UK guy, sufferer of 10 months, story and recovery plan

  1. Where are you from (country)? England

  2. 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

  3. What is your current age, height, weight? 39, 6ft, 78kg

  4. Do you excercise regularly? If so, what type of excercise? Weights, walking, occasional running

  5. What type of diet do you eat (vegetarian, meat eater, raw, fast-food/organic healthy)? Healthy low sugar, 40% organic

  6. Why did you take Finasteride (hair loss, BPH, other)? Hair loss

  7. For how long did you take Finasteride (weeks/months/years)? 6 months

  8. How old were you, and WHEN (date) did you start Finasteride? 38 April 2013

  9. How old were you when you quit, and WHEN (date) did you quit? 38 Oct 2013

  10. How did you quit (cold turkey or taper off)? Cold Turkey

  11. What type of Finasteride did you use – Propecia, Proscar, Fincar or other generic? Propecia

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

  13. How long into your use of Finasteride did you notice the onset of side effects? 6 months

  14. What side effects did you experience while on the drug that have yet to resolve since discontinuation?

Put an X beside all that apply:

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

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

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

Misc
Prostate pain
[x ] Persistent Fatigue / Exhaustion
[x ] Stomach Pains / Digestion Problems
Constipation / “Poo Pellets”
Vision - Acuity Decrease / Blurriness
[x ] Increased hair loss
Frequent urination
Lowered body temperature

[x ] Other (please explain) Thin Dry Skin, particulary on hands.

  1. What (if any) treatments have you undertaken to recover from your side effects since discontinuation of the drug? Healthy living, eating well, regular exercise when not too tired.

  2. If you have pre or post-Finasteride bloodtests, what hormonal changes have you encountered since discontinuing the drug (pls post your test results in the “Blood Tests” section and link to them in your post)? secondary hypogonad state, low normal FSH, LH, Low Testorsterone in the 300’s each of 3 tests. Other results, ie Thyroid etc. look fine. I’ll post in bloodwork at some point.

  3. Anything not listed in the above questions you’d like to share about your experience with Finasteride? No

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

I will post here very briefly my story, but mainly what i am doing about it, after spending much time researching, including a lot of time on this website, along with personal trial and error. The purpose is to show my conclusions now, so that if it works then others may benefit in some way. After i have recovered, this will also give credence to my recovery post, which will happen within 12 months of now.
My story
I am a businessman, alpha male type (like most people on here or why else would be piss around trying to keep our hair!) I have a great girlfriend and life in the south west of England which has obviously been torn apart by PFS. I won’t dwell on what i’m dealing with, because everyone here has similar nightmare life changing symptoms. We are all frightened that we may never be cured of it or get our lives back, my symptoms are above so i really want to focus on how to deal with this rather than write horror stories that frankly we are all too aware of.
How to deal with this and recover:
Obviously the most sensible route is to take what we can from those who have recovered. CDnuts and Mitch seem to be the notable and most pro-active of recovery stories i have read, however there are plenty more on these boards and elsewhere that have similarities to the recovery of cdnuts and mitch, who have also recovered or significantly mitigated their symptoms.
However, clearly no one route is correct and each person must also deal with any notable issue of their own first, or alongside any recovery plan, for example in my case i had very high cortisol which i had to sort first, not alongside.
Before i outline my plan here’s some things i noted while developing it:

