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Taking the Natural Route to tackle the Root

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I've been searching and searching for one around my area (and I live in one of the bigger cities in the U.K) and I finally found a guy who seems to be exactly what I am looking for. He has a legit website which claims he has worked with people with stubborn problems such as acne and p.c.o.s before and he seemed sound when I was e-mailing him. So fingers crossed. I am paying for this obv. but I am serious about this and my private medical consultations for roaccutane the second time around were three times as expensive. I'm getting back on track but I just want direction and advice from someone experienced.
I've now been on Vitex for around 7 weeks and I have added liquid extract in rather than just the capsule form. So I am gradually cutting down on the amount of capsules I take per day and introducing liquid extract in...I have also been on myo-inositol powder for one month. Other supplements I take are : Evening Primrose oil, zinc 20mg, Vitamin A 8000IU, and omega 3 fish oil.
What I have noticed so far:
No new cystic breakouts!!! (Fingers Crossed!!!!!!!!!!!)
Breakouts less severe
Breakouts come to a 'head' (gross I know but those are the gory details) within a old cystic spots would take around a month to start to heal. no joke.
So good progress. Good but slow. Rome wasn't built in a day! Getting back on track to how I was when vitex was kicking in before the massive cock up.
That's it for now.
I'll keep updated on how tomorrow goes.
I'm keeping this blog updated more for myself than anything else.
I think it's good to keep a track of where you are at and how you feel so that when you look back you can see how things really are.
So after months of gradual sucess on Vitex and Evening primrose oil, around the end of March Holland & Barrett changed the branding of the Agnus Castus (Vitex) and the dose was reduced massivley,(for reasons I won't go into again on here as I have ranted and raved about it enough) I wasn't informed upon buying this so gradually all the hard work and progress I had made on my skin become undone and I was left bewildered and back at square one.
Once I realised this I sourced Vitex again on the internet (Nature's Way) in order to take my original dose. I also began taking DIM Plus around a month ago (started this at the end of April).
So to keep a track of things I have been on:
DIM Plus - 5 weeks
Vitex (original 400mg dose) - 4 weeks
I also ordered Inositol as I have been reading about it and as far as I can tell it seems like a great way to combat the insulin resistance that comes with PCOS. I have been/still am a little confused about insulin resistance as I thought it led to weight problem which I don't have, however now I am not so sure. I think you can be underweight/of a "normal" weight and still be insulin resistant. the research I do surrounding this continues. Either way, I have been taking Inositol for 6 days (it came on Tuesday 3rd June). So not even a week.
I keep having to remind myself that hormones take time to adjust and that herbal remedies and supplements work slowly. I know Vitex works gently. I just need to have the faith and patience to continue this.
Here is what I have noticed so far:
So I am still breaking out. The breakouts I get are still pretty frequent and nasty. I seem to break out worst around ovulation, then again the week before my period, then again coming off my period. Which means every time I start to recover from one break out, I break out all over again (great).
My break outs are strctly hormonal. I never break out on my forehead, 'T Zone' or upper cheeks, only ever on my jawline, lower cheeks and around the sides of my mouth. After just over a month on both DIM and Vitex, here is what I have noticed:
my break outs are less cystic.
my break outs are more isolated (i used to get like big cystic clusters around and up the sides of my mouth and cheeks) now they are more like, one or two either side.
thats it.
I just want to keep myself updated...and remind myself that it took time for vitex to show effects and i was still breaking out after two months just different kinds of breakouts.
I havn't posted on here for a while! So I have had a pretty notable success using these two in conjunction with eachother, I think AgnusCastus has been the most effective in helping keep me clear as I don't suffer with hardly any hormonal acne any more, I get maybe one/two around my time of month and then they subside and my skin has gotten clearer and clearer with each month I have been on it. Also my periods are a lot shorter and lighter maybe only lasting 3/4 days and not heavy at all. Another added bonus is that in the past I have suffered greatly with period pains, every other month or so i would get crippling pains which literally floored me and would come in waves, each wave the pain would subside a little and this would last for two to three hours leaving me absoloutly drained and pale and exhausted - since being on these supplements I have had nothing like this at all. My skin also has a little glow around it and I think that that is down to the evening primrose oil.
