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WishClean

Dim Update -- 8+ Months Later

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Hi everyone,

I read a lot of posts recently about people wanting to try herbs and supplements for their acne, and some give up before they give their regimen a real chance. I want to give you an update on how I'm doing 8+ months after adding DIM to my regimen, in addition to a year being on inositol (read my other thread here: ) and answer any questions you might have.

I had severe cystic acne for about a year, starting in 2013, in addition to allergic reactions (hive/ welt-like acne, rash, swelling, redness). This is what helped me...it was NOT an instant cure, more like a gradual progress, and now I'm at the stage where my acne has become manageable and I no longer stress out about breakouts. Some of you have seen my before and after photos. I don't want to repost them, but if you want to, I will.

- I removed sulfates & preservatives (as much as possible) from my cosmetics, cleansers, and diet. Ask me if you want product recommendations for US and EU products. In my case, acne products just irritated my skin, so I stopped using them.

- I'm following a low histamine diet (see my other posts on histamines and their impact on skin) after doing an elimination diet --> I try to only eat high nutrient foods and avoid junk, although I occasionally have cheat meals (I take digestive enzymes for that to minimize any food intolerances).

- I worked hard to fix my digestion...I took probiotics (veg. PB8) and still take them on and off as needed.

- I took an herbal multivitamin (see my signature for a list of everything I take)

- I'm taking inositol most days of the month to regulate ovulation and manage excess body hair

- I added DIM last January/ February, and am still taking it

- I occasionally get facials and sometimes a lactic peel to facilitate cell turnover and boost collagen. It's very important to find a good, non-aggressive esthetician who knows how to properly extract zits without leaving scars. Ask me if you need recommendations on what type of facials could work for your acne (hint: NOT acne-specific facials...try something for skin clarity, anti-aging, etc instead and avoid harsh retinoids).

- I try to minimize stress as much as possible. Yoga, pilates, walking, and acupuncture help a lot with that!

Ok, now specifically for DIM. I take Olympian Labs DIM because it mainly contains DIM. I didn't want to risk taking any DIM complexes because I wanted to test DIM on its own, and for me it works well.

I tried to get off DIM for a few days, and have gotten some cysts, so I'm still taking it every day but sometimes I take only 50mg instead of 100mg (I empty half the capsule). I take inositol in the morning (just 1/8 teaspoon...no more is necessary), and DIM in the evening now.

I noticed that some days, closer to my period, I get a bit of bloating, but it could be from PMS. On those days, I just try to take less of both supplements and try to drink plenty of water and avoid junk food and too much salt.

DIM is an antioxidant, and I noticed that my skin has been looking healthier since I started taking it. It wasn't an instant change, but a gradual improvement. I was patient enough to research my symptoms and address other health issues in order to find the right regimen for me. It takes patience and persistence. If you don't know where to start, I recommend visiting a naturopath/ integrative doctor/ acupuncturist who specializes in skin and/or female issues...not just a generalist because, even though they might be good, they might also be clueless at dealing with acne and hormonal issues.

- We still do not know the LONG TERM impact of DIM, and whether it helps to take it forever. I'm posting my 8 month update here, and will hopefully update every year or so until I decide to go off it. As far as I know, it is safe to take long term at a dose of about 50-100mg, and do a hormonal panel every year (saliva or urine..blood tests are not accurate) to see if everything is on track. I would much rather take DIM than be on birth control or other medication for the rest of my life or until menopause. This is my personal choice.

- I didn't take DIM with liver support...some people recommend it, but I only took calcium d-glucarate (for liver support) for a few days and didn't stick it out long enough to decide if it helped. It initially caused some detox acne, so I backed off and just used DIM on its own instead. Perhaps niacin would work well with it, but I'm not sure. I was drinking a lot of vitamin zero water when I started DIM, which contains niacin and other nutrients, so maybe that was all I needed personally.

I also recommend getting a histamine blood test (a general blood test should suffice) to see if you have high histamines in your blood. If you do, it means that your body is "reactive", which increases your chance of allergic reactions to triggers.

Edited by WishClean
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great post, great input....thanks for coming back with an update

the blood test is something I haven't done but that histamine test along with vitamin D, and other vitamin levels should be the first thing that derms do...but sadly they do not

so we have to figure out our own path, if we want to avoid antibiotics and accutane

congrats on making it this far in your journey!

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Great update. I'm glad your skin is healthy and clear. Obviously I'm still piecing together my puzzle. Nodular acne is especially challenging :(.

