Treating hirsutism: case #2 (archive)
Turkish woman who has hirsutism and alopecia. In the first week, there were significant improvements in scalp hair.
- hairloss (during cycle); thining scalp hair; minor facial/body hair
- cold feet and hands
- mood swings; irritability; premenstrual syndrome
- heavy and long duration periods
- weightloss especially around hips and butt; low amounts of fat near breasts
Likely cause: overuse (high doses) of fenugreek. Fenugreek often temporarily and partially works, but when its phytohormones break down, those metabolites are androgenic.
Hirsutism and alopecia were treated near the beginning of the program. Hirsutism temporarily regressed after needing to replace or do without one herb, but this problem was later alleviated. Mood is better than since the start. Menses is lighter. Overall, symptoms are better, but have to be maintained due to a herb substitution or leaving out a herb.
Scalp hair and body hair noticeably improved to where scalp hair is no longer an issue. Fingernails are also better. Acne also improved. Menses is better than before. Bust is now at a small B cup, up from an A cup or lower. Hips are also noticeably wider.
A problem with the teas, was low blood sugar, and skipping some teas may have been necessary. There is an expectation of some regression of negative symptoms from skipping teas, but overall expected to be way better than before. Massage and fiber from brown rice or apples is necessary. From this program and continuing on, her symptoms can only gradually improve.
It is important to not repeat teas that contain hops, thistles or clover soon after estrogenic effects. It is also important to avoid coffee, chocolates, caffeine, and warming or energy increasing herbs/foods. Estrogenic foods may also need to be avoided during proliferative phase. Regular fat chocolate milk in moderation may be ok, because milk seems to counter many caffeinated like effects of chocolate. Milk chocolate bars don't have this benefit.
When something works well, caution must still be taken the next time around. A thermometer may be needed, and attention to detail of signs must be taken. When something works, it's not guaranteed to work the next time.
For the herb recommendations, minimal amounts of an herb referred to equal parts of approximately 20mg to 50mg (definitely no more than 75mg) of a solid dried herb. Minimal amounts will now refer to 1 seed or an equivalent amount to 1 barley or fenugreek seed.
Regularly, hops should be used instead of thistles for menses and premenstrual phases.
In this herb program, low blood sugar from fenugreek use has become an issue, even with small amounts of tea. Hops also lowers blood sugar.
For her current program, see Hirsutism02.
[fenugreek, sunflower, spearmint, hops,
[Fennel is no longer recommended with this, and it is non-essential.]
The previous suggestion for near the beginning of menses, was a tea of minimal and equal amounts (20-50mg) each of: spearmint, fenugreek, sunflower and hops. [Minimal doses were estimated.] Hops was increased [to about 3 times the amount of other individual herbs], and [an about equal amount of] fennel was [used]. [Herb doses likely not to be repeated for the rest of menses, because while there's estrogenic signs, it may interfere.]
Body temperature was cold before the tea, and still cold afterwards. It's expected to normalize tomorrow. After an hour, breasts are fuller. Menstruation intensity hasn't increased, and mood is described as neutral.
Next day update: lower menstruation intensity than previous cycles, less pimples than before she took the tea, less pimples than previous cycles, breasts fuller than day before, temperature also normalized since yesterday, slight headache which lowered throughout the day.
A herb dose won't be repeated today, because the effects of the last herbal tea are still prominent. Repeating this too soon may cause opposite effects than desired. Fennel and hops amounts would be lowered.
Nothing was taken since the first dose for menses. There were still positive effects, since then.
Breast dimensions increased a bit, with slightly more underneath fullness. There was breast tingling yesterday, and growth happened since then. Underside: 8cm (3"). There is less tingling today. Hip measurements remained the same. These measurements may not last past proliferative, but hormone symptoms have improved significantly.
There's less scalp hair fallout, but body hair changes are insignificant. Head hair is also less oily than typically. There is also less acne, and less pimples.
Regular fat chocolate milk was taken the day before, and it had no noticeable negative effects.
There were no noticeable changes in breast or hip size. However, aerola, areolar gland and nipple development was noticed. There were less hormonal symptoms: less headache and less cramps. Menstruation intensity is low. No hair fallout, but no noticeable changes in body hair. Mood slightly improved again.
For the second or last dose of menses [taken today after noticing effects], she took tea of: [smaller than last dose] minimal amounts each of spearmint, fenugreek and [a bit more] sunflower, and [two times] as much fennel and hops [than these minimal amounts].
New hairs on scalp, but no noticeable changes in body hair. Body temperature normalized.
Breasts described as heavier the next day; widening in shape and slight widening of base (hopefully mostly permanent). Hips are the same size.