I usually buy Agnus Castus from Holland and Barrett and recently they have changed the branding of the package - so I used to take two in the morning and two at night but now the pills are a lot smaller and more compact and I only take on in the morning and thats it. I was a little late on my period this month I think maybe because my body was adjusting to the new dose.
My only one one little niggle (I feel like I really shouldn't be complaining as my skin hasn't looked this great in a long long time) is the blackheads I have around my nose and mouth. They are hardly noticable and I feel like they shouldn't even bother me but I would just like to make my skin the best it can be. I tried an oil cleanse recently but I did this with Bio Oil (and I'm not sure that this is the best oil to use as everyone seems to be using castor oil with Jojoba oil or some other form of carrier oil) and I think this has also made me break out very slightly - nothing to panic about only three small ones on one side of my face which I think will clear up nicely. I'm thinking of trying this again with other oils and I was wondering what people's thoughts in this were? I have also ordered DIM off amazon (nature's way) as I think this may really really cement my results.
I'll put some pictures up of before and after as I am really pleased with my results :)
I also follow a relativley healthy diet (I do slack sometimes eating chocolate which I geuss I could cut down on), I cut out diary as my body was intolerant to it and I think this has also had an efect and my diet typically consists of eggs and fruit for breakfast, salad for lunch with maybe ham or tuna and then if I'm working I tend to have a small snack like banana on wholemeal toast or something as I work late and like to go to the gym after work sometimes. I think you have to tackle acne from all angles and manage it, in the past i think i was young and niave and thought a harsh course of roaccutane could knock the daylights outta my system and that i could 'cure' it, which is also what I was led to believe by the doctors who prescribed my roacctuane TWICE never giving me any other tests on anything else despite me mentioning my irregular periods and the fact that no contraceptive pill ever worked for me.
I've lost count I'm over two months in though.
It cold be coincidence. It could be ... I dunno. But my skin is looking really great. I'm still clearing, I still have red marks and the odd blemish...some cysts still clearning. But I havn't been this clear in a long while. also my skin is smooooothh especially around my forehead/ cheekbones/cheeks.
I'll post a picture.
Side effects:
Pretty much...nothing. Agnus castus/Vitex did make me late on in the first month...I could have been late on anyway seeing as I have PCOS but it felt like I was expecting a period for over a week I was like IT NEEDS TO HAPPEN then it did and I had NO pains and it was shorter a lighter..only lasted around three days. My last period was normal. Sometimes when I'm late I get HORRENDOUS, CRIPPLING (literally) cramps that make me pass out and seem to come in waves for around an hour, each wave lessens in intensity until I'm drained and pale and all I can do is lie in bed then I come on the next day. This hasn't happened since I've been on Agnus Castus :)
I took milk thistle to support my liver but it didn't agree with me. I may try it again come January.
I hate being too positive and I hate getting excited and the past few days I've been really down and panicking about my skin (I don't know why?) but I've seen a big improvement.
My skin seems glowy and nice around my cheekbones and forehead. My cheeks stopped breaking out a while ago.
I do have a small cluster of cysts around my lower chin/jawline (about 4/5 small ones) on my right side (My right side has caused me the most grief. It always is this side that breaks out the worst ...anyone know why this could be?). I think this is why I have been panicking. I don't know if this is old cysts that are being pushed out or new cysts? Either way they are smaller, less painful, and seem to be somewhat 'flatter' on my face.
I have red marks left over from my bad breakout.
I also stopped taking saw palmetto because realistically I want to be on as few herbs as possible...also I'm scared of weight gain. but now since I got this small cluster of cysts maybe I should start up on it again?
I'll post some pics soon.
I think I pretty much started everything early/mid October..time really fliesss oh shitt so heres a pic update.
So I have been feeling really positive and like my skin has improved a lot but after taking pictures... I don't know now lol.
Sorry for the absoloute face of misery lol
right side
left side.
So yeah.. I dunno,
I've had a hair cut since last time and I couldn't get the lighting exactly right on my camera/couldn't be ar!ed to faff around.