1- Tempting as it is to follow exactly the plan of another, i found that some elements are so absurdly difficult to achieve that the act of doing it causes so much stress on the individual that it could only be counteractive, for example cdnuts fasted for a period of weeks, seemingly with just water. This is simply not achievable for most people. However intermittent fasting was a staple part of Mitch’s recovery (from memory), which is achievable and there is evidence to show fasting can shock an endocrine system into action.
2- I think it’s very important (for anyone who has pfs) to have a simple plan that is achievable. Many recovery plans are so complex and gruesome that i found myself terrified of the prospect of entering into it. I think it human nature when posting a recovery post to inadvertently give the impression that it was followed perfectly, when actually it is inhuman to do so over a period of many months to a couple of years.
3- I made many mistakes during the planning phase which has took me 10 months to achieve, to the point that i am happy with what i have to do now. some key errors for example are to: give in to terror, trusting doctors, trying unachievable stuff to ones detriment.
4- I have read over 25 examples of pfs sufferers resorting to TRT, none of which with sustained and significant impact. It has been a miracle cure for a brief time for a handful of people, but then pfs reverses it, probably due to some pfs induced homeostasis of androgen receptors. Mew has posted alot on adrogen resistance in pfs sufferers and the possibility of a gene that has been tripped or whatever - he may well be right and Harvard are looking into this. Hence TRT is out the window as a possibility, but the good news is that many sufferers have healed and whatever gene or resistance has been put right over time and with lifestyle changes etc. This also means there is one less option open to us which simplifies things a bit.
5- It appears we all need time, no recovery plan happens in just a few months (If you’ve still got PFS after 6 months that is)

Here’s my recovery plan, part of which i’ve already been doing, with some success - please note this is not in anyway a recovery post as i’ve not recovered, just mitigated my symptoms so far (i can now have sex every day, i’m less dizzy and brain fogged). I bloody well will recover though, here’s how, perhaps it will help others form their own, or not:
1- Fear, mental side of stuff - If you live in fight or flight mode, you will never recover from this, that is obvious. I carry a “HARC at you” mantra around with me (it is actually a northern English phrase which i have used to much success) HARK stands for “Happy” “Aggressive” “Relaxed” “Calm” and i use it in this context: Happy in that i still get to live and breathe in a peaceful and rich country and there are loads of people much worse off than all of us, Aggressive meaning that when i am dizzy and suffering from brain fog, i use this trigger to “attack and focus”, whether it be in conversation or watch tv, and believe it or not, i can mostly lift the fog by doing this, it takes practice though. Relaxed is my trigger to relax, ie walk like Barrack Obama if i’m walking, or speak more slowly and casually if i’m speaking. Calm is similar to relaxed, except that if i’m shaky that is my trigger to slow and deep breath, and/or think of my happy place, which is scuba diving with the sun and fish all around me.
The final part of fear mitigation is to not read any more stuff on the internet about pfs which is terrifying every time. I’ve got my recovery plan, and once i have posted this and looked for any replies over the next 7 days, i will not read any more about pfs for another year, which will be a habit that will no doubt be tricky to break, but i will. Hence if you want a reply to any of this, then post me within 7 days.
2-Diet and lifestyle, this is very important. I’ve read about people with pfs seriously asking whether they could carry on smoking! Like cdnuts said in his recovery post - how bad do you want it? - meaning recovery. He and Mitch, and many others who have had success, have eaten a low glycemic index diet for months and years, and this is a common denominator in most recoveries i have read. It may have nothing to do with their recoveries, but seriously, what are the chances of that? I now eat a paleo diet, no alcohol, no smoking. This is easy enough, what isn’t is going organic, because it is way too expensive and it is very stressful sourcing all organic product. I eat about 30% organic after researching a list of foods that don’t have to be organic due to not naturally needing intensive fertiliser and/or pesticides. This makes it easily achievable. Paleo is essentially gluten free by the way.
3-Exercise - This is another common denominator in recoveries all over the web, however it is obvious that common sense must prevail, for example i now only get a broken 5 hours sleep a night even if i go to bed for 12 hours, so anyone in the same boat should not be following Mitch and cdnuts recovery post to the letter, unless you wish to not get better and risk adrenal fatigue. I am and will be doing heavy resistance training up to 3 times a week for periods of about 20 minutes each time. If not feeling like it, i still do it anyway - that’s discipline. If i’m feeling totally drained, sapped of energy and dizzy, then i pass, and you should too. Over training results in low testosterone even in trained athletes, so what do you think it will do to a knackered weedy pfs sufferer. This is stuff i know, the rest is opinion and research. If you can manage the main muscle groups 3 times a week great. I also will be walking for at least 20 minutes every day.
4- Supplements, I believe these are very important. pfs had burned out many sufferers thyroids and adrenals. However taking too many every day is unachievable and breeds the feeling of being broken. I take slow release Vitamin C and zinc (in one pill) 3 times a day (zinc for testosterone and C for adrenals) as well as a multi vitamin and fish oil. This is similar to Mitch and cdnuts. I also follow to the letter cdnuts advice re testosterone herbal boosters. I made the mistake of not cycling them. I am now cycling them one of each every 7 days - so every day you dose with a different one over a week. I do the same with SHBG reducers like Avena Sative, Nettles and Muira Purma (may have spelt that wrong!) Doing this also stops you feeling the need to take about 20 pills a day, saves loads of money, and mitigates homeostasis which occurs when you take the same stuff repeatedly, which is entirely pointless.
5- PCT - Meaning Post Cycle Therapy - This is a body building term and is what those guys do after a steroid cycle which breaks the HPTA axis, effectively destroying the negative feedback loop. Most pfs sufferers have the same issue. I am currently doing a 30 day PCT using a “stack” from an australian company. The intention is to raise LH and FSH and thus testosterone, then when you stop it, hopefully your HPTA carries on working on it’s own. As a minimum, responders will get their testicles working again for a while which is important after a period of non-action.
6- SERM - If point 5 doesn’t work, then clomid is the next step, using Dr Crysler and Shippens protocol of low dose 12.mg per day or even every other day, + anti aromatose + SHBG reducer Danazole or similar. Doctors here are very reticent to give me any of that so i may have to internet order - dodgy i know. If anyone knows a reliable place to get all 3, in particular Danazole, please reply.
7- 500mg/day of epiandrosterone and androsterone - These are prohormones and are precursors to DHT. This is a cycle taken by CDnuts. I have ordered epiandrosterone and may do the same but not sure yet as i need to think this through. It is dodgy taking prohormones as in general you play with fire doing so, but cdnuts may well have a point that we pfs sufferers need to replenish this area and kick start it again. I may, i may not do this.

