Update 05/10/2012 -- Resolution of Symptoms
Its been a few months since this post, but I think I have finally seen a return of my libido. Its still intermittent, but seems to be growing stronger. What did it for me was B-12. Turns out I'm deficient. (And it looks like there is a history of it in my family, that is still under investigation though.)
All of my symptoms have pretty much disappeared at this point or they are on the way out. Any signs of weakness have disappeared, and I feel much better....feel awesome even.
My supplementation plan:
- 5-htp: 100mg twice daily - to restore serotonin levels (B-12 deficiency lowers serotonin, causing mood swings, which I did not realize were a "symptom" at the time)
- L-tyrosine: 1g twice daily - to ensure proper levels of dopamine and norepinephrine.
- B-12: 5mg sublingual methylcobalamin (Note, this is a very high dose. It was what I could find at the time, and I will be moving down to a much more reasonable 500mcg - 1mg to maintain levels after I finish these.)
It has been nothing short of miraculous. I even had a symptom I didn't even realize. What follows is a bit graphic, but I thought it so damn interesting.
My orgasms have actually been a hundred times more pleasurable. Sex never actually interested me all that much before as orgasm always seemed "meh". Now I understand whats going on with everyone and sex... ;). Also low serotonin causes premature ejaculation, and as a message to the guys out there who have a problem with this, I want you to know that it is a physiological condition, not some lack of "manhood". My time to ejaculation has improved greatly, and is much more consistent. It used to be short, or never.
----Symptoms corrected by B-12 are listed below----
I am 20 years old. I have been eating paleo for about 6 months now. I went from Vegetarian to Paleo, and I'm convinced the vegetarianism did some lasting damage. I still have some general problems which don't seem indicative of the health I want. I am trying to fix through nutritional means, and I wanted to know what other people think the symptoms indicate.
My diet for the past month has been hardcore paleo: no dairy, no legumes, no grains, don't remember the last time I ate sugar. I eat sweet potatoes or potatoes after workouts. At least 3 cups of leafy greens a day, and 3 cups of sulphur containing vegetables (like terry wahls suggest.) I would bet money I exceed 10 cups of vegetables on average. (Recently added in daily cruciferous vegetables to this.) I eat 1-2lb of some form of meat a day. Some days its lean, some days it fatty, depends on what I can afford.
- Taking for at least 2 months
- Magnesium Citrate- 300 mg
- Multivitamin (NOW ADAM)
- Fermented Cod Liver Oil/Butter Oil (Vitamin A/K2/D)
- Daily seaweed (Dulse flakes)
- Zero to neglible libido - I have had pretty low libido for a few years now, and its practically non-existent.
- Keratosis Pilaris - I understand its an inflammatory skin condition due to extra keratin deposits.
- Difficulty falling asleep
- General red flush to skin - This has been for as long as I can remember, and on days when its particularly so, people have asked if I was sunburnt.
- Muscle discomfort/weakness - This is really intermittent now, but every now and then it comes back. (Every month or so?)
- General fatigue/bleh-ness - usually seems to predict the muscle discomfort.
- Slow muscle recovery - this has always been what I perceived, can't know for sure if its true I guess. (Worked legs on Tuesday, still a bit sore today, Sunday. Also I doubt I'm overtrained, I regularly take a week off from doing any exercise, at least every 13th week. These symptoms all existed before I took up regular exercise anyway, so I was hesitant to mention it.)
What sparked me most of all to make this post, is last night I was waiting tables. Certain days, given certain conditions and once in a blue moon, social situations or exciting conditions in general, will give me a mood of euphoria. This euphoria is then followed by a crash. This one was interesting, most likely because I've been watching my symptoms lately. I had the general fatigue in the morning, followed by muscle discomfort, and a body that didn't want to do anything. Then I got stressed out at work, and was flying around on a cloud. Also I haven't been sick in a long time at this point.
My thoughts on what it might be:
- Zinc deficiency?
- Copper toxicity?
- Something with the adrenals? (I only drink caffeine in my pre-workout, and even then its <150mg. I don't get caffeine withdrawals on non-workout days when I don't drink it.)
So any thoughts, anecdotes, etc, would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your help and time.
EDIT: Male 6' 7" 225 lbs (Vegetarianism dropped me from 280 to 250, probably a lot of muscle. Paleo dropped me to where I am now, and I've probably built back at least 20 lbs of muscle.)
(I'll update in case someone in the future has similar symptoms.)
Thanks everyone for your answers.
My current plan of action:
- Find a zinc tally test and see if that suggests a deficiency.
- Start on D3 supplementation, or start getting daily sun as its finally starting to show itself.
- I will eliminate FODMAPs, as my gut is probably not where it needs to be. Improved a lot on paleo, but yesterday something I ate made it angry. (I had asparagus, which shows up on the FODMAPs list, in the same category as wheat and rye, which I find interesting. I never found onions to bother me though, but maybe its because I'm used to whatever distress it causes.)
- I will look into Betaine HCl supplementation to see if I need to restore some acid function.
- I am also thinking about simplifying my diet to something like leafy greens, fatty meat, potatoes. (Maybe carrots and bok choy occasionally.) I will try butter again, or get some more coconut oil and try upping my calories. (I may count calories to get an idea of how much I'm ingesting. I normally eat something like 3,000 every time I check, but I'm curious as to my overall absorption.)
- In the mean time, I will get the blood work done on thyroid levels and hormone levels, will post back when I have those.
- My most obvious tests of whether I am improving will be a return of libido, regulation of sleep and disappearance of Keratosis Pilaris.
Got some blood work back. (CBC, CMP14, Lipid Panel, Total Testosterone, Total T4, TSH) Here are some amounts that are pertinent:
- Total T4 : 5.6 (Normal)
- TSH : 3.070 (Normal)
- Testosterone, Serum : 376 (On the low end of the range given, 348 - 1197.)
Numbers I'm Curious About
- Calcium : 8.6 (Under the lower limit of 8.7. May be the magnesium?)
- Total Cholesterol : 144 (I'm actually concerned this is too low.)
- HDL : 39
- LDL : 85
- Triglycerides : 99
- VLDL Cholesterol : 20
Alright...so I guess its time to hack my testosterone. Any help would be appreciated.
Interesting discovery, not sure what it means yet. Potentially my symptoms are all related to some sort of chronic dehydration. I am starting to run some experiments on myself, but it seems the flushed skin goes away with enough water intake, as does any muscle discomfort I am experiencing. The only thing is its a lot of water...like upwards of 150 oz. I lost count today. But I will start recording and see if I can come up with anything. Probably going to do another post about this because its rather curious.
Still feeling better than I ever have, just from drinking sufficient water everyday. Still tweaking amounts of sea salt to water, but I've been drinking about a gallon a day and feeling great.
Muscle discomfort - Significantly reduced, been tweaking amounts of sea salt in my water to see if I can make that disappear forever. My workouts have also been amazing. I feel stronger!
General fatigue - Holy crap this is better. That is about all I have to say on that.
Muscle recovery - Also seems to have improved by about a day or two in time. Where as legs took about 5-6 days to heal before, they've recovered in 4.
Red flush to skin - Still gone consistently.
I've also seen additional stability to my mood, which used to be a little flip floppy, and my stomach has been doing fabulously.
Sadly, libido and keratosis have shown negligible improvement, its hard to tell if its really improved or not. But as good as I'm feeling, I really don't care, and these are conditions I've had for awhile, so a quick fix wasn't really anticipated.