I’m a 29-year-old male who has experienced a vast umbrella of odd symptoms over the last three years, including several urological and sexual capacity symptoms. Only a few months ago did I discover the relevance of thiamine in all of my issues. All of my problems began at the age of 27 years old. I was drinking three to seven cups of coffee per weekday and binge drinking alcohol one to two nights on most weekends. Despite this, I was and am still a very fit, muscular, and lean individual. If I were to describe all of my health problems to a stranger, they’d be very surprised to hear that I was dealing with such things given my healthy appearance.
Urological Symptoms and Reduced Sexual Capacity
The seemingly random downward spiral in my health began in October 2019. I remember being alarmed as I started to feel some odd urological symptoms. I felt numbness and burning in my penis, pain with ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, altered sense of ejaculation, and more. As you can imagine, as a 27-year-old male who is still in his reproductive years this was very troubling.
I went to a urologist and without doing any testing, they told me I had prostatitis. I was convinced for the longest time that I had something called Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome (CPPS), which is a poorly understood condition as well. I had all of the lab work that one would get done including an STI screening, hormonal panel, CBC, etc. I had no STIs, my testosterone was north of 800 ng/dl and all my other health markers were very well in range. On paper, I looked extremely healthy.
At the same exact time that I developed urological symptoms, I started to experience some very odd gastrointestinal symptoms as well. I’d experience extremely high levels of abdominal distention even after eating the smallest portion of food. I’ve always been into fitness and counting my calories therefore I knew it wasn’t because I was eating too much food. I’d also find myself constantly needing to burp, had reflux and I felt like food was just sitting in my stomach. I sort of ignored the GI symptoms a bit because the urological ones were so much more at the forefront of my brain.
Fatigue, Brain Fog, and Muscle Fasciculations
Three months later, I started to develop extreme levels of fatigue. A feeling of being “tired behind my eyes” and having no motivation to do anything. Just focusing on a task or even socializing with people became extremely difficult. Around this time, I also developed muscle fasciculations throughout my entire body seemingly at random. They weren’t painful, but just very odd. We’ve all experienced the occasional eyelid twitch, but this was way different.
Other Odd Symptoms
Other symptoms I’d experienced during the last three years included a hand tremor, feeling more “clumsy” than normal, anxiety, depression, SIBO, joint pain, muscle pains, random tingling and burning sensations. I had one panic attack, developed laryngopharyngeal reflux, and more.
My symptoms would wax and wane seemingly at random. I remember I tried cutting out alcohol and any form of caffeine for three months thinking that would help. Although it didn’t hurt, it didn’t completely resolve any of my issues. I also tried water fasting for three days and going gluten-free for a month.
Throughout the last three years, I’ve learned an exceptional amount about health, longevity, supplementation, etc. At one point, I became extremely fascinated by the process of methylation and was trying to see how various genetic polymorphisms may be playing into my issues (MTHFR in particular.). I knew I didn’t just have prostatitis or CPPS because it made no sense to me that all of a sudden all these different systems of my body were negatively affected (neurological, gastrointestinal, urological).
Then randomly, one day I stumbled upon one of Elliot Overton’s videos on thiamine when browsing Reddit. I must say that at this point I had never heard of anyone discussing thiamine. All of the information regarding B vitamins online was generally focused on B9 and B12. I binge-watched most of Elliot’s videos regarding thiamine in the course of a day. So many things started to make sense and I finally felt like I potentially had an explanation for all of my odd symptoms. I ordered TTFD fairly shortly after that.
The Path to Recovery
Of course, me being me I didn’t go “low and slow”. I started with a dose of 200 mg TTFD per day. On the second day of 200 mg TTFD, I remember feeling human again. It was as if someone gave me Adderall. I had an abundance of mental energy, I felt incredibly sharp, focused, relaxed and my ability to socialize with people improved tremendously. When I would walk around, I felt “connected” to people again. I don’t know how else to describe it. There was no need for my typical coffee when feeling this way.
On top of this, I noticed that my libido and erectile quality had massively improved. I was able to get aroused incredibly easily without any manual stimulation. I also noticed that the muscle fasciculations had reduced tremendously in frequency and were far less noticeable. This fell in line with the hypothesis of all these health issues being interrelated.