I should say that before i started most of the above, i had to take care of cortisol which was way high. You are never going to have the correct hormone balance when cortisol is high and i won’t lie, it was tough to get it down, but it is now perfect and i can move on. If you are working on a recovery plan, you should look at your bloods and get medical advice on how to rectify any areas that are obviously wrong like thyroid, cortisol etc. but unless you are talking to doctors/ urologists etc. that have experience of treating many pfs guys with success, then don’t take what they say for granted. Do your own research too as they often don’t have a clue about this condition.
OK guys, this is what i am doing for the next 12 months. I have written it as a reference point for me, but also for any of you who may find it helpful. I’ve got alot of info from this website, so i felt morally obligated to put some back.
By the way, after reading it back, it makes me sound like a superhero, strong and resilient etc. who is batting off pfs like it’s nothing. I’m not, this is the worst period of my life by far, i’m terrified too guys, but i am dealing with it, taking it on. Just like Cdnuts and Mitch, who are my current rolemodels, i will get to the other side. I bet they were terrified too, just like everyone else.
If you are suffering too, all the very best to you my friends. I will reply for 7 days, then i’m gone for 12 months. I won’t be fighting it by the way, it’s a mistake to think like that. I will be living my life to the fullest my condition will allow while doing all this stuff so that i keep getting better. Your body follows your mind, if you’re battling this, remember that and stop battling. Take care - English.

1 Like

By what means did you lower your cortisol?

Hi there English

Great post - thoughtful and considered.

