Jump to content

Photo

Vitex (Agnus Castus) And Saw Palmetto

pcos vitex agnus castus chasteberry hormones saw palmetto hirsutism

70 replies to this topic

#41 WishClean

WishClean

    Healthy Lifestyle Advocate

  • Veteran Members
  • Posts & Likes
    Posts: 1,870
    Likes: 392
About Me
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Europe
  • Interests:*Professional Editor & Writer * [Contact me for inquiries]
    movies, traveling, media studies, teaching, writing, research, integrative medicine, acupuncture, exercise, healthy lifestyle
  • Joined: 06-November 11

Achievements

     

Posted 26 November 2013 - 06:05 PM

Bremnc, are you taking the recommended dose of NPC? And how much spiro along with it? 

Do you have any symptoms like weight gain, bloating, anxiety? From what I read, it's very hard to have HIGH progesterone; most young women (you are young, right?) either have regular progesterone levels or, if they have PCOS for example, have low progesterone. Mine is on the lowest range of normal, I think that's why I respond to things like vitex and inositol that boost progesterone. 

I also did some reading up on glucosmart, and that helps with acne too due to the DCI. It would seem like you are doing the right things, but you won't know unless you get tested. Not that testing is conclusive, but  when I got my blood tests last year at least I knew I had low progesterone, not high, so I felt more confident using NPC. Of course, the best thing would be for everyone to test their hormones every day of their cycle, twice a day, and then receive a chart with how each hormone fluctuates. That costs a lot of $$$ and you'd have to go to a private clinic or online to find that type of detailed hormone testing. 

Why don't you start a log like greengables suggested? I will do that too...I have a food diary but the log might help me detect mood patterns when I look back on it. 


Edited by WishClean, 26 November 2013 - 06:06 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 **

 


#42 Green Gables

Green Gables

    RETIRED

  • Veteran Members
  • Posts & Likes
    Posts: 3,096
    Likes: 439
About Me
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Joined: 06-June 11

Posted 26 November 2013 - 09:22 PM

Okay...Vitex now...let's discuss what this actually does.

 

The only thing Vitex has been shown to do in clinical trials is:

 

- Inhibit follicle stimulating hormone (FSH)

- Increase luteinising hormone (LH)

- Reduce acne sometimes

 

What does this mean in practice?

- Increasing LH generally increases progesterone.

- Increases the length of your luteal phase. The luteal phase is the second half of your menstrual cycle. It starts when you begin ovulating and ends when your period begins. Optimum time to get pregnant, which is why Vitex is often used by women trying to get pregnant. 

- Again, increases fertility, because it lowers FSH.

 

Vitex dosage averages are 900 - 1000mg daily if you're using capsules, 60-90 drops daily if using a tincture. 

 

I should note here that women with PCOS generally have a higher than normal LH/FSH ratio. So taking Vitex would not be recommended for PCOS since all it does is increase the LH/FSH ratio.

 

Surges in LH sometimes trigger sebaceous gland activity. Some women get worse acne during the luteal phase precisely because of LH. Yet Vitex has also been shown in a handful of studies to reduce acne. Again, this may be a similar mechanism to progesterone cream, where it has a regulating effect on hormones that fluctuate too dramatically, and it's the regulation itself that clears the skin. 

 

There are some hormonal treatments you can combine. However, I would not really recommend combining spiro with NPC, or spiro with vitex, or NPC with vitex. 

 

Spiro is a great tool if it works for you. But because it is multi-faceted (anti-androgen, progestogenic, estrogenic, diuretic, messes with your electrolytes a bit), it is too difficult to predict what will happen when you combine another treatment with spiro. It works okay with SOME birth control pills, but anything else doesn't fare too well.

 

If spiro has stopped working for you, then either add birth control to the mix, or really you should just quit and move onto something else.

 

I don't recommend combining NPC with Vitex because frankly it's kind of redundant. If progesterone doesn't work for you, there's a chance that the slightly different mechanism of Vitex may work better. But there's no real point in using them both, and certainly not using spiro + NPC + vitex.

 

So with the choice of Spiro, NPC, and Vitex, please just pick one. Combining any of these is just going to give you trouble.

 

So again, we come full circle to basically the idea...that you just gotta try it and see if it does anything for you. 


