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Vitex (Agnus Castus) And Saw Palmetto

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#1 WishClean

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 12:32 AM

EDITED.

I have now figured out how to address high androgens and low progesterone. Working on the estrogen part. No herbs involved yet. 


Edited by WishClean, 24 November 2013 - 01:04 AM.

Supplements: inositol, DIM, digestive enzymes [don't need them every day anymore, only on cheat days], herpanacine & vitamin C with rose hips [not every day], regular sun exposure for vitamin D3.

Lifestyle & Skin Care: Low histamine diet, avoiding unnecessary stress, balancing skin's PH (using Image Ormedics), using distilled/ filtered water to wash face, occasional high frequency facials... (although I have been slacking lately)

** Find the cause, find the cure **

 


#2 alternativista

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 06:22 AM

By hormonal, do you mean it comes and goes with your period? Or are you going by the myth that jawline acne is any more hormone related than acne elsewhere.

Since you have observed negative symptoms as a result of taking things to mess with your hormones, I'd reconsider. Or try something much milder like spearmint tea which you can also try topically or broccoli pills to clear excess estrogen. You don't want to gain weight in your midsection.


.

Edited by alternativista, 22 March 2013 - 06:23 AM.

Status: Clear after 30 years. Wow, I guess it's been 6 years, now.

[ Story: Severe Acne since I was 10. 10+ years of Dermatologists, Antibiotics, topicals and ACCUTANE did nothing. Discovered oranges triggered the worst of my cystic acne = about 70% improvement. Tried some nutrient supplements like B-complex with zinc and C, saw palmetto and a BHA like the aspirin mask = more improvement, a lot less oily. Then, Diet changes = Clear.

Regimen: Anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense, blood sugar stabilizing diet and supplements (for hormones, inflammation, aging, health). No soap or other cleanser except for hand washing! Water only or Oil cleanse. Aloe Vera mixed with niacinimide and a high linoleic acid oil for moisturizer and reduce pigmentation.

Diet effects acne in so many ways: hormone balance, inflammation, Insulin levels, digestion, allergies and intolerances, liver function, adrenal function, SHBG levels, sebum quality, cell function and turnover, nutrient deficiencies, body fat, etc. Basic advice: Eat, sleep, supplement and exercise like you are a diabetic. And eat real food!

For more information, see my Good Things for Acne thread *Moderator edit - Please refer to the board rules (see “Advertising/soliciting”, “Linking” and “Signatures”)*

When you eat stuff, Stuff Happens!


#3 WishClean

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 09:47 AM

By hormonal, do you mean it comes and goes with your period? Or are you going by the myth that jawline acne is any more hormone related than acne elsewhere.

Since you have observed negative symptoms as a result of taking things to mess with your hormones, I'd reconsider. Or try something much milder like spearmint tea which you can also try topically or broccoli pills to clear excess estrogen. You don't want to gain weight in your midsection.


.

I was diagnosed with PCOS several times, so I'm sure my acne is at least partially due to hormonal imbalances. My acne gets worse during certain times of the month, such as before my period and during the ovulation stage (around mid-cycle).

Unfortunately, when I tried spearmint tea for a month I did not notice improvement in my acne, and in fact I had more inflammation along with bloating and just general discomfort. Not sure why, but I was drinking a lot of it daily (3-6 cups). When I quit drinking it, the bloating and discomfort were immediately gone.

 

I was basically thinking that by taking vitex and saw palmetto together, they might counteract each other's side effects (e.g. balance out hirsutism and hair loss). Do you think that's possible? So far, I had only taken them separately. I just need to get my acne under control, since right now it is too severe to control with just diet and vitamins. When it's mild to moderate, healthy diet and exercise help keep it under control, but at this point nothing seems to be working - it's been getting progressively worse for the past 6 months, with a few improvements in between that get thrown off mid-cycle and I'm back to square one.

 

here is what my face looks like today (post ovulation, pms stage). The photos don't show it, but I have many little bumps under the surface of my skin as well that make my skin look lumpy rather than smooth.


Edited by WishClean, 18 April 2013 - 08:33 PM.

Supplements: inositol, DIM, digestive enzymes [don't need them every day anymore, only on cheat days], herpanacine & vitamin C with rose hips [not every day], regular sun exposure for vitamin D3.

Lifestyle & Skin Care: Low histamine diet, avoiding unnecessary stress, balancing skin's PH (using Image Ormedics), using distilled/ filtered water to wash face, occasional high frequency facials... (although I have been slacking lately)

** Find the cause, find the cure **

 


#4 rainy326

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 08:21 PM

Hi. I also have hormonal acne. It gets quite bad at times. I too have researched and tried just about everything out there and I'm so frustrated that I think I'm about to give up and try accutane. My skin is actually pretty decent compared to how it's been during some of my serious hormonal breakouts, but i'm still not clear, and after 16 years of this, I'm over it. However, one of the best things I ever tried for my hormonal acne was Vitex. I don't take it now because I am taking birth control (oral contraceptives) and you're not supposed to take them together.

 

If/when I ever stop taking birth control pills, I will immediately start taking vitex again (and probably will try high doses of saw palmetto too). The last time I stopped taking birth control pills my skin broke out like crazy, and after about 9 months of continuous horrible breakouts, I tried vitex and it helped A LOT. I still got some breakouts, but they were much more manageable. Topically, I started using a lot of exfoliating products like salicylic and glycolic acid, and ACV toner in combination with taking Vitex and for awhile I actually got pretty clear. I wish I could take it now, because I was much more clear doing that than I am now.

