Peak Testosterone Forum

General Category => Testosterone, Hormones and General Men's Health => Topic started by: MrChickenkiev on December 20, 2011, 02:39:37 pm

Title: Losing my Mojo at 37- alternative theory with stress still as the main culprit
Post by: MrChickenkiev on December 20, 2011, 02:39:37 pm
My research continues unabated....

I had been labouring under the illusion that my erectile dysfunction had been as a result of an hormonal imbalance, which I have thus far outlined in my posts on the forum. However I have been following up research with regard to Dopamine and have found a number of what are for me revelatory insights all relating to the depletion or imbalance of neurotransmitters.

Basically my understanding of the problem was way too simple. I had thought the bio chemical network which effected erectile dysfunction was reliant upon a pathway between brain and testes - luteinizing gonadotrophin stimulating leydig cells. I had based this upon a load of body building magazines, which of course are interested in testosterone maximization for muscle growth and not necessarily erectile dysfunction. I therefore have only myself to blame, for it was I who blamed testosterone, as the main culprit for my erectile dysfunction.

However I now realise that waking erections come through a completely different pathway.

"Peak Testosterone" does say that erections are complicated things so I can't say I wasn't warned there either.

My starting point was an unlikely source

The passage which interested me the most was the following:

Sexual arousal occurs not just in the genitals but in the whole body and, especially, in the brain. For men, it actually begins when the brain sends impulses down the spinal cord and out to the nerves that serve the penis. These impulses trigger the production of nitric oxide (NO), which causes penile arteries to dilate and the spongy core of the penis to relax and become engorged with blood. The neurotransmitter that carries the sexual message is acetylcholine (ACh). ACh also seems to control sexual behavior through its activity in the brain. In addition to its direct role in the sexual response, ACh is also the primary chemical the body uses to transmit signals from nerves to skeletal muscles, the muscles that move the body. You need this chemical for muscular control and proper muscle tone. There is reason to believe that enhancing cholinergic neuromuscular transmission will enhance your energy and stamina by raising your ACh levels and that this can provide indirect sexual benefits by allowing you to perform longer and with more energy.

The following article repeats that same description

But where this starts to get interesting is the part where the guy suggests that

Dopamine also has a huge effect on sexual function and desire. I am also taking a combination of Tyrosine and Phenylalanine which help to increase dopamine levels.


My results were astonishing with frequent erections. I finally feel like the old me before the juice, which is fantastic. All this time I thought I was shut down however it was my brains reaction to steroids and its affect on the central nervous system it affected the most.

Now the article on dopamine for the brain on porn, seemed to be a bit too preachy and didn't really fit my circumstances exactly but even today I have found articles which do strike a chord. If you substitute stress for excessive masturbation, or combine an exhausted person with infrequent masturbation you would probably get the same results as listed here:

Over-ejaculation and/or over-masturbation first melts down the acetylcholine-parasympathetic nervous functions and then the liver functions that release essential enzymes for the syntheses of certain neurotransmitters, namely: acetylcholine, dopamine and serotonin.

In fact this article goes on to describe how the two additional symptoms I have in tinnitus and poor memory have been created as a result of the depletion of my neurotransmitter network. You have no idea how often I have to check that I have switched things off. Something I had ignored until lately as a harmless paranoia, until I made a 28 mile round trip to ensure I had turned my central heating off.

In fact this page lists a fairly long range of examples but includes a lot of what I am dealing with. Interestingly I had already incorporated many of the changes to my supplement regime as a result of the sleeplessness and the tinnitus I suffer from (GABA and magnesium, avoiding MSG), but had not directly looked at the range of supplementation I need to positively effect the other accompanying neurotransmitters.

The solution is to help your neuro-endocrine function and stabilize your serotonin and GABA nervous modulation on the Fight or Flight responses. You must also recharge your parasympathetic nervous system and boost your prostaglandin E-1 , E-3, oxytocin and Nitric Oxide production for healing.

Now that got me thinking, I wonder whether the good advice about a Mediterranean diet is effective because it worked directly on nourishing the body to provide the minerals and nutrients that support the neuro-endocrine function as opposed to the (I think it is referred to as the HPTA Hippothalamus Pituitary, Adrenal Axis) luteinizing gonadotrophin to testosterone axis.

I read somewhere in the pages I have been viewing in the last 2 days that the non age related decline in libido and erectile dysfunction is more likely caused by compromised dopamine (or acetyl choline?). The reference is probably in the pages I have linked to here. In fact excessive masturbation would drain the body of nutrients as would excessive stress and occasional masturbation with a slightly older man.

When I read elsewhere on the web the recurring theme that younger males are prone to erectile dysfunction because of psychological reasons rather than physical reasons, I feel that this just adds to the confusion. They don't normally go on to state that mind and body are inextricably linked- and the flight or fight response leads to a diminution of a wide variety of active hormones, neurotransmitters, minerals and nutrients which are called upon to ready the body for that reflex.