Unfortunately, this limitless pill feeling didn’t last. I noticed that despite the tremendous improvement experienced in those two days, my symptoms would constantly fluctuate. I remember I had some GI disturbances when I continued the 200 mg TTFD dose.
This is where I decided to become extremely detailed in my supplementation log. I’m highly analytical in nature and therefore of course I developed a spreadsheet where I would log my intake of all supplemental forms of B vitamins and what quantity I was taking. I would make notes regarding how I felt each day, my libido, the quality of my sleep, and anything else that may be relevant. I started digging more into Elliot’s videos, learning about the paradoxical effect, what each symptom may mean, etc.
At this moment, this is still a puzzle I’m trying to figure out. There are times in my supplementation with TTFD that I feel like I’m truly on the “limitless pill”. I’m a completely different person and it’s apparent to everyone around me. Things that would normally seem like a big deal were no longer a big deal.
One big breakthrough that I did have was that I realized that I may have gone too hard too fast with the TTFD. I was able to achieve the same level of success after bringing the dosage back down to 50-100 mg. I’ve also experimented with some different forms of thiamine including Sulbutiamine and Benfotiamine, although I’m not sure I’d say I’ve responded as well to those forms.
Diet, Medications, and Exercise
Although I eliminated foods with gluten for a period, I observed no noticeable change when I removed it from my diet. So I am back to eating breads and grains. If I had to give a rough macronutrient breakdown, I’d say my diet consists of approximately 150 g protein, 70 g fat, 300 g carbohydrates. This varies a lot day to day. I don’t go as far as tracking my macronutrients these days but I think this is a decent estimate. I definitely grew up on white rice and probably a generally higher carbohydrate diet. I wouldn’t say my carbohydrate sources are the healthiest, mostly bread and white rice.
I have really tried to minimize caffeine and alcohol intake. I may drink two to four cups of coffee per week max. I would like to eliminate it entirely because I feel like it does nothing but mask my symptoms and I know that genetically I have a SNP that causes me to be a slow metabolizer of caffeine. I am also trying to abstain from alcohol but it’s difficult and that definitely fluctuates. I’d say generally two nights per week I have 2-3 drinks for a total of 4-6 drinks.
I take no medications except Cialis on occasion.
I work out 3-4 days per week. It consists of a moderate volume of lifting weights and 20-45 minutes of low-moderate intensity cardio each time.
Every now and then I’ll take some BCAAs that have some sodium, potassium and a little bit of B6 as Pyridoxine HCl in each scoop. I only just started taking a whey protein supplement for the first time in ages. Maybe a scoop per day.
These are the supplements I have been taking.
- B Complex: Originally started with Thorne’s Basic B and switched to Thiavite.
- TTFD – 100 mg per day
- Vitamin C: 500 mg as Ascorbic Acid/ 75 mg citrus bioflavonoids per day.
- Vitamin D: I used to take more but lately only 10,000 – 15,000 IU per week. I live in Florida.
- NAC: 500 mg – 1000 mg: I’ve cycled this off and on. I heard that sluggishness and unrefreshing sleep can be due to low glutathione levels and that this could help. I’ve also heard it’s good for your liver health, which is why I originally started taking it.
- Magnesium Bisglycinate: 300 – 450 mg
- Creatine: 5 grams
- EPA: 4 grams
- Seed Probiotic
Current Status and Remaining Issues
My current symptoms wax and wane and are as follows: fatigue, unrefreshing sleep, low libido, variable erectile quality, neuropathy (burning feet and numbness in my forearm) and muscle fasciculations. My GI-related issues are pretty much gone.
I feel like I’m on the cusp of figuring this out but it’s a bit tricky to get everything in the right balance, especially with a lack of testing. When I look back on my life, I definitely think there’s some genetic aspect to this considering I can’t even remember when my brain felt as good as it did during those first few days of TTFD. Not to mention some of those lifestyle factors like excessive coffee consumption and weekend alcohol binges.
Just thought I would share in case this could help anyone else out there. Would also love to know if anyone has any advice.
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