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Inositol's Impact On Hormonal Acne

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#141 DawgDaze64

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 06:43 AM

Very interesting information, thank you for sharing!

 

I was on birth control pills from the age of 20 to 38, went on the patch from 38 to 40, when I got off entirely after my husband had a vasectomy. I had a round of Accutane at age 25, and enjoyed complete acne-free skin until I stopped all birth control. That's when my skin started breaking out again and now, 10 years later, I have the worst skin of my life.

 

Had my hormones tested two years ago and the doctor saw nothing out of the ordinary. I was deemed pre-menopausal, but that's it. I still have regular periods. I tried Spiro for two months and could not deal with the side effects—and I'm still fighting the after effects of the IB. I'm about to start another round of Accutane, since I had a 15 year remission last go round, and tolerated the drug extremely well.

 

Only now, reading these forums, I'm wondering how much of that remission had to do with my birth control as well . . .  what role my hormones may be playing now, and what, other than Spiro, might be an effective treatment for me. Just the thought, though, of more doctor visits, tests, and research, man I've been doing that for years and I'm TIRED.neutral.gif

 

If the Accutane doesn't help, I will definitely explore similar routes to yours, get my hormones tested again, and it's good to know there may be an effective alternative to Spiro, which I doubt I'll ever be able to tolerate.

 

Best of luck to you. Your regimen sounds very promising!



#142 WishClean

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 09:21 PM

Very interesting information, thank you for sharing!

 

I was on birth control pills from the age of 20 to 38, went on the patch from 38 to 40, when I got off entirely after my husband had a vasectomy. I had a round of Accutane at age 25, and enjoyed complete acne-free skin until I stopped all birth control. That's when my skin started breaking out again and now, 10 years later, I have the worst skin of my life.

 

Had my hormones tested two years ago and the doctor saw nothing out of the ordinary. I was deemed pre-menopausal, but that's it. I still have regular periods. I tried Spiro for two months and could not deal with the side effects—and I'm still fighting the after effects of the IB. I'm about to start another round of Accutane, since I had a 15 year remission last go round, and tolerated the drug extremely well.

 

Only now, reading these forums, I'm wondering how much of that remission had to do with my birth control as well . . .  what role my hormones may be playing now, and what, other than Spiro, might be an effective treatment for me. Just the thought, though, of more doctor visits, tests, and research, man I've been doing that for years and I'm TIRED.

 

If the Accutane doesn't help, I will definitely explore similar routes to yours, get my hormones tested again, and it's good to know there may be an effective alternative to Spiro, which I doubt I'll ever be able to tolerate.

 

Best of luck to you. Your regimen sounds very promising!

 

Good luck to you as well. I think accutane should always be a last resort, especially as you get older. Maybe try finding a good doctor/ dermatologist who will accurately diagnose what type of acne you have first of all, then order the right tests. I can't tell you how many useless tests I took over the years. Nobody bothered checking for things like prolactin, cortisol, progesterone, all thyroid panels, the "bad" estrogens, etc... 



#143 Krissy990

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 01:39 PM

Hey Wishclean thanks so much for all of your extensive research. I am so frustrated right now because atm I am uninsured and don't really have money to get my hormones tested. At the moment the only symptoms I have coincide with androgen excess aka acne, hirsutism, sweating. But as Ive mentioned in other posts Ive been off bc for 4 mnths now and got a period once. That's I guess normal for me since before bc I had irregular periods. My question is pcos always related to excessive estrogen? Can I have pcos and low estrogen? Its all so confusing. Also Im considering the inositol for the androgen and calming effects. I was diagnosed with borderline pcos a while ago but no insulin resistance. Interesting that you mentioned you didn't have insulin resistance but this helped you too! Im wondering if blood tests didn't pick this up. Anyway thank again!  


Edited by Krissy990, 06 June 2014 - 01:42 PM.


