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How to fix your hormones. An ultimate guide.

testosterone hormone growth hormone thyroid cortisol

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#1 Thingsvarious

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Posted 14 November 2020 - 08:04 PM


I am new to this group. Thanks for having me.
I want to share my journey with hormone replacement because I believe it might be useful to others.
 
My story: I am a medical student in my last year. I replace all of my hormones. 

 

In early twenties my life was starting to go down the gutter. My life started to fall apart in every domain. At one point I was at the brink of suicide. I found out multiples of my hormnones were low.

I started hormone replacement. Whereas before my life was a nightmare, it has been great ever since. I have been doing this for some years now.

 

What I take. But what works for me might not work for others.

 

 

  • TRT: Test Cyp (50mg subQ 2x/week), HcG (250iu subQ 2x/week), 

  • cortisol: cortisone acetate (20mg/d HC equivalent) (split into 4 daily doses)

  • thyroid: 1.25 grains NDT + 6.25mcg T3 (a few hours later in the day)

  • GH: 0.5iu genotropin pfizer (aiming for IGF1 of 250) prebed

  • fludrocortisone 01.mg/d morning

  • melatonin: 0.25mg sublingual prebed

Everyone is different, but the target range I aim for is in the upper tertile of the youthful reference range. Just falling somewhere within the reference range is not “optimal”. The reference range covers 95% of the population. Certainly more than 5% of the population have hormones bad enough to warrant intervention.

 

This is how I look now vs. then. https://imgur.com/GWmzPJF.  
 
I am aware that this is rather uncharted territory, esp. in a DIY kind of way. As a medical student in my last year I am well aware of the risks. But to me the cost-benefit analysis is a no-brainer. If I had to, I would sign a contract to rather live 10 more years with my new vitality and then die instead of living to one hundred with the dreadful state I was in before. 
 
I do extensive blood tests (complete hormone panel, metabolic health, general health) around every 3-4 months. I would´t dare doing anything (not even starting) without it.

 

Other stuff I do: keto/paleo, HIIT, weekly rapamycin, a bunch of supplements (all of them together less worth than a slight alteration in hormones), some exercise every day, sleep around 6h (wake up refreshed without alarm -before HRT I needed 8+).

 

After years of studying, researching, experimenting, testing I did a writeup about some stuff I have learned along the way. 

 

My goal with all my writing is to point people into the right direction to remove biological shackles allowing them become the best version of themselves and live life fully. 

 

 Had I known what I know now, it would have saved me lots of time, money, happiness, effort, researching, experimenting. And suffering. I hope some of you find value in it . Enjoy.
 

https://thingsvariou...ed-2904aa48b7bd

 

I am open for any feedback and criticism.

 
 
I am sure some of you are quite knowledgable and experienced and might give valuable feedback/criticism and point out blind spots or other stuff I didn´t think about. What are your thoughts on all this? As I am in my mid twenties, do you think this is sustainable for decades?   
 
 
For questions/feedback you don´t want to post here my email: thingsvarious@yahoo.co.uk  

 


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#2 Thingsvarious

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Posted 12 December 2020 - 04:08 AM

Anyone any experience with extensive hormone replacement?



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#3 TranscendingSingularity

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Posted 02 January 2021 - 09:16 PM

Anyone any experience with extensive hormone replacement

 

I have read your works, and I am highly interested. Hope to see more.



#4 Thingsvarious

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Posted 09 January 2021 - 04:59 AM

I have read your works, and I am highly interested. Hope to see more.

 

There will be more to come. If you haven´t you might read the new medium articles, I have updated them recently.

 

Guides on how to replace individual hormones. (Brief overview of the benefits of hormone therapyCortisolThyroidMale Sex HormonesFemale Sex HormonesGrowth Hormone)



#5 Knowbody

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Posted 13 January 2021 - 09:28 AM

Anyone any experience with extensive hormone replacement?

 

Great to see someone so knowledgeable wanting to share his learnings!

 

Yes. I've been on multiple hormone replacement for two years now. I started at age 45. My life has dramatically changed for the better.

