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What Is The Deal With Hormone Testing?

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I just wanted to ask to see if anyone more knowledgeable about hormonal acne than me might be able to explain to me the logic behind hormone tests.

A few weeks ago I had a whole load of blood tests in which my doctor tested the levels of various different hormones (LH, FSH, testosterone, growth hormone, glucose, thyroid etc.) but when I asked about the results she told me that they were all "normal".

The problem is that I know my hormones are not "normal". They've been completely out of whack for years. I know this because of having consistently irregular periods for the last 7 years (I've been suffering from acne for 8 years so it seems to me that there's clearly a link). When I say irregular I don't just mean slightly irregular either, I mean I can be on a period constantly for up to 6 months at a time and the longest break I ever get between them is about a week.

So understandably I was a little bit shocked to be told that all my hormone tests came back "normal". How are 6 month long periods normal in any way?!! I just don't understand the logic behind these tests. It's not really a problem in practice because they've put me on Dianette now and that is slowly improving both problems but I was wondering if anybody could explain what these tests were for and how they came back "normal" given my situation? Also they put me on the Dianette a week before they ran these blood tests - surely that would have swayed the results? I just don't understand the logic here at all!

Any help in understanding all this would be greatly appreciated smile.png


My Current Treatment Plan

Morning: Lymecycline

Evening: Dianette + Epiduo

Diet: eliminated dairy

My Log:

Acne status: continuing to break out, so demoralising!

"I would rather learn what it feels like to burn than feel nothing at all." ~ Ron Pope


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If you can post lab range numbers I can take a look. I've been reading labs a long time. Sometimes the "norm" isn't normal as some doctors believe. Before I was diagnosed with what I had, I had to go through this.

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If you can post lab range numbers I can take a look. I've been reading labs a long time. Sometimes the "norm" isn't normal as some doctors believe. Before I was diagnosed with what I had, I had to go through this.


My Current Treatment Plan

Morning: Lymecycline

Evening: Dianette + Epiduo

Diet: eliminated dairy

My Log:

Acne status: continuing to break out, so demoralising!

"I would rather learn what it feels like to burn than feel nothing at all." ~ Ron Pope


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Yeah I have the same thing - all normal results for androgens but acne, facial hair and no period whatsoever. As my endo explained, hormones can happen in the skin and not the blood. However, my estrogen is NOT normal - it is very low, like menopause ranges. I also have diminished ovarian reserve (low egg count, fertility problems). You didn't mention estrogen - did you have this tested?

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Yeah I have the same thing - all normal results for androgens but acne, facial hair and no period whatsoever. As my endo explained, hormones can happen in the skin and not the blood. However, my estrogen is NOT normal - it is very low, like menopause ranges. I also have diminished ovarian reserve (low egg count, fertility problems). You didn't mention estrogen - did you have this tested?


My Current Treatment Plan

Morning: Lymecycline

Evening: Dianette + Epiduo

Diet: eliminated dairy

My Log:

Acne status: continuing to break out, so demoralising!

"I would rather learn what it feels like to burn than feel nothing at all." ~ Ron Pope


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a saliva test sounds like a good alternative for you.

from everything i've read, they seem to be far more accurate than blood tests when measuring hormones.

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a saliva test sounds like a good alternative for you.

from everything i've read, they seem to be far more accurate than blood tests when measuring hormones.


My Current Treatment Plan

Morning: Lymecycline

Evening: Dianette + Epiduo

Diet: eliminated dairy

My Log:

Acne status: continuing to break out, so demoralising!

"I would rather learn what it feels like to burn than feel nothing at all." ~ Ron Pope


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This interests me as well... I have a gyno appointment coming up *shivers*, but I guess the only "good" thing about having that is, that I want to have my hormone levels tested. I would love to know once and for all if my acne is hormonal. I don't get the typical cheek and jawline acne that is generally categorized as hormonal. My problem areas are my forehead and chin/mouth area. My acne doesn't worsen around my cycle (which is and always has been severely irregular, thanks to osteopenia)... or when it does, it's like a single zit. Which could be completely coincidental.

