Archive | September 2012

Hirsutism and PCOS-Friendly Foods for Insulin Resistance


Good Morning!

It should come to no surprise that hirsutism is often times related to PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). PCOS is a condition that due to abnormal functions of the ovaries, usually from benign tumors that should not be there, a woman’s hormones are thrown outta wack!

PCOS women suffer from harsh difficulty losing weight, abnormal menstrual cycles, infertility, and hirsutism. These side effects are only a few of the countless unwelcomed side effects to PCOS.

It will probably be of great assistance to change your diet to a PCOS-fighting one if you are hirsute but don’t necessarily have PCOS.

Both PCOS and strictly idiopathic hirsutism (IH), which from my previous posts, means you suffer from a genetic form of hirsutism and not because of a more serious medical issue, are hormonal conditions that weigh heavy on insulin. That is why it is not usual for many PCOS sufferers and hirsutism sufferers to be diabetic or have diabetic folks in their family.

I have at least one diabetic aunt who ironically is a little hirsute and is a fairly large woman. I cannot say without knowing her weight and height right off the back if she is obese or not.

I have reading about diets for hirsutism and came across many good resources, including the PCOS Challenge. I listened to a prerecorded radio convo between two doctors discussing insulin and how it affects PCOS sufferers, including sufferers of hirsutism.

After doing a quick Google search about insulin and hirsutism, I came across a study in the US National Library of Medicine website detailing how women who suffer from idiopathic hirsutism typically have insulin resistance.

In summary insulin resistance occurs when the body is abnormally sensitive to sugars and cannot process those sugars properly. The more sugar you intake while you have insulin resistance, the more your insulin levels overwork, making things grow faster than usual, including weight and yes, facial and body hair.

DIET FOR HIRSUTISM AND PCOS

So after doing a little more research, I found out some good foods to battle IH and PCOS. It’s all about balance. Yes I know we heard balanced diet since the dinosaurs roamed, but it seems to be effective.

According to the PCOS radio recording, avoiding carbs is not a bad thing. It’s actually encouraged to have carbs in your diet but to just balance them.

As the doctor said in the radio broadcast, “All carbs are not created equal.”

So here is a list of foods that I gathered to try and include in my diet:

1. None starchy, dark green vegetables help lower insuling activity and fight acne, rich in Vitamin A

2. deep rooted vegetables like beans

3. Yogut, fruit and milk, rich in antioxidant properties (some sugars are welcomed in a PCOS diet)

4. Lean meats are rich in protein (skinless chicken, fish, etc.)

5. Water, of course!

I found this nice chart on PCOS: PCOS Nutrition Guide that helps you substitute not so good foods for PCOS and hirsutism-friendly foods. Please give it a looksie when developing your own diet.

This other website, PCOS Insulite Labs, made a list of vegetables good for PCOS and hirsutism which are low in glycemic load (GL). GL indicates how much sugar affects blood levels in the body. Of course, the lower GL level, the better:

Alfalfa, Artichoke, Asparagus, Broccoli (I personally like!), Brussels sprouts, Cabbage (Love this too!), Cauliflower, Celery (Like!), Cucumber (LOVVVVEEEE!!!), Green beans, Lettuce, Onions (barf!), Peppers (as long as they are cooked very well!), Radishes, Sauerkraut, Spinach, Squash

I would have added collard greens to this list as well!

So as you can see, you have vast options to eating a hirsutism/PCOS diet as long as you balance yourself. You don’t have to starve to fight this! I have started eating more fruits only for breakfast on my way to work. I love green apples and pineapples and cant eat a whole cucumber no problem! I personally like sparkling juices from Cranberry and IZZE, especially IZZE. Their juices have little to no refined sugar in their drinks and they taste incredible!

Thanks for reading!

What’s Your Hirsutism Score?! And what is Congenital adrenal hyperplasia?!


So, I always heard of the hirsutism chart or the Ferriman Gallwey Evaluation of Hirsutism but I never paid it much attention.

It is a visual to determine your hirsutism score, or how hirsute you are that some doctors may use for hirsute patients.

