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My Experience On Progesterone Cream


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#1 brenmc

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 07:25 PM

First, I'd like to say thank you to everyone who positively participates on this forum, many of you have helped me, even just knowing other people are going through the same struggle as me helps.
 
 
A brief background: I have had nodular acne since I was 16. I firmly believe it is a result of messing with my hormones at too young of age, aka- the dreaded birth control. The reason I believe this is because I started my period at 12 and did not have any severe acne problems emerge with the other joys of puberty. However, I went on birth control at 15 to combat long periods. Then I started getting nodular acne and it did not go away when I quit the birth control either. This is the worst type of acne because no topical treatments work, antibiotics are only a temporary fix (resistance), it's painful, scarring and not easily covered by makeup. Having nodular acne has felt like a battle- it's exhausting trying medication after medication, only to experience side effect after side effect.
 
 
I tried Diane 35 (a birth control) and it cleared my acne fairly well (I'd still get one or two nodules per month). When I went off of it though, my acne returned with a vengeance! It was awful! I literally didn't leave my house for months. I cried every night. I was sick from a boatload of antibiotics and other meds I was on to try to lessen the pain and scarring of the 10x worse (than pre-Diane) post-Diane acne apocalypse.
 
 
Through this forum I found out about Spiro. I tried it, weaned off Diane, and it has worked great for three years. For some reason (why god?! Cue shaking fist at the sky) my acne has come back. Not as crazy as the post-Diane apocalypse, but enough that I've been desperately seeking a new treatment option. Having tried almost everything (not Accutane) I felt hopeless, until I came across "hearts" post about progesterone cream. I don't know if I have estrogen dominance, I don't know why the Spiro isn't controlling my acne anymore, I don't know what changed or if progesterone would work for me. But, I decided to give it a try.
 
 
Unfortunately, in Canada you cannot buy progesterone cream without a prescription. My derm would never give me a prescription. Excuse my language, but he doesn't give two shits about my condition. He slaps a sample of benzyl peroxide in my hand and says to come back in three months. Can anyone say crackpot? My family doctor prescribes me Spiro, but since I was/am just testing the waters with progesterone cream, I decided to not bother trying for a prescription at this time. So, I ordered some Emerita brand on Amazon. It took ages to get here.
 
 
I decided not to dilly around and just take the dose I've heard worked for many people, so I started with 40mg in the morning and 40mg at night. The first few days I applied it to my chest and I felt a little weird in my heart. I don't know if it was anxiety or something with my heart rate, but it went away in two days, so that's good. Perhaps this was the "wake up" "hearts" referred to.
 
 
Now, it is too early to confirm my results or divulge much more information than I have presented here, but...so far, so good. No new nodules (knock on wood!!!). Also, I am still taking Spiro, only 125mg because I don't want to change too much at once. I will reassess my Spiro it a few months time.
 
 
I will continue to update my progress weekly. Cheers!!! surprised.gif
 
 

Edited by brenmc, 22 October 2013 - 09:48 AM.


#2 hearts

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 08:33 PM

I know I said that I was done posting in the rest of the forum but I wanted to say... good luck to you, brenmc! I wish you the best and I hope the combo of spiro and progesterone cream does the trick and gives you perfectly clear skin. (: I'm cheerin for ya!

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#3 WishClean

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 09:02 PM

Good luck! Keep us updated on your progress. When you are 2-3 months into it, I would suggest lowering your spiro dose  and checking your hormones to see if they are balanced.  

The downside to creams you order online is that the progesterone gets shuffled in shipping & handling and sometimes you might get more of it and other times less depending on how it's mixed. But it's your best bet since you can't get it elsewhere without a prescription in Canada, and I think you picked a good brand!


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

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

** Find the cause, find the cure **

 


#4 travellinggal1170

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 09:33 PM

Good luck with this. Who knows, I might have to do this at some point and I'm curious to see how it works. Yeah, derms aren't always with it about hormonal stuff. 


Edited by travellinggal1170, 12 October 2013 - 09:33 PM.


