Saw Palmetto - Losing Mass
- 03-25-2008, 12:41 PM
Saw Palmetto - Fin-like Symptoms
Hey guys... first time poster here. I am in dire need of help. I was going through a bout of subtle hair loss but mistakingly took 320mg of Saw Palmetto extract. I avoided Fin due to the horror stories I've always hear people say SP is less effective and not even proven for hair loss. I was told to look for 500mg and take that twice daily, so I went to my supermarket and found a bottle of 320mg so I thought "OK, this is even less than 500mg and probably a placebo if anything". However, it was the extract version and I was not aware that is equivalent to 3200mg of the berry! I didn't find out until discontinuing due to symptoms. I had no idea that there was a berry powder and extract version. I took this crap for 9 days and now I'm a story myself even though I never touched Fin. It's been a living hell ever since (stopped 2/3/08) but the one thing that is really frustrating is that the body I worked so hard for over 6-7 years is rapidly deteriorating.
Anyway, before this mess I was gifted with a great body and able to gain muscle easily. Since this fiasco I've lost a ton of mass despite maintaining my current routine. I only go to the gym 1-2 times a week but I was lean and cut. I'm down to ~165 and I'm 6'1".... I can still flat bench up to 225 1-2 times and use up to 90 pound freeweights (now need a spotter, though). Would Sustain Alpha and/or DTH help me in any way? I used to look great in a wife-beater but now even in fitted t-shirts it's not the same and kills my self-esteem. Post-workout I would stuff myself since I'd have a ravenous appetite (usually lean sirloin, starch, veggies) but now my appetite just isn't the same. I don't have ANY sex drive nor that testosterone-fueled confidence when I'm out at a bar (basically, being a man) alongside all the sexual sides. I've also never felt depression like this before (it's nearly suicidal and anti-depressants arent helping). I've gone from a 34" waist to barely fitting into a 33" and my neck has gone from 16.5" to 15.5" (and my face looks like crap). I had no idea this would happen and despite playing it safe with what I thought was a placebo (at least the 500mg version) I still got burnt. Any suggestions would be welcome. I refuse to believe this is permanent and I want to do everything I can to get my body back. I've worked too hard to let everything go in a matter of weeks.
The list of symptoms is endless and I cannot believe I caused this much damage in 9 days - the worst part was that I was aware of the dangers of Fin - I had a script and did not fill it!!!!! I read stories over at propeciahelp.com and yet I'm still one of them and I feel like my life is over at 26. I don't know who I am anymore and I feel like this mistake has ruined my future.
BTW - I will be seeing Shippen in a couple of weeks
- 03-25-2008, 12:50 PM
Here are my labs: 2/15/08
DHEA 187 ng/DL (180-1250)
DHEA Sulfate 356 mcg/dL (110-510)
Prolactin, Serum 4.8 ng/dl (2.0-18.0)
LH, Serum 1.9 mIU/mL (1.5-9.3)
FSH, Serum 1.2 mIU/mL (1.6-8.0)
Cortisol (AM) 19.9 mog/dL (4.0-22.0)
T3, Total 113 mn/DL (60-181)
T4 Free 1.18 ng/dL (0.8 – 1.8)
TSH 0.93 mIU/L (0.40 – 4.50)
Estradiol 32 pg/ML (13 – 54)
PSA 0.5 (0.0-4.0)
Progesterone 76 ng/dL (32-307)
Androstenedione 97 ng/dL (50-220)
Testosterone Total 419 ng/dL (250-1100)
Testosterone % Free 1.35% (1.50-2.20)
Testosterone, Free 56.6 pg/mL (35.0 -155.0)
SHBG 40 (7-49 nmol/L)
DHT 43 (25-75 ng/dL)
- 03-25-2008, 12:54 PM
I am by no means a doctor nor do I have any experience with HRT. But do you think they're could possibly be an under lying factor to your mass loss? If I where you I would go to a doctor, and get checked out. I wish I could help more. Good Luck. Mark
03-25-2008, 01:06 PM
Stop taking it...your mass should return.
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03-25-2008, 01:07 PM
I stopped taking it on 2/3/08. I only took it for 9 frickin days.
03-25-2008, 02:14 PM
Your free test seems low. Try Act Extreme from DS.
