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The Low Progesterone - High Androgen Connection To Acne

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#21 Green Gables

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 03:39 PM

Acne mid-month could be high testosterone bc testosterone peaks mid month too. Most everything you read about women's cycles leaves that out for some reason. I only found out when my endo told me. I also never broke out mid month until I was in my 30s and think low progesterone could be a reason-- but -- estrogen declines at this age as well. If there's not enough estrogen to balance out the testosterone, then you can get acne. This is the reason that spiro works, bc it blocks the androgens.


You're right that progesterone should be rising mid month, but androgens do too,and you may not have enough estrogen to make it less of a problem. A somewhat reliable indicator of not enough progesterone is a short luteal phase.

I had all normal labs, even progesterone and androgens...

If its true that progesterone affects androgens, then being a little low can make them take over. I still don't think this has to do with estrogen levels, but androgen levels. Estrogen doesn't cause acne, it helps it, IMO. Supplementing with progesterone is dicey, bc it's so easy to go too high and that's also bad, and an cause major acne as well.

It's all very confusing and annoying that in this day and age they don't have better understanding of women's hormones.


If you have excess estrogen it has a "competing" factor with progesterone. Your progesterone is so busy regulating your excess estrogen that it can't regulate your androgens as well. The science is a little fuzzy but it appears that progesterone will downregulate estrogen before androgens. Many people have more estrogen exposure in this day and age because of xenoestrogensin synthetic products. (Remember when sunscreens started saying BPA-free? BPA is a xenoestrogen that was found to cause endocrine problems because the body treats it as a foreign estrogen. Xenoestrogens occur in plastics, fabric softener, tons of things.)

So if we're going to be technical, your progesterone may not actually be LOW but unable to deal with xenoestrogen exposure. Your actual estrogen may not actually be HIGH, but the xenoestrogen mimic estrogen effects in your body, your progesterone thinks it's real estrogen it has to deal with, and then your androgens may not actually be HIGH but just binding to receptors too often because progesterone isn't doing its job. So you may have "normal" labs and still have hormonal symptoms.

As I said, a lot of this research is still in a fuzzy stage, but it makes sense with the evidence we've seen so far. I should make another post on xenoestrogens, but with the amount of PMs I get on these topics, I feel like I confuse people often enough as it is...

Testosterone is higher mid-month, but acne takes a week or so to form under the skin, so you wouldn't necessarily see acne coming up the same week when your testosterone shoots up.

I agree that progesterone supplementation is an art and not a science. Part of the problem is that synthetic progesterone < natural progesterone, but doctors are afraid to use natural progesterone (see Dr. Lee's quote I posted earlier), so we simply don't have a lot of practicing doctors figuring out this stuff.

Also many women forget that progesterone is stored in fat cells, which is why it is more effective to apply a cream and get the progesterone transdermally than to swallow a pill. You can max out the progesterone level in a certain area of fat, so you have to switch where you apply it periodically.

Edited by Green Gables, 03 October 2012 - 03:42 PM.

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How to Treat Hormonal Acne

Good and Bad Birth Control Pills and Implants for Acne

How to take Spironolactone

List of Doctors Who Prescribe Spironolactone

Topicals for Hormonal Acne

 

HOW I STAY 100% CLEAR:

Spironolactone (anti-androgen drug)

Betaine HCL with each meal

Avoiding silicones and occlusives in skin/hair products

 

 

 


#22 callendula

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 05:25 PM

Acne mid-month could be high testosterone bc testosterone peaks mid month too. Most everything you read about women's cycles leaves that out for some reason. I only found out when my endo told me. I also never broke out mid month until I was in my 30s and think low progesterone could be a reason-- but -- estrogen declines at this age as well. If there's not enough estrogen to balance out the testosterone, then you can get acne. This is the reason that spiro works, bc it blocks the androgens.


You're right that progesterone should be rising mid month, but androgens do too,and you may not have enough estrogen to make it less of a problem. A somewhat reliable indicator of not enough progesterone is a short luteal phase.

I had all normal labs, even progesterone and androgens...

If its true that progesterone affects androgens, then being a little low can make them take over. I still don't think this has to do with estrogen levels, but androgen levels. Estrogen doesn't cause acne, it helps it, IMO. Supplementing with progesterone is dicey, bc it's so easy to go too high and that's also bad, and an cause major acne as well.

It's all very confusing and annoying that in this day and age they don't have better understanding of women's hormones.


Hmm I wonder why. I don't recall seeing it mentioned on what i had looked at. I know we have some, but wasn't sure how it all inter related. I know that my cycle starts on the same day so during the 2 weeks leading up to it, I try to eat super healthy and apply my BP because those 14 days are open to eruptions. It wouldn't be quite as bad if I would just get the tiny little "normal" spots. The typical acne with small red bumps and a white top. I have excellent success with BP on those when they crop up from irritation. But, my usual spot is a knot, even if it is a bit smaller than the large cysts I had a long while ago. They still last at least a week. lol

If you have excess estrogen it has a "competing" factor with progesterone. Your progesterone is so busy regulating your excess estrogen that it can't regulate your androgens as well. The science is a little fuzzy but it appears that progesterone will downregulate estrogen before androgens. Many people have more estrogen exposure in this day and age because of xenoestrogensin synthetic products. (Remember when sunscreens started saying BPA-free? BPA is a xenoestrogen that was found to cause endocrine problems because the body treats it as a foreign estrogen. Xenoestrogens occur in plastics, fabric softener, tons of things.)

