I find myself with some time. Here is my best, and most succinct thoughts, on how to get better. My focus is on achieving LONGTERM recovery goals and TREATING THE CAUSE for our PERSISTENT suffering.
The tests marked in blue are the most essential. You will notice that sometimes, testing is wrapped up/inseparable from potential management (base-covering) options.1. Suboptimal thyroid functioning (or reverse t3 issues)
TSH, T3, T4, reverse T3, thyroid antibodies.
Better still, taking your temperature first thing in the morning. You will find it is low.
This is a good enough screen. That said, it is my belief that one is not INVESTIGATING THE CAUSE of suffering by investigating thyroid function. There will be a CAUSE for thyroid dysfunction. To eliminate cause; may I suggest you remove mercury amalgams, try to drink fluoride free water and have 1 or 2 drops of nascent iodine per day.
My point is that we need to treat the cause for thyroid dysfunction, not the thyroid dysfunction itself. How far can we strip this back to ESSENTIAL tests?? That's why I've highlighted none of the above in blue.2. Suboptimal adrenal functioning, or 'adrenal fatigue' (cortisol, DHEA, aldosterone)
Adrenal fatigue is probably a feature with all of us. The best thing to do is assume that you have adrenal fatigue. So, why do you need proof of this in pathology results? Adrenal fatigue is probably the main cause of our suffering, but that doesn't mean we have to investigate it, huh? How about we treat the cause of our adrenal fatigue instead, and save money on expensive pathology tests? You won't get me highlighting anything in blue here.
early morning cortisol (ideally saliva although blood is cheaper), some labs do cortisol levels at 4 stages throughout the day.
DHEA, aldosterone (ideally saliva again)
Better still, take your temperature in the morning. You will find that it is low.
Again, how about you assume you have adrenal fatigue and treat the cause of it?3. Suboptimal vitamin status (A B, esp B6 and B12, C, D, E K)
Vitamin A, B6, B12,
red cell folate
Alternatively, one could anticipate deficiencies here. I don't know my Vitamin A or K levels, but it's ok as I cover myself by taking Blue Ice Fermented Cod Liver Oil (has both in). Vitamin D is vital; I used to take Vitamin D 5000iu per day until I read that it increases free ionised calcium and leads to hard arteries and soft bones. I cover myself by stripping off and sunbathing in the sun whenever I can. I don't know what my Vitamin D is, but I'm covered, hey?! If you live in Canada, take Vitamin D for now. The benefits during your recovery process will outweigh any long term negatives. I'm covered for Vitamin C and Vitamin B12 and B6 and red cell folate and Vitamin E as I supplement as per Dr Greg Emerson's advice. ( 1000mg Vitamin C twice a day, 2000mcg Vit B12 per day, 300mg Vit B6 per day and folinic (not folic) acid 1000mcg twice a day, and Vitamin E 400iu twice a day).
Again, cover yourself for these potential deficiencies. Maybe you don't need to send off expensive pathology testing.4. pyroluria
Look, I think this is critical. Pyroluria (or pyrroluria) is a CAUSE for adrenal fatigue. Most chaps here won't have pyroluria. I do. It is a cause for low zinc and low Vitamin B6 under times of stress. It causes severe anxiety and depression. I had severe anxiety before finasteride. You need to exclude pyroluria. Full stop. This is the first test I'm going to place in blue.
Test: Urinary pyrole analysis
5. Suboptimal mineral status (notably zinc, copper, magnesium, iodine, selenium)
Because this is critical, I'll place it in blue. That said, one could cover for potential suboptimal states here by supplementing. All men should take at least 50mg zinc per day. (bear in mind that this could make one's situation worse as copper levels will be accordingly reduced, and copper needs to be added!). All men should take magnesium (have you read 'The Magesium Miracle'??). Basically, load yourself up with magnesium and zinc, and supplement with copper accordingly. All men should take 1 or 2 drops of nascent (not Lugol's) iodine per day.Red cell zinc and magnesium (failing that, serum levels)
Hair copper analysis (failing that, serum levels)
I take 90mg zinc in the evenings as per Dr Emerson
I take between 4mg and 8mg copper per day (trying to figure out dose) as per Dr Emerson
I rub magnesium oil all over my body every morning and before sport. I bathe in magnesium salts.
I take 1 or 2 drops of nascent iodine per day.
I haven't investigated selenium investigations or supplementation yet and am ignorant about it.6. Suboptimal androgen status (T, E2, SHBG)
Yep, there's enough written about these parameters. Far too much. Too many people here think that because finasteride is directly involved in testosterone metabolism, the clues to our suffering lie here. They don't. You may well have a very low T, a very high E2, a terrible SHBG....whatever....I don't care. You won't get any blue here. Currently my T is very low, my SHBG is above range and my E2 is too low. I don't care. They will recover to optimal states once the CAUSE is treated. I may not even get them tested again.
I cover myself by ensuring the following:
- I don't drink out of plastic bottles (they contain chemical oestrogens)
- I eat broccoli every morning (aromatase inhibitor)
- Stay away from large quantities of soy
- I take zinc and magnesium and get Vitamin D...all boost testosterone
- I take a drop of nascent iodine per day (involved in regulating hormones)
- Trying to get on top of my copper levels (involved in optimal hormonal states).
- I'm considering Tongkat Ali (herb increases T)
You see? I'm treating the cause for my low T. Subsequent blood tests in the future WILL show a more optimal state in my case. I bet my bottom dollar.
Go on then:
FSH and LH7. Gastrointestinal parasites
Probably the main contributor to our persistent suffering, along with systemic yeast infections. Parasites feast and thrive and proliferate on a low body temperature state. We all seem to have low body temperatures. YOU NEED TO GET A STOOL PARASITOLOGY test done. I have been educated (by Toadstool and BostonUSA2009) that a DNA parasitology test is most sensitive. Toadstool and I both returned positive tests from stool parasitology t sets sent to METAMETRIX lab. Please investigate this and do it.
