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Hey =)

Let me tell you, doctors and endocrinologists were not receptive to me. I don't know if it was because they didn't really care, or because they were clueless or because they didn't want to interrupt my hormones during puberty (wish they had sooner though), but it took awhile.

I had a derm for a few years that said it was due to a Hormonal Imbalance and then when I was 14 I saw an Endocrinologist (Internal Medicine doc). He wasn't from my hospital so they ran all tests (for free), except one because it required another lab. That one test was the one I needed =( I didn't get anywhere until I went in for something else That's when I was 17 and first saw this new doctor...a woman!!! She looked at me and my body acne and my body hair and said "no, this isn't right. you're not supposed to have this." =) She put me on the BC, but that wasn't enough. So she made an appt with an 2nd Endo that was visiting my hospital and that's when he mentioned spiro to me. BC still wasn't working so in Aug. of 1998, i saw another doctor (had turned 18 so got an "Adult" doctor). He put me on Spiro. Started at 50mg and worked up to 200mg over a month I think.

What got me here today was a result of wanting my body acne and hirsutism to be GONE. BC-Spiro helped, but they couldn't break my Breakout Cycle (Fall-Winter acne) and I noticed that I was still growing more body hair (even though it was reducing some). So I went to a derm at my hospital and they gave me RetinA (again) and Minocycline. Well the Minocycline pretty much did the job for me and I was only on it for 3 months. I realized that I didn't want to be on it forever and so I stoppped. Within in less than a month I was broken out worse than ever!!! BC-Spiro were powerless...that's when things started to get depressing...

It was almost 7 or 8 months later, that I was at my Gyno for my checkup and asked her if I could go off of the BC because I'm feeling a bit depressed and more sensitive. She asked why I was taking it and I told her it because of my hormonal imbalance. She said that she "would have to make an appt with an Endocrinologist to make sure I do it properly." =)

I remember I first saw HIM, in April 2001. He was the BEST thing that ever happened to me. He tested me that day, but then took me off of both BC and Spiro because he needed a baseline for my hormones. So...if you want this, you will have to go off of ALL your hormones (no BC). I waited 2 months (takes about 2 - 3 months for meds to make changes in system) and went back. He took 17 tubes of Blood and 2 urine contains (gallon size) to run [B]32 tests[/B]! LOL, everybody at the blood lab knows his work ;-)

After those first tests, he was concered about my Cortisol levels so he had me do another 24 hour urine collection (the gallong jug). Everything turned out normal there, so he said I was probably PCOS or Insulin Resistant. He ran a few tests to confirm that I didn't have Diabetes, but in the end he said the Medication would still be the same (somewhere on here I think that's posted...look up PCOS). It's a good thing I got back on Meds because by mid-july I was starting to breakout ;-) After some tweeking my final combo was Avandia (2mg) and Spiro (150mg). Like clockwork every 2 - 3 months I got my hormones checked along the way I would tell him info I learned from these boards and websites. He would either question the basis of treatment (like B5 & Vitamin D3) or would say "OK, I'll test you for that too" Overall the past 2 years with him, were great and I hope I find an endo that just as knowledgable and caring (I'm no longer get free healthcare since I'm 23). He was really good, he listened to me, worked with me, tested me for things that I suspected (if it seemed slightly plausible), caught the labs mistake (for NCCAH testing) and rested me for that, and gave me copies of my test results, LOL, and even he says I should be a doctor.

My bottom line for ALL that, LOL, was that when I tried to get things done, it didn't work. Usually I got the [U]most[/U] help, when I was asking for help in another direction (mind boggling). Also, if you noticed it took 3 Endocrinolgists (the first may have worked) over 6 years before I knew what was wrong! Honestly [B]it should have been taken care of sooner[/B], so if your regular doctor and Gyno, both of which are women (shocking), don't care enough, find yourself another doctor or go to an endocrinologist. I don't know if you have to go to the very best, but if you can afford to, he/she may be even more beneficial (lol, some info i found for you came from Redomond's). They may be able to offer you a combo that really kicks this hirsutism in the butt ;-) Of course there's always laser (I dont want to be dependent on drugs or supplements for this). So just go see another doctor and hopefully that doctor will give you a referral. My school practioner she handed me the referral but I've yet to go see a new Endocrinologist yet (been 7 months). It feels great to not need them for my acne anymore, but I still need to see what they have to say about the rest, if I can't figure it out.

