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Doctor Wants To Put Me On Spiro - Help Me Find An Herbal/natural Alternative

spironolactone saw palmetto progesterone cream

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#1 WishClean

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 09:35 PM

After practically exhausting holistic approaches, including naturopathy, acupuncture, and Chinese medicine, I went in to see my primary physician because my face was getting swollen from nasty cysts. It looked kind of like an allergic reaction (I had taken milk thistle and vitex, that might have been the trigger this time) and was getting heart palpitations and insomnia so I went in to get some bloodwork done. The doctor said that regardless of the hormone & thyroid tests (those were the only ones I could afford, I will need to see an endocrinologist later on), she would like to put me on spironolactone. I tried saw palmetto for almost 3 months with no consistent results, tried vitex & evening primrose with results only the first time, tried zinc & vitamin d3 with more breakouts, tried anti-candida diets, low GI diets, etc. I feel like I have exhausted most common approaches that work for others but not me. The only thing I haven't tried yet is a natural progesterone cream, but I'm not sure if I am too young to start using that (I'm almost 30). Any suggestions? I really don't want to go on the spiro unless I have truly tried everything else. I don't want to do that to my body because I'm afraid of long term effects. Please help! I don't even recognize myself anymore...my confidence is gone and what used to previously work for me in terms of diet and supplements is no longer working.

 

Btw, I have PCOS and mild hirsutism, but my periods are monthly and regular.


Edited by WishClean, 04 April 2013 - 09:37 PM.


#2 TreatAcne

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 06:57 AM

Here's a forum that might hep answer some of your concerns about Spiro:

 

http://www.acne.org/...spironolactone/

 

A lot of people I know took this and did not have as many side effects as Accutane, so I *kind of* recommend it.

 

Yes, I think you are way to young for that cream. In fact your acne looks a lot like mine, but I was shown negative for just about everything tested, so no one had an answer for my skin. 

 

You have tried what seems to be everything holistic to take care of your acne. The only issue is that acne comes from the inside, so nothing you put on your face will help. It will treat the acne and keep it at bay, but it will never cure it. This is also proven with your PCOS. If your PCOS is for sure causing your acne, toss whatever you have away for nothing will work from the outside unless you come up with a functional regimen to hide it.

 

Here are also a few posts on PCOS:

 

http://www.acne.org/...s/#entry3169118

http://www.acne.org/...-4#entry3333679

http://www.acne.org/...s/#entry3023219

 

A lot of those pages have links so read carefully.

 

 

If you have been tested and shown positive for PCOS, there's actually a diet that *may* work for that:

 

http://pinterest.com/srberger/pcos-diet-recipes/ 

 

The biggest issue I have with the PCOS diets is that they don't omit gluten or food chemicals. Your best source of information is probably at your local library since some PCOS diets have conflicting information on the web, but gluten can be a serious issue in regards to your insulin levels. You may need to also take something directly for your insulin levels such as a supplement, but if possible always wait out on that.

 

I am sorry to hear that common acne free diets did not work for you. If that's the case, I suggest taking it a step further. There are numerous things that can cause breakouts, and most of the time they are food allergies. Every single thing that passes through your mouth shows up in a matter of hours. Common acne triggers are wheat/gluten, dairy, soy, peanuts (not a nut, actually a legume), eggs, shellfish, nuts, etc... The best and only diet for those starting is all vegetables, some fruit, and water (or hot tea). Make sure you try a particular diet for at least 4 months.

 

Here is where you should start of in helping you find an acne free diet IF you already haven't:

 

http://www.acne.org/...t-lead-to-acne/

 

GOOD LUCK!! :3


Edited by TreatAcne, 05 April 2013 - 07:06 AM.


#3 alternativista

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 08:56 AM

We also have progesterone cream threads. There's probably a link in the Good Things thread.

And I really believe, from my own experience and from things said by other cyst/nodule suffered, that they tend to be due to a food intolerance and not true acne. Mine are a reaction to many citrus fruits.

#4 WishClean

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 11:01 AM

thanks for your suggestions, I will look into them some more. I have pretty much memorized the Good Things thread by now grinwink.gif  My diet has been gluten free for over a year, now also dairy free and low sugar. Ironically, back in the days where I used to smoke a lot of cigarettes and drink a lot of soy milk my skin was clearer. I had a glass of soy milk yesterday just out of curiosity (no cigarettes though - I quit for good). I might reincorporate that and see what happens, since my skin used to react positively to unsweetened soy milk. I am also worried I might have an obscure food allergy, like to a specific oil or even worse to all detergents or something like that, because I have cut out the main triggers with no results. I have yet to try going raw, but might give that a go as well.