What I would love to know is, when I get my hormones tested what should I be looking for? If my acne is hormonal what would the test read like? From what I've read, I think that if my acne was hormonal, my testosterone level would be out of whack. Obviously, I'm not completely sure. Can anyone provide some insight?


AM Regimen:

Cleanse face with La Roche Posay Effaclar

Apply Aczone

Moisturize with Sheseido Oil-Free Mattifying Moisturizer

PM Regimen:

Cleanse face with La Roche Posay Effaclar

Apply Aczone

Moisturize with Sheseido Oil-Free Mattifying Moisturizer

Spot Treat with Clearisil Adult Acne Tinted Spot Treatment (always)

I now do not follow a vitamin regimen and have expanded my eating to include almost all food groups (excluding lactose/dairy). Since I made this change my face has CLEARED UP!

Minimalism people, trust me it works. Develop a skin care regimen, stick to it, and you will see results. All the rest (diet, exercise, supplements) didn't work for me. Less is more.

Status: 98% Clear... Plus a nice bunch of superficial scarring -.-


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I am also interested in this post. I have also the same problem, I am 43 years old, suffering with cystic acne since I was teen. And every time I get my blood tested, the doctor says to me that my hormonal levels are normal. And I have been also taking diane35 for 5 years. I still have acne, but not so severe.

But the last time I had my blood tested, my doctor said that my estrogen levels were very low, the levels for estrogen were <5 (I don´t know if the levels in your country are the same) because of the menopause. I would like to ask michi31 that said at her posts that her estrogen levels were low, how did you manage with the problem of low estrogen levels? Because I am currently taking Diane35, and I think this medication should provide enough estrogen. And do you think my low estrogen levels can cause my cystic acne ?

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I am also interested in this post. I have also the same problem, I am 43 years old, suffering with cystic acne since I was teen. And every time I get my blood tested, the doctor says to me that my hormonal levels are normal. And I have been also taking diane35 for 5 years. I still have acne, but not so severe.

But the last time I had my blood tested, my doctor said that my estrogen levels were very low, the levels for estrogen were <5 (I don´t know if the levels in your country are the same) because of the menopause. I would like to ask michi31 that said at her posts that her estrogen levels were low, how did you manage with the problem of low estrogen levels? Because I am currently taking Diane35, and I think this medication should provide enough estrogen. And do you think my low estrogen levels can cause my cystic acne ?

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I am also interested in this post. I have also the same problem, I am 43 years old, suffering with cystic acne since I was teen. And every time I get my blood tested, the doctor says to me that my hormonal levels are normal. And I have been also taking diane35 for 5 years. I still have acne, but not so severe.

But the last time I had my blood tested, my doctor said that my estrogen levels were very low, the levels for estrogen were <5 (I don´t know if the levels in your country are the same) because of the menopause. I would like to ask michi31 that said at her posts that her estrogen levels were low, how did you manage with the problem of low estrogen levels? Because I am currently taking Diane35, and I think this medication should provide enough estrogen. And do you think my low estrogen levels can cause my cystic acne ?

Well as of now I am on Spiro 100mg for 7 months and minocycline 50mg and I'm clear - but I'm so scared I will break out when I go off the mino as I am still oily. Anyway, it's interesting that you say you are on Diane and estrogen levels still low. I specifically asked my doctor if I go on birth control, will the estrogen in the pill be measurable in the blood and he said yes. So not sure if this is untrue or if your levels are STILL that low including the estrogen from the pill. I am planning to go on hormone replacement therapy - such as people do after menopause. I'll let you know how that goes. I do think low estrogen is connected - when I was in my third trimester and had sky high estrogen levels I was completely clear and not oily at all.


living life as happy and natural as I can! ♡ ☮ ❀ ॐ ☼

>>--> .. >>--> .. >>-->

[clear]: fish oil, multi vitamins & minerals + extra d3, b-complex, l-cysteine, natural progesterone cream


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This interests me as well... I have a gyno appointment coming up *shivers*, but I guess the only "good" thing about having that is, that I want to have my hormone levels tested. I would love to know once and for all if my acne is hormonal. I don't get the typical cheek and jawline acne that is generally categorized as hormonal. My problem areas are my forehead and chin/mouth area. My acne doesn't worsen around my cycle (which is and always has been severely irregular, thanks to osteopenia)... or when it does, it's like a single zit. Which could be completely coincidental.