Edited by Green Gables, 26 November 2013 - 09:27 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

 

 

 


#43 WishClean

WishClean

    Healthy Lifestyle Advocate

  • Veteran Members
  • Posts & Likes
    Posts: 1,870
    Likes: 392
About Me
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Europe
  • Interests:*Professional Editor & Writer * [Contact me for inquiries]
    movies, traveling, media studies, teaching, writing, research, integrative medicine, acupuncture, exercise, healthy lifestyle
  • Joined: 06-November 11

Achievements

     

Posted 26 November 2013 - 09:47 PM

Yeah, that makes sense. I combined vitex with evening primrose both times and it seemed to work faster, but then for some reason I couldn't tolerate EPO or anything oily (like fish oil supplements). If you are trying to guess your imbalance, it's very hard because one of the other hormones like DHEA, FSH, LH, T3/T4 might be the main reason for causing hormonal problems. 

I was only taking 25-30 drops of vitex and that worked for me. At times, I even reduced the dose. I had no idea women take such high doses. 

Brenmc, glucosmart's d chiro inositol might be all you need because it not only regulates glucose, it can act as an antiandrogen and a progesterone booster. Maybe combining 2 DHT blockers (I think chiro is a DHT blocker...it has anti-androgenic properties but not sure it blocks DHT or something else) was too much? Could it be that your testosterone is LOW compared to your other hormones? I'm just speculating here, I don't mean to throw more questions into the mix, but if you are taking 2 antiandrogens, and they can both stand on their own, that might be a bit redundant. 

On the glucosmart forum, they say it's ok to combine the 2, but of course they want to sell their product. This is what they say:

 

 

Yes you can take Glucosmart on top of the anti-androgen. Just take them 2 hours apart.

Estrosmart (4 a day) would also be helpful for you as well, especially with the acne. It will also help to remove any harmful estrogen you may be getting from the pill.

You are going have to decide how you want to go about dealing with this. The pill and the anti-androgen will not fix the root problem. If you want to get off of either of these at some point you will have to address the underlying issue. I would take both Estrosmart and Glucosmart for a few months before you adjust anything else.


Edited by WishClean, 26 November 2013 - 09:50 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 **

 


#44 Green Gables

Green Gables

    RETIRED

  • Veteran Members
  • Posts & Likes
    Posts: 3,096
    Likes: 439
About Me
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Joined: 06-June 11

Posted 26 November 2013 - 09:57 PM

Brenmc,

 

I would also add, if you are getting deeper cystic acne than you ever have before, maybe you're not really estrogen dominant and the progesterone is not helping.

 

It takes months and months for GOOD hormonal changes to finally settle in and manifest in the skin. I was still getting new acne 4-5 months into spironolactone. I already had pretty severe cystic and nodular acne. HOWEVER, even though I was getting new acne, I was not getting cysts that were more massive than I already have. Does that make sense?

 

Getting more acne for a long while is expected. But if you're getting zits that are bigger and deeper than you ever have before, that may be a bad sign.

 

As frustrating as this is, I would really recommend gradually weaning completely off both spiro and NPC. Once you are off of them completely, let's re-assess what your skin is doing without the help of any medications, and find a treatment plan that works better for you.


Edited by Green Gables, 26 November 2013 - 10:00 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

 

 

 


#45 WishClean

WishClean

    Healthy Lifestyle Advocate

  • Veteran Members
  • Posts & Likes
    Posts: 1,870
    Likes: 392
About Me
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Europe
  • Interests:*Professional Editor & Writer * [Contact me for inquiries]
    movies, traveling, media studies, teaching, writing, research, integrative medicine, acupuncture, exercise, healthy lifestyle
  • Joined: 06-November 11

Achievements

     

Posted 27 November 2013 - 12:23 AM

That's true...I noticed I was breaking out less and only during crucial times of my cycle, not continuously so I took that as a good sign.

Brenmc, did you get herpanacine? That's a useful supplement to take and it contains l-lyseine which is good, and dandelion to gently support your liver. I think it's a good quality supplement of some key vitamins and minerals. But if you want to give your liver a complete break, then stop all oral medications & supplements for a few weeks, and then you may be able to just get away with using herpanacine & maybe later add some vitamin D. 

The first time I came off vitex it was almost like coming off birth control. I had a relapse, and what I did to clear my skin completely was simply take a whole food multi (solgar earth source, which unfortunately I can't fully stomach it right now) and acai berry supplements for antioxidants. Also, I started taking yoga and fitness classes with a friend, started socializing more, getting regular sunlight and - after an allergic reaction to a toothpaste - switched all products with sulfates to less harsh ones. I didn't even consciously think that these small changes would make a difference but after a few months I was clear and everyone was complimenting me on my skin. I was able to maintain for about 2 years before going back on vitex. 