Here’s a nice one I got from the web:

So after checking this out, I concluded I’m a 21! I have almost no hair on my back (visible hair) or butt or arms. But my pubic area, navel, inner thighs, chest and of course, my face, are all robustly furry!

This chart is used to determine if the hair growth is due to something more serious like PCOS or tumors on other essential glands and organs in the body.

I highly suspected that I had a condition called non-classical CAH (Congenital adrenal hyperplasia). The U.S. National Library of Medicine website details this condition well.

In summary it is a condition that develops when the adrenal glands do not produce the necessary amount of hormones throughout the body but produces an abnormal amount of androgens in men in women. I experienced symptoms of body odor and arm pit hair very early as a child. It is called non-classical because adults may develop this condition that is typically start in children. Classical CAH is the more typical version of CAH.

I even remember getting teased about it from my family…..Assholes….

Excessive body and facial hair and deepening of the voice are some of the symptoms that children experience early on before adulthood. After reading the website, I thought it was interesting to read that an adulthood symptom of CAH is being shorter and smaller in stature as a grow up. It’s very interesting because I am only 5’2 and weigh 110 lbs……and this is after having two kids!!!

The best way to treat CAH is very early on with medications. But after my visit to an endocrinologist this year, it was determined I  do not have CAH or any disorder and that my hirsutism was strictly genetic (which I still question to this day!)

I do think this chart is helpful in determining how serious of a case your hirsutism is and if there is a more important factor playing into your hair development besides just having your parents pass down a bad gene!

I stress to all hirsute women to get checked out. Demand that all your hormone levels are evaluated and if there is an abnormal count, demand more, even an MRI if necessary!

Hirsutism is already a distressing condition in its own, but getting and staying on top of your health trumps everything, always!

Thanks for reading!

My personal Hero: Balpreet Kaur!!!


I am pretty sure many of you have read the cyberbullying case of Balpreet Kaur, an Ohio State University student with some visibly thick facial hair who, without her consent, had her picture taken and plastered on Reddit. If the link does not work for you, here is the pic:

If you have not read the articles about her photo, here is the Yahoo article.

In response to the tacky actions of Reddit user “european_douchebag” and numerous negative postings, Ms. Kaur said the following:

“Hey, guys. This is Balpreet Kaur, the girl from the picture. I actually didn’t know about this until one of my friends told on facebook. If the OP wanted a picture, they could have just asked and I could have smiled 🙂 However, I’m not embarrased or even humiliated by the attention [negative and positve] that this picture is getting because, it’s who I am. Yes, I’m a baptized Sikh woman with facial hair. Yes, I realize that my gender is often confused and I look different than most women. However, baptized Sikhs believe in the sacredness of this body – it is a gift that has been given to us by the Divine Being [which is genderless, actually] and, must keep it intact as a submission to the divine will. Just as a child doesn’t reject the gift of his/her parents, Sikhs do not reject the body that has been given to us. By crying ‘mine, mine’ and changing this body-tool, we are essentially living in ego and creating a seperateness between ourselves and the divinity within us. By transcending societal views of beauty, I believe that I can focus more on my actions. My attitude and thoughts and actions have more value in them than my body because I recognize that this body is just going to become ash in the end, so why fuss about it? When I die, no one is going to remember what I looked like, heck, my kids will forget my voice, and slowly, all physical memory will fade away. However, my impact and legacy will remain: and, by not focusing on the physical beauty, I have time to cultivate those inner virtues and hopefully, focus my life on creating change and progress for this world in any way I can. So, to me, my face isn’t important but the smile and the happiness that lie behind the face are. 🙂 So, if anyone sees me at OSU, please come up and say hello. I appreciate all of the comments here, both positive and less positive because I’ve gotten a better understanding of myself and others from this. Also, the yoga pants are quite comfortable and the Better Together tshirt is actually from Interfaith Youth Core, an organization that focuses on storytelling and engagement between different faiths. 🙂 I hope this explains everything a bit more, and I apologize for causing such confusion and uttering anything that hurt anyone.”

….And that was just a portion of her response to the nasty attacks!

Never, and I mean NEVER, in my life as a hirsute woman as well, have I responded to people’s ignorant and hurtful comments about a hormonal condition I simply thought I could not control with such eloquence and grace.

