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Vitamin D2 - Therapeutic Dose

vitamin d deficiency anemia leaky gut hormones pcos histamines

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#1 WishClean

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 07:52 PM

Hi everyone,

I got some labwork back today, and it turns out my vitamin D is low (it's 28, the doctor said it needs to be at least 60). The doctor prescribed a high dosage of D2, 50,000 twice a week. That's a total of 100,000 IU/ week for 2-3 months. Is that a lot? I'm worried about possible toxicity and side effects. The doctor said she will be monitoring my levels every 2 months to make sure I'm not taking more than I need, but for now she thinks it's crucial to megadose on D2. What do you think? Should I break the 50,000 IU pill in half so I won't have to take 50,000 all at once? Not sure how to split the dosage, and if biweekly is the way to go as the doctor recommended. 

Also, any time I tried to supplement with D3 (couldn't find D2), my face broke out....I'm guessing because of the oil or fat that makes the supplement soluble. Do you think there's a chance of breaking out with D2 like I did with D3 supplements? The doctor thinks D2 will be more easily absorbed than D3 and shouldn't cause any problems. 


Edited by WishClean, 30 July 2013 - 07:54 PM.


#2 melmel87

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 08:16 PM

Why would your doctor have you take D2 and not D3? It's not more easily absorbed. I do know pharmacies only make D2. Also the normal range for Vitamin D is 25-80ng/mL so you are still within the normal range, just on the low end. You do not NEED to be at 60. . Mine was around 39 and to up it i took 4000 IU of D3 a day, I would be wary of megadosing like that. Also another simple way to up your Vitamin D, just sit outside in the sun for about 20 minutes a day. It shouldn't break you out, if that's a concern try to find a brand without many ingredients in it.


Edited by melmel87, 30 July 2013 - 08:18 PM.


#3 WishClean

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 08:57 PM

Why would your doctor have you take D2 and not D3? It's not more easily absorbed. I do know pharmacies only make D2. Also the normal range for Vitamin D is 25-80ng/mL so you are still within the normal range, just on the low end. You do not NEED to be at 60. . Mine was around 39 and to up it i took 4000 IU of D3 a day, I would be wary of megadosing like that. Also another simple way to up your Vitamin D, just sit outside in the sun for about 20 minutes a day. It shouldn't break you out, if that's a concern try to find a brand without many ingredients in it.

Yeah, that's what I thought but she said D2 gets converted more easily to D3 if my body is finding it hard to absorb D3 directly from the sun. I get sun almost every day, but I'm still pale because I have anemia. I used to tan easily but nowadays I never do, so maybe that's a sign that I can't properly absorb the D3 from the sun? 

I also tried many D3 supplements and they all made my acne worse, that's why I'm worried about this megadose I was prescribed. I went to the doctor to avoid megadosing, not to be encouraged to do it! 

I tried several brands before with no success....any recommendations? I found a Raw D supplement but it has other stuff in it too.The megafood D3 might be something I would consider, I haven't tried that one. 


Edited by WishClean, 30 July 2013 - 09:07 PM.


#4 alternativista

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 07:33 AM

The D in mushrooms is D2. There are producers that expose mushrooms to UV to increase D in them. They were becoming common in supermarkets a couple years ago. I don't buy much in supermarkets anymore so don't know if they are still there.

When I looked into it because I'm interested in growing mushrooms, I found a study that found that D2 is much slower to show up in a vitamin D blood test. But it eventually does.

I'd do a search into this claim that D2 is better absorbed by people not producing it from the sun. There could be goofy FDA-approval-and-definition-into-what- constitutes-a-drug reasons why doctors prescribe mega dose pills of D2, rather than smaller daily oases of D3.

Also, are your cholesterol levels low?


Edited by alternativista, 31 July 2013 - 11:05 AM.


#5 WishClean

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 09:36 AM

The D in mushrooms is D2. There are producers that expose mushrooms to UV to increase D in them. They were becoming common in supermarkets a couple years ago. I don't buy much in supermarkets anymore so don't know if they are still there.

When I looked into it because I'm interested in growing mushrooms, I found a study that found that D2 is much slower to show up in a vitamin D blood test. But it eventually does.

I'd do a search into this claim that D2 is better absorbed by people not producing it from the sun. There could be goofy FDA approval into what constitutes a drug reasons why doctors prescribe mega dose pills of D2, rather than smaller daily oases of D3.

Also, are your cholesterol levels low?

 

My cholesterol is fine, and so were all the other things they checked for (thyroid, insulin, etc). The only thing that could be higher are my D levels.  They didn't check my calcium levels though, which they should have before prescribing such a high dose of D2. 