 

For many years I have been interested in the use of hormones, but out of fear of side effects I never used them except for DHEA (great improvement in mood!). Then, because of a burnout (gradually over 15 years) and a suspected (by me) chronic infection in the gut, my health and happiness deteriorated. My digestion got compromised further and further. My energy levels were extremely low. Eventually I was not even able to walk for 500 meters without needing to rest.

 

Within three days of hormone therapy, I felt so much better. This was the result of the hydrocortisone and fludrocortisone. Lots of improvements have followed up to this day.

 

Still I do have fluctuating levels of energy (both gut and mindset related, which of course can still be hormone related). For example I am not able to ride the bike against a headwind for more than 10 minutes. My body does look like that of a top level athlete though.

 

My current protocol is as follows:

 

Upon waking
- 45 mg ERFA dessicated thyroid extract containing T4 and T3

- 0.6 ml transdermal testosterone cream (10%)

 

With breakfast (7:00h)
- 20 mg hydrocortisone
- 100 micrograms fludrocortisone
- 40 mg DHEA

- 50 mg pregnenolone

 

Somewhere in the morning

- HcG 100 iu, 3 times per week subcutaneous

- Melanotan II, 0.01 mg subcutaneous (very low dose!)

- Thymosin alpha-1 0.016 mg subcutaneous

12:00h
- 10 mg hydrocortisone

- 15 mg ERFA dessicated thyroid extract

 

16:00h
- 5 mg hydrocortisone

Before bed (22:00h)
- Growth hormone 0.25 mg (0.75 IU) (recently increased from 0.19 mg)

- Melatonine 0.2 mg

- ERFA dessicated thyroid extract 15 mg

 

About once every 5 months I see my doctor and get blood tests done (hormones and more).

What I do want to add is that fludrocortisone (a non natural hormone), has a side effect. It increases the need for potassium. This has been documented (see for example 'drug induced nutrient depletion handbook). I noticed that I more easily got muscle cramps. This has been mostly resolved by adding some potassium salt to my food.

 

My diet does contain quite some potassium of itself. It consists mostly of poultry, lots of vegetables, butter, olive oil, dried apricots, dried prunes and some white pasta (cannot tolerate whole grain pasta).



#6 Thingsvarious

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Posted 14 January 2021 - 01:23 PM

Great to see someone so knowledgeable wanting to share his learnings!

 

Yes. I've been on multiple hormone replacement for two years now. I started at age 45. My life has dramatically changed for the better.

 

For many years I have been interested in the use of hormones, but out of fear of side effects I never used them except for DHEA (great improvement in mood!). Then, because of a burnout (gradually over 15 years) and a suspected (by me) chronic infection in the gut, my health and happiness deteriorated. My digestion got compromised further and further. My energy levels were extremely low. Eventually I was not even able to walk for 500 meters without needing to rest.

 

Within three days of hormone therapy, I felt so much better. This was the result of the hydrocortisone and fludrocortisone. Lots of improvements have followed up to this day.

 

Still I do have fluctuating levels of energy (both gut and mindset related, which of course can still be hormone related). For example I am not able to ride the bike against a headwind for more than 10 minutes. My body does look like that of a top level athlete though.

 

My current protocol is as follows:

 

Upon waking
- 45 mg ERFA dessicated thyroid extract containing T4 and T3

- 0.6 ml transdermal testosterone cream (10%)

 

With breakfast (7:00h)
- 20 mg hydrocortisone
- 100 micrograms fludrocortisone
- 40 mg DHEA

- 50 mg pregnenolone

 

Somewhere in the morning

- HcG 100 iu, 3 times per week subcutaneous

- Melanotan II, 0.01 mg subcutaneous (very low dose!)

- Thymosin alpha-1 0.016 mg subcutaneous

12:00h
- 10 mg hydrocortisone

- 15 mg ERFA dessicated thyroid extract

 

16:00h
- 5 mg hydrocortisone

Before bed (22:00h)
- Growth hormone 0.25 mg (0.75 IU) (recently increased from 0.19 mg)

- Melatonine 0.2 mg

- ERFA dessicated thyroid extract 15 mg

 

About once every 5 months I see my doctor and get blood tests done (hormones and more).

