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Janet-

I had replied to you on the other forum re: endocrinology & acne- i am making an appt with an endocrinolgist tomorrow! I have a weird background- never had acne growing up - just had 1 pimple after waxing my lip for the first time. Turns out after I turned 20, I was breaking out every day. I have had some excess hair most of my life, but so do my parents - so no big deal - till just recently - I've had hair just thicken & grow faster- I am now 30 and still have acne- it's really an emotional drain- not sure if that contributes to my mood swings - Chicken or egg?- What was hormonally wrong? Any particular education that the endocrinologist had or do all endocrinolists treat similarly? Any info you have would help me and others so tremendously- it was a little funny that I was responding to the other forum with only the original posting and when I hit submit, your response was there also. Not to say it's an omen, but thank you.
Beckers,

You have every reason to be concerned. I had doctors treat me like that too. If you do have hirsutism, you need to have blood tests ran to determine what gland is not working properly. It can either be from your pitutitary or adrenal glands. I cannot remember which one was the route of my problem. The tests were expensive. I think around $900. But I went to an endocrinologist. Until I went to the endocrinologist, I got the same run around as you did, so it was well worth the money I spent to get my life back on track.

Regime, you had asked earlier if it can come back. Yes, it can. I was on my meds for about a year and a half and then was fine. Maybe two years after being off I had to get back on them for a short time. That was 10 years ago and have been fine ever since.

**The only reason I am on this board is to help other ladies who have been in my situation.** What a relief it was to get help for my illness and be able to feel good both inside and out. I am hoping that by sharing my story that a few ladies will not have to go through what I went through for about 15 years.
I have heard that Yasmin has a small amount of spiro in it, which a lot of dermatologists use to treat acne. Yep, they probably don't even run blood tests on you, they just put you on Yasmin or Spiro.

My endocrinologist said that blood tests are necessary to determine whether your what glad is not working properly. (I think its between the adrenal glad and pituatary gland.)
[QUOTE=SaabGirl]Just wanted to post my own personal experiences with Hirsutism--I'm not sure if I have it, but I do have lots of hair on my arms, fingers, toes, and a little around my naval. (It's all very blonde, so it's not so bad, except my face--I remove that hair around once per week). I have had acne for at least ten years (I'm a 24 year old female), and my derm. had perscribed LOTS of antibiotics and creams over the years. After reading about spiro several years ago, I decided to request it. My derm gave it to me (100mgs per day) but I am unable to take that much because it REALLY dries out my contacts, and I can't see very well. After two years, the hair growth on my face lessened and gotten thinner. I haven't noticed a change in growth anywhere else. I also still have to take an antibiotic everyday so I don't get acne. I do have an irregular menstrual cycle, but I don't have a pear shape, and I am quite thin. In my case, I've never been diagnosed, but I believe the signs are pointing to hirsutism. So for any of you out there, you might want to ask your derm for it. Mine never suggested it even though I told him I had too much hair growing everywhere.[/QUOTE]

Some call it hirsutism, but when you've got irregular menstrual cycles I'd call it something along the lines of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). BC wasn't effective enough, Spiro wasn't either right? For you own sake, you can not stay on antibiotics because in no way are they helping you deal with your other issues, not to mention they are probably making your acne and perhaps one day your immune & digestive systems worse.

Look up Insulin Resistance, PCOS, Syndrome O, etc. I consider myself to have the HAIR-AN variant (Hyperandrogenisim, Insulin Resistant, Acanothosis Nigricans) of PCOS or [B]Type A Insulin Resistance [/B] in which case the signs are "atypical" where usually the women are thin, hyperandrogenic, hirsute, acneic and also have androgenic alopecia. I have most of those signs, but not the "typical or classical" signs of Insulin Resistance, PCOS, or Type II Diabetes because I am NOT a diabetic (but type II runs in my family) nor do I experience any signs of menstrual irregularity, high cholesterol, etc.

Nonetheless, Type A IR can happen to younger women, such as ourselves (I'm nearing 25 but have had acne since I was 10). Say, did you start showing signs of puberty around the age of 8? This is known as precocious puberty and men and women that begin at such an early age are usually more at risk for developing metabolic disorders such as these. Eitherway, a dermatolgist is not the person to see about a pending hormonal imbalance. You should see an [B]Endocrinologist[/B], especially if you hope to have children one day because if you do have PCOS, it may prevent you from having children until you treat the cause of your problem. Some women wait until they find they can' have children and then visit an infertility doctor, but this is really more of a metabolic problem that an Endocrinologist (or a Reproductive Endocrinologist) can help you with. Of course there are other medications out there if you do have PCOS or IR, but you may also find success in exercising and changing your diet appropriately.

Best wishes!
[QUOTE=scouselad1974]Do you guys think that acne and skin problems are a disease all on their own ? or do you think they happen as a side effect of another more serious problem[/QUOTE]

Acne and other skin problems, especially if claimed to be due to some sort of microorganism (debatable) are clearly a SIGN of a larger problem. So in addition to what's been discussed in this thread, people with thyroid disorders and adrenal disorders also have their own signs that can manifest in several skin disorders, including acne. People with Diabetes also have skin problems, and lets not forget people with Allergies and Hypersensitivities may also have skin problems that manifest itself when in external or internal contact with the allergen/sensitizer.

So yes, I would say that 99.9% of skin problems are a MAJOR sign that there is "something" going on externally (could be wrong cleanser or helmet friction) or Internally (hormonal imbalance, nutrient defficiencies, hypersensitivities, toxins, pathogenic microbes, etc) that are at the "root" of the problem.