This woman said nothing harsh or counter-insulting about the people who attempted to put her down. Me? I would have wished holy hell to them…

I believe she is more courageous than me and frankly, she is a pretty girl! I can see her loveliness through the facial hair. And has a woman who has hair all over my damn body, hers looks rather minimum!

But the most attractive thing this woman said about herself and her facial features was how deeply rooted she was in her Skih faith. As she explains it, the Sikh faith strongly encourages a Sikh follower to channel their lives on their character and values, not manipulating their bodies, even clipping a few facial hairs, for ego or vanity or acceptance. According to the Yahoo article I posted, ego, anger, greed, attachment, and lust are the 5 evils of the Sikh faith.

In reading this woman’s courageous response to the what most women would deem as humiliation, I see her as a personal hero! I only wish I were so brave to live my life without giving not even the smallest once of a damn about my hirsutism. While I love my blog and sharing my journey and struggles with other hirsute women, it makes me even more encouraged to help women who may not have the faithful commitment to her choice of religion like Ms. Kaur to management their hirsutism and simply need a way to tackle this condition.

I don’t believe hirsutism or any health problem should consume everything about your life. But sometimes, as Ms, Kaur pointed out, the pressure, even internal pressure, to look “normal” is so fiercely stamped in TV and magazines and catalogs, that it’s deemed normal for women to spend millions on cosmetics to look acceptable. I say acceptable because I have seen some before and after photos of cosmetic enhancements and many were not improvements!

So yes I am going to continue my journey to manage my hirsutism, a condition that affects nearly 10% of all women. But reading Balpreet Kaur’s story helps me realize how beautiful we are as women, flaws and all, and how dearly it pays to be bigger than your haters!

You go Balpreet! I pray you read this and contact me!!! I would love to be pen pals!! :):):):)

Pics of my reducing hirsutism progress so far!


Ok! Here are some pics of my progress thus far trying to manage my hirsutism!

Keep in mind this is from me epilating with a Panasonic epilator, (not tweezing), using eflornithine hydrochloride cream 2x a day (the brand name is Vaniqa), birth control Beyaz, Spironolactone (when I could get it; doctor has been a little stubborn lately!) Inositol, Vitex (or chasteberry), fenugreek, washing my face daily with an liquid soap made of african black soap and using a mild glycolic cream, two salicylic chemical peels, two homemade turmeric and cucumber facial peels.

I did very little waxing or tweezing on my face but I did post one before and after results of my sugar wax of my bikini line.

I must say I think my face is clearing up! I had very dark marks under my neck and side burns but it’s really trying to clear up.

The pics are in chronological order from mid August 2012 to today, September 25, 2012.

Image
My neck in early to mid August
Image
My neck and sideburn mid August
Image
my neck today! Sept. 25th, 2012. It’s is a wee bit blurry, but it is lighter that’s for sure!
Image
My side burns today, Sept. 25, 2012
Image
My other sideburn today, Sept. 25, 2012

So as you can see, I am definitely making some noteworthy progress clearing my skin up! I am not totally satisfied with my neck just yet but it’s an improvement for sure! I mostly credit the lack of a tweezer to my face, cleaning and the peels, though I am sure all my routine and medications played a part in slowing the growth as well as clearing my skin!

Improving, but still a work in progress! Thanks for reading!

Turmeric Peel for Hirsutism and Hyperpigmentation…maybe!


So yesterday I was Googling recipes for natural, DIY chemical peels.

I liked the results I was getting from the salicylic peel I did for my hyperpigmentation from years of shaving and tweezing, but frankly I like being a ginny pig and trying new things on my skin….as long as it’s safe!

So I came across a simple recipe for a cucumber peel mixed with gelatin. So I added my own little remix to the list:

  1. cucumber juice (I just bended a whole small cucumber with a little water)
  2. tiny bit of pomegranate juice
  3. few drops of lemon and lime juice
  4. few drops of tea tree oil
  5. VERY few drops of willow bark extract
  6. few drops of avocado and jojoba oil
  7. few drops of aloe vera gel
  8. 2 packs of gelatin diluted in hot water

So when I blending the cucumber and added everything to the cucumber blend then added that to the gelatin mix, I let it sit out and cool down to harden into gel….it never did.

