Tag Archive | spironolactone

Pics of Electrolysis Before and After


So I had my first electrolysis appointment in years on Tuesday. I must say my electrologist is very straight forward with me. She explained that I will have to maintain treatments to get optimal results for permanency. As nice and friendly as she was, she was very stern and this is only because (or I assume) she wants you to get the best bang for your buck and I don’t blame her one bit!

I also told her I am no spironolactone and she was very pleased with that.

I told her I wanted to go to someone who has some type of national accreditation and she explained it’s good to look for but not always necessary to find a good electrologist. Some states simply do not require an electrologist to be licensed. But at the same time, you don’t want to go to someone who does not know what the hell they are doing and you end up looking worse than when you stepped in the office!!

Basically, she inserted a small needle into each hair follicle. It actually did not take as long as I thought. She did most of my whiskers, chin and sideburns in less than 40 mins (36 minutes to be exact.) The needles insertion doesn’t hurt. I mean, you can feel the slightest pressure of it going in but you will feel the current of heat. I say heat because she used thermolysis on me which is a mode of electrolysis that uses heat as opposed to electricity.

The heat was tolerable, but I will not say it was completely painless. Now there were some hairs I did not feel being zapped at all, but most of them, yes, I felt some sensation. I did not cry nor did I ask for her to crank the energy down, though I’m sure I could if the intensity was too much for me.

You can also request numbing cream as some areas are quite sensitive like the bikini line or the upper lip hairs.

In my opinion, it’s worth it. I did have some swelling and some tiny scars, but I know they will clear up. It’s quite normal to see some small scabs on the individual treated hairs so do not fret too much if you get them after getting electrolysis. Now if you see bruising and huge scars, there’s a problem.

If you have the money to maintain treatments, I would go for laser hair removal, but understand you will likely be getting treatments done forever. If your goal is to be hair free forever, give electrolysis a try.

Now here are some before and after pics of the lower part of my face, right on the corner of my mouth, where I am the most hairiest.

Corner of my mouth before

Corner of my mouth before

Same side of my face after electrolysis

Thanks for reading!

Cause of Idiopathic Hirsutism and Possible Natural Treatments


Ok so you know that idiopathic hirsutism is abnormal hair growth that’s strictly genetic.

Meaning that your blood levels are fine, your menstrual periods are fine, you are not diagnosed with any hirsutism-inducing condition at all.

That’s my issue!

I have written about this before but not in this capacity.

For a great explanation of idiopathic hirsutism and to see whether or not you have it, click here!

Women with idiopathic hirsutism get their hair because in their blood, they have a sensitivity for androgens. Specifically, the 5-alpha reductase, an enzyme,  contributes to the metabolism of sex hormones. It is high in women with idiopathic hirsutism, thus, because of the increased number of sex (androgens), their skin is delicate to male characteristics, like hair.

Sometimes, women with IH also exhibit voice-deepening, smaller breasts, and enlarged clitoris, amongst other abnormalities.

But the mystery behind it is that we don’t yet know how or why 5-alpha reductase acts the way it does, unfortunately.

Sometimes, I wish I could submit myself for research!!!

For now, the best treatments are anti-androgen drugs (spironolactone, Ketoconazole, finasteride, flutamide, cyproterone acetate, amongst others) and birth control, particularly ones with estrogen in them.

The use of Vaniqa may also help in managing the hair growth on the face but as far as the hair growth on the body, that will be determined by how well the body reacts to the anti-androgens.

The idea of laser hair removal or electrolysis may give more desired results quicker. Waiting for the drugs to work alone may take several months to a year.

Some of us more desperate IH girls can consider hormonal therapy but please know what you are getting into and only undergo such treatment under the direction of a reputable doctor.

Now, after a little research, I have found some natural foods that could help lower the 5 alpha reductase activity in blood and skin of IH patients, but I was not able to find a lot of medical documentation on humans that these foods really work. And it would likely take a while for these foods to take effect in the body to see any real improvements in IH.