Similarly again and anecdotally I wondered why on one occasion at acupuncture we tried placing needles in my spine and I felt really horny. I wonder was that opening that acetyl choline channel to my nether regions again.

It is probably worth pointing out in summary that dopamine has a lot to do with libido and acetyl choline with erections than I have certainly given credit to in my thinking. There is even this study which seems to be suggesting that testosterone has only a supporting role in erectile dysfunction

Now men who come to this site will have different problems, and different reasons for those problems- but since I have seen no one mention this type of theory before I think it is worth sharing. I don't see any of the guys who have been to the doctor suggesting a course of action relating to neurotransmitters.

As for my original theory, it so happens that in my attempt to calm myself down and repair my hormonal receptors I have also probably been increasing my GABA and repairing my neuro transmitter receptors through Phosphatidyl serine. All of these things are suggested on the Peak Testosterone site including acetly choline from apple juice- but I hadn't placed the recommendations in my head in the correct theoretical context. So there is a chance I would have got better, but not perhaps as well as I could have with a more focused understanding of the problem and by using the right supplementation recommended for the problem.

It may even have been the case that I did have some sort of adrenal fatigue, which gave me the additional symptoms of diarrhoea and fatigue and also depleted B vitamins to give me a sense of impending doom. However it is a long time since I had the bowel problems associated with the adrenal fatigue. It seems more likely that the thing that concerned me the most,  my declining libido and erectile dysfunction were caused more directly by the effect of stress on my neuro-endocrine system. Whether that strain was linked to over training, over work or emotional strain, I suppose I will never know- but the vitamin A loss I list on my other post may have been the original catalyst.

PS I still think my doctor acted in a disgraceful and unprofessional way. Why don't they know these things? Or if they do, why didn't mine mention exhaustion to me?

I am keen as ever to hear other opinions.

Title: Re: Losing my Mojo at 37- alternative theory with stress still as the main culprit
Post by: PeakT on December 21, 2011, 05:18:58 pm
Lots of interesting material, so thx for posting once again.  I have given some preliminary information on my site on the role of dopamine, ACh and the CNS in general - anyone int'd can just use the Search option on my site. 

Here's some quick comments though:

1.  This underscores the need to watch the anticholinergics imo, even the old school antihistamines (chloretrimeton, sudafed, benadryl, etc.).  They have recently been found to likely accelerate dementia and, again, I give some coverage on my site.  And who knows?  They may do more damage elsewhere in the body as well.
2.  Have you read much about Parkinson's?  What is scary about dopamine is that these cells seem very vulnerable to damage from pesticides and toxins.  Furthermore, you can lose 60% of these cells w/o any symptoms of Parkinson's.  However, imagine what that does to your erections and libido!  Protect your neurons is all I can say...
3.  As you know I'm not real big on long term use of supplement, but thx for passing on the amino combo that helped so much with erections.  Again, int'g stuff...
4.  Don't go crazy with apple juice - good ol' Dr. Oz found a lot of arsenic in it.  Egg yolk instead?
Title: Re: Losing my Mojo at 37- alternative theory with stress still as the main culprit
Post by: spiderman on December 23, 2011, 07:10:20 am
The best post I have seen so far on this forum Mr Kiev..If you look at my reply to the Low T post you will see that unprofessional docs seem to be a common theme..and yes it seems most of them have limited knowledge in this dept. Even the Urologist that I visited looked totally confused when I happened to mention parasympathetic nervous functions...Seems self help and forums like this are the way forward to get anything done. The links you put on were excellent and I can only say from experience that Dopamine levels obviously drop dramatically when you are depressed, and so it seems that everything is linked in one way or another...depression and  low dopamine levels have the same symptoms...low libido, ED, low energy, no motivation, no interest  etc etc...all this of course has a negative effect on T levels and if you are already borderline low T ..the vicious cycle continues and the additional problem is that it is on your mind 24/7 which again is having a negative effect.
It is so important to try and stay afloat and have some sort of focus. I found that starting a new sport helped somewhat but it has been a long struggle. All the other advice given here regards diet and supplements have helped me climb out of the desperate situation I was in.
Title: Re: Losing my Mojo at 37- alternative theory with stress still as the main culprit
Post by: MrChickenkiev on December 23, 2011, 01:34:02 pm
Thanks for the support Spiderman. It seems to me that my experience and research is not necessarily the common thread that runs through this site so the research might not apply to everyone. Just a word about supplementation and herbs from my own experience.

I went out and bought the supplements that the article suggests will work. This morning after acupuncture and the supplements, I felt a bit anxious. I didn't sleep well and my mind was racing. So it is a question really of taking things easy and introducing the supplements slowly, one at a time and seeing what is working and what might be over stimulating. There is always an urge to overdose and sort things out as quickly as possible. There is the alternative of taking concentrated food sources, which I might revert to.