So if we're going to be technical, your progesterone may not actually be LOW but unable to deal with xenoestrogen exposure. Your actual estrogen may not actually be HIGH, but the xenoestrogen mimic estrogen effects in your body, your progesterone thinks it's real estrogen it has to deal with, and then your androgens may not actually be HIGH but just binding to receptors too often because progesterone isn't doing its job. So you may have "normal" labs and still have hormonal symptoms.


We have started trying to remove as many BPAs and the like out of our house. So crazy we have so many pollutants in our food chain and in our products! No wonder we have so much sickness.

#23 LoveGreenSmoothies

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 07:57 PM

>>>>>So if we're going to be technical, your progesterone may not actually be LOW but unable to deal with xenoestrogen exposure. Your actual estrogen may not actually be HIGH, but the xenoestrogen mimic estrogen effects in your body, your progesterone thinks it's real estrogen it has to deal with, and then your androgens may not actually be HIGH but just binding to receptors too often because progesterone isn't doing its job. So you may have "normal" labs and still have hormonal symptoms.<<<<

I actually told someone this on here a few months ago and they got mad at me ( the estrogen/progesterone part & xenoesteogens).

The people who had problems were supplementing with NP, but had major side effects, so I never did it bc of that. It can get high as well and people need to be monitored if they use the NP too.

My naturopath used vitex. I started it and used it for a month and it did help, but I had already decided prior to using it that I was going back on tane. If I wasn't so clear skinned now, I'd give the vitex another go for the long haul to see what happened. My naturopath doesn't use NP bc of the way it can backfire. Since I'm clear, I don't want to play with my hormones, even though I'm bloating my last week, I'm not breaking out except for a very small non inflamed area and I'm not even using my Bp 2x a day for about a week now. I really should be, but I'm not. The only thing I changed is that I'm taking zinc which maybe raises progesterone or lowers xenoesteogens or something because that's the only thing I've changed recenly.



Acne mid-month could be high testosterone bc testosterone peaks mid month too. Most everything you read about women's cycles leaves that out for some reason. I only found out when my endo told me. I also never broke out mid month until I was in my 30s and think low progesterone could be a reason-- but -- estrogen declines at this age as well. If there's not enough estrogen to balance out the testosterone, then you can get acne. This is the reason that spiro works, bc it blocks the androgens.


You're right that progesterone should be rising mid month, but androgens do too,and you may not have enough estrogen to make it less of a problem. A somewhat reliable indicator of not enough progesterone is a short luteal phase.

I had all normal labs, even progesterone and androgens...

If its true that progesterone affects androgens, then being a little low can make them take over. I still don't think this has to do with estrogen levels, but androgen levels. Estrogen doesn't cause acne, it helps it, IMO. Supplementing with progesterone is dicey, bc it's so easy to go too high and that's also bad, and an cause major acne as well.

It's all very confusing and annoying that in this day and age they don't have better understanding of women's hormones.


Hmm I wonder why. I don't recall seeing it mentioned on what i had looked at. I know we have some, but wasn't sure how it all inter related. I know that my cycle starts on the same day so during the 2 weeks leading up to it, I try to eat super healthy and apply my BP because those 14 days are open to eruptions. It wouldn't be quite as bad if I would just get the tiny little "normal" spots. The typical acne with small red bumps and a white top. I have excellent success with BP on those when they crop up from irritation. But, my usual spot is a knot, even if it is a bit smaller than the large cysts I had a long while ago. They still last at least a week. lol

If you have excess estrogen it has a "competing" factor with progesterone. Your progesterone is so busy regulating your excess estrogen that it can't regulate your androgens as well. The science is a little fuzzy but it appears that progesterone will downregulate estrogen before androgens. Many people have more estrogen exposure in this day and age because of xenoestrogensin synthetic products. (Remember when sunscreens started saying BPA-free? BPA is a xenoestrogen that was found to cause endocrine problems because the body treats it as a foreign estrogen. Xenoestrogens occur in plastics, fabric softener, tons of things.)

So if we're going to be technical, your progesterone may not actually be LOW but unable to deal with xenoestrogen exposure. Your actual estrogen may not actually be HIGH, but the xenoestrogen mimic estrogen effects in your body, your progesterone thinks it's real estrogen it has to deal with, and then your androgens may not actually be HIGH but just binding to receptors too often because progesterone isn't doing its job. So you may have "normal" labs and still have hormonal symptoms.


We have started trying to remove as many BPAs and the like out of our house. So crazy we have so many pollutants in our food chain and in our products! No wonder we have so much sickness.


I'm sorry, what are You wondering why?

Edited by LoveGreenSmoothies, 04 October 2012 - 12:23 AM.

