This will be my first post at T-NATION.
Please excuse bad grammer/sentence structure as English is not my primary language.
I’ve turned to this forum purely out of frustration and hopelessness. It’s a comfort reading these posts about so many individuals who are also struggling, it’s humbling to know that you are not alone, you are not the only person that has to cope with something scary.
I am currently seeking professional medical help and will therefore not use this forum as the basis for medical decisions. But I mean, there are so many knowledgeable people here I’d be a fool to pass up the potential help I could get.
I obviously want to give as clear and concise a picture as possible without rambling into unnecessary details.
Thank you if you are willing and able to respond.
Thank you for any form of assistance.
I’m giving some background history and yes, I did make bad decisions in 2017. Trust me that I’m aware of this.
A Quick Background About Me
I’m 25 years old.
Studied at varsity.
Exercised quite a lot.
Used to be a relatively lean guy, strong for my albeit small size.
Life used to be good. Sure, there was stress, exams, etc. but that was part of the package and I was handling it well. I was growing as a man, concerned about the conduct of my character, being able to care for and provide to a family. This changed end of 2016 (will get to that).
I’m generally a positive guy
I like understanding things / being academic
Health has always been a big concern for me and only last year have I realized how lucky I was to be as healthy as I’ve used to be.
I’m currently working a flexible job in accountancy. I am getting minimal stress (I deliberately resigned from my previous job to get this one, specifically for the slower pace)
My ‘stats’, etc
25 years old
± 15% bodyfat
Body-shape: Hourglass, not the typical ‘V’ as I’ve got quite wide hips for a dude
Facial-hair: I can grow a beard, but not a mean one.
Body-hair: I have quite an amount of chest-hair. Further, it’s the usual (arms, legs, pubic, etc)
Storage of Fat - Mostly on my glutes, thighs, but I started getting more belly-fat and fat on my back/love-handle area.
Muscle - I never picked up muscle-mass easily - it just didn’t happen even if I tried eating towards a quality caloric-surplus. It was easier for me to measure strength and get lean. Sadly, I’ve been losing strength and muscle.
Previous Health Conditions
None (that I’m aware of).
I could think, I could progress, I could function at life. I could get stronger
Drugs, supplements, alcohol
I don’t use drugs
I do use supplements:
- Vitamin-D 5000IU
- Digestive Enzymes
I don’t really drink alcohol. I might enjoy 100ml’s of wine once or twice every few months.
My Diet and Training
I used to eat quite little for my activity-level. I think that might have been why I’ve had lowish body-fat levels. I’d eat 1800cals a day with focus being on protein and carbs (neglecting fats).
I’m currently eating a bit more, giving much more focus to fats and pulling back on carbs except for days I workout.
I don’t do fastfoods. I don’t do processed meats. I try to minimize preservatives.
Out of desperation a doctor suggested cutting out (see the heading, Leaky Gut):
- Gluten (no wheat, rye, barley, millet, spelt, oats)
- Cow’s Milk (no yogurt, milk, cheese, cottage cheese)
- Most grains
- Inflammatory Foods (such as corn, excessive nuts, simple sugars
When I train, I like to employ 4 - 5 workouts per week, each lasting about 40-50minutes. I’d focus on compounds, log my workouts and strive to beat them.
I would do the bodybuilding splits, but with much less volume (chest-day, back-day, legs, shoulders) and much more rest.
Taken October 2016 - All was still healthy and well here.
Ironically, YES! And that started happening in the end of 2016 when things started going down.
I went to the urologist and he said I have a class-1 varicocele.
This has happened intermittently as well.
Heck, even as I’m sitting here.
Not much. I would sometime wake up with a slight erection, though. But there’s has been like a 5-month period where I didn’t get ANY wood at all.
Libido was also pretty non-existent in 2017.
This is the part that scares/confuses me. It is so hard to explain this properly.
These are the issues that I need to:
- Find the cause; and
- Hairloss ALL over my head, front, back, sides.
- Brain-fog, I had to quit my previous job (software developer) because I had trouble following abstract thoughts, reasoning, conversations.
- Math used to be awesome, now I’m struggling with the basics.
- Forgetful, I would put my car keys in the fridge and be terrified to find it there.
- I would read “789” but write it down as “798”
- I would get suicidally-depressed. I’d have periods where I simply hate life because of my lack of LIVING even though I’d objectively be in a good place. Then others days would be better
- I would forget why I was looking for something or what I was looking for. This happens continuously throughout the day.
