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hypothyroidism and acne?

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My TSH levels are super weird. They are always above normal, but very fluctuating. One week it would be 6 and the other it would be 12. I went to see an endo who did an ultrasound of my thyroid gland and told me that it looks normal, and that the lab results can't be always trusted.

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Hypothyroidism is a common health issue that affects millions of individuals around the world. However the disease is frequently overlooked by the health care system. It is estimated that over 10 percent of the Americans with diabetes and cancer combined disease suffer from thyroid too. To understand the effects of low thyroid one must understand how the disease affects the human body.

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Hello, Im 19 and going to be 20 this september. I had hyperthroidism at the age of 17 witch is the oppsite of hypothyriodism. I was treaded with radio active idione to make me hypothyroidism..... because the doctor said it was easir to treat hypothyroidism then hyperthyroidism. I started to brake out right away after becoming hypothyrodism and gaining lots of weight.... i told my indo doctor about this, but she said ance had nothin to do with hypothyroidism..... I still think it does. ive had sever ance 3 years now....

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Hey guys,

After reading all of these responses, I thought it may be beneficial to share my story and what I've learned over the years.

I have congenital hypothyroid, meaning I've had it since birth and my thyroid gland is completely non-functional.

One thing I must stress is never let your doctor bully you. I see an endocrinologist for my treatment and I learned the hard way. I let my doctor choose what they believe is best for me and it got me absolutely no where. My body, over time, has built a slight resistance to synthroid so it got to the point where even the highest dose wasn't helping. I then had to throw cytomel into the mix, which isn't on the cheap side whatsoever. In your bloodtests, your results may say TSH, T4 and T3 are normal, but you also have to take into account your physical symptoms. My levels were great, but I was also tired, moody, etc. The usual. I also had acne and no matter what I did, my acne stayed. So in my quest for the HG of thyroid medication, I came across desiccated thyroid. It was the treatment used for hypothyroid before it was replaced by synthetic hormones. Many patients reviewed that their acne cleared up. (By the way, it is more common to have dry skin, but it is very possible to have oily, acne prone skin. Hypothyroidism just sucks that way:P) So after fighting to the near death with my endocrinologist about trying it out, I finally walked out of her office with a presciption.

After a few weeks, my skin was starting to clear up. I have the most stubborn cystic acne along my disappeared. My forehead cleared up. I was estatic.

I still get some acne on my cheeks and I've given up on getting rid of the blackheads on my nose but I just recently had my dose raised, so we will see.

ALSO! I remembered going through my old medical papers with medication information (you know the pamphlet you get when you get a new presciption filled) and came across the synthroid one.

Well guess what I saw on the side effects? "May cause acne"

I'm not saying it will cause acne for you...just to be on the cautious side. It is also extremely difficult to convince your doctor for a desiccated thyroid presciption. I fought hard for it for months.

And, one more interesting tidbit. I had to get a radioactive iodine treatment (thyroid gland was extremely swollen) and in order to do that, you have to go on a low-iodine diet for about a month or your thyroid gland takes the treatment. Anyways, to get to the point, I remember having very clear skin while I was on it.

Anyways, I apologize for the ADD-like quality of this post...but I hope it was somewhat helpful.

Bottomline is: Talk to your doctor. You know your body better than anyone else.

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I'm going to bump this thread because I think thyroid issues may be a really overlooked issue when it comes to acne. I am borderline hypothyroid. I've never been overweight, but over the years I've had alot of the other symptoms, including acne. My sister has hypothyroidism to a degree way more severe than mine and she has always been overweight, and she had problems with adult acne.

When I was in my mid 20s, I went to a naturopath that told me for the first time that I was borderline hypo, put me on thyroid supplements, and my acne cleared very nicely. I moved away, lost touch with her, and drifted away from taking supplements. The acne came back.

As I moved toward my early 30s, I think my hormones started balancing out with age, but also, I learned what products and foods I could use and my acne has mellowed out big time. It's now pretty much gone.

Well, I just found out today for the first time from a "real" doctor that my TSH levels are in fact slightly borderline high-like technically still within range being by being at the upper extreme of the "normal" range-but very near being above range. It's at the point where I could take meds for it if I want to, but it's not so bad that I really need to. I told her I'd research it and think about it. Actually, I think I might do natural, herbal remedies to balance out my thyroid hormone level and get my blood tested again in a year or so.