 

Btw, I ordered d chiro-inositol today. I spoke with their customer service and they emailed me links to some interesting studies that show the benefits of combining myo and chiro. Might help me speed things up and also help my hair. I figured, why not stick with something that my gut tells me it's working? I stopped myo for a few days and I was a hormonal mess during my period (which I wasn't the last 2 months), I had mood swings and anxiety. Today I was calm, productive, and - given that I only got a few hours of sleep last night- very energetic. Plus, my numbness is gone again. So I'm sticking with that and digestive enzymes until I go get my labs. 


Edited by WishClean, 27 November 2013 - 12:29 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 **

 


#46 jlcampi

jlcampi

    Member

  • Veteran Members
  • Posts & Likes
    Posts: 148
    Likes: 14
About Me
  • Joined: 30-September 13

Posted 27 November 2013 - 01:21 AM

WishClean, honestly I would do the boring, tedious thing and make a log for the next month. Stay consistent on whatever you are taking (inositol and anything else). Same dosage, same time each day. Then log when you
 
- Get acne
- Acne continues forming
- Acne disappears
- When you feel bloated, tired, etc.
- When you feel normal
- When you feel too androgenic / pumped with testosterone
 
If you have the patience for it, I would also log when you get up and when you go to sleep each day.
 
Sometimes the only way we can make hormonal stuff work is to change our supplementation with our cycle. For example, some doctors cycle spironolactone dosages. But this only works if we start with a good picture of what your body is currently doing. So you really need a log so you can see EXACTLY when your hormones are swinging up and down. 

Yep, I'll do that. I already keep a food log which is helpful, and I include stomach pains and other feelings after eating.
Mood is very important too, it definitely messes me up when I am under a lot of stress.
You're right about hormonal fluctuations. The blood tests will basically only show me which hormones were making me so "hormonal" that day, so at least I'll know why I was such a mess during my period.
It's true what they say about inositol's calming effect though because I took it yesterday and today, and I feel like a different person. I might order the chiro too for  extra boost.
thanks for the feedback! It's giving me a lot to think about.

Hi Wishclean,

Keep in mind that your hormones fluctuate in approximately the same way each month. You may "feel" hormonal one particular day, however that simply may be nothing more than the drop in progesterone near the end of your cycle. For women that are estrogen dominant/progesterone deficient, we want to understand the peak output of the corpus luteum during the last half of your cycle. This is why it's so important to test on day 21.

I also agree that it a log would be helpful. If you feel up to it, it would also be very helpful to include your cycle day number in the log.

Combine the symptom log with lab data and your food log and I bet you get some feedback from us that you and your doc can chat about.

#47 WishClean

WishClean

    Healthy Lifestyle Advocate

  • Veteran Members
  • Posts & Likes
    Posts: 1,870
    Likes: 392
About Me
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Europe
  • Interests:*Professional Editor & Writer * [Contact me for inquiries]
    movies, traveling, media studies, teaching, writing, research, integrative medicine, acupuncture, exercise, healthy lifestyle
  • Joined: 06-November 11

Achievements

     

Posted 27 November 2013 - 03:19 PM


Hi Wishclean,

Keep in mind that your hormones fluctuate in approximately the same way each month. You may "feel" hormonal one particular day, however that simply may be nothing more than the drop in progesterone near the end of your cycle. For women that are estrogen dominant/progesterone deficient, we want to understand the peak output of the corpus luteum during the last half of your cycle. This is why it's so important to test on day 21.

I also agree that it a log would be helpful. If you feel up to it, it would also be very helpful to include your cycle day number in the log.

Combine the symptom log with lab data and your food log and I bet you get some feedback from us that you and your doc can chat about.

The blood was drawn on day 2 of my cycle... Noone ever told me that day 21 is the best day to get tested. Argh! Will my results be completely useless then? I figured, day 2 of my cycle is right in the midst of my hormonal moods, so maybe the tests may show something. Actually, when the dr's office called to tell me that they have my lab work, they said there is something hormonal and I need to discuss it with the endocrinologist. So it did show something, I just don't know what. 

 

I'm back on myo-inositol now, and will be receiving d chiro-inositol soon. It's the only thing that's helping my hormones so far, and keeps the facial hair under control. Actually, myo worked faster than any other anti-androgen I have taken and I was quite surprised. 


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 **

 


#48 SoftFocus

SoftFocus

    New Member

  • Members
  • Posts & Likes
    Posts: 15
    Likes: 1
About Me
  • Gender:Female
  • Interests:painting, art, biking, nature
  • Joined: 25-November 13

Posted 28 November 2013 - 03:49 PM

brenmc, what dose of spiro got you clear at first and how long did it take?

It's scary to me that I may have to be on a medication forever...I was hoping to do a course of spiro and then be done with it but I guess it's not accutane. 

