Jump to content
Acne.org
Search In
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Recommended Posts

I had an uncontrolled problem because of a tumor in my adrenal that was causing my acne all along, all these years. Explains the hair loss and palpitations. Lost my left adrenal in 2006 from surgery and have been recuperating from the muscle loss since. Now I'm back in school, but the acne is back again because of the stress levels I have to deal with. I still have trouble walking and climbing stairs due to my weakness. I take a lot of protein and walk a lot, A LOT! (I live in NYC, go figure--stress capital). At least my cortisol isn't as high as when I had the tumor.

It feels that this time, I have control over my acne as long as I keep the cortisol levels in check. But at the same time, I can't control how stressful my life is, therefore I will continue getting acne for as long as I am under stress or school breaks for the summer. My face looks like a blotchy pickle skin from all the breakouts since last January.

I'm taking Tai Chi to see if it helps a little.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow. Well, there are more nutrients that can help adrenal function or get depleted by cortisol. There are some listed here:

http://www.acne.org/messageboard/index.php...t&p=2579438

Also, in addition to your Tai Chi, make sure you get plenty of sleep. A lot of people have reported that magnesium or ZMA supplements, epsom salt baths, a spoonful of honey at bedtime, etc. really help them. http://www.acne.org/messageboard/index.php...t&p=2576850

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you read any books by Robert Sapolsky? He's a Stanford University professor who's done tons of research on cortisol. He seems to have good ideas of how to keep our cortisol levels in check, so it's a good starting point if you want to read up on stress and the body.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, sounds pretty cool. I'll check them out later. It only takes about 3-4 days of continuous sleep and rest to start clearing up...but with finals around, thats a no no...

Weird thing, my facial muscles are hurting right now. That's how weak my body is.

I feel like an old lady :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As far as diet goes, protein's actually not recommended in large amounts with adrenal fatigue. Meals high in protein actually increase alertness as opposed to ones higher in fat or carbs. People with adrenal fatigue also generally have lower levels of HCl in their stomachs and/or have an impaired ability to acidify their stomach in response to protein and so, have trouble digesting protein completely.

Some health experts recommend a diet based heavily around vegetables with approximately 20% of your plate consisting of animal protein (if you consume it at all). I've personally found that fruits and vegetables trump animal protein as far as adrenal recovery goes; I only eat animal protein at dinner now and I try to keep it moderate. IMO, your best bet would be to increase your vegetable consumption first and then add in some fruits if you wish but with a couple guidelines:

1. Fruits are usually less well-tolerated in the morning in people with adrenal fatigue.

2. High-potassium fruits like dates and bananas should either be avoided or eaten with a pinch of good quality sea salt so as not to upset your sodium:potassium balance.

You might also want to look into a good adrenal supplement that contains glandular extracts, vitamin C and some adaptogenic herbs. I would also recommend a good B-complex as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shavingwoes...thanks a lot for that good information. Personally, I am a vegetarian myself...never really been fond of vegetables, but will force myself to eat them occasionally. Vegetables were the furthest thing from my mind in terms of adrenal issues. I always focused on plant protein, protein shakes, smoothies, tofu....However, as testing goes, I have good levels of adrenal production and wouldn't constitute it as adrenal fatigue. My issues are above adrenal, but rather the aftermath of adrenal over production because of muscle damage. Thats why I get fatigue. I do have consequences with my stomach as you mentioned...I think it's permanent...I have a lot of acid reflux and gases accumulating...my stomach isn't what it used to be. Doctor's dont' offer any solutions to that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Shavingwoes...thanks a lot for that good information. Personally, I am a vegetarian myself...never really been fond of vegetables, but will force myself to eat them occasionally. Vegetables were the furthest thing from my mind in terms of adrenal issues. I always focused on plant protein, protein shakes, smoothies, tofu....However, as testing goes, I have good levels of adrenal production and wouldn't constitute it as adrenal fatigue. My issues are above adrenal, but rather the aftermath of adrenal over production because of muscle damage. Thats why I get fatigue. I do have consequences with my stomach as you mentioned...I think it's permanent...I have a lot of acid reflux and gases accumulating...my stomach isn't what it used to be. Doctor's dont' offer any solutions to that.