As for the progesterone creams, that does sound interesting and less intimidating than spiro....my doctor also mentioned seeing an expert in bioidentical hormone therapy - anyone heard of that? She said they might be able to balance my body by prescribing non-synthetic hormones rather than birth control etc.



#5 leelowe1

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 06:29 PM

People assume because it doesn't come from a pharmacy, it is good for you.  Herbal supplements can also hurt your body so please be careful with self medicating.  My acne EXPLODED when i switched over to all natural supplements and skin care.  Also my GP immeadiately took me off a natural supplement prescribed by a holistic person saying that it was messing up my hormones (scary).  As one poster said, Spiro can definitely help if that is your particular issue.  No harm in considering it.



#6 WishClean

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 07:48 PM

True...I have experienced first hand negative and allergic reactions from herbal supplements as well, so I am not saying that all herbal supplements are beneficial. What bothered me was the doctor's apathy (and this applies to other doctors I have seen as well, including a naturopath) in prescribing spiro as a standardized treatment for acne and PCOS without even waiting until my blood tests are back. She admitted to me that they have very few treatments for hormonal acne, and that I either need to take spiro or seek more specialized advice from an endocrinologist and/or a bio-identical hormone specialist. Unfortunately, I am currently on grad student insurance until I finish my doctorate in August, so I don't have access to the most qualified medical care. Sometimes self-diagnosing has proven more effective than what these doctors have been prescribing - I was just frustrated with their trial and (mostly) error approach, and it seems that even the blood work they had me do might prove to be pointless because they will prescribe spiro regardless. So basically this will address the acne short term, but not the root of the problem. I have been on various BCP and hormonal drugs, and they only worked short term - every time I would go off them, my acne would return with a vengeance.  As I said before, I have seen what herbs and supplements can do, that's why I am not ready to give up yet confused.gif I would consider spiro more seriously if an endocrinologist had prescribed it, not a general doctor who prescribed it without even waiting for my bloodwork and considering the complexity of my condition. At least in Chinese medicine they read a person's pulse and vital signs to come up with an individualized plan, not a standardized "solution" that masks the cause of the problem. Ok, I'm done venting, thanks for reading!


Edited by WishClean, 05 April 2013 - 08:18 PM.


#7 Riversea

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 08:04 AM

The good thing about your doctor’s approach to treating you is that it’s evidence-based, unlike most holistic treatments.

You might find this article interesting: Oral Spironolactone in Post-teenage Female Patients with Acne Vulgaris

http://www.ncbi.nlm....les/PMC3315877/

 

Because of the complexity of acne, unlike say, liver damage, which can be pretty definitively identified using blood work etc, it’s extremely difficult to identify a cause from blood work. For example, even hormonal female acne doesn’t always show abnormally high circulating androgen levels (mine was completely normal), but certain types of tissue androgen may still be too high. So even if the tests come back negative, it doesn’t mean that your acne isn’t hormonally related, and it’s therefore still useful to try spironolactone. This could explain why he/she’s prescribing it before the results are back. Hormonal acne tends to be most severe on the lower part of the face/upper neck, and is often a bit sore. So he/she may be using this as an indication of hormonal acne.

In terms of what your doctor should be testing for, this may explain why. As long as you don’t have a renal condition, you’re pretty much good to go:

“It is important to establish prior to initiating therapy with spironolactone that there is no history of renal disease, that the patient does not utilize salt substitutes (many contain potassium in place of sodium), and is not utilizing potassium supplements, other potassium-sparing diuretics (i.e., amiloride, triamterene), ACE inhibitors, or ARBs. Many clinicians do not obtain baseline laboratory testing, including serum electrolytes, in young healthy female patients with AV with no medical problems who are not on any medication that may put them at risk for hyperkalemia when combined with spironolactone. Nevertheless, obtaining a complete blood cell count and chemical profile (including serum electrolytes) is a prudent approach to establish a baseline and to exclude some potential unexpected concerns in the given patient, such as pre-existing hyperkalemia or impaired renal function. After starting spironolactone for AV, clinical monitoring every 4 to 6 weeks, with adjustment of dose based on clinical response and assessment of side effects, is recommended until stabilization occurs.35 Laboratory monitoring in general is not essential overall, but some clinicians choose to test for hyperkalemia during the initial three months of treatment and periodically thereafter (Table 4).35 Serum potassium level monitoring and other testing, if applicable, can always be incorporated based on clinical judgment for individual patients who exhibit certain risk factors, such as older individuals and those on OCs containing DROSP.34 It is uncommon to experience hyperkalemia from spironolactone in healthy individuals; however, new-onset muscle cramps or weakness can be important clinical clues.”

