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Member Since 06 Nov 2011
Offline Last Active Aug 02 2015 06:10 AM

#3490390 How Do You Start A New "product Reviews" Entry?

Posted by WishClean on 02 August 2015 - 06:09 AM

What happened to the Pros & Cons section of product reviews? I added a couple of items to the database (still pending approval), and I noticed that the Pros & Cons list was missing. I thought that having that list makes it easier and faster to read the reviews.

#3490383 Having Trouble Cutting Bread Out Of Diet

Posted by WishClean on 02 August 2015 - 05:50 AM

how about replacing it with rice? If you had, let's say, 1-2 rice cakes in the morning, that might be better than bread.

#3488761 Going Off Spironolactone. Yes, Really.

Posted by WishClean on 21 July 2015 - 02:02 PM



That is so helpful! Thank you. The following link discussed adrenal PCOS. But yes, I do not have a problem with my ovaries and multiple cysts since I do ovulate every single month (or I used to before the last couple months I was on spiro when I was having biweekly periods - no ovulation then.) 


"Current evidence suggests that in women with (adrenal) PCOS, the adrenals produce androgens through an exaggerated response to adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) stimulation from the pituitary gland.Obesity, insulin resistance, and ovarian secretions seem to play a limited role in adrenal androgen excess."

So it's basically not the same mechanisms at work, although women who have ovarian PCOS and high testosterone can also have high DHEA-S level. However DHEA-S is exclusively produced in the adrenal gland. It's been causing me problems! DHEA-S coverts to DHT in peripheral tissues, hence acne, hirsutism and all that fun stuff.  :wall:

I see also your tag says DIM. I wonder if I should be taking that. I feel like my estrogen got way elevated from spiro. However I am concerned if there are any side effects to DIM or if women who actually have LOW estrogen levels should avoid it. However, for my purposes, it might be just what I need. I am trying to block DHT in my follicles and I read studies that DIM is an actual DHT blocker. http://www.cpmedical...t-anti-androgen

I am also taking a large dose of beta-sitosterol (which I have noticed has reduced my oily skin drastically - even within the first week). So between a 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor like that and DIM which is a DHT blocker at the actual receptor site level, I am wondering if that might be the winning combo. Plus, I read Rhodiola is really helpful for calming down the adrenal and balancing it out as an adaptogen hence targeting the problem to begin with. It's a multifactorial approach but wondering if I can do it without any pharmaceuticals.


I suggest you ask the chiralbalance people whether inositol can work for adrenal pcos, that is an interesting question, and they might provide some research on this. If so, feel free to share, I would like to know.

Well, noone knows exactly how DIM (or other herbs for that matter) works in the long run. In my experience, I think DIM reduced the bad estrogens, but also raised the good estrogens in my body because it made my melasma a bit darker. So, if you already have low estrogen levels overall (including the good metabolites), then it could be what you need. However, there is conflicting evidence on its anti-androgenic properties...some body builders,for example, take DIM to increase free testosterone and thus increase lean mass.

I haven't tried Rhodiola but let me know if it works if you try it. It's also used in herbal teas for its calming effect.

#3488682 Salt Link To Acne?

Posted by WishClean on 21 July 2015 - 06:05 AM

Low sodium can be just as bad. It really depends on what the cause for your acne is. And as you probably realized by now, accutane won't cure the cause for your acne, that's why it keeps coming back.

#3488681 Gluten-Free Vegan Diet (No Dairy) Is An Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Posted by WishClean on 21 July 2015 - 06:04 AM

One diet does not work for everyone. You have to figure out what's best for your body by eliminating certain groups of foods & noticing how your body reacts.

#3488676 Inositol's Impact On Hormonal Acne

Posted by WishClean on 21 July 2015 - 05:44 AM


Actually I got all of those side effects when I started taking it for the first time, and I took 0.6g a day at first. I also noticed it makes a big difference to actually split the dosage and take it morning and night. All of those side effects are gone now though.

I see, then it could have been your body adjusting to it. Normally, there should be no side effects at all if you're at the right dosage. Splitting it up definitely helps, plus it gives you a steady supply of inositol. Since inositol is water soluble, it leaves the body and does not get stored, that's why it helps to take it twice daily.

#3488585 Going Off Spironolactone. Yes, Really.

Posted by WishClean on 20 July 2015 - 02:50 PM


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. 

I quit spiro after six months. The most I had taken was 125 mg but even at 100 mg I was having biweekly periods, trouble sleeping, awful PMS, constant breast pain and severe fatigue. I know it affected cortisol production. I felt wired and yet exhausted simultaneously. My doctor advised me to quit so I did.

