Goals: Regulate HPA axis, reduce cortisol and sympathetic nervous system dominance. Promote calmness and relaxation, increase parasympathetic nervous system activation. Reduce inflammation in body and brain. Increase tolerance to stress. Maximize bioavailable androgens.
Mindset: I strongly believe my body has the ability to heal itself. The body has evolved over millions of years, surviving generation after generation through the most dire circumstances. The body has such incredible intelligence. It’s working every day to achieve optimum health. There is no doctor that is as intelligent as my body. It’s job is to maintain health. My body is fantastic, it is amazing, I am occupying my body, it wants to heal, it wants to be healthy, and I have to help it.
Sleep: Focus on good high quality sleep every single night without fail. Sleep is the #1 priority in my recovery protocol. The body heals itself when we sleep. Two hours before bed eliminate artificial light and stimualtion from computers, TV, phones, etc… Spend time focusing on meditation and relaxation. Aim to sleep at 8.30PM - the time you fall asleep is more important than how long you sleep. Listen to Shawn Stevensons podcast with Richroll for more information. Sleep is the MOST important thing for recovery. You could do everything else I’ve listed here, but without good high quality sleep every night, you will not recover.
Diet: Strictly avoid all inflammatory foods. No gluten, dairy, refined processed foods, take-away, refined oils, vegetable oils, refined sugar, etc. Limit intake of pro-inflammatory omega 6 fatty acids, increase intake of omega 3s. Eat a wide variety of plants and fiber to optimize gut health and build a strong gut microbiome. Lots of whole plant food - fruits, vegetables, potato, beans, whole grains etc. Consume wild caught fish and grass fed beef. Eating at maintenance or in a calorie surplus. No cheat meals.
Stress + Stimulation: Eliminate all stress and focus on staying calm & relaxed. Meditate and practice deep breathing daily. Spend time out in nature. Significantly reduce stimulation in the form of phone, computer & TV. Avoid violent movies & computer games. Focus on being in that calm, relaxed, parasympathetic state as much as possible. This is the state our body heals in. Practice mindfulness. 1 hour per day meditation daily.
Psychology: Positive and optimisic outlook. I believe I will recover. I will recover. I also will be working psychologist (psychotherapy, CBT, etc) who specializes in trauma & PTSD.
Gratefulness & Gratitude: Reminding myself every day what I am grateful for in my life. I truly believe I am lucky even though I have PFS. My life could have been so much worse. I could have been born in Syria and beheaded by ISIS. Or born in Africa and starved to death at 3 years old. Or slaughtered by machine gun fire on the front wave of the D Day landings. I could be paraplegic and be bedridden for the rest of my life. I will always chose to be grateful and positive for everything in my life, it could have been so much worse. I will not compare myself to my friends or other people I see on social media, instead I will be grateful for what I do have. This is an opportunity for transformation, I think of all the positives that will come from my situation, I will be able to appreciate the smaller things in life so much more once recovered, I always chose to be positive with everything in life.
Exercise: I have delt with severe exercise intolerance for the past 2 years. Now that I have recovered my androgen levels I plan to introduce very slow, gentle, graded exercise to help build my bodies tolerance to stress. Ultimately I vision myself weightlifting and sprinting as I believe these forms of exercise will help to stabilise my endocrine system and androgen receptors. I also plan to walk daily and complete walks and hikes in nature. It’s very important in my opinion that you don’t push yourself however. If you feel worse after exercising, don’t fucking do it. Exercise can create a lot of inflammation and stress when your body is in a weak burdened state.
Motivation & Information: I highly recommend the Youtube channel Health Recovery for those going through a similar journey. James who runs the channel, spent I believe 8 years of his life suffering with severe chronic illness and recovered his health naturally through trial and error. How I recovered my androgen levels was purely by following his advice without supplements. I personally have downloaded every single one of his videos (using J Downloader) and listen when I’m bored on my iPod. He gives fantastic information for our situation and is a really great source of motivation.