If you’re worried about potential risks of spironolactone, here’s a study looking at the effects over a 8 year period:

Long-term safety of spironolactone in acne: results of an 8-year followup study. http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/12219252

Hope this helps. 



#8 alternativista

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 08:56 AM

True...I have experienced first hand negative and allergic reactions from herbal supplements as well, so I am not saying that all herbal supplements are beneficial. What bothered me was the doctor's apathy (and this applies to other doctors I have seen as well, including a naturopath) in prescribing spiro as a standardized treatment for acne and PCOS without even waiting until my blood tests are back.

 

I had a similar experience.  I tried going to an ENT trying to figure out why I always feel so thirsty and congested.  People are often congested by thickened mucus due to dehydration.  Also, at the time my eyes felt dry and gritty.   The ENT named one condition, Sjrogen's syndrome, tested for that one condition, and prescribed expensive medication for that, plus things for symptoms I didn't have.  I don't know why I filled the oral med for Sjrogens. What a waste of money.  I didn't fill the others.  But about a week later, lab test results showed I didn't have Sjrogens. 

 

And I later figured out my eyes felt dry due to two things, my ceiling fans set on high and mineral makeup.  Turned the fans down and started being more careful.

 

Sorry, but doctors have been completely useless wastes of time and money for me. With the possible exception of the dermatologist that identified my rosacea. I hadn't heard of it before.  Of course, once the prescription cream ran out, I discovered aloe vera gel worked just as well. And now I know that diet works even better.   And don't get me started on my mother's useless doctors.  Other than for emergency interventions and diagnostics which are still iffy, our western conventional medicine should not be trusted blindly.

 

That said, you should be very careful trying to manipulate your hormones, under a doctors supervision or not.  You could get worse.  How many birth control stories have you heard from doctors prescribing them by trial and error until you find one that if not helpful, doesn't worsen symptoms or make you crazy.  That's partly because your hormones fluctuate.  One test is meaningless. It would take many at different times of the day and month to get a useful picture.

 

The best way is to help your body manage itself with as natural and healthy as possible lifestyle and diet habits.



#9 WishClean

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 11:59 AM

True...I have experienced first hand negative and allergic reactions from herbal supplements as well, so I am not saying that all herbal supplements are beneficial. What bothered me was the doctor's apathy (and this applies to other doctors I have seen as well, including a naturopath) in prescribing spiro as a standardized treatment for acne and PCOS without even waiting until my blood tests are back.

 

I had a similar experience.  I tried going to an ENT trying to figure out why I always feel so thirsty and congested.  People are often congested by thickened mucus due to dehydration.  Also, at the time my eyes felt dry and gritty.   The ENT named one condition, Sjrogen's syndrome, tested for that one condition, and prescribed expensive medication for that, plus things for symptoms I didn't have.  I don't know why I filled the oral med for Sjrogens. What a waste of money.  I didn't fill the others.  But about a week later, lab test results showed I didn't have Sjrogens. 

 

And I later figured out my eyes felt dry due to two things, my ceiling fans set on high and mineral makeup.  Turned the fans down and started being more careful.

 

Sorry, but doctors have been completely useless wastes of time and money for me. With the possible exception of the dermatologist that identified my rosacea. I hadn't heard of it before.  Of course, once the prescription cream ran out, I discovered aloe vera gel worked just as well. And now I know that diet works even better.   And don't get me started on my mother's useless doctors.  Other than for emergency interventions and diagnostics which are still iffy, our western conventional medicine should not be trusted blindly.

 

That said, you should be very careful trying to manipulate your hormones, under a doctors supervision or not.  You could get worse.  How many birth control stories have you heard from doctors prescribing them by trial and error until you find one that if not helpful, doesn't worsen symptoms or make you crazy.  That's partly because your hormones fluctuate.  One test is meaningless. It would take many at different times of the day and month to get a useful picture.

 

The best way is to help your body manage itself with as natural and healthy as possible lifestyle and diet habits.