This is my exact situation, though spiro is not controlling my acne and I've taken it for much longer.

Hey wishclean, greengables and everyone else commenting on this helpful thread. I have been reading the hormonal forum for a while now, and decided to join so I can ask some questions because wishclean seems to have the same symptoms as me with both androgens and estrogens causing problems.

I have been taking spironolactone for a few months now, and I think it's giving me estrogen dominance symptoms. Before spironolactone, I had actually seen a natureopath who recommended a mixture of saw palmetto, vitex, prickly pear, and some other herbs, but I didn't stick with it long enough to see if it worked and I decided to go with spiro instead. However, my estradiol levels were a bit high (but considered normal range) along with normal androgens on the high end of the scale I guess...I don't remember my progesterone but I think it was low so I think I have the same issues as wishclean and I hope I can get some help here. 

Well, now I Have developed some hyperpigmentation, bloating, weight gain, and just a general feeling of discomfort. My skin is a bit better, but I still get breakouts around those crucial times of the month. Is it possible that spiro is giving me estrogen dominance? Do women combine spiro with something else to regulate estrogen? I feel like I'm on birth control all over again...bloated, moody, depressed. please offer me some feedback on what to do.



GreenGables,

 

What do you then suggest if someone's acne is a result of both androgens and estrogen?

>

Note that DIM is NOT an aromatase inhibitor, i.e. it does not inhibit the CYP19 enzyme.

 

DIM upregulates CYP1A1, CYP1A2 and CYP1B1 enzymes. This increases the speed at which you clear active estrogen from the body, or in other words converts estrone and estradiol (two types of estrogen) into estrogen metabolites. DIM generally gives you more "good" estrogen metabolites (2OH and 4OH) than "bad" estrogen metabolites.

 

However these metabolites that DIM promotes are still estrogenic. What is the benefit? Well, the metabolites are not as estrogenic as estradiol. So the hope is that you reduced your overall estrogenic activity a little bit. Here is where the effects of DIM will vary from person to person.

 

No reduction in estrogen from DIM can occur because:

 

1. In some, the increase in estrogenic activity from the increased estrogen metabolites is roughly equal to the reduction of precursors estradiol and estrogen. So DIM didn't do much for this person.

2. DIM requires certain cofactors in the body to work. We don't really know what all these cofactors are. DIM's results can vary from person to person without a clear answer why. 

 

Increase in free testosterone:

 

Increased estrogen metabolites from DIM can increase free testosterone by knocking them off binding proteins. Generally in someone with more bad metabolites than good, adding DIM will increase good metabolites but will also increase free testosterone. However...

 

Decrease in free testosterone:

 

Some people already have high levels of "good" estrogen metabolites, or 2OH and 4OH. Raising these levels further with DIM creates negative feedback on testosterone that outweighs the estrogenic effects of the estradiol and estrone you had before DIM. 

 

Umm...what?

 

Now, as interesting as this all is, it's not an easy thing for the average person to determine if DIM will have the desired effect. 

 

In my opinion, DIM does not work very well if you are trying to decrease androgenic and estrogenic activity at the same time. If you don't care about a possible rise in androgenic activity (e.g. if you think you mostly have a progesterone/estrogen balance problem, not an androgenic problem), then go for it.

 

But for those of us who clear primarily on anti-androgens, DIM is a poor choice. Personally, it made me break out while still on 100mg of spiro after a very long time being clear. 

 

We can go on for pages and pages about all the possibilities here, but in the end, you can either spend a lot of time finding a practitioner who gives a shit, and has actually looked at research since they graduated from medical school, and then paying them an arm and a leg to take some tests. And hopefully between the two of you, those results will give you something that can be translated into take this drug -> clear your skin. 

 

Or you can take the cheap way and just try something, and record how you feel and how your skin fares. It's not terribly scientific, but it doesn't cost an arm and a leg, either. 


So what...

 

So if you just want to inhibit estrogenic activity, honestly I would go for an actual aromatase inhibitor, not DIM.

 

There are over-the-counter compounds that are supposedly aromatase inhibitors, if that's a route you're interested in going.

 

If you have estrogen dominance, though, it's worth noting that spironolactone is not the way to go either. Estrogen dominance is not going to be solved by taking an anti-androgen with some estrogenic properties. For estrogen dominance you're better off with progesterone supplementation.

 

Study on "natural" products as aromatase inhibitors



I also want to note that DHT itself inhibits aromatase. But I haven't seen conclusive evidence showing that inhibiting aromatase through other means (drugs, supplements) does the reverse and increases DHT.



