Epididymitis and Marijuana
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An_226267 posted:
Background information: I am a 23 year old college student. I have an anxiety disorder among other things, and recently I got Epididymitis. I also use Marijuana both recreationally (generally only with friends) and as a tool for managing my anxiety. I do not drink alcohol as it interacts badly with my anxiety medication.

I have a question about Epididymitis and Marijuana. What is the relation between the two? My Epididymitis is on the way out and I would really like to be able to smoke again, but when I tried before it seemed to make the Epididymitis worse. Is this a temporary thing where it only feels worse while I am high? Or am I damaging myself and setting back the healing? If it's the first one I can live with the increased pain, as I suffer from panic attacks that sometimes only marijuana can calm (I have prescription medication as well but sometimes it does not cut it). So overall my question is: what is the relationship between Epididymitis and pot, and more specifically will smoking it do any actual damage or slow or set back my healing in any way?
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Sheldon_Marks_MD responded:
I am not aware of any interaction or cause and effect. The epididymitis is a slow, smoldering intermittent recovery so it is common to have it come back a again and agin as it gradually fades away. Because it can mask other problems you should see a urologist for an exam, just to be sure.
 
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counterso responded:
If your anxiety medication isn't working sufficiently, that's a discussion for your psychiatrist, not your drug dealer. It's not just alcohol that will interact with your prescription meds, it's pot too, and in ways you're just not conscious of. No toking when taking mood-altering medications!

Symptoms in the urinary system are not uncommon to individuals with severe anxiety. Aside from the fact epididymitis can be very difficult to treat, that should be your most important concern. Failure to address this inflammation properly can lead to permanent scarring and other complications.

You need to tell your psychiatrist that you have been smoking marijuana, and that your anxiety is still not sufficiently managed with the medication you were prescribed.

Self-medication is idiotic.
 
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quakerin replied to counterso's response:
Counterso:
First off, apologies if I sound confrontational but your post was.. somewhat confrontational as well so I find it difficult to address. It is your assumption that I have NOT discussed it with my psychiatrist. My prescription medication DOES do the job when it comes to day to day living. What I used pot for are the rarer special cases where one particular event causes me to freak out. Even in these cases I have some extra prescription meds that I am allowed to take, and I always try this first. I tell my doctor everything and he has not shown any concern, apart from the obvious worry of becoming reliant on it. As for increasing my prescription medication, we've tried a few times before and found that dosages above what I'm currently taking start to introduce new side effects I was not experiencing before. We are still considering more experimentation.

I am interested in a few of the things that you said however! First off, you mentioned that marijuana does in fact interact with prescription meds. This doesn't particularly surprise me, but I have been looking for a good study on this issue and haven't really been able to find one. Do you have any good links you can share?

Additionally, you say that failure to treat the inflammation properly can lead to some nasty complications. what do you mean by properly? I have gone through a full course of cipro, and am taking 3 advil spread throughout the day as recommended by the doctor who diagnosed the inflammation. Also, I have had severe anxiety my whole life, but this is the first time I've had problems in my urinary system. I'm interested in learning more about the relation between the two. Could you point me to a good source?

Thanks.
 
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quakerin replied to Sheldon_Marks_MD's response:
Thank you for your answer!

It was a urologist who first diagnosed the inflammation, and we ran an ultrasound as well as blood tests to ensure that it wsn't anything else. Everything came back good.

It is interesting that you have not heard of a link between the two. At first I chalked it up to the mild aphrodisiac effect of weed simply irritating the inflammation by causing an erection. However I found that without fail smoking made the inflammation worse, even when I did not get an erection. I was able to see my general practitioner after I posted this message, and while she is not an expert in the area she mentioned something about marijuana affecting the blood flow, and this being a possible reason for the effect. She didn't really know much more then that though. If you know any more on the subject I would appreciate the help! Thanks.
 
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counterso replied to quakerin's response:
Yes, my postings can be confrontational when I believe it's important to get someone's attention.

No, you're not going to find studies documenting how marijuana interacts with various medications. It is still illegal in most places, and you can't do studies with most illicit substances. You would do better to ask a physician in a state that has legalized medical marijuana about their experience.

It's basic chemistry, any herb with obvious physical and psychological effects is going to have some interactions with some other prescription medications.

Proper treatment for epididymitis is treatment until the condition is completely resolved. That means, until you have no more symptoms or diagnosis. Chronic inflammation of any kind, especially in fragile tissues like the epididymis, can lead to permanent tissue damage and scarring.

