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Green Gables

Member Since 06 Jun 2011
Offline Last Active Jun 26 2015 09:55 AM

Topics I've Started

Double Spaced

17 April 2015 - 11:51 AM

At some point (it was probably a long time ago, my activity dropped off) posts changed from nicely formatted to having a LOT of space in between line and paragraphs.


For example, my old archived post looks normal and how I see it in the post editor...single space with a normal amount of space between paragraphs.


Now anything I post is almost double spaced with an obscene amount of space between paragraphs. It makes it REALLY difficult to read and makes long posts really long. (Especially on a mobile device or tablet!)


Why the change?


Yes, I can format all my posts with line breaks only instead of paragraphs, but that makes it hard to read in the post editor and it only reduces the paragraph space. It doesn't fix the weird double-spaced line formatting. 


It is also forcing full paragraph breaks in my signature...

Going Off Spironolactone. Yes, Really.

17 April 2015 - 11:47 AM

First off, why is the formatting so terrible on posts now? Everything is double spaced out and really hard to read. 


So I know that my posts on spironolactone and hormonal acne have been read and re-read, and I have received countless messages thanking me for posting my homegrown research. But I am going off spiro and trying a new approach.


Spironolactone has worked wonderfully for my skin for the last few years, but there are several reasons I am stopping:


1) Unfortunately my doctor will not prescribe it anymore, saying I should have "grown out" of my acne. I did find another doctor that will prescribe it, but he is an hour away, not on my insurance, and wants me to come in every 4 months  :angry:  to gouge me for an out-of-pocket fee. 


2) I have other persistent health issues that obviously spironolactone did not magically fix. Having clear skin is great, but I have hope that if I resolve my other underlying issues that I can have clear skin and FEEL better too.


3) I have acne + rosacea (persistent redness). Spironolactone did not fix the rosacea and may have even made it a little bit worse. 


4) Although it was tolerable, it always bothered me that spironolactone messes with your potassium, water levels, and blood pressure. 


I have actually not taken spironolactone for 3 months now. Acne has come back but not in full force. 

So here is a list of my info, in case it helps someone reading:



I was recently diagnosed as hypothyroid. My TSH was high and my free T3 and free T4 were in range but on the very low end. Being hypothyroid makes you tired, sluggish, cold, fat, and achy in the bones. 

Right now I am on 45mg of Armor Thyroid. It has helped push my basal temperature up and I feel less sluggish in the morning (well, after I take my meds). Armor Thyroid is prescription only. 



One doctor I went to insisted that all my symptoms pointed to a non-alcoholic liver problem. Liver issues can mean issues processing your own hormones. I didn't see the doctor again for various reasons, but I have started taking 450 - 800mg of Milk Thistle daily. I use Gaia Herbs Milk Thistle Seed Liquid Phyto-capsules.



I'm going back to some info I posted about a long time ago, but then forgot about because spironolactone worked so well for me. You can read about it in my post The Low Progesterone - High Androgen Connection to Acne.


Basically, progesterone clears excess DHT (dihyrdotestosterone) from the body and helps regulate estrogen. I have also had an insomnia / sleep problem for years, and that may be because my progesterone is low. 


I have not been very systematic with how I use the progesterone cream. I use it when I wake up and before I go to bed but I don't really measure it out. You're supposed to use it only 2-3 weeks out of the month but I haven't been tracking my cycle so I just use it every day. Maybe when I get my next period I'll start tracking it. 


I just get a little bit of cream between my fingers and spread it on my face and decolletage. Dr. John Lee recommended using it where you blush the most, and so that's what I've been doing. I use bioidentical Emerita Pro-gest Cream.


Vitamin A

Vitamin A is required for T3 production in the thyroid. I took 8,000 IU a day regularly but I think it was just not enough for my body. Currently taking 25,000 IU daily from NOW Foods Vitamin A from fish liver oil.


Fish Oil

The problem with fish oil is that you have to get the good stuff for it to work, and the good stuff is pricey. But I finally bit the bullet and am taking 2-4 capsules every day. Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Formula. This really helps with my chronic constipation for some reason, and for that reason alone I will keep taking it. 


So that's it so far. I'm a really busy person and keeping this regimen along with a healthy diet is already pretty difficult. I will update if I change the regimen or experience any significant progress.

Comments welcome, would love to hear if anyone else is going off spiro or trying similar methods. 

Acne And Insulin Problems

05 August 2014 - 06:31 PM

This was started with brenmc in mind, but I'd like to hear from everyone else.


Are any of you type 1 or type 2 diabetic?


How about pre-diabetic or insulin resistant?

Insulin resistance — also called syndrome X or metabolic syndrome— is so pervasive today that we evaluate nearly every woman who visits our clinic to determine her level of risk. Most are taken aback when they learn they either already have insulin resistance syndrome (or as I call it pre-pre diabetic) or are well on their way to developing it. Experts estimate that 25% of all Americans suffer from insulin resistance. We believe the percentage is much higher among perimenopausal women.