FOODS THAT MIGHT LOWER YOUR 5 ALPHA REDUCTASE ACTIVITY

  1. Green or Spearmint Tea
  2. Saw Palmetto
  3. Krill Oil
  4. Coconut Oil
  5. Fatty foods
  6. oily seafood
  7. lean meats
  8. the closer to Paleo, the better

So the more you exclude sugars and processed stuff, the likelihood your 5-alpha reductase will come down, much like in a Paleo diet.

The good thing is that us IH girls do not have worry about underlining issues like PCOS, adrenal problems or thyroid issues. I never really had to deal with painful periods at all, ever. And then I had kids and that wrecked my whole body!

Either way, there is something telling me, my very being, that there is a reason, a cause for our 5 alpha reductase to act the way it does. Maybe it is strictly genetics. I have yet to meet a hairier woman than me in my family. Maybe she was a great-aunt in the 1800s or something.

Bottom line, whatever treatment you consider will take time and dedication. If you try one of the anti-androgens listed, you will need to give it time to work. If you want to establish a Paleo diet for yourself, that will take time and dedication as well.

And also talk to your doctor first. I have noticed a lot of girls who chat with me say their OBGYN blow off their hirsutism without the offering of an endocrinologist to which I say: To Hell With your Doctor! Get a New One!

No one should have to live like this with NO way out. You have many!

Good Luck!

Spearmint Tea, Genistein, Insitol, Birth Control…Any of them help with Hirsutism?!


So I am continuing my quest to improve my hirsutism management  and I came across genistein.

In summary, genistein is a phytoestrogen deriving from soy. Besides being an antioxidant, it is also known to have receptors that react positively to estrogen.

While I have not found any medical reports of genistein being effective for hirsutism or any hormonal condition, it appears to be an herbal supplement.

And if you were to take genistein, it may take a very, very long time to see a difference in your hormonal issues. And it may not reduce your hirsutism but may gradually enlarge your boobs and widen your hips! I say this for women like me who are genetically hirsute who have normal menses and hormonal levels so the estrogen might work too well! Or it may not work at all!

I take inositol and vitex as herbal supplements quite often. Now the U.S. National Institute of Health did find positive results in a study of women who took myo-inositol for 6 months. I am not sure if these women were IH (idiopathic hirsute) or just hirsute though. Either way, I have been taking it for a few months  now and I want to believe it’s working along with the mechanical methods I have been using.

I stopped taking them everyday after my sleeping patterns got erratic along with Spironolactone. So now, I am strictly on birth control and inositol, though I may restart my spironolactone regimen again soon or seek another anti-androgen regimen.

By the way, I have no been having any issues with BeYaz at all. Many types of Yazmine birth controls have been heavily referenced in the U.S. on commercials for medical malpractice for horrible (sometimes deadly) side effects, particularly blood clots….but those side effects can honestly happen with ANY birth control! I believe in the U.K., the closest thing to Yaz would be Dianette. I have been on birth control, or some form of it, since I was 19 and reading the little pamphlets, you realize any birth control medication comes with risks. Not that I am defending health risks at all, but it is the reality of medications like birth control.

Now, I did find some information about spearmint and its effects on hirsutism. It appears to be a well know and pretty effective manager of hirsutism.

According to the U.S. National Institute of Health, spearmint tea does help reduce hirsutism particularly in the follicular phase of your period. The follicular phase of the menstrual cycle, from how I understand it, is the day your period starts or the day you see blood tissue. The subjects drank spearmint tea for 5 days, 2x a day.

While I am not a huge fan of tea, I am interested in looking for spearmint capsules in pill form. I simply don’t like the taste of spearmint! But I guess I could consider adding something to it or mixing the tea with another tea.

At least you breath will be minty!

I really think I’m going to give spearmint a try. I really like the fact that it’s an herbal supplement too. I am not a huge fan of a million prescriptions!

Thanks for reading!

 

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.

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

Update to my Medications


So today I chatted with my practitioner at my GYN office.

Well I am going to finish up my Lo Loestrin Fe, and go with Beyaz.