I had issues with acid reflux and bloating off/on depending on my diet status until I started the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. You probably won't have to do the intro diet (basically simple sugars, meat and well cooked vegetables), but I'd be willing to bet it would help you.

Honestly, all that protein is unnecessary. It took me a long time to figure it out for myself and then accept it :shifty: , but through trial/error I've found that loading my body with protein wreaks havoc on my adrenals, and makes me miserable and tired. Carbohydrates are the easiest thing for your body to digest; they just have to be the right kind which is exactly what the specific carbohydrate diet is all about. Providing readily digested foods that won't sit in your gut and ferment but instead be easily assimilated and nourish your body. If you follow the diet, your stomach issues will likely resolve and, if your results are anything like mine, you'll feel better than ever. Just be patient and take it reasonably slow when introducing new foods.

Tip: If you do go on the SCD and/or eat bananas, make sure they are RIPE; not a trace of green and they must have brown spots present. I've been making this mistake a few times because I've forgotten to stock up and get impatient waiting for them to ripen. I've also been noticing the organic ones I've been buying take much longer to ripen and even then don't ripen as well as conventional bananas. Also, be sure to take them with a pinch of quality sea salt.

Feel free to PM me for additional info/advice.

Best of luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I had an uncontrolled problem because of a tumor in my adrenal that was causing my acne all along, all these years. Explains the hair loss and palpitations. Lost my left adrenal in 2006 from surgery and have been recuperating from the muscle loss since. Now I'm back in school, but the acne is back again because of the stress levels I have to deal with. I still have trouble walking and climbing stairs due to my weakness. I take a lot of protein and walk a lot, A LOT! (I live in NYC, go figure--stress capital). At least my cortisol isn't as high as when I had the tumor.

It feels that this time, I have control over my acne as long as I keep the cortisol levels in check. But at the same time, I can't control how stressful my life is, therefore I will continue getting acne for as long as I am under stress or school breaks for the summer. My face looks like a blotchy pickle skin from all the breakouts since last January.

I'm taking Tai Chi to see if it helps a little.

Cortisol is not evil. It's necessary for life.

I actually doubt very much that you have high cortisol. You may have had high cortisol before due to the tumour, but now, you are more likely to have low cortisol, if anything, because you're missing one of your adrenal glands!

Low cortisol can actually cause acne just as much as high cortisol can. I am not 100% sure about why this is, but I think it has something to do with your body producing too many androgens because they aren't being converted to cortisol like they should be. There's a book called "Safe Uses of Cortisol" by William McK Jefferies that talks about using oral hydrocortisone (low doses) as a treatment for acne and other androgen-related disorders.

I have low cortisol (according to a saliva test... and symptoms), and acne, and my acne gets worse with stress.

Low cortisol causes fatigue and stomach issues as well.

I think you should see a naturopath or doctor who is familiar with treating adrenal fatigue and uses "bioidentical" hormones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found something interesting. Basically what I read is that if you have a tumor on one gland that's secreting excessive cortisol, this often causes atrophy of your other adrenal gland. (It's well known that if your body is getting too much cortisol, your adrenals start to atrophy because they don't need to produce cortisol like they normally would. Since they have no need to produce cortisol, they just stop working. That's why high doses of oral hydrocortisone can cause adrenal insufficiency in the long run.) So, when you remove the tumor and the one adrenal gland, the other adrenal gland can't compensate. It can't produce all the cortisol that your body needs.

http://books.google.ca/books?id=5ir5Zp0pl7...t&resnum=10

(scroll down to the last paragraph on pg. 67)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks shavingwoes. Q: Can you drink soymilk with the SCD?