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great post, great input....thanks for coming back with an update

the blood test is something I haven't done but that histamine test along with vitamin D, and other vitamin levels should be the first thing that derms do...but sadly they do not

so we have to figure out our own path, if we want to avoid antibiotics and accutane

congrats on making it this far in your journey!

That's true...histamines should be checked along with vitamin & mineral levels. I wish all derms did that first before prescribing heavy duty drugs and antibiotics.

Thankfully, there are people here (like you!) who are receptive to alternative, holistic ways of approaching acne. I'm here to show people that we don't have to be extreme in treating acne as long as we treat its underlying causes. It takes a lot of patience, some trial and error, and persistence!

Great update. I'm glad your skin is healthy and clear. Obviously I'm still piecing together my puzzle. Nodular acne is especially challenging .

Thanks brenmc. Well, I'm not always 100% clear..I still have occasional flares, red marks and irritation (e.g. from dust), but compared to the mess my face was in 2013, I'll take what I can get. Good luck, I'm sure you'll find a solution....it took me a while to piece everything together myself.

Btw, I read some reviews on amazon about Nature's DIM, and one person said it took her 4+ months to see results, so if it's not hurting you, I say keep taking it.

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Thanks WishClean!

I have been on DIM since July and sometimes it's hard to be patient when you feel like you can't put your best face forward, literally. But thanks to you and hearts and GreenGables, I have learned a lot about hormones and treatment options that don't have to include harsh pharmaceuticals. Thank you so much! I'm hoping my recent progress continues and I'm on the right combination of supplements now.

You have mentioned that you vary your DIM dose, how do you know when that's necessary or appropriate (ie won't cause a breakout)? Also, do you think we need to be on inositol long-term? My skin went crazy when I quit it for only five days last year.

great post, great input....thanks for coming back with an update

the blood test is something I haven't done but that histamine test along with vitamin D, and other vitamin levels should be the first thing that derms do...but sadly they do not

so we have to figure out our own path, if we want to avoid antibiotics and accutane

congrats on making it this far in your journey!

That's true...histamines should be checked along with vitamin & mineral levels. I wish all derms did that first before prescribing heavy duty drugs and antibiotics.

Thankfully, there are people here (like you!) who are receptive to alternative, holistic ways of approaching acne. I'm here to show people that we don't have to be extreme in treating acne as long as we treat its underlying causes. It takes a lot of patience, some trial and error, and persistence!

Great update. I'm glad your skin is healthy and clear. Obviously I'm still piecing together my puzzle. Nodular acne is especially challenging sad.png.

Thanks brenmc. Well, I'm not always 100% clear..I still have occasional flares, red marks and irritation (e.g. from dust), but compared to the mess my face was in 2013, I'll take what I can get. Good luck, I'm sure you'll find a solution....it took me a while to piece everything together myself.

Btw, I read some reviews on amazon about Nature's DIM, and one person said it took her 4+ months to see results, so if it's not hurting you, I say keep taking it.

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Thanks WishClean!

I have been on DIM since July and sometimes it's hard to be patient when you feel like you can't put your best face forward, literally. But thanks to you and hearts and GreenGables, I have learned a lot about hormones and treatment options that don't have to include harsh pharmaceuticals. Thank you so much! I'm hoping my recent progress continues and I'm on the right combination of supplements now.

You have mentioned that you vary your DIM dose, how do you know when that's necessary or appropriate (ie won't cause a breakout)? Also, do you think we need to be on inositol long-term? My skin went crazy when I quit it for only five days last year.

Hi bren,

I'm glad I could help I vary my DIM & inositol dose if I feel bloated that day...and usually I take less on my period. With inositol, I skip some days , but in general I realized I have to take it especially during the first half of my cycle. It's trial and error unfortunately. I downloaded a "period tracker" app on my phone so I can track changes in my skin & cycle...hopefully that way I can adjust the supplement dosage accordingly.

How much DIM are you taking? I started noticing more rapid improvement around March when I upped it to 200mg (split into 100mg x2, morning & afternoon), but I went down to 50-100mg max because, even though my skin looked better, my hyperpigmentation got a bit worse. Not sure why, but just to be safe, I don't recommend staying on more than 100mg long term. The paper I link to below says that it can enhance other effects of estrogen (maybe the good estrogen), which could be why my melasma darkens when I increase DIM to over 100mg. I also read that too much DIM can actually worsen estrogen dominance, so it's better to not megadose. That's another reason I try to only take 50mg unless I'm having breakouts. DIM is safer than its precursor, indole-3-carbinol, as this research suggests, although some women on the PCOS forum take indole instead of DIM.

