Jlyan's Log (Post-Accutane / mild CFS / some recovery)

Jan 19, 2019
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4
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30
Germany
#1
Hello everyone,

this is my introductory post. Thanks for granting me access to the forums. I've taken Accutane about 12 years ago and have had side effects come and go ever since. I've tried a lot during this journey, so I will let you guys know what helped my recovery process. I'd say currently I'm at about 80% recovered, better in some areas than before Accutane even, but still have shitty days here and then. First, let's preface the story before I get to the post-Accutane symptoms.

I was a rather unsociable kid by nature and remember feeling suicidal as a 9-year old. When puberty hit, I was playing video games all day and wasn't interested in girls at all. Not much libido to speak of. I masturbated sometimes but other than that I had no intimate relationship with girls pre-Accutane at age 17. This will be relevant later on. Took Accutane, standard Accutane symptoms, cracked lips, dry digestion, nothing out of the ordinary. Couple months after the treatment I started working full-time and still had no troubles other than that low sex drive, thought that was just who I am. Then I got hit with Epstein-Barr from which I never fully recovered, and basically got mild CFS from it. Over the years my health worsened somewhat and I stopped working and started to go to university again. My CFS got worse despite less stress. That's when I went to lots of doctors and actively experimented with supplements etc... lots of trial and error later, I've got some success that I'd like to share, maybe it is helpful to some.

SymptomsI had during the journey or still have:

- mild to moderate CFS
- lack of testosterone, libido
- anhedonia
- lack of emotions
- IBS-C
- underweight, lack of appetite

Here's a list of supplements/activities that benefitted me.

Major benefit:

Zinc - taking 25-50mg on 3-5 days a week, not taking it when I eat beef liver. When I first took Zinc it was basically the first time I experienced what having enough testosterone feels like. It remains crucial for my sex drive (which is healthy now most of the time) and outside of eating a pound of beef daily I apparently don't get enough Zinc from food. If I eat phytate-rich food such as almonds or cocoa, I will make sure to take extra Zinc, otherwise I feel worse the next day. Here's also how I fucked up: I took large amounts of Zinc without consciously making sure I get enough copper for months. Turns out the insomnia, anxiety and pounding heart was likely Zinc toxicity/ Copper deficiency. Zinc also remains a major factor to keep depression and anhedonia at bay, but not the only one.

Magnesium - variable dose, cycling. I get sedated taking too much consistently, but it is absolutely essential for libido and treating the anhedonia. Masturbation kills my magnesium levels (simplified), as I get twitching eyelids and become way less grounded and more fatigued then. Taking extra Magnesium fixes it over night basically. Also a reason why I'm on LowFap most of the time.

Folate and B12 - variable dose, cycling. These are also absolutely crucial for getting rid of the anhedonia for good and especially the folate helped my sociability a lot. It melts away all the awkwardness - it's powerful for me. Unfortunately it is hard to balance these vitamins and sometimes they stop working properly, because of missing cofactors or deadlocks or whatever. So usually I'll take them for a while and then take a break. Also interesting side note, the folate improves my looks a lot - complexion / eyes look way different as long as it does its thing. The B12 greatly increases pleasure and creativity when taken in high enough doses, but is using up some cofactors so needs to be cycled for this effect to occur for me. Especially noticable when playing guitar. My IBS also is a lot better during that time.

Taurine - high dose, cycling. Major help for my IBS and CFS but loses its effects soon. Probably does some liver cleansing or microbiota modulating thing, also is part of the methylation cycle. I don't take it often anymore as it seems Folate and B12 keep methylation running proper enough.

Minor Benefit:

TMG/Betaine - high dose, cycling. Part of methylation as well, don't need it much anymore but it had similar effects to Folate, albeit weaker.
P5P - high dose. Haven't taken for ages but the only ones that worked were the enteric coated ones. Vastly improved IBS as long as it was in the system and better well-being etc. probably due to lowered prolactin.
Cocoa powder - Is positively affecting my IBS and I feel it rapidly improves symptoms of Zinc toxicity. Also good for anhedonia, but in a weak way.
NAC - Part of methylation as well, I take it occasionally. Makes me more sociable and less anhedonic but not when I take it chronically.
Alternate nostril breathing - This one is a bit woo, but it can be incorporated in some kind of meditation and I find it helpful to stimulate the vagus nerve. Gets some tingling going. Haven't done it in a while but I just happened to be doing that in a period when I felt exceptionally good so I thought it might be beneficial as well. Gonna have it in my routine again.
Nofap/Lowfap/Noporn - Saves sexual energy and dopamine sensitivity. When I got the supplement timing exactly right I can afford fapping to porn as much as my sex drive allows, but it's a trap anyway. On the other hand, if I don't take Zinc and Magnesium then even two weeks of Nofap won't change anything for me.
Sleep Hygiene / Blue light filters - It's a good idea to do anyway, I sometimes neglect it but feel like it has a big impact sometimes. Need to find a routine for myself that I can adhere to.
Black Seed Oil (Nigella Sativa) - hard to pinpoint but I felt somewhat invigorated whenever I took some. Need to reorder.
Iodine - low dose. Helped massively to get the anhedonia and emotional bluntness in check, but only a low amoun was need (few mg's a couple of times total over a few weeks). Nowadays I don't need it anymore basically. High doses haven't been helpful by worsening the anhedonia.