 

Yes, that's good advice. I have been clear with herbs and vitamins before (for up to 1-2 years, not just a couple of months), but I think my condition right now is more complex to be treated with a 1-2 herbs or a multivitamin as it had in the past. I was hoping the blood tests would help me out, so that I am not experimenting with no clear indication on what's wrong, but hormones fluctuate so much as you said, and it's hard to tell what's truly off balance. What typically happens when I see a GP doctor/ gynecologist is that they suspect high androgens or anemia, but never confirm their suspicions because they don't show up in the lab tests. Interestingly, my acupuncturist also thinks I have a blood deficiency and is trying to treat it by strengthening my immune system.

My lifestyle has been as healthy as can be the past few years, but I had suffered from eating disorders and also used to be a smoker so it will take a long time to repair that damage. I have been suspecting leaky gut or candida, but I wasn't too strict with the diet so I couldn't tell for sure. But wouldn't it make sense, given that everything that had been working for me in the past is now not working? Perhaps the minerals and nutrients are not getting absorbed and my body is expelling them as toxins through my face? Not even zinc and vitamin D3 worked for me, they just aggravated my acne even more. I stopped taking my usual supplements for now, apart from l-glutathione, to see if there is an improvement of some sort. I know that the l-glutathione is getting absorbed (at least partially) because it's giving me insomnia if I take it late in the day. Every naturopath I had seen would recommend it, but for some reason (probably the insomnia), I never stuck with it for long. I am also avoiding dairy, sugar, meat, and gluten, but have been doing that for a while anyways.

 

Btw, I was curious, why did mineral makeup cause sensitivity? Was it the ingredients?

Ceiling fans collect a lot of dust, I am always nervous about turning mine on when the weather gets warmer because I start sneezing and my eyes feel itchy. I usually use my A/C instead, or let the fan run a few times before actually sitting under it.



#10 alternativista

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 02:41 PM

 

True...I have experienced first hand negative and allergic reactions from herbal supplements as well, so I am not saying that all herbal supplements are beneficial. What bothered me was the doctor's apathy (and this applies to other doctors I have seen as well, including a naturopath) in prescribing spiro as a standardized treatment for acne and PCOS without even waiting until my blood tests are back.

 

I had a similar experience.  I tried going to an ENT trying to figure out why I always feel so thirsty and congested.  People are often congested by thickened mucus due to dehydration.  Also, at the time my eyes felt dry and gritty.   The ENT named one condition, Sjrogen's syndrome, tested for that one condition, and prescribed expensive medication for that, plus things for symptoms I didn't have.  I don't know why I filled the oral med for Sjrogens. What a waste of money.  I didn't fill the others.  But about a week later, lab test results showed I didn't have Sjrogens. 

 

And I later figured out my eyes felt dry due to two things, my ceiling fans set on high and mineral makeup.  Turned the fans down and started being more careful.

 

Sorry, but doctors have been completely useless wastes of time and money for me. With the possible exception of the dermatologist that identified my rosacea. I hadn't heard of it before.  Of course, once the prescription cream ran out, I discovered aloe vera gel worked just as well. And now I know that diet works even better.   And don't get me started on my mother's useless doctors.  Other than for emergency interventions and diagnostics which are still iffy, our western conventional medicine should not be trusted blindly.

 

That said, you should be very careful trying to manipulate your hormones, under a doctors supervision or not.  You could get worse.  How many birth control stories have you heard from doctors prescribing them by trial and error until you find one that if not helpful, doesn't worsen symptoms or make you crazy.  That's partly because your hormones fluctuate.  One test is meaningless. It would take many at different times of the day and month to get a useful picture.

 

The best way is to help your body manage itself with as natural and healthy as possible lifestyle and diet habits.

 

Yes, that's good advice. I have been clear with herbs and vitamins before (for up to 1-2 years, not just a couple of months), but I think my condition right now is more complex to be treated with a 1-2 herbs or a multivitamin as it had in the past. I was hoping the blood tests would help me out, so that I am not experimenting with no clear indication on what's wrong, but hormones fluctuate so much as you said, and it's hard to tell what's truly off balance. What typically happens when I see a GP doctor/ gynecologist is that they suspect high androgens or anemia, but never confirm their suspicions because they don't show up in the lab tests. Interestingly, my acupuncturist also thinks I have a blood deficiency and is trying to treat it by strengthening my immune system.