What I do want to add is that fludrocortisone (a non natural hormone), has a side effect. It increases the need for potassium. This has been documented (see for example 'drug induced nutrient depletion handbook). I noticed that I more easily got muscle cramps. This has been mostly resolved by adding some potassium salt to my food.

 

My diet does contain quite some potassium of itself. It consists mostly of poultry, lots of vegetables, butter, olive oil, dried apricots, dried prunes and some white pasta (cannot tolerate whole grain pasta).

 

Interesting protocol.

So how long have you been on that high dose HC? Have you noticed any side effects? Have you had to increase the dose over time? 

To me this dose seems very/unhealthily high...



#7 albedo

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Posted 14 January 2021 - 01:56 PM

Well, first very impressed by al this coming from a soon-to-be licensed MD!

Beside the quick part of the text I did not go through all (sorry!) and obviously you have in depth knowledge, I am glad I met you.

What about the difference reference vs. optimal ranges? How to define "optimal" and importantly by group of chronological age? Against what you compare to check optimal ranges? Mortality? Some sort of biological clock? I feel great at 65 but beside being chronically deficient in DHEA-S since many years (at least since I start measuring 15 years ago, a small physiological dose keeps me in the (ref) range) I am not sure who decreed optimal ranges should be very different than reference when no particular phenotype is clearly present? Why it should be that my x hormone at say 70 should be similar to x at 25 ? And what about disease risks again segmented by chronological age?  Also I try to assess ratios of hormones rather than individual dosages and I keep doing this every year, do you agree? How it comes my T and free-T has been slowing rising since the last 15 years? So for the moment I am on DHEA and Vitamin D (for the latter a U curve is typical on mortality and risk of atrial fibrillation, AFAICR, so I am cautions also there, typically in the 40-50ng/ml in serum).

Sorry for the unstructured questioning and thank you for sharing your experience!


Edited by albedo, 14 January 2021 - 02:06 PM.


#8 Knowbody

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Posted 14 January 2021 - 03:12 PM

Interesting protocol.

So how long have you been on that high dose HC? Have you noticed any side effects? Have you had to increase the dose over time? 

To me this dose seems very/unhealthily high...

 

Indeed the dosage is high. This is the dosage I started out with. But after a month into the therapy the doctor allowed me to increase the dosage for a period of about 3 months to 25 mg in the morning, 15 mg @ noon and 5 mg @4PM). This was based on symptoms like a sore throat after starting HGH at day 30 (I was told not to start HGH from the beginning because this would increase cortisol requirements. Considering my extremely bad health at the time, HGH was postponed).

Then at my first follow up meeting at the clinic I got another doctor (the first one left the team) who said that this was too much hydrocortisone. He put me back on the initial schedule.

 

I've read part of your articles. The things your write about cortisone are especially interesting to me. You mention that metabolism of oral hydrocortisone or cortisone acetate fluctuates quite a bit from person to person. And this may lead to higher requirements for some people. Do you have a suggestion as how to estimate cortisone requirements? At the clinic, the doctors look for physical signs and ask for emotional and mental state to finetune the dosage.

 

I feel my lack of energy is in part caused by some underlying infection and/or damaged gut lining. I often react badly to food. I may feel better when taking more cortisol, but as you have said (and my doctor) this will be detrimental to long term health.



#9 Thingsvarious

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Posted 14 January 2021 - 05:15 PM

Indeed the dosage is high. This is the dosage I started out with. But after a month into the therapy the doctor allowed me to increase the dosage for a period of about 3 months to 25 mg in the morning, 15 mg @ noon and 5 mg @4PM). This was based on symptoms like a sore throat after starting HGH at day 30 (I was told not to start HGH from the beginning because this would increase cortisol requirements. Considering my extremely bad health at the time, HGH was postponed).

Then at my first follow up meeting at the clinic I got another doctor (the first one left the team) who said that this was too much hydrocortisone. He put me back on the initial schedule.

 

I've read part of your articles. The things your write about cortisone are especially interesting to me. You mention that metabolism of oral hydrocortisone or cortisone acetate fluctuates quite a bit from person to person. And this may lead to higher requirements for some people. Do you have a suggestion as how to estimate cortisone requirements? At the clinic, the doctors look for physical signs and ask for emotional and mental state to finetune the dosage.