You mention experiencing thin dry skin, particularly on your hands. Do you believe that this was in any way related to your high cortisol levels? Was the skin on your face also effected? I’m speaking as someone whose face has been particularly damaged. I’m wondering that with your new regimen you have seen improvements in this area? Also, with regards to testing of your bloods, was all of this done through the NHS? Although I’ve had my own blood tested (like yourself low normal lh/fsh/last test result in the mid 300s), there are some things which I’ve not had tested yet, including cortisol, which may have played its part in some of my own symptoms.

Cheers.

(Hopefully this time next month I can still call you a fellow Brit)

Hi Guys,

In answer to your queries:

Regards Cortisol, it is heavily influenced by 3 things: diet, stress, sleep. i changed my diet to low glycemic foods, so fatty foods, and only complex carbs. I carried around a little box of seeds and and nuts to snack between meals because if you get hungry then it’s too late, you will already have created a cortisol spike which happens to release glucose into the bloodstream.
The idea is to keep blood sugar constant, which reduces cortisol response which eventually reduces the sizes of the adrenal glands which otherwise get bigger and bulkier (like any muscule) capable of kicking out more and more until it burns out. You need to avoid burn out otherwise you will be in much more trouble.
Re: stress, the mental side is very tough, you need to stop focusing on this shit. I wish i had read CDNUTS recovery post 10 months ago. He is inspirational and that helps. I advise you read it like a self help manual. I am lucky in that like him i never give up, but that obsessive part of me also does me no favours in other areas because as i focused too much on all the things all the horror story writers do. If you’re the same you have to stop that shit. For every second of worry about skin/erections/muscle etc. you put back your recovery and never does that worry reduce in any improvement does it. Hence it is illogical and so you must get your mind to understand that. Stop worrying and devise a sensible recovery plan and you will recover.
Re: Sleep, you are only in so much control of that because almost certainly pfs has messed with gabba receptors etc. and understanding that probability will help sleep. I sorted all the normal sleep hygiene priciples, even paid £300 for an air conditioner in the bedroom. Like anything in life, deal with what you can influence and relax about the rest. Do that and sleep improves enough to improve other areas too. do it all consistently, never waiver, and cortisol does reduce. Took me about 6 months, but happily, all of this stuff helps you recover from pfs too, so happy days.

Regards Skin issues for Scotsman, yeah my face looks shit compared to what it did too - heavy dark rings under my eyes and my skin is just not the shining thing it was, more wrinkles, thinner, dryer. I don’t think it was the cortisol that did this, as research shows that a lack of adrogens causes skin to thin and dry, although high cortisol is often present in may hormonal imbalances. I’ve not seen any improvement in skin yet, but it has definitely stopped depreciating. Skin dryness will improve though as we recover from pfs, that is a fact for obvious reasons, it will get thicker etc. too, but common sense tells us that we all effects won’t reverse completely, we just have to deal with that and move on.
One thing i’m doing at the moment is removing too many anti-estrogens from my diet as in the last 3 bloods my estrogen was undetectable. We need estrogen to be between 20 and 40 ish, lower than that probably is not good for skin, not to mention just about everything else too.
Regards bloods, i got them done on the NHS, but i believe it is a big mistake to dwell on them. I think you should get them done to establish the big hitting areas are OK, ie thyroid, adrenals because if they are way off you must do stuff to get them back otherwise recovery will not happen, knowing what you’re dealing with helps in this scenario. What isn’t helpful is obsessing over Testosterone, which is of almost no relevance in the early stages of pfs given that TRT has been shown to be counter-productive. The only time knowing your shitty T levels is relevant is when they are so low (under 250 ish) that your looking at your balls disappearing and primary hypo etc. In this case you need to get on clomid or another serm or an effect PCT sharpish to build them back up etc. Otherwise, once you’ve established the main areas are not too scary, i would advise you read CD Nuts, who never had a single blood test.
Hey Scotsman, i hope you’re still a Brit too in a month, and thanks for the compliment, take it easy guys x

I wish you well with your plan, healthy eating and lifestyle can only be beneficial.

