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Member Since 30 Sep 2013
Offline Last Active Sep 28 2014 09:19 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Estrogen Or Progesterone Causing Oily Skin/clogged Pores?!

28 September 2014 - 09:16 AM

Acne is primarily causd by elevated free testosterone and secondarily by insulin.

It is NOT caused by elevated estradiol.

Progesterone both compliments and antagonizes (neutralizes) the feminine effects of estradiol. If you have chronic progesterone deficiency, then estrogen will be unopposed for long periods of time resulting in a magnification of fhe female attributes. Exaggerated hour glass shape with larger hips and breasts.

If you have thin hips and small breasts you do NOT have estrogen dominance.

Estrogen also stimulates the sympathetic nervous system increasing alertness. If estrogen is too high you will feel anxious.

Estrogen also increases the number of aldosterone receptors. This results in an increase in fluid retention and bloating.

Estrogen also neutralizes the effects of androgens like testosterone, dhea, dht etc.

Progesterone stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system (calming effect), decreaes/blocks aldosterone receptors (diuretic effect) and neutralizes the effects femine effects of the estrogens.

Progesterone neutralizes estradiol and estradiol neutralizes testosterone. If progesterone is elevated or estradiol is deficient, then it has the same effect as increasing testosterone (the primary cause of acne).

As a side note, the charactwristics of progesterone above are only related to bio-identical progesterone. Synthetic progesterone is derived from androgens and has a different side effect profile.

Hopefully you are seeing that it's balance that is critical. An imbalance of one hormone can result in a cascade of effects that throws everything else off and misleads the evaluator if a comprehensive exam is not completed. This is why crashoran believes that free testosterone does not cause acne.

You always test female hormones during the midpoint of the luteal phase (day 21) because this is when progesterone peaks. The diagnostic criteria is optimized for this sampling day.

My experience is that most women with acne have elevated DHEA sulfate that converts to testosterone. DHEA is primarily secreted by the adrenal system, not the ovaries.

Do you have a full hormone panel collected on day 21?

In Topic: Why Am I So Prone To Red Marks?

28 January 2014 - 10:54 AM

I take really good care of my skin (sunscreen, facial masks, moisturizer, products targeted specifically to fade red marks, etc.) and I don't have an acne problem but every. single. time. I get a zit it results in a flat red post-acne mark that takes ages to fade. This problem didn't start until last year and some of those first red marks I ever got still haven't faded completely, and it's been a year. It's really frustrating. Why did my skin become this way all of a sudden? Why am I so prone to this red spots? What can I do about it?

It could be a cortisol deficiency. How old are you?

In Topic: Now What?

27 January 2014 - 08:28 AM

Jlcampi, thanks a lot. Great suggestion about the hormone curve chart. Do you have a source or website where I might find this?

Thanks. There are a bunch on-line. Some are good and others not so good. I will take a look and post something.

In Topic: Now What?

26 January 2014 - 06:00 PM

I agree that this post may be helpful to someone else. That's partly why I feel it's a waste of time to repeat the same thing over and over. If you want to make a separate post about the importance of hormone testing or diet, please do.
A few years ago I purchased the Clear Skin Diet, which is compiled from dozens of sources, and saw a nutritionist regarding my diet and acne. I ate meat at the time, no carbs, and followed the routine precisely (I am not planning on listing every single thing I ate/eat). As I said, small pimples that I'd get on my cheeks or forehead clear(ed) up with this but NOT the nodular acne. Furthermore, many whole grains (oh no carbs) help stabilize blood sugar or even directly balance hormones, like buckwheat's testosterone lowering action.
Metformin helps with insulin resistance and is often prescribed to women with PCOS; this is a multidimensional issue (many hormone imbalances are at play in women who have PCOS). I took inositol for years to good effect but I think its effect has reduced, as I am now getting nodules again, hence the plan to restart metformin, giving my body a break from inositol and then restarting inositol in several months.
I don't think you have the authority, jlcampi, to assert that progesterone does not contribute to acne definitively. In fact, your comments on this outlined how, through various pathways, progesterone can cause acne. Many women who try supplementing with NPC for issues with balancing estrogen have experienced an increase in their acne due to the cream.
Again, jlcampi, although I do not have access to an endocrinologist, I do know my own body and am carefully monitoring my cycle, how I feel, and my skin. I am addressing my issues step by step with constructive help on this forum. I do not wish to engage further in a debate, it's just not my personality to argue. I am very happy you were able to address your issues in the manner you did. Everyone's different.
Thanks WishClean! I think I will do that. I'm definitely trying to pare down the supplements in order to better monitor my progress.
After I finished all the antibiotics a few years ago, I did a cleanse and then took acidophilus.