Thanks Leah_ for the info. I know all about my atrophy--to be more specific, what I had was Cushing's syndrome because it was directly in my adrenal. Cushing's disease is in the pituitary and it is harder to treat. My right adrenal was atrophied but not for long because I suffered a moment of adrenal insufficiency after my surgery so my cortisol was at zero. I ended up in the emergency room and they gave me more hydrocortisone. (The stupid hospital that performed my surgery released me without enough meds to back me up through the holiday weekend during Christmas. By the time Sat rolled around, I ran out of meds and spent the next 2 days without taking them). The doc got into trouble cuz I could have ended up in a coma. But since that day, my endocrinologist suspects that the situation might have triggered my leftover adrenal to react immediately because it started producing cortisol almost right away and therefore I was able to wean off the hydrocortisone quickly.

Now, when I get acne, it has been confirmed by labs that my cortisol does rise a little higher than normal labs cause of stress, but then eventually goes back down like it should, so I don't really believe is all the androgens at work. Mostly my problem is the muscle breakdown I've suffered because I can feel it. It hurts and it is weak. I'm in pain everyday, every movement I make hurts. Even typing this. Sometimes I even feel my facial muscles drooping, almost like they are melting off my face because it is so weak. The weirdest thing, I know. Been embarrassed the doc won't understand what the hell I'm talking about so I just stick to telling her my legs and arms hurt cause it sounds more sensible.

A single adrenal is fully capable to function like two adrenals at once. What that article didn't mention was that once an adrenal has been removed, the other adrenal can hypertrophy to compensate for the missing one. In fact, in can be so powerful as to cause Cushing's all by itself. Honest to God, I wouldn't touch another cortisone pill for as long as the Heaven's permit me to live. Those were the worst months of my life.

Powerful, aren't they? Those little buggers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm... interesting.

What was so bad about being on hydrocortisone? I mean other than when you ran out (I can't believe your doctor was so irresponsible!).

PS: Soy milk/soy in general is not allowed on the SCD.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As Leah_ said soy milk isn't allowed on the SCD.

If you're interested you can find a comprehensive list of all things allowed/not allowed (legal/illegal on the site) HERE

You may not have to be 100% strict with it to achieve great results but greater adherence will likely achieve greater improvements. For instance, I was doing pretty well on it but once I cut out seeds (seeds aren't recommended in the early stages) the results were even greater.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am so happy that I found this posting. Let me start here, for the past 2 or 3 months I have had the most HORRIBLE acne ever. It is painful acne like I have never seen before. Cystic like and its just horrible. Nobody can ffigure out what is going on with me, so it is all very confusing. I finally had a doctor who stepped up to the plate and did TONS of blood work on me. Only to find that my cortisol levels are elevated. I am a little nervous about this because I think i have cushings syndrome, and I am extremely scared! I read on here that this is what you (holly) had/have and i am wondering could you please give me some pointers on what helped you and what didnt? I am going back to the doctor tomorrow and we are going to go from there. I know there is the possibility of a benign tumor that releases cortisol. How are you doing with this and how is your acne? Thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am so happy that I found this posting. Let me start here, for the past 2 or 3 months I have had the most HORRIBLE acne ever. It is painful acne like I have never seen before. Cystic like and its just horrible. Nobody can ffigure out what is going on with me, so it is all very confusing. I finally had a doctor who stepped up to the plate and did TONS of blood work on me. Only to find that my cortisol levels are elevated. I am a little nervous about this because I think i have cushings syndrome, and I am extremely scared! I read on here that this is what you (holly) had/have and i am wondering could you please give me some pointers on what helped you and what didnt? I am going back to the doctor tomorrow and we are going to go from there. I know there is the possibility of a benign tumor that releases cortisol. How are you doing with this and how is your acne? Thank you!

My corisol levels were extremely elevated, but it was due to low stomach acid (hypochlorhydria). When you are not absorbing minerals properly, it can effect ALL your organs including your adrenals, thyroid, sex hormones, etc. As soon as I started taking digestive enzymes and extra minerals, my acne started to disappear within a few days.