Chinese medicine makes the direct connection between fear/anxiety and the urinary system. If you want to learn Chinese medicine, there are lots of resources. I'm not sure what you will find in Western medicine.

What I would also bring up with your psychiatrist is not the treatment of the anxiety, but looking for the root cause. If you can resolve the root cause, then management through medication or other methods ceases to be an issue. This is also something important in Chinese medicine, not treating the symptoms, but resolving the root cause. This may be already in discussion. As you point out, I don't know your relationship with your doctors.
 
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ryan91z responded:
I am 19 years oId and have had epididymitis for about a year now and the pain it causes is completely tolerable until i smoke marijuana. Smoking marijuana makes the pain pretty bad, but i smoke pot almost daily so I am in quite a predicament. Although the pain marijuana causes can be absolutely terrible, I have learned to deal with it because of my addiction, I suppose you could say, to marijuana. I would love to keep smoking pot and not have the pain. Sooo any suggestions besides "stop smoking pot" would be much appreciated! Maybe have the epididymis removed? I don't know, but I would be very greatful if anyone has some type of solution. And I hope the guy who posted this is doing better!
 
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counterso replied to ryan91z's response:
Surgical removal of a gland that's an important part of your ability to ejaculate is only a last resort, and should not come before addressing your addiction. Aside, as you said, from "don't smoke dope," the correct course of action would be to see a urologist and have the chronic inflammation addressed. Understand that untreated epididymitis can cause permanent scarring of the gland and long-term issues. See a urologist.
 
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quakerin replied to ryan91z's response:
I am doing better, thanks. The epididymitis not completely healed but it's on the road to recovery. I've had to cut back on smoking but I am still able to get high reasonably often. That said, in order to really start the healing process it is pretty much necessary to not smoke for a while. I quit for a month, although I'm not sure it's necessary to stay off of it that long. It all depends on how well you're healing.


First things first, if you haven't already, see a urologist. You could have a bacterial infection or numerous other problems that need to be addressed regardless of weed. And don't smoke before the appointment, because it will noticeably change the shape.

Now, I do have some very useful tips for managing epididymitis and Marijuana together (and I will get to them), but first I have to say; marijuana is a wonderful thing, but not if you're addicted to it. I know because I have been before. If you detox yourself (not quit, this is temporary) you will have a VERY VERY bad week, but after that things start to calm down, and by the second week you're likely to not even notice any withdrawal symptoms if they're even still there. During these two-three weeks (or more if you're so inclined) your epididymitis will have time to heal. On top of that, your entire perspective on being high will change. It will become an incredible experience again instead your normal state of being that you need to have all the time. This is actually a physical change in your body mind you. And don't even get me started on the money. You'll be able to get much higher with less weed.

All of that said, no matter what you decide to do, here are some of things that I've learned. Hopefully they will help you as well.


1. This is by far the most important. Get yourself a bunch of jockstraps and wear them at all times. This makes a HUGE difference with the pain, and an even bigger difference with the pain while high (you may have to pull the jockstrap up a little bit more while high).

2. Advil is an anti-inflammatory and helps a lot with epididymitis, but be careful not to take too much. This would be a good thing to talk with a urologist about, as they can help you figure out how much to take and when.

3. You're already high, don't drink any alcohol. Or caffeine either for that matter. Or anything carbonated. All of these irritate the urinary tract and will make your epididymitis worse. I still drink some caffeine because quite frankly I can't wake up without it, but I've cut back a lot and it's definitely made a difference.

4. Try to be sober while showering, using the toilet etc. The reason you're using that jockstrap is because gravity is the worst thing for the epididymitis. This is why lying down will decrease the pain. So any time you don't have a jockstrap on, try to be sober for the occasion.

5. By the same token, you should avoid certain kind of exercise, like ones that involve jumping or anything that would make your genitals shake.

6. If all else fails, lie down. It's not foolproof but it always helps at least a little bit.

I hope I was able to help at the very least reduce the pain you're suffering from. Let me know if you have any questions or want me to elaborate on anything, and good luck!
 
