Libido returned.
  • Wet dream (woke up in pain from fingers in extreme pins and needles, both hands)
  • Epididymis gone, though still very panicky about any pain.
  • Still erection dysfunction.
  • Weak morning wood returned as pins and needles fades.
  • Occasional pulsing and electric shock feeling in penis. Symptom of nerve damage?
  • Feels like ‘pins and needles’ fading and morning wood improving.
  • Strong morning wood (04/03/2021). Very faint pins and needles.
  • 06/03/21 – Penis back online! First erection whilst awake since NYE.
  • 07/03/21 – Morning wood returned to normal. Though fingers have an achy feeling.
  • 09/03/21 – Took a sildenafil. Worked very well. Penis skin is silky, perhaps from being untouched for a long time! No tingling, no numbness. Though still significantly reduced ejaculation volume. Is this related to the epididymitis (or did this cause the epididymitis)? Does it ever return to normal?
  • 10/03/21 – Hair is still shedding a lot. Might be due to stress.
  • 11/03/21 – Erection without sildenafil.
  • Urinating feels normal again (for now). Could be prostate related from the pumpkin seed oil?

Treatments (if you can call it that)

  • NoFap (for as long as I could – easy when no libido and frightened of ED/Ejaculation volume). I suspect this helps a lot, gives your body a chance a regain libido.
  • Regular exercise (running and weights).
  • Eating well (fruit, nuts, veg). A lot of watermelon, supposedly natural Viagra.
  • Quit all supplements apart from Vitamin D, Omega3 and green tea.
  • Avoided stress/panicking by distracted myself with work etc.
  • Patience! Prepare yourself mentally for a long recovery. I reached out to mental health phone lines a few times.

Remaining Issues

Here are my remaining issues after 4/5 months since quitting:

  • Raynaud’s disease in hands and feet. Could be completely unrelated but I suspect connected somehow.
  • Low ejaculation volume. This one bothers me, what is it? Prostatitis?
  • Epididymitis ultrasound follow-up.

Hi @Chuck_Noland

I hope you’re going ok. I just want to confirm you have stopped taking Saw Palmetto, correct?

If you wouldn’t mind also, can you please fill out the survey at the top of the forum?

Best,
Sugarhouse

Hi @Sugarhouse

Correct, I’ve updated the date of quitting now.

Can you send me the survey link please?

Fantastic, thank you. The survey details are here: Post-Drug Syndrome Survey FAQ. Survey NOW LIVE - Please Participate

Your participation is much appreciated!