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#24 callendula

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 12:30 PM

I was wondering why women's cycle information doesn't really mention testosterone. Sorry, I wasn't clear. :)

#25 LoveGreenSmoothies

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 03:31 PM

I don't know! It's such a huge omission! For so many years I couldn't understand what was going on with my body. Can't understand why they left it out. Smh.
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#26 Green Gables

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 11:10 PM

Wow, very interesting! I started looking around the net as this has interested me. I found that progesterone starts declining in the 30s..well I am 34! lol I have some of the symtpoms as well as others I found online. I'm hoping to get insurance soon so I can go get a full test. In the meantime, let me ask your thoughts.

Early this year I started noticing some differences. First, I break out during the 2 weeks before my period. It used to be only up to a week before, but normally just a few days and the days during. But, I found it weird that they start popping up a full 2 weeks before my period now and during and the two weeks after they clear and I am fine. Most everything I read online suggested the week before. I couldn't find out why I would break out midcycle. Well..so am I thinking right here that it could be the progesterone? If I am low couldn't that mean a timeframe of two weeks before? If progetsreone should be dominant in the last half of the cycle while estrogen is dominant in the first half, that would would mean progesterone should be rising/higher in the second half (or last two weeks). So, if I am already low, then it couldn't keep up and wouldn't be balanced right. Am I thinking correctly on this?

I also noticed a bit heavier flow, too. Normally it is pretty light/medium but it has increased enough that I have noticed. Not scary increase that alarms me, but enough to get my attention. I've always had super consistent timing, too. I always start on the exact same day every month. The only time it deviates is if i under a lot fo stress right before..then it will shift and be late a few days. Once I had a ton of stress that set me back a week. But I can always contribute the lateness to stress as I haven't been late when i don't have stressful situations. I told a doc once that I was very reliable and she told me that it was not normal to be so regular like that. (No clue how true that is lol but I was happy being able to rely on it).

I've been tired and just a general feeling of being overwhelmed. I know I don't really have all that much going on but I can't feel like I'll never get done. If too many things pile up I feel drowned. I recall a time when little bothered me and not much stressed me out. I went through some tragic times with family deaths, marriage, moving, getting pregnant--all within months--and I did not feel like I do now when we have say, 2 car repairs come up. lol It's crazy the way I get stressed out compared to what I used to handle. I've always just chalked it up to getting older and having more daily stressors (like a family, household chores and day to day "life"). Maybe it is something else?

Anyways, good information to think about. I may have to try this cream you guys posted above. I really can't wait to go get a work up and see what I am dealing with. May be an easier fix afterall, rather than just old age! Posted Image


I've only been on 1/2 dropper of Progesterelle for 2 weeks (1/2 dropper is a really small dose, normal dose is 2-3 droppers), but this what I have noticed:

1) I actually fall asleep shortly after my nightly dose (I've had insomnia off and on for years, takes about 3 hours for me to fall asleep even if I'm exhausted)
2) My hands/feet aren't freezing anymore
3) Less anxious. I have always been pretty high-strung, I've learned to modulate it over the years, but the progesterone makes it less of a struggle

I can't really answer your questions about how your breakouts would indicate your hormones. The research is so disorganized on women's hormones that I'm just taking the guinea pig route and trying it myself. So far I'm getting mostly positive effects from the progesterone.

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How to Treat Hormonal Acne

Good and Bad Birth Control Pills and Implants for Acne

How to take Spironolactone

List of Doctors Who Prescribe Spironolactone

Topicals for Hormonal Acne

 

HOW I STAY 100% CLEAR:

Spironolactone (anti-androgen drug)

Betaine HCL with each meal

Avoiding silicones and occlusives in skin/hair products

 

 

 


#27 callendula

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 03:00 PM

Glad you are having positive results so far! Hope it continues!! I'm making notes to keep handy. :)

#28 Know Hope

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 01:21 PM

Green Gables, I hope you are still logging onto acne.org.

You've created a wealth of information that I will start reading through.

In the meantime, I have some questions about saw palmetto and spiro.

I'm on saw palmetto now - I only take 160 mg per day. My acne is mostly noninflamed with hormonal flare ups and I would consider it mild to moderate.

So far, saw palmetto has gotten rid of my body acne. Which is amazing. It helped my face by reducing oil, but then it felt like the oil came back.

Before Saw Palmetto, I would break out 14 days prior to and right before my period. Once my period starts I know I am home free and will have great skin for the next two weeks.

Now that I'm on Saw Palmetto, my breakouts leading up to my period are not as bad. But now have a flare up after my period has already started. I started my period with clear skin and was feeling great only to wake up with a monster cyst on my cheek. A couple of months ago, I got a cyst on my chin. I don't get cysts like this very often. So other than this big red lump, my skin is clear otherwise.

So while Saw Palmetto is helping, I also feel that it is hurting me too by contributing to this sudden flare up after my period starts. Perhaps it's blocking my estrogen? I read that estrogen levels plummet when your period starts and that Saw Palmetto may have estrogen blocking properties. I definitely get depressed during TTOM and I would love to get the emotional stuff figured out too.

Now I'm trying to learn about progesterone and I'm thinking perhaps this crazy flare up is due to low progesterone. But frankly, I'm worried about messing around with my hormones any further. I'm not willing to pay for a hormone test because I think it really depends on where you're at in your menstrual cycle and it all fluctuates so much anyway.