I'm now on beta-sitosterol "Best Prostate" brand. Almost immediately I noted a reduction in oil production on my face. It's too soon to tell about the acne though but I've been off spiro a week and nothing major has happened. I am also taking magnesium now too as that has been helping calm me down and sleep better.

Spiro did help my skin but the side effects seriously messed me up. I don't know if it had the ability to encourage fatty tissue growth in the body but I had a small lipoma on my elbow for years and never bothered me....yet it trippled in size especially toward the end of being on spiro! I don't know if there is a connection but it was when my symptoms were the most severe. This was alarming. I had to get it removed last week.


Lovenaturalways, I never took spiro, but I had taken its European "equivalent" androcur many years ago.

I do think that anything that can raise your estrogen levels has the capacity to increase fat storage in your cells, so perhaps the fatty tissue growth you experienced was due to the excess estrogen triggered by spiro. I'm glad you had the lipoma removed, that's scary and definitely not worth risking your health by taking something that doesn't agree with you. Side effects are our body's way of telling us that something doesn't sit well with us.

HI greengables,

I've been MIA from the boards recently too....I appreciate your update, and the fact that you put your overall health first instead of just the acne.
Have you looked into SOD (superoxide dismutase) enzymes? I've been taking them for months now with large meals and have not had any swollen cysts since. I also recently had a dermoid cyst removed...I believed it was due to and/or worsened by estrogen dominance. I'm waiting to see if the rest of my hormonal symptoms calm down.

That's interesting. What brand of SOD enzymes do you use?

I see that SOD had a moment in the spotlight in 2006 but not a lot of research since. I hadn't heard of it.

Greengables, check out this article on the rosacea- histamine- mast cell connection, you might find it helpful. http://thelowhistami...ell-connection/


#3487663 Spiro Ruined My Face

Posted by WishClean on 13 July 2015 - 07:15 AM

well it's been almost six weeks since I stopped spiro and there has been no change. No sign of hormones reverting back to normal. My facial skin is very thin and sagged and not how it used to be. I have zero libido which is not normal for me, my hair on my body is rediculously soft (I'll take it.) when do the hormonal effects of this drug wear off? If it wasn't for all the rave about spiro on this site that I had read about, I never would have touched it. I hope that my body reverts back to my normal self soon because this is getting frustrating.

I know this is hard, but try to be patient. My skin used to be a mess, especially in 2013, and now looking back on it 2+ years later, it's soooo much better. But 6 weeks might not be enough to see improvements yet.

It might help to see an esthetician/ dermatologist who can help with treatments to boost collagen in your skin, like vitamin C facials, lactic/aloe vera peels, and high frequency.

For what it's worth, I'm glad you started this thread because it shows that standardized treatments do not work for everyone. It's easy to jump on the bandwagon, but not everyone will react the same...especially to medications NOT meant for acne. Spiro was not designed for acne, just like birthcontrol was not designed for acne, and so on. The same applies to alternative/herbal/ other treatments too, I don't want to be hypocritical since I have jumped on those bandwagons too in the past. I think before starting an acne treatment, we should try to figure out the causes before trying out stuff, especially for women who try these hormonal treatments without being properly diagnosed for hormonal issues to begin with.

So, thank you for sharing and I'm sure some will think twice before taking overhyped treatments.

#3487662 Severe Cystic Acne After Pregnancy And Birth

Posted by WishClean on 13 July 2015 - 07:02 AM

No I do not.have any facial.hair. I started breaking out during pregnancy on my cheeks and a little on my chin. I also broke.out bad on my back. Then when I gave birth and was breastfeeding it got really bad.

Your face looks better in the recent photo you posted - it seems like some of the big lumpy bumps have subsided.
If it's itchy, it's definitely infected! I would suggest getting a facial  with extractions (either at a trustworthy dermatologist or a qualified esthetician) to get the infection under control. They might do some red & blue light treatments, along with high frequency, which will help with inflammation... No matter what they give you internally, if your skin is already infected (yes, it looks infected!) you have to also treat it on the surface level, which means getting it under control topically as well as internally.

I would also recommend a saliva/urine hormonal panel...those are the most accurate (unlike blood tests), and might give you an indication on which hormones are off...most likely, your pregnancy threw some hormones off whack, which is not uncommon, and usually hormonal imbalances resolve by themselves some months after pregnancy if you haven't had hormonal issues before, so please do not panic and be patient!