My lifestyle has been as healthy as can be the past few years, but I had suffered from eating disorders and also used to be a smoker so it will take a long time to repair that damage. I have been suspecting leaky gut or candida, but I wasn't too strict with the diet so I couldn't tell for sure. But wouldn't it make sense, given that everything that had been working for me in the past is now not working? Perhaps the minerals and nutrients are not getting absorbed and my body is expelling them as toxins through my face? Not even zinc and vitamin D3 worked for me, they just aggravated my acne even more. I stopped taking my usual supplements for now, apart from l-glutathione, to see if there is an improvement of some sort. I know that the l-glutathione is getting absorbed (at least partially) because it's giving me insomnia if I take it late in the day. Every naturopath I had seen would recommend it, but for some reason (probably the insomnia), I never stuck with it for long. I am also avoiding dairy, sugar, meat, and gluten, but have been doing that for a while anyways.

 

Btw, I was curious, why did mineral makeup cause sensitivity? Was it the ingredients?

Ceiling fans collect a lot of dust, I am always nervous about turning mine on when the weather gets warmer because I start sneezing and my eyes feel itchy. I usually use my A/C instead, or let the fan run a few times before actually sitting under it.

 

Just a little bit of the powder getting in my eyes. Although the biggest culprit was probably the concealer I tried to use to hide the darkness in the sides of my nose and under my eyes. I use a liquid for that now and close my eyes when I apply near them.   With the fans, it's the air.  Especially when sleeping as you don't really close your eyes all the way.  I use an oscillating fan from across the room.  The AC uses far more electricity. Far more.. If it's not that hot, you should use fans.

 

Have you considered that it could be an allergy either newly developed or to something you've recently added or increased in your diet?



#11 WishClean

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 09:30 PM

Just a little bit of the powder getting in my eyes. Although the biggest culprit was probably the concealer I tried to use to hide the darkness in the sides of my nose and under my eyes. I use a liquid for that now and close my eyes when I apply near them.   With the fans, it's the air.  Especially when sleeping as you don't really close your eyes all the way.  I use an oscillating fan from across the room.  The AC uses far more electricity. Far more.. If it's not that hot, you should use fans.

 

Have you considered that it could be an allergy either newly developed or to something you've recently added or increased in your diet?

 

 

I also noticed that sometimes concealers or eye creams make my eyes itchy...I will need to pay attention when applying mineral powder too.

According to a holistic allergy test I took at a naturopath's office a year ago (using a rather questionable contraption from Germany, don't remember what it was called), my main allergies and intolerances are: dust, humidity, pollen, hay, caffeine, vodka, and whiskey. He tested other foods but nothing came up, but I still doubt that his method was fully reliable but at least the environmental allergies made sense. He had given me some sodium chloride (I think that's what the solution was) drops that worked for a few months, but then my body got used to them.  I live in Florida right now, very close to swamps and immersed in humidity, bugs, pollen and various other environmental allergens. I'm sure that's aggravating my symptoms, but I don't know if there is anything holistic/ naturel to take for environmental allergies that works and has no side effects like drowsiness. Any suggestions? So far, the best remedy for sinus infections has been Otovowen but it's hard to find in the US and I also don't like the idea of taking allergy drops all the time.

 

Yes, I considered the possibility of a food allergy. Not sure what else to cut out....I already avoid dairy, sugar, gluten, corn, caffeine, meat.... I avoided all soy products for almost 4 months, but recently reintroduced unsweetened soy milk because I think it actually helps my skin. I have been drinking half a cup for the past 2 days to replace flax milk. Flax milk was a rather recent addition (about 5-6 months ago, when my acne started to worsen), so that was the thing to cut out I guess.  Can flax cause an allergic reaction? I noticed there is sunflower/ safflower oil in flaxmilk, and there was also sunflower oil in a vitamin D supplement I had taken which aggravated my acne. Could it be the sunflower oil? I'm running out of things to cut out of my diet.

I have many small flesh colored bumps that could be a sign of a food allergy, but I don't think the cysts are an allergic reaction to something I'm eating. Not sure...



#12 alternativista

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 07:24 AM


Just a little bit of the powder getting in my eyes. Although the biggest culprit was probably the concealer I tried to use to hide the darkness in the sides of my nose and under my eyes. I use a liquid for that now and close my eyes when I apply near them.   With the fans, it's the air.  Especially when sleeping as you don't really close your eyes all the way.  I use an oscillating fan from across the room.  The AC uses far more electricity. Far more.. If it's not that hot, you should use fans.
 
Have you considered that it could be an allergy either newly developed or to something you've recently added or increased in your diet?