 

I couldn't take the capsules of vitex - that made me very nauseous. I took liquid extract - 40 drops in a small amount of water before each meal. At first I only took 40 drops of it in the mornings, but once I realized it was helping some, I started taking more and saw more improvement. Of course we are all different, but if I were you I would try taking more Vitex before giving up on it. I also take a lot of vitamins and I think they do help, but I think Vitex was the most important thing I took. I also take - about 50 - 60 mg of Zinc a day (in divided doses b/c that upsets my stomach if I take a lot at once), calcium, magnesium, folic acid, B6 (P5P form) 50 mg, vitamin D3 (5000 IU), chromium picolinate, vitamin C 2000 - 3000mg a day, and astragalus. I also avoid dairy because it makes my acne flare up much worse. I try to eat a pretty low glycemic diet as well. Also, there is one other thing I want to mention. In your signature it says you use a copper peptide mask. I tried a copper serum a few different times in the past and it broke me out pretty bad each time. I tried it a few different times just to be sure and I won't touch the stuff now. I know it works for a lot of people, so that could just be me, but it's possible that your skin doesn't like it.

 

Best of luck to you!



#5 WishClean

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 08:38 PM

Hi. I also have hormonal acne. It gets quite bad at times. I too have researched and tried just about everything out there and I'm so frustrated that I think I'm about to give up and try accutane. My skin is actually pretty decent compared to how it's been during some of my serious hormonal breakouts, but i'm still not clear, and after 16 years of this, I'm over it. However, one of the best things I ever tried for my hormonal acne was Vitex. I don't take it now because I am taking birth control (oral contraceptives) and you're not supposed to take them together.

 

If/when I ever stop taking birth control pills, I will immediately start taking vitex again (and probably will try high doses of saw palmetto too). The last time I stopped taking birth control pills my skin broke out like crazy, and after about 9 months of continuous horrible breakouts, I tried vitex and it helped A LOT. I still got some breakouts, but they were much more manageable. Topically, I started using a lot of exfoliating products like salicylic and glycolic acid, and ACV toner in combination with taking Vitex and for awhile I actually got pretty clear. I wish I could take it now, because I was much more clear doing that than I am now.

 

I couldn't take the capsules of vitex - that made me very nauseous. I took liquid extract - 40 drops in a small amount of water before each meal. At first I only took 40 drops of it in the mornings, but once I realized it was helping some, I started taking more and saw more improvement. Of course we are all different, but if I were you I would try taking more Vitex before giving up on it. I also take a lot of vitamins and I think they do help, but I think Vitex was the most important thing I took. I also take - about 50 - 60 mg of Zinc a day (in divided doses b/c that upsets my stomach if I take a lot at once), calcium, magnesium, folic acid, B6 (P5P form) 50 mg, vitamin D3 (5000 IU), chromium picolinate, vitamin C 2000 - 3000mg a day, and astragalus. I also avoid dairy because it makes my acne flare up much worse. I try to eat a pretty low glycemic diet as well. Also, there is one other thing I want to mention. In your signature it says you use a copper peptide mask. I tried a copper serum a few different times in the past and it broke me out pretty bad each time. I tried it a few different times just to be sure and I won't touch the stuff now. I know it works for a lot of people, so that could just be me, but it's possible that your skin doesn't like it.

 

Best of luck to you!

Hey,

Thanks for the response. I actually stopped all herbal supplements a few months ago. Vitex really helped balance out my hormones when I went off birth control 5 years ago, and it regulated my cycle. However, I took it for too long (I was advised to only take it for 6-12 months) because I was scared the acne would come back. When I came off it, the acne did come back slowly, but my skin was clear while I was taking it and a few months after so that was good. I think it lowered my progesterone and boosted my estrogen in the long run, so it is definitely not a long term remedy. Saw palmetto didn't help that much because I found out that my main issue is low progesterone, not androgens.

Sounds like you have a really healthy diet. Do you have insulin resistance? I haven't checked my insulin yet, but I suspect I might, so I am trying my best to avoid sugar, dairy, gluten, and other common triggers.

As for the copper peptide mask, I haven't used it in a couple of weeks....I'm ambivalent about it. Sometimes it really makes a difference, and other times it just accentuates my scars because it sticks to my skin and takes ages to take it off.


Supplements: inositol, DIM, digestive enzymes [don't need them every day anymore, only on cheat days], herpanacine & vitamin C with rose hips [not every day], regular sun exposure for vitamin D3.

Lifestyle & Skin Care: Low histamine diet, avoiding unnecessary stress, balancing skin's PH (using Image Ormedics), using distilled/ filtered water to wash face, occasional high frequency facials... (although I have been slacking lately)

** Find the cause, find the cure **

 


#6 rainy326

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 06:24 PM

Hi. I also have hormonal acne. It gets quite bad at times. I too have researched and tried just about everything out there and I'm so frustrated that I think I'm about to give up and try accutane. My skin is actually pretty decent compared to how it's been during some of my serious hormonal breakouts, but i'm still not clear, and after 16 years of this, I'm over it. However, one of the best things I ever tried for my hormonal acne was Vitex. I don't take it now because I am taking birth control (oral contraceptives) and you're not supposed to take them together.

 

If/when I ever stop taking birth control pills, I will immediately start taking vitex again (and probably will try high doses of saw palmetto too). The last time I stopped taking birth control pills my skin broke out like crazy, and after about 9 months of continuous horrible breakouts, I tried vitex and it helped A LOT. I still got some breakouts, but they were much more manageable. Topically, I started using a lot of exfoliating products like salicylic and glycolic acid, and ACV toner in combination with taking Vitex and for awhile I actually got pretty clear. I wish I could take it now, because I was much more clear doing that than I am now.