What I would love to know is, when I get my hormones tested what should I be looking for? If my acne is hormonal what would the test read like? From what I've read, I think that if my acne was hormonal, my testosterone level would be out of whack. Obviously, I'm not completely sure. Can anyone provide some insight?


AM Regimen:

Cleanse face with La Roche Posay Effaclar

Apply Aczone

Moisturize with Sheseido Oil-Free Mattifying Moisturizer

PM Regimen:

Cleanse face with La Roche Posay Effaclar

Apply Aczone

Moisturize with Sheseido Oil-Free Mattifying Moisturizer

Spot Treat with Clearisil Adult Acne Tinted Spot Treatment (always)

I now do not follow a vitamin regimen and have expanded my eating to include almost all food groups (excluding lactose/dairy). Since I made this change my face has CLEARED UP!

Minimalism people, trust me it works. Develop a skin care regimen, stick to it, and you will see results. All the rest (diet, exercise, supplements) didn't work for me. Less is more.

Status: 98% Clear... Plus a nice bunch of superficial scarring -.-


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Mitchi31, It,s very interesting as you said in your post that my estrogen levels are so low, considering that I have been taking Diane35 for 5 years. I had my blood tested 1 month ago, and yesterday, my doctor gave me the results: 6.1 estradiol and he says its very low for a person at my age ( 43 years). The blood test was done the first day of my period. The last time I had my blood tested the results of estradiol was <5 estradiol ( I don`t know if in your country it´s the same ).

It,s also very interesting that you are going to start hormone therapy replacement. How old are you? Have you decided to do this on your own? What,s your level of estrogen?. Please let me know how it,s going. I thought of taking soya isoflavones. Have you ever taking them?

But I think you should be very careful as hearts says.

My doctor says that hormone therapy replacement is a mistake but he can´t explain why I have my estradiol so low if I am currently taking 2 mg of estradiol every day.

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Endocrine Evaluation

While androgens are essential to the development of acne, routine screening of women with acne or hirsutism usually reveals normal levels of androgens. The serum level of DHEAS, testosterone, and DHT in women with acne ranges from high to normal. Several hypotheses exist about why women with acne can have normal androgen levels. One possibility relates to the intracrine relationship of androgens and sebaceous glands, namely, there is increased local production of androgens in patients with acne. Another theory is that the sebaceous glands of patients with acne are more sensitive to androgens’ effects. Nonetheless, there is evidence for the successful use of hormonal therapy in women with and without elevated androgen levels.

When should an endocrine disorder be suspected? Hyperandrogenism should be considered if a woman presents with acne that is severe, associated with hirsutism, or irregular menstrual periods. Other signs include cushingoid features, increased libido, presence of acanthosis nigricans, and androgenetic alopecia. Further tests and referrals are appropriate since these women may have insulin resistance with resultant development of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Screening tests include serum DHEAS, total and free testosterone, and luteinizing hormone/follicle stimulating hormone (LH/FSH) ratio. These tests should be obtained during the two weeks prior to the onset of menses to avoid the LH surge associated with ovulation. In addition, if the patient is on oral contraceptives, these should be stopped 4 to 6 weeks before the endocrine evaluation.

When interpreting the results of an endocrine evaluation, remember there are three sources of androgen production in women: the ovary, the adrenal gland, and within the skin itself. The first parameter to evaluate is DHEAS. An elevation indicates an adrenal source of the androgens. DHEAS levels >8000ng/mL (normal: <3500ng/mL) indicates an adrenal tumor. If the level is 4,000 to 8,000ng/mL, consider congenital adrenal hyperplasia. The next parameters to interpret are total and free testosterone. Elevation in testosterone, while not precluding an adrenal abnormality, commonly indicates an ovarian source of the androgens. Free testosterone is elevated in all forms of hyperandrogenemia, but can be useful if there is a SHBG dysfunction. Total testosterone >150 to 200ng/dL (normal range: 20 to 80ng/dL) indicates an ovarian tumor. Mild elevation suggests polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Further findings in PCOS include an elevated LH/FSH ratio greater than 2 to 3, in addition to irregular menstrual periods, reduced fertility, obesity, hirsutism, and insulin resistance. If PCOS is diagnosed, ultrasound is indicated and the patient should be referred to a gynecologist for further evaluation.