I would say wean off everything except the spiro, don't even take zinc or vitamin D right now. Then add 1 supplement at a time. I would tell you to get off spiro too, but that might make things worse so I think keep taking your usual dose and stay on just spiro for a few weeks, then add something for insulin, and then move on to vitamins and minerals. I'm saying this because if you are not taking the correct form of zinc and vitamin D, you might break out from those too. 
One other thing: if you have tried many antibiotics over the years, your gut flora must have suffered. I suggest you either add digestive enzymes and/or acidophilus probiotics to help rebalance your digestive tract (maybe add them in a few weeks). If your stomach and liver are weak, you might be overloading them with medication and supplements....if your body is unable to fully break down everything you are taking, then you are adding more fuel to the fire. 
EDIT: sorry, I was trying to post somewhere else after I posted here but my 2 posts got merged somehow. I deleted the other one.

Thanks for the well wishes tracy521! I'm trying to stay away from antibiotics though.

i agree with getting off everything except for the spiro but if the nodular acne is persisting what about trying keflex? i know you said you were on a lot of other antibiotics but figured i would ask you about this one. i had some bad cystic acne and nodules last year that no other antibiotic that i tried would even touch until i went on keflex. i took 500mg twice a day and by day 5 everything was gone and i have been on many many other antibiotics in the past too. i stayed on that for a long time until i thought the spiro kicked in and am now finally getting off of it. good luck to you! 


I agree that arguing isn't productive and respect your position not to debate.  I also agree that I'm not an authority. As far as know, none of us that post are physicians.

I need to clarify my position on progesterone.  On it's own, bio-identical progesterone does not stimulate the sebaceous glands. It can amplify the effects if testosterone as I have mentioned many times.

An individual's response to hormones is based on a number of factors that I wont go into here. It is important to note that ENDOCRINE BALANCE is important.  The effects of progesterone will be much different on the estrogen deficient vs estrogen dominant.

If you have low estrogen and high testosterone, then progesterone will stimulate testosterone.  Where this can be a big problem is a woman who has normal or deficient estrogen and then adds progesterone.

Yes, all the hormones must be relatively balanced, however it's estrogen that does much of the work in neutralizing the side effects of testosterone.

The bottom line is that each of us could have a slightly different hormonal profile that is influenced by many factors and changes as we age.  Just the nuances we are discussing here make this very difficult communicate.

I have one more thought that might help you or someone else that doesn't have access to testing.

Get a diagram of the female hormone curves that are all plotted on the graph. You will need at least estradiol, progesterone and testosterone.  Follow that daily and note how you feel, how much water you are retaining, do you feel energetic and/or anxious or do you feel peaceful or even lethargic. Keep these basic principles in mind:

Progesterone opposes estrogen. It also stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system and calms things down. Decreases bloating.

Estrogen opposes testosterone. It stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, helps you feel energized and if too high you can feel anxious. Estrogen causes you to retain water.

Typically progesterone peaks the middle of the last half of your cycle.

You may learn a lot this way.

Good luck. I hope this helps you!

In Topic: Prolactin And Acne

26 January 2014 - 06:49 AM

Prolactin/SHBG tests are fairly cheap to get done ($30-50 each)
I tried P-5-P, tyrosine, dong quai, and vitex, which all are touted to lower prolactin. They didn't seem to work for me and in the end my acne was due to DHT.
You might look into the prolactin/DHT link. Prolactin may have an indirect effect on acne if it raises DHT @ the same time, which may be the end result of your acne.
DHT tests on the other hand are not that cheap ($70-100).

DHT doesn't cause acne, elevated testosterone and secondarily insulin do.