After 19 years on birth control I decided to give my body a break and leave pregnancy with my beloved and dedicated partner up to chance.The pill has served me well I must say. I neither gained weight nor did I have other side effects. It was all pretty wonderful actually: beautiful, clear skin, lots of hair (even-though fine strands of it), super light – almost non existent periods – and a pretty level mood. I did develop cellulite on my legs despite healthy eating and exercise, even though I am naturally thin. However, in my late 20s, my body decided to store more fat cells in form of cellulite, which later turned out to be a side effect of the constant hormone input. Soon after being depleted of the extra estrogen, my cellulite vanished and I was in high spirits. I decided that all the reading about hair falling out and pimple attacks on the internet were just a few individual experiences until my testosterone went into overdrive about 1 month after – and my hair came out in bushels any time I ran my fingers through it. One of my biggest nightmares started to unfold – the other one was about my teeth falling out – and I was under the impression that this would have to stop SOON! Wrong. The shedding took about 3-4 months until it finally subsided and I now I can see brand new baby hairs popping out of my skull, framing my head like soft feathers. To make things worse, 4 months in, my skin started to produce a lot more oil in areas were more oil was uncalled for: my once flawless back and forehead turned into a red pimple landscape while my scalp was producing so much oil I would have to wash my hair twice in a day sometimes in order to be able to face the world without a baseball cap. I was devastated. My once full head of hair was only a half-full head of hair and in addition I also had to deal with unexpected skin issues as a result of the hormonal change. One does under estimate the power of hormones. It’s been a little over 5 months since I stopped taking artificial hormones and a lot more hair is growing back. Summertime will allow me to look like a Hippy again at that rate it’s growing back!
One other thing I have noticed was that I have been much more prone to infections. Colds, flues, skin infections. It’s like I just get over one thing, the next problem arises. Let’s see, since that August I had cellulites as in bacterial skin infection, which developed after playing tennis on a very hot summer day. A blister turned into a very painful red, swollen foot, with a red line quickly traveling upward to my heart, indicating a blood infection..After that I often felt extremely tired and exhausted. Only with utter willpower I mustered to pull myself up and out of bed, zombie-walking to the subway station. The timeframe from then until now was interspersed with cold symptoms, eczema outbreaks, extremely itchy eyes, blepharitis, contact dermatitis etc. In short, my immune system was squashed. Despite frantic “googleing” I could make a rhyme on why exactly that was. Was my body really so inept to adapt to it’s own hormones? I still have to find the answer. And feel free to submit your thoughts. I am curious! Really!
Here a few things I have found helped in the transition from synthetic to natural hormones:
For the skin (I have naturally very dry skin)
• Vitamin B complex
• Omega 3 / Due to my eczema I up the dose, so I am taking – 1,000 mg 3 times a day, but if you’re just taking it for skin maintenance, 1000mg a day should be good, however ask your nutritionist for advise, and don’t take my word for it
• Lots of veggies, quinoa, brown rice, flax seeds, hemps seeds, chia seeds, nuts – basically anything that humankind has been eating all the thousand of years BEFORE the industrial revolution – a no brainer
• Drink tons of water/tea (green, white, oolong)
• Olive Leaf Extract came quite recommended to me because of its benefits, it’s a great antifungal and antibacterial and supposed to combat athlete’s foot, mycotic nails, yeast infections, etc.
• An absolute dirt-cheap and highly effective skin peeling for face & body:
- Mix a half a spoon of light-brown sugar with a dollop of Cetaphil cleanser and you got yourself a luxurious, creamy peeling, that is coarse enough to get rid of old skin cells, yet mild enough to not irritate your skin. Only a few ingredients and it really works great! Try not to massage to hard, the sugar will do the job even if you just lightly massage your skin (face).
• Eucerin Daily Replenishing Lotion works wonders for me, as it’s very moisturizing without leaving a sticky film
• Use a non-comedogenic skincare lotion without fragrances and alcohol (which tends to be drying and force the skin to produce more oil), I like Caudalie’s skincare line and Physiogel Hyperallergenic (which you have to order from Amazon unfortunately) as I cant find it being sold in stores in the states
I hope I could be of help and will definitely post an update in a few months, or when things appear to balance themselves out. Until then – be good to your mind & body!