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G_T_08 replied to counterso's response:
Marijuana affects cannabinoid receptors which are a diffuse network in the cerebral cortex. They exhibit a very minor dopamine response as a result of mood elevation which can lead to minor cases of addiction. Anxiety medicines are usually benzodiazepines which are dopamine suppressors that affect the midbrain and orbito-frontal cortex. These, in fact, are highly addictive and have no interactions whatsoever with marijuana. In this same way, caffeine does not interact with most medicines because few brain disorders are a result of disfunction in the acetylcholine pathways of the brain.
This is not "basic chemistry" and in fact has everything to do with neurology and very little to do with chemistry. And furthermore, do you really believe that his psychiatrist is not trying to get to the root of his problem? They don't hand out medicine without diagnosis. Following a post with "self-medication is idiotic" and preaching chinese medicine is the most hypocritical statement I've read today.
 
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counterso replied to G_T_08's response:
Hypocritical means, "Do as I say, not as a I do." That doesn't apply to this three year old conversation.

Some psychiatrists are quick to prescribe, and many patients do not disclose all of their behaviors, nor do all patients cooperate sufficiently to receive the best care. We can't know the exact situation because we're not there. And while I said "basic" chemistry, what I meant was that the biomechanical machine is affected by all the chemicals introduced in the system. Nothing in the body works in isolation.

Yes, some chemicals act on different pathways. In the body however, a person cannot predict that the effect of one chemical in isolation and that the effect of another chemical in isolation have additive results when both are used together. Together they more frequently have a new effect, but we tend to average out the body's reaction when discussing likely outcomes.

No matter what, self-medication, which in this specific instance means adding illicit drugs of unknown safety and quality to a diagnosed and medicated person who is supposed to be supervised by a psychiatrist, and not dealing with the reported "insufficiency" of the prescribed medication directly with the psychiatrist...THAT is what is idiotic. That says the patient thinks he knows more about medicating his condition than a trained doctor, and there's no way to believe that.

My reference to Chinese medicine talked about a perspective that looks at root causes, and encouraged this person still to talk to their DOCTOR about their concerns and bring up the fact that anxiety has a known connection to urinary symptoms. Not every type of doctor is going to be fluent with that research, and my encouragement was that if this potential connection interested him, he could research it further. It was not a diagnosis.
 
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RandomNameorInterview responded:
Hey man. I have the exact opposite effect for my epididymitis and pot... (if I have it at all.... I am still taking medication even though there was no bacteria in my urine)... it is actually a lot better when I smoke, so maybe it is all relative? because in fact pot often helps cause panic attacks with me. Caffeine made it worse also.

I have had panic disorders in the past and one thing an acupuncturist asked me was - Do you spend a lot of time in front of the computer?

And of course I work in front of it and then I go home and do more work on it at home.

He told me to concentrate on bringing my energy back down, be grounded because panic attacks are the spirit losing touch with the body. It did feel that way, and I tried his advice, and it helped. Being in public high really made me fall apart for a while, I could barely walk down the street without panic (everything turning black and losing touch like going downhill on a roller coaster) but now I can.
 
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quakerin replied to RandomNameorInterview's response:
RandomNameorInterview: Okay, so it turns out I may or may not have had epididymitis at some point, but what I definitely do have is Pelvic Floor Dysfunction. Often thought of as only occurring in women, it is very frequently misdiagnosed in men as something to do with the prostate, since it's visible symptoms are very similar. I never posted to update about this but reading your response I urge you strongly to find out if you are suffering from this condition. I have had panic attacks all my life, but after the pelvic floor started they became different in many ways, and much like you describe, where it genuinely feels as if your soul is losing a connection with your body. I consider myself a skeptic, so it's saying a lot for me that I genuinely felt like that was what was happening, and until I was able to have it thoroughly explained by a doctor I fell into believing I was a weak person simply not strong enough to get past his own anxiety, even though I could before something (turns out pelvic floor) happened. I don't know if you have this condition, but I urge you to check based on what you said. I was really starting to think I'd gone crazy until I found out what was going on, and it took years of being shuffled from one doctor to another and waiting for appointments to find out what was going on. I hope I can help you or anyone else out there shortcut through all that suffering and get started right away on healing things for good.
 
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counterso replied to quakerin's response:
You may find the book titled "A Headache In My Pelvis" useful.
 
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hollebums replied to Sheldon_Marks_MD's response:
HI, was told i have epididymitis. been in pain for like 5 months. nothing seems to be helping, and i cant run or really do any physical activities coz i then have pain in the groin area and groin itself. urinating alot too. no real sleep for that time period. doc says it will take time and i must just bear with it. im in pain yoooo!!!! these painkillers dont help at all. will heat/cold bag applied to area help? also when im not in complete pain.....my groin itches alot...any ideas? assistanve? anything? pleez!!!