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Member Since 27 Dec 2010
Offline Last Active Dec 02 2014 09:14 AM

#3462248 vitex...GOOD OR BAD EXPERIENCE ?

Posted by hearts on 02 December 2014 - 09:12 AM

I've heard that can happen in some cases... I had the same problem for the first few months but I was warned beforehand that it would happen. I also had the heaviest cycles I've ever had (I am normally very light) and at one point I was panicking, thinking that was my life now! lol But after a few months my cycle returned to normal, thank goodness!

#3460439 Inositol's Impact On Hormonal Acne

Posted by hearts on 18 November 2014 - 10:12 AM

Hi hearts

Thanks so much for your post . I actually have tried progesterone cream but I'm not sure if I'm taking the right amount or taking at the right time . Can I ask what brand you're taking ? Also how much and when do you take it ? Morning and night ? I think progesterone deficiency is definitely an issue for me because i was also taking progesterone shots during my pregnancies and they didn't give me breakouts - but would that cause acne only around ovulation time ? I have facial hair and get the breakout right at ovulation time so I thought that pointed more to testosterone but being that all the emotions of each deficiency are so similar it's really confusing me . Thank you so much for answering me in all my confusion


I'll answer your questions in a PM shortly — I don't want to hijack more of WishCleans topic on inositol! An important thing to remember is not one hormone is the "bad guy", usually it's multiple factors causing the imbalance so it may take a little trial and error to get things back on track. 

#3460311 Forhead Acne

Posted by hearts on 17 November 2014 - 04:08 PM

Hello everyone! Well I've suffered from acne from around 6th grade and now I'm in 8th grade... Nothing severe and ever since I've changed my eatinn habits it has started to clear up but I still have acne here and there! I have a couple little small pimples around my face such as chin & cheeks... But my forhead is horrible! I have tiny small colorless pimples all over and it sucks. I can't get rid of them and once some go away new ones pop up! They either turn red and form a white small head and then leave or they just stay there. I would like to clear it up and I really do think it would make a huge change in how my skin looks. I don't know if it's hormonal or maybe when I eat something during the week it happens? I wash my face every day with the Simple Face Wash and moisturize with their moisturizer too. I exfoliate with their exfoliator once a week. I wear makeup but always wash it off and I only wear a light concealer and mascara. I included a picture of my forhead sorry it it disturbs you sad.png( any help or advice is appreciated!


I didn't see your picture attached, but since you're only in 8th grade, your hormones haven't had time to settle yet... please avoid taking anything that alters your hormones (including accutane and birth control) until after puberty! That is the best advice I can give you. Even though it's difficult, you need to wait until your older to evaluate if you need hormonal treatment.


In the meantime, my advice (which you don't have to take!) is to make sure you stop any bacteria in it's tracks... when I was still breaking out, using hydrogen peroxide on a cotton ball nightly helped tons by not letting the bacteria spread. Make sure you use clean pillowcases and you wash your hair frequently. If you have bangs or let your hair fall on your forehead, this could be a big part of the problem. Treat your skin nicely — don't use anything harsh and limit exfoliation. If you can, you may want to look into changing your concealer because some are more comedogenic than others. Good luck!

#3460302 Inositol's Impact On Hormonal Acne

Posted by hearts on 17 November 2014 - 03:26 PM

Hi Wishclean,

I've been reading this thread for the last 2 days trying ti get some understanding of how inositol might work with acne and hirsutism. I'm still really comfused so I thought you might be able to shed some light ! I'v always struggled with acne since I was 13 ( I am now 35) . I've had clear years and not so clear ones but the problem's always been there. I've been pregnant 2 times and both pregnancies( and while I was nursing) I was completely clear - not even a small pimple. Now that I've weaned my daughter off a little over a year ago, I've started to break out in cysts on my chin again around ovulation time. My hair is thin, I also have more facial and body hair than the average girl, get extremely crazy around my period times and crave sweets . I feel like it is an emotional up and down. I know there has to be something up with my hormones, but I'm not exactly sure what it could be. I took vitex for a while (maybe 8 months) and it worked perfectly, but then suddenly i started getting the chin breakouts again. I used to get hot flashes before my pd, but  I am also taking DIM for what i though might be estrogen dominance and thats helped with the flashes too.  If I am completely clear in pregnancy, does that mean that I don't have an estrogen dominance and I have a testosterone issue instead? would i have broken out during pregnancy if I had estrogen dominance to begin with? I'm not sure which hormone to target anymore , it's all so confusing and they overlap so much! It seems like you really know what you're talking about , so I hoped you could help! Any and all advice or insight would be appreciated

