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Vitamin A Toxicity, my story....

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#41 yepican

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 06:57 PM

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#42 yepican

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 04:05 PM

Exactly 7 months today since I stopped taking vitamin a orally and I'm still experiencing slight side effects. I still have slight desquamation of my top layer of skin, dry lips, minimal hair loss and occasional joint pain. I have hope that the side effects will continue to become less and less in the coming few weeks and months.
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#43 Dingo Jellybean

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 11:18 AM

I sincerely doubt just 8000 IU of retinol will cause hair loss. The extra zinc should provide protection against vitamin a toxicity, if you actually have it. Retinol is mostly toxic when it's unbounded, but zinc increases expression of retinol binding protein...binding to vitamin a in a 1:1 ratio. When you have more vitamin a unbound to rbp, you are either vitamin a toxic or zinc deficient or both. I remember reading a case report that despite increasing dosage of zinc in a child with hypervitaminosis a, the zinc levels kept falling. Either vitamin a causes zinc levels to be used up more rapidly or induces it's excretion remains unknown...but extra zinc did ease the symptoms before the massive doses of vitamin A negated those benefits.
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#44 sowet

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 02:06 PM

Interesting find Dingo. God bless me and Milk, because my symptoms appear to have faded. I have been taking Zinc for quite some time now and I am not still 100% sure how that affected/affects me.

And yeah 8000UI of Vitamin A seems very like a very small amount to panic about...

#45 yepican

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 04:02 PM

QUOTE (Dingo Jellybean @ Jul 5 2009, 01:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I sincerely doubt just 8000 IU of retinol will cause hair loss. The extra zinc should provide protection against vitamin a toxicity, if you actually have it. Retinol is mostly toxic when it's unbounded, but zinc increases expression of retinol binding protein...binding to vitamin a in a 1:1 ratio. When you have more vitamin a unbound to rbp, you are either vitamin a toxic or zinc deficient or both. I remember reading a case report that despite increasing dosage of zinc in a child with hypervitaminosis a, the zinc levels kept falling. Either vitamin a causes zinc levels to be used up more rapidly or induces it's excretion remains unknown...but extra zinc did ease the symptoms before the massive doses of vitamin A negated those benefits.


I'm not talking about massive hair loss, I'm talking like I used to wake up and find multiple strands of hair on my pillow. Now whenever I wear a hat I can find occasional strands in there. And yes the extra zinc did seem to help protect me somewhat b/c I never had dry, chapped lips until I stopped taking zinc and ever since then I've been battling dry lips (even when it's 90 degrees and humid). But as far as doubting whether I have hypervitaminosis a or not, I have experienced almost all of the side effects. I'm twenty pounds lighter now than I was two years ago (I still lift weights and eat the same amount and the same foods), dry lips, desquamated skin, cranial pressure whenever I do something that involves intense cardiovascular excercise (sprinting/running for long periods of time), my high school ring that used to fit now can't even fit on my finger w/o falling off if pointed down (this one is questionable whether or not excess vitamin a caused my bones to lose mass). I don't know if I've stated this before or not, but I used topical Retin-A daily for 3 years so I would think my body absorbed some vitamin a that way. I also used antibiotics (Tetracylcline 500mg 2x a day) for a period of about 6 months.

So for a 5'8, 143 lb. person I think my past history with vitamin a is evidence enough that I have vitamin a toxicity. If that's not the case it is awfully strange how I have all the symptoms of it and how the symptoms are slowly subsiding with time as supposedly the vitamin a stores in my liver return to normal. I have bookmarked about 15 pages on the internet dealing with hypervitaminosis a, and the more I read about it the more sure I become. Here's an excerpt I found comparing retinol vs. isotretinoin (accutane), apparently accutane is more safe than retinol.....

"Significant differences between vitamin A and isotretinoin
with regard to their transport and metabolism account for their
difference in toxicity (3). The major source of vitamin A
(retinol) is the conversion of dietary plant carotenoids in the
intestinal mucosa. Retinol is stored in the liver, which contains
over 90% of body stores. Mobilization from the liver is
accomplished when retinol is bound to a specific transport
protein, retinol binding protein, that delivers it to tissues.
Plasma levels of vitamin A tend to remain constant despite wide
variations in diet. Extremely high dietary intake (eg. polar bear
liver, vitamin A tablets) produces hypervitaminosis A.
Hypervitaminosis A results in greatly increased hepatic stores
and subsequent toxicity.