I would however point out that the biggest thing you could be doing to help yourself and everyone else with this condition is making a good donation to the PFS Foundation.

Who knows what will cure us, and for every cdnuts there are dozens and dozens of men who’ve done the same and not recovered, but we do know that having actual scientists researching the problem will be able to pinpoint what it is and then we can begin to properly work on a cure. Not to mention having actual scientific proof that this condition exists will make it impossible for Merck to get away with it, and force them to help with the costs of finding what will fix it.

Good luck, but don’t join the list of self obsessed recovery ‘heroes’ who think they can solve this by themselves. They’re actually cowards who have their heads in the sand about how complex and unique this problem is.

Hey Luck,

I like the encouragement to donate, nothing wrong with that, the rest is utter bullshit. Firstly, CDNUTS has fully recovered and a good number that are following his protocol or similar, like Mitch and Bizzbee have either fully recovered or are not far from it. You describe people like that as cowards, who stick rigidly to a difficult plan, using self discipline and self motivation while feeling awful for years, who then recover or greatly recover.
There’s a reason that for every CDNUTS there are a dozen that don’t recover, and that is because most guys think it’s too hard to do what he did, so they fall back on self pity and like you, they start blaming pfs like it’s some unconquerable mystical thing. Bullshit, others have recovered, hundreds of them in fact, most of which do it by diet, exercise, supplements, iron will. Not all of them are on this website, but i have done my research. If they can i can and so can others who choose to look to themselves to help themselves.

I have already recovered 50%, my life is now enjoyable again. If i followed your dumb ass advice to donate and then sit back and wait for scientists to help me i would still be in the shit hole condition i was 6 months ago.
I kept my wonderful girlfriend, i kept my job, i am recovering. I did it by using people like CDNUTS and MITCH as my role models. Would anyone on this forum choose this guy LUCKFAX as their role model over CDNUTS and MITCH? - let us know guys.

Donate? - yes a good idea.
Then sit on your ass and wait for scientists and call others cowards for trying? Sure go ahead and join the dozens, i’ll maybe look you up in a couple of years and compare our symptoms.

Hey Guys,
Like i said in my first post, after 7 days i’m gone. I’m sorry to cut off the comms between me and others that replied. I have to go now though. If you’re serious about your recovery, you have to also. Get the info you need, write your recovery plan and then get the fuck out of here.
Stick to your sensible recovery plan based on the shared principles of others that have recovered. Do not waiver at all ever from it. Slightly alter the components of it based on your bodily feedback of course, but do not waiver from the discipline required to follow it through, ever. This principle actually simplifies things, and makes it easier. If you think to yourself “Just an occasional lapse can"t hurt” then the whole thing begins to crumble and you will lose the mental belief you had before you lapsed.
Just my advice, based on 10 months of research into those that have been successful. Take it or leave it.
I’ll be back in one year to post my recovery story. I accept i may not be 100% then, as you cannot know how long it will take for sure, but i tell you with 100% certainty, i will be very close, and one day i will be fully recovered, your mind leads your body. I’ll be back in a year.
Take control, take care x

If this problem were so easy to reverse, there wouldn’t be hundreds – if not 1,000s – of men who have/will be filing lawsuits over persistent sexual side effects from the drug, nor major medical institutions investigating it.

Nonetheless, wishing you well with your protocols.

Over 3000 people here. Who knows how many suicides. One recovery story that everyone keeps trying to duplicate but can’t. None of the people referenced are 100%. The Cdnuts post links to a really shady looking website that spams the hell out of you. You can live healthy and feel better even with PFS. I was not in bad health. Not overweight had good eating habits. Took fin. Just a few days and got every side and some extra. You hang on to your false hope in CDnuts. You might feel better but it’s obvious if you read a little no one has fully cured them-self.

Ihatepropecia702
cdnuts
letsconvenience
mitch
chi
JN

6 recoveries, and those are the ones I can remember by heart.