I noticed that you tried saw p and progesterone cream, but now you're just on spiro, correct? Would you say that spiro takes care of all the hormonal imbalances for you? Androgens and progesterone? I know spiro is an anti-androgen (or androgen blocker) but does it have an effect on the progesterone and estrogen levels too? I would love to take something to just balance out the hormones, which I'm guessing would be birth control. So now I'm wondering if I should stay with saw p and supplement with a progesterone cream, spiro or birth control.

I need to figure out what's going on in my body after my period starts, because it's horribly depressing to get a huge cyst out of nowhere. Before the cyst popped up I was feeling depressed and anxious, so I feel like something is going on with me hormonally that is just messing with my emotions and skin, and the idea that I have to deal with this every month is very upsetting.

I know you have written a lot on this topic, so I will start reading and trying to understand. Thank you so much for compiling all of this useful information!

What is greatly helping my hormonal, mostly non-inflamed, occasionally cystic, acne:

 

Daily Supplements:

Cinnamon capsule before every meal - to improve insulin resistance, this has drastically reduced oil.

Vitex/Saw Palmetto/Licorice/Peony herbal tincture - an herbalist prepares this for me; I have no more PMS, anxiety, sore boobs, etc!

Milk thistle - 1 capsule a day for general liver health and phase 1 estrogen clearance.

Psyllium Fiber - 2 capsules a day for general health and phase 2 estrogen clearance.

Zinc - 30-50mg a day for my general health, I also believes it reduced inflammation.

Vitamin A  

Vitamin D  

Chromium - good for insulin resistance and depression.

Fish oil  - I'm not religious about taking this, but it's a good idea for general health and sebum viscosity.

 

Topicals:

A.M.

Gentle cleanser with Dan's BP* + moisturizer OR Paula's Choice 2% BHA* + moisturizer

P.M.

Remove make up with hemp oil, follow up with Finacea + Dan's AHA 

 

 

 

 


#29 knarfia

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 06:44 PM

This has been an interesting thread. Thank you Green Gables, for your research, and for referring me to it.

#30 righthandman

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 11:06 AM

http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/18520055

kind of related. vitamin b5 supplementation (pantothenic acid) stimulates higher progesterone in rats. I think because so many people have had success with b5 it could be correlated somehow.

also i read somewhere that low levels of dha (one type of omega-3) results in low progesterone levels

#31 righthandman

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 11:22 AM

http://www.ncbi.nlm..../pubmed/1856040

another link showing that vitamin a increases progesterone.

#32 callendula

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 12:57 PM

Green Gables, I hope you are still logging onto acne.org.

You've created a wealth of information that I will start reading through.

In the meantime, I have some questions about saw palmetto and spiro.

I'm on saw palmetto now - I only take 160 mg per day. My acne is mostly noninflamed with hormonal flare ups and I would consider it mild to moderate.

So far, saw palmetto has gotten rid of my body acne. Which is amazing. It helped my face by reducing oil, but then it felt like the oil came back.

Before Saw Palmetto, I would break out 14 days prior to and right before my period. Once my period starts I know I am home free and will have great skin for the next two weeks.

Now that I'm on Saw Palmetto, my breakouts leading up to my period are not as bad. But now have a flare up after my period has already started. I started my period with clear skin and was feeling great only to wake up with a monster cyst on my cheek. A couple of months ago, I got a cyst on my chin. I don't get cysts like this very often. So other than this big red lump, my skin is clear otherwise.

So while Saw Palmetto is helping, I also feel that it is hurting me too by contributing to this sudden flare up after my period starts. Perhaps it's blocking my estrogen? I read that estrogen levels plummet when your period starts and that Saw Palmetto may have estrogen blocking properties. I definitely get depressed during TTOM and I would love to get the emotional stuff figured out too.

Now I'm trying to learn about progesterone and I'm thinking perhaps this crazy flare up is due to low progesterone. But frankly, I'm worried about messing around with my hormones any further. I'm not willing to pay for a hormone test because I think it really depends on where you're at in your menstrual cycle and it all fluctuates so much anyway.

I noticed that you tried saw p and progesterone cream, but now you're just on spiro, correct? Would you say that spiro takes care of all the hormonal imbalances for you? Androgens and progesterone? I know spiro is an anti-androgen (or androgen blocker) but does it have an effect on the progesterone and estrogen levels too? I would love to take something to just balance out the hormones, which I'm guessing would be birth control. So now I'm wondering if I should stay with saw p and supplement with a progesterone cream, spiro or birth control.

I need to figure out what's going on in my body after my period starts, because it's horribly depressing to get a huge cyst out of nowhere. Before the cyst popped up I was feeling depressed and anxious, so I feel like something is going on with me hormonally that is just messing with my emotions and skin, and the idea that I have to deal with this every month is very upsetting.

I know you have written a lot on this topic, so I will start reading and trying to understand. Thank you so much for compiling all of this useful information!

