3

votes

Menstruel irregularities, acne, appetite, mood - hormone testing?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 15, 2012 at 1:14 AM

I've been eating some version of a paleo or semi-paleo diet for about three years. I fall off the wagon sometimes or experiment with additions to or subtractions from my diet, but generally avoid gluten, dairy, added sugars, and any kind of chemical additive. I eat a lot of meat, eggs, fish, veggies, healthy fats, nuts and seeds, a bit of fruit, and sometimes grains like teff, millet, or rice. I try to only eat safe fish, grass-fed meat, and free range chicken.

When I first started I experienced dramatic health improvements (end of chronic fatigue, improvement of digestive symptoms, clearer skin, better athletic performance, end of brain fog and confusion, easier and more regular menses).

About two years ago I moved abroad, and struggled to maintain my dietary ethics because of financial restriction, inability to read/fully understand food labeling, unavailability of certain foods I was accustomed to, etc. I started to experience a resurgence of some problems - acne, erratic appetite, bouts of feeling extremely faint, constipation, bloating, terrible gas. These problems improved a year later when I moved back stateside and got back on track with my diet, but some of them have continued to improve and resurge over and over in a pattern I can't correlate to my diet.

Now I've been having problems with acne for several months, as well as some bouts of minor depression, and a really erratic appetite. Having been on some form of a restrictive diet for years, I'm not a stranger to dealing with issues of satiation/deprivation and so on, but I've found myself unable to get a handle on these cravings. I crave specific macronutrients and continue to feel terribly unsatisfied until I've consumed what I crave to what seems to be excess. I haven't had a dramatic change in my weight, but I seem to have accumulated more fat on my belly than normal.

And finally within the last few months I've started having really unpredictable menstrual cycles. Sometimes coming really early, sometimes having a regular period, stopping, and then having another lighter period again a week later.

To me this signifies some kind of hormonal problem. I'm not really sure where to start, and being generally skeptical about mainstream medical treatment, I'm not ready to dive blindly in to lots of doctors and testing.

Any advice about what kind of testing might be helpful, or any natural methods that might be beneficial?

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on August 18, 2012
at 07:01 PM

Thank you Marcy!

A97b68379a576dfa764a4828304d2efb

(4181)

on August 17, 2012
at 01:46 PM

Yes, topically. I got a 1300mg capsule and use about 1/4 of it directly on my face. I'm holding off on taking it orally until I can find a lower dose (it was making my skin puffy at such a high dose - too much omega 6?). It has been a few days, and my skin where the Rosacea is the worst is smoothing out and the redness is definitely breaking up. I can't really tell what it is doing with my acne yet (the acne is a problem, but less so than the Rosacea).

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on August 16, 2012
at 08:53 PM

Marcy, please clarify that you are applying the EPO to your face directly?

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on August 16, 2012
at 05:15 PM

Wow. That's cool that you have Tpo antibodies (Hashimoto's) but your thyroid levels are normal. What was your Tpo level do you know? I have Hashi's and its been a flipping nightmare. You are eating healthy so its quite possible that your Tpo will not go up and may come down. Still, that is something you want to monitor for sure or take notice of any symptoms of low thyroid. Good luck to you.

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on August 16, 2012
at 05:13 PM

Thanks Marcy. This is really good info. I was really disappointed when a EPO didn't help me at all. Topically totally makes sense.

Bdc6244bdbd664d2168a8e326018ffbe

(431)

on August 16, 2012
at 04:46 AM

Well, I was referring to sex hormones- I thought I had an excess of androgen or something because of the acne, but no, my sex hormones were normal. So were my thyroid levels, however.

A97b68379a576dfa764a4828304d2efb

(4181)

on August 16, 2012
at 02:01 AM

Yeah, it is crazy. I pierced a capsule with a toothpick and squeeze out a little and use the toothpick to plug the hole and keep the capsule in the fridge (like everything, it goes rancid very easily). I can definitely notice a difference with the texture of my face so far. I really hope it helps reduce the Rosacea and acne. If it does, I will print it on a billboard and shout it to the world.

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on August 15, 2012
at 11:19 PM

Marcy its interesting you say topically. I tried a full round (several months) of the recommended dose of EPO for my pms/pmdd and acne and other issues and it didn't do anything. Then again, maybe its because my gut was not healthy at that time (had mild leaky gut). Never thought of applying it topically but it make sense now that you mention it. So basically you just cut open the cap and rub it on? Good to know

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on August 15, 2012
at 11:15 PM

Celine do you mean that your Thyroid hormone levels were also tested as normal even though you have Hashi's, or are you referring to other hormones like sex hormones?