Taking a break until proliferative.
Later in day update: hairs on face less noticeable, continued hair growth on scalp. No further change in hips or bust measurement for end of proliferative. But, perhaps slightly fuller. 7cm (2¾") for underside. The amount of [fennel] should be lowered, [and] the second dose [for menses should] be ommitted.
Results started off good, but on the 3rd day after taking another herbal tea, negative effects started returning. Nothing else was taken. New hairs were growing where hair was missing. There was still hair loss, but less than before. Skin was clearing up. Breasts widened, but the measurements remained about the same.
Less than an hour later, negative and other signs started showing. Temperature lowered, brown spotting started, slight body hair started appearing, pimples started showing, there was minor itchy scalp, and mood got worse. So far, symptoms are still better than before the program started. Menses should have lasted shorter from 3 to 4 days.
From now on, for hormone imbalances, a herb dose will only be used once for the beginning of menses. The amount of fennel will also be reduced for that dose. The recommendation is to eat an apple or half a cup of brown rice when negative symptoms start appearing.
There was more minor breast growth for the rest of menses, which duration was extended unintentionally, likely by additional use of fennel. The improvement of scalp hair remained the same. Unfortunately, there was additional growth of leg hair.
She tried minimal milkthistles, spearmint and fenugreek, early of this phase, and it caused breast and hip shrinkage. Thistles requires sunflower, but it [thistles] shouldn't be for this phase, as its effects (with a herb combination that works during the beginning of the phase) are prolonged and caused mixed results towards the end of menses.
Taking fenugreek and sunflower later helped with hip growth, but body hair slightly got worse. Later hair problems got worse again.
Thistles is no longer recommended as a hops substitute during menses. Entries about milkthistles (Silybum) use for this phase were moved to thistles01.
[A previously suggested] tea [was] of minimal amounts of fenugreek, sunflower and spearmint.
Fenugreek has enough balance of progesterone and estrogen to be able to provide consistency and be the backbone of spearmint and sunflower to work here. Fenugreek and sunflower partially worked for a short time during mid menses. Minimal spearmint may be what is needed, based on observations from other programs. Minimal fenugreek, spearmint and sunflower may be required together. If not, dietary fiber should be used.
Minimal fenugreek, sunflower and spearmint tea wasn't used. It would have likely improved symptoms, but it could have possibly caused a delay of menses, which happened anyway.
Before a tea was taken, hips grew, but breast size shrunk. Body hair increased, and mood decreased.
Minimal spearmint only tea and massage was used instead. It improved mood at first. Menses phase ended, and symptoms were similiar to secretory phase. Mood worsened afterwards, and body temperature went up.
Thistles shouldn't be used as a substitute for hops during this phase. Even when it is used with the fully right companion herbs, it causes an extended menses, with positive results for the first few days, and mixed results a few days later.
For menses, she is expected to take a break, because thistles is not ideal and because she can't use hops.
[first dose: fenugreek, sunflower,
For the start of proliferative, she took a pinch each of: fenugreek, fennel and sunflower. (Spearmint wasn't used). There was later minor breast growth, with widening around the base. Breast fullness went down after a few hours. Hip growth. Acne lowered. More hairs on legs, but they became thinner.
For the rest of proliferative, she will use only minimal amounts each of fennel and sunflower (without fenugreek) about once per day, only after positive results.
After taking tea of 3 ground up sunflower seeds and comparable amount of fennel, there was minor breast and hip widening, a few hours later.
She will repeat with varying amounts of fennel and sunflower.
She took a portion of fennel and sunflower tea a few times.
Breast underside is 9cm (3½"), and breasts are described as wider. Hips widened, and butt became more defined, but measurement of hips is .5cm smaller than since the beginning.
Less body hair, and less acne. Body and facial hair is not growing back as quickly, and is lighter. Body temperature is also low.
A minimal amount of spearmint is needed with fennel and sunflower for hormonal balance. A pinch of fenugreek will be tried for now with higher amounts of fennel and sunflower.
Breasts seemed to grow a bit more in a few hours. However, temperature is low at 34.7°C, and she feels dizzy. She will take a break, until temperature normalizes to 36°C.
Body temperature, cramps, hip size and other signs should be monitored during proliferative.
The next day, breasts grew and hips stayed the same. Body hair is thinner. The day before, there were discomforting cramps from the upper legs to the lower back and abdominal region suggesting mineralocorticoid action on steroid receptors. Later cramps went away and body temperature normalized. She will take a break until the evening or the next day. Fennel will be in a higher proportion (under 300mg), and spearmint and sunflower will be minimal.