#144 WishClean

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 04:10 PM

Hey Wishclean thanks so much for all of your extensive research. I am so frustrated right now because atm I am uninsured and don't really have money to get my hormones tested. At the moment the only symptoms I have coincide with androgen excess aka acne, hirsutism, sweating. But as Ive mentioned in other posts Ive been off bc for 4 mnths now and got a period once. That's I guess normal for me since before bc I had irregular periods. My question is pcos always related to excessive estrogen? Can I have pcos and low estrogen? Its all so confusing. Also Im considering the inositol for the androgen and calming effects. I was diagnosed with borderline pcos a while ago but no insulin resistance. Interesting that you mentioned you didn't have insulin resistance but this helped you too! Im wondering if blood tests didn't pick this up. Anyway thank again!  

If you have symptoms like mid-section weight gain, hyperpigmentation, bad PMS, and mood swings then you could have high estrogen. But there are good and bad estrogens (E1 & E2 mainly), so if you have too many bad estrogens, they can convert to more androgens and make your issues worse. 

I personally am against women with PCOS using birth control pills because of the added estrogen they are putting to their bodies. Women with PCOS are even more vulnerable to estrogen-related cancers, so they shouldn't be putting synthetic estrogen into their body.

Yes, you can have low estrogen and still have PCOS, but usually women with PCOS have high androgens, high estrogens, and low progesterone. Prolactin is also either too low or too high (can't remember which one now), and cortisol is usually high too. On this forum only the main hormones are discussed, but actually when I was seeing a homeopath, he treated my acne and PCOS by targeting prolactin and reducing stress (= lowering cortisol), and indirectly raising progesterone. 

Even though I was never diagnosed with insulin resistance, when I used to eat a lot of processed foods and sugar, my blood sugar used to drop very suddenly and I felt like I was going to pass out. So now I stick to a very simple diet with no refined sugars at all, and I never get dizzy spells anymore. 


Edited by WishClean, 06 June 2014 - 04:11 PM.


#145 Krissy990

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 04:56 PM

Thank you so much for your response! Actually before being on birth control I think had some of symptoms of estrogen dominance but no acne. I had (have irregular) heavy painful period and pretty bad pms. To the point that I knew when my period was coming because of the sore breasts, overly emotional (cried every time lol) and I still have cold extremities. Another odd thing is that I would always be sick, had migraines with aura and dizzy spells often. Also I had (have) the classic 3:1 ratio with lh>fsh. Even then I had elevated dhea also. This is all so confusing I am unsure logically I would think if Im not menstruating regularly my estrogen would be high but again I am unsure where my hormones are at now.

 

The only symptoms I have now are acne, increased hirsutism, increased sweating, crazy emotional and still cold extremities. Also when I did get a period (2.5 mnths after stopping bc) I had my usual symptoms mentioned above. Im strongly considering getting some myo inositol to help regulate period and lower free t. I am assuming if I'm not menstruating regularly I have low progesterone? Ive been looking up symptoms of both low/high estrogen, low/high progesterone and high testosterone. And the only category I am 100% I fall into is the high t. Im so confused. I guess I should just see  an naturopath but atm I don't have the means. Thank you for all of your help.


Edited by Krissy990, 06 June 2014 - 04:58 PM.


#146 WishClean

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 09:59 PM

Irregular cycles don't necessarily mean you have high estrogen. You could have very low progesterone, which makes it harder to ovulate... it could be a number of factors. Stress can also have an impact (cortisol especially). 

My periods have been very regular since I did my first course of vitex/ agnus castus about 6 years  ago. Even when I stopped taking the herb, my periods remained normal. I think it just helped my own hormones function on their own without synthetic birth control. 

Inositol can help regulate ovulation, which can then help with regular periods. It helped me have a normal blood flow during my period, but I can't speak for the regular part since my periods were regular before taking it.

DIM has helped me a lot too...I took it because I could no longer take vitex due to stomach problems. But I think you should start with the mildest option, which would be inositol, because you don't want to use anything too strong if you are not sure which hormones are messed up. Also, some vitamins and minerals can help too without messing up your hormones, they can just help your body regulate your hormones naturally. 

A good diet also helps, even if you don't have insulin resistance. Everyone with PCOS symptoms should follow a low GI or paleo diet, it's really the best because it doesn't cause hormones to fluctuate too much. 


Edited by WishClean, 06 June 2014 - 10:00 PM.