I'm thinking of going with a whole food supplement of vitamin D3 instead, I would feel more comfortable taking that at a lower dose. Would 4000IU/ day be enough to see a difference at the end of the month?



#6 austra

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 04:17 PM

I've read that the supplements should be D3 instead of D2 because it's the same form as the physiological D3 in the body. I'm sure D2 would still help, but it may not be as effective. Does your doctor have a specific reason for prescribing D2? I don't think there's risk as long as your levels are monitored. You could make sure to get enough other fat-soluble vitamins (A, K) though. Your levels are on the low side and I guess with all the recent vitamin D hype, your doctor thought it best to get your levels up fast and that's why the megadosing.

 

I usually supplement 2000-4000 IU of D3 daily, unless I'm in the sun. I've done it for years and can't say I would've noticed any effect on my skin or oiliness. My skin was really nice and clear when I started it though, but I was also low-carbing at the time. I think 4000 IU is large enough a dosage, but considering your low levels, it might take many months to get to 60 nmol/l. You could start with it I suppose, and increase the dosage to 8000 IU for a while if your levels don't seem to budge. Or just go with what your doctor suggests.



It doesn't really make sense to me why D2 would be absorbed better than D3 if you don't make much of it yourself, but I can't say it couldn't be true. However, D2 really is the plant form. Have you really been in the sun properly, in T shirts / shorts at midday for around 15 minutes a day? That's what you'd need to do to get enough of vitamin D naturally. I usually just take the pill. :$

 

Oh, and you have to make sure your D3 is in oil capsules or alternatively eat a little bit of fat each time you take the vitamin.


Edited by austra, 01 August 2013 - 04:39 PM.


#7 WishClean

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 04:45 PM

Thanks for the responses. @austra: in the past, I tried vitamin D in liquid form (with sunflower oil in the mixture) and my breakouts worsened. I also tried a dry form with no luck, and now I have the megafood vitamin D, which is supposed to be from whole food sources. The D3 in these supplements is from s. cerevisiae, which is a form of yeast. I'm thinking that my doctor prescribed D2 instead of D3 because D2 is plant-based and presumably yeast free? I am trying to eliminate yeast in my gut because I'm suspecting leaky gut and/or candida, maybe that's why I got the D2 prescription? Doctors can't prescribe D3 btw, so the only way I could get this high dose of vit. D in 1 pill would be from a prescription for D2. 

I still haven't started the prescription....I'm a bit nervous. I was thinking of puncturing the capsule and emptying half of it, that way I would only take 25,000 IU each time. Which still seems like a lot.  The other thing that's making me nervous is that the pharmacy doesn't specify what other ingredients they put in the capsule. There's just a warning saying it might contain corn or gluten. 


Edited by WishClean, 31 July 2013 - 04:46 PM.


#8 sustakp

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 05:14 PM

I did take Vit D2 50000 IUs every week for 3 months. My number was 18 before I started and it was at 50 at its end. No sideeffects. I was asked to take a maintainence dose after my course like any OTC D supplement. I take 5000IUs of Vit D3. I have not had any trouble so far. Been over a month. But I am brown skinned and we are in general more deficient. I take the Now brand with no breakouts.

 

I also try to get about 15-20 mins of no sunscreen sun exposure daily. I live in San Diego so its easy to do that.



#9 WishClean

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 07:21 PM

I did take Vit D2 50000 IUs every week for 3 months. My number was 18 before I started and it was at 50 at its end. No sideeffects. I was asked to take a maintainence dose after my course like any OTC D supplement. I take 5000IUs of Vit D3. I have not had any trouble so far. Been over a month. But I am brown skinned and we are in general more deficient. I take the Now brand with no breakouts.

 

I also try to get about 15-20 mins of no sunscreen sun exposure daily. I live in San Diego so its easy to do that.

Did you take it on an empty stomach or with a meal? Did your acne clear after taking D2, and if so, in how long?

My level is 28, and I was prescribed 50,000 twice a week, so a total of 100,000 IU/ week. Surely that's too much? 



#10 sustakp

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 11:15 AM

I am by no means clear, but taking Vit D did improve my energy levels. I mantain a really strict healthy diet so I cant comment if its the Vit D or diet which has helped me. I would say it is both.

 

I avoid all the things I think I am allergic to, this includes citrus, nightshades and eggs. I am vegetarian and have small amounts of raw goat dairy in form of home made yogurt daily.

I am trying to introduce each nightshade gradually and check for reactions. So this month it is peppers.

So far things are looking up for me, but I will repeat I am by no means clear! I have 4-5 weeks of no zits and then get a terrible attack so I am checking now for intolerances.