Hey girl1777, another thing to consider if you were totally clear during pregnancy is low progesterone... progesterone levels skyrocket during pregnancy, especially in the third trimester. The fact that vitex helped you (raises progesterone) and you have had positive results with DIM (improves estrogen to progesterone ratio) makes me think that it could be a solution for you. You can get natural progesterone cream over the counter, usually at health/natural food stores. If after a few months of using it nothing has improved, at least you can eliminate that target. NPC helped my anxiety/moodiness around my period as well so it could prove useful for multiple symptoms. Good luck and best wishes! (:

#3449417 Finally Had Clear Skin Now I'm Pregnant And Skin Is Worse Than Ever!

Posted by hearts on 28 August 2014 - 03:06 PM

Interesting hearts, thanks. If you've been taking this along with DIM, perhaps that's the key to your success? I've read of people taking liver support with DIM in several places but I have been too nervous to add anything else at this stage. However, I'm now thinking I might need to add NAC to see the full benefits of DIM?
Have you read or seen anything about NAC causing an initial breakout, I know liver detoxes can do so? What about taking NAC with inositol, would that be too much change to my glucose metabolism?


Yeah, I'm really not sure if it helped at all or not. I took it before DIM and it didn't affect my skin. If it made me break out (like an initial breakout) I would have stopped taking it. I don't think NAC/l-cysteine has "detox" side effects, at least it didn't for me. I take 500mg daily, but I think you can take up to 1600mg or something. Maybe if you take high doses you can experience detox symptoms.


I'm not sure if continuing to take l-cysteine post DIM is helping me keep on track, either! When I forget to take it I don't see a difference in my skin (no breakouts.)


I think you're right about not adding anything else at this point... it's too early to know if DIM alone will be enough. If at 4 months it's still not helping then you could add it as a last test with DIM. Though I think NAC/l-cysteine is awesome, how each individual reacts to each supplement is a mystery until they try it.


You might want to read this article about how NAC acts similarly to Metformin for women with PCOS. This is another article on the subject. 

Here is a thread on Soul Cysters where a few women mention that they take both inositol and NAC together. Please note post #14 on there... she ditched metformin and spiro and feels much better on the other supplements! (: Here is another thread specifically about the subject. I also took inositol and l-cysteine together without a problem, well, except for the weight gain but I don't think that's because I was taking l-cysteine.


Hope that helps! (:

#3449081 Finally Had Clear Skin Now I'm Pregnant And Skin Is Worse Than Ever!

Posted by hearts on 26 August 2014 - 09:59 AM

I just looked into the DIM Detox formula... apparently it has a lot of other ingredients including CDG. It also looks like it focuses on liver support (hence the name) since it also contains things like NAC, ALA, and milk thistle. Here's a link to the source: http://www.pureencap.../dim-detox.html


I've read mixed stories on CDG (calcium-d-glucarate) — some women have success with it while others don't (just like any supplement though, I guess.) Did your doctor look at all the ingredients before telling you that it was okay to take while pregnant? I don't know much about it but I thought CDG wasn't safe during pregnancy... I am also still convinced that DIM shouldn't be taken while pregnant either, since it's directly influencing your hormones and is an anti-androgen.


If you can handle all of the ingredients, it looks like a pretty good supplement but it's quite expensive. I would be worried to take it personally because there is so much in it... I wouldn't know which ingredient was causing side effects if any. I'm glad it works for you though, LeksiBabi! (:


By the way, I get liver support from l-cysteine (NAC is a product of l-cysteine) because I do drink. I wonder if this helped at all while I was on DIM. Something else to think about!

