File this under ‘Embarrassing and Humiliating’.
This is not a ‘typical’ post for me. While I love creating, photographing, and posting recipes, I also have a strong desire to share my thoughts and knowledge about other areas of health. For that reason, you may see a post like this from time to time, and I pray that you’ll stick around and share your own thoughts and knowledge, as I love hearing from you!
Today, I’m diving right into something that I’ve dealt with since my late teens and continue to deal with to this day.
Hirsutism is excessive and unwanted hair growth, and it typically refers to women, though men can experience this too. With the advent of products like No! No!, it appears to be an increasing problem. It is typically related to a hormonal imbalance, namely excessive testosterone, but I believe a general imbalance in estrogen and progesterone can be at the bottom of it as well.
With the overabundance of xenoestrogens in our environment from pesticides, plastics, metal cans, cosmetics, and hormone-injected meat and poultry, is it any wonder that this is a problem?
As I stated above, I’ve been suffering from this since I was about 19. This is around the same time my dad passed away, and I went through a time of major stress and an unhealthy cycle of binging and purging, which most likely messed up any hormonal sychronicity I may have had.
Without focusing on the whys behind this unsightly condition, I’d like to share my knowledge and experience about possible treatments.
The most obvious plan of action is to avoid any hormonal disruptors.
- Buy organic and hormone-free meats/poultry,
- Eat a diet of primarily organic foods,
- Use natural bug/pest killers like this and natural weed killers like this one in place of detrimental pesticides,
- Avoid plastics by purchasing glass straws, food storage containers, and dishware. Even though a plastic container reads ‘BPA free’, doesn’t mean that it’s free of xenoestrogens, or endocrine disruptors, according to studies like these.
Everything we breathe, ingest, or absorb through the skin gets into the blood stream and eventually passes through the liver. Because the liver is the body’s primary detoxifier, keeping it healthy is critical to your overall health, including proper metabolism and functioning of hormones.
Some effective (if only interesting) methods of cleansing the liver include the following:
- Herbs, such as milk thistle, dandelion root, and artichoke;
- Coffee enemas (eek!)…more info here;
- Hulda Clark’s Liver Cleanse.
Conventional Treatments (none of which I do)
- Birth control pills.
- The most promising treatment I’ve come across is spearmint tea. It was found effective in this study, where women drank two cups of the tea a day on an empty stomach. They saw a significant drop in free testosterone in just five days. The tea was made by mixing one cup of boiling water with one heaping teaspoon of dried spearmint leaves for five to 10 minutes.
- Another supplement touted to help is saw palmetto. In both men and women, testosterone is converted into a more potent hormone called DHT (dihydrotestosterone). DHT is the hormone in your skin that stimulates hirsutism. Saw palmetto appears to reduce DHT in three different ways:
- Inhibits DHT production,
- Inhibits the binding of DHT to its cell receptors,
- Promotes the breakdown of DHT.
- Tweezing…pretty self-explanatory. It’s helpful to have a magnifying mirror like this one to see up close.
- Shaving…not something I’ve tried, as mine is more peach fuzz and ‘a hair here, a hair there’ type of deal.
- Threading (my favorite!). In Japan, threading is a popular treatment for hair removal. It involves actually taking a string to the face in order to remove the hair. Ordinarily, this is done at a salon, but now you can do this in the privacy of your own home! I personally own, use, and love this tool.
I hope this post has been of some help to anyone suffering from this problem. Please let me know your thoughts and experiences if you have any! 🙂
**I am not a licensed practitioner. The information included in this post is not meant to be medical advice, it is just based on my personal experience. Please consult your doctor for further information.