Negatives:

Zinc toxicity - Insomnia, Anxiety, pounding heartbeats
Vitamin D - it is too calcifying for me even with cofactors - my IBS gets worse and my CFS as well. Sometimes it seems to support testosterone and mood, but I very often get side effects soI'm highly conservative on how often and how much I take it. Also had high blood levels once despite not even taking all that much.
Very high dose Folate - had some issue with on the one hand having sexual anhedonia but on the other hand being more emotional than ever - wasn't taking Zinc at the time.

Diet:

Gluten/Dairyfree, whole foods, low sugar
Beef liver about once a week
Careful with phytate-rich foods

Outlook:

I've looked for the magic bullet for too long and neglected healthy habits especially sleep hygience and meditation/breathing. I'm glad I found a couple supps that worked for me. Still need some balancing and testing but generally speaking I don't expect to progress much further in this domain but rather should focus on establishing some habits now.

I've missed a couple details as the post is long already but all the important stuff should be in it. Ask away if you have any questions!
 

Helen

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Oct 5, 2017
6,117
5,897
113
#2
We are doing TEI, which is a lot more balanced approach , you might check it out. It seems you have POIS which is the crash after orgasm. Most PFS sufferers have that.

and it is AR and Gaba problem.


you are also probably pyroluric, means you are losing zinc from the body.

this is because your vitamin b2 is low since it is being used up hugely by NADPH oxidase.

this is why you have sides from b12 and folate.


Zinc also lowers manganese. if taken on regular basis.


Basically pyroluria is from lack of picolinic acid which is made in kynurenine pathway. Usually this happens from the lack of riboflavin. which activates b6

And I assume lack of riboflavin stems from activation of NADPH oxidase by NADPH . NADPH oxidase creates a lot of ROS. and this basically turns of nitric oxide production.


possibly upregulated g6pd enzyme which creates this NADPH.

And this activation lowers NADP and your bile flow.

might look into NADPH oxidase inhbitors


Also you could try to add sodium butyrate to your regimen



check out @Orion log.
 
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tanedout

Well-Known Member
Oct 17, 2017
577
350
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#3
@Jlyan - good post, would be very interesting to see your hair mineral test results (TEI [Trace Elements]). Includes zinc and copper, so would show what your balance is like, and give you a list of recommended sups based on your test results.

Edit: Also out of interest, do you, or did you, have a loss of night vision?
 
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Orion

Well-Known Member
Oct 3, 2017
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510
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#4
Beef liver about once a week
After accutane you need to deplete vitamin A storage from your liver and tissue. Avoid all intake of vitamin A. Accutane is just mega high dose active vitamin A, so it bypasses the retinol metabolism pathways. You don't have enough retinol binding protein to get rid of it while taking it, it goes in storage, and all normal diets have 1000's IU of vitamin A that keeps it in storage. If you took the normal ~60mg/day for 6 months, that roughly equates to 2.4 million IU of vitamin A per DAY for 180 days, when the RDA of vitamin A if it is even needed at all is a couple 1000 IU.

Staple zero vitA foods:
lean beef, lean chicken/turkey, egg white, non fatty fish, nuts
coconut oil, olive oil
bread, pasta, rice, potato, beans, oatmeal, cornmeal, non-fortied cereals
cauliflower, turnip, celeriac, parsnip, onion, garlic, radish, olives, pickles, cabbage
banana, grapes, apples, pineapple, golden raisins, dates
Apple juice, grape juice, coconut milk, most rice/almond milk is fortified
Sugars, maple, honey, brown/white

Completely avoid:
Dairy, milk, cream, cheese, yogurt, kefir... egg yolks
Pork (pigs store vitA in fat like humans)
Leafy greens, peppers, broccoli, brussel sprouts, asparagus, etc... bright spices
All orange, red, yellow, fruits and vegg
Any food/supplement with added vitamin A *palmitate*

Full body sunlight exposure, liver flushes and short or long water fasting will also help deplete vitamin A.
 
Jan 19, 2019
2
4
3
30
Germany
#5
@Helen

Thanks for the ideas, I'll check them out. I've taken normal B2 but haven't had any effect from it, haven't tried the activated form yet though. I'll read up on it some more.

@tanedout

Haven't done any hair mineral testing (yet). I've never had a loss/change of night vision.

@Orion

I read about that method years ago but never found the mechanism convincing enough, especially because I didn't fall into the subset that reacted negatively to vit A from food/supplementation. I'll read some more about it. The beef liver is currently part of my diet because I feel better on it, which might be unrelated to the vit A in it.