WishClean,

 

As you know, I am supplementing NPC, but in another post jlcampi said that it can contribute to acne (I can't find where that was written so I apologize if this is a repeat) but what do you make of this?

thanks to you all for weighing in! The endocrine system is so complex, and noone can accurately predict how the body will react to a treatment especially long term. I feel that I'm always the guinea pig for doctors (including naturopaths) because I don't tend to fully respond to any treatments. Vitex took care of my estrogen/progesterone ratio, but didn't help with androgens. I had clear skin, though, but signs of high testosterone like high libido and hirsutism. Anyway, it sounds like based on what you are both saying, progesterone cream would be the safest bet at the moment. The dr I'm seeing specializes in bioidentical hormone therapy, but so far the other patients I have seen there are much older than me, and are probably using bio-identical hormones for pre/post menopause. I also get the impression that once I'm on a bio-identical treatment, I would have to stay on it forever, albeit with tweaks to the dosage, correct? I know the ideal is for the body to learn how to stimulate and regulate its own hormone production via bio-identical therapy, but how often is this successful?

I guess I need to get over my trust issues with doctors and see what she has to say when I get my lab work back. I wasn't able to get much information over the phone, but she did say that my vitamin D (another thing I was tested for) is still not where it needs to be, which means that 3 months of D2 supplementation weren't as strong as I wished. 

Anyway, I'll be posting my labs when I get them and hopefully figure this out soon bc it's driving me crazy! Last night, I couldn't even fall asleep until 5am from stress. I 'll definitely need to work on my sleeping patterns, like greengables suggested, because that's part of the problem. If only my stressful daily life could be avoided, I would be a more balanced person for sure. 

 



#49 brenmc

brenmc

    Member

  • Veteran Members
  • Posts & Likes
    Posts: 485
    Likes: 47
About Me
  • Gender:Female
  • Joined: 10-November 08

Posted 28 November 2013 - 06:40 PM

WishClean,

In hearing, through this forum, that estrogen dominance is not a major cause of acne, rather it's important to keep hormone levels stable, I wonder if vitex would do a better job than NPC? Absorbed better, more consistent? I'm just considering it as something to look into. Vitamins still on the way.

SoftFocus,

I took 100mg-150mg. It took me less than a month to get clear but some people take much longer. I'm still taking 100mg but am not clear anymore, so I'm reviewing my treatment options.

#50 WishClean

WishClean

    Healthy Lifestyle Advocate

  • Veteran Members
  • Posts & Likes
    Posts: 1,870
    Likes: 392
About Me
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Europe
  • Interests:*Professional Editor & Writer * [Contact me for inquiries]
    movies, traveling, media studies, teaching, writing, research, integrative medicine, acupuncture, exercise, healthy lifestyle
  • Joined: 06-November 11

Achievements

     

Posted 28 November 2013 - 08:58 PM

WishClean,

In hearing, through this forum, that estrogen dominance is not a major cause of acne, rather it's important to keep hormone levels stable, I wonder if vitex would do a better job than NPC? Absorbed better, more consistent? I'm just considering it as something to look into. Vitamins still on the way.

SoftFocus,

I took 100mg-150mg. It took me less than a month to get clear but some people take much longer. I'm still taking 100mg but am not clear anymore, so I'm reviewing my treatment options.

 

I don't think estrogen dominance is discussed enough on this forum, I think that's why...but if you widen your research you can read more about it on various sites. In my case, vitex cleared my skin by balancing my estrogen:progesterone ratio. It didn't do much for my androgens,that's why I experienced an increase in body hair and hair loss on my head. Some women experience a decrease in hirsutism from vitex, though, so I guess everyone reacts differently. But what this showed for me was that I can have clear skin AND symptoms of high testosterone, so I figured that estrogen and progesterone played a part in my acne, maybe an even bigger part than testosterone. The second time on vitex, though, I didn't have the same success as the first time. I remember having allergies to various things like dust and humidity, runny nose, etc...so maybe my immune system wasn't coping well with taking vitex plus other supplements I had taken before. It did clear me consistently, but I still had the occasional flare up here and there....I would also get flare ups whenever I ate too much sugar or if I washed my face with harsh water, so it didn't make me "immune" to other triggers.

If you go with vitex, try to find it in liquid form so that it's easier on your liver. I think your liver might need a break from drugs and supplements..the tincture is much easier. I was taking under 30 drops. I read somewhere that the dose can be adjusted according to your cycle - maybe that would have helped me even more. I was taking the same dose every day. I'm thinking that perhaps the dose needs to be lowered during the days progesterone peaks.