 

I couldn't take the capsules of vitex - that made me very nauseous. I took liquid extract - 40 drops in a small amount of water before each meal. At first I only took 40 drops of it in the mornings, but once I realized it was helping some, I started taking more and saw more improvement. Of course we are all different, but if I were you I would try taking more Vitex before giving up on it. I also take a lot of vitamins and I think they do help, but I think Vitex was the most important thing I took. I also take - about 50 - 60 mg of Zinc a day (in divided doses b/c that upsets my stomach if I take a lot at once), calcium, magnesium, folic acid, B6 (P5P form) 50 mg, vitamin D3 (5000 IU), chromium picolinate, vitamin C 2000 - 3000mg a day, and astragalus. I also avoid dairy because it makes my acne flare up much worse. I try to eat a pretty low glycemic diet as well. Also, there is one other thing I want to mention. In your signature it says you use a copper peptide mask. I tried a copper serum a few different times in the past and it broke me out pretty bad each time. I tried it a few different times just to be sure and I won't touch the stuff now. I know it works for a lot of people, so that could just be me, but it's possible that your skin doesn't like it.

 

Best of luck to you!

Hey,

Thanks for the response. I actually stopped all herbal supplements a few months ago. Vitex really helped balance out my hormones when I went off birth control 5 years ago, and it regulated my cycle. However, I took it for too long (I was advised to only take it for 6-12 months) because I was scared the acne would come back. When I came off it, the acne did come back slowly, but my skin was clear while I was taking it and a few months after so that was good. I think it lowered my progesterone and boosted my estrogen in the long run, so it is definitely not a long term remedy. Saw palmetto didn't help that much because I found out that my main issue is low progesterone, not androgens.

Sounds like you have a really healthy diet. Do you have insulin resistance? I haven't checked my insulin yet, but I suspect I might, so I am trying my best to avoid sugar, dairy, gluten, and other common triggers.

As for the copper peptide mask, I haven't used it in a couple of weeks....I'm ambivalent about it. Sometimes it really makes a difference, and other times it just accentuates my scars because it sticks to my skin and takes ages to take it off.

Oh I see. Yeah, I also took Vitex longer than a year. I think I took it for about 2 years and then got back on birth control. I tried Saw Palmetto once before and in theory it should work, but I think it might just not be strong enough (unless you take A LOT). Hmm, well if your problem is low progesterone then perhaps you could try natural progesterone cream or DIM. I'm pretty sure both of those things broke me out even more though. My problem is definitely androgens and not low progesterone. Some people say the progesterone cream and/or DIM cleared them, and their issues were estrogen dominance, but they made me worse. Vitex is really the only herbal thing that I felt ever helped me (and I think I've pretty much tried it all).

 

Yes, I try to eat really healthy and I've tried various strict diets (like paleo), but I never got clear even being on a strict diet. I'm also too thin and the "acne diets" make me lose too much weight, so I can't be too restrictive for very long. I haven't had my insulin checked either, but I know I have blood sugar issues, because I'm hypoglycemic (never been tested, but it is very apparent that I am). I can't eat a lot of carbs/sugars (and definitely not without protein) or I will get weak and shaky within a few hours. Well I wish I had some answers, but all I can really say is you're certainly not alone. I recently came across this article about PCOS and thought it was thorough and interesting. They recommend a few herbs and natural treatments:

 

http://ndnr.com/web-...he-inside-out/

 

 

I also thought this was an interesting post someone did on a hair loss forum:

 

http://www.drmcdouga...php?f=1&t=25297
 

They are talking about hair loss, but also how acne seems to result from the same issues. I don't know if he is right, but it seems very well researched and he recommends a certain type of diet that helps both acne and hair loss. I've been thinking about trying to tweak my diet a bit to make it a little more like he is suggesting.



#7 Cheriee

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 09:39 PM

Hello everyone,

 

I can relate to alot of the things you and rainy326 have mentioned. I am 20 years old and I've been diagnosed with PCOS and blood tests revealed i have low estrogen and fairly low progesterone levels along with normal testosterone however i have very low Sex hormone binding globulin levels which indicates to me that i got all this free testosterone around that is also not being balanced out with estrogen and so im left with high androgens in the body which correlates with my oily skin (by end of the day) , mild facial hair (some side burns -.- and other abnormal places) and of course acne. I refuse to go on the pill.

 

I've been taking VItex for 3 and a half months now and it has regulated my period which i am very happy about howver it has not cleared up my acne. Infact ive actually been breaking out on my chin more but it seems to be clearing at the moment. I dont actually get acne on the jaw line however i definitely do get it on my foreheard, particularly the middle, always around my eyebrows (painful cystic ones) and my temples. I occasionally get 1 or  2 on my cheeks which are also the deep cysts ones. I consider myself healthy, im pretty much a major health freak from battling with acne for so long, and i also take chromium, zinc and occasionally a liver tonic. Ive looked at the possible causes of my acne at so many angles and frankly i am exhausted from this. It has taken up so much of my time. At the moment,i should be studying for my exam tomorrow but here i am spending hours doing my research on acne.

 

But anyway, i started taking Saw Palmetto last week, and i think it has a mild effect on the oiliness of my skin. I know its too soon to tell and in addition the saw palmetto i am taking is in powder form. It is difficult in Australia to find a standardised one in store. I will update you on the combination of taking Vitex and Saw palmetto! The reason i dont think Vitex cleared up my skin is because alot of people say its more progesterone -favouring, midly inhibiting estrogen? (well its been put out there anyway) and even though i did say i have low progesterone levels, i dont think having even lower estrogen levels is going to help with balancing out my testosterone. In addition the rise in the progesterone after ovulation tends to make skin much oiler and so i notice that the week before my period my skin is absolutely horrible. The only and little time i notice my skin settling down is RIGHT BEFORE my period and the first couple of days of my period where hormone levels are at its low. I have a period app that says what hormones are dominant at which days etc.

 

In addition, ive spoken to naturopaths/herbalists and they say that there is this correlation with androgens and blood glucose (sugar) levels, its also on the net. A high carb/sugar diet causes a huge spike in blood glucose (sugar) levels and somehow stimulates androgen production/function. And so im trying my best to not have 3 big meals and span out 5 small meals instead but thats really hard for me, because even though i am quite small and underweight, i eat alot and find myself really fixated on food when hungry. This is why i am taking chromium tablets because it is largely involved in the regulation of blood glucose levels. It makes sense, that i have a high blood glucose level because not much of it is being taken up into my body (hence i find it really hard to put on weight) and therefore the presence of high glucose would cause/aggrevate my acne. (I study physiology so i learn about this stuff)- this is considered as a metabolic disorder.