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I am also interested in this post. I have also the same problem, I am 43 years old, suffering with cystic acne since I was teen. And every time I get my blood tested, the doctor says to me that my hormonal levels are normal. And I have been also taking diane35 for 5 years. I still have acne, but not so severe.

But the last time I had my blood tested, my doctor said that my estrogen levels were very low, the levels for estrogen were <5 (I don´t know if the levels in your country are the same) because of the menopause. I would like to ask michi31 that said at her posts that her estrogen levels were low, how did you manage with the problem of low estrogen levels? Because I am currently taking Diane35, and I think this medication should provide enough estrogen. And do you think my low estrogen levels can cause my cystic acne ?

Well as of now I am on Spiro 100mg for 7 months and minocycline 50mg and I'm clear - but I'm so scared I will break out when I go off the mino as I am still oily. Anyway, it's interesting that you say you are on Diane and estrogen levels still low. I specifically asked my doctor if I go on birth control, will the estrogen in the pill be measurable in the blood and he said yes. So not sure if this is untrue or if your levels are STILL that low including the estrogen from the pill. I am planning to go on hormone replacement therapy - such as people do after menopause. I'll let you know how that goes. I do think low estrogen is connected - when I was in my third trimester and had sky high estrogen levels I was completely clear and not oily at all.

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Endocrine Evaluation

While androgens are essential to the development of acne, routine screening of women with acne or hirsutism usually reveals normal levels of androgens. The serum level of DHEAS, testosterone, and DHT in women with acne ranges from high to normal. Several hypotheses exist about why women with acne can have normal androgen levels. One possibility relates to the intracrine relationship of androgens and sebaceous glands, namely, there is increased local production of androgens in patients with acne. Another theory is that the sebaceous glands of patients with acne are more sensitive to androgens’ effects. Nonetheless, there is evidence for the successful use of hormonal therapy in women with and without elevated androgen levels.

When should an endocrine disorder be suspected? Hyperandrogenism should be considered if a woman presents with acne that is severe, associated with hirsutism, or irregular menstrual periods. Other signs include cushingoid features, increased libido, presence of acanthosis nigricans, and androgenetic alopecia. Further tests and referrals are appropriate since these women may have insulin resistance with resultant development of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Screening tests include serum DHEAS, total and free testosterone, and luteinizing hormone/follicle stimulating hormone (LH/FSH) ratio. These tests should be obtained during the two weeks prior to the onset of menses to avoid the LH surge associated with ovulation. In addition, if the patient is on oral contraceptives, these should be stopped 4 to 6 weeks before the endocrine evaluation.

When interpreting the results of an endocrine evaluation, remember there are three sources of androgen production in women: the ovary, the adrenal gland, and within the skin itself. The first parameter to evaluate is DHEAS. An elevation indicates an adrenal source of the androgens. DHEAS levels >8000ng/mL (normal: <3500ng/mL) indicates an adrenal tumor. If the level is 4,000 to 8,000ng/mL, consider congenital adrenal hyperplasia. The next parameters to interpret are total and free testosterone. Elevation in testosterone, while not precluding an adrenal abnormality, commonly indicates an ovarian source of the androgens. Free testosterone is elevated in all forms of hyperandrogenemia, but can be useful if there is a SHBG dysfunction. Total testosterone >150 to 200ng/dL (normal range: 20 to 80ng/dL) indicates an ovarian tumor. Mild elevation suggests polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Further findings in PCOS include an elevated LH/FSH ratio greater than 2 to 3, in addition to irregular menstrual periods, reduced fertility, obesity, hirsutism, and insulin resistance. If PCOS is diagnosed, ultrasound is indicated and the patient should be referred to a gynecologist for further evaluation.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2923944/pdf/jcad_2_12_16.pdf


My Current Treatment Plan

Morning: Lymecycline

Evening: Dianette + Epiduo

Diet: eliminated dairy

My Log:

Acne status: continuing to break out, so demoralising!

