3

votes

DIM, Vitex or Saw Palmetto - when to start?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created June 04, 2012 at 3:44 AM

Ok, my BFF confided in me she was about to go get electrolysis for some dark hairs under her chin. She just turned 36 but still hasn't gone Paleo, altho' she's started looking at MDA.

Electrolysis is very expensive! Because 36 is a reality, I suggested she check out some herbs to reduce the problem before she starts. We did some research together on Google. It seems like most sources say hairs are caused by too much androgen/testosterone.

It seems like DIM will convert bad estrogen to better estrogen; Vitex will boost your progesterone; and Saw Palmetto will balance testosterone in women. So it seems like saw palmetto would be what she wants?

Considering she can't get in for a hormone test for about 6 weeks (health insurance!), should she start saw palmetto now to begin to lighten these hairs?

I know lots of women here have experience with all these, so some pointers and URLs would be awesome. Ty.

5c94900002a867dfa2a8fcd91a576c5e

(456)

on June 04, 2012
at 11:05 PM

I have PCOS which is why I have the excess hair and started waxing so young. Waxing obviously doesn't solve the hormone problem, but it does remove the hair if your friend is looking for a temporary solution until she figures out the hormone stuff. Electrolysis doesn't help the hormones, either. It sounded like she didn't want to start that until the hormone stuff is figured out.

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6244)

on June 04, 2012
at 03:47 PM

waxing is fine if there isn't a hormonal problem. If there is a hormonal problem your body is going to keep producing excess hair so I don't see how waxing is going to help.

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4 Answers

5
E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2063)

on June 04, 2012
at 04:46 PM

I took saw palmetto for a while because I suspected my testosterone was too high and it was causing some PCOS-like symptoms. I took it for about a month, and it definitely seemed to make things worse. I discontinued saw palmetto months ago but was afraid of trying anything else

Just last week I got a saliva hormone panel done. My testosterone was actually fine, on the low end of normal. What was abnormal was my progesterone level -- much too low. Estrogen was not too high but the progesterone/estrogen ratio was way off-base.

I just say this to warn that there could be downsides to self-diagnosis. I'm sure your friend knows that already, but if the problem isn't so bad right now, maybe she could just wait to get a hormone panel done before she starts messing around with supplements?

I mean, she's hardly going to do any serious damage with a few weeks of saw palmetto, so I don't think it's a huge deal, but if it were me, after my previous experience, I would wait for the lab results.

3
8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

on June 04, 2012
at 03:45 PM

FYI- electrolysis is cheaper then shaving, threading, waxing, Nair cream etc. and other methods in the long-term. Electrolysis is permanent and properly done (using ice or lidocaine cream to numb) is virtually painless and it doesn't have any side effects unlike the other methods - redness, ingrown hairs, pain, etc.

Excess hair (hirsutism) is typically hormonally mediated often a symptom of PCOS - polycystic ovarian syndrome. PCOS is treated much like Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome - low-carb. I would recommend a low-carb Paleo approach. If you Google ketogenic polycystic and similar keywords you will see how low carb balances out the female hormones. My understanding is most people don't do ketagenic forever but eventually once they stabilize they go to 50-100 grams of carbs a day. High insulin is connected with hirsutism.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hirsutism

"that may increase a woman's normally low level of male hormones:

Polycystic ovary syndrome, abbreviated PCOS, (the most common)

Congenital adrenal hyperplasia, in turn mostly caused by 21-?? hydroxylase deficiency

Cushing's disease

Tumors in the ovaries or adrenal gland (cancer)

Certain medications

Insulin resistance

Stromal Hyperthecosis - in postmenopausal women

Obesity: As there is peripheral conversion of androgens to estrogen in these patients, this is the same mechanism as polycystic ovary syndrome, PCOS.

Use of drugs like Tetrahydrogestrinone

Adverse effect of Phenytoin

2
5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on June 04, 2012
at 09:39 PM

Never .

2
5c94900002a867dfa2a8fcd91a576c5e

(456)

on June 04, 2012
at 04:46 AM

If she's looking to bide some time until she can get her hormone test, has she tried waxing? I've been waxing since high school. At that time I had to do it about twice a month. Over time with regular waxing the need to do it becomes less frequent. Now at 32 I go about once every 3 months. It's not painful at all (it was at first, though) and now I find it quite relaxing. There are some places that use various kinds of all natural wax.

I can't address the herbs because I've never tried any, but I'm curious to see what others say about that.

5c94900002a867dfa2a8fcd91a576c5e

(456)

on June 04, 2012
at 11:05 PM

I have PCOS which is why I have the excess hair and started waxing so young. Waxing obviously doesn't solve the hormone problem, but it does remove the hair if your friend is looking for a temporary solution until she figures out the hormone stuff. Electrolysis doesn't help the hormones, either. It sounded like she didn't want to start that until the hormone stuff is figured out.

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6244)

on June 04, 2012
at 03:47 PM

waxing is fine if there isn't a hormonal problem. If there is a hormonal problem your body is going to keep producing excess hair so I don't see how waxing is going to help.

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