Have Acne all my life - Can progesterone help?

by Grace
(Toronto, Canada)

Hi Wray, please help me!

I am 54 years old. Acne has ruled my life since I was a teenager. Diane-35 and Spironolactone helped me a lot but only temporarily. Even though my last period was 6 months ago, my acne shows no sign of dying off. Took a saliva hormone test recently, results as follow:

Estradiol 0.5 pg/ml
Progesterone 22 pg/ml
Ratio: Pg/E2 44L
Testosterone 39 pg/ml
DHEAS 3.9 ng/ml

The report commented I am low-normal in estrogen, whereas progesterone and testosterone are within normal range. I used to have very sore breasts before period, the pain disappeared once my period started and my breasts are fibrocystic. Also had spotting in the middle of the cycle. I am confused by the test's results. Am I estrogen dominant or deficient? Do I have a very low Pg/E2 ratio? Am I progesterone deficient? Should I use Natpro for my situation and how much? 200mg/day as you recommended? Should I avoid estrogenic food? Please advice and thanks for your time. By the way, I also have Hashimoto's thyroiditis, not sure if these are all related.

Yours sincerely,

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Aug 28, 2013
Have Acne all my life - Can progesterone help?
by: Wray

Hi Grace High testosterone initiates Acne, see here. It appears they have only checked your total testosterone which is pointless. If bound to SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin) testosterone becomes inactive. It's the active or free testosterone which is needed. Progesterone raises levels of SHBG, see here, so preventing the rise of free testosterone. But SHBG drops if sugars are eaten, even those found in all grains, legumes, processed milk and sweet starchy fruits and vegetables. Fructose, sucrose and glucose, reduce SHBG by 80, 50 and 40% respectively, see here. Thereby allowing testosterone to rise. It's best to avoid all the foods and sugars mentioned. Low SHBG is a marker for Insulin Resistance. Wine and beers contain carbs, so it's best to avoid those too. Plus alcohol affects hormone levels in women, see here and here. It decreases progesterone levels and increases androgen levels, both the total testosterone and free testosterone become higher. Sugars and large meals also drop progesterone levels, see here. Plus insulin drops levels too, see here. This means SHBG also drops and testosterone rises. We do have two pages you could look through on Breast Tenderness and Breast Cysts. Both exacerbated by oestrogen. Although you could be low in iodine as that also causes breast cysts. You have a very low P:E2 ratio which means oestrogen is the dominant hormone. We have found from Saliva Tests we run that the ratio goes up to 600:1 and over if enough progesterone is used. Continued below

Aug 28, 2013
Have Acne all my life - Can progesterone help? Part 2
by: Wray

You live in Canada, so I'm not surprised you have Hashi's, it's caused by low vitamin D, see here, here, here, here, here and here. Most Canadians have low vitamin D levels, please have yours checked. A lack of vitamin D also reduces the benefits of progesterone, so more is needed to have any effect. 200mg/day progesterone is a good amount to start with, but please read our page on Oestrogen Dominance first as this can occur. But please get your vitamin D level up too! Take care Wray

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