If you do get a hormonal panel done, post your results here and I might be able to make some more definite recommendations.

#3487661 Inositol's Impact On Hormonal Acne

Posted by WishClean on 13 July 2015 - 06:56 AM

Examine.com's page on inositol has been updated with more research. They also gave it a high rating for acne! However, there's no sufficient evidence on whether it can help men as well...


#3487660 Foods That Mess Me Up

Posted by WishClean on 13 July 2015 - 06:43 AM

Hey buddy, good luck with your diet adjustments. If I may, I would recommend ditching canned foods altogether. I know it's convenient to eat canned foods, but they contain more preservatives, and many people react to the preservatives in canned foods rather than the foods themselves. Even if some canned foods are ok, I would encourage you to try and ditch the cans altogether.

Also, if you don't want to get too paranoid about what you eat, I would recommend a few supplements to prevent big flare ups for when you do eat something that bothers you. I personally have been taking SOD enzymes to minimize my histamine reactions to foods, and I can relax a bit with my diet. Digestive enzymes can also work, especially if you suspect lactose intolerance or gluten sensitivity.

Thanks for the advice.  I thought about ditching cans.  Are organic canned items any better?  I'll probably get frozen fruits and veggies from now on to replace the cans.  And I'm not too big on supplements.  I've considered b12 since my base diet is vegan. 

Canned items are canned items, no matter what's in them...the BHP and other things that cans contain (& give off) is worrysome. There are of course cans that are more consumer-friendly, and it's usually stated on a label so that you can at least pick "healthier" cans.
Frozen foods also have preservatives to stay frozen. Why not just eat fresh fruits and veggies? I know it's less convenient, but if you can replace some of the frozen & canned foods in your diet, that might make a huge difference. I must say, though, that when I didn't have much time to cook, I used to thrive on microwaveable sweet potatoes...I actually looked healthier and I think they helped my leaky gut/ histamine issues a lot.

I'm not that big on supplements either, but if you find the right ones from trustworthy brands then they can make you (& us in general) less paranoid about what you eat & less fearful of having a few cheat items in your diet.
For B12, though, it's difficult to find the right form and right %...I still haven't found a B12 supplement or a multivitamin with B12 that I'm satisfied with.


#3487045 Foods That Mess Me Up

Posted by WishClean on 07 July 2015 - 08:34 AM

Hey buddy, good luck with your diet adjustments. If I may, I would recommend ditching canned foods altogether. I know it's convenient to eat canned foods, but they contain more preservatives, and many people react to the preservatives in canned foods rather than the foods themselves. Even if some canned foods are ok, I would encourage you to try and ditch the cans altogether.

Also, if you don't want to get too paranoid about what you eat, I would recommend a few supplements to prevent big flare ups for when you do eat something that bothers you. I personally have been taking SOD enzymes to minimize my histamine reactions to foods, and I can relax a bit with my diet. Digestive enzymes can also work, especially if you suspect lactose intolerance or gluten sensitivity.

#3486963 Severe Cystic Acne After Pregnancy And Birth

Posted by WishClean on 06 July 2015 - 03:13 PM

Katie27 Please let.Me.know.what has worked.for.you. I have the same.issue since pregnancy and am.Now 12 weeks.post.partum. I had to stop breastfeeding and go.on Doxycycline. It has only.been 3 days and I am.still.pumping but Dermatologist recommended to quit bf as.It.is hormonal. I really.don't want to stop but I cannot bf while taking doxy and also a.steroid. I am attaching a picture. It is also in my back. I am.misreable.

Sorry you are dealing with this. Can I ask why you stopped breastfeeding? If there's not medical reason to stop, then I would suggest you continue to breastfeed so that your baby receives all the colostrum it needs to build up a strong immune system and gut flora. However, if your doctor suspects an inflection and/or if you continue to take steroids & doxy, then it is best to stop breastfeeding, but only if there is a valid reason to do so (no, bf being hormonal is NOT a valid reason...it doesn't even make sense! Not breastfeedng could actually deprive your child of valuable nutrients,do some research on the importance of breast milk before you completely stop bf but yes, don't do it when you are on prescription medication).

Did your acne become this severe when starting doxycycline, or was it like this before it? To me, it looks far worse than hormonal acne - not to freak you out or anything but I want to be honest with you. I suggest you go to a different dermatologist and ask them to tell you what type of acne it is. To me, some of it seems like conglobata, which requires a stronger treatment and sometimes steroids actually make it worse. It could be an allergic reaction...it seems more than a hormonal rebound from giving birth. from the photo you attached, it looks like the acne is also on your neck & near the collarbone, which are not typical places for hormonal acne. Are you by any chance using any topicals, and also applying them to your neck area?

