So I am currently being tested at a teaching hospital. I've always struggled with acne, but mainly when I hit around 18 ish. I'm 24 now. It's only gotten worse and now it's moderate, sometimes severe. I was just diagnosed with Nonclassic congenital adrenal hyperplasia. To make a long story short, a hormone called 17-Hydroxypregnenolone, a sex steroid hormone, was extremely high. it means you lack the enzyme to efficiently process the hormones coming from the adrenal glands. Also, please understand the distinction between "classic" and "nonclassic."
What are the symptoms? I thought was interesting as most people with this disease suffer from severe acne. The most notable symptoms would be the acne ( often times in over 80% of patients ) and hirsutism ( excess hair growth, like of the face) and other excess androgen symptoms. Your adrenals seem to not be able to properly convert the androgens and they just go into your system as 17-Hydroxypregnenlone in the pathways.
Non-classical CAH (NC-CAH) is milder than classical CAH. It is often referred to as “late-onset” CAH, because symptoms do not appear until later in life. Patients with NC-CAH do not have genital changes. Instead, the disease is diagnosed when the effects of too much androgen appear in childhood (rapid growth, early puberty) or during the teenage or adult years (too much face and body hair, severe acne, irregular periods). Both males and females may have fertility problems." http://www.health.st.../cond/cahuh.htm
I just wanted to let people know that if diet is not working for you ( as it did not work for me basically for years ) there's other things out there that may be causing your acne...in this case, the doctor told me that YES, this particular hormone was the cause of my acne and (slight ) hairgrowth. However, I didn't have hair growth really on the face, just the tummy, and then of course the irritating acne that never seems to heal. I also DID NOT have early puberty so I guess you won't always!
Just another option for the acne people to look into. I had to have what's called a corsyntropin stimulation test in the outpatient portion of the hospital to find out if this hormone was high. From what I read, the treatment is typically a small low dose of dexamethasone before bed time to reduce acne/hair growth within a period of 3 months or so.
Edit: Oh and yes, it's genetic.
Edited by Mahweeoh, 02 February 2013 - 10:45 AM.