03-25-2008, 02:25 PM
I'm going to avoid all supplements in the interim since this disaster. I had low libido to start with (was on Paxil for 6 years which I believe permanently lowered my libido) and my test was naturally low (400s) pre-SP so I'm assuming my DHT had to have been really low and I threw it out the window perhaps after one day of dosage. A mistake on my part shouldn't cost me my well-being, as well as my manhood. You have no idea how much I want to be Bill Murray in Groundhog Day and wake up on the day I started taking this s**t.
It just pisses me off that I purposely avoided Fin and what I thought I was taking was low dosage SP. I decided NOT to take Fin and that's the worst part - hell, I almost returned this stuff and it's the one thing I'll probably regret for the rest of my life. My life has gone to hell since and everyday has been a nightmare. I'm praying Shippen can give me some good news. I'm doing a 24hr urine analysis, 7 days of Clomid, then bloodwork on the 8th day. I've never felt so unhealthy in my entire life when just 2 months ago I was in top shape. I can barely function at work, graduate school, and my personal life has fallen apart.
03-25-2008, 02:37 PM
That is quite a bit of damage in nine days only and extremely harsh for saw palmetto. I hope the extracts were pure. Did you take anything else along with it that might potentiate its effects, for instance, supplements or drugs such as iron supplements, blood thinners, testosterone boosters, or NSAIDs?
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03-25-2008, 02:41 PM
I know! Everyone has been very surprised by my reaction and doesn't believe that 9 days would've caused this. I would need a separate post to list all my symptoms but it's too damn depressing. All I was taking was a multivitamin (One-a-Day Maximum) and Omega 3 Fish Oil. Nothing else. My sleep has not been the same since which has caused a snowball effect of deteriorating physical/mental health.
It's shame this stuff is available OTC with no warnings, poor labeling, etc. I try not to beat myself over this but it could've been avoided. I had no idea this would happen.
03-25-2008, 04:18 PM
I know you dont wanna take any suppliments but atleast try taking some ZMA for now or atleast a multi. This helped me with symptoms before.
03-25-2008, 05:00 PM
Your LH and FSH seem on the lower end as well. Almost looks like secondary hypogonadism.
03-25-2008, 05:23 PM
Yes... definitely looks like I unintentionally induced myself with secondary hypo. I cannot believe this is happening to me. The physical changes alone are devastating let alone the sexual/mental ones. We'll see what the Clomid test shows (.25mg for a week). No one my age should have to suffer like this. It feels like my life has been robbed from me.
03-25-2008, 11:59 PM
03-26-2008, 07:05 AM
That's what I'm hoping, but I'm reaching the 2 month period since discontinuation without the slightest of improvements. All these symptoms simply weren't there prior to ingesting SP (especially when I was unknowingly ingesting 3200mg daily [that is a lot] when I thought I was taking 320mg). I'm trying to remain calm (Klonopin has been the only thing helping) but I have a lot of other stuff going on in my life and this series of events has come at the most inopportune time and has been completely overwhelming for someone who's just 26.
03-26-2008, 07:26 AM
Saw Palmetto Formula
Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens - berries) CO2 extract - 320mg
Sounds like the exact same formula you speak of. Life Extension has a great rep and usually research the heck out of their ingredients. I have actually been taking this formula on and off for 5 years (I'm 51) and have not noticed the effects that you speak of. So I'm wondering "Is it the same formula you took?" and, if it is, could there be something else that has triggered your symptoms?
03-26-2008, 07:38 AM
I've been taking Saw Palmetto @ 2.7g/ED.
I have not have any adverse reactions. I find it hard to believe Saw Palmetto did this. Esp after '9 days'.
03-26-2008, 12:00 PM
Here is the product which I bought at Giant, which ironically is now "Discontinued" as of a few weeks ago (I went to a few Giant stores and noticed this). The irony of it all. All of their other Healthy Ideas brand supps like Ginseng, Cranberry etc, remain on the shelves. Why was SP the only one discontinued? Seems shady if you ask me. I bought the last bottle last night for legal reasons should they arise.
03-26-2008, 12:24 PM
Hm, not sure on quality. The stuff I take is brand name: Sundown. They have it for a reasonable price at Wal-Greens.
It is strictly Saw Palmetto though. There is no 'additional' herbal fillers. Not too sure on the extract of it either.
03-26-2008, 12:26 PM
I've always wondered exactly how effective Saw Palmetto is at blocking DHT. I know it is just 'word of mouth' that it is an herbal DHT blocker, but compared to fina, I'm not exactly sure how effective it is,.....or if it really works at all.