Please investigate this! It is often overlooked by doctors and can contribute to high cortisol!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am so happy that I found this posting. Let me start here, for the past 2 or 3 months I have had the most HORRIBLE acne ever. It is painful acne like I have never seen before. Cystic like and its just horrible. Nobody can ffigure out what is going on with me, so it is all very confusing. I finally had a doctor who stepped up to the plate and did TONS of blood work on me. Only to find that my cortisol levels are elevated. I am a little nervous about this because I think i have cushings syndrome, and I am extremely scared! I read on here that this is what you (holly) had/have and i am wondering could you please give me some pointers on what helped you and what didnt? I am going back to the doctor tomorrow and we are going to go from there. I know there is the possibility of a benign tumor that releases cortisol. How are you doing with this and how is your acne? Thank you!

My corisol levels were extremely elevated, but it was due to low stomach acid (hypochlorhydria). When you are not absorbing minerals properly, it can effect ALL your organs including your adrenals, thyroid, sex hormones, etc. As soon as I started taking digestive enzymes and extra minerals, my acne started to disappear within a few days.

Please investigate this! It is often overlooked by doctors and can contribute to high cortisol!!!

What minerals are you using?? Thanks. Also, what are the symptoms of high cortisol??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am so happy that I found this posting. Let me start here, for the past 2 or 3 months I have had the most HORRIBLE acne ever. It is painful acne like I have never seen before. Cystic like and its just horrible. Nobody can ffigure out what is going on with me, so it is all very confusing. I finally had a doctor who stepped up to the plate and did TONS of blood work on me. Only to find that my cortisol levels are elevated. I am a little nervous about this because I think i have cushings syndrome, and I am extremely scared! I read on here that this is what you (holly) had/have and i am wondering could you please give me some pointers on what helped you and what didnt? I am going back to the doctor tomorrow and we are going to go from there. I know there is the possibility of a benign tumor that releases cortisol. How are you doing with this and how is your acne? Thank you!

My corisol levels were extremely elevated, but it was due to low stomach acid (hypochlorhydria). When you are not absorbing minerals properly, it can effect ALL your organs including your adrenals, thyroid, sex hormones, etc. As soon as I started taking digestive enzymes and extra minerals, my acne started to disappear within a few days.

Please investigate this! It is often overlooked by doctors and can contribute to high cortisol!!!

What minerals are you using?? Thanks. Also, what are the symptoms of high cortisol??

I'm taking a range of B vitamins, trace minerals, calcium, magnesium, etc. These minerals and doses are unique to me because I was muscle-tested by a naturopathic doctor.

Most people with elevated cortisol sometimes experience moodiness and hormonal issues. Most of the time it goes undiagnosed because the symptoms are not noticable. I had a saliva hormone test done and I have elevated cortisol but low estrogen and progesterone. These symptoms can all be related to hypochlorhydria. I will know in a month or so when I get another hormone test.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Use antibacterial soap and keep yourself clean.

Be careful of anti-bacterial soap. Bacteria that causes acne can become immune to anti-bacterial soap. I stopped using soap completely (except for homemade shampoo) on my face and body. My skin has never been healthier. I don't even have to use moisurizer anymore.

Unless you live in filth and rub decomposing garbage on your face, you are clean enough.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
vegangirl, those with elevated or low amounts of cortisol need to use an anti-bacterial soap.

People with extremely elevated cortisol may develop Cushing's syndrome which can slow wound-healing. This can increase one's risk for infection.

Elevated cortisol does not always mean that the person has Cushing's syndrome or is at risk for an increase of infection. Also, anti-bacterial soap is not always necessary to clean and sterilize a wound (that is, if the person's acne consists of broken skin). There are other options like oregano oil, tea-tree oil, neem oil, etc. to disinfect a wound.

Anti-bacterial products can lose their effectiveness over time due to bacteria developing a resistance to it. This also does not address the underlying cause of the acne in the first place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Personalized Advice Quiz - All of Acne.org in just a few minutes

×