 

I feel my lack of energy is in part caused by some underlying infection and/or damaged gut lining. I often react badly to food. I may feel better when taking more cortisol, but as you have said (and my doctor) this will be detrimental to long term health.

Well, 35mg HC per day will almost certainly be detrimental to your long-term health and you are likely making a big tradeoff between functionality/performance now and health/longevity down the line. I have a very special protocol I devised using body temperature, blood pressure, resting heart rate and the Circadian variation in all of these. If you are interested you can contact me via email. 



#10 Knowbody

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Posted 26 January 2021 - 08:04 AM

"After years of studying, researching, experimenting, testing I did a writeup about some stuff I have learned along the way." (Quote button wasn't available for your first post of this topic).

 

I've read a large part of your articles. They're very informative. Many things are in line with what I've heard and seen elsewhere. For example from books and videos published by Thierry Hertoghe.

 

You seem to be finetuning some aspects of hormone treatment. That is great because hormones are a very delicate instrument to play with.

 

The finetuning will give different outcomes from person to person. What I'm wondering is how you got to work this out for it to work on many people? Is this by contacting other people on hormone treatment and gathering data / feedback? From what I understand 'multiple hormone replacement therapy'* isn't regular textbook stuff and it also is a quite unconventional treatment. Did you get input from doctors in the field that already run clinics and did you then build on that?

 

(*Therapy/treatment beyond the regular sex hormones and HGH and with the aim of improving functioning of someone who would be considered 'healthy' by mainstream physicians).

 

(P.S. I send you an email about 9 days ago. It may be in your spam box. Thank you for your time).

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by Knowbody, 26 January 2021 - 09:00 AM.


#11 Thingsvarious

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Posted 28 January 2021 - 10:08 AM

"After years of studying, researching, experimenting, testing I did a writeup about some stuff I have learned along the way." (Quote button wasn't available for your first post of this topic).

 

I've read a large part of your articles. They're very informative. Many things are in line with what I've heard and seen elsewhere. For example from books and videos published by Thierry Hertoghe.

 

You seem to be finetuning some aspects of hormone treatment. That is great because hormones are a very delicate instrument to play with.

 

The finetuning will give different outcomes from person to person. What I'm wondering is how you got to work this out for it to work on many people? Is this by contacting other people on hormone treatment and gathering data / feedback? From what I understand 'multiple hormone replacement therapy'* isn't regular textbook stuff and it also is a quite unconventional treatment. Did you get input from doctors in the field that already run clinics and did you then build on that?

 

(*Therapy/treatment beyond the regular sex hormones and HGH and with the aim of improving functioning of someone who would be considered 'healthy' by mainstream physicians).

 

(P.S. I send you an email about 9 days ago. It may be in your spam box. Thank you for your time).

I am glad you found value in my articles. I disagree with some of Hertoghes approaches, esp. the way he treats adrenals.

 

Yes, it landed in my spambox :) I will answer it today

 

As to the scaling part, I don´t know yet. But I guess raising awareness is a good place to start.

I got input from textbooks, data on panhypopituitarism, my own experience, online fora, some endocrinologists I know. Then I progressively fine-tuned my approach.



#12 TranscendingSingularity

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Posted 05 February 2021 - 11:43 AM

I am glad you found value in my articles. I disagree with some of Hertoghes approaches, esp. the way he treats adrenals.

 

Yes, it landed in my spambox :) I will answer it today

 

As to the scaling part, I don´t know yet. But I guess raising awareness is a good place to start.

I got input from textbooks, data on panhypopituitarism, my own experience, online fora, some endocrinologists I know. Then I progressively fine-tuned my approach.

 

Do you believe that you could prove the efficacy of your approach in trials?



#13 Thingsvarious

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Posted 10 February 2021 - 04:33 AM

Do you believe that you could prove the efficacy of your approach in trials?

Unfortunately this is very hard to do.

  • lots of money needed
  • not much money can be made
  • long-term follow-up required
  • complex protocols
  • needs to be approved by ethics comittee

However, I´d love to do that.