One of the things I do is to bite tablets in half, so that even the lowest dose can be built up over time, without suffering an undue reaction. I have found in the past taking supplements that nutrients can accumulate over time and over stimulate. I discovered this for myself back in 2002 when I was interested in nootropics- herbs and nutrition for the brain. In that regard I have been wary of 5-HTP for serotonin, which I felt (and this might be totally wrong) over time increased my levels of adrenaline radically, made me anxious and disrupted my sleep. The solution of course is to stop, because by that point you have overdosed. Also the 5- HTP contained vitamin B6 for transport across the blood brain barrier, which I felt interrupted my sleep even when I stopped the 5- HTP and was simply taking B vitamins. When I stopped both or even had vitamin B6 with ZMA, I had the same sleep problems, so when I eventually stopped everything I had restful sleep. I notice the B vitamins I recently purchased all have amounts 6-10 times above the recommended daily RDA, so I might only take this every other day and split them in half.

As for the articles, as I have suggested I have been dealing with this problem for five years, though I had two main periods of researching the issue, back in 2006, and now having been laid off, in the last 3 months. I had thought that finally leaving the stress of work behind and combined with acupuncture I would finally get over the ED and libido problem. However I realised within the first month off, that this wasn't going to happen, and I would have to help the acupuncture along myself. You can guess from my postings why I had given up on my doctor/doctors.

Back in 2006, all research I could find related ED back to falling testosterone levels, and age related decline. At 37 I went through a period of thinking I had become a old man, and feeling a wimp. I was certainly less vigorous physically than my father who is in his 70's. Of course my doctor reinforced that feeling- telling me I had age related libido problems.  So it came as a shock the other evening when I read all this stuff about acetylcholine and dopamine-it was the first time that any article I had read had not put testosterone at the centre of the problem.

Anecdotally some of this made sense to me. Back on the 15th January 2006 (indelibly imprinted on my mind as the first day I had the headaches that would result in brain surgery) I had taken some Tribulus Terrestris and was in the most uncontrollably foul aggressive/violent out of character mood, and went home because I also had headaches. I was also concerned I was going to hit someone. I was horned out of my head, but couldn't get an erection without manual stimulation. So that concerned me, because I suspected the TT was spiking testosterone well beyond my normal range, and I still wasn't hard!

Other suspicions centred around the fact that even in the months after surgery in February 2006, I was getting morning erections that woke me up- something that has seemingly evaded me for the intervening years until my recent unemployment- and I am conscious of them again. Mind you they aren't as stiff as I would wish. I was also growing facial hair at the same rate as always, so unless that is not related to the same testosterone effects, that seemed to suggest my testosterone hadn't changed much. I wonder now whether this is in keeping with the article which draws a contrast between the mechanism for nocturnal and waking erections?

Sorry if this is too much information. I don't know if this is relevant but....another unexplained thing happened too in summer 2006, when a women I fancied at work wrote me a sexy e-mail. I literally and somewhat embarrassingly had an erection at work that I couldn't stop for about 10 minutes. Something had been switched on that was dormant, something had gotten through. So again I knew I had a latent capacity there, but still didn't know what the master switch was. At this juncture I was thinking it was a psychological barrier. Incidentally I went to a hypnotist/counsellor mostly to reprogramme my mind from stressful thinking, who told me my impotence was all in the mind (bullshit); though I did manage an erection under hypnosis.

Then as I have also mentioned the acupuncture I was now involved in gave me a bit of a horny jolt in 2008, when the needles were inserted in my spine. But it only happened once. Was this stimulating/ unblocking the spinal link that the acetylcholine flowed along from brain to penis? I can't remember whether I had a decent erection, but I do remember feeling unduly horny again. I decided that the other position I was previously laid out on, was more comfortable and that since I was interested in stress relief that I would lie on my back. If stress was the problem at one point when I was secure and serene for long enough, I would get my mojo back.

My stress needs to be seen in the context of wholesale changes to my job and a reduction in my status as a result of being off from brain surgery- and the fact that the £130 million business I was working for was falling apart. Also fears put in my head by my doctor about the strength of my skull cap and new bullying chains of command at work, put me on edge. The business was taken over and we were then threatened with redundancy which took up until August 2011 to come to fruition.

What I hadn't realised was that stress actually physically damages the body, and the research attached to this and my other thread, suggests a myriad ways in which this plays out. I wouldn't be surprised that the two different ailments adrenal fatigue and depletion of my neurotransmitters compromised both waking and nocturnal erection mechanisms at the same time. That's if such a theoretical separation is valid.

Personally I think I could have gotten over all of this years ago, with the right advice.  My reactions to events have often been off the scale in terms of the panic reaction I have had internally, though I managed to keep a straight face to the outside world. I read that depletion of B vitamins such as B12 can cause this. So if it wasn't bad enough that I had a lot of issues ref redundancy, brain surgery, impotence- the lack of b vitamins was exacerbating everything and causing me to get more stressed and more depleted across a number of different bio chemical systems.