#147 Krissy990

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 12:05 PM

Im thinking that I have low progesterone and high androgens. The reason I say this is because I took Dong quai about a month ago for a week and it induced a period. I just recently started taking it again (about 3 or 4 days ago) and already inducing bleed. Sorry if that's TMI I'm just trying to figure it all out. I researched Dong quai simply for its adaptogenic effects; it'll balance excess/deficiency of estrogen. Apparently it also balances estrogen and progesterone levels from what I have read. I think I read in one of your older posts you said dong quai broke you out? I also started up saw palmetto again to hopefully lower androgenic levels. I know DIM helps metabolize excessive bad estrogens and promote healthy estrogen production but I am a little afraid of trying it out.

 

I agree though with your hypothesis of all women displaying PCOS symptoms sticking to a low GI diet. My mom never was diagnosed with PCOS but had severe acne  and mild hirsutism since a teen. Just almost a year ago she changed her diet and now consumes a low gi diet and rarely breaks out. This is why Im thinking inositol helps even if you aren't diagnosed with ir. Maybe all women with pcos (even thin ones) have some level of insulin resistance. Im going to order some myo inositol and throw this in the mix and she what happens since it doesn't directly alter your hormones. What do you think of all this?

 

Again I want to thank you so much for all of you research and taking your time out to respond. I really appreciate all of your help!


Edited by Krissy990, 07 June 2014 - 12:10 PM.


#148 WishClean

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 04:01 PM

I never took don quai but my acupuncturist recommended it. I'm a bit wary of Chinese herbs, but it's helped some women with hormonal issues so keep me updated if it works for you.

I was afraid to try DIM too, but based on my experience, noone knows exactly how DIM works and it seems to work differently depending on individual issues, dosage, and brand/ mixture. So I just take pure DIM, not mixed with anything else...I take it separately from inositol just in case they interact, although I don't think they do bc inositol is a b vitamin and shouldn't interact with anything else.

Yes, you can start with a low dose of inositol before meals and see if it helps you. I found it more effective when taken in the morning on an empty stomach, but if it makes you drowsy then take it at night. Drowsiness should only happen, though, if you are taking too much. 



#149 brenmc

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 08:39 AM

Hey WishClean,

 

It sounds like your skin is doing great and you're being so generous to share your experience with everyone else. From what I've read in this post, DIM and inositol work sort of like metformin and spiro, respectively. The first lowers androgens and the second controls insulin, which reduces inflammation, is that correct? I wonder if one could take DIM and spiro together and then wean off of spiro slowly over time? Did you have an initial breakout on DIM? If not, why are there so many horror stories about people breaking out on DIM, what is the process or interaction at play there?

 

Thank you!


Edited by brenmc, 10 June 2014 - 08:40 AM.


#150 missC1990

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 01:07 PM

I would ;ove to know that too! I had the initial breakout on DIM... horrible. Just like back in my pcos time.. I was on birth control pills when I took it. Don't know if that could have had any bad effects

 Did you have an initial breakout on DIM? If not, why are there so many horror stories about people breaking out on DIM, what is the process or interaction at play there?

 

Thank you!



#151 WishClean

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 02:41 PM

Ok, here's what I think about DIM initial breakouts. There are 2 possible reasons (apart from an allergy to some of the ingredients):

1. Herbs and hormonal drugs do not mix. If you read greengable's post on her DIM breakout a while ago, she was also on spironolactone and broke out from DIM. Herbalists usually say never to mix medication and herbs. Now, if you still want to take your chances, I would say at least take them as far apart as possible. Take one early in the morning and the other at night, that would be your best bet.

2. People who already have liver problems break out from DIM (usually if they rush into the regular dose or higher) because their liver can't handle DIM's detoxing effects. Apparently mine was ok with it, but I started with a very low dose because I was dreading an initial breakout. I never did have one, my skin just kept improving and now I even lowered my inositol and DIM because I don't want to take more than I need, plus they last longer.



