When I first knew about this forum (Sep 2021), I was very stressed and wan't in a mood to talk about my symptoms. I have made a huge progress since then even though I am not yet cured. I will document my case here so it can possibly benefit others. I will talk in details about my symptoms and a few really interesting things regarding my case.
In 2017, I had 4 major tragic events in my life happening after one another. It was almost unbelievable. At that time I was already stressed as I was enrolled in a very competitive graduate program. I felt so depressed and experienced panic attacks for the first time in my life. I was suffering from insomnia and couldn't sleep for a few days. I tried 5htp and felt better. My depression was almost gone and I slept much better. I started going to the gym and interacting with people again. I stopped taking 5htp after a few weeks. About a month later, I noticed I had no sensation in my genitals area and it was very hard to get erection. my libido was there but as if the connection between my brain and my genitals was gone. It would take forever to orgasm. I had a complete hormonal panel and was told it is psychological. morning erections were gone. I also experienced fatigue and cognitive decline. I have had digestive issues for a long time but they got much worse. I attributed all of this to stress.
My symptoms got a lot worse in the next few months and new symptoms showed up such as:
- Extreme fatigue,
terrible sleep quality
burning in my feet radiating all the way to my knees,
burning in the scortum,
clicking in my jaws,
appearance of black spots on scortum (angiokeratoma of Fordyce),
numbness in my face and head,
A few months later the burning in my feet started to subside and was totally gone within a few months. same with my jaw clicking. In 2020, I had a pudendal nerve block injection with corticosteroids and this ended the burning sensation in my scortum. However, testicles and penis still felt numb, cold and shrunk.
At this point, I already saw many doctors for conditions like MS, Lyme, MCAS. In 2021, I came across a post on Mayo clinic forum (posted in 2016) by a patient describing very similar symptoms after taking 5htp. In her post, she mentioned the term PSSD and this is how I came to know about this forum. between this forum, reddit and other online forums, l came across almost 10 other cases who developed similar symptoms from 5htp.
I did tons of lab work including CBC,CMP,UA,LP,TSH, sleep study, thyroid ultrasound, MRI from head to end of the spine, Pelvic MRI, MRA on the head and the neck. CT scan on the chest, abdomen, and the pelvis, EMG, Autonomic testing, testing for Lyme, EBV, MCV, and more. The only remarkable findings were mild POTS, and abnormal sleep architecture.
Next I will report things I tried including supplements and medications. I tried a lot things but i will only mention things that yielded an interesting response (not necessarily positive). I will also mention a couple of really interesting observations.
To be continued....