Supplements: DO NOT LOOK FOR HEALTH IN SUPPLEMENTS. We are desperate, look for quick fixes and want to take a pill to recover. It doesn’t work like that. I believe supplements can aid the process, however, its the fundamental changes to your life and what your lifestyle is like a on a daily basis that is the most important aspect in recovery. Keep it simple, save your money and spend it on good food instead. Don’t go crazy OCD on this trying to find the perfect protocol, keep it simple. I am not recommending anyone to take anything, but I personally will be supplementing with the following:
- Vitamin D 5000 IU/d + K2 100mcg/d
- Zinc 30mg/d
- Omega 3 DHA+EPA 3000mg/d
- Vitamin C 1000mg/d with Bioflavanoids 400mg/d
- Creatine 5mg/d
- Ashwagandha sensoril before bed
- Magnesium Glycinate, 500mg Magnesium
- Phosphatidylserine before bed
- Chamomile Tea
- Sauna 3x per week, help the body detoxify and reduce burden on liver & kidneys,
- Meditation + Mindfulness. 1 hour meditation minimum daily.
- Time spent outside, in nature, sunshine, walking barefoot on grass,
- Laughter every single day. Watch and listen to comedies. Keep a smile as much as you can.
- Playing with pets and animals,
- Probiotics. I prefer homemade fermented probiotics, I use water Kefir
- Affirmations + Mantras,
- Deep breathing, Yin Yoga, Relaxation exercises, grounding,
- Gratitude + Gratefulness,
- Reduce chemical burden. Eliminate Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals. I use only natural toiletry products. Wash all food to remove pesticides.
- Remove toxic people, environments and circumstances from life.
- Hydrate often. 3-4L per day. Add salt.
- Any stimulants, strictly no caffeine,
- Pharmaceutical drugs,
- The wired, stressed, overstimulated state, AT ALL COSTS.
- Pushing yourself, doing too much too soon.
- Any person or activity that leaves you feeling drained, stressed or exhausted,
- News, politics, social media, forums, etc. These are downers in my opinion and not productive to recovery.
- Overloading your brain with information and stimulation.
- Negative self-talk, rumination, worry. Live in the PRESENT.
- Comparing yourself to others.
- Minimize masturbation.
- Strictly no porn, I will only masturbate to my imagination to rewire my brain from years of porn abuse and regulate my dopamine receptors.
I also plan to eat lots of cooked and then cooled potatoes to increase my consumption of resistant starches responsible for the production of the SCFA called Butyrate. Butyrate is a HDAC inhibitor and can be very helpful to reverse any epigenetic damage done by Finasteride. I also plan to complete a microbiome analysis to ensure I have the species of microbes present in my gut responsible for producing Butyrate, and if they’re absent look into a stool transplant. Butyrate also has many, many other benefits, and can help heal a damaged gut and heal the blood brain barrier, both of which can often be causes of brainfog.
I chose to be positive and optimistic. I am healing. I will recover. I will not be active on this forum moving forward, however I will update here when I see progress and when I receive further blood work.
I have also just donated $1000 AUD to the PFS Foundation. If you are reading this and have money to donate, I highly encourage you do also. There are so many people out there suffering and we need as much research completed as possible.
My thread on Propeciahelp.com is linked below. Although I was taking a SARM when I first crashed, I am confident I have PFS for the following reasons:
- I crashed, then was hyperandrogenic for around 2 weeks, during these two weeks I felt fucking fantastic, libido was through the roof and I was making PBs in the gym, I also had my testosterone checked during these two weeks and my Free Testosterone was at 82 pmol/L (250-750). No doubt this is due to androgen receptor overexpression due to the presence of extremely low androgens. I then crashed again.
- I made a recovery after this 2 week period and the second crash and actually felt pretty good for around 3 months. Then I crashed again severely and have not recovered yet. My testicles atrophied severely at this point.
- I noticed ZERO improvement on HCG when my free testosterone was at 1000. My testicular atrophy did not reverse at all even on the HCG. My balls are still atrophied to this day.
- I still have symptoms of PFS now even though my natural androgen status is fully recovered.
From what I understand, this is typical of Post Finasteride Syndrome.
My blood work to give motivation for others.
And lastly, the most important thing is consistency. Don’t expect to make any progress if you make positive changes and then fall back into old habits a few weeks later. The body loves consistency. Here’s a good video by Health Recovery that elaborates further.
All the best everyone. Stay strong, keep your head up, keep pushing forward, and never fucking give up.