In contrast, isotretinoin binds to serum albumin. Isotretinoin
is readily absorbed orally and put into circulation via the
portal system. It is not significantly stored in any organ
system
, and plasma levels vary with the amount ingested."



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#46 yepican

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 06:56 AM

Here is a pic I took recently of the bottom of my feet (aka the thickest part of the skin on your body).....

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#47 sowet

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 02:46 PM

Damn lol, funny you should post this cause just the other day I was wearing sandels and I realised how dry my feet were... like the bottom was all cracked and stuff on the heel. Not as bad as yours tho. Vitamin A eh?

#48 yepican

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 01:22 PM

O.K. just wanted to post how I'm doing on here as kind of a way of making a journal entry.

So I've read up as much as I can about vitamin a, previous toxicity cases, the liver and it's function, etc. Man, I've learned a lot.

To the poster who said that the Zinc I was taking was probably helping prevent any further damage from vitamin a toxicity you are right! Zinc provides binding proteins (RBP) in which the vitamin a latches on to when it's released from the liver. People start to develop toxicity symptoms whenever the vitamin a outnumber the RBP's, and the free, unattached retinol is what really causes the damage causing increased cell differiantion and oxidation and all kinds of abnormal things. And interestingly enough I noticed that after I stopped taking the Zinc my symptoms got worse and my lips felt really dry and flakey.

So I've grappled with the thought of why me? Why can others take the same or more dosage than I did and still be ok? Here's a list of contributing factors in which I believe made me very vulnerable to this.....

-I don't drink alcohol at all (Alcohol is known to deplete the body of its Vit. A stores)
-I don't smoke at all (Smoking is known to deplete the body of its Vit. A stores)
-I seldom drink beverages with caffeine (coffee, cola, etc.)
-I'm 5'8, 145 lbs. with little to no body fat (I've read that bigger, heavier people a) need more vitamin a & b)can store more vitamin a)
-I eat a pretty healthy, balanced diet, so I prolly obtain adequate amount of vit. and minerals through there
-I have a pretty regular, adequate sleep schedule (usually 7-8 hours a night)
-I took no other drugs that are known to deplete body of vitamins (antiacids, laxatives)
-I was pretty much done growing @ the time I started regularly taking them (18 1/2) so my body's demand for the vitamin was prolly much lower than previous years
-Not sure if this last factor is a concern or not, but I took Tetracyline 500mg 2X a day for about 6 months when I was 16-17. I've read that long-term intake of antibiotics can harm your liver, but again not sure if that played a role in this.

So taking all of this into account it's much more easy for me to comprehend how I came down with this condition. Just wanted to share this in case anyone was interested.

Edited by yepican, 18 September 2009 - 01:23 PM.

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#49 sowet

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 04:02 PM

Dude everything from your story to your height/weight/diet is incredibly similar to mine... scary lol

#50 takenimpulse

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 12:37 PM

^ Same here, minus taking vitamin A. In fact, I was influenced by your posts (and others) to go off of topicals and try the water only method since last February/March and I have the same problem with dead skin buildup now. I'm not sure what the problem is or what to do about it. Like I said, I've never taken vitamin A before and I'm only now starting to eat more fruits and vegetables every day (for other reasons). So, I'll probably only now be getting more vitamin A from the carrots.

I have been taking zinc since January and am down to 25mg a day. I believe it helps with my inflamed acne. I tried going off of it last month, but started getting some inflamed acne and am now back on it. I am around the same age/weight/height as you. I don't smoke/drink/drink soda and exercise/eat healthy/8-9 hours of sleep, so we're pretty much in the exact same boat here. The only missing link here is the vitamin A supplementation.

Edited by takenimpulse, 24 September 2009 - 12:45 PM.


#51 wibble

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 02:52 PM

QUOTE (yepican @ Sep 18 2009, 08:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
O.K. just wanted to post how I'm doing on here as kind of a way of making a journal entry.

So I've read up as much as I can about vitamin a, previous toxicity cases, the liver and it's function, etc. Man, I've learned a lot.

To the poster who said that the Zinc I was taking was probably helping prevent any further damage from vitamin a toxicity you are right! Zinc provides binding proteins (RBP) in which the vitamin a latches on to when it's released from the liver. People start to develop toxicity symptoms whenever the vitamin a outnumber the RBP's, and the free, unattached retinol is what really causes the damage causing increased cell differiantion and oxidation and all kinds of abnormal things. And interestingly enough I noticed that after I stopped taking the Zinc my symptoms got worse and my lips felt really dry and flakey.