 

I hope i have provided at least a little bit of help or insight based on what im going through too and i will definitely post back on the progess of taking Vitex and Saw palmetto and all the other herbs ive been taking. Of course i try my best to take the minimal amount of herbs/tablets i can but im experimenting with these at the moment and if i find any success at all i will definitely share :)



#8 WishClean

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 06:08 PM

Thanks for the insight. How did you find out your globulin levels btw?

I'm not taking sp or vitex anymore, but I will say that vitex helped me bounce back after years of birth control pills and antibiotics. Vitex helps a lot with acne related to estrogen or progesterone, not androgen-related acne. Saw palmetto helped me a little bit with mild facial hair, but not nearly as much as myo-inositol. Myo and chiro-inositol help regulate glucose as well. To me, this is a much better alternative to saw palmetto.

Vitex works best in tincture form (try the alcohol-free if you can find it), and shouldn't be taken for a long period of time....I think a year is enough, then you need to recheck your hormones and reduce the dose accordingly otherwise it can cause new imblanaces. Hopefully if you take it with saw palmetto you should be ok, but to be safe make sure you check your hormones every year.

Hello everyone,

 

I can relate to alot of the things you and rainy326 have mentioned. I am 20 years old and I've been diagnosed with PCOS and blood tests revealed i have low estrogen and fairly low progesterone levels along with normal testosterone however i have very low Sex hormone binding globulin levels which indicates to me that i got all this free testosterone around that is also not being balanced out with estrogen and so im left with high androgens in the body which correlates with my oily skin (by end of the day) , mild facial hair (some side burns -.- and other abnormal places) and of course acne. I refuse to go on the pill.

 

I've been taking VItex for 3 and a half months now and it has regulated my period which i am very happy about howver it has not cleared up my acne. Infact ive actually been breaking out on my chin more but it seems to be clearing at the moment. I dont actually get acne on the jaw line however i definitely do get it on my foreheard, particularly the middle, always around my eyebrows (painful cystic ones) and my temples. I occasionally get 1 or  2 on my cheeks which are also the deep cysts ones. I consider myself healthy, im pretty much a major health freak from battling with acne for so long, and i also take chromium, zinc and occasionally a liver tonic. Ive looked at the possible causes of my acne at so many angles and frankly i am exhausted from this. It has taken up so much of my time. At the moment,i should be studying for my exam tomorrow but here i am spending hours doing my research on acne.

 

But anyway, i started taking Saw Palmetto last week, and i think it has a mild effect on the oiliness of my skin. I know its too soon to tell and in addition the saw palmetto i am taking is in powder form. It is difficult in Australia to find a standardised one in store. I will update you on the combination of taking Vitex and Saw palmetto! The reason i dont think Vitex cleared up my skin is because alot of people say its more progesterone -favouring, midly inhibiting estrogen? (well its been put out there anyway) and even though i did say i have low progesterone levels, i dont think having even lower estrogen levels is going to help with balancing out my testosterone. In addition the rise in the progesterone after ovulation tends to make skin much oiler and so i notice that the week before my period my skin is absolutely horrible. The only and little time i notice my skin settling down is RIGHT BEFORE my period and the first couple of days of my period where hormone levels are at its low. I have a period app that says what hormones are dominant at which days etc.

 

In addition, ive spoken to naturopaths/herbalists and they say that there is this correlation with androgens and blood glucose (sugar) levels, its also on the net. A high carb/sugar diet causes a huge spike in blood glucose (sugar) levels and somehow stimulates androgen production/function. And so im trying my best to not have 3 big meals and span out 5 small meals instead but thats really hard for me, because even though i am quite small and underweight, i eat alot and find myself really fixated on food when hungry. This is why i am taking chromium tablets because it is largely involved in the regulation of blood glucose levels. It makes sense, that i have a high blood glucose level because not much of it is being taken up into my body (hence i find it really hard to put on weight) and therefore the presence of high glucose would cause/aggrevate my acne. (I study physiology so i learn about this stuff)- this is considered as a metabolic disorder.

 

I hope i have provided at least a little bit of help or insight based on what im going through too and i will definitely post back on the progess of taking Vitex and Saw palmetto and all the other herbs ive been taking. Of course i try my best to take the minimal amount of herbs/tablets i can but im experimenting with these at the moment and if i find any success at all i will definitely share smile.png


Supplements: inositol, DIM, digestive enzymes [don't need them every day anymore, only on cheat days], herpanacine & vitamin C with rose hips [not every day], regular sun exposure for vitamin D3.

Lifestyle & Skin Care: Low histamine diet, avoiding unnecessary stress, balancing skin's PH (using Image Ormedics), using distilled/ filtered water to wash face, occasional high frequency facials... (although I have been slacking lately)

** Find the cause, find the cure **

 


#9 Cheriee

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 03:01 AM

I found out my sex-binding globulin levels when i did a hormone blood test along with my testosteron, estrogen and progesterone.

Ever since you mentioned inositol ive been researching about it and it seems to do everything i want it to do. So i got a quite abit excited haha. You may have mentioned it in your other posts regarding inositol but what brand are you using? Im looking around and the Swanson Premium Brand keeps popping up.



#10 WishClean

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 10:35 AM

I found out my sex-binding globulin levels when i did a hormone blood test along with my testosteron, estrogen and progesterone.

Ever since you mentioned inositol ive been researching about it and it seems to do everything i want it to do. So i got a quite abit excited haha. You may have mentioned it in your other posts regarding inositol but what brand are you using? Im looking around and the Swanson Premium Brand keeps popping up.