I figured it was because I had too much water in my solution. But then I remembered that I had a turmeric powder mix in my house too!

Turmeric is a powder that has great uses for skincare and general healthcare. It is believed to be very good for evening out the skin tone with continual use!

I have even read in several places that is helps with facial hair growth as well, but I didn’t find any reviews on it doing such a thing for anyone else.

So I said “What the hell? Give it a try!” I mixed my cucumber/gelatin solution with a lot of turmeric powder until it became like a paste as such below:

I put the paste on my face and let it dry up completely for about 20-30 minutes. That may be too long but I spend extra time typing this blog when the turmeric was on my face:

So I rinsed it off with  warm wash cloth and it started flaking off. The peel, not my skin!!!

Afterwards, my skin looked fresh and soft, but a little dry! I think it was because I let the peel stay on for too long. I then put some Burt’s Bees Blemish stick on my darker spots.

I must say the reviews I have been reading about Turmeric are almost all positive, but of course I have no came across solid medical research. I am definitely going to keep this recipe on  hand and use this peel more often. I am very interested in seeing how it helps with my hirsutism on my face.

I am pleased with how it made my face feel! I would definitely add more jojoba, avocado or aloe vera gel to make it a little more moisturizing. In all fairness, I usually put light facial lotion on my face as habit any right after washing.

Chemical Peel for Hirsutism Scars (with photo!)


So this morning I woke up morning to a face full of this!

 

A few days after the salicylic acid, my face started to “peel.” My first felt smooth but tight. You know how when you smile or move your mouth from side to side and your face feels like it’s saying “snap, crackle, pop!?”

That’s how my face felt the days immediately following me initially applying the chemical peel.

So this is what a liquid salicylic acid peel looks like. It’s more so of my skin shedding than peeling, like the directions said it would.

I have to wait several days to a week to allow skin to completely peel which I will do.

To remove the dry skin, I used a homemade liquid black soap solution with organic glycerin to ease up on the dryness of african black soap to wash my face.

Much of the peel is gone but my face still feels dry even after applying a light moisturizer.

So if you are thinking about a peel, it may look something like what I posted above. Alot of shedding of skin as I suspected. It doesn’t hurt but be sure not to scrub your face too hard or you might damage your skin some.

I can tell my skin is trying to even itself out already, but until I finish shedding I wont know for sure.

Thanks for reading.

Salicylic Acid peel for Hirsutism scars; Working for me!


So I have had blemishes and such for years after tweezing and shaving and yadda yadda!

I got the idea to try a chemical peel to even out my skin tone after all the blemishes after chatting with some folks on my Facebook support page Girl Talk for Female Hormonal Issues!

I ordered a 30% Salicylic acid peel from Amazon.com I used it immediately after receiving it in the mail.

This wasn’t a “peel” per say but almost a method to more so shed the damaged skin. It is a liquid that you thinly put on your problem areas. The actual peel solution is the more professional type. Though makeup stores like ULTA sell chemical peel kits. You can look at some of them here though you may find more variety inside the store itself.

I started by cleaning my face thoroughly then following it up with a quick wipe the hydrogen peroxide. The directions said to use alcohol but hydrogen peroxide was the best thing I had in my house! I used it on my neck and sideburns mainly. It was quite bearable I must say. I tried a dab on my whole face and yes, it was quite intense! I sat directly under my ceiling fan! It cut down on the stinging sensation.

The directions said to leave it on no longer than 5 minutes. I left mine on for more than 10 minutes since I could handle the mild stinging.

I must say my skin immediately felt much more smooth! Some spots were kinda dry and patchy though. The directions said not to manipulate the skin too much, especially scratching and picking at your skin. My neck looked a little lighter, I must admit though it was not a drastic change. You definitely have to use it for a period of time which is what I am going to do. I think I am going to try the Philosophy Line of peels next. They seem promising but kinda pricy!!

I would post a photo but the naked eye cannot see any real difference. But once I see some dramatic changes, I promise to post before and afters!
Thanks for reading!