03-26-2008, 01:03 PM
That's the thing - I was trying to play it safe by taking a low dosage... when I read the label and it said 320mg I thought that was low compared to the 500mg I was looking for. I knew about Fin and stayed away from it after reading all the horror stores and side effects. I had a script from my Dr and did not fill it for crying out loud.
I was going to test the waters with low doses of SP and see if I got side effects, then discontinue obviosuly. I had absolutely no idea that what I took was equivalent to 3200mg. I was looking for nothing more than 500mg, so a mistake on my part has cost me so much. I feel like I destroyed my life and I'm only 26. This just isn't fair. I made the decision not to touch Fin and my story is even worse than some of the guys over at propeciahelp.com. The body I've worked so hard for is rapidly deteriorating and it's so damn depressing. Everyday is a nightmare and I just want to be me again but am afraid that day will never come.
ReapeX - You're taking the equivalent of 2700mg I assume? I was taking 500mg more.
03-26-2008, 01:08 PM
You are 26, its not the end of the world, its just a small set back.
Have you considered trying a new brand ? Go to Wal-greens and checkout the brand that I'm using. It is made by 'Sundown'. It is relatively cheap.
I'm not losing hair by any means, but I always try and avoid any type of medication if at all possible. The Saw Palmetto thing is just a health aid supplement.
Yeah 2,700mg. That equates to around 6 caps.ed.
03-26-2008, 01:17 PM
03-26-2008, 01:21 PM
I'm just hoping things aren't permanent like I've read with people on Fin but with almost 2 months gone by I'm in panic mode. Imagine having ED, zero libido, and Deca D*ck when you're 26??? I'm not touching SP ever again.
03-26-2008, 01:32 PM
Are you sure you don't have mononucleosis or something ?
I can understand the investigation with fina. I read those reports too.
Out of all the side effects of Saw Palmetto the only ones that seem to be significant are allergic reactions, GI distress, and headaches.
At any rate, I hope things clear up for you.
03-26-2008, 01:35 PM
Thanks... definitely not mono.... I'm seeing Dr Shippen in a couple of weeks and I'll see what he says, but this has been one of the most traumatic experiences in my entire life.
04-10-2008, 11:11 AM
Well my appointment with Dr. Shippen was yesterday and let me tell you, he is a hell of a doctor and I was extremely impressed by his vast knowledge of the human body. He was very glad to hear I avoided Propecia and felt that Saw Palmetto, despite the high amounts I took, is still less nasty of a drug than Finasteride. He's never heard of a "Saw Palmetto case" and told me people use it all the time and it is widely available. He stated that, according to my urine analysis and blood tests, that my hormones are in normal range while guys on Propecia that come and see him have hormones that are way out of wack and difficult to treat.
He feels that because my hormones are OK that I should return to normal. When? I don't know, but he was strongly against the notion that I have caused permanent damage to my body and will be a Propecia case even though I somewhat feel the opposite right now (penile tissue changes, ED, eye floaters, testicle discomfort, etc). I drove home without having a panic attack for the first time in awhile since one of the most knowledgeable doctors who has treated other Finasteride patients and aware of this problem told me that I will be OK. I really hope he's right. I'm going to try to be positive and optimistic.
He felt my problems were more in the brain sector so to speak. He prescribed Selegiline, which is a transdermal gel used primarily for Parkinson patients, and Oxytocin. Oxytocin increases the feeling of orgasm and, based on my own research, is also known to increase 5AR activity (at least in rat studies) in the prostate, something Saw Palmetto inhibited. I'll be receiving these prescriptions shortly and will see if I have any improvement. After six weeks time, I'll have a phone consultation with Dr. Shippen and update him on my status and then go from there.
The last two months have been a complete nightmare/rollercoaster for me - just look at my DHEA levels for crying out loud (Shippen said that was due to the overwhelming stress I was going through). Anyway, any input is much appreciated.
I've attached my urine results (before Clomid test) and bloodtests (after Clomid test) below.