One more question, do you have facial hair?

Sorry for all the questions, I'm just trying to see if I can figure it out. I'm usually good at detecting what type of acne people have based on photos & symptoms.

PS. As the poster above says, the progesterone only pill is probably one of the worst for acne! Definitely not recommended, plus it's synthetic progesterone, which can be dangerously toxic.

#3486905 Inositol's Impact On Hormonal Acne

Posted by WishClean on 06 July 2015 - 06:54 AM


Hi WishClean,

I'm a long time lurker, first time member. I have been following your posts for some time now. I've been struggling with acne since I was 19 and am now 23. My acne is the painful cystic type that takes forever to heal and leaves dreadful hyper-pigmentation. I know my acne is hormonal based on its location on my face but also because have slight chin hairs/fuzz. The imbalance is probably not too major because everything else works like a clock, my periods are regular, I'm in good shape, no pcos or cysts -- I don't have any other hormonal issues other than the acne and (a little) hair.

I tried Spironolactone 2 years ago and it did nothing for my acne -- only made my periods turn to spotting and come twice a month. After that I tried Vitex which absolutely annihilated my acne -- I combined it with DIM (from Estrosense) and WOW, I had not had such clear skin since high school. It was clear to me at this point that my imbalance was progesterone:estrogen based and not androgenic (which explains why the spiro never worked!) After about 4 months into this treatment, I fell into horrible depression/anxiety. I've had issues with anxiety in the past but never depression. I knew it had something to do with my hormones, it took one quick search to discover that Vitex is contraindicated for those with history of depression (or anxiety in my case). I know that it has actually helped many women who suffer from these conditions but for me it did the opposite and worsened my anxiety ten-fold. It was quite sudden too... one day I was fine and all of a sudden I 'crashed.' I immediately stopped the Vitex and everything else. I wanted to let my body recalibrate itself, I didn't care about acne at this point just wanted to get back to a place of ease of well-being. I told myself I would just change my diet and try to get everything I needed from food.

It's been 2 years since then and my acne has improved but I still have bouts (sometimes for several weeks) of eruptions. I am at my wits end with this acne, WishClean. I read your posts and decided to look into Inositol -- I was relieved to discover that it has anti-depressant properties and that studies showed it lead to significant reduction of ocd/panic/depression -- so this eliminated my fear of it potentially affecting me the same way Vitex did. I've been taking 1/4 teaspoon of the NOW brand for about 2.5 weeks and I'm not sure if it's working, could be too soon to tell. I did however notice I feel "fatter" ... almost like I'm gaining weight, maybe retaining water -- not sure. Did you experience this?

I'm also considering giving DIM another shot as well. I know that it has a stronger hormonal impact than inositol and I worry that it could trigger my anxiety, but I am so desperate, my chin at the moment is covered in little red pimples and I have a big one at the angle of my jaw. I have a bottle of Estrosense at home as well as Estroblock PRO (600-something mg per capsule). Perhaps I should combine these with Inositol?

Can you recommend a regiment for me? Should I stick with the inositol? Should I combine DIM? How long did it take for you to see results with inositol and at what point did you add DIM to your regiment? I remember that with Vitex I saw results almost immediately.

Thank you in advance for reading this message and for your invaluable contribution to the website!



Hi Emma,

Thank you for sharing here, and hopefully your story can help others struggling with similar issues (as I get messages like yours every month). Ok, to address your points:
1. I did a quick search for vitex & depression, and it seems that others have the same issue. In my case, when I was on vitex my dosage was not high compared to what most of these women are taking (I don't believe in megadosing) and I was taking it in tincture form without the additives of the capsule. I remember, especially the first time I was on it (along with evening primrose & acidophilus & a multivitamin) I was very happy and my skin was glowing. The depression side effect might have something to do with the way vitex influences prolactin, and if taken at a rather high dose (or higher than that person's body requires - it could vary according to each person's body) then it can mess with hormone levels including prolactin.

2. I don't think vitex should be used long term - you need to take breaks from it. It slowly balances some hormones, and if you are lucky it's the right ones (esp. progesterone, prolactin, and for some estrogen & testosterone) BUT if taken for too long at the same dosage, then it could either LOWER or INCREASE specific hormones too much. Unfortunately, it's hard to know when to slowly wean off unless you are getting your hormones tested regularly, and even that might not be an accurate indication. I was given vitex by a qualified holistic pharmacist & homeopathic doctor, I didn't just take it on my own as I knew nothing about herbs at the time...he specifically told me (along with another co-worker of his) not to take it too long...he said around 6 months.