 
 
I also noticed that sometimes concealers or eye creams make my eyes itchy...I will need to pay attention when applying mineral powder too.
According to a holistic allergy test I took at a naturopath's office a year ago (using a rather questionable contraption from Germany, don't remember what it was called), my main allergies and intolerances are: dust, humidity, pollen, hay, caffeine, vodka, and whiskey. He tested other foods but nothing came up, but I still doubt that his method was fully reliable but at least the environmental allergies made sense. He had given me some sodium chloride (I think that's what the solution was) drops that worked for a few months, but then my body got used to them.  I live in Florida right now, very close to swamps and immersed in humidity, bugs, pollen and various other environmental allergens. I'm sure that's aggravating my symptoms, but I don't know if there is anything holistic/ naturel to take for environmental allergies that works and has no side effects like drowsiness. Any suggestions? So far, the best remedy for sinus infections has been Otovowen but it's hard to find in the US and I also don't like the idea of taking allergy drops all the time.
 
Yes, I considered the possibility of a food allergy. Not sure what else to cut out....I already avoid dairy, sugar, gluten, corn, caffeine, meat.... I avoided all soy products for almost 4 months, but recently reintroduced unsweetened soy milk because I think it actually helps my skin. I have been drinking half a cup for the past 2 days to replace flax milk. Flax milk was a rather recent addition (about 5-6 months ago, when my acne started to worsen), so that was the thing to cut out I guess.  Can flax cause an allergic reaction? I noticed there is sunflower/ safflower oil in flaxmilk, and there was also sunflower oil in a vitamin D supplement I had taken which aggravated my acne. Could it be the sunflower oil? I'm running out of things to cut out of my diet.
I have many small flesh colored bumps that could be a sign of a food allergy, but I don't think the cysts are an allergic reaction to something I'm eating. Not sure...

The estrogenic effects of flax break some people out. Usually males. You could be intolerant to anything. I get cysts from oranges, tangerines, key limes for sure. Don't know about grapefruit and more exotic citrus. Others here have reported getting cysts from genus prunus--stone fruit and almonds. A lot of people can't eat strawberries. Other tomatoes and maybe any nightshade. Some people swear the break out form any fruit, indicating a fructose malabsorption problem that they should be able to improve. http://www.acne.org/...out-from-fruit/

#13 WishClean

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 12:32 PM

The estrogenic effects of flax break some people out. Usually males. You could be intolerant to anything. I get cysts from oranges, tangerines, key limes for sure. Don't know about grapefruit and more exotic citrus. Others here have reported getting cysts from genus prunus--stone fruit and almonds. A lot of people can't eat strawberries. Other tomatoes and maybe any nightshade. Some people swear the break out form any fruit, indicating a fructose malabsorption problem that they should be able to improve. http://www.acne.org/...out-from-fruit/

 

I noticed that I have been getting small, red colored pimples with no puss these past couple of days, and the only thing I added to my diet was a cut of hot water with lemon juice. So, that might be something I can't tolerate well, but it's not a regular part of my diet. I'm cutting out the flax milk to see if there is an improvement. I looked at the fructose malabsorption thread, interesting information there.

I haven't had meat in over 15 years, have been vegetarian for that long but added fish a few years ago for variety. Could my body just be needing meat to synthesize some aminoacids like taurine and glutathione? I tried supplementing with taurine in the past but it didn't go so well, and now I am supplementing with l-glutathione but I'm not sure how much of it is actually absorbed. What I noticed though is that my breakouts take less time to heal - maybe coincidentally.

My acne got worse yesterday and today, like clockwork, 2 weeks into my cycle during the ovulation period....that must indicate some kind of hormonal imbalance too, right? I still haven't gotten back my bloodwork, but I doubt that it will shed light on everything that's going on with my body


Edited by WishClean, 09 April 2013 - 12:37 PM.


#14 kaleidoscope

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 05:23 AM

How about spearmint tea?

http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/19585478

 

By the way, flax seeds/oil break me out like crazy (and I am female). I have a lot of food allergies, and eating foods I'm allergic to always causes breakouts, but I had one of the worst breakouts of my life from flax oil.

 

Vegetable oils like sunflower, safflower, etc. have always broken me out, too. Not sure if it's because of an allergy or because these oils are usually rancid, or both. You should try avoiding anything processed/packaged with ingredients like that. Make your meals from whole/single-ingredient foods.

 

Have you ever tried the paleo diet (grain-free)? (I don't know if your 'anti-Candida' diet was grain-free, since there are a ton of different diets promoted as anti-Candida diets.)

 

For PCOS/insulin resistance and acne, it's usually helpful to cut down on carbs and increase protein and fat. If you're not averse to eating meat, you should try adding it back and reducing carbs in general, whether or not you go grain-free.