#152 missC1990

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 10:30 AM

Interesting wishclean! that might explain why I broke out over all the herbs that I took.... But is it true that DIM increases testosterone and lowers estrogen? I just read very conflicting stories over the internet. I can't understand how a testosterone booster could help some people's acne



#153 WishClean

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 12:03 PM

Interesting wishclean! that might explain why I broke out over all the herbs that I took.... But is it true that DIM increases testosterone and lowers estrogen? I just read very conflicting stories over the internet. I can't understand how a testosterone booster could help some people's acne

Yes, it's not good to mix herbs and birth control or other meds. And it shouldn't even be necessary...either one or the other should work, otherwise you need to figure out what the problem is in the first place.

On wikipedia, DIM is listed as the strongest herbal anti-androgen. On bodybuilding sites, men take DIM to increase free testosterone, but they take much higher doses than women should take. High estrogen converts to MORE testosterone, so if you lower bad estrogens, you could potentially lower overall testosterone, even if your free testosterone increases a little bit. I think that's what is happening when I take it, I have no other explanation for it based on what I read, unless DIM also works on other hormones (e.g. cortisol and prolactin) that haven't been studied. I was hesitant to take it because of the testosterone boost, but I think that's misleading information. And I am very sensitive to changes in testosterone, so I would have noticed some bad side effects by now. 

The other thing that we don't know enough about is how estrogen (esp. xenoestrogens) can cause acne. Some people's acne could be due to estrogen/ low progesterone, NOT testosterone or other androgens. In these cases, DIM works really well. 

Another good thing about DIM is that it is an antioxidant, and antioxidants help acne. I once took acai berry supplements for 1-2 years and my skin texture looked really good. 



#154 lifelong confusion

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 04:47 PM

Update! So I've been taking Inositol for almost two months now, along with Yaz birth control, which I have taken for almost 5 months. Last month the amount of breakouts I got reduced by half, and this time if i don't break out anymore this month, it's looking like it reduced by half again - im past the middle of cycle and only had 3 big papules this month so far, compared to 6 last month and 12 the month before. Definitely progress! I knew I shouldn't be touching spiro just yet. I don't know if its yaz, inositol, or combination of the two, but i'm seeing results.



Also I have anxiety issues and I think Inositol actually helped me with that, and it doesn't make me feel that drowsy anymore so i still take it morning and night


Edited by lifelong confusion, 11 June 2014 - 04:43 PM.


#155 brenmc

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 11:15 PM

Thanks for the reply WishClean. I wonder if the negative herb/medication interactions you explained is why I can't tolerate natural supplements like fish oil and multivitamins? Also, as you said, high levels of estrogen can convert to testosterone, so perhaps some people experience breakouts as a result of taking a high dose of DIM? As I recall, your skin was doing well on inositol alone, may I ask what inspired you to add DIM.

 

I know my breakouts are a result of androgens, as I was clear on spiro and metformin and then spiro and inositol for years. Also, when my skin starts to get bad, I notice more stray facial hairs. As I mentioned, I'm on metformin and spiro, I also take zinc and vitamin D, however, I still breakout on my period. Should I add inositol, even if it's just during my period? Do you have any recommendations for a supplement that, most likely, shouldn't interact with spiro and met to reduce inflammation? When I get a bad nodule, if I take Advil within the first hour or two, half the time it will go down or away.



#156 wannabhealthy

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 07:54 AM

Hi WishClean,

 
 
Thank you very much for this very helpful thread. Please help me if any one understands the lab results or guide me what should i start with.
 
I am also suffering from hormonal imbalance, hirsutism, acne, fatigue, aggression, PMS, mood swings, brest pain after ovulation, headaches (sometimes). 
 
I have autoimmune hypothyroidism currently on 100μg levothyrox.
 
My recent lab results are :
TSH                                       2.68 mUI/L
FSH                                       6.8 UI/L
LH                                          6.6 UI/L
Estradiol                                30 ng/L (110.4 pmol/L)
17-OH progesterone             0.490 ng/mL (1.48 nmol/L)
Delta 4-androstenedione       2.32 ng/mL  (8.10 nmol/L)
Testosterone                         0.630 ng/mL (2.19 nmol/L)
Sulfate of DHEA                     1450 ng/mL (3.94 μmol/L)
Cortisol                                  12.0 μg/dl (332 nmol/L)
 
These were taken on 28th of May and my menstrual cycle started on 25th of May night.
Any suggestions or comments are welcome please.
 