Here's the thread I made with some studies on myo-inositol. Some women have faster results with chiro-inositol but I read some studies comparing the 2 and I decided to go with myo. You can take both if needed, but chiro is hard to find. I take the Source Naturals brand in powder form. Powders are easier for the liver to process. This was the only powder brand at the store, but I read that Jarrow Formulas inositol is supposed to be more potent so when I'm out I'll try that instead. 

For me, inositol works well in regulating excess androgens because I have fewer androgen dominance symptoms, but my doctor thinks I also have high estrogen so I may need to combine inositol with an estrogen regulator. I'm waiting for my lab results before I add anything else. 

According to all the studies and testimonials I read, inositol works very well on its own, but if you have high estrogen problems it won't help with that. 

EDIT: sorry, I forgot to post the link http://www.acne.org/...e/#entry3387883


Edited by WishClean, 22 November 2013 - 12:58 PM.

Supplements: inositol, DIM, digestive enzymes [don't need them every day anymore, only on cheat days], herpanacine & vitamin C with rose hips [not every day], regular sun exposure for vitamin D3.

Lifestyle & Skin Care: Low histamine diet, avoiding unnecessary stress, balancing skin's PH (using Image Ormedics), using distilled/ filtered water to wash face, occasional high frequency facials... (although I have been slacking lately)

** Find the cause, find the cure **

 


#11 brenmc

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 11:53 PM

My cheek acne has become horrible the last few days. I'm currently taking NPC but wondering if I need to address estrogen based on WishClean's advice in another post. Any ideas?
Also, I'm curious why saw palmetto and vitex are pretty much ALWAYS mentioned together?

Please quote me so I know to reply.  


#12 WishClean

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 01:17 AM

My cheek acne has become horrible the last few days. I'm currently taking NPC but wondering if I need to address estrogen based on WishClean's advice in another post. Any ideas?
Also, I'm curious why saw palmetto and vitex are pretty much ALWAYS mentioned together?

brenmc, are you taking NPC every day, or only on certain days of your cycle? 

I'm not a doctor (not that doctors are always helpful anyways) but I think your issue might be estrogen dominance and/or weakened liver. Do you think the spiro might have elevated your estrogen levels indirectly?

Saw palmetto and vitex and usually both contained in tinctures by naturopaths because each one addresses different hormones. I personally had more success with acne on vitex, but now I think just vitex wasn't enough because I also had the androgen issue. 

This was my face in 2009 right after taking off my foundation. I was 6 months on vitex, evening primrose, and acidophilus. Also a huge dose of happiness and healthy exercise. I saved this pic to motivate me the 2nd time I tried vitex, but unfortunately the results weren't as long term (maybe bc I didn't add anything for digestion or for liver support). I did get an increase in facial hair from vitex though, that's why I think it's crucial to take it with an anti-androgen. Now I'd recommend inositol over saw palmetto. 

Attached Files


Edited by WishClean, 24 November 2013 - 01:18 AM.

Supplements: inositol, DIM, digestive enzymes [don't need them every day anymore, only on cheat days], herpanacine & vitamin C with rose hips [not every day], regular sun exposure for vitamin D3.

Lifestyle & Skin Care: Low histamine diet, avoiding unnecessary stress, balancing skin's PH (using Image Ormedics), using distilled/ filtered water to wash face, occasional high frequency facials... (although I have been slacking lately)

** Find the cause, find the cure **

 


#13 jlcampi

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 05:08 AM

EDITED.
I have now figured out how to address high androgens and low progesterone. Working on the estrogen part. No herbs involved yet. 


PCOS is caused by:
Elevated Estrogen; or
Progesterone Deficiency; or
Both

I can give you some symptoms of each if you are interested. There are so many permutations, I will wait to see if you are interested before replying.

The solution to PCOS is progesterone. Keep in mind that this may exacerbate acne. I can make some hormonal suggestions but will need to ask you some questions.

#14 brenmc

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 02:41 PM

Argh! I don't want NPC to make my acne worse!? How do you suggest treating acne if one has PCOS? Also, I think androgens play a big role in PCOS, because of the facial hair growth, no?  

EDITED.
I have now figured out how to address high androgens and low progesterone. Working on the estrogen part. No herbs involved yet. 


PCOS is caused by:
Elevated Estrogen; or
Progesterone Deficiency; or
Both

I can give you some symptoms of each if you are interested. There are so many permutations, I will wait to see if you are interested before replying.

The solution to PCOS is progesterone. Keep in mind that this may exacerbate acne. I can make some hormonal suggestions but will need to ask you some questions.


You look absolutely beautiful! :) Sounds like that worked for you, did the effects just fade over time?

My cheek acne has become horrible the last few days. I'm currently taking NPC but wondering if I need to address estrogen based on WishClean's advice in another post. Any ideas?
Also, I'm curious why saw palmetto and vitex are pretty much ALWAYS mentioned together?

brenmc, are you taking NPC every day, or only on certain days of your cycle? 

I'm not a doctor (not that doctors are always helpful anyways) but I think your issue might be estrogen dominance and/or weakened liver. Do you think the spiro might have elevated your estrogen levels indirectly?

Saw palmetto and vitex and usually both contained in tinctures by naturopaths because each one addresses different hormones. I personally had more success with acne on vitex, but now I think just vitex wasn't enough because I also had the androgen issue. 

This was my face in 2009 right after taking off my foundation. I was 6 months on vitex, evening primrose, and acidophilus. Also a huge dose of happiness and healthy exercise. I saved this pic to motivate me the 2nd time I tried vitex, but unfortunately the results weren't as long term (maybe bc I didn't add anything for digestion or for liver support). I did get an increase in facial hair from vitex though, that's why I think it's crucial to take it with an anti-androgen. Now I'd recommend inositol over saw palmetto. 


Please quote me so I know to reply.  