Now go get that 2nd opinon! ;-)

P.S. Yes, your job is to be humble, yet still more informed about this then they are. If you KNOW what you're talking about, they will take you more seriously (or get I don't know what you should take... I remember doing a search on google and all the result pages mentioned Spiro for acne Take a page like that. Otherwise, you shouldn't have to work that hard with them, please find someone wiser.
I'm going to be very honest with you and say, not that I know of. It is pretty rare for anyone to go into remission of acne unless it was purely due to a temporary hormonal imbalance (Puberty, Pregnancy, Adult Acne).

I seriously doubt my acne has gone away. I know this because I'm only 99% clear, not 100%. That 1% fluctuates depending on what I eat, but I still don't quite know what it is ;-) I've still got some "no nos" in my diet that I'm working on eliminating as I find neccessary. Through this process I've learned to induce acne on myself by simply eating GF cereal w/Organic Milk, peanuts, chocolate candy, etc (on my bad food list). I've tested them several times over (after my skin improved) and they usually show up in the same areas and produce specific types of acne. That's enough proof for me.

I have not eaten anything with wheat in it and have no intentions of ever doing so (reactionary breakouts are a BAD thing). Yet if anyone needs more proof, the fact that this diet eliminated my menstrual cramps (never improved with time) should suffice. If that does not, the only other example I have is that during this past summer when my skin is usually at it's clearest, I started breaking out in cysts all of sudden! I finally narrowed it down to the Cherries that I had been eating for over a month ...or the Whey Protein Isolate shake I had been drinking. I stopped them both at the same time, and when I did...the cysts stopped too. I eat cherries all the time and that's never happened (some foods can mask effects of others), but Whey Protein is something I've never taken before. So this Summer, when cherries are back in season, I will retest this one. I'm avoiding dairy at the moment to see how my skin reacts (when I add some back in) and I'm willing to test out Cherries again. Not just because they are my favorites, but mainly because I want to give you guys the most accurate and reliable of information.

Indeed, over time all those hormones that we are blaming for our problems will decline. However you must remember that we are extra sensitive and/or produce too much hormones. Therefore a natural decline for some of us could essentially mean and do nothing for our skin =( I've come across members that are 30, 40, and 60 years of age and they (male and female) STILL have acne. Most of them at this point have conceded to trying diet and it has worked for them. Some cleared and others preferred to have a bit more freedom and chose supplements (digestive enzymes, fish oils, r-ALA) to compliment this and get improved/clear skin.

You know, the tricky part about all of this, and what most people on here miss, is that [B]the differences among us have to do with the differences in our genes AND environment[/B]. To rephrase that, what will determine what symptoms or problems you have in life are based on your body's [B]Gene-Environment Interactions.[/B] Now our Genes play a big role, but our environment clearly has a large part too, afterall, this is where our food comes from. Since Food provides the Building Blocks (fat, protein, sugar, etc) for the body, if you give those genes the wrong nutrients, mimickers, inflammatory proteins, etc ...they will respond accordingly. Acne is but [I]one [/I] possible symptom of an underlying hormonal or health disorder. Just as with time, some have noticed their acne has traveled or worse...spread, the same goes for this disease. Insulin Resistance, now known as a [B]Metabolic Disorder[/B], can change from acne after so many years into being Overwieght, High Blood Pressure, Diabetes (type II), Obesity, and even Cancer.

(Example) Your friend may not have acne from eating the same foods, but is she overweight? is she Diabetic? Does she have allergies, etc?