I keep looking at pictures of my whilst I was on roaccutane and considering going back on it....then making a big huge long list of reasons why I shouldn't go on it a third time.
The pics are so tempting thoughhh
me after about 2 and a half months of accutane.
Clarity.. my skin is so clear and smooth and pure it makes me feel GOOD I wanna touch it.
anyway yeah.
I'll keep on going and see what happens...if I don't see any more improvments after another month I'll probably jack it in and try something else.

So Far...

By Graciemeow,

I have been doing this herbal supplement thing for three weeks all together now which is very early days but I want to log my progress as much as possible so that I can keep track of this.
One thing that I have noticed is that my acne seems a lot more...contained. This happened on accutane. My breakouts would be predominantly around my jawline and chin but they would spread about my cheeks and in the past I get spots on like...the very top side of my nose bridge ALWAYS in the same play like where it connects to the eyebrow. I NEVER break out on my forehead. I NEVER break out on my chin. My 'T Zone' is fine. It's just everywhere else that the frikkin problem.
Anyway, since starting my supplements the breakouts on my cheeks have calmed down. they were spreading up along my cheekbones quite high up but now theyve gone and I'm fading the red marks by putting lemon on my face three times a week (natural acid or something) and sudocrem.
My acne is now pretty much contained to the sides of my chin along my jawline. The right side is still worse than the left.
I feel like maybe my skin is a little less oily? Although I never had huge problems with my skin being oily really, I just don't feel as icky.
I am still eating healthy and running/gymming as much as I can. Gym three-four times a week and the days I'm not at the gym I go for a run. A typical meal for me is spinach, avocado, cucumber, tomato and red onion with tune and egg or maybe chicken and lemon. Banana and wholemeal toast for breakfast. i DO NOT drink soda/coke or anything like that - I never have I hate it. I have cut out milk and just drink water. I am also drinking Peppermint tea as this is meant to be like, a weak anti-androgen.
I'll post some pictures a month in :)
I have been on:
Vitex/Agnus castus for 2 weeks.
Saw Palmetto for 9 days.
Primrose oil for 10 days.
Zinc for 10 days.
Omega 3 for a month.
I am also using Zineryt on my face (topical antbiotic - not sure how well it's working) and I am also drinking Peppermint tea as this is supposed to act as an anti-androgen.
So far:
Side effects wise I havn't really experienced anything. Skin is no worse ... definatley some improvment especially on my left side - right side relativley the same. My skin does feel less oily. I suppose it is too early to tell. I have noticed that after taking saw palmetto sometimes I can feel nauseous and head-foggy (not really a head ache..more like a distant pressure) but thats only happened once or twice and doesn't happen every time I take it.
these things take time ! I'll keep logging progress - I guess I need at least a month to see any sort of effect
Okay so this is me.
I came off my second course of accutane in May 2012.
My skin was perfect (my hair was ruined)
This is me NOW (1 year 5 months after accutane)
[attachment=52295:side face.png]
This is the worst side always gets worse than the other.
as you can see accutane DOES work but only for a limited amount of time. It doesn't do the job forever. I made no changes to my diet or lifestyle. My periods have always been irregular. I was diagnosed with P.C.O.S in March when my skin was still clear.
I don't know how or why I started breaking out so bad...all I know is that my skin was pretty much perfect right up until August this year (2013). Then I had a late T.O.M (Time of Month) waiting around seven weeks for me to come on..I was breaking out worse and worse then I came on and had a horrific t.o.m..anyway I havn't stopped breaking out since. I went on Metformin when I was late around early september because I had broken out the worse I've ever broken out since I started my second course of accutane..anyway I'm sure that was making me break out worse and it was also making me so so so lethargic, tired and thirsty I couldn't drink enough water and I drink a lot of water anyway but I could drink like three whole glasses one after the other and still be thirsty. was also craving carbs like no tomorrow and I'm usually a pretty active gym going salad eating kinda girl (PROOF that acne is not really caused by diet).
anyway after a month I decided to come off metformin....I'm not a fan of how doctors prescribe things to you....I'll go into all that later.