Edited by WishClean, 28 November 2013 - 09:55 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 **

 


#51 SoftFocus

SoftFocus

    New Member

  • Members
  • Posts & Likes
    Posts: 15
    Likes: 1
About Me
  • Gender:Female
  • Interests:painting, art, biking, nature
  • Joined: 25-November 13

Posted 28 November 2013 - 09:54 PM

Some women get acne during pregnancy, due to the sudden peak in estrogen and progesterone, not necessarily testosterone. I guess there are various factors. High cortisol can also cause acne. so many things! 



#52 brenmc

brenmc

    Member

  • Veteran Members
  • Posts & Likes
    Posts: 485
    Likes: 47
About Me
  • Gender:Female
  • Joined: 10-November 08

Posted 29 November 2013 - 10:29 AM

Thanks so much WishClean! I am on my way to school or I would write more, but the main thing I want to say is, I guess it's just easy to get confused or discouraged when reading all the various theories regarding the cause of acne, so I appreciate your consistent insight!
With Vitex, did you get an IB? How long did it take to work? What brand did you use? And was there a rebound when you went off it?
The reason why I'm considering vitex over NPG is 1) cost, 2) better absorption and 3) more consistent progesterone dose (cream can rub off or be hard to keep exact measurements).
Do you think this is a better idea for me?
I hear what you're saying about my liver, I will be taking those vitamins that help with it, I also stopped glucosmart and don't plan on adding anything else to my treatment (just swapping NPC for Vitex, maybe).
SoftFocus, good points re pregnant women and acne!

#53 WishClean

WishClean

    Healthy Lifestyle Advocate

  • Veteran Members
  • Posts & Likes
    Posts: 1,870
    Likes: 392
About Me
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Europe
  • Interests:*Professional Editor & Writer * [Contact me for inquiries]
    movies, traveling, media studies, teaching, writing, research, integrative medicine, acupuncture, exercise, healthy lifestyle
  • Joined: 06-November 11

Achievements

     

Posted 29 November 2013 - 01:36 PM

Thanks so much WishClean! I am on my way to school or I would write more, but the main thing I want to say is, I guess it's just easy to get confused or discouraged when reading all the various theories regarding the cause of acne, so I appreciate your consistent insight!
With Vitex, did you get an IB? How long did it take to work? What brand did you use? And was there a rebound when you went off it?
The reason why I'm considering vitex over NPG is 1) cost, 2) better absorption and 3) more consistent progesterone dose (cream can rub off or be hard to keep exact measurements).
Do you think this is a better idea for me?
I hear what you're saying about my liver, I will be taking those vitamins that help with it, I also stopped glucosmart and don't plan on adding anything else to my treatment (just swapping NPC for Vitex, maybe).
SoftFocus, good points re pregnant women and acne!

 

You're right. Causes of acne really vary. Mine goes away when I'm on a really strict diet...so there are ways around it without going into hormonal treatments, but of course it's nice to be able to eat more freely when you are taking something to regulate your hormones. 

The first time on vitex my acne was pretty bad to begin with so I don't remember getting an IB....I was also eating horribly, so I remember breaking out after indulging in too much sugar - nothing to do with vitex. The second time I didn't have an IB but I kept getting flare ups around ovulation and my period until 3 months into it. I just noticed they were less severe and easier to cover with makeup. And I also remember being more sensitive to allergies the second time around, that was one reason I quit taking it. 

When I went off it, both times, hell broke loose! It was almost as bad as getting off bcp, even when I tried to wean off slowly. The second time I didn't wean off as slowly as I wanted to because I was having histamine reactions and hives, and the doctor put me on antihistamines and told me not to take anything else with it (big mistake!). Not sure if vitex made me more prone to hives, or if it was purely allergies that caused it, but I did read about women developing hives from vitex. I don't know if I may have developed an allergy to it, like I did to other things....I still wonder about that. But overall, it's much safer than bcp, I think I was just sensitive to it towards the end of my 2nd course because I already had other digestive issues going on before I even started re-taking it. I should have tried taking probiotics with it like I did the first time, maybe you should try that too if you find it hard on your stomach. Start SLOW and then increase because it's more likely to cause an IB if you start with a high dose. If i were you, I would continue the NPC for at least the first month on vitex, then wean off slowly and increase vitex. 

As greengables said, I don't recommend taking spiro while on vitex, they can cancel each other out or cause negative interactions with each other. But I don't think you should quit spiro cold turkey....decrease first, then maybe switch to glucosmart (for a less potent antiandrogen), then keep taking glucosmart with vitex & NPC, then wean off NPC and glucosmart. Does that make sense? I don't think it's good to stop everything cold turkey. 

