What Are Good Supplements for Acne, Hirsutism and Hair Loss?
I'm struggling with acne, hirsutism, and thin hair. I was on spironolactone for a year and it cleared my skin beautifully, decreased the hair on my body and made it grow slower, but it caused a lot of depression and anxiety, so I had to stop.
It's only been two weeks and I can already see the grease and pimples coming back to my face and my hair growing faster.
I'm really depressed and I feel like there aren't any other treatments available.
I noticed that are a lot of great supplements in your store and I was hoping they could provide the same results as spiro. My doctors are positive I have PCOS. Would you please be able to recommend a supplement program using the supplements you sell to help eliminate my acne and hirsutism?
The purpose of spironolactone is to suppress production of "androgens", which are male hormones such as testosterone. It also suppress the conversion of testosterone into its more potent form, dihydrotestosterone ("DHT").
DHT is thought to be a primary cause of acne, hirsutism and hair thinning.
Testosterone and DHT production does not occur in a vacuum. There are many other factors involved, including other hormones.
Medical suppression of androgens with spironolactone or birth control pills is sometimes an effective way to control symptoms. But they don't remove the underlying causes of this multi-faceted problem.
It appears to us that an effective long-term way to get more control over androgens is to change the composition of your diet and to increase your exercise. An example would be switching away from refined grain-based carbs to more vegetables. Doing so reduces the severity of a condition called "insulin resistance", which is thought to stimulate androgen production.
Aside from lifestyle improvements, there are maybe two dozen nutrients and herbs that may reduce the conversion of testosterone into DHT, while others may help to reduce the tendency to produce testosterone.
Among the nutritional supplements, our most popular one for suppression of the conversion of testosterone into DHT is saw palmetto extract. Some women with PCOS find it helps with the symptoms you described.
Inositol (a B-vitamin) and NAC (an amino acid) have been shown to reduce hormonal problems in women with polycystic ovary syndrome, including reduced testosterone levels. PCOS women don't seem to metabolize inositol very well, so I think this is an important nutrient for almost anyone.
Vitex (chaste tree berry) extract helps the body to produce progesterone. Progesterone insufficiency is quite common in PCOS. Progesterone performs many important functions. One of its lesser-known functions is that it impairs the conversion of testosterone into DHT. This may be the reason why vitex has been shown to reduce acne in some people. Vitex also reduces production of the prolactin hormone. Too much prolactin contributes to hair loss.
It's also quite important to get your thyroid function thoroughly checked out. Optimal thyroid hormone production induces the ovaries to produce progesterone.
Fish oil concentrate (with lots of EPA fatty acid) and vitamin D are other very important nutrients for solving your health issues. By the way, concentrated fish oil has been shown to diminish depression.