Here is my 24-hour urine test BEFORE Clomid: (All ranges in ug)
Estrone (E1) 5.6 (3 - 12.0)
Estradiol (E2) 1.6 (0 - 7.0)
Estriol 1.8 (1 - 16)
Total Estrogens 9.0 (4 -22)
Testosterone 84 (45 - 85)
DHT 6.6 (0 - 13)
Androstanediol 73 (48 - 578)
Androstenedione 97 (0 - 50) = HIGH
DHEA 7821 (5 - 1476) = REALLY HIGH (Shippen said due to stress)
Androstenetriol 423 (42 - 710)
Androsterone 1912 (798 - 4705)
11b-OH Androsterone 1213 (461 - 1692)
Etiocholanolone 2324 (689 - 3252)
11b-OH Etiocholanolone 114 (134 - 1186) = LOW
Pregenanediol 135 (32 - 501)
5-Pregnenetriol 715 (28-1062)
Cotristone 287 (92 - 366)
THE 4470 (1365 - 5788)
THB 157 (32 - 238)
5a-THB 456 (135 - 588)
THA 174 (52 - 277)
Cortisol 189 (35 - 168) = HIGH
THF 2677 (942 - 2800)
5a-THF 1510 (796 - 2456)
Blood Test AFTER Clomid:
Testosterone 575 ng/dl (241 - 827)
LH 5.0 mIU/mL (1.5 - 9.3)
FSH 1.9 (1.6 - 8.0)
04-10-2008, 12:57 PM
i'm no doctor, but a casual observer would conclude that you have anxiety disorder and possibly some manic/depressive tendencies. i'd personally go see a different kind of doc.
04-10-2008, 01:11 PM
Good for you
I'm glad you had a productive visit w/ your doc. I believe that being positive and taking it one day at a time will prove to be your best bet. I actually do take finasteride (proscar divided into fourths) and often times I wonder if the side effects are worth the benefit. Besides an occasional mild loss of libido (especially when I'm sauced), I have a hard time putting on muscle and staying lean. I can't not be "flubby". I always have clear, soft, supple skin, LOL I have been taking fin since I was 18 and I am now almost 26 so I think my body has gotten use to it (homeostasis). Once I get hitched, I am ditching the fin and rocking out Bruce Willis style fosho! Good luck man, I appreciate everything that you do for our country when you are overseas
04-10-2008, 01:18 PM
04-10-2008, 01:49 PM
04-10-2008, 01:59 PM
04-10-2008, 10:41 PM
I've been taking 2- 160mg gel-caps of SP I picked up at Sam's club. I've been taking them for a month or so. I haven't really seen any reaction other than maybe I pee a little harder.
I'd also kindly suggest getting to the bottom of all that worrying. Being stressed out all the time can bring on so many health issues.
04-12-2008, 01:29 AM
your life isnt over. try to be pragmatic about it and do what needs to be done to get back to where you think you should be. worrying never got anybody anywhere.
04-12-2008, 07:28 PM
I will say that I was making out with a girl last night and got hard (definitely had some libido, but looking at porn doesn't do much like it used to), I even woke up with morningwood for the first time since this debacle. I'm wondering if some of this IS psychosomatic - the numbness is still a problem though as well as the tissue changes. Any improvement is good news though - I was worried if I couldn't get it up.
04-12-2008, 09:48 PM
04-12-2008, 11:57 PM
04-13-2008, 08:13 AM
I use VitaminShoppe brand saw palmetto extract and currently take 320mg every day. I only use it to prevent prostate issues, although as you mentioned there may not be sufficient clinical studies to prove it works.
I have not had any issues, however I'm going to stop taking it today and see if I notice a difference.
04-13-2008, 08:53 AM
All I know is that I had testicle pain and a greasy forehead while on it and decided it was best to stop since it wasn't healthy, at least for me... everything went downhill AFTER I stopped, that's what doesn't make sense. It's like my body crashed and I have no idea why.
04-13-2008, 03:05 PM
saw palmento can make one act like an estrogen in some people and can make them appear estrogen domaint even though e2 is incheck. I stopped saw and i gained a mess load of weight and hard nesss so. For some people it may intefer with increasing free e2 because of lowering DHT levels.
04-13-2008, 04:24 PM
Hmm.. I think I'm ok in the Estrogen department (No gyno, etc)
Estrone (E1) 5.6 (3 - 12.0)
Estradiol (E2) 1.6 (0 - 7.0)
Estriol 1.8 (1 - 16)
Total Estrogens 9.0 (4 -22)
DHT 6.6 (0 - 13)
I'm more concerned about the fact that I haven't been making any gains lately at the gym - the loss of muscle mass is perplexing.... wonder what supplements would help me correct this. I just take a protein shake after a workout.
Take a look at this though:
SHBG 40 (7-49 nmol/L)
Free T is 56.6 pg/mL (35.0 -155.0)
Testosterone % Free 1.35% (1.50-2.20)
Now Take a look at this Nomogram for Calculating Free Testosterone from Total Testosterone (TT) and Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin (SHBG)
Is the high SHBG limiting my Free T availability?
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