"I would rather learn what it feels like to burn than feel nothing at all." ~ Ron Pope


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Share on other sites

I am also interested in this post. I have also the same problem, I am 43 years old, suffering with cystic acne since I was teen. And every time I get my blood tested, the doctor says to me that my hormonal levels are normal. And I have been also taking diane35 for 5 years. I still have acne, but not so severe.

But the last time I had my blood tested, my doctor said that my estrogen levels were very low, the levels for estrogen were <5 (I don´t know if the levels in your country are the same) because of the menopause. I would like to ask michi31 that said at her posts that her estrogen levels were low, how did you manage with the problem of low estrogen levels? Because I am currently taking Diane35, and I think this medication should provide enough estrogen. And do you think my low estrogen levels can cause my cystic acne ?

Well as of now I am on Spiro 100mg for 7 months and minocycline 50mg and I'm clear - but I'm so scared I will break out when I go off the mino as I am still oily. Anyway, it's interesting that you say you are on Diane and estrogen levels still low. I specifically asked my doctor if I go on birth control, will the estrogen in the pill be measurable in the blood and he said yes. So not sure if this is untrue or if your levels are STILL that low including the estrogen from the pill. I am planning to go on hormone replacement therapy - such as people do after menopause. I'll let you know how that goes. I do think low estrogen is connected - when I was in my third trimester and had sky high estrogen levels I was completely clear and not oily at all.

I would be careful before supplementing estrogen. You could have had high estrogen levels in your third trimester but your progesterone levels are also insanely higher during the third trimester too, which might have actually been enough to counter the estrogen and was what actually cleared your skin. The increase in progesterone is what some say gives people that pregnancy "glow".


living life as happy and natural as I can! ♡ ☮ ❀ ॐ ☼

>>--> .. >>--> .. >>-->

[clear]: fish oil, multi vitamins & minerals + extra d3, b-complex, l-cysteine, natural progesterone cream


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I am also interested in this post. I have also the same problem, I am 43 years old, suffering with cystic acne since I was teen. And every time I get my blood tested, the doctor says to me that my hormonal levels are normal. And I have been also taking diane35 for 5 years. I still have acne, but not so severe.

But the last time I had my blood tested, my doctor said that my estrogen levels were very low, the levels for estrogen were <5 (I don´t know if the levels in your country are the same) because of the menopause. I would like to ask michi31 that said at her posts that her estrogen levels were low, how did you manage with the problem of low estrogen levels? Because I am currently taking Diane35, and I think this medication should provide enough estrogen. And do you think my low estrogen levels can cause my cystic acne ?

Well as of now I am on Spiro 100mg for 7 months and minocycline 50mg and I'm clear - but I'm so scared I will break out when I go off the mino as I am still oily. Anyway, it's interesting that you say you are on Diane and estrogen levels still low. I specifically asked my doctor if I go on birth control, will the estrogen in the pill be measurable in the blood and he said yes. So not sure if this is untrue or if your levels are STILL that low including the estrogen from the pill. I am planning to go on hormone replacement therapy - such as people do after menopause. I'll let you know how that goes. I do think low estrogen is connected - when I was in my third trimester and had sky high estrogen levels I was completely clear and not oily at all.

I would be careful before supplementing estrogen. You could have had high estrogen levels in your third trimester but your progesterone levels are also insanely higher during the third trimester too, which might have actually been enough to counter the estrogen and was what actually cleared your skin. The increase in progesterone is what some say gives people that pregnancy "glow".

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Hearts, I am also interested in the natural progesterone you are on. Could you please tell us the name of it and explain your experience with more detail? I am currently taking Diane35, and It has changed my acne from severe to mild acne, but I have never been clear from acne since I was teen. I was thinking of taking soy isoflavones, because I think that hormone replacement therapy is very dangerous.