Edited by kaleidoscope, 10 April 2013 - 05:47 AM.


#15 WishClean

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 12:14 PM

How about spearmint tea?

http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/19585478

 

By the way, flax seeds/oil break me out like crazy (and I am female). I have a lot of food allergies, and eating foods I'm allergic to always causes breakouts, but I had one of the worst breakouts of my life from flax oil.

 

Vegetable oils like sunflower, safflower, etc. have always broken me out, too. Not sure if it's because of an allergy or because these oils are usually rancid, or both. You should try avoiding anything processed/packaged with ingredients like that. Make your meals from whole/single-ingredient foods.

 

Have you ever tried the paleo diet (grain-free)? (I don't know if your 'anti-Candida' diet was grain-free, since there are a ton of different diets promoted as anti-Candida diets.)

 

For PCOS/insulin resistance and acne, it's usually helpful to cut down on carbs and increase protein and fat. If you're not averse to eating meat, you should try adding it back and reducing carbs in general, whether or not you go grain-free.

 

Hey! I tried spearmint tea for a month a while ago, and the only effect I saw was that I got really bloated! I felt like I was on birth control all over again. Not sure why I had that reaction....I was drinking 3-4 cups a day, and even when I cut down to 2 cups I was still bloated. A few days after quitting, my bloating went away.

I will try to cut out vegetable oils, maybe that's the problem. I was taking a vitamin d supplement with sunflower oil and my acne was really inflammed at the time. As for flax seeds, I never knew they could cause an allergy since they are not common allergens, but that's the only thing I haven't tried to cut out until now, so I'll give it a try. I haven't fully cut out grains, not even when I was doing the anti-candida diet....I was actually eating more rice to feel full because just veggies weren't filling enough.

What kind of allergic reaction do you get when you eat foods that you are sensitive to? Just acne or other symptoms? And how many hours/days after you consume those foods do you notice an allergic reaction?



#16 austra

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 11:50 AM

I think rice is supposed to be the only "safe" grain if you're suspecting an intolerance. Especially white rice or soaked brown rice.

 

I'm sort of on the same boat as you in that I'm dealing with breakouts and acne despite a good diet and having been holistically clear before, and I'm considering having to go on spiro/birth control just because I'm tired of stressing about my skin. It's really affecting my life and happiness much more than it should. But well, I'm not giving up yet. In my case I don't get that many cysts but more comedonal acne and surface spots, and I'm going to try being more strict with dairy and blood sugar for now (for insulin resistance/insulin spikes), and see how it goes. I'm also taking fish oil for vitamin A and anti-inflammatory omega 3s. 

 

Hope you manage to figure out your skin issues. Good luck :)



#17 WishClean

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 03:00 PM

I think rice is supposed to be the only "safe" grain if you're suspecting an intolerance. Especially white rice or soaked brown rice.

 

I'm sort of on the same boat as you in that I'm dealing with breakouts and acne despite a good diet and having been holistically clear before, and I'm considering having to go on spiro/birth control just because I'm tired of stressing about my skin. It's really affecting my life and happiness much more than it should. But well, I'm not giving up yet. In my case I don't get that many cysts but more comedonal acne and surface spots, and I'm going to try being more strict with dairy and blood sugar for now (for insulin resistance/insulin spikes), and see how it goes. I'm also taking fish oil for vitamin A and anti-inflammatory omega 3s. 

 

Hope you manage to figure out your skin issues. Good luck smile.png

 

Hey! I got my bloodwork back today (I'm posting a new topic about it), and it has shed some light on my particular condition. So I would recommend you find out what your specific issue is and do not resort to birth control without knowing because that can cause long-term issues that will be harder to fix.  A healthy diet definitely helps, but sometimes if the condition is too complex additional help (e.g herbs, supplements) might be needed. Good luck to you too! You can do this!



#18 alternativista

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 07:20 PM

Rice lectins can cause the same kind of harm wheat/gluten lectins do.  They are collectively called the chitin binding lectins. Nightshades too.

 

Safer grains are properly soaked or fermented oats. Or buckwheat which can be beneficial to we acne sufferers in a few ways I'd have to look up.  It has a positive effect of some kind on managing blood sugar, and on the linoleic acid deficiency we skin problem prone mammals tend to have.



#19 WishClean

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 08:09 PM

Rice lectins can cause the same kind of harm wheat/gluten lectins do.  They are collectively called the chitin binding lectins. Nightshades too.