#5 talenaabrams

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 10:41 PM

Thanks for making this post! PLEASE report back. I too have started breaking out while on Spiro and want to give this combination a shot.



#6 brenmc

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 03:41 PM

Thank you hearts! You've been a great help! If I have any important further questions can I pm you? I have a zit on my chin now, it may have turned nodule if not for the progesterone. I hope it continues to clear me and you! :)

I know I said that I was done posting in the rest of the forum but I wanted to say... good luck to you, brenmc! I wish you the best and I hope the combo of spiro and progesterone cream does the trick and gives you perfectly clear skin. (: I'm cheerin for ya!
<3 x



Thanks. I do plan to adjust my spiro once I see how the progesterone is working in the long term (few months rather than weeks).
It's a total bummer I have to ship it in. Maybe I should shake the tube, if you say the progesterone may shuffle during shipping?
I've read good reviews about Emerita.

Good luck! Keep us updated on your progress. When you are 2-3 months into it, I would suggest lowering your spiro dose  and checking your hormones to see if they are balanced.  
The downside to creams you order online is that the progesterone gets shuffled in shipping & handling and sometimes you might get more of it and other times less depending on how it's mixed. But it's your best bet since you can't get it elsewhere without a prescription in Canada, and I think you picked a good brand!



I will. I will status update weekly. But I will tell you, I have a zit on my chin that may have gone nodule if not for the new progesterone routine. The reason why I think this is because I was getting a ton of nodules not pimples on my chin a few weeks/months ago. As well, I don't have oily skin, so I don't get a ton (yes some) regular (not nodule) zits.

Thanks for making this post! PLEASE report back. I too have started breaking out while on Spiro and want to give this combination a shot.



There are no good derms in my town. Seriously. The only other is strictly cosmetic (laser procedures, botox, etc).

Good luck with this. Who knows, I might have to do this at some point and I'm curious to see how it works. Yeah, derms aren't always with it about hormonal stuff. 



#7 travellinggal1170

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 04:48 PM

Thank you hearts! You've been a great help! If I have any important further questions can I pm you? I have a zit on my chin now, it may have turned nodule if not for the progesterone. I hope it continues to clear me and you! smile.png
 

I know I said that I was done posting in the rest of the forum but I wanted to say... good luck to you, brenmc! I wish you the best and I hope the combo of spiro and progesterone cream does the trick and gives you perfectly clear skin. (: I'm cheerin for ya!
<3 x



Thanks. I do plan to adjust my spiro once I see how the progesterone is working in the long term (few months rather than weeks).
It's a total bummer I have to ship it in. Maybe I should shake the tube, if you say the progesterone may shuffle during shipping?
I've read good reviews about Emerita.
>>

Good luck! Keep us updated on your progress. When you are 2-3 months into it, I would suggest lowering your spiro dose  and checking your hormones to see if they are balanced.  
The downside to creams you order online is that the progesterone gets shuffled in shipping & handling and sometimes you might get more of it and other times less depending on how it's mixed. But it's your best bet since you can't get it elsewhere without a prescription in Canada, and I think you picked a good brand!



I will. I will status update weekly. But I will tell you, I have a zit on my chin that may have gone nodule if not for the new progesterone routine. The reason why I think this is because I was getting a ton of nodules not pimples on my chin a few weeks/months ago. As well, I don't have oily skin, so I don't get a ton (yes some) regular (not nodule) zits.

Thanks for making this post! PLEASE report back. I too have started breaking out while on Spiro and want to give this combination a shot.



There are no good derms in my town. Seriously. The only other is strictly cosmetic (laser procedures, botox, etc).

Good luck with this. Who knows, I might have to do this at some point and I'm curious to see how it works. Yeah, derms aren't always with it about hormonal stuff. 

 

You're Canadian? It seems to be the way of the medical system here nowadays. It's a long wait (3-4 months on average to see a derm where I live) unless it's cosmetic related, you're probably in the door much sooner because that's not covered by medical services.  It seems to be more about the $$ these days as opposed to a person's health. It's not just derms but the whole medical profession it seems. Good luck with this and do what feels right for you.