#15 WishClean

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 03:05 PM

EDITED.
I have now figured out how to address high androgens and low progesterone. Working on the estrogen part. No herbs involved yet. 


PCOS is caused by:
Elevated Estrogen; or
Progesterone Deficiency; or
Both

I can give you some symptoms of each if you are interested. There are so many permutations, I will wait to see if you are interested before replying.

The solution to PCOS is progesterone. Keep in mind that this may exacerbate acne. I can make some hormonal suggestions but will need to ask you some questions.

 

The symptoms for low progesterone and high estrogen overlap, and some androgen excess symptoms also overlap with high estrogen. I will know my lab results sometime this week hopefully. 

 

Argh! I don't want NPC to make my acne worse!? How do you suggest treating acne if one has PCOS? Also, I think androgens play a big role in PCOS, because of the facial hair growth, no?  

 

EDITED.
I have now figured out how to address high androgens and low progesterone. Working on the estrogen part. No herbs involved yet. 


PCOS is caused by:
Elevated Estrogen; or
Progesterone Deficiency; or
Both

I can give you some symptoms of each if you are interested. There are so many permutations, I will wait to see if you are interested before replying.

The solution to PCOS is progesterone. Keep in mind that this may exacerbate acne. I can make some hormonal suggestions but will need to ask you some questions.


You look absolutely beautiful! smile.png Sounds like that worked for you, did the effects just fade over time?

 

It really saved me from really bad, perisistent cystic acne. I stopped because the naturopath who recommended it to me told me that it shouldn't be taken for longer than a year. My skin was clear at the time, and I figured I didn't need it anymore. Within a month, I had a lot of stressful things happen, and I began to break out again. My forehead was broken out with little bumps too, but it rarely breaks out now, so that might have been from a cream I was using. 

I think that if vitex is taken for too long, it may cause gastointestinal issues. I think that's why most naturopaths also prescribe liver toners/detoxifiers along with it, to help the liver process it.

But I know it works because it worked the second time too, but I still broke out here and there, unlike the first time where I was almost always 100% clear. I think maybe now my imbalance is more complex, and I also have allergy issues.

 Brenmc, you have some facial hair too, right? I think that estrogen dominance can also cause hirsutism. I thought only high androgens can do that, but apparently high cortisol and high estrogen can mimic symptoms of high androgens. Ugh, so confusing!


Supplements: inositol, DIM, digestive enzymes [don't need them every day anymore, only on cheat days], herpanacine & vitamin C with rose hips [not every day], regular sun exposure for vitamin D3.

Lifestyle & Skin Care: Low histamine diet, avoiding unnecessary stress, balancing skin's PH (using Image Ormedics), using distilled/ filtered water to wash face, occasional high frequency facials... (although I have been slacking lately)

** Find the cause, find the cure **

 


#16 jlcampi

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 05:16 PM


EDITED.
I have now figured out how to address high androgens and low progesterone. Working on the estrogen part. No herbs involved yet. 


PCOS is caused by:
Elevated Estrogen; or
Progesterone Deficiency; or
Both
I can give you some symptoms of each if you are interested. There are so many permutations, I will wait to see if you are interested before replying.
The solution to PCOS is progesterone. Keep in mind that this may exacerbate acne. I can make some hormonal suggestions but will need to ask you some questions.
 
The symptoms for low progesterone and high estrogen overlap, and some androgen excess symptoms also overlap with high estrogen. I will know my lab results sometime this week hopefully. 
 

Argh! I don't want NPC to make my acne worse!? How do you suggest treating acne if one has PCOS? Also, I think androgens play a big role in PCOS, because of the facial hair growth, no?  


 


EDITED.
I have now figured out how to address high androgens and low progesterone. Working on the estrogen part. No herbs involved yet. 


PCOS is caused by:
Elevated Estrogen; or
Progesterone Deficiency; or
Both
I can give you some symptoms of each if you are interested. There are so many permutations, I will wait to see if you are interested before replying.
The solution to PCOS is progesterone. Keep in mind that this may exacerbate acne. I can make some hormonal suggestions but will need to ask you some questions.
You look absolutely beautiful! :) Sounds like that worked for you, did the effects just fade over time?
 
It really saved me from really bad, perisistent cystic acne. I stopped because the naturopath who recommended it to me told me that it shouldn't be taken for longer than a year. My skin was clear at the time, and I figured I didn't need it anymore. Within a month, I had a lot of stressful things happen, and I began to break out again. My forehead was broken out with little bumps too, but it rarely breaks out now, so that might have been from a cream I was using. 
I think that if vitex is taken for too long, it may cause gastointestinal issues. I think that's why most naturopaths also prescribe liver toners/detoxifiers along with it, to help the liver process it.
But I know it works because it worked the second time too, but I still broke out here and there, unlike the first time where I was almost always 100% clear. I think maybe now my imbalance is more complex, and I also have allergy issues.
 Brenmc, you have some facial hair too, right? I think that estrogen dominance can also cause hirsutism. I thought only high androgens can do that, but apparently high cortisol and high estrogen can mimic symptoms of high androgens. Ugh, so confusing!

Ok, I'm getting confused with the nested quotes.

Wishclean:
You are correct with respect to low progesterone (P4) and high estrogen (estradiol is E2) having overlapping symptoms. There are clinical signs that distinguish the difference.

First half of female cycle - follicular
Second half of cycle - luteal
Progesterone (P4) neutralizes effects of Estrogen
P4 is relatively low until ovulation. At this point it rises over luteal phase and peaks at day 21 if no pregnancy. This is why you always test at day 21 of cycle if concerned about P4.

There are many such symptoms but to give you a few examples.
If you experience swollen, tender breasts during the luteal phase only, then that points to progesterone deficiency.
Swollen breasts all month is estrogen dominance.
Breast ptosis (sagging) during the luteal phase only is estrogen deficiency.

Hirsutism (excessive hair growth) is caused by unopposed Dihydrotestosterone (dht).