 
Thanks in advance.

Edited by wannabhealthy, 15 June 2014 - 01:17 AM.


#157 hearts

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 07:20 AM

Hey all!♥ Question to those taking inositol — have any of you gained weight taking it? I just finished my second bottle of inositol (I've taken 200 pills total, about one a day so that makes about 6 months, right?) and have gained around 10lbs (a big deal for my size.) I haven't changed much else except stopping DIM (though I noticed weight gain before that), my diet is pretty good and I am quite active. I can't seem to drop a pound no matter how much I try. Now that my bottle is finished, I am going to stop taking it and see if I can lose the weight.

 

I didn't think that Inositol could cause weight gain until I did a quick search... and apparently I'm not alone. There are a few on the Soul Cysters forum who have said they have experienced the same thing. I also read that some stopped inositol and lost the weight.

 

Inositol did stop my hair shedding almost immediately, but other than that I haven't noticed any significant benefits from taking it. There has been no increase in hair growth or anything. And, now that I am taking B complex and some other vitamins, I bet my hair will continue to grow and won't abnormally shed again anyway.


Edited by hearts, 16 June 2014 - 07:39 AM.


#158 lifelong confusion

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 09:30 PM

Hey all!♥ Question to those taking inositol — have any of you gained weight taking it? I just finished my second bottle of inositol (I've taken 200 pills total, about one a day so that makes about 6 months, right?) and have gained around 10lbs (a big deal for my size.) I haven't changed much else except stopping DIM (though I noticed weight gain before that), my diet is pretty good and I am quite active. I can't seem to drop a pound no matter how much I try. Now that my bottle is finished, I am going to stop taking it and see if I can lose the weight.

 

I didn't think that Inositol could cause weight gain until I did a quick search... and apparently I'm not alone. There are a few on the Soul Cysters forum who have said they have experienced the same thing. I also read that some stopped inositol and lost the weight.

 

Inositol did stop my hair shedding almost immediately, but other than that I haven't noticed any significant benefits from taking it. There has been no increase in hair growth or anything. And, now that I am taking B complex and some other vitamins, I bet my hair will continue to grow and won't abnormally shed again anyway.

 

Wow, I didn't even think of that. And there I was wondering how I could have gained 5 pounds in just a week hitting my brand new high. So it could be inositol? Crazy. I have taken it for 2 months now. Though I don't think I'm gonna stop, I don't have problems with weight, if anything this is motivating me to exercise more which is great :P



#159 WishClean

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 10:28 AM

Update! So I've been taking Inositol for almost two months now, along with Yaz birth control, which I have taken for almost 5 months. Last month the amount of breakouts I got reduced by half, and this time if i don't break out anymore this month, it's looking like it reduced by half again - im past the middle of cycle and only had 3 big papules this month so far, compared to 6 last month and 12 the month before. Definitely progress! I knew I shouldn't be touching spiro just yet. I don't know if its yaz, inositol, or combination of the two, but i'm seeing results.



Also I have anxiety issues and I think Inositol actually helped me with that, and it doesn't make me feel that drowsy anymore so i still take it morning and night

Yay! Glad it's working for you :) I'm all about trying something natural first because sometimes there's not even need for stronger drugs if a supplement works just as well if not better. Keep me updated.

 

Thanks for the reply WishClean. I wonder if the negative herb/medication interactions you explained is why I can't tolerate natural supplements like fish oil and multivitamins? Also, as you said, high levels of estrogen can convert to testosterone, so perhaps some people experience breakouts as a result of taking a high dose of DIM? As I recall, your skin was doing well on inositol alone, may I ask what inspired you to add DIM.

 

I know my breakouts are a result of androgens, as I was clear on spiro and metformin and then spiro and inositol for years. Also, when my skin starts to get bad, I notice more stray facial hairs. As I mentioned, I'm on metformin and spiro, I also take zinc and vitamin D, however, I still breakout on my period. Should I add inositol, even if it's just during my period? Do you have any recommendations for a supplement that, most likely, shouldn't interact with spiro and met to reduce inflammation? When I get a bad nodule, if I take Advil within the first hour or two, half the time it will go down or away.