You forgot to post your 6 bullshit recoveries.

it almost seems like you want this to be irreversible. seriously, wtf ?

Also Mitch was one of the first guys around here back when this was just a yahoo forum, and he came back saying that he got better, why not believe it ? I know I got carried away a few times, and became very arrogant towards some people, but I would like to say that it was a hard time for me, and I am sorry if I treated someone the wrong away.

Mcibofh.
There is always gonna be people saying it can’t be done like you are.it will never ever do anything for you.
That’s a fact. Pure human nature.It’s the same with anything ie they said the 4 minute mile would never be done and it was done.irrelevant in ways to this but the same principle is there.my mind wants me to think that I’m fucked and that’s it.but I don’t let it anymore.once or twice a day I’ll think to myself “this is too much and I’m fucked” but I’ll talk myself around and keep going.i can only get past this because I’m now doing a protocol.
Id urge you to look at how detailed Chi’s protocol is. It’s all tackling the gut but in so many different ways that do tie up.im working with a nutritionist and she agreed with that so much of it makes sense.
I’ve been doing the diet for the past month and Ivs also started doing enemas every night and some mornings for the last 10 days or so.im studying for exams that are on next week so I haven’t been able to do enough exercise. I play with a football team so I’ve just trained away a couple nights a week.
I have noticed a couple of things.a tiny improvement in my facial skin,avert timy but if this has had an effect after a little period without doing the full regime yet,who knows?
I also have noticed that I’m consistently feeling those little tingles from my hair follicles that I was getting before I took the poison.thay hasn’t happened since I crashed and ive started to lose a bit of hair.these tiny improvements are little positives that get you to keep pushing and keep disciplined.
I’m used to eating a strict diet now and I’m willing to do it for months at least especially because I see these little improvements.
Get on a regime that one if the recoveries has done and get your teeth sink into it and you’ll start to feel a sense of purpose about your recovery.start with a diet for a couple of weeks and start adding the other things in as you go along.its easier id say than just tackling everything at once.
NOBODY KNOWS FOR SURE THAT THIS WONT WORK AND THST IS A FACT.

Mcibofh- you are one stubborn guy. We had phone call a few weeks ago, what did I tell you? You don’t listen, you are too afraid right now and I get it. The fact of the matter is this condition does progress better but slowly, when that knuckle head JN says he is recovered I believe it, but it took 10 years. You will get better, so many horrible things I had 2.5 years ago that are now GONE, others will attest to this. Depression and obsessive thoughts are terrible for this condition trust me

I almost completed 1 year with this horrible condition, so i will be better 1,5-2 years later?

It took me 2 years to feel any different.

great story english,like a breath of fresh air…

Glad you liked my encouragement to donate, and I trust you have done so.

You’ve misread my advice. I specifically said healthy lifestyle/diet would be beneficial, but if you think that is the cure then there would be a fucking hell of a lot more recoveries going around. And I’d be interested to see where you get your hundreds of recoveries from, as I’ve been around every forum in five years and barely seen any.

Also, no one said sit on their ass and wait. FYI, I’ve done an eight day fast (you tried that?), regularly walk four miles a day, rotated T supps and went paleo for a while (still caffeine, bread and dairy free for the most part). Hasn’t cured me more than simply time did, and some of it made me feel worse. You also promote stuff like SERM protocols following Crisler and Shippen advice, but we’ve long ago established now that these do very little for the vast majority of men.

Cowards was a term I maybe shouldn’t have used in this thread, as I was mainly thinking of others. The kind who I know for a fact aren’t donating and whose approach seems to be sticking their hands over their ears whenever scientific research is promoted and saying “LALALALA I can’t hear you I will solve this myself like the trailblazer I am!” then getting nowhere and going around in circles year after year, occasionally making posts about they’ve had a breakdown when the latest fad method fails to do anything. Just saying.

English, we will all conquer this garbage. I like the motivation and dedication you have. We can never give up.