#11 WishClean

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 08:58 PM

I started taking the pill today, but only took half the dose this time to see how I would react. No side effects so far... I'm worried I won't be able to absorb the supplement since I am suspecting I have leaky gut. Even multivitamins that used to work for me in the past don't seem to be doing anything for me now, that's why I'm a bit skeptical about this treatment. I do try to get sun exposure, but along with the sun I get unwanted humidity and pollen.



#12 alternativista

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 07:34 AM

I started taking the pill today, but only took half the dose this time to see how I would react. No side effects so far... I'm worried I won't be able to absorb the supplement since I am suspecting I have leaky gut. Even multivitamins that used to work for me in the past don't seem to be doing anything for me now, that's why I'm a bit skeptical about this treatment. I do try to get sun exposure, but along with the sun I get unwanted humidity and pollen.


Ahh Florida. Just like Texas gulf coast. It's brutal right now. I get more sun in the other 8 months.

#13 WishClean

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 10:08 AM

I started taking the pill today, but only took half the dose this time to see how I would react. No side effects so far... I'm worried I won't be able to absorb the supplement since I am suspecting I have leaky gut. Even multivitamins that used to work for me in the past don't seem to be doing anything for me now, that's why I'm a bit skeptical about this treatment. I do try to get sun exposure, but along with the sun I get unwanted humidity and pollen.


Ahh Florida. Just like Texas gulf coast. It's brutal right now. I get more sun in the other 8 months.

 

That's true, same here. And when it rains, it really rains....every time I try to go outside for some sun, there's a hurricane alert or tropical storm warning, especially in the afternoons. 



#14 austra

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 04:07 PM

Thanks for the responses. @austra: in the past, I tried vitamin D in liquid form (with sunflower oil in the mixture) and my breakouts worsened. I also tried a dry form with no luck, and now I have the megafood vitamin D, which is supposed to be from whole food sources. The D3 in these supplements is from s. cerevisiae, which is a form of yeast. I'm thinking that my doctor prescribed D2 instead of D3 because D2 is plant-based and presumably yeast free? I am trying to eliminate yeast in my gut because I'm suspecting leaky gut and/or candida, maybe that's why I got the D2 prescription? Doctors can't prescribe D3 btw, so the only way I could get this high dose of vit. D in 1 pill would be from a prescription for D2. 

I still haven't started the prescription....I'm a bit nervous. I was thinking of puncturing the capsule and emptying half of it, that way I would only take 25,000 IU each time. Which still seems like a lot.  The other thing that's making me nervous is that the pharmacy doesn't specify what other ingredients they put in the capsule. There's just a warning saying it might contain corn or gluten. 

I thought all D3 is derived from lanolin (i.e. sheep wool), but I never checked up on it. I'm surprised it can be made with yeast! Quite cool. But I can't say if there's a difference between yeast-based vs. yeast-free vitamin D. If you're very sensitive to yeast, perhaps. It shouldn't be too hard to find lanolin-based D3 though. Because calcitriol is a prohormone and acts synergistically with other fat-soluble vitamins, it's really hard to assess how it would affect acne. It seems to have helped many, but I wouldn't be surprised if break-outs were common too. I think my skin got a bit oilier after supplementing with D and there was no marked difference or a slight decrease in inflammation, but it could've been something else as well. 

 

It's common practise to start correcting low vitamin D levels with megadoses for a short while, so I think it's safe to start your prescription. In the longer term supplementing with 50-100mcg or 2000-4000IU per day seems safe (since there's still a lot of debate about the safe upper limit) but still a sufficient dose. Always best to get it from the sun though! Doctors here are taught that D3 is somewhat more efficient and preferable, but it's considered a supplement as opposed to a drug so you don't need or can't get prescriptions. Maybe that's why your doctor prescribed D2, and there may not be D3 available in those dosages anyhow. You could always just take the equivalent amount in D3 and more pills per day, but I don't see why you couldn't try it with the prescribed D2 as well if it's cheaper and easier for you.

 

How's your skin doing anyway? I got the idea it's been getting better? smile.png Did you do anything to correct your progesterone levels in the end? I've decided to try natural progesterone cream for my mild but ever-so persistent break-outs. I just need to read up on it more first.