Therefore, when it comes to acne, it's connected to quite a few health, hormonal, and hypersenstivies and so for some people, more than one type of treatment (non-comedogenic/irritating skin care, diet, exercise, supplements, medication, detox, etc) may be neccessary in order to eliminate [U]all[/U] types of acne or other associated skin problems. Of course, one problem may actually be the root cause of other health problems and as such, if you can find your MAIN problem and treat it effectively (not satisfactorily), only one solution may be neccessary.

Ever been to an Endocrinologist?
[QUOTE=sandaws]I've been reading this thread and believe this is what I have also. I have been fighting acne for about four years and it has gotten worse over time, especially the last few months. Right now it's the worst it has ever been. I'm 22 and the acne really did not start getting bad until after graduating from highschool. The extra hair growth has been getting worse for about the same length of time, especially on my lower cheeks and chin. I know my acne is hormonal now because I break out on my cheeks, chin and jawline and it's just different than it was a few years ago. I've been on everything - tetracycline, minocycline, doxycycline, Bactrim, Differin, Azelex, Tazorac, Retin-A Micro, BenzaClin, Accutane, IPL (light) treatments and herbal supplements. Right now I've been using Dove soap and BenzaClin in the morning, Retin-A Micro and Capsiderm at night and started doing some IPL treatments again twice a month. I also went back to the derm two weeks ago and asked for spironolactone (after reading several posts on this board) and he gave it to me and said it might help with both the acne and the extra hair growth. I take 50 mg per day. I haven't seen any results from anything at this point. Today my face is awful - I haven't been going out much and always want to hide away at home. I used to be a real social and happy person, but now I have no desire to do anything or see anyone. I keep hoping that I'll wake up one morning and it will all be a bad dream, stupid huh? I was wondering for any of you that took spironolactone how long it took before you saw results and what your side effects were. My derm and pharmacist both said I would probably be dizzy or lightheaded and urinate frequently and that scares me a little. I really don't want to have to go to a higher dose because of all the side effects. Sorry this is so long. I'm just so frustrated and want this to stop taking over my life. Thanks for reading.[/QUOTE]

I understand. Spironolactone's effects are DOSE dependent so the more you take (at the lowest effective dose for you) the better the results. In studies 50mg is used, but most women (and men) on this board take 100mg - 200mg/day. For some 25mg is enough to clear them, for others it's 200mg, for moi...while it helped, it wasn't 200mg =( I will say that it is good for dealing with hirsutism issues, however my guess is that if you are suffering from both acne and hirsutism and it is getting worse over time, then it's time you saw an Endocrinologist. These two are signs of a larger problem. It could be hormonal and/or metabolic and so going to get labwork done should help your doctor dx you and treat it accordingly, whether you choose prescription drugs or natural methods. Of course, you also want to look into doing candida/fungi cleanses as you've been on quite a few antibiotics and if you didn't take probiotics (not commerical yogurt) than this situation may also be affecting the amount of acne you have.

Best wishes
[QUOTE=WHOSTHATLADY]I am soooo happy that this post was bumped! I think this is exactly my problem (POS-maybe). I have made a list of things to ask the gyno about! I am praying that I don't have a bad experience and finally be able to get to the bottom of this. I have tried sooo much stuff for my acne. Until reading on this board did I decide it could be hormonal! I asked the lady who does my facials (I have been going to her for over a year) last Saturday if she thinks it could be hormonal. She was like "OH YEAH! I am quite sure that's what it is!" I was sooo heated! Why haven't she been mentioned this to me, rather than selling me $100s of products! :mad:
So, I have an appointment scheduled for next Tuesday. However, before reading this thread, I didn't know that an Endocrinologist rather than a Gynecologist is who I should be seeing. Is there really much difference in the two? Also, I don't have any insurance...are the tests really expensive? One last thing-exactly what tests should I ask for? Thanks![/QUOTE]


An Endocrinologist is trained to recognize metabolic disorders and as such this is the type of doctor you want to visit. A regular doctor, gyno, or derm may also notice that you have a hormonal disorder, but they may or may not be knowlegable enough (not all endocrinologists are) to run the appropriate lab tests in order to rule out that you have a disorder. The goal is to rule it out, but of course if you do have a problem you WANT to know what it is! ;-) Knowing makes a HUGE difference in the type of treatments, supplements, diets etc that you would follow.

I think if you read my post above as well as Hmahappy's that will give you a good idea of the tests you want run. Now I believe most endocrinologists require a referral, so once you get that (from any doctor) you would need to have $300 - $400 for the initial vist. This visit will cover some labwork such as your insulin, cholesterol, liver and hopefully thyroid and androgen hormones. I don't know exactly, but you could ask what the tests will cover. I will say that you most of the basci ones (liver, cholesterol, completel blood count) are very afforable, but the more expensive test are the ones involving your hormones (progesterone, LH, FSH, Testerones, Estrogens, Cortisol, etc) and possible the ACTH Suppression test and the GTT (glucose tolerance test).

Now if you are currently on medication, antibiotics or birthcontrol or anything specifically to treat your acne you will need to go off it (talk to your doctor but it's also a cost issue unless you want to run these tests twice). I say this because unless your hormones are severely imbalanced to where it will show up on the lab tests as your BASELINE, you may be incorrectly dx. Antibiotics have slight antiandrogen abilities whereas others can actually increase your androgens and of course birthcontrol is antiandrogenic. Generally, the rule is to be off of these drugs for about 3 months. That way when you get tested you will have a more accurate picture of your true hormonal/metabolic baseline from which your doctor can begin to rule out certain conditions.

Also take note of any signs/symptoms that you have. Vision, neurological, digestive problems. Menstrual problems. Does anyone in your family have an health/hormonal problems (thryodi, cholesterol, obesity, diabetes)? Have a list for your doctor will also help guide him/her in knowing what types of tests to run on you as well.

Hope that helps :angel:





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