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My hormone rebalancing journey

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I have learned so much about acne and hormones in the past six months... DIM was a turning point for me -- not because it worked long-term (it didn't), but because it showed me that there was indeed something major going on with my hormones, and that it all tied in directly with my skin problems.

After DIM, I went on an OTC natural progesterone called "Pro-Gest" and experienced benefits similar to what I got from DIM, but those too seemed to wear off after a time. Finally I made an appointment with a holistic doc whom I still see regularly, and that is when things began to get really good. At my first appointment, he took seven vials of blood and ordered a ton of tests, including a full hormone/thryroid/adrenal workup. The results showed that I was massively deficient in estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and pregnenolone. He started me on bioidentical estrogen and progesterone and I felt like a NEW PERSON.

Within my first two months on bioidentical hormones, my skin cleared dramatically, mood went from anxious and depressed to calm and happy, I gained 11 desperately needed lbs (up to 111 from a low of 100 at 5'2''), and a bald patch in my eyebrow actually filled in for the first time in years.

We continued to follow up with regular appointments and blood tests to monitor my levels. At one point he switched me to a weaker estrogen and added in pregnenolone and I started feeling bad again. I broke out again. My appetite decreased. After a month I went back on the original estrogen (biest) and returned to oral progesterone instead of sublingual. Within days I started feeling good again, and my skin began glowing.

It has now been established that my skin, mood, and weight issues are all the direct result of a longstanding, previously undiagnosed hormonal imbalance.

I have been reading up on hormone balance and xenoestrogens and really, there are so many things in our environment that are KNOWN ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS. Things like plastics and pesticides and fluoride -- these things either act as estrogen in your body thereby throwing everything out of whack, or they shut down your endocrine system altogether.

I am using the bioidentical hormones as a temporary fix while I detox my body and lifestyle from all of these poisons which are undermining our wellbeing on so many levels.

A book which I believe EVERYONE DEALING WITH HORMONAL ISSUES NEEDS TO READ is called 'The Hundred Year Lie' by Randall Fitzgerald.


It's about all the synthetic chemicals which are doing massive damage to our hormones, our reproductive systems, our moods, our overall health.

My skin is looking really good right now, but it has been an incredibly difficult journey -- always two steps forward and one step back. I am finally beginning to get a handle on my own health. Hormonal balance is incredibly complicated and as my doctor is always saying, it's more of an art than a science. The blood testing has been invaluable to me and has given me so much insight into what's really happening in my body. If you don't have access to a doctor who knows about bioidenticals and hormone rebalancing, your best bet is to read up on xenoestrogens and endocrine disruptors and DETOX, DETOX, DETOX!! Get rid of the plastics, stop eating the hormone-laden meat and dairy, exercise, eat organic, and use natural soaps and shampoos and deodorants.

For those of us dealing with real hormonal imbalance (as I believe many of us are), this is KEY.

Good luck!!

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Great story! Thank you for sharing. I too believe that hormone imbalance is the cause of my acne, and probably the cause of a lot of other peoples'. It is, like you said, one of the toughest problems to fix. I got in touch with this professional herbalist not too long ago, and he told me my acne was definitely caused by a hormone imbalance, right off the bat, as if he'd just did a bunch of tests on me. Apparently he knows his stuff, so I have an appointment with him next week (hopefully, he's booked up to the sky!) and he's going to go over everything I need to do to fix this, why it's happening and how I can prevent it for good. I'm so excited! I think he's going to go over the whole estrogen progesterone thing as well, I get a whole hour with him so I should collect a lot of great info I'll share with you if you'd like.

I'm checking out the book you recommended.

And congratulations on feeling good and getting clear! I guess all those hard years really paid off :)

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Thank you both for sharing this. And Baylee, thanks for the bump. I wouldn't have seen this if you didn't do that.

Murmur, what you're describing sounds so incredibly familiar to me.

I alternate with giving up completely and spending gobs of time on these boards. In between, I take all the pieces of this picture apart in my head and try to put them back together again. I do this again, and again, and again, and again.

In addition to all the trouble with my skin, I have horrendous trouble with my hormones. Like my skin, my cycles seem to get more unmanageable every year. I watch my cycles very closely and am constantly comparing what's happening with my hormones with the condition of my skin. I always come back to the same place: it *feels* like I'm "just really low".

I compare how I feel now with how I felt as a teenager. Of course, I'm aging like we all do, but I definitely feel like a different person---like a different human body. Then in the middle of my cycle, I get about 3 days where I feel normal, my skin begins to heal normally, the texture of my skin all-over changes, I think clearly and can stay calm, my mood is upbeat, and even my voice even sounds softer. (Unfortunately, this is also when I get cysts.) The rest of the month, I am gravelly all over (skin, voice, and even sense of touch), low on energy, low on patience, easily upset, and generally ill-at-ease.

And I'm still experimenting with the DIM. I started it in March, took it for a month, experienced some great results with my hormones (but less great with my skin), and had to stop abruptly when I got food poisoning. Just started up again in August, and have changed brands a couple of times trying to find the perfect fit. I'm not sure if it's because I was on it and then stopped, or if the 2 other brands I tried were inferior to the Nature's Way brand, or if it's because the effects are wearing off as reported elsewhere on this board...but I did not have the cakewalk period last month that I enjoyed back in April. Granted, it was much better than normal, but I still had a lot of the symptoms that the first course wiped out.

I am clinging to hope that it will continue to be effective for me indefinitely. Although I suspect that whatever imbalance the DIM is helping correct will eventually return because I have not yet identified the causative factor.

I'm in Florida, and I don't even know where to start to find a good practitioner like you're describing. I had an appointment to see an endocrinologist in July, but was feeling really hopeless and canceled at the last minute because I am getting doctor fatigue and really losing faith that any of them can help me.

I really do hope that both of you continue to post under this thread on your progress.

Currently I am experimenting with diet--no more cookies, cakes, or refined processed sugars. I am 2 weeks in and my back is starting to clear somewhat. Maybe that's the DIM? Maybe not? Sometimes it's really not easy play detective, don't you think?

[i didn't mean to hijack your thread. Sorry. I'll wrap it up.]

Murmur, could you maybe share the names of the tests that your practitioner ordered, so I could maybe request them from my primary doc?

Also, how did that work? It must be hard to get a baseline because hormone levels fluctuate every day or even every hour. Did you have to get repeat samples over time to test your estrogen and progesterone, or did he draw all the samples at one time and compare them to normal ranges for that given day within your cycle?

And Baylee--please keep us posted on what you're learning at the herbalist.

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