- I feel as if I’m on a drug, like the room is slightly moving around me. I don’t feel like I’m the driver of my body, but that I’m a passenger
- My hands started developing a slight tremor during 2017, this is only when I flex my fingers and try to keep them still.
- When I close only one eye I get involuntary twitches in the cheek right below
- Aside from the twitching I would get sudden jerks as if though my brain is saying to my leg/arm/back/finger/toe ‘move’ but I didn’t issue that command.
- For that last few months, every single Friday-night has been spent… going to bed at 7PM.
I don’t have the energy to train anymore and truth be told I’m not really living a life anymore - I’m just surviving from day to day.
This is not normal.
Doctor’s I’ve seen
I’ve been to the following doctors. I’ve been cleared by all of them.
Urologist x 2,
Endocrinologist x 1
Specialist Physician x 2
Neurologist x 1 - Had an MRI scan + EEG scan done. Came back normal.
Homeopath x 2
Functional holistic doctor x 1 → I’m currently still going to this gentleman. See Leaky Gut
Well, I’ll put my history of bloodtests in a heading below this one, but after searching from doctor to doctor who had NOTHING to say, I found a Function Doctor who suspects that
- I have very low cortisol (had a sample of saliva sent to America for testing as they don’t do it in South-Africa)
- I have leaky gut, leading to inflammation and even inflammation on my brain.
I’m not sure what to believe regarding leaky gut. Currently I’m desperate, so I haven’t eaten ANY gluten, cow’s milk, etc (see above) for about 2 months. I’ve been following this regimen very strictly.
I’m also not allowed to exercise as this may have a negative impact on cortisol?
Truth be told I’m not feeling much better, but results will take a long time and I am more than willing to give this a shot - although I want to blast something with a shotgun some days.
Bowel Movements have become once to twice a day where it used to be once maybe every 2 - 3 days
Everyone messes up at some point.
For me, that was May 2018 where I became too subjective and emotional. At this point, I was already forgetting things, stuggling at work, physically and emotionally.
I haven’t had the strange tremors/jerkings at this point, not was the brainfog so bad as it has become eventually.
This is where my journey of hormonal-fuckup begins.
Long story short is that with circumstances, friends and temptation I was provided with the option to self-administer TRT. I wasn’t strong or informed enough to realize what a mistake it is to take your hormones so lightly.
100mg/week Test CYP
Quality of life improved drastically, slept through an evening first time in the year.
Symptoms were alleviated, but never fully gone.
I only took Test for literally 2 months (May - June’17) to get me out of this emotional black-hole. Retarded, thinking back.
This is why I have a total test of 5.3 nmol/L on the 18th of September.
A urologist saw this reading and then prescribed me testosterone - I came with open cards and told him the entire story and he suggested we continue treatment.
Later, being worried about fertility I stopped TRT with tamoxifen and anastrazole. You’ll see that on 4 January 2018 my Total Test is 467ng/dL
Blood Tests Results from 2017 till date
At this point, I’m not really sure which way to turn. My total testosterone is not looking too bad, but my SHBG has been climbing as well. I’m not even sure if my brain-fog or memory-related symptoms have anything to do with this?
I’m just feeling TERRIBLE.
I’m a horrible person to be around with a short temper.
I’m putting stress on my family because everyone needs to tread lightly around me.
I’m wondering how I can provide and care for a family (one day) if I continue to be like this?
I’m lacking the drive that I used to have.
I’m losing muscle, becoming this skinny-fat guy.
I’m feeling dumber, much dumber.
Thyroid, iodine, salt
I would like to hear any opinions on my thyroid readings as I think this might be where a big problem lies. It looks like my thyroid is working MUCH harder this year than last year.
I am a person who gets cold quite easily.
Oral temperature this morning was
08AM 36.45 deg celcius
12PM (noon) 36.3 deg celcius
When I took testosterone body-temps were higher and I didn’t feel so cold.
As for Iodine, I use Himalayan Crystal Salt (which I believe does contain iodine?)
I also have a bottle of lugols Iodine and would drink a drop or 2 in water on occasion.
As for selenium, I’m not supplementing any, but I do eat eggs, grass-fed beef, chicken and spinach which I believe contain some.
Any other points
None yet, but depending on how things proceed I might edit this post and put some info here.
Thank you, again, for anyone willing to comment or raise a point of observation.