Since I came off Metformin I've had NO new breakouts..but no period either. I'm trying to STOP myself breaking out badly again, plus improve my skin in general.
So is what I'm taking.
Agnus castuc (or chasteberry root) is supposed to have an effect on your Luitenising hormone, causing it to secrete the correct amount of eostrogen and progesterone and therefore regulate your periods. This, in turn, can improve your hormonal acne. As I don't tend to break out when my periods are regular, this is why I am taking this. I take two in the morning and two at night (they are the long slim capsules of four in my hand)
Saw palmetto STINKS omg don't smell the bottle of capsules! ew! That is the dark amber softgel capsule in my hand, I take one a day. Saw Palmetto has been dubbed the "natural alternative to spironolactone" as it stops your body from creating too many androgens which turn to testosterone, the hormone that causes acne. I have too much testosterone in my body (from blood test results taken out in January and February) so I am taking this to STOP all the excess testosterone.
I take one a day (320mg).
Thats the three light gold soft gel capsules in my hand. I take one in the morning with two agnus castus, one in the afternoon, and one at night. This is supposed to be good for acne. I'm not sure why. I just want to attack this sh!t from all angles.
4. ZINC.
Thats the one whitey grey little tablet in my palm. I take one a day. Zinc is just good for hair nails and skin. I just wanted to take this anyway.
Okay so that's everything i put INTO my body. I have a healthy diet lots of spinach, avocado, oily fish, chicken, fruit, wholemeal break, tomatoes etc. etc. I run and go to the gym three-four times a week. I am a member of adult ballet classes which I attend once a week.
I DO drink alcohol....maybe two-three times a week. Anyone who says I should quit is out of thier minds. People without acne don't have to punish them selves and give up small pleasures in life, so niether should I. I strongly believe that my acne is linked to hormones, and that is how I have to tackle it.
I WILL BE LOGGING MY PROGRESS FOR THREE MONTHS. If nothing is working then I will try something else. I will be doing my own research along the way.
Am I taking too many remedies/suppliments?? My take on it is that I attack it was all angles...however I guess now I won't know which is having an effect and which isn't because I am taking so many things at once.
So basically after a lot of thinking and a lot of experience of prescribed meds and a lot of research (I'm still not done researching) I have decided to come off Metformin and try a more natural way of controlling my hormonal breakouts of acne that unfortunatly, come with having P.C.O.S
I have been on Metformin for over a month now and I'm not really sure how I feel about it.
To begin with I'm not really sure exactly why I was prescribed it. I understand it is supposed to regulate periods by helping control the levels of insulin in the body which in turn can create too many androgens which lead to problems such as acne, hirtuism (i think that's how you spell it, excess hair anyway - I don't suffer badly from this at all) and irregular periods and other problems associated with P.C.O.S.
When the doctor prescirbed it to me he wrote a letter to my GP (we recieve a copy of correspondance between GP and Specilists here in the U.K) stating 'I have prescribed Grace with Metformin even though she is not overweight'. Exactly. I'm NOT over-weight. I am pretty slim, 54KG (or 8 and a half stone) for my 5ft6 height. I also was checked for diabetes when they did hormone tests and everything to do with that was fine. So surley my body doesn't have a problem controlling the insulin and this is not the main ROOT cause of my acne?
I am a pretty active healthy person who enjoys going to the gym. Since metformin, I have been craving CARBS like no tomorrow. Toast, Cheese on toast, beans on toast, pastry, potato cakes ANYTHING, pizza!! is all I want to eat whereas before I had a pretty good varied diet, fish chicken lots of salad and veg. All of the latter makes me feel sick now and if I don't eat because I feel sick from the metformin I get dizzy, spacey light headed and sick and only carbs fixes that.
Also I am super lethargic and sluggish and TIRED finding it really hard to get out of bed in the morning, no energy at all, my mood is really low.
So I'm going to stop taking it and revert to Agnus Castus (or Vitex/Chasteberry root) to try and control my hormones and regulate my periods. Also using Zineryt topically to help control breakouts (the one that looks like a bingo pen. I was on Duac but this was making my skin flake and stuff) Will post pics tomorrow
Any one got opinions on Metformin? would love to know
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