I can't tolerate fish oil either....but I think it's because of the oil. I started DIM to help with estrogen dominance symptoms like melasma, and although it also helped minimize allergic reactions to foods & environmental triggers, it hasn't helped melasma :/ I needed something for excess estrogen because my issue wasn't just testosterone and progesterone.  I don't think inositol interacts with anything because it's a vitamin technically. 

Btw, taking advill for breakouts can lead to other issues if you take it frequently, so I wouldn't recommend that esp. since Advill is not for acne.

 

Hi WishClean,

 
 
Thank you very much for this very helpful thread. Please help me if any one understands the lab results or guide me what should i start with.
 
I am also suffering from hormonal imbalance, hirsutism, acne, fatigue, aggression, PMS, mood swings, brest pain after ovulation, headaches (sometimes). 
 
I have autoimmune hypothyroidism currently on 100μg levothyrox.

I'm glad inositol helped you with anxiety, it really calms me down when I'm stressed. I don't know where the "normal" range is for your lab results...it should be included in your chart, and from there you can see where your results fall.

If you have an autoimmune disease, then a nutrient-rich, low histamine diet can really help you more than any medication. Also, look into things that can help your thyroid besides levothyrox, such as vitamins.

 

Hey all!♥ Question to those taking inositol — have any of you gained weight taking it? I just finished my second bottle of inositol (I've taken 200 pills total, about one a day so that makes about 6 months, right?) and have gained around 10lbs (a big deal for my size.) I haven't changed much else except stopping DIM (though I noticed weight gain before that), my diet is pretty good and I am quite active. I can't seem to drop a pound no matter how much I try. Now that my bottle is finished, I am going to stop taking it and see if I can lose the weight.

 

I didn't think that Inositol could cause weight gain until I did a quick search... and apparently I'm not alone. There are a few on the Soul Cysters forum who have said they have experienced the same thing. I also read that some stopped inositol and lost the weight.

 

Inositol did stop my hair shedding almost immediately, but other than that I haven't noticed any significant benefits from taking it. There has been no increase in hair growth or anything. And, now that I am taking B complex and some other vitamins, I bet my hair will continue to grow and won't abnormally shed again anyway.

Hey hearts! As I mentioned a while ago, I was noticing some bloating with inositol but only during certain times of the month. Now that I added DIM, I think I gained some weight and am retaining more water, but I guess that's the risk to take with any antiandrogen because many women also gain weight on spiro and birth control. Did you gain any weight on DIM, and are you still on it?

Have you tried decreasing your inositol dosage? Perhaps it would work better for you in a b-complex. I read that it helps with weight loss, but my guess is that it only helps with that IF you need to lose weight in the first place. I think on thin women it can have the opposite effect if taken in higher doses. 



#160 brenmc

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 11:24 AM

hearts, I don't think I gained weight on inositol but it was nearly impossible for me to lose weight on it. I did every boot camp and workout regimen possible and still couldn’t drop any weight. However, clear skin was more important to me so I stuck with it (until it stopped working last summer).

 

WishClean, I didn’t know Advil was bad for you. I probably only take it once, maybe twice, per month (as I said, to reduce inflamed nodules). What is bad about Advil? Do you know a natural supplement that helps to reduce inflammation quickly as an alternative?

 

It definitely seems like a tough balance to achieve, lowering testosterone without increasing estrogen (or estrogen symptoms). It’s super confusing as well. In another post, I wrote about the correlation of spotting and acne, which is apparently a result of low estrogen; however, I have other symptoms of high estrogen, like weight around the waist and lowered sex drive.

 

I thought you and others on this thread might be interested in this article I found about the correlation between birth control and insulin resistance. This may partly explain the prevalence of PCOS in women of our generation. I would venture to hypothesize that taking birth control early in life may contribute to long-term disruption of the complex relationship between sex hormones and insulin.  http://humrep.oxford.../17/7/1729.long (Re: third paragraph down in the Introduction.






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