For those reading, don't over do herbs, and exercise patience even when there are desired outcomes. Limit herb use to no more than once a day, and wait for body temperature to normalize and for cramps to go away. Proliferative is when there is buildup of tissue in the uterus, and this shouldn't be overdone.
Hair on legs lowered. But breasts lost width, and underside measurement went down. Breasts possibly got longer. This indicates that sunflower should be at a minimal amount, and fennel should be in the highest amount. If spearmint and fenugreek are used, their amounts should be absolutely minimal. Amounts of fennel still shouldn't be overdone.
Then she took a tea with more fennel, and breasts gained in width and length, so underside measurement increased to its last high. Overall, there was nipple and aerola development.
She took a tea with more fennel, and it caused more breast wideness with a minor increase in underside measurement.
Coconut oil, sunflower, with and without spearmint had mixed results. With both, breasts widened more only at the base, but underside shrank. With spearmint, breast width and topside grew, but more body hair appeared. It lacked fennel.
Returning to herb combination that worked consistently well, then taking a break. Fenugreek also doesn't work well during late proliferative, intended for hips; either needs more sunflower or should be avoided here.
Touching hops caused a hormone imbalance. Breast and hip shrinking occurred. Next herbal teas didn't compensate for this. Body hair increased, but fortunately, previous scalp hair improvements were largely retained. This was days ago.
[first dose: fenugreek, spearmint, sunflower, sesame, flax]
For the start of next proliferative, before mucus starts, she will try a tea of: a minimal amount of spearmint, and 1 lightly smashed seed each of fenugreek, sunflower, sesame and flax.
Hips and bust grew the next day from this. The day after that, only hips grew.
Afterwards, a tea was taken of 1 seed each of: fennel, sunflower and sesame.
Without spearmint, and with sesame seed, by the next day: hips grew and near the pelvic bone filled out. Breast shape also changed.
A minimal amount of spearmint was added for the next herb combinations for proliferative. Barley was also added, because it's available. The amounts of lignan seeds were increased and would be increased each day. By the day, there was a minor increase in hip size.
From tea of 1 fennel seed, equal size of spearmint, and many times of lignan seeds (including sunflower, flax and sesame seed), there was an increase in breast width and length.
Adding a flax size amount of sage, caused an increase in breast length, but a decrease in width. Unfortunately, it negatively affected mood.
The tea went to 1 fennel seed and equal size of spearmint. Sunflower was left out, because the body at this time seemed to convert estrogen readily, according to symptoms. Breast width sustained, and there was an increase in length.
A teaspoon of coconut oil was taken, and this caused an increase in breast and hip size. Tomorrow, more growth is expected. For the rest of proliferative, she will take a break.
These herb combinations also increased hip width. Breast massage helped improve mood, even if temporarily, when it was negative because of seemingly high estrogen response. There is an overall increase in hip and breast size, since the beginning of the program.
A teaspoon of coconut oil caused both androgenic and estrogenic symptoms, including negative mood. There was also minor hair fallout. Breast massage helped improve mood. Still, overall, there was an increase in hip wideness and breast length.
Coconut oil could have triggered ovulation, or it may have been taken during ovulation. The effects of coconut oil, of combined estrogenic and androgenic symptoms, happened during ovulation either way.
Coconut oil should be avoided during late proliferative and ovulation. It's important to identify when ovulation occurs, as to not take herbs or foods that adjust hormone levels then.
[first dose: fenugreek, spearmint, sunflower]
At the beginning of next proliferative, before mucus started, she took minimal (or 1 seed amount each of): fenugreek, spearmint and sunflower.
There was minor breast and hip growth. Body hair and scalp hair improved. Estrogenic symptoms became high, so breast massage was later needed.
Herbs will be kept to a minimum for the rest of this phase.
From this, there was more breast, hip and butt growth. Hair on scalp and body improved.
Twice this day, she took a tea of 1 seed each or minimal each: fennel, barley and spearmint. There was a minor increase in breast and hip size each time from this.
Flax, sunflower or other lignan seeds could partially replace barley here. Teas will be timed according to when breasts change shape.
Even though the last tea only had minimal amounts of fennel, barley and spearmint that caused hip and breast growth, menses restarted from it the next day. The teas were taken too soon. Perhaps only the first dose of proliferative with fenugreek will be taken, and teas with fennel will be skipped. Teas should be spread further out, and likely more barley or sunflower seed was needed.
After breasts grew from this and body hair went down. Breast size slightly went down, and there were new facial hairs.
Luteal (secretory & premenstrual)
During premenstrual, she has bloating, breast swelling, discomforts and negative mood. This is likely from low progesterone, high estrogen and high corticosteroids.