#15 WishClean

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 10:25 PM

Thanks for the responses. @austra: in the past, I tried vitamin D in liquid form (with sunflower oil in the mixture) and my breakouts worsened. I also tried a dry form with no luck, and now I have the megafood vitamin D, which is supposed to be from whole food sources. The D3 in these supplements is from s. cerevisiae, which is a form of yeast. I'm thinking that my doctor prescribed D2 instead of D3 because D2 is plant-based and presumably yeast free? I am trying to eliminate yeast in my gut because I'm suspecting leaky gut and/or candida, maybe that's why I got the D2 prescription? Doctors can't prescribe D3 btw, so the only way I could get this high dose of vit. D in 1 pill would be from a prescription for D2. 

I still haven't started the prescription....I'm a bit nervous. I was thinking of puncturing the capsule and emptying half of it, that way I would only take 25,000 IU each time. Which still seems like a lot.  The other thing that's making me nervous is that the pharmacy doesn't specify what other ingredients they put in the capsule. There's just a warning saying it might contain corn or gluten. 

I thought all D3 is derived from lanolin (i.e. sheep wool), but I never checked up on it. I'm surprised it can be made with yeast! Quite cool. But I can't say if there's a difference between yeast-based vs. yeast-free vitamin D. If you're very sensitive to yeast, perhaps. It shouldn't be too hard to find lanolin-based D3 though. Because calcitriol is a prohormone and acts synergistically with other fat-soluble vitamins, it's really hard to assess how it would affect acne. It seems to have helped many, but I wouldn't be surprised if break-outs were common too. I think my skin got a bit oilier after supplementing with D and there was no marked difference or a slight decrease in inflammation, but it could've been something else as well. 

 

It's common practise to start correcting low vitamin D levels with megadoses for a short while, so I think it's safe to start your prescription. In the longer term supplementing with 50-100mcg or 2000-4000IU per day seems safe (since there's still a lot of debate about the safe upper limit) but still a sufficient dose. Always best to get it from the sun though! Doctors here are taught that D3 is somewhat more efficient and preferable, but it's considered a supplement as opposed to a drug so you don't need or can't get prescriptions. Maybe that's why your doctor prescribed D2, and there may not be D3 available in those dosages anyhow. You could always just take the equivalent amount in D3 and more pills per day, but I don't see why you couldn't try it with the prescribed D2 as well if it's cheaper and easier for you.

 

How's your skin doing anyway? I got the idea it's been getting better? smile.png Did you do anything to correct your progesterone levels in the end? I've decided to try natural progesterone cream for my mild but ever-so persistent break-outs. I just need to read up on it more first.

 

Yeah, the D3 I had at home was the megafood brand, and there's yeast in it....which probably isn't good for my digestive issues. After I found out I was D-ficient (haha) I gave the megafood D3 another try and surely enough, I broke out in tiny pimples on the same part of my face! It happens to me with b-complex & vitamin D supplements, regardless of the brand...even the raw food-based ones give me those breakouts. So I'm thinking that if D2 is plant based and doesn't have too much of the crap pharmacies like to put in capsules, it might agree with me more. And, as you said, it's much cheaper. I'll keep you posted. 

My skin was getting steadily better, but unfortunately now the scarring and red marks are more visible strongsad.gif  As for the progesterone, I tried the cream, and it did help with my mood swings but it made me sleepy during the day. I slowly weaned off it when I started getting numbness in my hands and feet, but I still get the numbness so maybe it wasn't the cream that caused it. In any case, I wanted to be monitored by a doctor but all doctors specializing in bioidentical hormone therapy are so expensive, I just couldn't afford it. The only thing I'm doing to raise my progesterone right now is taking magnesium and eating walnuts.

Be very careful with the cream, make sure you do your research first and consult a doctor. The best way to get it would be from a compounding pharmacy because then they control how much progesterone goes into it. If you order it or get it from a health food store, there's no way to tell how long it's been sitting on the shelf or if the contents got shaken up. Are you sure you have low progesterone?



#16 austra

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 03:09 PM

Yeah, the D3 I had at home was the megafood brand, and there's yeast in it....which probably isn't good for my digestive issues. After I found out I was D-ficient (haha) I gave the megafood D3 another try and surely enough, I broke out in tiny pimples on the same part of my face! It happens to me with b-complex & vitamin D supplements, regardless of the brand...even the raw food-based ones give me those breakouts. So I'm thinking that if D2 is plant based and doesn't have too much of the crap pharmacies like to put in capsules, it might agree with me more. And, as you said, it's much cheaper. I'll keep you posted. 

I'm using NOW's vitamin d3 from iHerb and just checked it didn't have yeast. It does have sunflower seed oil though. But yeah, D2 should help as well! I hope it works out for you. And regarding red marks and scars, they do get better and fill in a bit over time.