Oh! I just had to comment on this because you experienced exactly what I deal with! 14 days before and anytime could be a breakout. But once I start my period and the 2 weeks following, I know any spots will heal and i won;t have to worry about new ones. I am not currently taking Saw palmetto. However, I have used it in the past and my skin did dry up as well as any acne. I didn't have any breakout. The one thing I did notice, though, I ended up with a rash on my stomach. From pics online, it appeared to what is considered an allergic rash, so I quit the saw plametto and haven't used it since. However, it did definitely dry up the oil. I have just started SA and am noticing pretty good results. I am in the 14 day stretch right now and haven't had a flare up.

http://www.ncbi.nlm..../pubmed/1856040

another link showing that vitamin a increases progesterone.


Hmm...this is extremely interesting. I have started adding in pureed pumkin in my smoothies and not only did my oil decrease, but I haven't had any breakouts. A 1/2 cup of the pumpkin (not pie filling) said something like 280% of Vit A. This may be something of notice. I'm thinking I read on the threads here that Vit is also supportive of the thyroid, which I think helps control/balance hormones?? My initial train of thought is (for me) I have a pore plug problem--which wouldn't be a problem if I didn't have so much oil and perhaps inflammation from hormones. But because of the plugs and the consequent oil/inflammation I suffer breakouts during hormonal periods. I know I have plugs the rest of time, so one of the irritating factors could be the oil (which is turn is revved up from hormones). So, by helping remove the plugs in the first place with SA and then keeping oil in check, I assume flareups should be minimized. Or at least if I have oil, maybe it won't be so inclined to pool under the skin and becomes trapped if plugs are nonexistent. ---Just thinking out loud here...

Edited by callendula, 22 October 2012 - 01:02 PM.


#33 LoveGreenSmoothies

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 04:25 PM

You can throw some baby carrots into the smoothies too. That also helps.
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#34 hearts

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:43 AM

-

Edited by hearts, 08 December 2012 - 12:18 AM.

living life as happy and natural as I can! ♡ ☮ ❀ ॐ ☼

>>--> .. >>--> .. >>--> 

[clear]: fish oil, multi vitamins & minerals + extra d3, b-complex, l-cysteine, natural progesterone cream


#35 Green Gables

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 05:31 PM

Green Gables, I hope you are still logging onto acne.org.

You've created a wealth of information that I will start reading through.

In the meantime, I have some questions about saw palmetto and spiro.

I'm on saw palmetto now - I only take 160 mg per day. My acne is mostly noninflamed with hormonal flare ups and I would consider it mild to moderate.

So far, saw palmetto has gotten rid of my body acne. Which is amazing. It helped my face by reducing oil, but then it felt like the oil came back.

Before Saw Palmetto, I would break out 14 days prior to and right before my period. Once my period starts I know I am home free and will have great skin for the next two weeks.

Now that I'm on Saw Palmetto, my breakouts leading up to my period are not as bad. But now have a flare up after my period has already started. I started my period with clear skin and was feeling great only to wake up with a monster cyst on my cheek. A couple of months ago, I got a cyst on my chin. I don't get cysts like this very often. So other than this big red lump, my skin is clear otherwise.

So while Saw Palmetto is helping, I also feel that it is hurting me too by contributing to this sudden flare up after my period starts. Perhaps it's blocking my estrogen? I read that estrogen levels plummet when your period starts and that Saw Palmetto may have estrogen blocking properties. I definitely get depressed during TTOM and I would love to get the emotional stuff figured out too.

Now I'm trying to learn about progesterone and I'm thinking perhaps this crazy flare up is due to low progesterone. But frankly, I'm worried about messing around with my hormones any further. I'm not willing to pay for a hormone test because I think it really depends on where you're at in your menstrual cycle and it all fluctuates so much anyway.

I noticed that you tried saw p and progesterone cream, but now you're just on spiro, correct? Would you say that spiro takes care of all the hormonal imbalances for you? Androgens and progesterone? I know spiro is an anti-androgen (or androgen blocker) but does it have an effect on the progesterone and estrogen levels too? I would love to take something to just balance out the hormones, which I'm guessing would be birth control. So now I'm wondering if I should stay with saw p and supplement with a progesterone cream, spiro or birth control.

I need to figure out what's going on in my body after my period starts, because it's horribly depressing to get a huge cyst out of nowhere. Before the cyst popped up I was feeling depressed and anxious, so I feel like something is going on with me hormonally that is just messing with my emotions and skin, and the idea that I have to deal with this every month is very upsetting.

I know you have written a lot on this topic, so I will start reading and trying to understand. Thank you so much for compiling all of this useful information!


I haven't been on here in months, but decided to pop in today.

There's lots of things you can do. Unfortunately there's not one "right" way to go about hormonal treatment.

I'm glad the saw palmetto is working so well for you. I never had body acne, so if it's working for your body acne, I would keep taking it. Don't fix what's not broken, right?

If you want to stay natural, many people add in pygeum and pumpkin seed oil to a saw palmetto regimen. For whatever reason, many get better results using multiple types of natural anti-androgens not just saw palmetto.

I started using progesterone a while ago, but honestly I haven't been terribly consistent with it. I wasn't taking it for acne, I was taking it cure insomnia, muscle cramps, and a low basal body temp. It initially got rid of all those symptoms, but the effect seemed to wear off after a while. Part of the problem is I have a low body fat percentage, and progesterone is stored in fat cells. I guess I don't have enough fat to go around.