Mitchi31, my doctor says that replacement hormonal therapy is very dangerous, and It has been a mistake. Here in Spain, Doctor prescribed this therapy in the recent past, but actually most of them doesn't prescribe it for menopause for the reasons heart have explained ( increasement in breast and endometrial cancer). But as hearts says every one is diferent, and probably if your levels of estradiol are very low ( 32) probably in this cases you need this therapy to avoid osteoporosis.And I am not an expert but I think that 32 of estradiol is very low at your age.

I have to point out that I have 6.2 of estradiol, but 5 years ago, my levels of estradiol were 115, and I also had acne. I don't know if estradiol is conected with acne. And I don,t know if my levels of progesterone are low or not.

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First of all, the "normal" range is too broad and you might still have an imbalance if you are within the normal range. For instance, you might be on the lower end of the "normal" range for progesterone, but for your body that might still be too low.

I had blood testing done too and the only hormone that was low was my progesterone, but they told me that everything else seemed normal. Blood testing is highly unreliable because they only draw blood once during your cycle, and so it's impossible to account for all the hormonal fluctuations that happen on various stages of your cycle. Also, the typical blood testing hormonal panel for acne/PCOS/hirsutism doesn't cover ALL hormones. This means they don't check for variants like free testosterone (only regular testosterone), estrogen dominance, and comprehensive thyroid testing. I happened to get tested during a time in my cycle where my skin always calms down, so no wonder they couldn't detect anything majorly off.

I'm getting a full hormonal panel test using saliva testing this time. Even though this isn't 100% accurate either, they have you submit a saliva sample during 3 or 4 times of your cycle so that they can give you a sense of how your hormones fluctuate throughout the course of a month. That might be an option for you if you want to figure out which hormones are causing your imbalance, so that you know exactly how to treat it. Standardized birth control/synthetic hormones don't benefit all women equally. They might fix one issue(e.g. the hormones causing the acne), but tip the scale towards other imbalances (e.g. weight gain) because they are not customized to your body's needs.

1 person likes this

Current regimen: garlic supplements [as needed], Enzymedica gluten blocker [as needed], nicadan [not sure if it works yet]. I try to simplify as much as I can. Don't take more supplements than you need....try one at a time and be patient.

The supplements that really helped me when my acne was at its worst: inositol, DIM [not as frequently now!] digestive enzymes [don't need them every day anymore, only on cheat days], herpanacine & vitamin C with rose hips/ low acid [not every day], regular sun exposure for vitamin D3, superoxide dismutase (SOD) enzyme supplements. NOTE: I do not recommend DIM for long term use, and I do not recommend hormonal creams without doctor supervision.

Lifestyle & Skin Care: acupuncture, regular exercise/ yoga, low histamine diet, avoiding unnecessary stress, balancing skin's PH (using Image Ormedics), using distilled/ filtered water to wash face, occasional high frequency facials...

 

Grocery list:

 

** Find the cause, find the cure **

** If you have a question for me, please ask it publicly so that others can benefit from the discussion**

 

 


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First of all, the "normal" range is too broad and you might still have an imbalance if you are within the normal range. For instance, you might be on the lower end of the "normal" range for progesterone, but for your body that might still be too low.

I had blood testing done too and the only hormone that was low was my progesterone, but they told me that everything else seemed normal. Blood testing is highly unreliable because they only draw blood once during your cycle, and so it's impossible to account for all the hormonal fluctuations that happen on various stages of your cycle. Also, the typical blood testing hormonal panel for acne/PCOS/hirsutism doesn't cover ALL hormones. This means they don't check for variants like free testosterone (only regular testosterone), estrogen dominance, and comprehensive thyroid testing. I happened to get tested during a time in my cycle where my skin always calms down, so no wonder they couldn't detect anything majorly off.

I'm getting a full hormonal panel test using saliva testing this time. Even though this isn't 100% accurate either, they have you submit a saliva sample during 3 or 4 times of your cycle so that they can give you a sense of how your hormones fluctuate throughout the course of a month. That might be an option for you if you want to figure out which hormones are causing your imbalance, so that you know exactly how to treat it. Standardized birth control/synthetic hormones don't benefit all women equally. They might fix one issue(e.g. the hormones causing the acne), but tip the scale towards other imbalances (e.g. weight gain) because they are not customized to your body's needs.