When was the last time anyone's doctor suggested a course of vitamins? You can supposedly get everything from diet, but when you have been heavily compromised the only way to restore the balance is to get away from the source of stress, and take an extended holiday. And then you will only be restored through a very healthy focused diet. But doctors won't acknowledge that vitamins could bridge that gap even more swiftly- in my opinion for reasons of completely vested interests. So then in the way the problem is framed it becomes my poor diet that is the issue and surely I should know what foods are healthy? Ergo the doctor is let off the hook and it is patients fault.

 It annoys me that the economy and society loses people off the work register for months at a time on the advice of doctor's when they could be productive much sooner. It is like they want to reduce health maintenance to a blend of big pharma drugs and time off work recuperating, both of which are costly and neither of which directly attack the simple underlying problem. It's not quite a cover up, just a convenient subterfuge- a bit like pretending Santa exists to kids at Xmas :) Doctors are happy (and rich), drug companies are happy (and rich), patients (think they) are happy.

In the three months off I had after surgery, I think the trauma was too much to use that short period to recover from both the surgery and the impotence. And then I was back at work, and still needing healthful nutrition and more rest- but I stupidly persevered- in part because I still thought my doctor may have been right that impotence was related to age in some way; and of course because I needed to try and get my career back on track.

Back to your post Spiderman. My latest take on things is that testosterone would not seem to be the only issue reference Libido and erectile dysfunction, though testosterone is clearly a major part of the orchestra of hormones and neurontransmitters that are required. I was never actually depressed, ironically- though I am led to believe that my anxiety could have lead to depression. I mean even psychologically I can imagine that once you have frantically exhausted all possibilities to heal yourself, the act of giving in, must yield itself to depression- no doubt as your dopamine reserves hit rock bottom.

Reference Sport: I trained 3 days a week in 2005, and even trained post surgery at home, to get rid of my spare tire (again working on the aromatase idea- that gut fat destroyed testosterone). But I could neither get rid of the fat or felt better as a result. I think I was probably producing too much exercise related cortisol which in my compromised state, probably diminished testosterone further. So I then went through the last 4 years without any exercise, also because I felt lethargic. I attempted to walk up a mountain in the Scottish highlands about 3 years ago and it was embarrassing. I had no energy and had to stop every 50 yards. Even the smokers in our party got to the summit an hour ahead of me. I would be keen to do something, and will probably try walking as a gentle entrée.

In the meantime at some point I need to get back to work, though I feel that I deserved a rest. I was fortunate enough (!?) to have been panicked into taking out unemployment insurance so I am not on the breadline- but I do need to pick up soon. Anyway even if you don't have the same issues as me, I think it is interesting to read how things can get out of hand and how far they can go. I suspect I could have had a breakdown, and then visits to psychiatrists who would have labelled me with some syndrome or other. And because they are authority figures, I would have been compelled to believe them. To my mind it shows how simple solutions to basic problems can be overlooked by the medical profession and then become overblown into some dubious illness that requires expensive care. I would be intrigued to know how many medical problems start out in that manner. Clearly modern medicine does perform many miracles, it's just that there are some major gaps in understanding, attitude and twisted vested interests imho.

Title: Re: Losing my Mojo at 37- alternative theory with stress still as the main culprit
Post by: PeakT on December 23, 2011, 03:22:52 pm
Really like what you said at the beginning and it underscores the fact that the studies only deal with "averages".  If a body of (non-biased) studies are pointing towards something, then it's probably true for the majority of guys.  However, you may not be average or you may have an unexpected side effect...
Title: Re: Losing my Mojo at 37- alternative theory with stress still as the main culprit
Post by: MrChickenkiev on December 23, 2011, 09:34:56 pm
The only thing I keep forgetting to relay and this goes I am sure for everyone on this site- losing your mojo is a cause of embarrassment. In reality it is just an illness, but it is not one that anybody out there wants to shout about. Correct me if I am wrong, but unfortunately being impotent or having erectile problems is seen as something central to your sense of self as a man. In other words if you are lacking in that department you feel like you have lost your virility, attractiveness to women and even your place in the world. It is not just as simple as the hydraulics of the penis aren't working- or that you are being precious.

A bit like mental illness, the ailment is seen as a taboo subject, and in the absence of a clear pathology outlined by the medical profession, open to lazy unscientific interpretations. No one is going down to the local bar tonight and announce that they are impotent because they know there may be self serving interpretations by other men, which make them feel superior and either pity or laugh at us- neither situation being one that anyone with any pride is going to welcome. OK, there might be some that are supportive, but I would doubt whether many would take the chance of being the subject of gossip.

But it should take it's place as an illness, because then scientists will come up with a variety of cures. Again in my situation I thought I was being mature and open with my doctor only to find that he had the mentality of a sniggering school boy and wasn't going to treat this as an illness. In the absence of a clear pathology, it appears doctors are just going to react like any other ignorant person. Stripped of a modern medical interpretation it is just like you are back in the days of voodoo, leaches and shamanism.

So I have not shared this problem with anyone face to face other than a hypnotist, an acupuncturist and my doctor. I got three different explanations from three separate professionals, so god only knows what interpretations friends and family would have had. Keeping the whole thing secret has been an added burden, and explaining my resulting behaviour a strain also. I know I am ill, but I have had to come up with a range of excuses for why I don't go out and socialize more. This has involved making up excuses to friends and ultimately giving them the cold shoulder.