As far as saw palmetto being anti-estrogenic, I haven't seen that proven yet. There was one study that made the allusion that it MIGHT block estrogen, but they didn't actually test it. Every study I've read shows that saw palmetto is solely an androgen blocker. I think if you add in pygeum and pumpkin seed oil, you might get the results you're looking for while staying natural.

Progesterone can be helpful, but it's a whole 'nother ballgame, if you know what I mean. You're messing with a lot more stuff. If your main concern is acne, I'd just do the saw palmetto/pygeum/pumpkin thing.

Of course, spiro works well for many, but there is an allure to staying "natural." Spiro also increases estrogen and has added risks of hair loss, dizziness, etc. that you might not want to deal with. I still have to drink water like an elephant to stay hydrated on spiro.

Edited by Green Gables, 21 December 2012 - 05:33 PM.

photo-152109.gif?_r=1345837784?__rand=0.

 

I don't get notified of your response to my post unless you QUOTE my post.

Please only quote a small portion of the post so it doesn't clutter up the thread. 

 

How to Treat Hormonal Acne

Good and Bad Birth Control Pills and Implants for Acne

How to take Spironolactone

List of Doctors Who Prescribe Spironolactone

Topicals for Hormonal Acne

 

HOW I STAY 100% CLEAR:

Spironolactone (anti-androgen drug)

Betaine HCL with each meal

Avoiding silicones and occlusives in skin/hair products

 

 

 


#36 Know Hope

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 09:11 PM

Hey Green Gables (are you an Anne of Green Gables fan? ME TOO!), thanks for responding. Since I posted, I've learned A LOT about saw palmetto. I'm seeing an herbalist and she confirmed that saw palmetto does indeed have an impact on estrogen levels. Since hormones are so interconnected, anything we take to effect one set of hormones is going to have an effect on the others. Just googling is saw palmetto estrogenic, and I came across this: http://answers.yahoo...7072631AAyC1Pk. There is more out there - most websites say saw palmetto blocks estrogen, but if you dig a bit deeper, you'll find other websites that say it can also increase estrogen. The bottom line - it's a powerful herb and it's hard to say how any one person will react to it.

So in my case, I believe saw palmetto caused my estrogen levels to go up and that contributed to cystic acne, depression and anxiety. The anxiety was actually really bad - a couple of nights I felt like I was having a panic attack - really, really bad and scary too. But I was afraid to stop the saw palmetto completely because I knew it was helping me like nothing else because it got rid of my back acne by 99%.

Long story short, now I'm on a tincture that includes 1 part saw palmetto, 1 part licorice, 1 part peony and 2 parts chasteberry. So far it's really helping with oily skin, my mood and my pms issues (anxiety, depression, cramps and sore breasts). My herbalist says that saw palmetto needs to be taken with something to balance out it's effects, and chasteberry is supposed to balance out the estrogen and progesterone. I've only been on this for about a month and a half - I've gone through 2 menstrual cycles and I broke out a little bit, but I haven't gotten deep, under the skin acne which was causing me so much distress. Mostly, the crippling anxiety I was feeling has gotten so much better. I was going to come back here and update after being on this for at least 3 months to confirm that it's working, but I figure now is a good time to provide this brief update. I plan on using this tincture indefinitely - another nice thing about it is that I can adjust my dosage easily. I was taking 60 drops 3 x a day leading up to my period, I will go down to 30-45 drops 2 x a day when my skin is not a premenstrual mess.

I've thought about spiro, but I'm convinced I'd have to go on birth control to get the full benefits (again, to address the estrogen/progesterone balance). But I don't want to go on birth control - too many things can go wrong, you can gain weight, have crazy mood swings, etc. I did find this website that has some helpful info about progesterone therapy and spiro: http://www.cemcor.ub...event_PCOS_AAE. Maybe this will help you?

But I am not going to do the completely natural thing either. Tomorrow I am starting a low dose accutane course - when my skin was freaking out I asked about it - I'm hoping it will purge the sebum that's trapped in my skin. I plan to use the SP tincture while on accutane and after I am done, since it's helped so much to help my PMS issues.

Wish me luck! And good luck to you too.

What is greatly helping my hormonal, mostly non-inflamed, occasionally cystic, acne:

 

Daily Supplements:

Cinnamon capsule before every meal - to improve insulin resistance, this has drastically reduced oil.

Vitex/Saw Palmetto/Licorice/Peony herbal tincture - an herbalist prepares this for me; I have no more PMS, anxiety, sore boobs, etc!

Milk thistle - 1 capsule a day for general liver health and phase 1 estrogen clearance.

Psyllium Fiber - 2 capsules a day for general health and phase 2 estrogen clearance.

Zinc - 30-50mg a day for my general health, I also believes it reduced inflammation.

Vitamin A  

Vitamin D  

Chromium - good for insulin resistance and depression.

Fish oil  - I'm not religious about taking this, but it's a good idea for general health and sebum viscosity.

 

Topicals:

A.M.

Gentle cleanser with Dan's BP* + moisturizer OR Paula's Choice 2% BHA* + moisturizer

P.M.

Remove make up with hemp oil, follow up with Finacea + Dan's AHA 

 

 

 

 


#37 mdp703

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 10:55 PM

Has anyone taken the progesterone and had it successfully reduce their acne? The theory sounds good, but then again, many often do?