To further complicate matters, testosterone is generated generated by the ovaries and by the adrenals (as DHEA that metabolizes to Testosterone). We need the FSH/LH ratio to determine what's going on. Couple this with the clinical picture and it can be treated. If the androgen source is ovarian, then we use estrogen as a first line treatment for hirsutism. If it's adrenal, then we use dexamethasone (medrol). Medrol is a corticosteroid that has very little affinity for the aldosterone receptor, so it wont cause bloating. The adrenals attempt to release equal parts of DHEA and cortisol. Medrol works because it will result in adrenal negative feedback on cortisol so DHEA will also be also be inhibited. No DHEA means no testosterone to convert to DHT and cause excessive hair growth.

#17 WishClean

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 11:20 PM


Ok, I'm getting confused with the nested quotes.

Wishclean:
You are correct with respect to low progesterone (P4) and high estrogen (estradiol is E2) having overlapping symptoms. There are clinical signs that distinguish the difference.

First half of female cycle - follicular
Second half of cycle - luteal
Progesterone (P4) neutralizes effects of Estrogen
P4 is relatively low until ovulation. At this point it rises over luteal phase and peaks at day 21 if no pregnancy. This is why you always test at day 21 of cycle if concerned about P4.

There are many such symptoms but to give you a few examples.
If you experience swollen, tender breasts during the luteal phase only, then that points to progesterone deficiency.
Swollen breasts all month is estrogen dominance.
Breast ptosis (sagging) during the luteal phase only is estrogen deficiency.

Hirsutism (excessive hair growth) is caused by unopposed Dihydrotestosterone (dht).

To further complicate matters, testosterone is generated generated by the ovaries and by the adrenals (as DHEA that metabolizes to Testosterone). We need the FSH/LH ratio to determine what's going on. Couple this with the clinical picture and it can be treated. If the androgen source is ovarian, then we use estrogen as a first line treatment for hirsutism. If it's adrenal, then we use dexamethasone (medrol). Medrol is a corticosteroid that has very little affinity for the aldosterone receptor, so it wont cause bloating. The adrenals attempt to release equal parts of DHEA and cortisol. Medrol works because it will result in adrenal negative feedback on cortisol so DHEA will also be also be inhibited. No DHEA means no testosterone to convert to DHT and cause excessive hair growth.

 

Are you a doctor? 

What are the chances of high estrogen causing hirsutism? I also have some melasma on my face, isn't that also a sign of high estrogen (and sometimes high progesterone esp. if it's cholasma, but I know that my progesterone is low)? 

Basically, my only option at the doctor's office was to do blood testing because my insurance wouldn't cover saliva testing. They drew blood the 2nd day of my period, and I was feeling very hormonal (crying for no reason, depressed, mood swings). Don't you think that if there's an imbalance, this was the right day to do the blood test? I'm hoping it isn't completely useless.

But it probably won't show much about androgens. 

I also get histamine reactions, which is probably unrelated to hormones and has to do with digestion/gut and inflammation. 


Supplements: inositol, DIM, digestive enzymes [don't need them every day anymore, only on cheat days], herpanacine & vitamin C with rose hips [not every day], regular sun exposure for vitamin D3.

Lifestyle & Skin Care: Low histamine diet, avoiding unnecessary stress, balancing skin's PH (using Image Ormedics), using distilled/ filtered water to wash face, occasional high frequency facials... (although I have been slacking lately)

** Find the cause, find the cure **

 


#18 jlcampi

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 03:38 AM




Ok, I'm getting confused with the nested quotes.
Wishclean:
You are correct with respect to low progesterone (P4) and high estrogen (estradiol is E2) having overlapping symptoms. There are clinical signs that distinguish the difference.
First half of female cycle - follicular
Second half of cycle - luteal
Progesterone (P4) neutralizes effects of Estrogen
P4 is relatively low until ovulation. At this point it rises over luteal phase and peaks at day 21 if no pregnancy. This is why you always test at day 21 of cycle if concerned about P4.
There are many such symptoms but to give you a few examples.
If you experience swollen, tender breasts during the luteal phase only, then that points to progesterone deficiency.
Swollen breasts all month is estrogen dominance.
Breast ptosis (sagging) during the luteal phase only is estrogen deficiency.
Hirsutism (excessive hair growth) is caused by unopposed Dihydrotestosterone (dht).
To further complicate matters, testosterone is generated generated by the ovaries and by the adrenals (as DHEA that metabolizes to Testosterone). We need the FSH/LH ratio to determine what's going on. Couple this with the clinical picture and it can be treated. If the androgen source is ovarian, then we use estrogen as a first line treatment for hirsutism. If it's adrenal, then we use dexamethasone (medrol). Medrol is a corticosteroid that has very little affinity for the aldosterone receptor, so it wont cause bloating. The adrenals attempt to release equal parts of DHEA and cortisol. Medrol works because it will result in adrenal negative feedback on cortisol so DHEA will also be also be inhibited. No DHEA means no testosterone to convert to DHT and cause excessive hair growth.

 
Are you a doctor? 
What are the chances of high estrogen causing hirsutism? I also have some melasma on my face, isn't that also a sign of high estrogen (and sometimes high progesterone esp. if it's cholasma, but I know that my progesterone is low)? 
Basically, my only option at the doctor's office was to do blood testing because my insurance wouldn't cover saliva testing. They drew blood the 2nd day of my period, and I was feeling very hormonal (crying for no reason, depressed, mood swings). Don't you think that if there's an imbalance, this was the right day to do the blood test? I'm hoping it isn't completely useless.
But it probably won't show much about androgens. 
I also get histamine reactions, which is probably unrelated to hormones and has to do with digestion/gut and inflammation. 
Hi Wishclean.

No I'm not a doctor. I am familiar with endocrinology, in part, because the subject area interests me.

