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Weaning Off Of Spironolactone

spironolactone birth control dim diet

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#1 bradmanda

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 10:12 PM

I have had acne since the 5th grade, and have a very conventional story: I have treated myself and have been treated by medical doctors with the long-term use of antiobotics, two courses of accutane, topical creams, supplements...the list, and the hit to my wallet, goes on.

I am now 26, and have clear skin. CLEAR SKIN. That's right - when I touch my face in the morning, there are no new bumps, no oily grease on my nose! 

I'll give it to you straight - 

I was cleared through the combination of primarily two things:
1. A dairy-free, low-carb, nutrient-rich diet
2. Spironolactone

The low-carb, dairy-free diet helped to clear 50% of my acne. When I no longer saw any progressive improvement, my doctor put me on 50 mg of spironolactone. I believe my body is very dose-sensitive, because with 100 mg I became absolutely clear. 

Knowing well that spironolactone is not a long-term solution, I am beginning to wean myself off the spiro. The anecdotal stories I've heard of women using spiro and birth control for years and then trying to come off is terrifying. I also plan to start supplementing with DIM (diindolylmethane). I hope I can achieve the same effects, since DIM is an androgen inhibitor (see medical studies and other acne.org postings). 

I hope to update this posting with my progress on "coming off spironolactone" and "trying to balance my hormones" and relieve my acne without resorting to a dependency on drugs, to help those of you who have suffered like I have - especially, women who suffer from hormonal acne and are given little options from mainstream medicine! 

 



#2 paigems

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 11:34 PM

Good luck! I have weaned of spiro, yaz, and yasmin in the past, and it wasn't fun, but it's doable. I've now got my acne under control with diet, and I think it's great you're moving in that direction too smile.png



#3 bradmanda

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 03:29 PM

Yeah, diet is definitely the way to go!

I still find it incredible that modern dermatology largely ignores the connection between diet and acne. It's really to the disbenefit of acne suffers, and others suffering from skin/health conditions related to diet. 



Also, thanks for the words of encouragement! Not having to take prescription medication for acne seems like a dream. 



#4 bradmanda

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 12:16 AM

So, three weeks ago I reduced my 100 mg of spironolactone to 75 mg daily.

 

A week and a half ago I stopped taking birth control (Ortho-cept), and now for a week I have further reduced my spironolactone dose to 50 mg daily. The day of my last spironolactone reduction, I started supplementing with 1 pill of DIM before I go to sleep.

I don't know if it's a placebo effect, but I generally feel more happy and more energized. I also sleep better at night: I experienced mild heart palpitations with 100 mg of spironolactone, especially if I had been out drinking prior. Not taking spiro before going to bed seems to have improved my sleep. 

My skin is also looking rather RADIANT, relative to what I have been able to achieve for myself outside of the momentary acne-free and oil-free perfection attained through Accutane. No new acne or pimples or blemishes, and I actually think my skin is looking better than when it did under my previous routine of spiro/BC. 

In a month or so, when I'm less chicken and more able to gauge any results from my current sprio/DIM regime I'm going to eliminate the spiro completely. In the meanwhile, I'll keep updating. 

Also, just to recount my background: I eat a rather "clean" diet, lots of fruits and vegetables on most days, low intake of processed foods and simple carbohydrates, and with my allergy to cow's milk I only consume sheep or goat milk products, mostly cheeses. I also do yoga and walk everywhere. These changes in my diet and lifestyle reduced my acne and inflammation by 50% or more. 



#5 bradmanda

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 11:26 AM

Hi everyone,

Just popping in to give another update on my face:

I am still taking my reduced dosage of 50 mg of spironolactone during the morning, in addition to 1 tablet of Nature's Way DIM in the evening.

Like I said, I feel a lot better than when I was taking 100 mg of spironolactone and birth control. I am overall "happier," and no longer experience periods where my emotions are flat-lined. It would take me a lot to feel much of anything, and the easiest emotion which came to me was "anger," unfortunately...

Also under this previous treatment, my fingernails were weak, flaky, and tore easily. (See other posts about how birth control interferes with the absorption of many key vitamins and minerals.) Now, my fingernails are strong, once again! 

Now, the downsides:

My oily skin has slowly come back. It's not the oil slick that it was, but when I eat carb-y meals or do not move around enough (like when I recently took a 9-hour flight), it gets oily. But really, only enough to soak one oil-absorbing sheet. That's pretty good progress still, and not a really huge downside, in my opinion.

I have one hard, medium-size pimp on my jawline. I've noticed that pimples usually form on this part of my face when I get off of birth control or spironolactone (this happened the last time), or when I am following a diet or using supplements that are suppose to "cleanse" my system. Since I'm doing both (DIM is also used a liver support), I'm not to worried, and the pimple does not look like it will come to head, anyways. 

 


Edited by bradmanda, 23 March 2014 - 12:02 PM.


#6 bradmanda

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 11:59 AM

In sum, a little rant:

I have suffered from acne and oily since elementary school, and I cannot emphasize the extent to which having acne has influenced my life. Having had more consistent and long-term success with changes in diet and lifestyle, rather than antiobiotics, aggressive bouts of Accutane, birth control, etc., I find it increasingly difficult to turn to conventional medicine for solutions. I've had many kind doctors throughout my life, but their view of diet as secondary, or even a minor factor to finding the "right" medication is astounding. This is not to say that I am, therefore, a converted believer in the power of supplements. (I believe that serious problems exist with this camp, as well). 

I also find it discouraging that anyone who points to a connection between diet and acne, or overall bodily health and acne, is deemed a "hippie," a "granola eater,"  "confused," or must even be "bad" at science (baha). I actually believe that the problem is not with science, per se - it's the way that scientific knowledge is manifested in mainstream medical practice. Throughout my journey of bad skin, I have read over 100 scientific articles which have highlighted the connection between carb or sugar intake and acne, the connection between the functioning of different organs and acne, anthropological accounts on acne, etc. etc. The research out there is growing, but it seems that more informed, dear I say it "educated" ways in which people are treated by their health practitioners are lagging.

Wasn't science once justified on the basis of serving humanity? 
 



#7 bradmanda

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 10:20 PM

Still going strong! No change in my regimen or diet and no acne as yet to report, except a little oiliness.

I must admit, I'm only taking 50 mg of spironolactone now but because it has become my crutch, the one thing I can depend on from numerous trials in clearing my skin, I'm a bit afraid to go cold turkey. I'm still clinging to the acne safety net provided by spironolactone. 

Let me emphasize again, I FEEL so much better than when I was on birth control and taking 100 mg of spironolactone daily. It all really took a toll on my system. My boyfriend has even noticed a change in my mood. 


Man, the things we have to put ourselves through because mainstream medicine is so backwards 




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