So I've grappled with the thought of why me? Why can others take the same or more dosage than I did and still be ok? Here's a list of contributing factors in which I believe made me very vulnerable to this.....

-I don't drink alcohol at all (Alcohol is known to deplete the body of its Vit. A stores)
-I don't smoke at all (Smoking is known to deplete the body of its Vit. A stores)
-I seldom drink beverages with caffeine (coffee, cola, etc.)
-I'm 5'8, 145 lbs. with little to no body fat (I've read that bigger, heavier people a) need more vitamin a & b)can store more vitamin a)
-I eat a pretty healthy, balanced diet, so I prolly obtain adequate amount of vit. and minerals through there
-I have a pretty regular, adequate sleep schedule (usually 7-8 hours a night)
-I took no other drugs that are known to deplete body of vitamins (antiacids, laxatives)
-I was pretty much done growing @ the time I started regularly taking them (18 1/2) so my body's demand for the vitamin was prolly much lower than previous years
-Not sure if this last factor is a concern or not, but I took Tetracyline 500mg 2X a day for about 6 months when I was 16-17. I've read that long-term intake of antibiotics can harm your liver, but again not sure if that played a role in this.

So taking all of this into account it's much more easy for me to comprehend how I came down with this condition. Just wanted to share this in case anyone was interested.


Hmm most of this I don't quite buy, feels like you are reading side effects into symptoms (if I did that, I would have everything going!). Its not the way to progress. If you really think you have this, simply hop to your docs and have a blood test, as you would need this really anyway. Some of the previous information posted is incorrect as well, so its just a confusing thread and based on possibly fault assumptions. Get yourself checked out!

#52 Alona

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 03:24 PM

Yeah, I didn't know how too much vit A could be such and issue. I had a derm give me a bunch of samples of retin-A micro, but she didn't tell me now to use it. I was using it sometimes 4 or 5 times a day. When the samples finally ran out (took a long time) I went to my regular Doctor for a prescription of it. He asked if I was planning to become pregnant, I told him no and he gave me my script.

When we decided to start a family my regular Doctor told me to talk to my OBGYN. When he found out I was using Retin-A-micro he freaked out!!!

He told me I should be using two forms of birth control and don't dare try to get pregnant yet. Well I didn't know, no one had ever told me. He told me it would take 3 months to get out of my system before we even thought about trying for a baby.

It would really be nice if Doctor's told you more about the drugs they are handing you.

#53 yepican

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 03:37 PM

QUOTE (wibble @ Sep 24 2009, 03:52 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (yepican @ Sep 18 2009, 08:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
O.K. just wanted to post how I'm doing on here as kind of a way of making a journal entry.

So I've read up as much as I can about vitamin a, previous toxicity cases, the liver and it's function, etc. Man, I've learned a lot.

To the poster who said that the Zinc I was taking was probably helping prevent any further damage from vitamin a toxicity you are right! Zinc provides binding proteins (RBP) in which the vitamin a latches on to when it's released from the liver. People start to develop toxicity symptoms whenever the vitamin a outnumber the RBP's, and the free, unattached retinol is what really causes the damage causing increased cell differiantion and oxidation and all kinds of abnormal things. And interestingly enough I noticed that after I stopped taking the Zinc my symptoms got worse and my lips felt really dry and flakey.

So I've grappled with the thought of why me? Why can others take the same or more dosage than I did and still be ok? Here's a list of contributing factors in which I believe made me very vulnerable to this.....

-I don't drink alcohol at all (Alcohol is known to deplete the body of its Vit. A stores)
-I don't smoke at all (Smoking is known to deplete the body of its Vit. A stores)
-I seldom drink beverages with caffeine (coffee, cola, etc.)
-I'm 5'8, 145 lbs. with little to no body fat (I've read that bigger, heavier people a) need more vitamin a & b)can store more vitamin a)
-I eat a pretty healthy, balanced diet, so I prolly obtain adequate amount of vit. and minerals through there
-I have a pretty regular, adequate sleep schedule (usually 7-8 hours a night)
-I took no other drugs that are known to deplete body of vitamins (antiacids, laxatives)
-I was pretty much done growing @ the time I started regularly taking them (18 1/2) so my body's demand for the vitamin was prolly much lower than previous years
-Not sure if this last factor is a concern or not, but I took Tetracyline 500mg 2X a day for about 6 months when I was 16-17. I've read that long-term intake of antibiotics can harm your liver, but again not sure if that played a role in this.