Btw, this NYU research paper is especially helpful, and the sources it cites. I also found some similar citations on Examine.com.

http://www.med.nyu.edu/content?ChunkIID=104670

Edited by WishClean
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Hey WishClean! I just wanted to thank you for sharing all of this helpful information, especially about inositol, which I had never heard of. Particularly because I have some really embarrassing and unfortunate body hair that has been a daily bummer for me for the last five years, and it seems like this could help me. I've never been tested for PCOS because I'm skinny with regular periods. (It doesn't convince me, but it does convince my doctors...)

Anyhow, I have been under the impression that the only thing I can do for my "male pattern" body hair is laser treatment. I'm going to do some more research on inositol for excess body hair, but I'd love if you could share some more about how inositol has influenced your body hair growth. Feel free to send me a message if you'd rather.

Thanks! Have a great day

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Hey WishClean! I just wanted to thank you for sharing all of this helpful information, especially about inositol, which I had never heard of. Particularly because I have some really embarrassing and unfortunate body hair that has been a daily bummer for me for the last five years, and it seems like this could help me. I've never been tested for PCOS because I'm skinny with regular periods. (It doesn't convince me, but it does convince my doctors...)

Anyhow, I have been under the impression that the only thing I can do for my "male pattern" body hair is laser treatment. I'm going to do some more research on inositol for excess body hair, but I'd love if you could share some more about how inositol has influenced your body hair growth. Feel free to send me a message if you'd rather.

Thanks! Have a great day

Hey, I'm glad this is useful. I'm sure there are tons of other things we haven't heard of and doctors don't want us to know (or they don't know themselves).

I'm normal weight with regular periods too, but have PCOS...not all PCOS women have the same symptoms. You would need to get an ultrasound to verify. There's also just polycystic ovaries without the "syndrome" (i.e. the side effects of polycystic ovaries)..

I noticed a steady reduction in facial and body hair when starting inositol. It hasn't completely disappeared, but I don't think it will because once the hair follicles are active, they continue to grow hair. Inositol made my excess hair finer and more manageable.

I had laser done on my legs with good results, but when I tried laser on my face, it turned my fuzz into actual dark hairs! It was the worst! So now I get electrolysis every month, which is much safer for facial hair than anything else I've tried. As for body hair, laser worked also on my bikini line, armpits, and kind of on the stomach...but, I made the stupid mistake of getting it done on some fuzz I had on my breasts and the hair grew back coarser after my treatments were finished. I have to do electrolysis in that area too now, and it's painful! So, I don't advice you to do laser on areas where hormonal hair grows..electrolysis is much more effective for those areas, and you don't run the risk of turning fuzz into hair with red light stimulation. Sorry for the TMI, I hope this helps!

Edited by WishClean
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Hey, I'm glad this is useful. I'm sure there are tons of other things we haven't heard of and doctors don't want us to know (or they don't know themselves).

I'm normal weight with regular periods too, but have PCOS...not all PCOS women have the same symptoms. You would need to get an ultrasound to verify. There's also just polycystic ovaries without the "syndrome" (i.e. the side effects of polycystic ovaries)..

I noticed a steady reduction in facial and body hair when starting inositol. It hasn't completely disappeared, but I don't think it will because once the hair follicles are active, they continue to grow hair. Inositol made my excess hair finer and more manageable.

I had laser done on my legs with good results, but when I tried laser on my face, it turned my fuzz into actual dark hairs! It was the worst! So now I get electrolysis every month, which is much safer for facial hair than anything else I've tried. As for body hair, laser worked also on my bikini line, armpits, and kind of on the stomach...but, I made the stupid mistake of getting it done on some fuzz I had on my breasts and the hair grew back coarser after my treatments were finished. I have to do electrolysis in that area too now, and it's painful! So, I don't advice you to do laser on areas where hormonal hair grows..electrolysis is much more effective for those areas, and you don't run the risk of turning fuzz into hair with red light stimulation. Sorry for the TMI, I hope this helps!

Thank you so much for your reply! I really appreciate it.

It always makes me sad that doctors seem to just be spokespeople for drugs and drug companies rather than advocates for health. I remember last year when I started my acne resolution journey with a visit to a new doctor. I was a mess, at my wit's end with acne, body hair, and PMDD. All she had to suggest was Prozac and antibiotics. I started crying right there.

Nutrition and lifestyle are at the root of health, but it's complicated. Like you, I've done lots of my own research to find things that work, but wouldn't it be wonderful if doctors could save us the trouble and explain things to us (with the benefit of their expert knowledge)? I have spent so much time searching and educating myself, and it's a complicated puzzle.