Edited by travellinggal1170, 13 October 2013 - 04:53 PM.


#8 WishClean

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 03:13 PM

How are you getting on with the cream? If you shake the tube, there's no way of knowing which way the progesterone shuffled to. Once it's shaken a few times, there's no way of knowing how much progesterone will end up in each serving. You'll have to stick to the same dose and hope that you are getting a more or less even allotment of progesterone each time. But like I said, sometimes I felt it more and got more sleepy as I was applying it, other times nothing.


Edited by WishClean, 17 October 2013 - 03:14 PM.

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

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

** Find the cause, find the cure **

 


#9 brenmc

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 10:01 AM

So.... I may have spoke too soon or it may just be a one off breakout, but I recently got another (smallish) nodule. Granted, I've had a very stressful week with midterms, being sick, life. I'm hoping once this one has resolved, I won't get anymore (fingers crossed).
The NPC does seem to be lessening the frequency of my breakouts (this new nodule is the first in a few weeks). The NPC also lessened my, typically hellish, period cramps and I'm sleeping better.
Anyone have an experience/estimate about how long it took them to get completely clear on natural progesterone cream?

talenaabrams, why do you think spiro has stopped working for you? What are you trying?

Thanks for making this post! PLEASE report back. I too have started breaking out while on Spiro and want to give this combination a shot.



#10 WishClean

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 07:40 PM

I think you should be patient...it hasn't been that long since you started using the NPC and it usually takes a while for your hormones to be regulated. My theory is that it might be possible that spiro lowered your androgens to the point that it set your estrogen: progesterone: androgen ratio off balance. Maybe you don't need an anti-androgen anymore? I think the NPC should be able to help your hormones get balanced, but you may need to add something extra later on like hearts did. Her method targeted mostly progesterone and estrogen, and it seems that androgens got balanced as a result as well, but her treatment wasn't specifically targeting androgens, like spiro does. Sometimes androgens balance themselves out when all other hormones are in the proper ratio. 


Edited by WishClean, 21 October 2013 - 07:42 PM.

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

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

** Find the cause, find the cure **

 


#11 Green Gables

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 11:11 PM

I think you should be patient...it hasn't been that long since you started using the NPC and it usually takes a while for your hormones to be regulated. My theory is that it might be possible that spiro lowered your androgens to the point that it set your estrogen: progesterone: androgen ratio off balance. Maybe you don't need an anti-androgen anymore? I think the NPC should be able to help your hormones get balanced, but you may need to add something extra later on like hearts did. Her method targeted mostly progesterone and estrogen, and it seems that androgens got balanced as a result as well, but her treatment wasn't specifically targeting androgens, like spiro does. Sometimes androgens balance themselves out when all other hormones are in the proper ratio. 

 

I would consider this advice seriously.

 

Remember that natural progesterone is a regulating hormone. It naturally regulates both estrogens and androgens. You may not need the spiro with the right dose of progesterone.


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How to Treat Hormonal Acne

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#12 brenmc

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 09:32 AM

Thanks WishClean and GreenGables. I think I still need spiro for now because I have some of the problems associated with excess androgens, like those stray facial hairs (that I haven't had until recently). Spiro was controlling my acne and other issues associated with excess androgens very well until recently, which is why I started the progesterone cream. I know everyone says you have to be patient with hormonal treatments, I do agree to a point (no point taking something that's showing no sign of helping). But for me, spiro started working in two-three weeks and I was hoping/thinking NPC might work the same. This being said, if the NPC does eventually clear me completely, I will of course wean off of spiro.
Can either of you think of any reason the spiro or glucosmart could be a barrier to clear skin after working well for years? I know WishClean has done a lot of research on inositol (glucosmart) and GreenGables has done a lot of research on spiro.