#38 IzzyBear91

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 12:28 PM

Hi Green Gabes, 

 

I know my acne is hormonal, but i did test my blood from my doctors and it came out "normal". I was wondering where did you get your saliva test from and did it help you determine if you had a hormonal imbalance? Could you link the site please? Thank you!



#39 Green Gables

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 08:02 PM

Hi Green Gabes, 

 

I know my acne is hormonal, but i did test my blood from my doctors and it came out "normal". I was wondering where did you get your saliva test from and did it help you determine if you had a hormonal imbalance? Could you link the site please? Thank you!

You can have hormonal acne with "normal" stats. Normal is just an average of people. It doesn't mean that "average" numbers work for your body.

 

You just need to find a doctor who is willing to treat you on symptoms not on numbers.


Edited by Green Gables, 15 October 2013 - 08:02 PM.

photo-152109.gif?_r=1345837784?__rand=0.

 

I don't get notified of your response to my post unless you QUOTE my post.

Please only quote a small portion of the post so it doesn't clutter up the thread. 

 

How to Treat Hormonal Acne

Good and Bad Birth Control Pills and Implants for Acne

How to take Spironolactone

List of Doctors Who Prescribe Spironolactone

Topicals for Hormonal Acne

 

HOW I STAY 100% CLEAR:

Spironolactone (anti-androgen drug)

Betaine HCL with each meal

Avoiding silicones and occlusives in skin/hair products

 

 

 


#40 smichelle

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 10:55 AM

I randomly found this article but it is VERY informative.

It really highlights how LOW PROGESTERONE ("estrogen dominance") leads to HIGH ANDROGENS and how estrogen dominance is not really about lowering estrogen, but about RAISING PROGESTERONE, lowering BAD ESTROGEN and raising GOOD ESTROGEN.

Read the whole thing, don't skim! wink.png

Citation: http://www.highonhea...sing-your-acne/

How Low Progesterone/Estrogen Dominance Contributes To Acne
Acne happens when androgens such as Testosterone gets turned into its more potent form called DHT through the action of the enzyme called 5 Alpha Retuctase. DHT in the skin then cause sebum production to increase, leading to more oily skin, which clogs pores and results in acne.

Progesterone helps to prevent this by regulating the production of DHT in the body. It inhibits the activity of 5 Alpha Reductase and prevents it turning Testosterone into DHT. When your Progesterone levels are normal, this will help to keep your DHT levels down.

This is why some people who start taking natural progesterone cream see their acne clear up. Also, if you have low progesterone levels, it is also likely that you will be experiencing many other symptoms as well. So it’s a good idea to go and get your progesterone level checked by taking a saliva test.

However, keep in mind that a lot of time with acne, you need to take a 2 pronged approach. Even if you get your progesterone levels back up to normal, you may still be producing way to many androgens in the first place (e.g. from Adrenal stress, insulin resistance, PCOS etc). So you will need to address this problem too. You need to get your Progesterone levels up and your androgen levels down.

The other big problem with Progesterone and Oestrogen imbalance is that as well as having a lack of progesterone, you will also usually have too much ‘bad’ aggressive estrogens and a lack of ‘good’ estrogens (E3).

Having too much bad estrogen and not enough good estrogen can lead to a lot of problems, including acne. If you have a lack of progesterone your body won’t have enough resources to produce enough ‘good’ estrogen. Also, aggressive estrogens will often take over the receptor sites before the good estrogens can. Without enough good estrogens to help counteract your androgen levels, you can get acne. Also, if you have too many ‘bad’ estrogens they can become ‘toxic’ to your body and your body will have to try to process them and eliminate them (often through the skin), so this is another way this type of hormonal imbalance can lead to acne.

So as you can see, there are 2 main things we have to deal with in this situation:

  • Getting your progesterone level back up to normal
  • Reducing ‘bad’ estrogens in your body
By doing both these things you will help to promote ‘good’ protective estrogens too.


Causes of Low Progesterone
  • Stress
  • Poor Diet (malnutrition)
  • Inactivity. Lack of exercise can decrease progesterone production
  • Insulin Resistance and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Causes of ‘Estrogen Dominance’/Too Much ‘Bad’ Estrogen

1) Synthetic Estrogens and Birth Control Pills – Birth control pills contain aggressive estrogens and synthetic progestins (different from your natural progesterone). Your body doesn’t have enough protective Estriol and Progesterone to balance this out.

2) Xeno-Estrogens – Xeno-estrogens are chemicals in food and in the environment that mimic estrogen when consumed/absorbed into your body. They are everywhere and are in so many things, so they are very hard to avoid. That is why studies show that so many people in developed countries have problems with Estrogen Dominance. They contribute to low fertility rates and low sperm count as well.