I really feel like this hormone issue was a big contributor to my acne, and I want to make sure it's as balanced as I can get it, because I do not want to deal with acne again. Ever.

In fact, I wish that I'd had a doctor before now that would have spent a little bit of the HMO's money to do bloodwork on me and actually find out what is going on with me hormonally. I really feel like it could have saved me a couple of decades of blindly battling acne. Knowing what I know now-I would have demanded it.

I'm just throwing this out there because I really encourage those of you that can to get bloodtests done and see how your thyroid is doing. I mean like-demand it if your doctor doesn't seem really enthused about testing your blood hormone levels.

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I was diagnosed with hypothyroid after the birth of my son (I was in my late 20s). I was suspicious just prior to getting pregnant since I had mysteriously gained weight for no reason and had extremely high cholesterol despite my relatively "clean diet"-- and I knew my father and several of his relatives had the same thing. One of my uncles died of lupus (an autoimmune disorder) in the 50s. I felt vindicated when my TSH levels were above 8 when I got my post-childbirth physical with my PCP! I still have acne even after taking levothyroxine.

My two older siblings feel that they are hypothyroid as well, but have always tested "borderline" high. I think "borderline high" according to a lab threshold can be "full blown hypothryoid" to the actual patient.

Anyhoo- I've always thought there was a connection. Isn't hypothyroid linked to "autoimmune disorders" and isn't that exactly what we acne sufferers experience? It's like a skin infection that NEVER goes away because our bodies decide that somewhat normal substances/bacteria on our skin are life-threatening invaders?

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I've been reading about supplements I need to take to naturally treat hypothyroidism. So far, they are:

Selenium (this deficiency appears to be the cause of a quite a few with hypothyroidism)


Vitamin D

Vitamin E

Minerals and Trace Minerals

Vitamin A

Calcium Magnesium


Iodine in the form of kelp/seaweed


Progesterone stimulates the thyroid gland and Chromium Pincolinate also greatly supports the thyroid.

Am I forgetting anything?? Any suggestions?

"It takes 20 minutes to turn a live steer into a hamburger. One-third of cattle are blinking, looking around and mooing as their tails are cut off, their hooves removed, their hides pulled off and their bellies ripped open. It is happening all over North America. Veterinarians feel its out of control but the government says there is nothing they can do about it." --The Washington Post's "They Die Piece By Piece" (April 11, 2001)

There are 13 major slaughterhouses in the US. All 13 are "self-policed" for animal abuse. Each worker cuts the throat of about 309 cattle per hour. --Humane Society of America

It is legal in North America for male chicks to be thrown into grinders while alive for dog food companies.

"Poor animals! How jealously they guard their pathetic bodies... that which to us is merely an evening's meal, but to them is life itself." — T. Casey Brennan

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i'm fascinated by this whole topic; i recently visited with an endocrinologist and initial test results revealed that my acne is due to either (1) insulin intolerance or (2) hypothyroidism. i underwent 3 hours of more in depth testing yesterday to confirm which of the two it is. i'll get results nov. 2

i too am quite thin so the idea of hypothyroidism baffles me...but at this point, i'll take whatever diagnosis i can get! i just want treatment! anyone out there actually see acne IMPROVE after being on hypothyroidism meds?

Hi Andi,

I have been having acne troubles since 12 ( I'm 32 now). I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and I have been taking Eltroxin for 6 years. Unfortunately it made no difference to my acne.

One tablet stays in your system for about 9 days, so it's hard to notice changes quickly.

I'm trying the anti-inflammatory diet (and no diary, no gluten, no sugar) and it seems to be clearing my acne.

Wish I had better news... :(


The problem: I'm a 32 y/o female and I have been battling moderate/severe cystic acne since age 12.

Hypothyroidism, Hirsutism, Oily skin

Current program:

Morning and evening

Cetaphil face wash, Aloe Vera

Aspirin & Aloe Vera mask weekly.


Low-GI diet. More anti-inflammatory foods. Limited dairy, gluten, caffeine.

Lots of Fish, Lentils, Sweet potato, Chick peas, Soya milk.

Peppermint tea and milk thistle tea

Click here for my regimen log

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