 

My skin was getting steadily better, but unfortunately now the scarring and red marks are more visible strongsad.gif  As for the progesterone, I tried the cream, and it did help with my mood swings but it made me sleepy during the day. I slowly weaned off it when I started getting numbness in my hands and feet, but I still get the numbness so maybe it wasn't the cream that caused it. In any case, I wanted to be monitored by a doctor but all doctors specializing in bioidentical hormone therapy are so expensive, I just couldn't afford it. The only thing I'm doing to raise my progesterone right now is taking magnesium and eating walnuts.

Be very careful with the cream, make sure you do your research first and consult a doctor. The best way to get it would be from a compounding pharmacy because then they control how much progesterone goes into it. If you order it or get it from a health food store, there's no way to tell how long it's been sitting on the shelf or if the contents got shaken up. Are you sure you have low progesterone?

 

That's a very good point, thanks for making me think this through more carefully. I really don't know for sure if my progesterone levels are low, I'm just basing this theory on my symptoms (acne and some others) and my recent stress which can decrease progesterone. I'd love to get my hormones tested, but I don't think I can afford to do it privately which I'd have to, since I don't have anything "really" wrong with me besides mild acne. I'm trying to get an appointment with a derm soon however, and discuss my treatment options, along with the idea of trying progesterone cream before I actually start. It's sort of frustrating that if you want to try to treat your acne more naturally without drugs that alter your normal skin or hormone function completely, you really have no professional to go to but have to test all this yourself. To me progesterone seems safer and more natural than going on spiro, which is my other alternative (also going to discuss this with the derm). But I would have to be very careful with progesterone as well, since it is a hormone and it could screw up my own natural hormone levels and cycle if I'm careless. I'm still in the researching phase, if I feel like I'm in too deep trying this on my own, I won't do it.

 

I still haven't looked into different progesterone creams properly, but I do really want a brand that has controlled amounts of progesterone so I know exactly how much I'm taking. I'll probably have to order it online though, I'm not sure if I could get it from a pharmacy here.



#17 WishClean

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 10:37 PM

Yes, do your research on the progesterone creams and if you can get a prescription, then a compounding pharmacy will make the right mixture for you. My doctor told me that the creams that are shipped to stores and ones available online get shuffled around a lot during shipping & packing, so the progesterone is not distributed evenly in the container. And I think it's true because some days I would feel more drowsy and others I felt fine, and I always applied the same amount of cream! There are also risks involved with progesterone and cancer, most creams even have that warning on the container because it's the law in some states like California. The best way to go would be to pick a soy-free, yam-based cream without parabens, although those are arguably less effective and harder for the body to   convert to hormonal progesterone. 

And another thing: I developed melasma (hyperpigmentation/ brown patches) under my eyes, and my dermatologist thinks it might be a delayed side effect from birth control pills, since both estrogen and progesterone can trigger it. I got it in the wintertime, so it was definitely not caused by sun exposure. Just be careful with estrogen and progesterone, and even anti-androgens that indirectly boost estrogen and can cause skin problems other than acne. 



#18 austra

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 05:34 PM

Yes, do your research on the progesterone creams and if you can get a prescription, then a compounding pharmacy will make the right mixture for you. My doctor told me that the creams that are shipped to stores and ones available online get shuffled around a lot during shipping & packing, so the progesterone is not distributed evenly in the container. And I think it's true because some days I would feel more drowsy and others I felt fine, and I always applied the same amount of cream! There are also risks involved with progesterone and cancer, most creams even have that warning on the container because it's the law in some states like California. The best way to go would be to pick a soy-free, yam-based cream without parabens, although those are arguably less effective and harder for the body to   convert to hormonal progesterone. 

And another thing: I developed melasma (hyperpigmentation/ brown patches) under my eyes, and my dermatologist thinks it might be a delayed side effect from birth control pills, since both estrogen and progesterone can trigger it. I got it in the wintertime, so it was definitely not caused by sun exposure. Just be careful with estrogen and progesterone, and even anti-androgens that indirectly boost estrogen and can cause skin problems other than acne. 

I'll make sure to discuss this progesterone experiment with a doctor first and try to get a proper prescription if I can. I think any hormonal interventions are somewhat risky and ideally this would only be a low-dose short-term treatment for me. I've been fairly stressed, sleeping poorly and losing a lot of weight without meaning to in the past few months (I've become underweight now, even), which probably have affected my acne and overall health. I feel like the progesterone cream would help me manage stress better until I've recovered, gained some weight back and learnt better methods to deal with stress. And then once I have, hopefully I wouldn't need the cream anymore. I wouldn't want anything with estrogen or xenoestrogens, so I'll keep an eye out for those and parabens.


Edited by austra, 06 August 2013 - 05:36 PM.





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