They are found in:
  • Pesticides
  • Herbicides
  • Petrochemicals (car fumes)
  • Plastics (as you can imagine this is a big problem because plastic is used for so many things)
  • Detergents
  • Person Care Products (this is a huge one too, and they also contain Parabens which cause cancer)
  • Canned Foods
  • Contraceptive Creams
  • Food (a lot of food contain high levels because of all the commercial sprays used)
  • Meat and Animal Products (artificial estrogen compounds are used to fatten up cattle and chicken quickly. Estrogens are stored in the fat and eaten by consumers)
  • Packaged Foods
  • Alcohol and Drugs (especially Cannabis)
  • So many more places
These chemicals behave like aggressive oestrogen in our bodies and further throw hormonal levels off balance. They can begin creating problems in children and have been blamed for increasing rates of early puberty.

What You Can Do About Low Progesterone:
  • De-stress and relax
  • Healthy diet and proper nutrition
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat a low sugar, low GI diet to keep insulin levels down/steady
  • Natural Progesterone Cream – this could probably do with having another whole article written on this topic, but writing from my own experience I would recommend it. When I had a saliva test and found out my Progesterone levels were really low I used natural progesterone cream for a few months to help ‘kick-start’ my own natural hormone production, and I really noticed the difference in not just my acne, but all my other symptoms improved as well.
What To Do About ‘Bad Estrogen’:
While it is impossible to eliminate all xeno-estrogens from our environment, it is possible to limit the amount we are exposed to by implementing the following guidelines:
  • Use glass or ceramics whenever possible to store food and water
  • Heat food up in the microwave in glass or ceramic covered dishes, never plastic
  • Buy hormone-free/organic meats
  • Buy organic produce, vegetables and fruits grown without pesticides, herbicides or synthetic fertilizers or hormones
  • Use anti-oxidant supplementation: Vitamin A, C and E to combat xeno-oestrogen effects
  • Eat food high in anti-oxidants
  • Use Di-Indoyl Methane (DIM) to down regulate oestrogens
  • Use simple detergent with fewer chemicals. This includes laundry detergents and household cleaners
  • Use organic soaps, shampoos and personal care products such as skincare products and makeup
  • Use natural pest control not pesticides (instead use a cup of salt in 4 litres of vinegar)
  • Wear natural fibres
  • Use condoms without spermicides instead of birth control pills
  • Avoid parabens used in skin lotions and creams
  • Don’t use synthetic hormone replacement pills, use natural progesterone cream if you can
Phyto-Oestrogens
Phyto-Oestrogens are plant-based foods that have oestrogen mimicking properties. Phyto-oestrogens are weak in their oestrogenic action but are very quick to the receptor sites around the body. This means they are able to block xeno-oestrogens from entering the cells, thereby reducing the risk of Estrogen Dominance.
Foods that contain Phyto-Oestrogens are:
  • Alfalfa
  • Anise Seed
  • Apples
  • Barley
  • Beets
  • Black Eyed Peas
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cherries
  • Chickpeas
  • Clover
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Fennel
  • Lentils
  • Linseeds
  • Garlic
  • Green Beans
  • Green Squash
  • Hops
  • Liquorice
  • Oats
  • Olives/Olive Oil
  • Papaya
  • Parsley
  • Peas
  • Plums
  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkin
  • Red Beans
  • Red Clover
  • Rhubarb
  • Rice
  • Rye
  • Sage
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Split Peas
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Squash
  • Yams
Diindoylmethane (DIM)
DIM is made from a high concentration of cruciferous vegetables. It is very useful in treating Estrogen Dominance because it basically helps to get rid of excess bad estrogens (like xeno-estrogens) and helps to promote good estrogens.

DIM stimulates more efficient estrogen metabolism. It increases the metabolism for estrogens which increase the chance for aggressive estrogens to be broken down into their beneficial or ‘good’ estrogen form. When DIM increases the ‘good’ estrogens, there is a simultaneous reduction in the levels of undesirable ‘bad’ estrogens. Pretty much, DIM helps to convert bad estrogens into good estrogens.

DIM is also a strong competitive inhibitor of DHT by binding to the androgen receptor. This will also help to improve acne. If you wanted to know how I got rid of my ‘Estrogen Dominance’ hormonal imbalance, I basically followed the guidelines above, and in particular I found that natural progesterone cream and DIM really helped.

However, acne can be caused by many different things, and there may be a different ‘type’ of hormonal imbalance at the root cause of your acne. So this approach may not work for you because your estrogen and progesterone levels may be fine. But for those of you who are curious and identify with the symptoms above, I suggest getting a saliva test to get your hormone levels checked out and go from there.

Hi Green Gables,

 

I really really need some help- I read this whole thing and still can't seem to figure out if maybe that is me.

 

I was on Alesse for 4 years- only had clogged pores and oily skin because of it, no major breakouts. When I switched to Seasonale in Jan 2013- after about 4 months starting noticing more oily skin and clogged pores and some breakouts on my chest and back.

 

I thought it was because both of those birth controls had high androgenic acitivity- so in December of this year- I made the switch to Ortho Cyclen- because it had steady hormones.

 

My acne has gotten way way worse- and is way more cystic now. I know it can take a few months to adjust, but there is 0.4 estrogen in Ortho Cyclen. Alesse had 0.2 and Seasonale had 0.3....could the slow increase from alesse to seasonale to now ortho cyclen in estrogen be what is causing my acne? Or do you think its the androgens? I looked into getting a saliva test done for my hormones but they do cost 220$ here at my naturopath...

 

Please help!!!!






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