I am not physically disabled, and if my life depended on it, I could go out socially. It isn't merely the stigma that prevents me going out; starting a relationship and not being able to achieve an erection would have been humiliating. Explaining to other male friends that that was the reason I wasn't chatting up women, wasn't a place I was willing to go to. There is also the fatigue and that trying to set aside enough energy to be able to do a working week, seemed to require that social sacrifice.

But I think all the easy solutions out there, like Viagra, are for someone with my range of symptoms a false economy. In other words whatever is causing the problem is just going to be masked by Viagra, and could make some underlying issue into a life threatening problem. I read somewhere that a sign of maturity is to seek out solutions that do not merely offer easy short term gratification, but see things through to a proper conclusion despite the resulting hardship:- you know the old psychology experiment where the kids are offered two cakes instead of one if they manage to wait until the experimenter comes back into the room. Well it looks to me like the medics have abdicated that sense of professional "maturity" by not coming up with solutions that cure the problem, shrouding the ailment in folk interpretations and only treating the symptoms.  I just think we should expect more.
Title: Re: Losing my Mojo at 37- alternative theory with stress still as the main culprit
Post by: MrChickenkiev on December 24, 2011, 12:50:08 pm
One quick point. Apart from the amino acids relating to neurotransmitters, the other thing that might be the secret ingredient in the mix, is nitric oxide. I will re read the articles I linked to, because it was all new to me, and will take some time to digest- but it looks like the abuse the body gets from stress and exhaustion sexual or otherwise, requires nitric oxide to heal itself. It is not just the old thing I read everywhere of nitric oxide helping to boost the hydraulics of the erection- nitric oxide has a wider role.
Title: Re: Losing my Mojo at 37- alternative theory with stress still as the main culprit
Post by: MrChickenkiev on December 24, 2011, 01:25:21 pm
Phosphatidlyserine might work for my type of erectile dysfunction because it repairs the receptor sites for all the main neurotransmitters, thus enabling dopamine and acetylcholine to do their jobs with regard to libido and erections.

"Phosphatidylserine also appears to restore the release of important neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine, norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine"
Title: Re: Losing my Mojo at 37- alternative theory with stress still as the main culprit
Post by: PeakT on December 27, 2011, 06:18:15 am
Fantastically honest post about how E.D. "messes with the mind".  I cannot tell you the utter panic that some men write in with.  Besides all the things you mentioned, sex is the only decent source of dopamine us guys have and when that goes away, it can be very stressful.  It feels as if all pleasure in life has been sucked away.  Of course, that's an exaggeration, but I am convinced many men feel this way...

Also, your comment on how men cannot talk about it to anyone is very tragic, since more often than not there is an underlying medical condition underneath it... 
Title: Re: Losing my Mojo at 37- alternative theory with stress still as the main culprit
Post by: MrChickenkiev on December 28, 2011, 11:45:45 am
Thanks PeakT.

I think it is best to be brutally honest, to encourage those who are possibly in the throws of their first panic about the issue- and to show them there is light at the end of the tunnel.

 I am only realising that the problem exists for men who are even younger than myself, which I imagine must be even more distressing. If you haven't developed a clear identity and a long term knowledge of your sexual capabilities, then you might misguidedly think that this is how nature intended you to be.

I can only speak for myself but I suspect my mental state was greatly influenced by the effects of stress or exhaustion as some sites would have it, depleting neuro transmitters, vitamins and minerals required for stable thinking. I did indeed go through a long period of absolute terror, but I suspect this was filtered adversely by the other things that stress was doing to my mind and body.
Title: Re: Losing my Mojo at 37- alternative theory with stress still as the main culprit
Post by: MrChickenkiev on January 12, 2012, 02:55:37 pm
The more I read the more confused I become. I get it that there are guys out there who are getting HRT, and that their libido and ED improves, but it certainly isn't a simple linear or universal relationship. It seems that around 500 is the level where there are few guys experiencing problems, but one chap who started off at a healthy 700 plus in Jan 2010 found himself at 238 by October of the same year and in between times had only temporary relief of his symptoms, when taking a variety of HRT treatments. Moreover the drop in libido and erectile function seemed to take place within a very short time frame of about 3 weeks. All at the age of 39.

This story therefore directly correlates to my experience. Admittedly I didn't get my T levels measured, but that still makes me ask the question, even if testosterone is the problem with relatively young men, why do the levels drop so suddenly, and why even with therapy do they not necessarily improve the symptoms? We're not in the medical profession, and have no vested interest in dismissing further enquiry, so I think we should be asking the question why does this occur, and is testosterone the X factor in the mystery?