So taking all of this into account it's much more easy for me to comprehend how I came down with this condition. Just wanted to share this in case anyone was interested.


Hmm most of this I don't quite buy, feels like you are reading side effects into symptoms (if I did that, I would have everything going!). Its not the way to progress. If you really think you have this, simply hop to your docs and have a blood test, as you would need this really anyway. Some of the previous information posted is incorrect as well, so its just a confusing thread and based on possibly fault assumptions. Get yourself checked out!


Who are you to tell me what I have, how I feel, what I see? You don't know me, and if you did you would know that I'm honest in almost all that I do. Anyone can sit behind a computer screen and attack someone else's feelings and experiences. Anyone.
And if you're going to call someone out on inaccurate information please provide necessary corrections along with references. If not, don't post anything. If you would like the list of books, articles, medical journals and reports, websites, etc. in which I derived my information from I'd be more than happy to share them with you.
I would also like to point out your clear lack of compassion for others. Compassion is not something we are born with, it is a learned trait. Some people have a deep knowledge of compassion and others don't. Although somebody might be going through something you've never experienced before, you still have to acknowledge their feelings, their thoughts, their struggles no matter how farfatched it may seem to an outsider. Not surprisingly, that trait is a rare one in such an individualistic society such as the U.S. I love this country to death, but we pride ourselves on putting ourselves #1 first and foremost....no matter who we have to put down to there.

QUOTE (takenimpulse @ Sep 24 2009, 01:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
^ Same here, minus taking vitamin A. In fact, I was influenced by your posts (and others) to go off of topicals and try the water only method since last February/March and I have the same problem with dead skin buildup now. I'm not sure what the problem is or what to do about it. Like I said, I've never taken vitamin A before and I'm only now starting to eat more fruits and vegetables every day (for other reasons). So, I'll probably only now be getting more vitamin A from the carrots.

I have been taking zinc since January and am down to 25mg a day. I believe it helps with my inflamed acne. I tried going off of it last month, but started getting some inflamed acne and am now back on it. I am around the same age/weight/height as you. I don't smoke/drink/drink soda and exercise/eat healthy/8-9 hours of sleep, so we're pretty much in the exact same boat here. The only missing link here is the vitamin A supplementation.


Has your dead skin buildup decreased over time or has it remained pretty constant? Also, did you experience dead/dry skin only in your facial region?

Edited by yepican, 25 September 2009 - 03:38 PM.

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#54 takenimpulse

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Posted 26 September 2009 - 11:48 AM

No, it has remained pretty constant. Yes, it only occurs on my face. I'm wondering if I/we should at least be using soap on our faces like we do on the rest of our body. Just a quick, casual wash. I'm too paranoid now to try though, haha.

#55 yepican

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Posted 27 September 2009 - 07:00 AM

QUOTE (takenimpulse @ Sep 26 2009, 12:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
No, it has remained pretty constant. Yes, it only occurs on my face. I'm wondering if I/we should at least be using soap on our faces like we do on the rest of our body. Just a quick, casual wash. I'm too paranoid now to try though, haha.


Hmmm...for me it has fortuanetly decreased over time (due to my vitamin a levels going back down to normal). and for me the dry/dead skin was not just centralized to my face...my neck, my arms, my legs, my back all used to get kinda dry and flakey after a real hot shower or if I scratched them with my nail, or if I rubbed some dark fabric across various parts of my body I got like a white, powdery type residue on the fabric (dead skin). And over time all of this has gotten much better.

Since for you the dead skin buildup has remained constant and centralized to just your face perhaps you have a condition such as dermatitis in which can be helped dramatically (if not erradicated) by medications prescribed by a dermatologist. Whatever it may be I hope that you find a solution in the near future! eusa_pray.gif
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#56 sowet

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 12:26 AM

I just thought i'd update:

Since my vitamin a, zinc, and b5 overdose I have been doing incredibly bad. My skin is always dry/oily, I have what seems like bile deposits near the bridges of my nose, my acne is still forming(not many actual pimples), and my hair is still rather thin.

I am positive that my liver has taken too much damage and it has now been over 6 months and my symptoms have not subsided. I am incredibly worried about my health and I hope that I didn't achieve cirrhosis. I am going to the doctor soon and I am determined to get professional help.