She was going to take a tea with [moderate amounts and about equal parts of] fennel and hops, and minimal amount each of spearmint, fenugreek and sunflower.
Fenugreek, spearmint and sunflower are in minimal amounts. Sunflower is ground/crushed to be in about equal volume to fenugreek. Spearmint is fresh, so it is expected to be more potent, so a cut piece of leaf will be in equal area (not depth) to the fenugreek and ground sunflower. Ground/crushed hops and fennel will be 3 times more than the other herbs.
[As she was preparing it,] menses has started. [Handling hops, spearmint and perhaps other herbs possibly had an effect on this.]
For the first or second day of secretory, she took minimal amounts each of fenugreek and sunflower. That day, there was an improvement in symptoms, and there were minor breast gains.
By the next day, there were mostly improvements from this dose. Breasts and hips slightly grew. Shape of breasts mostly got wider. Temperature also raised to normal levels for secretory. The only bad result was more body hair. Hair on scalp, however, improved more.
Later, taking sunflower alone caused minor breast lengthening, but not an easily measurable result. Temperature temporarily lowered, but hours later it rose to 36.5°C. Unfortunately, itchy scalp started, then moments later, acne started. Fiber was eaten when she had itchy scalp. While she had acne, she took a tea of sunflower, fenugreek and fennel. Fenugreek would have to do for the partially estrogenic herb.
Fennel is no longer recommended for secretory (so it should no longer be used for this phase). Hops is still suggested for this phase with spearmint, but not for those who've had bad reactions to it.
Fennel should not be used for premenstrual phase. It is powerful enough that it tries to start menses sooner, yet it doesn't seem to provide antagonism for ERα.
She took [half of a] tea of: minimal amounts each of fenugreek, sunflower, spearmint, and about 50mg of milkthistles (Silybum). Within a few hours later, there was breast and hip tingling. Temperature was 36.6°C. Later that evening there was breast widening, and minor hip widening. Areolas also widened a bit.
There were cramps from this. Menses started by the next day. It perhaps should of had wild yam.
For the start of secretory, her recommended [meant at that time] tea was: 3 fenugreek seeds, 1 flaxseed, 1 sesame seed, 1 sunflower seed, and minimal milkthistle and spearmint. Normally, hops is recommended over thistles.
Unfortunatly, I mistakenly suggested fennel instead of fenugreek. The herb constituents from the herb combination were still similar enough; still fenugreek's properties are better than fennel's for this phase. Barley was also taken with it. At least, there was an increase in nipple size and an improvement in mucus from this. There were no apparent changes in measurements, but there was tingling in the hip area.
Later in the same day, she'll take the correct herb dose with fenugreek.
Trying to make a correction didn't work. There were signs of increased estrogens and androgens. There was hair fallout, from a situation that had been corrected before. There was also negative mood. Hips shrank as well. It was a mistake to repeat a progestogenic herb, in an attempt to correct an error. Thistles, then its repetition, also likely contributed an increased amount of estrogen. Thistles was used because of problems with hops, but otherwise hops is preferred.
Next time, the amount of fenugreek will be only 1 seed at the very beginning of secretory.
Breast massage will be used in an attempt to lower estrogen. It will be seen if it's still secretory for progesterone to be able to rise due to massage stimulation.
When she had a pimple outbreak, she took a tea of: 1 fenugreek seed, 1 barley seed, and a smaller amount of milkthistle and spearmint. Her breast size and hip size increased again. Mood also improved. It still appears to be secretory phase.
She repeated fenugreek, barley, milkthistle and spearmint when she got a new pimple. There was hip and bust growth from the day before and after this tea. Mood and hair symptoms also improved.
When she got another pimple she tried tea of milkthistle and sesame seed.
There was breast lengthening and butt growth from milkthistle and sesame seed.
For the rest of secretory: minimal amounts of fenugreek, spearmint, milkthistle, sesame and seeds like sunflower, flax and barley would be used.
There was some bust and hip growth from late secretory and premenstrual until now. When a teaspoon of coconut oil was used with the other herbs, there was scalp hair loss as well.
Estrogen [symptoms were] high during late premenstrual.
When she had zits, she took a tea of: 10 fenugreek seeds, 1 barley seed, 1 sesame seed, half of a sunflower seed, a minimal amount (flax size) of thistles and a minimal amount of spearmint. Wild yam would have been used for half of the fenugreek amounts. Later, her breasts and hips widened. Mood has improved for several hours.
She will take a break, and only use breast massage to manage estrogenic signs for the rest of premenstrual.
Menses didn't start, and she had signs that were like ovulation and secretory. This likely happened due to the error of fennel use instead of fenugreek during last secretory. Thistles use could have also contributed.