There is zero chance hirsutism is caused by elevated estrogen. It's only caused by unopposed DHT. As I mentioned you need to understand the testosterone source to come up with the best treatment plan. It could be adrenal (but may not be) based on your last comment. You mentioned melasma in your last post. That could be caused by a cortisol deficiency.

Cortisol is the most important hormone in the human body. If levels drop low enough it becomes a medical emergency and without intervention death can occur. This hormone is responsible for regulating blood pressure, regulating the immune system, fighting inflammation, increasing dynamism and regulating glucose. It's incredibly important to have this hormone regulated if you are correcting thyroid hormone, IGF-1. growth hormone or melatonin.

A few common signs of cortisol deficiency are - fatigue, excessive negativism, feeling like you are a victim, low stress tolerance and periods of yelling and screaming. The latter is caused by an increase in ACTH attempting to stimulate cortisol production by the adrenals. Since this isn't occurring, adrenaline is produced instead.

8 am cortisol should be around 20.

Hormone testing:
The female hormone cycle is well known. Depending on what the complaint looks like we may want to test on a day other than day 21, however testing on a day when progesterone and estradiol just dropped to relatively low concentrations isn't going to provide AS MUCH information. It isn't useless.

Generally, the best lab testing is to combine serum (blood) with urine. It depends what you are looking for though. Saliva testing has some benefit, however it's diagnostic value is low. So why don't we like it? You end up with a free hormone value (free hormones fluctuate substantially throughout the day) and a reference range for the analyte that is large. This makes interpretation more difficult.

You can test for testosterone just about any day of the month (slight increase at ovulation). Best tests to order for testosterone are:
Total testosterone
SHBG
Androstanediol Glucoronide (fist metabolite of DHT)

Of course we need the adrenal androgens, female sex hormones, fsh, lh, etc, etc.

Histamine:
I suggest you order the Array 1 panel from Cyrex labs. This is a saliva sample.

Www.cyrexlabs.com

This test will look for a gluten intolerance. If it comes back positive, then try Array 4 next. This will test for cross gluten sensitivity based on specific foods.

Edited by jlcampi, 25 November 2013 - 03:51 AM.


#19 DanTheNewWorld

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 03:53 AM

just found some interesting videos of barbara o'neill, google ' "hormonal imbalance" by barbara o'neill ' she's a bit on the plants side but it may help with some info.


Edited by DanTheNewWorld, 25 November 2013 - 04:01 AM.

today Putin is trying to steal our land! and no, i'm not referring to Crimea, but to a part of Moldova!


#20 WishClean

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 10:49 AM

Hi Wishclean.

No I'm not a doctor. I am familiar with endocrinology, in part, because the subject area interests me.

There is zero chance hirsutism is caused by elevated estrogen. It's only caused by unopposed DHT. As I mentioned you need to understand the testosterone source to come up with the best treatment plan. It could be adrenal (but may not be) based on your last comment. You mentioned melasma in your last post. That could be caused by a cortisol deficiency.

Cortisol is the most important hormone in the human body. If levels drop low enough it becomes a medical emergency and without intervention death can occur. This hormone is responsible for regulating blood pressure, regulating the immune system, fighting inflammation, increasing dynamism and regulating glucose. It's incredibly important to have this hormone regulated if you are correcting thyroid hormone, IGF-1. growth hormone or melatonin.

A few common signs of cortisol deficiency are - fatigue, excessive negativism, feeling like you are a victim, low stress tolerance and periods of yelling and screaming. The latter is caused by an increase in ACTH attempting to stimulate cortisol production by the adrenals. Since this isn't occurring, adrenaline is produced instead.

8 am cortisol should be around 20.

Hormone testing:
The female hormone cycle is well known. Depending on what the complaint looks like we may want to test on a day other than day 21, however testing on a day when progesterone and estradiol just dropped to relatively low concentrations isn't going to provide AS MUCH information. It isn't useless.

Generally, the best lab testing is to combine serum (blood) with urine. It depends what you are looking for though. Saliva testing has some benefit, however it's diagnostic value is low. So why don't we like it? You end up with a free hormone value (free hormones fluctuate substantially throughout the day) and a reference range for the analyte that is large. This makes interpretation more difficult.

You can test for testosterone just about any day of the month (slight increase at ovulation). Best tests to order for testosterone are:
Total testosterone
SHBG
Androstanediol Glucoronide (fist metabolite of DHT)

Of course we need the adrenal androgens, female sex hormones, fsh, lh, etc, etc.

Histamine:
I suggest you order the Array 1 panel from Cyrex labs. This is a saliva sample.

Www.cyrexlabs.com

This test will look for a gluten intolerance. If it comes back positive, then try Array 4 next. This will test for cross gluten sensitivity based on specific foods.

I would think that based on chronic stress and some mid-section weight gain, my cortisol is high, not low. Again, symptoms of high and low cortisol overlap, which makes it confusing. I'm not even sure they are testing my cortisol. The doctor's office didn't like the fact that I was asking too many questions about the blood test (bc I didn't think it would be that useful) so I didn't get a chance to see which hormones they are checking. I'm pretty sure though they are not checking for all testosterone, which is frustrating. 

Right now I'm betting on high androgens (or androgen sensitivity) and high estrogen, with low progesterone. I'm treating high testosterone with inositol, which has reduced my hirsutism, but I still get some breakouts around ovulation and my period. Not sure if I need to up my inositol dosage or not, because when I first started taking it, it minimized all those breakouts, even the ovulation ones. 


Supplements: inositol, DIM, digestive enzymes [don't need them every day anymore, only on cheat days], herpanacine & vitamin C with rose hips [not every day], regular sun exposure for vitamin D3.

Lifestyle & Skin Care: Low histamine diet, avoiding unnecessary stress, balancing skin's PH (using Image Ormedics), using distilled/ filtered water to wash face, occasional high frequency facials... (although I have been slacking lately)

** Find the cause, find the cure **

 



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