I was desperate and tried Milk Thistle for my liver and it worked incredibly for about 2 weeks because I noticed that my liver was not spewing out bile through my skin anymore.... but of course that stopped working.

I urge anyone taking Vitamin excessively to stop.

I am worried for my life at this point. Liver damage is serious. I regret not marking my dosage and the day at which I began such a stupid regime. Wish me luck guys....

#57 temp123

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 11:46 AM

Vitamin A toxicity effects usually last more like 6 months to a year anyway, but you should definitely get it checked out.

Edited by temp123, 08 December 2009 - 11:47 AM.

-Temp123

Using a combination of topical ibuprofen (5% sports gel) on face together with 10% tea tree cream. The combo works really well, excellent clearance, invisible, no bleaching, zero irritation, no dry skin, just smooth, (mostly) clear skin.

Topical ibuprofen is available in supermarkets in the UK (own brands are cheapest).

#58 temp123

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 11:59 AM

QUOTE (Alona @ Sep 24 2009, 10:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
When we decided to start a family my regular Doctor told me to talk to my OBGYN. When he found out I was using Retin-A-micro he freaked out!!!

He told me I should be using two forms of birth control and don't dare try to get pregnant yet. Well I didn't know, no one had ever told me. He told me it would take 3 months to get out of my system before we even thought about trying for a baby.

Actually, assuming an ob-gyn knows all about a topical retin-a product is probably a really bad bet. He hears 'retin-a' and thinks accutane pills.

There's probably not enough retin-a in retin-a micro to cause issues even if you used it while pregnant (but I admit it would be stupid to risk it).

The levels drop in *days* after you stop using *accutane* pills, never mind about topicals. The pills are stupidly more powerful. Most of the reason for leaving 2-3 months before getting pregnant with the pills are to do with making sure you're not *already* pregnant and because the pills are so much more drastic.

-Temp123

Using a combination of topical ibuprofen (5% sports gel) on face together with 10% tea tree cream. The combo works really well, excellent clearance, invisible, no bleaching, zero irritation, no dry skin, just smooth, (mostly) clear skin.

Topical ibuprofen is available in supermarkets in the UK (own brands are cheapest).

#59 gMARIAs

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 12:53 PM

What an unfortunate occurrence! It's one of the reasons I stay away from fat-soluable vitamins unless they're in my food naturally.

I'm slowly learning that unless you're blatantly deficient to begin with, vitamins and supplements are a scary thing to dwell into unless instructed by a doctor.

At least you learned a lesson?? Hopefully, things will normalize for you sooner than later! Good luck XP


-If we could only live on good food like that...we wouldn't have the country full of rotten teeth and rotten guts.____Buck Mulligan, Ulysses

No sacrifice, No Victory - Sacrifice our resplendence, we fight for freedom___Hammerfall

Status: Clear through diet
Diet: Unprocessed meat, vegetables, fruits, nuts, water and coffee. No supplements.
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Stop treating your personal experiences as universal facts. Please and thanks.


If you can't clear your skin through diet and overall health, you aren't doing it right.

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#60 yepican

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Posted 26 December 2009 - 10:34 PM

QUOTE (sowet @ Dec 8 2009, 02:26 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I just thought i'd update:

Since my vitamin a, zinc, and b5 overdose I have been doing incredibly bad. My skin is always dry/oily, I have what seems like bile deposits near the bridges of my nose, my acne is still forming(not many actual pimples), and my hair is still rather thin.

I am positive that my liver has taken too much damage and it has now been over 6 months and my symptoms have not subsided. I am incredibly worried about my health and I hope that I didn't achieve cirrhosis. I am going to the doctor soon and I am determined to get professional help.

I was desperate and tried Milk Thistle for my liver and it worked incredibly for about 2 weeks because I noticed that my liver was not spewing out bile through my skin anymore.... but of course that stopped working.

I urge anyone taking Vitamin excessively to stop.

I am worried for my life at this point. Liver damage is serious. I regret not marking my dosage and the day at which I began such a stupid regime. Wish me luck guys....


I'm sorry to here that dude. While I don't think my health condition is as serious as your's might be, I too am dissapointed in my lack of progress in the past year. I would've thought by now that my skin and body would be back to normal, but its not. I hope to hear back from you with an update if you ever see this message. Good luck to you.
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