I had no idea lasers could actually darken hair! Yikes, sorry that happened to you. I've got to ask my derm about this...

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Thank you so much for your reply! I really appreciate it.

It always makes me sad that doctors seem to just be spokespeople for drugs and drug companies rather than advocates for health. I remember last year when I started my acne resolution journey with a visit to a new doctor. I was a mess, at my wit's end with acne, body hair, and PMDD. All she had to suggest was Prozac and antibiotics. I started crying right there.

Nutrition and lifestyle are at the root of health, but it's complicated. Like you, I've done lots of my own research to find things that work, but wouldn't it be wonderful if doctors could save us the trouble and explain things to us (with the benefit of their expert knowledge)? I have spent so much time searching and educating myself, and it's a complicated puzzle.

I had no idea lasers could actually darken hair! Yikes, sorry that happened to you. I've got to ask my derm about this...

Well, your derm will probably tell you lasers are safe. For me personally, red light REALLY helped my acne and redness but I noticed increased hair fuzz. But the worst was laser hair removal in areas where hormonal hair grows. Mediterranean skin is more prone to this side effect. In the US, very few professionals acknowledged that the laser was to blame for why my dormant hair follicles suddenly began to grow hair. But now that I'm in Europe, every professional I mentioned this to (aestheticians and dermatologists) agrees with me because they've seen it happen and, unlike in the US, they don't blame it all on hormones. Hormonal changes can't activate dormant hair follicles to produce thicker hair, only laser can do that. It depends on your skin, but you should be cautious either way. I highly recommend electrolysis as the best solution to permanent hair removal.

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Hi everyone, I'm back!

Let me know if you have any questions. I stopped DIM recently to see if I no longer needed it. I don't like to take herbs for too long, and I read that DIM works best if it's cycled on and off. So I weaned off slowly, and I still occasionally take it now and then, especially if I consume too much sugar/ carbs (for detoxification purposes).

I noticed that my body hair has increased, and bloating has somewhat decreased. Breakouts increased a bit at first, now my face is clearer because I started taking SOD for my histamines. The difference is really remarkable! Also, I re-added evening primrose oil after reducing DIM and that kept things clear, but unfortunately it seems to have made me more emotional and PMSy, so now I only take EPO a few times a month.

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hi WishClean, 

I've recently tried to start talking DIM for my pcos acne (source naturals brand) however,  I can only take 1/3 of a pill without getting a massive headache and terrible detox acne.. even in conjuction with 1 Thorne Sat, in fact, I believe the liver supplement causes detox acne as well. I've only been able to take the dim and thorne sat for two days before giving up because the cystic acne I get afterwards is so so bad... I developed sore breasts, and a late period as well. I usually only get whiteheads, etc.  is this normal? did you have a similar initial breakout to dim, and if so, how long does it last before seeing results? 

 

I got my hormones tested with a saliva panel, and I definitely have excess estrogen dominance and very low progesterone and normal but slightly high testosterone , so in theory, this supplement should help me. I should also mention that I am on 100mg of spironolactone, but it has lost 50% of its effectiveness, so I plan on weaning off of it slowly, as I'm very scared of more breakouts.. what would you recommend in this situation? 

 

also,  thank you for this very informative post! 

 

 

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On 12/9/2015, 9:31:53, bodysnxtcher said:

hi WishClean, 

I've recently tried to start talking DIM for my pcos acne (source naturals brand) however,  I can only take 1/3 of a pill without getting a massive headache and terrible detox acne.. even in conjuction with 1 Thorne Sat, in fact, I believe the liver supplement causes detox acne as well. I've only been able to take the dim and thorne sat for two days before giving up because the cystic acne I get afterwards is so so bad... I developed sore breasts, and a late period as well. I usually only get whiteheads, etc.  is this normal? did you have a similar initial breakout to dim, and if so, how long does it last before seeing results? 

 

I got my hormones tested with a saliva panel, and I definitely have excess estrogen dominance and very low progesterone and normal but slightly high testosterone , so in theory, this supplement should help me. I should also mention that I am on 100mg of spironolactone, but it has lost 50% of its effectiveness, so I plan on weaning off of it slowly, as I'm very scared of more breakouts.. what would you recommend in this situation? 

 

also,  thank you for this very informative post! 

 

 

Ok, first of all, I don't know how many times to stress this....do NOT mix prescription medication with herbs. Pick one and stick with it, don't do too much because, as you saw, your body will react. 

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