A range of interesting alternative problems which may have impacted on his condition have been tested by Guyute's doctor and he still is having issues, which makes me think again that they are looking in the wrong place. In other words where the usual suspects are not to blame there must be another series of pathways to explore. Let's face it, if it was a simple case of low t = ED and low T has a simple pathology we would all know how to cure it, this forum would be moribund, and we would all be cured by the medical profession. I know I have been on a total downer with the medics, but if it was a simple situation similar to offering antibiotics to treat infections, I would have gladly and enthusiastically taken whatever medicine was offered. Me and my doctor would be best friends :)

Clearly considering the short time frame involved and the guy's (Guyute) relatively young age, the usual caveats of age related decline cannot be applied. Rarely do you go from fighting fit to floundering in such a short space of time without some intervening event. Now it could be that there is some genetic switch that kicks in, but I don't hear of anyone suggesting how that process might occur. So that leaves several options, how this guy (and myself) have either contracted an infection/virus, or have interacted with the outside (lifestyles?) world in some way to elicit ED and low libido. Of course we could have completely different pathologies too.

I have cited stress as possibly the main culprit in my story, as well as over training and a diet that wasn't keeping pace with the demands I was requiring it to meet. Guyute's tale does not quite meet my experience, though I do wonder about the point he makes about night shifts and whether that could have had some knock on effect to his body. But the fact that my other posting about stress has had 300 plus views makes me think that there are a lot of people out there who are wondering has stress played a part in their downfall. It is slightly ironic though that people are going to that post because I have moved on from speculating how stress lead to adrenal fatigue and low testosterone, to a more promising range of culprits, namely a range of neurotransmitters depleted by stress- acetylcholine, dopamine and nitric oxide. I think I was suffering from adrenal fatigue at one time, but those symptoms such as diarrhoea ended some time ago.

Anyway I would like to ask Guyute, whether he felt any degree of being physically run down before his plummeting libido problem, because as the other links I have reproduced on this posting suggest, exhausted bodies do seem to be unable to perform sexually.

I posted elsewhere on the Aphrodisiacs post that I had read of a 92.5% success rate for a study of 40 guys with ED who took pycnogenol and arginine over a 3 month period The theory is that this should boost your nitric oxide levels which supports erections. I naturally have been trying to replicate the study and tried to take two 500mg doses of arginine and 2 x 30mg doses of pycnogenol on Tuesday, two thirds of the dosage used in the study. This seems to have been too much for my body to absorb, and I've been feeling queasy ever since- though the symptoms of light headedness, low appetite and grogginess seem to have subsided over time. It might be a simple case of building up the dose over time, but I would be interested to read of others who have gone down this route and how they may have overcome the flushing effects of nitric oxide. I think the pycnogenol is probably the main problem. Anyway I would ask whether anyone else out there has experience of using the two supplements together and how they mitigated the effects of the symptoms I have described?

It is maybe time to stick my neck on the line here and suggest a tentative relationship between testosterone and neurotransmitters? Where else can you speculate, if you can't do so in a forum? If it was the case that depleted neurotransmitters such as Nitric oxide, dopamine and acetylcholine cause some forms of impotence, (or are crowded out by excess serotonin for those on antidepressants), or are stimulated/protected by testosterone, then for those older guys who are low in T, then clearly they will not be stimulating/protecting the neurotransmitters. For younger guys with OK T levels, then something else is depleting the neurotransmitters. Or a combination of low T, and an exhausted body?

I can go back and find a variety of articles that suggest that testosterone is not even necessarily the direct cause of ED- but they don't necessarily tell us what is.  I am prepared to be laughed at to get to the nub of the problem:)

Title: Re: Losing my Mojo at 37- alternative theory with stress still as the main culprit
Post by: PeakT on January 13, 2012, 01:51:07 am
Well, sorry, this will be a hodge podge of comments in no particular order:

1.  Yes, testosterone dramtically affects the male brain - I can't emphasize that enough - including neurotransmitter function.  Consider this statement: "Steroid hormones prime neural circuits for sexual behavior, in part by regulating enzymes, receptors, or other proteins affecting neurotransmitter function".  (Brain Research Bulletin, 1997, 44(4):327-33, "Testosterone, Preoptic Dopamine, and Copulation in Male Rats")  I cover just how much T affects the brain in my book as you might expect and describe the testosterone levels where this occurs.  It literally affects everything, including mood, memory, depression, cognition. 

2.  I understand how you feel about docs on this.  But realize that there is no way a doctor can keep up on everything.  Most physicians are working 50-60 hours per week.  Only the ones that really love it will put in additional time to understand nutrition, prevention and anti-aging, which is what a lot of this falls into in their mind.  And, at least her in America:  most PCPs are just struggling to make 150 k in a year.  They're just trying to survive in many cases.

3.  Not sure what could cause that rapid of testosterone loss, except for trauma of some sort but that wasn't the case here.  That's part of why I encourage men to post back their experiences.