#3449077 Now What?

Posted by hearts on 26 August 2014 - 09:31 AM

Thanks hearts. I guess I was mistaken, I thought I had read that you were starting DIM while weaning off spiro, but maybe it was the progesterone cream that you started while coming off of spiro? I’ve read so many posts and reviews that it’s difficult not to have some transference.

I have started three pills of DIM, just to try an accelerate things. You said in an earlier post that you continued to breakout like normal for weeks after starting DIM, but when did you start to notice improvement? I just need some encouragement  ! How long did you take DIM for in total?

Thanks for sharing your experience with me hearts.


No problem (: I think I took it for a year and a half? Maybe longer. It's hard to remember when exactly I saw improvement starting, probably 2-3 months. Hopefully taking the increased dose helps you see progress sooner!

#3448157 Skin Is Only Clear During My Period! Recommend Herbs/supplements?

Posted by hearts on 20 August 2014 - 03:14 PM

hi! My skin did improve a lot with spiro though it did not completely clear me up, I think I was on it for a little over 2 months.. maybe if I would have stuck with it longer I would have cleared?


Today I purchased DIM plus, Flax, and Saw Palmetto (25% off whole foods supplements woohoo!)    

If you were me would you start out with Saw Palmetto only? or do you think I could take both saw palmetto and DIM? also unsure about whether I should incorporate Flax, I've read that it contains "good estrogen"


I get 1000 iu of vitamin D, I think I once calculated based on my weight that i require 3 or 4000 iu but I don't really remember. 


thanks for your response!!!


Two months was not long enough to know exactly how much spiro would clear you, but it's a good sign if it helped even in that amount of time. Perhaps an anti-androgen will clear you if you stick with it. (:


However, I recommend only starting one thing at a time. If you are taking more than one thing, you won't know which one is helping or even causing you to break out or give you side effects again. Take one supplement for 4-6 months before adding another or switching to another supplement. That gives it enough time to adjust your hormones and then you can evaluate your results.


And 1000iu of vitamin D is still pretty low.



How is  DIM an anti androgen :0 ? 



#3448153 Now What?

Posted by hearts on 20 August 2014 - 02:59 PM

Hey brenmc,

Sorry for the delayed response...I'm currently preparing to move from the US to Europe and it's been a long process. I'll try my best to keep up with acne.org until the end of the month, when I'll finally have a new place to live.

Did the DIM amount get reduced after the new rules (in EU, not sure if they affected Canada too) about supplements? Because another user was saying that the nature's way vitex now has a much lower % of vitex in it in the European version and I think it's because pharmaceutical companies are getting concerned about the fact that people can now replace some treatments with over the counter supplements.

I take anywhere between 50mg to 150mg (depending on the day and the mood) of Olympian Labs DIM. Each capsule is 100mg, but sometimes I'll take half for example.

btw, if if helps, I always break out from fried food no matter what, so your breakout could be coincidental.

Well, DIM might be wearing off a bit for me whenever I lower the dosage, but my melasma gets better. It's so strange, because I read that it can help with hyperpigmentation/ melasma, but when I take 150mg of DIM (or when I was taking up to 200mg), my dark patches look darker. No idea why, but these past few days I increased inositol and the melasma appears to have faded slightly. 

I was concerned about DIM increasing testosterone too, but so far it's only helped me...I even noticed more baby hairs growing along my hairline, which seems to be a positive sign...and less facial hair (although that could be the inositol).  I will say, however, that I seem to have gained a bit of weight and some days I feel bloated. When I finish moving, I plan on exercising every day like I used to, and avoiding grains and too many carbs to see if that makes a difference. My bloating/ weight gain could be because I haven't been too strict about diet and exercise recently. 


Good luck on the move, WishClean! I hope everything goes smoothly for you! (:



No worries about the delay WishClean. I just thought I’d bump my post to the top of the page to ensure it would be seen. Congratulations on your new endeavour; moving to Europe sounds very exciting. I hope you’ll still check in with acne.org now and then, as your research and experience is invaluable.