I think you should be patient...it hasn't been that long since you started using the NPC and it usually takes a while for your hormones to be regulated. My theory is that it might be possible that spiro lowered your androgens to the point that it set your estrogen: progesterone: androgen ratio off balance. Maybe you don't need an anti-androgen anymore? I think the NPC should be able to help your hormones get balanced, but you may need to add something extra later on like hearts did. Her method targeted mostly progesterone and estrogen, and it seems that androgens got balanced as a result as well, but her treatment wasn't specifically targeting androgens, like spiro does. Sometimes androgens balance themselves out when all other hormones are in the proper ratio. 

 
I would consider this advice seriously.
 
Remember that natural progesterone is a regulating hormone. It naturally regulates both estrogens and androgens. You may not need the spiro with the right dose of progesterone.

Edited by brenmc, 22 October 2013 - 09:44 AM.


#13 WishClean

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 12:35 PM

Have you tested your hormones lately? Greengables knows more about spironolactone because she's taking it, but from what I read it's supposed to work long term....I have read some posts of people breaking out after 2-3 years of taking it though. Maybe your hormonal imbalance changed now, and you need to either adjust your dosage (based on your androgen levels - either lower it or increase it) or replace spiro with an estrogen/progesterone regulator. Progesterone is the hormone regulator, but some people need an extra supplement like DIM to fully address their imbalance. Hormones can be unpredictable and stubborn.

Right now it's just guesswork unfortunately. The only way to know why you are breaking out would be to get a hormonal panel to at least set you in the right direction. But since you mentioned that your breakouts have decreased recently, then maybe it means that the cream is helping. Usually it takes at least 2-3 months for it to really kick in though.  

About inositol, all the research I have done only states its short-term effects...it's supposed to work relatively quickly, but unfortunately it is not given enough merit as a supplement so doctors don't bother studying its effects long term. It's considered safe though because it's technically a vitamin, plus it's water flushable so there is no risk of toxicity. Inositol regulates ovulation and boosts progesterone, but I don't think it's likely that your progesterone is too high unless you had high progesterone to begin with, which seems rare. The other thing inositol does, to a small extent, is boost estradiol. So it is slightly estrogenic, but the high boost in progesterone should be able to regulate estrogen as well. Of course, this is the theory...how each person's body individually reacts to hormonal treatments is another story. I may need to do more research and see if anyone has combined chiro-inositol with spiro...I only came across people who took chiro with vitex or other fertility treatments, and sometimes metformin.


Edited by WishClean, 22 October 2013 - 12:52 PM.

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

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

** Find the cause, find the cure **

 


#14 brenmc

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 03:29 PM

Thanks. Interesting about the estrogen effect of inositol. I know I've read it on here before but how does estrogen contribute to acne, again?
I wish I could do hormone testing but, unless I move, it doesn't seem possible. It's hard enough finding a doctor where I live, let alone one informed on hormones/acne/women's issues.
I hope the progesterone cream continues to improve things, but even one nodule sucks because it takes forever to go away (even with cortisone shots) and leaves bad scars.

Have you tested your hormones lately? Greengables knows more about spironolactone because she's taking it, but from what I read it's supposed to work long term....I have read some posts of people breaking out after 2-3 years of taking it though. Maybe your hormonal imbalance changed now, and you need to either adjust your dosage (based on your androgen levels - either lower it or increase it) or replace spiro with an estrogen/progesterone regulator. Progesterone is the hormone regulator, but some people need an extra supplement like DIM to fully address their imbalance. Hormones can be unpredictable and stubborn.
Right now it's just guesswork unfortunately. The only way to know why you are breaking out would be to get a hormonal panel to at least set you in the right direction. But since you mentioned that your breakouts have decreased recently, then maybe it means that the cream is helping. Usually it takes at least 2-3 months for it to really kick in though.  
About inositol, all the research I have done only states its short-term effects...it's supposed to work relatively quickly, but unfortunately it is not given enough merit as a supplement so doctors don't bother studying its effects long term. It's considered safe though because it's technically a vitamin, plus it's water flushable so there is no risk of toxicity. Inositol regulates ovulation and boosts progesterone, but I don't think it's likely that your progesterone is too high unless you had high progesterone to begin with, which seems rare. The other thing inositol does, to a small extent, is boost estradiol. So it is slightly estrogenic, but the high boost in progesterone should be able to regulate estrogen as well. Of course, this is the theory...how each person's body individually reacts to hormonal treatments is another story. I may need to do more research and see if anyone has combined chiro-inositol with spiro...I only came across people who took chiro with vitex or other fertility treatments, and sometimes metformin.