Title: Re: Losing my Mojo at 37- alternative theory with stress still as the main culprit
Post by: MrChickenkiev on January 13, 2012, 10:13:47 pm
Well I do think we are getting to the bottom of a lot of these issues even in the small space of time this forum has been up. Certainly I have learned from other's experiences and the inferences they have drawn. I think the main points that I have discovered thus far, is that to be sexually fit, you probably need to be emotionally, psychologically and physically fit. In my case that means unprocessed foods, plenty of rest and relaxation, to put my health before my career, to keep trim, and use a variety of every day vitamins and minerals to supplement my brain and body in those areas where it has been depleted. There may be added complications for many others, but I do feel that this is the foundation for health in general that we should at least all attempt to create for ourselves.
Title: Re: Losing my Mojo at 37- alternative theory with stress still as the main culprit
Post by: MrChickenkiev on January 14, 2012, 01:06:20 pm
Sometimes I have to reiterate that I would not be alive today, where it not for a brain surgeon, so that I am not blindly criticizing either the entire medical profession or nurses for that matter. With regard to hours in the UK, things are slightly different. Only very junior doctors work long hours. The average General Practitioner, works a regular 9 to 5 week and because of their reluctance to do things like weekend visits to patients homes, the UK has been importing doctors from the European continent such as Germany. It gives you some idea how lucrative these weekend stints can be if Europe's leading economy is sending it's most highly paid professionals to the UK for days at a time. There have been a variety of accidents that have occurred because of this since these imported doctors are not fully conversant with the patients medical history.

As for keeping up with developments, I am sure the US has a similar system whereby a General Practitioner sends patients off to more specialised practitioners dependent on the problem. I read of many guys on the forums going to Urologists who make their considerably lucrative living from specializing in the very problems discussed on this forum. That would suggest that these professionals are getting feedback from both patients and peers on a daily basis, and effectively their whole working world revolves around treating these problems. Not to mention that they will have spent many years at medical school in training and reading up on their subject. In other words to sum up, they should be experts, and keeping abreast of the latest developments an integral part of their jobs. And don't forget the average doctor is much smarter than you or I, or in fact anyone on this forum.

I read elsewhere that the average doctor has the amazing capacity to remember 2 million facts about medicine. That is extraordinary, except when you read that the internet has 200 million facts about medicine. I could have got my numbers wrong, but the general order of magnitude between internet records and the human brain is what I am driving at. Suffice to say from what I read here, doctor's clearly don't research on line. You have got to remember these guys are living in a bubble. They are confined to drugs passed by federal authorities, bombarded by big pharma advertising and constrained by the wisdom of their western medical training, which seeks to cure by emergency intervention rather than prevention. So it is not the human being- the doctor who sits in front of me, necessarily that I am critiquing, but the system. Add to that in the UK, doctors are constrained by budgets, so that they often have to weigh up someone's need against how much money can be allocated to their care. In my case, was it better to treat my ED, or give a couple trying to have a baby the funds for IV. To ease future interaction it is easier to tell me a lie than tell the unvarnished truth.

We spend £100 million on the NHS in the UK which is app one quarter of the entire state's spending of around £470 billion. The average GP gets about 80-100k per year through working for the state and has the ability to take on private patients too at even more exorbitant rates. We actually get health care cheap in the UK but it comes at a cost, in terms of the motivation to do a good job and therefore quality of care. There is no competition and the doctor has permanent security of tenure. UK citizens are unlikely to sue doctors because they are getting the service for free, though they are paying for it from taxes. It is a happy, relaxed world at the top of the medical hierarchy, unlike the lives of the people that they are treating.

Morally doctors are no better or worse than the average citizen, there will be doctors who are paragons of virtue and ones who are effectively criminals. The problem in the UK has been establishing doctors who had a deliberate policy of killing off patients, such as Harold Shipman. He literally killed off hundreds of elderly patients, under the noses of his peers. That there are few measures of medical competency shared with the general public, underlines the fact that we need performance based measures for doctors.

Title: Re: Losing my Mojo at 37- alternative theory with stress still as the main culprit
Post by: PeakT on January 14, 2012, 11:28:12 pm
I always enjoy your writing ChickenKiev!

And I couldn't agree more about one's sexual health is dependent on the physical, mental, etc.

A comment I would add is that the modern, urban lifestyle almost appears to be designed to sabotage our sexual health and erectile strength.  Unfortunately, all of us reading these posts are just trying to survive the onslaught of toxins, chemicals, fats, sugars and so on.  I am convinced that a hundred years from now, our grandchildren's grandchildren will look back on what we do to ourselves in disbelief...
Title: Re: Losing my Mojo at 37- alternative theory with stress still as the main culprit
Post by: MrChickenkiev on January 15, 2012, 06:56:01 pm
Definitely agree that our antecedents will frown upon our diets.
Title: Re: Losing my Mojo at 37- alternative theory with stress still as the main culprit
Post by: MrChickenkiev on February 07, 2012, 09:12:00 pm
Going on from the non testosterone and nitric oxide related interventions this site looks at the Spinal role of processing an erection. Again this is not the whole story, as we know for some men testosterone is at least part of the problem. But it is interesting that drugs are being developed which attempt to stimulate dopamine receptor agonists with some success.