My Current Treatment Plan

Morning: Lymecycline

Evening: Dianette + Epiduo

Diet: eliminated dairy

My Log:

Acne status: continuing to break out, so demoralising!

"I would rather learn what it feels like to burn than feel nothing at all." ~ Ron Pope


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There are actually some ways to manage which hormones and what quantities you get for your body. It's called bioidentical hormone therapy, but it's definitely more expensive than going the conventional route. The doctor prescribes the right amount of hormones for you, and they come in the form of a cream, pills, or lozenges. When I was on diane 35 (stronger than dianette), the doctor also prescribed androcur (which you can't get in the US, but it works like other anti-androgens) because any estrogenic/progesterone bcp can raise testosterone indirectly because it increases the ratio of testosterone: estrogen & progesterone in the body. Also, pills like dianette can cause weight gain if you are getting more estrogen than your body needs. I was eating like a horse too, and it really messed up my metabolism because I gained weight that I couldn't lose easily. I had to practically starve myself and exercise a lot to lose 1/2 a pound. I was normal weight when I started, so at first I didn't mind a bit of weight gain, but then it spiraled out of control. I was also getting very depressed and scared of other side effects, so for me it was not the way to go.


Current regimen: garlic supplements [as needed], Enzymedica gluten blocker [as needed], nicadan [not sure if it works yet]. I try to simplify as much as I can. Don't take more supplements than you need....try one at a time and be patient.

The supplements that really helped me when my acne was at its worst: inositol, DIM [not as frequently now!] digestive enzymes [don't need them every day anymore, only on cheat days], herpanacine & vitamin C with rose hips/ low acid [not every day], regular sun exposure for vitamin D3, superoxide dismutase (SOD) enzyme supplements. NOTE: I do not recommend DIM for long term use, and I do not recommend hormonal creams without doctor supervision.

Lifestyle & Skin Care: acupuncture, regular exercise/ yoga, low histamine diet, avoiding unnecessary stress, balancing skin's PH (using Image Ormedics), using distilled/ filtered water to wash face, occasional high frequency facials...

 

Grocery list:

 

** Find the cause, find the cure **

** If you have a question for me, please ask it publicly so that others can benefit from the discussion**

 

 


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There are actually some ways to manage which hormones and what quantities you get for your body. It's called bioidentical hormone therapy, but it's definitely more expensive than going the conventional route. The doctor prescribes the right amount of hormones for you, and they come in the form of a cream, pills, or lozenges. When I was on diane 35 (stronger than dianette), the doctor also prescribed androcur (which you can't get in the US, but it works like other anti-androgens) because any estrogenic/progesterone bcp can raise testosterone indirectly because it increases the ratio of testosterone: estrogen & progesterone in the body. Also, pills like dianette can cause weight gain if you are getting more estrogen than your body needs. I was eating like a horse too, and it really messed up my metabolism because I gained weight that I couldn't lose easily. I had to practically starve myself and exercise a lot to lose 1/2 a pound. I was normal weight when I started, so at first I didn't mind a bit of weight gain, but then it spiraled out of control. I was also getting very depressed and scared of other side effects, so for me it was not the way to go.


My Current Treatment Plan

Morning: Lymecycline

Evening: Dianette + Epiduo

Diet: eliminated dairy

My Log:

Acne status: continuing to break out, so demoralising!

"I would rather learn what it feels like to burn than feel nothing at all." ~ Ron Pope


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The side effects won't be evident until you take it long term. It's not recommended for long term use. Usually doctors will prescribe diane or dianette (which I think is the lighter version that was formulated after they assessed the side effects of diane) for a few months, and then switch you to a different pill after that time period. For me, it caused mood swings, bloating, and weight gain. It screwed up my metabolism.

Androcur is a European drug, so it should still be available in the UK. I was on it over 10 years ago, but women still take it. The combination of both diane and androcur was too strong for me. The can both cause weight gain. As for the depression, if you are prone to it then anything that messes with your hormones has the potential to affect your mood.