I am a product of my parents and depending on what they eat (chocolate candy or citrus) they get a breakout too. In fact, even my brother still has some breakouts. Anyway, my father side has (borderline) Diabetes Type II his side. My Mother has Overweight, Obesity, and Fibroids on hers. She and my uncle (out of 8 kids) had the worst acne and just like me, she even had body acne, was skinny, and had very bad menstrual cramps. In her early 20s her acne cleared (before she got married at 25), but that's when her hormonal problems really began. She actually had trouble carrying all of us to full term. After her 2nd child her fibroids (had in her breast and uterus) started to cause her serious menstrual problems. Severe pain and bleeding, but she held out on getting hysterectomy until after she had a Girl (me). Several years later and 30 pounds heavier, she finally gave up (had she only known about Natural Progesterone Cream) and had the hysterectomy. My Grandmother also had a hysterectomy (also has skin boils), along with most of my mother's sisters. All are overwieght (my mom is the smallest) and unfortunately 2 (1 is her niece) are obese. You know what they eat???? Well I can mainly only speak for my mother, she's a basic "healthy eater" but an actual Sugar Addict (and also has arthritis). I had her and my father take this Insulin Resistance test and Dad and I were in the same catogory (possibly IR) and my mother came up as definately IR!

Say, what are you doing for your acne now? Sometimes I forget, but are you the one that has a Derm and a Doctor in the family? What have they done for your hormonal imbalance? What have you found to be the most effective treatment for you thus far?

As for me, Diet and Spiro were the [B]most[/B] effective treatment combo against my acne, hirsutism, and menstrual cramps. Last night I finally realized more so [I]why[/I] Diet is so effective and, depending on your goal, more effective than any drug they give us. That's because when you alter your diet by simply [U]Low Carbing [/U] or [B]Low Carbing through the elimination of certain foods [/B] (Gluten Free, Evil Lection Free, Paleo Diet, etc) you are [B]reducing[/B] your [B]overall hormone production[/B]. Therefore, the LESS hormones you have, the less IGF-1 you'll have, the less Testosterone there is to be converted into DHT, and the less acne (or other) medication you will need (if any)!!!

A good example would be... lowering your cholesterol levels. You are given medication that lowers this, but you are also advised to not gorge on high cholesterol producing foods, why? Because [U]your eating habits are antagonistic [/U] to what the medication is [I]trying [/I] to do. Therefore, when the doctor suggests for you to alter your diet, it is really in your best interest and will [B]SPEED[/B] up your results if you do so. =) Not to mention, by altering your lifestyle in this healthy way, you can usually reduce or eliminate your medications altogether.

Thus, that explains why I saw a greater improvement in decreasing my hirsutism when I changed my diet. ;-) Before I was merely using something to Block the androgen receptors (spiro), but [U]combining [/U] that with reducing my [B]overall [/B] steriod hormone production (through diet), meant even LESS androgens to block! I've still got some extra body hair, but the acne is practically gone so I know most people probably don't need medication/supplements to eliminate their acne.

I know this because people of all ages have cleared (or vastly improved) their long term acne by altering their diets to something much more nutritionally healthy and hormonally balanced. Heck I had to give up pistachios because I was suspecting they were breaking me out (neck acne). They are related to cashews, which I am avoiding (Evil Lectin thing), so I brought them to work. My co-worker loves pistachios but frowned when I brought them in. I asked him why and he says that he breaks out whenever he eats them. WOW...his skin is flawless, but even he can detect when something causes a problem for him (thinks it's the oils). Of course someone at work has been eating the pistachios, so I may have to pay his skin a bit more attention. ;-) Anyway, I really think that we are all products of an increasing hormonally deteriorating generations. My mother was worse than her mom and I am worse than my mother. I don't want to pass this on to my kids, therefore I need to learn to eat right now. Furthermore, I don't want to deal with becoming a Diabetic etc. I mean, [B]why would anyone WAIT for something to happen before fixing it,[/B] particularly when an increasing number of people and evidence is telling you that your lifestyle will take you down the path of at least, one of several Health Problems???


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