It shows that when you look in the right place and work on the correct pathways you get promising results. This is the kind of work I imagine can be improved upon to the benefit of MANkind :)

" It is now widely understood that central disinhibition plays a crucial role in the induction of erectile responses and this has led to the development of the central initiator, apomorphine SL (Ixense™) [apo SL]. Apo SL acts in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus as a dopamine receptor agonist. It works as a proerectile conditioner at this level to increase the responses of the erectile pathway following appropriate sexual stimulation. This unique central mode of action of apo SL has thus proved efficacious in approximately 70% of ED patients although persistence may be required to produce a robust effect for the maximum number of patients"

"The clinical efficacy of apo SL has been clearly demonstrated during double-blind crossover clinical trials in over 5000 men with varying degrees of ED from mild to severe. These studies have demonstrated a two-fold increase in the percentage of erections firm enough for intercourse compared to placebo and that apo SL is particularly effective in men with mild-to-moderate ED. The rapid onset of action of apo SL, occurring within 20 min for most patients could help men with ED improve spontaneity in their sexual relationships. The effectiveness of apo SL increases with sequential dosing for patients who sustain the treatment beyond four doses. This treatment regimen offers patients the opportunity of achieving satisfactory sexual performance."

I suspect it is not surprising that interventions sometimes fail with HRT when the problem might have lain all along with the dopamine and possibly acetylcholine circuitry that effects an erection. Mind you all the various hormonal and neurological systems must no doubt work seamlessly for an erection to occur. Happy as I am that these new interventions finally look beyond testosterone and nitric oxide, more diagnostic tools seem required to give men better feedback to indicate whether the problem lies with neurotransmitters or hormones. And even then I think we still require an understanding of why these circuits fail, to allow the treatment of male sexual dysfunction to become a mature science. For me treating symptoms will never be enough. After all prevention will always be better than cure.

 I am particularly impressed by the speed at which the apo SL takes effect, which again suggests to me when western medical science gets it's act together like it has for so many other ailments we will get a powerful treatment for ED. Of course it isn't a universally successful treatment which might again suggest that not all ED is the same- a possibility that it Nitric Oxide or compromised T levels might be the other factors? I hate it when they say persistence may be required- it makes me think that they are merely suggesting that more dosages will eventually gain traction with the problem. To me that might be flogging the same dead horse that some men have been asked to flog when dealing with HRT. It might just be the case that they don't understand the full extent of the problem and that a more rounded therapeutic intervention on several fronts might totally restore function- testosterone, nitric oxide and dopamine for example?

Title: Re: Losing my Mojo at 37- alternative theory with stress still as the main culprit
Post by: PeakT on February 07, 2012, 09:26:18 pm
Very, very interesting.  Another great post. 

My only comment is that I predict these will be rife with side effects, since so many of the psychoropics are, but it definitely seems to show the power of dopamine, eh?
Title: Re: Losing my Mojo at 37- alternative theory with stress still as the main culprit
Post by: MrChickenkiev on February 07, 2012, 10:28:12 pm
Well no doubt you are right. As ever I don't want a quick fix, I want a cure- so I won't be trying it myself. In my case I have been through so much the last 5 years it is impossible to say how many parts of the erection's bio chemical pathway I have effected. And it has been extremely difficult to disentangle the various psychological and physical limitations I have had during that period. It is only now that I can say that I am getting my energy back, after 5  months of unemployment. I mean even an interesting thing I read this evening was in relation to acetylcholine and mentally concentrating on sex. For long periods I believe subsequent to my brain surgery I was constantly distracted by a variety of anxieties from relaxing enough to get an erection. Since my short term memory has also been severely compromised, I wondered whether this was the same burn out of the acetlycholine circuitry. For the latter I have been taking choline inositol and I think I am getting some positive results. I mean I have to go back and check I have turned off a tap about 5 times before I am sure I have done it, and the problem seems to be on focusing on recording the incident in the first place- once I have got it into my head I am fine. Anecdotal but I only recognized this as a problem recently, and I know it isn't senility.

Another interesting observation I have had in the last couple of months relates to a possible indicator of my nitric oxide status. I had a small scab on my left temple on my head, which I picked at for about two months because it was irritating me and wouldn't heal. Now after about two months it has all but disappeared, but it seemed to be taking an incredibly long time to heal- never had that experience before. I have been taking arginine in the last month and I have a sneaky feeling that this encouraged the wound to heal, I know there is a relationship between nitric oxide and wound healing but I just wonder whether you can extrapolate from this to it's concentration in endothelial membranes. I've been trying to think for a while is there a name for how the body has a hierarchy of systems it preserves or allocates priority to. I've been terming it "the body's triage system" in honour of the field hospital allocation of medical interventions depending on critical need, but I am sure there is a more elegant term, At any rate I would have thought that wound healing must take priority over erectile function as the latter is not life threathening. That is even if such priority driven systems exist in the body.

Anyway I came back to the thread for a reason. I think this is the most comprehensive legible summary of the known pathways towards erectile function that I have come across so far.