Body hair has been much improved in the past weeks to where it was no longer a major concern, but a noticeable facial hair strand has shown up. Body and scalp hair is expected to have mixed results.
As long as there signs that resemble ovulation, she won't take any herbs.
Signs appeared to be of mid-secretory phase, but with lowered signs of estrogen. Breasts grew, but there was an increase in body hair.
The next day, when she had pimples, she took a tea of 1 fenugreek seed. Within hours, mood symptoms improved.
From that tea of 1 fenugreek seed, there were minor gains in bust and butt growth. There were positive results on body hair, and mixed results for scalp hair. This suggests a positive effect on ERβ, and a mixed result on ERα.
A later day, still during what seemed like during luteal, she took a minimal (fenugreek sized amount) each of fenugreek, thistles, spearmint, and 5 seeds each of sunflower, flax, barley and sesame.
Bust size grew noticeably, and hips also grew. Body and scalp hair improved. Estrogen and progesterone response seemed to improve. Signs resemble closer to secretory phase, within luteal.
Once she got acne, she took a similar dose with the same low amounts of fenugreek, thistles and spearmint, and an increased amount of sunflower, flax, barley and sesame seeds.
There was breast and hip growth from that, but there was hair fallout, additional body hair, and other unwanted signs. There was too much sunflower, flax, barley and sesame seed, so increasing these too much is not recommended here. Breasts and hips grew hours before hair problems started, and afterwards acne started. There were also abdominal pains and cramps. When breasts and hips grew, they likely produced an abundance of estrogen in the absence of (pyto-)progesterones and additional corticosteroids.
Later she took an apple and a teaspoon of olive oil. She also took a tea of 1 fenugreek seed and 1 sunflower seed. Mood improved, and breast size grew.
For the remainder of premenstrual, when she gets acne, she [would have taken] a tea of: 1 fenugreek seed, a minimal amount (about half a fenugreek size) of spearmint and 1 sunflower seed.
Undefined phase: luteal-like
After taking a herb combination including thistles during menstruation, that caused that phase to be extended and irregular. Spearmint tea was taken a few days later, with massage, then symptoms were similar to secretory phase.
Hips grew, breast shape changed to wider, and body hair didn't change much after spearmint tea. Mood was negative.
When there is more certainty that symptoms are like secretory phase, she will take a tea of minimal spearmint, fenugreek and sunflower. A partial combination of this was taken before and had positive results for this phase, and had mixed results for other phases. This full combination is expected to work better based on combined notes.
She took a sip of a tea of minimal each: spearmint, fenugreek and sunflower. While the symptoms were of secretory, additional sunflower seed aside from the tea was taken, just in case it was proliferative.
Before this, body temperature was warm, and after this tea it lowered. Symptoms improved for a day, with body temperature lowering. Partial positive improvements sustained for a day after this tea. Hips and breasts widened, but body hair increased. A day after acne, breast and hip gains went down and temperature raised.
Signs were still indicative of secretory phase. She took a sip of a tea of minimal each: spearmint, fenugreek and sunflower. This time, she will repeat this when she gets acne, considering results are good, and there will be no additional sunflower seed. This herb combination was used, because it is compatible with more phases for certainty, but it needs to be repeated when acne occurs for secretory.
There were temporary improvements from a sip of tea of minimal spearmint, fenugreek and sunflower. These improvements lasted for about a day, however, a sip of this tea had to be taken again when acne occurred as negative symptoms started showing up around then.
Hair for scalp and body improved. Hips and bust size slightly increased. Bust size is now to a full A, which is an improvement from a recent regression. Mood improved for about a day. Mood decreased about an hour before she got acne. When acne occurred, she took another sip of this tea.
Minor headache, which is different than negative mood, is one negative symptom that can't be avoided for now, except to limit amounts of herbs. Headache often occurs when the body's signs are estrogenic, when there's hip and breast growth, and when body hair lowers. There is some desired improvement on this.
A sip of tea of minimal fenugreek, spearmint and sunflower will be repeated when acne occurs. Breast massage will be used for prolactin balance and to help with mood.
A sip of tea of minimal fenugreek, spearmint and sunflower was repeated with massage when acne occurred, when mood became negative or sometimes a bit sooner. There were positive results. Hair improved, and sometimes breast and hip growth would happen afterwards. Timing is important, if there is too much time between doses, then negative results can occur. The more estrogenic (if it includes hops, clover) a herb dose is, the farther apart teas have to be spaced.
Positive results maintained. It took longer after a tea than before for negative signs to show up, until another tea and massage were needed.