I don’t know if DIM Plus used to have a higher concentration, as I’ve only been taking it for less than a month. However, the label on the US version states that each dose contains 100mgs of DIM Complex, while the Canadian version states it contains 12.5mgs of DIM per capsule (so 25mgs of DIM per dose).  I emailed the company and they said that the US and Canadian versions are the same but labelled differently due to national regulations. My bottle says manufactured in the US and distributed in Canada, as well. So your brand is not a complex, it’s pure DIM? I have upped my dose to three per day and am awaiting, hopefully positive, change.

In reading reviews, many people claim the effects of DIM ware off in time. Here is a comment from this website: http://thelovevitami...block-dim-acne/:

Do you know why this would be? Do you think DIM is losing effectiveness for you generally or just because you vary your dose?

Half way down the comments section a commenter named Lisa talks about having melasma as well:

I don’t know if this helps at all because we don’t know if she was saying that vitex and EPO was helping with her acne or her melasma. But it might be worth looking into further. She also takes the same brand of DIM as you.

The Estroblock brand of DIM is affiliated with the website that I linked to, so biases must be considered when reading through the website. Estroblock contains I3C as well, which hearts explained is more volatile than DIM alone. Here is a link to the formula: http://www.amazon.ca...r/dp/B0073W96PS. It contains fairly high concentrations per dose, but we don’t know if the formula contains lots of DIM or lots of I3C. Regardless, I’m still confused as to how much DIM I should be taking, as 12.5mgs per pill (and now I’m taking three pills) seems low.

I’ve weaned down to 87mgs of spiro for a month and decided yesterday to make the bold move of dropping to 50mgs. I had dropped to 75mgs for a couple days prior but then decided it would be best to just go for a larger decrease (I had planned to wean very slowly, by like 10mgs per month). I did so because I’m concerned that spiro could be muting the potential positive effects of DIM by just adding more estrogen. I’ll know shortly—if my acne gets much worse—that I need to increase my dose of spiro. The other reason why I decided to decrease my spiro dose is because my skin is already bad, so it won’t matter as much if I get another breakout from doing so.

I am also wondering if you could tell me how many milligrams of inositol is in your daily dose? I know you measure by teaspoons but does it say on the bottle how many milligrams are in each teaspoon?

Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to explain myself thoroughly and link in those quotes. Thanks WishClean!


I don't know what would be going on with those girls on Estroblock... it is a different formula like you said. DIM didn't lose effectiveness for me at all and I took it for a pretty long time. I could see varying the dose making the effectiveness varied, though.


About the dose of DIM Plus... in my experience and reading about others, whether it's written as 12.5mg or 100mg, two to four pills of that brand seems to be enough for most people if it does work. On my bottle it says you can double the dose to 4 pills (8 if you are male) for more extreme cases. I'm not sure if the "enhanced absorption" of the complex that helps or what. I just wanted to say that again because I did not have mild acne... I had quarter-sized cysts all over my upper back and neck, along with nodules that wouldn't go away for months. If it was only 25mg of that particular DIM concentrate that cleared me, I'll take it! (:


Good luck with weaning down with spiro! Just remember if you are stopping something while starting something new, it will be more difficult to tell what exactly is going on, so don't get discouraged too easily. One month is still way early. (: I found a post that made me feel better about the weight from inositol not coming off yet... I bring this up because sometimes hormones take their time doing their thing!

#3447248 Now What?

Posted by hearts on 14 August 2014 - 10:11 AM

Hi hearts, thanks for replying. I still have more questions for you, if that’s ok? I appreciate your shared experience and knowledge so much!  


How long did you take to wean off of DIM? Having suffered with cystic/nodular acne, how did you determine you could go off of treatment (I haven’t had clear skin without treatment since I was sixteen)? My skin is doing better, so far I haven’t had any new nodules this week . I’m still getting some under the skin whiteheads and pimples though. I know it’s too early to say if DIM is truly helping or I’m just having a good week. Did you find DIM helped the tough stuff first and then worked on the minor acne?


I definitely have issues with insulin that’s for sure, that’s why I’m also trying inositol again in hopes that it will be better than metformin.