I had a worm (enterobius vermicularis) and a parasite (taxonomy unavailable) in my GI tract. Subsequent treatment has ensured my body temperature has risen and relief of symptoms (yes, sexual, energy levels etc).
Ever wondered why your body never recovered after the trauma of taking finasteride? The rot set in. The parasites set in. Treat the rot. Treat the parasites. STOOL DNA PARASITOLOGY TEST8. Yeast or fungal infections
Again, yeast and fungus proliferates in a condition of lowered body temperature, keeping the host (human, yes, you) in a permanently ill state. You need to get the following test done. LIVE BLOOD MICROSCOPY
by a well trained technician.
Write down the results. Ask to have a look down the microscope yourself. 9. Concurrent medical problems (eg) ulcerative colitis10. Food allergies and intolerances (eg) gluten, wheat, cow's dairy
Not specific to our suffering, you will notice an improvement by avoiding foods you are allergic to. Every human being should have this test done. I noticed an improvement in my energy levels, concentration and mood in 2 weeks by avoiding the following: (all of which I was allergic to).
cow's dairy, wheat, oats, pumpkin, banana, lamb, MSG, sulphites.
Specifically foods you are allergic to cause gastrointestinal irritation, a condition of inflammation, and this wears the adrenal gland out. Your adrenal gland could do with some relief at the moment, hey?!
Yes, fuck me it was a hassle at the beginning, but I sure am enjoying the benefits. Yep, a bit of difficulty going out to dinner and getting on the beers with my mates, awkward excuses etc, but I'm looking and feeling great. Serum food allergy test11. Lack of grounding/earthing, thus accumulation of negative electromagnetic forces
No need to laugh at this, get defensive or be silly. Worse still, don't mock this.http://books.google.com.au/books?id=DtQVwPcBrr4C&pg=PA44&lpg=PA44&dq=earthing+journal+complementary+medicine+2004+cortisol&source=bl&ots=2IPWCmvBbl&sig=8nh7GKoy2-QoTAmSxb9T7TL1lt8&hl=en&ei=9EaiTrWlKM-uiQeF_PjABg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CC8Q6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=earthing%20journal%20complementary%20medicine%202004%20cortisol&f=false
Have a look at the above link. A decent graph showing that earthing has a positive effect on regulation of cortisol levels. It has a good effect on a lot more. You do your own research. I earth myself by sleeping on an earthing sheet, I walk barefoot when I can, I get in the sea.
Yes, this isn't specific to finasteride and it's not the cause of our suffering. But this recovery process is about swinging the odds in your favour. Earthing will make you feel better and it will help your cortisol levels. 12. Inadequate sleep/poor sleep patterns
It took me 2 years to sort out my sleep. Getting vital sleep is so important. The most important time to sleep is between the hours 10pm and 2am (and then on). I always cover myself by getting into bed at 9.45pm!! Getting good sleep is vital in your recovery process.13. Inadequate love/pre-existing pschological and behavioural problems/unresolved childhood issues
Ok, not the cause of our finasteride- induced state, but I often wonder if I'd have suffered as much if I wasn't pushed so hard as a child. Finasteride induced a state of 'chronic fatigue syndrome' in me. I am currently doing a psychiatry placement and it's very clear that one's childhood issues impact very heavily on how we are as adults; in a deep, profound way.
I have had psychology appointments to make sense of childhood issues and to deal with the anger and frustration of having a drug induced chronic fatigue syndrome. I also do yoga twice weekly (which, as an aside, is proven to help recovery from adrenal fatigue). Yoga calms me and makes me feel better. I'm less and angry and less frustrated and my coping mechanisms are improving.14. Household mould (affects 25% Australian houses)
A cause of adrenal fatigue. Do want you want with this point; laugh, cry or investigate if suspicious that you have household mould. I haven't investigated my situation.15. Malnutrition (Dr Emerson and Dr Gupta both believe that 99% of people in Australia are malnourished. Thinking very deeply about this, and having read masses on this in the last 6 months, I agree).
I eat organic vegetables- expensive yes. I don't have take aways. I don't eat junk food. I eat well. I eat loads in the morning when cortisol is high to inject energy into my engine. I eat nuts, berries, dried fruit and leaves throughout the day. I'll post more on my diet separately. My diet maintains, heals and cleanses me. I treat my body as if it is in a permanent recovery state. I am good to myself. 16. Polluted water supplies (eg) with fluoride
I don't drink tap water (oestrogens, toxins). I drink pure water that is free of BPA and free of toxins. I buy water that comes in casks and use it in cups of tea and in cooking. I stay away from fluoride.17. Heavy metal toxicity (notably with copper, lead and mercury)
If you are toxic in lead and mercury (eat too much tuna, or have mercury amalgams), how can you recover? Mercury will make your reverse T3 rocket and make you impotent. Have mercury amalgams removed.
I'm currently trying to sort out my copper levels. Copper is about as potent as anything I have ever supplemented with, and one can notice results within minutes to hours, although it can accumulate slowly in tissues. Sort your copper levels out. I know there are several members on this forum who have made excellent recoveries by sorting out copper levels. What is really important is the zinc/copper ratio.18. Lack of exercise (aerobic and anaerobic)
You need both. I know when I've gone a few days without, for sure.
I'll update on specific treatment and management options in another post, specifically with reference to maintenance supplements and diet.
Please realise that it takes months to years to make significant improvements. It's always 2 steps forward and one step back. There will be frustrations, and difficulties changing one's lifestyles.
Please ensure you get the tests in blue done. They are most important.
Have a nice day