#15 hearts

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 03:38 PM

I agree with WishClean and Green Gables — it hasn't been long enough. Even if spiro only took a few weeks for you, progesterone cream is something totally different. For me it took 3-4 months, and I've heard for some it can take even longer. It took 6 months on spiro for me to clear, so that tells you that everyone reacts differently to hormonal treatments.


Edited by hearts, 22 October 2013 - 03:39 PM.

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#16 brenmc

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 06:29 PM

Argh! I know, it's so hard to be patient eusa_wall.gif . So hearts, you stopped getting nodules 3-4 months in?

I agree with WishClean and Green Gables — it hasn't been long enough. Even if spiro only took a few weeks for you, progesterone cream is something totally different. For me it took 3-4 months, and I've heard for some it can take even longer. It took 6 months on spiro for me to clear, so that tells you that everyone reacts differently to hormonal treatments.



#17 brenmc

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 05:48 PM

To anyone who is following my progress on natural progesterone cream, I apologize for the delayed update.

 

I still have the nodule that I got last week, despite getting it injected with cortisone. It’s pretty much making the whole left side of my chin sore and red. I also have a handful of standard pimples that I never really comment on because pimples come and go quickly but cystic and nodular acne are painful and scarring. However, since last week’s nodule, no more have sprung up—which is great (knock on wood).

 

Another funny thing, pretty much from the first night I started NPC my sleep improved dramatically, until the last three nights. Over the last few nights, I wake up in the middle of the night and before my alarm goes off. No significant changes in diet or stress to explain this, so I’ll keep you all posted if this continues or improves.

 

I also have had a bit of spotting between periods, which is annoying. But my (once very painful) cramps have reduced dramatically.

 

A little bit about my dose, I am taking 40mg in the morning and 40mg at night. But I am also using, I’d estimate, an additional 10mg; this is because I am rubbing NPC on my face and especially on my nodule in an effort to reduce swelling. It’s difficult to say if applying NPC has reduced swelling in this nodule because they can range wildly in size.

 

Has anyone else started NPC?


Edited by brenmc, 29 October 2013 - 05:49 PM.


#18 WishClean

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 06:49 PM

Be careful with cortisone shots. Cortisone can thin skin tissue. I'm glad you haven't had more nodules...those take so long to go away. 

Spotting is normal when you start a hormonal treatment. 

Are you still taking glucosmart? I forgot to mention that inositol doesn't work well with caffeine, so when you take it try not to have caffeine before or after because then it doesn't get absorbed well. 


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

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

** Find the cause, find the cure **

 


#19 brenmc

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 09:24 PM

Thanks WishClean,

I am still taking the glucosmart and I will keep that in mind about caffeine.
I definitely don't enjoy the cortisone shots, I only get them if necessary (especially painful or large).

Thanks for the tips. :)

Be careful with cortisone shots. Cortisone can thin skin tissue. I'm glad you haven't had more nodules...those take so long to go away. 
Spotting is normal when you start a hormonal treatment. 
Are you still taking glucosmart? I forgot to mention that inositol doesn't work well with caffeine, so when you take it try not to have caffeine before or after because then it doesn't get absorbed well. 



#20 brenmc

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 08:19 AM

I got another nodule yesterday, feeling pretty discouraged. I know it takes time for hormonal treatments to work, but I just wish I knew this was going to work, so I could feel confident in sticking with it.
Hearts, were you still getting new breakouts into your treatment with NPC or was it just a gradual subsiding of your old breakouts? Should I increase/decrease my dose perhaps?




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