Because insulin is one of the “major” hormones, it’s also impossible for your body to balance its “minor” hormones (estrogen, progesterone and testosterone among them) until your insulin metabolism is balanced first. To put it simply, if you have hot flashes and you are insulin resistant, it’s going to be nearly impossible to cure the hot flashes without first healing the insulin resistance. Cortisol is also a “major” hormone – to understand it’s role in hormonal balance, read our related articles on adrenal fatigue.


The "symptoms" of insulin resistance are not well defined. However:


Insulin resistance is a clinical feature of type 2 diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome. In the early stages of insulin resistance, symptoms may not be apparent but when type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome develop symptoms may include:


A raised blood sugar level that may cause increased thirst (polydipsia), frequent excretion of large amounts of urine (polyuria) and increased hunger (polyphagia). In addition, there may be weight gain or weight loss.
Weakness and unexplained fatigue.
Difficulty in concentrating and poor mental stamina - An individual may be sleepy and drowsy during the day time. This could be caused by insulin resistance or by nightly awakenings triggered by the need to urinate. Sleepiness is more pronounced after a meal that is rich in carbohydrates.
Overweight or obesity - Consuming large amounts of carbohydrates can lead to insulin resistance and individuals with the condition may be overweight or obese. The weight gained due to insulin resistance is usually difficult to lose. Typically, the fat is stored around the abdominal organs.
Excess carbohydrates in the diet may also cause other symptoms such as intestinal bloating, flatulence, constipation, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.
High blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. These increases may not cause overt symptoms but in, severe cases, fatty deposits around the eyes may manifest.
Dark skin patches may be visible on parts of the neck. This is called acanthosis nigricans. Dark patches may also be present on the elbows, knuckles knees or armpits.
The hyperglycemia seen in insulin resistance may also cause frequent genital infections, such as thrush.
Raised blood pressure.



Also, Paleo, primal, or otherwise lower-carb diets do not always solve insulin resistance. The research is in flux. I have seen studies published that outright contradict each other. Some claim that the only way to "naturally" improve insulin resistance is to eat low carb. Some have found that in some people low carb at a certain point actually makes insulin resistance worse.


Maybe that's why for me, after years of eating Paleo, generally living a healthy lifestyle ,and exercising like a beast, my fasting blood glucose is still on the high end of normal. But who knows.


I definitely think there is a connection between how our body handles insulin / glucose and our skin, though. 



Also to brenmc, are you on Metformin? This article compares berberine to Metformin and came out in favor of berberine. http://www.tahomacli...erine-diabetes/

Adrenal Vs. Ovary Androgens

15 July 2014 - 11:13 AM

I was reading some endocrinology research in AMA which specifically talks about acne and elevated androgens / androgen sensitivity in women.


It says you can have an androgen problem initiating from the adrenals or the ovary, or both.


Glucocorticoids are best for adrenal androgen suppression (spironolactone)

"[For adrenal androgen suppression] At this time, spironolactone is the most useful anti-androgen."


Birth controls with anti- or low androgenic progestins are best for ovary androgen suppression (e.g. Yaz, Diane)


Sometimes you need both.


The article also confirms what I've been saying since I started spironolactone: that androgen changes occur very slowly. It recommends a minimum of 2 years of anti-androgen therapy. It says that after 2 years with good results, some people can slowly taper off their dose in 6 month phases (so if you clear on 100mg...imagine cutting down to 75mg after 2.5years, then 50mg after 3 years, then 25mg after 3.5 years...), but recurrence is common, and some will need lifetime anti-androgen therapy. 


More interesting tidbits from the article


  • Ketoconazole (anti-fungal) and cimetidine (a h2 blocker) have anti-androgenic effects. 
  • "Seborrhea occurs soon after androgen levels rise; consequently, acne is usually the first androgenic skin manifestation."
  • "The acne process begins when androgen action increases sebum production by the 
    pilosebaceous unit. Without androgen action on the sebaceous gland, acne does not occur."
  • "Both ovary and adrenal glands secrete androgens, and it is important for diagnosis and treatment selection to determine the relative contribution of each to circulating androgen levels in an individual patient. Both are important as sources of andro- 
    gens, but the proportion of androgens secreted by each varies in individual women. Ovarian pre-dominance is suggested by young age, oligomenorrhea, obesity, and more severe hirsutism. Because there are many exceptions to these generalizations, the relative ovarian and adrenal contributions should be determined by suppression testing. Tes-tosterone and androstenedione can be of either ori-gin, but DHEAS is almost exclusively adrenal. However, when DHEAS is elevated along with other androgens, it cannot be assumed that the ad-renal is the source of the other androgens. "

Spironolactone Generics With Pictures And What Pharmacy

14 July 2014 - 10:51 AM

Found this page the other day that has pictures of all the generics of spironolactone. If you click on "view images and details" under the picture that looks your pill, you can find out the ingredients and manufacturing details.


Reply with the specific number your pills are branded with and the pharmacy you get them from.



Qualitest / White / 58 81 V



Amneal / Yellow / AN 514


Canadian Pharmacy?

Teva-Spiro / Peach / N | N on the side



Amneal / Yellow / AN 515