#14 TranscendingSingularity

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Posted 20 February 2021 - 06:40 PM

Unfortunately this is very hard to do.

  • lots of money needed
  • not much money can be made
  • long-term follow-up required
  • complex protocols
  • needs to be approved by ethics comittee

However, I´d love to do that.

 

Thank you for the response. You have quite an intriguing way of mind. I am not doubting the power of hormones but I think there is some need for trials. But as far as I know, especially thyroid has been quite thoroughly proven?



#15 Thingsvarious

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Posted 07 March 2021 - 03:16 PM

Thank you for the response. You have quite an intriguing way of mind. I am not doubting the power of hormones but I think there is some need for trials. But as far as I know, especially thyroid has been quite thoroughly proven?

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence however



#16 TranscendingSingularity

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Posted 14 March 2021 - 11:14 AM

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence however

 

I agree. How'd you see some possibilities of sponsoring / introducing some extensive trials to convince the wider medical community?



#17 Thingsvarious

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Posted 18 March 2021 - 02:12 PM

I agree. How'd you see some possibilities of sponsoring / introducing some extensive trials to convince the wider medical community?

I highly doubt that anything like that is happening in the future. It would cost hundreds of millions of dollars to do a proper, multi-center large RCT with hormone replacement. Furthermore, nobody would make money from it, so why would anyone sponsor it? 



#18 Thingsvarious

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Posted 28 March 2021 - 08:35 AM

Well, first very impressed by al this coming from a soon-to-be licensed MD!

Beside the quick part of the text I did not go through all (sorry!) and obviously you have in depth knowledge, I am glad I met you.

What about the difference reference vs. optimal ranges? How to define "optimal" and importantly by group of chronological age? Against what you compare to check optimal ranges? Mortality? Some sort of biological clock? I feel great at 65 but beside being chronically deficient in DHEA-S since many years (at least since I start measuring 15 years ago, a small physiological dose keeps me in the (ref) range) I am not sure who decreed optimal ranges should be very different than reference when no particular phenotype is clearly present? Why it should be that my x hormone at say 70 should be similar to x at 25 ? And what about disease risks again segmented by chronological age?  Also I try to assess ratios of hormones rather than individual dosages and I keep doing this every year, do you agree? How it comes my T and free-T has been slowing rising since the last 15 years? So for the moment I am on DHEA and Vitamin D (for the latter a U curve is typical on mortality and risk of atrial fibrillation, AFAICR, so I am cautions also there, typically in the 40-50ng/ml in serum).

Sorry for the unstructured questioning and thank you for sharing your experience!

 

Sorry, I must have missed this message.

Thank you!

 

I have rewritten and restructured my guide so the answer to your question regarding reference ranges can be found in Section 8.

Unfortunately, reference ranges include the whole population and are not stratisfied.

 

Optimal ranges are mostly determined by signs and symptoms, and not numbers on a paper.

 

Unfortunately, I haven´t had my biological age measured.

 

Those are good questions, however, hormones decline as a byproduct of aging and restoring them, counteracts some parts of aging (e.g. tissue health, muscle mass, neural health, etc.)

 

Yes, you should keep monitoring your hormones. Restoring T to youthful levels is certainly beneficial. I wrote a guide on it here. How To Replace Male Sex Hormones



#19 albedo

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Posted 28 March 2021 - 12:00 PM

@Thingsvarious. Thank you for your reply.



#20 TranscendingSingularity

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Posted 05 April 2021 - 10:57 AM

I highly doubt that anything like that is happening in the future. It would cost hundreds of millions of dollars to do a proper, multi-center large RCT with hormone replacement. Furthermore, nobody would make money from it, so why would anyone sponsor it? 

 

You're likely right. Nobody would sponsor these if the molecules aren't available to be patented. But having to stick to practical experience only isn't the best path of action... I guess there wouldn't need to be massive trials, but some small-scale RCTs on each hormone and some major combinations would suffice. What do you think?



