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  • Starting Accutane - second thoughts. Help!

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    Old 11-29-2004, 03:29 PM   #1
    annafcolbrie
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    Unhappy Starting Accutane - second thoughts. Help!

    I'm supposed to start Accutane on wednesday. I'm 25 and I have suffered from moderate to severe acne for 13 years. It took a long time for me to seek professional help and I have only been seeing a derm for a year. The plan is for me to start Accutane.

    I have done my research and I've thought about it a lot but now I have second thoughts. I was supposed to see my derm this morning but because I had not been able to have the lab work done yet he thought it would be best to reschedule. That was a good thing because this morning when I woke up thinking that today is the day I got so scared I actually cried. Now I don't now what to do anymore.

    I'm so worried about side effects and especially long term side effects. I hate taking medications unless it's absolutely neccesary. What if I do permanent damage to my body or damage that won't turn up until 10 years down the road.
    I'm a person who chooses organic whenever possible. I'm a mother of 2 and I gave birth naturally twice because I wanted to do what was best for me and the baby. So...what am I about to do? Accutane is not for me...or is it?
    Part of me feels like it's my last resort and part of me feels that I haven't tried everyting out there yet. I could do better with my diet. I know some of you say that a certain diet will help and I haven't tried it. But I don't know if I could.
    I have been on birth control pills for a month and a half and I hate it. I get nauseaus of and on and just don't feel great.
    So what do I do?

    Does anyone know the numbers on the risks for serious side effects? I just can't decide wether the the benefits outweigh the risks for me.

    And if I decide not to try accutane where do I go from here?
    Internal cleansings and diet changes? Is there anything my dermatolgist can do for me if I go that route? Any topicals that are ok to use?

    I need help in making my decision so give me your honest opinion. In the end I will make my own decision but getting other opinions would help me a lot.

    Thanks,
    Anna

     
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    Old 11-29-2004, 03:43 PM   #2
    SweetJade1
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    Re: Starting Accutane - second thoughts. Help!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by annafcolbrie
    I'm supposed to start Accutane on wednesday. I'm 25 and I have suffered from moderate to severe acne for 13 years. It took a long time for me to seek professional help and I have only been seeing a derm for a year. The plan is for me to start Accutane.

    I have done my research and I've thought about it a lot but now I have second thoughts. I was supposed to see my derm this morning but because I had not been able to have the lab work done yet he thought it would be best to reschedule. That was a good thing because this morning when I woke up thinking that today is the day I got so scared I actually cried. Now I don't now what to do anymore.

    I'm so worried about side effects and especially long term side effects. I hate taking medications unless it's absolutely neccesary. What if I do permanent damage to my body or damage that won't turn up until 10 years down the road.

    I'm a person who chooses organic whenever possible. I'm a mother of 2 and I gave birth naturally twice because I wanted to do what was best for me and the baby. So...what am I about to do? Accutane is not for me...or is it?
    Part of me feels like it's my last resort and part of me feels that I haven't tried everyting out there yet. I could do better with my diet. I know some of you say that a certain diet will help and I haven't tried it. But I don't know if I could.

    I have been on birth control pills for a month and a half and I hate it. I get nauseaus of and on and just don't feel great.
    So what do I do?

    Does anyone know the numbers on the risks for serious side effects? I just can't decide wether the the benefits outweigh the risks for me.

    And if I decide not to try accutane where do I go from here?
    Internal cleansings and diet changes? Is there anything my dermatolgist can do for me if I go that route? Any topicals that are ok to use?

    I need help in making my decision so give me your honest opinion. In the end I will make my own decision but getting other opinions would help me a lot.

    Thanks,
    Anna
    Well honest opinion is that if you feel so strongly against medications that may work for you, like BC (is it working) or Accutane, then your best bet is to find similar products in herbs & supplements and/or change your diet.

