I know this is a very long post but I would be really grateful if anyone could look at it and give any kind of feedback. I am at my wits end with this and no doctor wants to listen to me.
Iím 27 and I have a long list of symptoms and have tried treating them separately and tried to get them dealt with by separate doctors and specialists because I never thought that all my symptoms might be connected. Treatment for all of my symptoms has been unsuccessful. But now, after spending some time reading your site and looking at posts on this forum I think they may be caused by low testosterone; here is a list of my symptoms:
Shrinking Penis, Penile Atrophy, Erectile Dysfunction, lack of nocturnal/morning erections, weak erections, low libido.
In late September 2009 I noticed that my penis had shrunk. I literally woke up one morning and it had shrunk. When flaccid, my penis was small and shrivelled up, as if I had just been in cold shower; it felt dead. I struggled to get full erections and suffered from full ED on 3 occasions. When I did manage to get an erection; it was much weaker than I was used to and my penis never got fully tumescent (the head of the penis was smaller than the shaft which was also much thinner than pre September 2009). I went to see an urologist who looked over my blood work and said that everything was Ďnormalí and within the usual ranges. He then prescribed a monthís worth of Cialis for daily use, while this restored my penis to its previous size while taking it, once I stopped taking it, my penis returned to its shrunken, weak state. I have lived like this since Sep 2009. At the start of this year I had a penile Doppler colour ultrasound which showed that blood flow to the penis was normal. My urologist has since recommended that I go back on Cialis for a slightly longer period of 3 months which I am not happy about.
Diarrhoea, excessive wind, loose stools, poor digestion, excessive belching.
In August 2010 I suffered from would be described as textbook irritable bowel syndrome; I was prescribed medication by my GP which did nothing to relieve my symptoms but the problem resolved itself after a month. In April 2011 the symptoms came back but much worse and much more persistent. I went to see a gastroenterologist who conducted stool samples, blood tests, exclusion diets, colonoscopies and nothing abnormal was found. I was treated with various medicines, probiotics and suppositories; none of which alleviated my symptoms. At this point the gastroenterologist conceded that it was in fact not IBS and we would have to explore ways of dealing with the individual symptoms as we cannot determine a cause Ė this has been unsuccessful.
I have suffered from what I would call a weak bladder for as long as I have been an adult. In June 2011 my symptoms got much worse, urinating sometimes twice an hour and waking up 3 or 4 times during the night to urinate. Each time with urgency and sometimes passing only as little as 60ml of urine. I had ultrasound scans kidneys and bladder which showed everything to be normal. I have since cut out caffeine and creatine from my diet - this has improved the situation somewhat but by no means cured it.
Brain fog, lack of motivation, no zest for life, poor concentration, poor memory.
I often really struggle to concentrate on tasks at work, even simple tasks and regularly forget things that people have just told me. I have a very hard time getting motivated to do anything.
I sleep poorly because I either suffer from night sweats or my body tenses up while I am asleep. I often wake up feeling exhausted because my whole body, especially my legs have been tensing all night; itís as if I have just had a workout.
I am currently 6 months into receiving psychotherapy for mild anxiety. Iím not taking any medication for it.
I work out 3 times a week. Eat pretty clean. Drink alcohol maybe 1-2 times a week. Donít smoke. Donít use any drugs now but between the ages of 18-21 I smoked a lot of marijuana. Donít take any kind of supplements Ė have experimented with zinc and L-arginine but did not improve symptoms.
The confusing part
6 months ago I stopped watching porn. 6 weeks ago I stopped masturbating. During weeks 3 and 4 all of the above symptoms vanished: my penis returned to normal size, I was able to attain 100% full erections, I was getting nocturnal/morning erections, my anxiety and brain fog subsided, I had no digestive problems. However last week the symptoms returned.
What I am wondering is - what is the real situation?
1) Is low testosterone causing all of the above symptoms? or
2) Is my anxiety (which I believe I have been suffering from for a number of years) responsible for lowering my testosterone and therefore causing the symptoms.
3) Or something else like I have somehow messed up hormone production by the marijuana I used to smoke.
Here is some blood work I had done at the end of 2009 (I believe the blood would have been taken mid-morning; 10-11am)
Serum testosterone Ė 17.6 nmol/L (range 10-30)
30 minute serum TSH level Ė 1.1 mIU/L (range 0.3-5.5)
Serum free T4 level Ė 15.7 pmol/L (range 9-25)
Serum sex hormone binding glob Ė 19 nmol/L (range 10-62)
Serum Total Protein - 82 g/L (range 60-80)
Serum Albumin - 51 g/L (range 35-50)
Serum globulin - 31 g/L (range 25-35)
Serum HDL Cholesterol Lvl 1.7 mmol/L (range 1>)
Serum LDL Cholesterol Lvl 3.4 mmol/L (range 1-3)
Serum Cholesterol 5.5 mmol/L (range 1-5)
Serum Triglycerides 0.8 mmol/L (range 0.5-2)
Thank you if you made it this far. Please, if you have any information I would love to hear it. My plan is to go and get some blood work done either this week or next so I have some up to date figures. If I do get blood tests done what information is critical and what extras would be useful if you had them? Iím worried though that neither my GP nor my urologist know how to interpret the figures correctly and as long as I fall between the usual lab ranges they believe me to be normal. I want to be able to challenge them and say ďlook here, this is what is normal for a 27 year old guyĒ.