#21 Thingsvarious

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Posted 11 April 2021 - 02:58 AM

You're likely right. Nobody would sponsor these if the molecules aren't available to be patented. But having to stick to practical experience only isn't the best path of action... I guess there wouldn't need to be massive trials, but some small-scale RCTs on each hormone and some major combinations would suffice. What do you think?

There are countless smaller studies and pilot studies because these are harder to fund. Unfortunately, therefore the information available is highly scattered and disorganized and perhaps underpowered, but I agree



#22 TranscendingSingularity

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Posted 17 April 2021 - 10:42 AM

There are countless smaller studies and pilot studies because these are harder to fund. Unfortunately, therefore the information available is highly scattered and disorganized and perhaps underpowered, but I agree

 

I agree to an extent. Do you believe that a major systematic literature review of each major hormonal axes could take care of this disorganization? Assuming it's published in a proper journal, of course.
 



#23 Thingsvarious

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Posted 28 April 2021 - 08:00 AM

I agree to an extent. Do you believe that a major systematic literature review of each major hormonal axes could take care of this disorganization? Assuming it's published in a proper journal, of course.
 

Maybe, however, most doctors would still be scared of side effects (e.g. T3 and atrial fibrillation, HC and osteoporosis, sex hormones and cancers of sex organs), as there is a large body of literature against the use of hormones



#24 Thingsvarious

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Posted 09 August 2021 - 02:18 PM

Update:

 

I am on reboxetine (noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor) and I found that the T3 used in conjunction causes some racing thoughts. I wonder if anybody else had this experience? (e.g. on bupropion)

 

So I have been experimenting with T4 only treatment. Will update as to how different it is to T4/T3-combination therapy and also some proxies I notice for longevity (e.g. lipids, vital signs, IGF1, etc)



#25 Thingsvarious

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Posted 08 September 2021 - 04:26 AM

Update: After using HC for around 2 years, I was able to get off the HC, effectively resetting my HPA-setpoint to a higher baseline. I have now been off all HC for 4 months and I feel perfectly fine. Also, HC is the most dangerous, difficult, and most cumbersome hormone to replace so I am glad I was able to reset my HPA-axis.



#26 Thingsvarious

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Posted 23 October 2021 - 12:34 PM

Just got my blood results back. IGF-1 slightly high and ACTH and cortisol at the middle of the reference range. So these 2 axes have recovered perfectly after 2 years of replacing them -in fact, they are now higher compared to where they were before.



#27 Thingsvarious

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Posted 22 November 2021 - 09:04 PM

Now I have been off all the hormones for some time (the last I stopped was thyroid). LH and TSH are normal again, IGF-1 slightly elevated and cortisol at the 60th percentile. So, whatever the cause, it seems that I have more than recovered from 2 years of complete hormone replacement. Though, I used a special protocol to wean off involving some neuropharmaceuticals to kickstart things again.

 

However, if I again in the future need to hop back on hormone treatment, I am willing to do so as the benefits can be life-changing



#28 rodentman

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Posted 22 November 2021 - 10:41 PM

Glad you were able to do so well.  Regarding HC.  It is of course dangerous.  However, from research I've seen, you can take ~5mg a day in the morning without affecting your natural production and messing up your HPA axis. But since you are in the 60%, no need of course.

 

Believe it or not, the thing that helped me the most, was 5 months of FMTs using a very carefully selected donor.   Very time consuming and expensive, but well worth it, since I suffer from multiple autoimmune diseases, including Crohns.  Now my levels are better in most areas, and almost all my autoimmune diseases have gone into remission.


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#29 Thingsvarious

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Posted 28 November 2021 - 11:50 AM

Glad you were able to do so well.  Regarding HC.  It is of course dangerous.  However, from research I've seen, you can take ~5mg a day in the morning without affecting your natural production and messing up your HPA axis. But since you are in the 60%, no need of course.

 

Believe it or not, the thing that helped me the most, was 5 months of FMTs using a very carefully selected donor.   Very time consuming and expensive, but well worth it, since I suffer from multiple autoimmune diseases, including Crohns.  Now my levels are better in most areas, and almost all my autoimmune diseases have gone into remission.

Interesting. Thank you for sharing. Yes, causes surely differ between people



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