Also, if you notice increased facial hair and thinning hair on your head while on vitex, add inositol (glucosmart or get the powder form). I think vitex needs to be taken with an antiandrogen a few months into it. If I were to take it again, I would definitely pair it up with inositol to prevent hirsutism. 


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 **

 


#54 brenmc

brenmc

    Member

  • Veteran Members
  • Posts & Likes
    Posts: 485
    Likes: 47
About Me
  • Gender:Female
  • Joined: 10-November 08

Posted 29 November 2013 - 02:17 PM

Thanks GreenGables, but there is no way I would quit every acne treatment. I have struggled with severe acne since I was 16, I'm now 30, and it has never been manageable without treatment. Also, I do not have access to hormonal testing, so there would be no point in quitting everything to "assess", the result would just be more painful acne and more guessing. I also have no intention of taking multiple medications or mixing medications, just exploring my options. Regarding the type of acne I am getting, I would say the nodules are average, pre-treatment. However, for three years on spiro I was clear with no nodules.  What bc would you suggest works well with spiro? I’ve tried Diane and had a horrible rebound, so not that one.

 

WishClean, thanks for the info, but it's sounding like vitex is not a better option (for me) than NPC. I've lowered my dose of NPC and am going to observe how that goes.

 

I know it's been said on this forum, but I still find it confusing, what hormones are at play during menstruation that may trigger acne? This is my worst time for nodules.

 



#55 WishClean

WishClean

    Healthy Lifestyle Advocate

  • Veteran Members
  • Posts & Likes
    Posts: 1,870
    Likes: 392
About Me
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Europe
  • Interests:*Professional Editor & Writer * [Contact me for inquiries]
    movies, traveling, media studies, teaching, writing, research, integrative medicine, acupuncture, exercise, healthy lifestyle
  • Joined: 06-November 11

Achievements

     

Posted 29 November 2013 - 04:15 PM

Thanks GreenGables, but there is no way I would quit every acne treatment. I have struggled with severe acne since I was 16, I'm now 30, and it has never been manageable without treatment. Also, I do not have access to hormonal testing, so there would be no point in quitting everything to "assess", the result would just be more painful acne and more guessing. I also have no intention of taking multiple medications or mixing medications, just exploring my options. Regarding the type of acne I am getting, I would say the nodules are average, pre-treatment. However, for three years on spiro I was clear with no nodules.  What bc would you suggest works well with spiro? I’ve tried Diane and had a horrible rebound, so not that one.

 

WishClean, thanks for the info, but it's sounding like vitex is not a better option (for me) than NPC. I've lowered my dose of NPC and am going to observe how that goes.

 

I know it's been said on this forum, but I still find it confusing, what hormones are at play during menstruation that may trigger acne? This is my worst time for nodules.

brenmc, have you tried keeping a log of your breakouts, as it was suggested to me? Mine usually occur during ovulation/mid-cycle and on my period. I'm 30 too, btw, and the older we get, the more risky it is to be on birth control. I wouldn't recommend spiro and bcp, but maybe you can try yaz which has some anti-adrogenic properties. However, if you have estrogen dominance, bcp will only make it worse and will cause weight gain. And any time you try to get off bcp, your body will basically not know what to do without the synthetic hormones. There's no immediate freakout, because the hormones are still in your system, but a few months after coming off bcp is when women usually start to break out if they were acne prone before. It's better to either be on spiro, which is not a synthetic hormone but a hormonal treatment, or go the herb or supplement route. I tried a lot of bcp and, considering the side effects of those, vitex was relatively safe.

Is there a chance that you don't need to take anything? The first time I was on vitex I took it too long... my mom was lucky enough to be on hormones for only 6 months and then she was able to come off and everything was balanced. So, could it be possible that you don't need anti-androgens anymore? Technically, you were on 2. And I read that glucosmart has 600mg of chiro-insitol, which is the recommended amount for thin women with PCOS if they are NOT taking other antiandrogens. If they are, then you are supposed to use less I think. And your spiro dose was high....I don't know what your weight is, but if you are a small person, you might have been taking too many anti-androgens. We need a bit of testosterone, so if testosterone is too low compared to other hormones that can be an issue too.

I'm just guessing though...the safest would be to take a hormone test to at least get a vague idea of what your imbalance is. I know it's difficult right now though, but guessing can be tricky saywhat.gif  


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 **

 


#56 SoftFocus

SoftFocus

    New Member

  • Members
  • Posts & Likes
    Posts: 15
    Likes: 1
About Me
  • Gender:Female
  • Interests:painting, art, biking, nature
  • Joined: 25-November 13

Posted 29 November 2013 - 07:30 PM

I agree about liver support. If the liver isn't working properly, there's no use in taking more stuff for acne. I read about NAC for hormonal balance but I haven't tried it yet. 