 

Safer grains are properly soaked or fermented oats. Or buckwheat which can be beneficial to we acne sufferers in a few ways I'd have to look up.  It has a positive effect of some kind on managing blood sugar, and on the linoleic acid deficiency we skin problem prone mammals tend to have.

 

Where is buckwheat found? Is it sold in health stores on its own, or can it be found in cereal for example?

I got my blood tests back today, and they diagnosed me with 2 kinds of anemia (thalassanemia & macrocytic anemia) and found that my progesterone was too low (it's 38, and normal range is between 185-300). Androgens were in the normal range and so was estrogen - I guess those hormones do fluctuate and the tests are not 100% accurate, but the low progesterone (actually, 17hydroxineprogesterone) is definitely an issue if it's that low. So what do I do now? I will go see an endocrinologist or someone specializing in bioidentical hormone therapy, but I would like to tackle it nutritionally first before resorting to hormones and creams (which can also cause weight gain). Any suggestions? Would a vitamin b6 or a b complex supplement help? Can low progesterone be the sole cause of acne in this case?


Edited by WishClean, 11 April 2013 - 08:10 PM.


#20 austra

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 02:50 AM

Hey! I got my bloodwork back today (I'm posting a new topic about it), and it has shed some light on my particular condition. So I would recommend you find out what your specific issue is and do not resort to birth control without knowing because that can cause long-term issues that will be harder to fix.  A healthy diet definitely helps, but sometimes if the condition is too complex additional help (e.g herbs, supplements) might be needed. Good luck to you too! You can do this!

Thanks! Right now my theory is that I'm genetically prone to get insulin resistance and blood glucose issues (family history, possible MODY/glucokinase mutation) and that's why I get acne easily and should just be more careful with my blood glucose. But if a low GI diet doesn't seem to work, I'll try to get some hormone tests done, too. I just had my blood work done for a non-acne related issue, so perhaps that will shed a bit of light on my general health. I don't think going on spiro is necessary for me and I'll try my best to avoid it, but we'll see.

 

Rice lectins can cause the same kind of harm wheat/gluten lectins do.  They are collectively called the chitin binding lectins. Nightshades too.

 

Safer grains are properly soaked or fermented oats. Or buckwheat which can be beneficial to we acne sufferers in a few ways I'd have to look up.  It has a positive effect of some kind on managing blood sugar, and on the linoleic acid deficiency we skin problem prone mammals tend to have.

 

I didn't know rice contained lectins, I thought the main issue was merely the phytic acid. I guess I should look into that more. I do love buckwheat though. I've made my own "buckwheat pizza" using this recipe and adding a bit of olive oil in the dough, baking it in the oven, then adding fillings like onions, tomatoes etc and putting it back in the oven for a while. Can recommend it. smile.png

 

I've found whole peeled buckwheat in my nearby bigger grocery stores (in Scandinavia), and at least some health stores in the UK. It shouldn't be too hard to find wherever you are.

 

I got my blood tests back today, and they diagnosed me with 2 kinds of anemia (thalassanemia & macrocytic anemia) and found that my progesterone was too low (it's 38, and normal range is between 185-300). Androgens were in the normal range and so was estrogen - I guess those hormones do fluctuate and the tests are not 100% accurate, but the low progesterone (actually, 17hydroxineprogesterone) is definitely an issue if it's that low. So what do I do now? I will go see an endocrinologist or someone specializing in bioidentical hormone therapy, but I would like to tackle it nutritionally first before resorting to hormones and creams (which can also cause weight gain). Any suggestions? Would a vitamin b6 or a b complex supplement help? Can low progesterone be the sole cause of acne in this case?

 

I think low progesterone can affect acne a lot, even. I'm not an expert when it comes to this, but I've understood that progesterone somehow "balances" or neutralizes the effects of other sex hormones. And I've thought that pre-menstrual acne is caused by decreasing levels of progesterone before menstruation, but I'm not sure.

 

You may have vitamin B12 or pholate deficiency that could've contributed to the macrocytic anemia, so it may be a good idea to include foods high in those vitamins (e.g. liver), or perhaps take supplements. But some other issues like blood loss or liver dysfunction can cause it as well. Vitamin deficiencies are the most common cause though. They will probably want to do more tests to define what's caused it for you. And also since thalassemia is a genetic issue apparently, according to Wikipedia, I don't know if that may have contributed to the macrocytic anemia.

 

I hope things will resolve for you now that you know what the issue is! Good luck!