Oh my god! I'm so happy that you went a week without new nodules! (: (: That's definitely a good sign, and I hope it continues to improve! I had to like your post for that! (:


No problem at all! I am on these boards to try to help and I'm glad if it is helping. I do want to reiterate for anyone else reading this... this is just what I chose to do and my experience, I'm not a doctor so y'all should do what you think is best and make your own decisions. (:


I'm not sure how long it took me to wean off of DIM, since I lowered my dose to 50mg and took that for quite a few months. Maybe 3 months to wean after that? It was a lower dose so it didn't take as long. I should have kept better track!


Honestly, the biggest reason I tried getting off of it was just to see if I could. I'm one of those people that has to push every button and test things just because, haha! (: I also personally believe that people don't necessarily need to take medication long term. The other reason I wanted to try to get off of DIM is because I initially thought that DIM was causing that sudden weight gain (didn't make sense but I was frustrated), when it was in fact caused by inositol. I took inositol after quitting DIM and obviously my weight didn't change.


As far as I know, DIM is safe to use long term unless you decide to get pregnant, though.


I wish I could tell you exactly how DIM worked, but it was just slow and I couldn't tell which kind cleared first. I was very skeptical about it and didn't pay much attention. You are lucky you don't have body acne... my face cleared first like it always does so maybe that's a good sign for you! (:

#3445861 Now What?

Posted by hearts on 06 August 2014 - 12:39 PM

Hey brenmc and WishClean! I don't even know what post to quote anymore, haha. 


About progesterone... from my own research, it actually acts as an anti-inflammatory. Below are some links. Also even though it is anecdotal, I found it to help a lot with inflammation of acne when applied directly. When I was on DIM I was using quite large amounts of progesterone with no problems, though I don't use nearly as much now. I agree with WishClean that it seems uncommon to have too much.







As for anxiety while starting DIM — I didn't notice any. I also didn't notice any improvement in my mood, either, like some people describe. Inositol didn't affect my mood either, which was weird. I had bad anxiety before NPC, including panic attacks, but it helped a lot with that. I think the main thing I did while I waited for DIM to work was try to completely distract myself... if I was constantly busy I didn't focus on my acne as much. Physical activities work best for me like you both mentioned.


WishClean, this may not help with the long distance thing but when I first started dating my boyfriend of 6 years, we only saw each other once a month because of distance. I guess we started long distance. We had to be creative with communication and honestly I feel like our relationship grew stronger because it wasn't all based on physical stuff... we learned a lot about each other's personalities which I think is really important in the beginning. I do think both of you have to want it to keep going for it to work, though. Like brenmc said, if you find yourself doing much more than half the effort, it might not work out so well. Years later we lived apart for a whole year because of relocation... it was still difficult but I definitely think it was worth it. (: Thankfully we now live together again.

#3445505 Now What?

Posted by hearts on 04 August 2014 - 08:48 PM

I agree about sitting in a cubicle, that was like my old job in digital mapping (GIS). Now I'm in the process of figuring out a more fulfilling career path. smile.png

Thanks for the encouragement. I hope things clear up soon. What did you do for post-acne hyperpigmentation?



Hey, we're both in the same boat! It's kind of difficult to start over but it's also an adventure. (: I really enjoy cooking and I think I'm pretty good at it so I might try to get into something in culinary arts.


I hope things improve with your skin soon, too. The wait does suck, but if it does work out it will be worth it. For hyper-pigmentation, I really like aloe and witch hazel (non-alcohol, and I love the one with lavender.) I remember once having a bright red mark on my forehead and put aloe (real stuff) on before going to sleep, the next day it was gone! You probably don't get white marks (hypo-pigmentation) too, but that's a problem on olive skin... for that I use ACV and for some reason it helps a lot. It's harsher though and my skin isn't sensitive. There is a post somewhere on the boards of a story of a girl that had lots of rolling scars and ACV got rid of them in a matter of a couple months. It's pretty cool what some natural remedies can do.

#3445408 Now What?