#57 brenmc

brenmc

    Member

  • Veteran Members
  • Posts & Likes
    Posts: 485
    Likes: 47
About Me
  • Gender:Female
  • Joined: 10-November 08

Posted 30 November 2013 - 11:21 AM

Guessing can definitely be tricky. I understand the idea of stopping everything, but, as I said, I have done that over the course of the last 15 years and the result has always been the same- acne returns full force or worse (in the case of bc). :(

#58 WishClean

WishClean

    Healthy Lifestyle Advocate

  • Veteran Members
  • Posts & Likes
    Posts: 1,870
    Likes: 392
About Me
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Europe
  • Interests:*Professional Editor & Writer * [Contact me for inquiries]
    movies, traveling, media studies, teaching, writing, research, integrative medicine, acupuncture, exercise, healthy lifestyle
  • Joined: 06-November 11

Achievements

     

Posted 30 November 2013 - 05:48 PM

Guessing can definitely be tricky. I understand the idea of stopping everything, but, as I said, I have done that over the course of the last 15 years and the result has always been the same- acne returns full force or worse (in the case of bc). sad.png

I know what you mean. Even doctors are guessing most of the time, and while it may seem relatively safe in the short term, long term side effects say otherwise. There's no chance of you trying to get hormonal testing, even through online saliva testing (the one where they send you the kit and you collect samples and send them back)? I know it's hard where you live, but you don't want to cause another imbalance if what you have been taking so far is no longer working for you. it's either because your hormones changed or you are not responding to the treatment anymore....or, your body can't process the drug as well as it used to. It would help you if you had an indication of what might be wrong internally. Most of us here are guessing based on your symptoms but it's hard to pinpoint the exact cause without some sort of testing.

Btw, was it you who was taking conjugated linoleic acid/ CLA? If so, that can actually worsen insulin resistance and even negate the effects of glucosmart.  


Edited by WishClean, 30 November 2013 - 07:34 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 **

 


#59 brenmc

brenmc

    Member

  • Veteran Members
  • Posts & Likes
    Posts: 485
    Likes: 47
About Me
  • Gender:Female
  • Joined: 10-November 08

Posted 01 December 2013 - 11:14 AM


Thanks for the reply. I'm going away next week, but when I get back I will look into ordering some hormonal testing online.

Guessing can definitely be tricky. I understand the idea of stopping everything, but, as I said, I have done that over the course of the last 15 years and the result has always been the same- acne returns full force or worse (in the case of bc). :(

I know what you mean. Even doctors are guessing most of the time, and while it may seem relatively safe in the short term, long term side effects say otherwise. There's no chance of you trying to get hormonal testing, even through online saliva testing (the one where they send you the kit and you collect samples and send them back)? I know it's hard where you live, but you don't want to cause another imbalance if what you have been taking so far is no longer working for you. it's either because your hormones changed or you are not responding to the treatment anymore....or, your body can't process the drug as well as it used to. It would help you if you had an indication of what might be wrong internally. Most of us here are guessing based on your symptoms but it's hard to pinpoint the exact cause without some sort of testing.
Btw, was it you who was taking conjugated linoleic acid/ CLA? If so, that can actually worsen insulin resistance and even negate the effects of glucosmart.  


#60 WishClean

WishClean

    Healthy Lifestyle Advocate

  • Veteran Members
  • Posts & Likes
    Posts: 1,870
    Likes: 392
About Me
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Europe
  • Interests:*Professional Editor & Writer * [Contact me for inquiries]
    movies, traveling, media studies, teaching, writing, research, integrative medicine, acupuncture, exercise, healthy lifestyle
  • Joined: 06-November 11

Achievements

     

Posted 01 December 2013 - 10:08 PM

I have to go get my lab results tomorrow, and if my estrogen is high the doc wants me to try myomin. I was reading random stuff about it, and similarities to vitex came up, so I tried to see why vitex stopped working for me long term.

I was reading some stuff on vitex on examine.com for a synthesis of medical studies and now I'm really confused. At some points, it says it can have an anti-estrogenic effect, but in another part it says it can actually increase both progesterone and estrogen. This site also mentions effects on dopamine, melatonin, and other parts of the endocrine system. http://examine.com/supplements/Vitex+agnus+castus/ 

Any thoughts on what issues long term vitex supplementation might cause? For me, it fixed the problem at first, then I don't know what happened. But this used to be my go-to cure, so I figured I need to find something comparable for the estrogen part since the rest are sort of covered now.


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 **

 





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users