    However, 13 years and you never consulted a doctor about this? you never had your hormone levels checked? I'm guessing you aren't suffering from typical PCOS as you would have more than likely had pregnancy complications, yet are there other symptoms that you have, or your family members, that may help you decide? Gastroentestinal disorders, Hypothyroidism, Adrenal Disorders, Hyperandrogenism, Diabetes, High Cholesterol, Weight Problems, Menstrual irregularities or pain, Hirsutism, etc? Either way, perhaps you shoud see an Endocrinologist BEFORE doing anything about this accutane. Get tested, may have to go off of the pill (like you would mind) ;-) and get a baseline run to help you determine if what is going on has to do with some underlying health or hormonal disorder. Then after a month or so, when your results are back, you can find out if you need to take medication or the appropriate natural equivalent and go from there.

    Although after you've seen an endocrinologist, you may want to experiiment with your diet to tide your over until you get the results back or decide to go on accutane. Accutane as great as it can be, is not perfect. Some people go on up to 5 treatments and then some settle on "maintence" doses, and I personally feel (and there's some studies to support this) that these individuals must have a chronic hormonal imbalance otherwise accutane would have worked 100%.

    Of course you can use prescription topicals, but they aren't all natural and if you have body acne, that generally isn't cost effective. One rising in popularity and is a natural topical is Mandellic Acid (exfoilates & anti-inflammatory) by either Nucelle or Vivant skin care. Other possible ones are just using AHA (glycolic) & BHA (salicylic) acids to help exfoilate which may prevent some breakouts. There's lots of natural topical possibilities but unless you were just using the wrong skin care or just need to increase exfoilation, they generally don't stop most breakouts, especially if you do have an underlying hormonal disorder.

    Now, about this BC, why are you taking it? Did you get tested before going on the pill or did your doctor just give it to you? If you got your hormones checked, did your doctor mention which hormones were too high or too low?


    Bye for now =)

    Last edited by SweetJade1; 11-29-2004 at 03:52 PM.

     
    Old 11-29-2004, 04:15 PM   #3
    annafcolbrie
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    Join Date: Oct 2003
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    Re: Starting Accutane - second thoughts. Help!

    Thanks SweetJade.
    No I have never had my hormones checked. I do not have any other medical conditions that I know of. But I am pretty confident that my acne has to do with my hormones in one way or another. I always break out more in the second half of my monthly cycle and my face looks it's best after my period starts. During my 2 pregnancies ( 2nd and 3rd trimester ) my acne cleared up almost completely just to return around the same time my period did 6 months postpartum ( despite nursing for 20 months ).

    I did see my family Dr when I was a teenager. I tried tetracycline and some topicals with some results but when acne kept coming back I was basically told I would just have to wait for me to grow out of it. After that I tried a lot of OTC's and just tried to mask it. After my second daughter was born is when my acne got really severe and cystic and I got myself together and went to a dermatologist for the first time in my life. Because I was still nursing at the time he prescribed azelex which he said would be safe for my baby but he also warned me that it would not help much for my kind of acne. He actually urged me to quite nursing because my daughter had reached 1 year and he thought I needed to think about myself. I refused and continued nursing another 6 months. During this time I stopped drinking milk and cut down on dairy in general. That and azelex actually helped quite a bit and I didn't have any large cysts after that. My acne was still pretty bad and I went on minocycline which helped even more but it was not a miracle. After moving and switching derms my new derm suggested accutane.
    I started birth control pills in preparation for accutane because you need to take it for at least 1 month before treatment. It has helped with the oiliness of my skin which was severe before but I'm still breaking out as much as before. Since I started the pill I'm breaking out on my neck more than my face though which is new.

    I'm not overweight but could probably stand loosing 10Ibs or so, I'm 5'5 and about 130Ibs. I do have a lot of body hair which is probably a hormonal thing as well ( not to the extreme but anyway ). Also, I've never been a very upbeat person. I thought that had to do with upbringing and my acne but maybe it's more than that. I would not say that I'm depressed but at the same time I'm not sure what depressed means. I just don't know how to be happy I guess.
    Having my hormones checked seems like a good first step, thanks for the suggestion.

    Anna

     
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