It's been exactly six months to the day yesterday since I stopped taking Propecia, so I thought I would update you all to let you know how i've been getting along.
Regarding the sexual side of things, I do not appear to have yet had (touch wood) a crash. The odd thing is that I appear to fluctuate between periods of almost zero sexual desire for say a couple of weeks (as if I have had a crash), and then what appears to be normal Libido. I have noticed recently that diet may also play a role in this. Eating red meat seems to fire up my Libido after a couple of days, whereas eating other kinds of meals reduces it. In an attempt to eat heathier, for the past few months I have been eating more things like Tofu, fish, and seaweed, all of which I am eating on a regular basis. I am wondering if Tofu may been having a dampening effect on my Libido as MartinM told me that it is estrogenic. I have also noticed another scary but interesting thing, during times of zero Libido, my manhood definitely appears to shrink, but when my Libido increases to a normal level, so does the size of my manhood!
Regarding the MS symptoms, I had some dizziness and weakness of limbs in late November for exactly a month, following a drunken holiday weekend. Exactly a month later to the day, these symptoms subsided again and have not been back since. However I had a period last year where they disappeared for months and came back again, so I am not counting my chickens just yet.
I have noticed a radical difference in my body's tolerance to alcohol within the last five years. Before I couldn't go more than a week without having at least one alcoholic drink. Now not only can I take it or leave it, but even just a small amount makes me feel tired, lethargic, and generally ill for days. If anything, my body feels like it’s rejecting it. For the most part I consider this to be a good thing though, because I am more mentally alert now due to cutting being forced to cut down on my drinking.
My main problem at the moment is still the Arthritic pains, which has continued despite giving up Propecia 6 months ago. The joints do not ache all at once, or all the time, but at any one time at least two of my joints are aching, and all my joints have been affected. Since my last posting 6 months ago, my wrists, hips, fingers and toes have also become affected. I still believe that this is Propecia related, as not only myself, but other Forum members on here have described a feeling of joint popping, and a feeling of reduced tension holding together the joints. I went to visit my GP last month, and told her about my joint pain and how I believe it may be linked to having taken Propecia. She arranged for me to have some blood tests done, which included a test for Testosterone levels. I got the results from her a couple of weeks ago. All the tests came back clear. The tests seemed pretty comprehensive. No Rheumatoid arthritis was detected; my Liver, Kidney, and Thyroid functioning is fine, and my Testosterone levels are apparently normal. No virus was detected that could be attacking my joints. I can't really complain at the results, nor really am I in a position to challenge them.
Whether Propecia related or not, I still believe that I have some kind of Arthritis. Apart from anything else, the neurologist I saw explained to me that the MS symptoms are probably the result of the Osteophyte (growth spur) on my spine pushing against my spinal cord. It appears from my own research that the presence of an Osteophyte is usually one of the first signs of Arthritis. I am still not entirely convinced that the MS like symptoms are all down to the growth spur. Surely the symptoms would be there all the time and if anything get progressively worse, not come and go and be influenced by things such as alcohol? Afterall, a boney protrusion doesn’t fluctuate between getting bigger and smaller, it either stays the same size or gets bigger.
What is interesting, and not surprising, is that Arthritis is a disease more common in women than men, due to the presence of Oestrogen. http://arthritis.about.com/od/arthritissignssymptoms/a/women_arthritis.htm
I still think there is a link here, and possibly the raised Oestrogen levels that we may have experienced have created the arthritis problems.
I still get exhausted easily, and still feel older than my years. I think that this may have improved slightly since six months ago though. I seem to be able to walk longer distances now before I feel exhausted.
Although my breasts reduced noticeably after stopping taking Propecia, I still don't believe that my chest is as flat as what it used to be, or should be.
One of the things that the Doctor did was assess my BMI levels, and we agreed that I am into the realms of being overweight (although this seems a surprise to those who know me) At 6 foot one, my ideal weight should be between 168 and 189 pounds, and I am currently about 211 pounds. The fact is, it’s obvious that she can’t explain where the joint pain is coming from, but we have agreed that I am going to look at losing some weight, and see if that makes a difference. For the last two weeks I have been getting more exercise and eating less. I’ve lost about 4lbs already. If the weight loss doesn’t make a difference, then we’ve agreed that I’ll go back and see her. The joint pain does appear to have improved over the past couple of weeks, but it still early days yet.