  • E565e11cf32b38ab1f45086c1e0205f7

    asked by

    (613)
  • Views
    1.8K
  • Last Activity
    1433D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

3 Answers

1
A97b68379a576dfa764a4828304d2efb

(4181)

on August 15, 2012
at 03:53 PM

Maybe it is just because I am brand new to this discovery and am very zealous about it, but for regulating your cycle and improving PMS symptoms and acne, try Evening Primrose Oil. Supplement with a low dose (Robb Wolf recommends 15mg a day... hard to find a dose that low, so he says take one 30mg cap every other day). I'm just a few days in to using the oil topically but have been so impressed with the results. Somebody here explained that EPO is a gamma-lineolic acid and people with acne prone skin tend to be deficient.

As to the remainder of your question, I'll defer to the GI experts. Are you supplementing with anything?

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on August 16, 2012
at 08:53 PM

Marcy, please clarify that you are applying the EPO to your face directly?

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on August 15, 2012
at 11:19 PM

Marcy its interesting you say topically. I tried a full round (several months) of the recommended dose of EPO for my pms/pmdd and acne and other issues and it didn't do anything. Then again, maybe its because my gut was not healthy at that time (had mild leaky gut). Never thought of applying it topically but it make sense now that you mention it. So basically you just cut open the cap and rub it on? Good to know

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on August 16, 2012
at 05:13 PM

Thanks Marcy. This is really good info. I was really disappointed when a EPO didn't help me at all. Topically totally makes sense.

A97b68379a576dfa764a4828304d2efb

(4181)

on August 16, 2012
at 02:01 AM

Yeah, it is crazy. I pierced a capsule with a toothpick and squeeze out a little and use the toothpick to plug the hole and keep the capsule in the fridge (like everything, it goes rancid very easily). I can definitely notice a difference with the texture of my face so far. I really hope it helps reduce the Rosacea and acne. If it does, I will print it on a billboard and shout it to the world.

A97b68379a576dfa764a4828304d2efb

(4181)

on August 17, 2012
at 01:46 PM

Yes, topically. I got a 1300mg capsule and use about 1/4 of it directly on my face. I'm holding off on taking it orally until I can find a lower dose (it was making my skin puffy at such a high dose - too much omega 6?). It has been a few days, and my skin where the Rosacea is the worst is smoothing out and the redness is definitely breaking up. I can't really tell what it is doing with my acne yet (the acne is a problem, but less so than the Rosacea).

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on August 18, 2012
at 07:01 PM

Thank you Marcy!

1
Bdc6244bdbd664d2168a8e326018ffbe

(431)

on August 15, 2012
at 11:52 AM

Carly-

I can't give you a complete answer here, because I'm still in the midst of figuring it out. However, a similar version of this happened to me- with the deterioration, acne, irregular period, gained back a bit of weight, along with occasional digestive issues. It got (irregularly) worse and worse, until I was diagnosed with essentially mild IBD. I think a still-leaky gut even after 8 months of Paleo, helped by my Hashimoto's, was triggered by stress into becoming full blown IBS. Shortly before figuring this out, I went to get my hormone levels tested, because of the acne, and was totally normal.

But I notice, as I'm being essentially an invalid and healing this, now that I know what it is, that my skin improves along with my digestion. Oh, also- I forgot to mention that I wasn't eating any starches, which I think does not help.

So, not exactly the same thing, but that's my two cents.

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on August 15, 2012
at 11:15 PM

Celine do you mean that your Thyroid hormone levels were also tested as normal even though you have Hashi's, or are you referring to other hormones like sex hormones?

Bdc6244bdbd664d2168a8e326018ffbe

(431)

on August 16, 2012
at 04:46 AM

Well, I was referring to sex hormones- I thought I had an excess of androgen or something because of the acne, but no, my sex hormones were normal. So were my thyroid levels, however.

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on August 16, 2012
at 05:15 PM

Wow. That's cool that you have Tpo antibodies (Hashimoto's) but your thyroid levels are normal. What was your Tpo level do you know? I have Hashi's and its been a flipping nightmare. You are eating healthy so its quite possible that your Tpo will not go up and may come down. Still, that is something you want to monitor for sure or take notice of any symptoms of low thyroid. Good luck to you.

1
4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

on August 15, 2012
at 01:25 AM

Carly what you describe does sound hormone related.
Of course you may also have some GI issues. I had both.

I have dealt with a lot of hormone issues (low thyroid, dhea, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone). Getting help was a flipping nightmare and even my first so-called expert on hormone balancing was crappy. I finally have a good ND who knows what she is doing and is an expert in Bio-identical hormone replacement. I finally feel good after years and years of suffering.

My recommendation is to find and ND or MD who specialized in bio-identical hormones. This link will help you find a doctor who does this. http://foreverhealth.com

Saliva testing (or urine but almost none of the docs use it besides Johnathan Wright) is considered the best for testing hormone levels.
Labrix Labs does an excellent job.
http://www.labrix.com/cms/SalivaryHormoneTesting

I advise you to not use DiagnosTechs for hormone testing as they are not as reliable (but are less expensive so many practitioners use them. Waste of time and money in my experience).

Good luck to you.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!