Beyaz contains drospirenone (3mg), ethinyl estradiol (.02mg), and levomelfolate (.451mg).

She stated that, with spironolactone, that Beyaz will be helpful in controlling my hirsutism.

The worse case scenario would be drops in potassium and blood clots, likely in my legs.

As I assumed, she is going to be monitoring me to make sure neither of these issues, or any other, present themselves.

To reduce blood clots, she advised me to work out or try to be active as much as possible.

I look forward to using it! I must admit I am excited! I was concerned the Lo loestrin Fe was not strong enough and the Beyaz is slightly stronger.

Also, I told her I am taking a number of herbal medications which sh advised me to stop only because, unlike Spironolactone and Beyaz, herbs are not FDA approved though they are tested continuously.

With that being said, she advised me not be on Wild Yam. Apparently, it releases estrogen-LIKE supplements in the body but not true estrogen, making it not as effective as birth control or other approved estrogen medications.

I also epilated some neck hairs that were annoying me and the wax job is still holding up but now I am getting annoying ingrowns!

I pray this regimen is the answer to my body hair! The dark spots it leaves are the absolute worse!

Below is the worse area on my body: my neck. I TRULY feel that when the hair is gone my skin will clear up. I mean with no or very little hair, I have nothing to wax, tweeze and shave, thus reducing my ingrowns and cuts!

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Wish me luck and thanks for reading!

My journey begins!


Since I finally got spironolactone in my possession, my journey to a true treatment plan for my hirsutism can start!

I am so excited!!! I have battling this for most of my life. It has caused a great deal of silent depression and self loathe for soooooooooo long! So I am really hoping this works for me! As well as YOU!

So right now my regimen has been my birth control (Lo Loestrin Fe) and natural supplements wild yam, saw palmetto, vitex (aka chasteberry), inositol, and fenugreek seed.

I only started this regimen for a month now and I was not terribly disciplined with it, as in taking it everyday so I cannot say if it works or not. But I do know those supplements I listed either have anti-androgen effects or supply extra estrogen. And being that I was trying to find the most natural means to controlling my hirsutism, I still believe these supplements could be helpful.

I am going to continue my Inositol and Chasteberry regimen but not everything else. Here is a good resource for a break down of potentiall effective natural supplements for hirsutism. Fenugreek and Wild Yam is more for strictly estrogen production and Saw Palmetto can increase bleeding and may make birth control use ineffective. It also may reduce estrogen count in the body for women which, with hirsutism, you want the opposite to occur. Here is that information.

So here is my new daily regimen:

1. Spironolactone @100mg

2. Lo Loestrin Fe @ 10mg

3. Vitex/Chasteberry @ 400mg

4. Inositol @ 650mg

5. Fenugreek @ 610 mg

6. Generic Vaniqa cream for my face

7. Spearmint Tea @2-3 cups a day

Fenugreek is known to provide estrogen-like supplements to the body. Chasetberry is know to have anti-androgen properties. These two will be my natural supplements amongst the other ingredients.

I will also continue my routine hair removing techniques which will including tweezing, sugar waxing, and, if I can afford it, laser hair removal.

You need some type of method of hair removal to see any real difference in the medications you take. How else will you know how lighter the hair is, or thicker or not growing at all?

And of course, I will attend all my routine medical appointments and will let my doctors know of the supplements and medications I am taking to tame my hirsutism. And absolutely I will document all my symptoms, if any, and when, and if, I proceed to the doctors office for those.

I am not going into this blindly, for those of you who are concerned about that!

And yes I will providing photos of my hairs progression. This might be a 3-6 month project, maybe even a year! Here is what my worse areas look like as of today, August 19, 2012.

Here is my navel and bikini line. I waxed both about 5 days ago prior to this pic.

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These is my neck after epilating and tweezing the hair. Yes, I have alot of scars from years of tweezing. Think I’m going to wax from now on!

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Here is a photo of my sideburn also after a fresh epilation and tweeze done on August 16th, 2012.

Wish me luck and thanks for reading!