When I was a student in the UK, my experiences with the NHS were horrible. The doctors were clueless about hormonal acne and they would just throw pills at me to see what happens with no real concern about my health. One time, they gave me yaz and an anti-depressant, as if that would fix the problem! Needless to say, my cycle got very messed up and even on birth control my periods were never regular. I eventually turned to herbs and supplements to regulate my cycles. It's been over 5 years now since I quit taking birth control and antibiotics (although I did take antibiotics for an infection for a short period of time almost 2 years ago), and my periods are now regular. So yeah, I don't have much confidence in the NHS or doctors who prescribe hormonal treatments without doing a full hormonal panel test first.

Also, I think you are right in avoiding accutane, especially if your acne is hormonal. Accutane will suppress the acne but will not get to the root of the problem, that's why hormonal acne returns after accutane treatments.

You should start monitoring your cycles and acne breakouts to see if there is a pattern. My worst flare ups happen during ovulation (mid-cycle) rather than before or during my period...that's how I know there's something hormonally off. But they have been more mild since I started eating healthier and taking some supplements.


Current regimen: garlic supplements [as needed], Enzymedica gluten blocker [as needed], nicadan [not sure if it works yet]. I try to simplify as much as I can. Don't take more supplements than you need....try one at a time and be patient.

The supplements that really helped me when my acne was at its worst: inositol, DIM [not as frequently now!] digestive enzymes [don't need them every day anymore, only on cheat days], herpanacine & vitamin C with rose hips/ low acid [not every day], regular sun exposure for vitamin D3, superoxide dismutase (SOD) enzyme supplements. NOTE: I do not recommend DIM for long term use, and I do not recommend hormonal creams without doctor supervision.

Lifestyle & Skin Care: acupuncture, regular exercise/ yoga, low histamine diet, avoiding unnecessary stress, balancing skin's PH (using Image Ormedics), using distilled/ filtered water to wash face, occasional high frequency facials...

 

Grocery list:

 

** Find the cause, find the cure **

** If you have a question for me, please ask it publicly so that others can benefit from the discussion**

 

 


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The side effects won't be evident until you take it long term. It's not recommended for long term use. Usually doctors will prescribe diane or dianette (which I think is the lighter version that was formulated after they assessed the side effects of diane) for a few months, and then switch you to a different pill after that time period. For me, it caused mood swings, bloating, and weight gain. It screwed up my metabolism.

Androcur is a European drug, so it should still be available in the UK. I was on it over 10 years ago, but women still take it. The combination of both diane and androcur was too strong for me. The can both cause weight gain. As for the depression, if you are prone to it then anything that messes with your hormones has the potential to affect your mood.

When I was a student in the UK, my experiences with the NHS were horrible. The doctors were clueless about hormonal acne and they would just throw pills at me to see what happens with no real concern about my health. One time, they gave me yaz and an anti-depressant, as if that would fix the problem! Needless to say, my cycle got very messed up and even on birth control my periods were never regular. I eventually turned to herbs and supplements to regulate my cycles. It's been over 5 years now since I quit taking birth control and antibiotics (although I did take antibiotics for an infection for a short period of time almost 2 years ago), and my periods are now regular. So yeah, I don't have much confidence in the NHS or doctors who prescribe hormonal treatments without doing a full hormonal panel test first.

Also, I think you are right in avoiding accutane, especially if your acne is hormonal. Accutane will suppress the acne but will not get to the root of the problem, that's why hormonal acne returns after accutane treatments.

You should start monitoring your cycles and acne breakouts to see if there is a pattern. My worst flare ups happen during ovulation (mid-cycle) rather than before or during my period...that's how I know there's something hormonally off. But they have been more mild since I started eating healthier and taking some supplements.


My Current Treatment Plan

Morning: Lymecycline

Evening: Dianette + Epiduo

Diet: eliminated dairy

My Log:

Acne status: continuing to break out, so demoralising!

"I would rather learn what it feels like to burn than feel nothing at all." ~ Ron Pope


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