3. DIM might also be similar in that it can actually start to increase the GOOD estrogens along with reducing the bad estrogens...that's not a bad thing in the short term, but if your estrogen levels are already in the "normal to high" range, then you would need to take a break from it for a while.

4. Inositol is known to do wonders for anxiety...it's actually used as an anti-anxiety supplement and also for people with OCD and other compulsive disorders. BUT, again, if taken at higher dosages than your body can tolerate, it can backfire. Try to take 1/8 teaspoon TWICE a day (which is the same dosage as you are taking now, but split into 2) on an empty stomach (1st one in the AM when you wake up, 2nd one can be early afternoon if you find it keeps you awake at night) to see if the bloating improves. Yes, I had some water retention on inositol, and also some days on DIM (depending on my cycle), while other times I woke up with a completely flat stomach. I think it's because the dosage needs to be adjusted (i.e. reduced/ stopped) on certain days of your cycle, but I haven't done that...it takes too much patience, tracking, and precision.

5. You know which herbs work for you...DIM & vitex. So, you need to keep targeting those hormones, but leave prolactin intact. I would either stay away from vitex or take a very low dose of it to prevent messing with your prolactin since you are so prone to depression. I think there's a brand of DIM that has a bit of vitex in it, maybe you can start with that. I personally have the Olympian Labs DIM, which is just DIM, and that's the only brand I have used because I don't like brands that mix DIM with other stuff. Inositol does not balance the same hormones, though....it sounds like your main issues are estrogen & progesterone.
Inositol will probably do nothing for balancing your estrogen levels so you will need to combine it with something else. Have you checked the SoulCysters website? Women on that site usually combine inositol with other supplements. Of course, some are taking way too many things because they want to conceive, but you might find more ideas on how to combine inositol there.

6. Inositol is definitely milder than DIM and vitex. Even with vitex, I saw results gradually. With DIM, I got the fastest results but it could be because my acne was already under control with inositol. Inositol took a few weeks to really kick in, but I somehow knew it was working within the first few days since I stopped getting bad flare ups and, a few days later, my period's flow was more "healthy" if that makes sense (red blood as opposed to the brownish black blood I used to get the first couple of days).

7. For depression, have you thought about getting your vitamin D levels measured? Vitamin D can be a very powerful anti-depressant. Also, vitamin C (low acid for me) can help in the absorption of other supplements and with boosting your immune system. That's definitely a good supplement to start with.

8. I know it sounds cliched, but as someone who has also suffered with depression, I can tell you how I got over it. Last year, I used vitamin D short-term (doctor prescribed D2 because I couldn't take D3, but D3 would be the best if you can take it) and it really helped me a lot. Also, yoga, walking outside, keeping busy, relaxing, and doing things for myself really help me not get depressed. Having goals and working towards them can also help a lot because a depressed mind is usually an idle mind.

I hope this helps!

#3486801 Adult Acne Problem. Help!

Posted by WishClean on 05 July 2015 - 07:10 AM


Hi I would like to ask a question? I am 28 y/o. I pick on my skin a lot and all the time creating welts and bad irritation, I only do it around my neck and chin, jawline area. I recently went to the dermatologist to consult her over my dramatic hair loss over the past year and she suggested I take aldactone, she sent me for blood test and performed a scalp biopsy on me. She said I must return upon receiving the results to determine how I should be treated for my issues. I have been reading a lot about aldactone and I am not sure it is the right thing for me. Although I have mentioned I have acne around my chin, jawline and neck this is exacerbated and made worse by my constant picking habit. (I pretty much create welts out of nothing) my  hairloss might be the result of dramatic weight loss over the past year (about 14 kilos) I have just been reading about spirolactone and its side effects and would not like to experience them unnecessarily. Is there any blood test that can determine accurately whether this drug is the absolutely necessary course of treatment? Are there any alternatives to it. I just want to make sure that it is absolutely what I need before I start it  as the last thing I want at my age is to have irregular periods and all the other side effects. Please help!!!


Check out the Hormonal acne forum for suggestions. Severe hairloss could be a sign that your body is lacking nutrients, especially since you lost 14 kilos. First of all, you need to nourish your body to regain lost nutrients.
Your acne might not even be hormonal, it could be the result of poor nutrition (like the hairloss), so I suggest a healthy diet above everything.