Posted by hearts on 04 August 2014 - 12:35 PM

Thanks hearts,

I left a message with the Canadian company, so hopefully I'll hear back. If not, I'll try them again tomorrow.

That article is very helpful. I have been worried about detoxing through my skin, so I have been drinking a ton of water, eating lots of vegetables and other high fibre foods. I'm hoping to mostly detoxify through my digestion system rather than my skin. I don't think I'll add any liver support at the moment, so I can better observe what is and isn't working. But I'm definitely going easy on my liver by not drinking any alcohol or eating any junk.

You've been very helpful. Thanks again! <3


Graphic Designer sounds like a really cool job! smile.png


I thought the liver support was a little extreme too. You're doing the right thing eating well and drinking lots of water. As with starting any new supplement, it can be somewhat of a surprise to the body.


Yeah, haha. I did graphic design for long time and I still do it at home sometimes, but I can't stand sitting in an office or cubicle all day long! (:

#3445398 Even If There's A Cure... Being Dependent On Pills Is Emotionally Unsettling

Posted by hearts on 04 August 2014 - 11:42 AM

I was anxious like you before I started spiro. I remember sitting there with the bottle in my hand nervous to take the first one. The derm had told me it would be a long term (pretty much for life) solution and that freaked me out. I had severe cystic acne on my face and all over my back since puberty and thought it was my only option.


Of course I quit spiro after 2 years because of the side effects (even though it worked), but I realized something later... things don't have to be that cut and dry. What it comes down to is hormonal acne is caused by a hormonal imbalance. It could be something genetic or it could be caused by something you did to your body in the past (e.g. take birth control pills.) Is the only solution to take a pill prescribed by your dermatologist for years on end? No. It is one solution but there are a lot of other options, too.


I did end up taking a pill (DIM) to get my hormones back on track but I also made other changes in my life to support hormonal health. This includes healthy diet, proper vitamin and mineral intake, lowering stress levels, having a positive attitude, etc. Even something as simple as using certain kinds of plastic or nonstick pots and pans can have a negative impact on your hormones (luckily I love cast iron, haha!). After I was clear, I slowly weaned off of DIM and my skin is still doing great. Before making all of those changes in my mind and in my life, I didn't think that it was possible.


I know that acne can be hard to deal with, I really do. That doesn't mean it has to take over your life, though. You can still be happy — in fact it will help to be. I might get some replies to this post saying something like "great, it worked for you but that doesn't mean it will for me." but why does it need to be that way? I see tons of posts here that are saying how upset, anxious, etc etc they are about their skin but I rarely see hopeful, positive posts saying and believing that something WILL work. If you try something and it doesn't end up being the solution for you, instead of giving up hope you can look at it like you are just on your journey to what will work perfectly and you have learned more from the experience. I think the same applies to not wanting to rely on a pill forever.

#3444622 Now What?

Posted by hearts on 31 July 2014 - 12:26 PM

I think you’re right hearts, it’s best not to change too much at once. I’ve just been concerned about medication interactions; this especially true since I don’t have a solid understanding of the details of hormone receptor sites. I’ve read about how certain hormones ‘beat out' other hormones to receptor sites, which then influences your hormonal equilibrium and results in free or unattached hormones (such as ‘free testosterone’). So, I just wasn’t sure if, say, the progesterone from metformin might ‘beat out’ the good estrogen that is metabolized by the DIM and throw off the potential benefits that may be obtained by DIM. I don’t know if this makes any sense or I’m talking nonsense, like I said I don’t have a good understanding of the science behind hormonal receptor sites?


Thank you so much for this link! It is very encouraging and also many parts of it ring especially true for me. For instance, I also have very thick and long hair, so the shedding hadn’t really bothered me until recently. It’s also such a relief to know that it’s safe to take DIM with metformin. You’re such a wizard with research hearts! <3


And thanks for confirming that it seems like I have estrogen dominance, it’s very tricky with those lists because there are always a lot of broadly applicable symptoms.


I'm glad that the review was helpful! (: Another thing that's weird is she has a review on inositol saying that she gained something like 15lbs in 3 months on it. Crazy stuff, haha!