IF & Carb Cycling: What They Can Do for You!

IF & Carb Cycling: What They Can Do for You!

I enjoy being fit/healthy and I would love to inspire others to be too. This blog of mine is not popular at all but if I find out that I have helped even one person, I will feel elated.

In the past year or so, I have changed up how I eat. This includes me doing intermittent fasting and most recently, carb cycling.  I can honestly say that these two things have changed my life for the better.

In this post, I will be discussing more about those two ways of eating and how they could help you too!

Intermittent fasting

Good things come to those that wait!

Most people have heard about intermittent fasting (IF). It seemed a little crazy to me when I first heard about it. Reading that it is good for women with PCOS was what led me to try it out.

I have now been intermittent fasting for almost a year!

I do the 16:8 version of the fasting (there are different ways to do IF). My eating window is between 11 AM and 7 PM. I have played around with the times and this window seems to work for me the best.

If you are reading this and do not quite know the alleged benefits of intermittent fasting, here is a little list of how it might help you:

  1. Increase insulin sensitivity
  2. Increase energy levels
  3. Increases cognition/clarity of thought
  4. Control blood sugar levels
  5. Reduce inflammation
  6. Reduce bloating

When I first started intermittent fasting, it was hard. I was determined to keep pushing through to reap the health benefits though. After about two weeks of the fasting, I began to feel the improved energy and reduction of bloating that the research articles said might occur.

I loved what was happening to me!

After two months, I noticed that my body composition was changing a little bit. Slightly more muscle definition started coming through which I really liked.

Another thing I have noticed is that my menstrual cramps have pretty much gone away. I still experience some mild cramping, but I do not actually need to take anything for it. Other women have had the same thing happen to them as well. I am not sure the mechanism behind it, but I am not going to complain.

I do think that I have some degree of insulin resistance (as do many women with PCOS). Since embarking on the intermittent fasting journey, I have not felt tired after eating. This is one of the signs of being insensitive to insulin so I believe it is helping me in that regard.

I would highly recommend trying out intermittent fasting, especially if you have PCOS. There are so many of us who have had great results from it.

Along with living the intermittent fasting lifestyle, it is important to have a handle on what you are eating. Some people end up thinking they can eat whatever they want during their eating window and then wonder why they are not experiencing positive changes. If you have a goal of getting healthier and changing your body, good food choices are imperative.

Carb cycling

One of my favorite low carb foods!
One of my favorite higher carb foods to eat!

I have read about how great low carb and keto diets are for PCOS (and other conditions). They are said to help with losing weight, controlling blood sugars, increasing insulin sensitivity, losing abdominal fat and more.

  Back in January, I decided that I wanted to get a little leaner as well as combatting any insulin resistance I have even more than I already was (I believe intermittent fasting was helping).  I started out lowering my calories to about 1500 and carbs to 40 grams per day.

This was tough for me! I tried pushing through the physical symptoms I was experiencing (extreme hunger, fatigue and grumpiness) but it proved to be even harder than the beginning of my intermittent fasting journey.

It was all very frustrating to me because I wanted to obtain the benefits that other people were getting from low carb/keto diets. After a few weeks, I ended up straying from the low carb plan.

I came across carb cycling one day when I was looking at books on Amazon. This is when you cycle your carb intake throughout the week or month. I was interested in this method of eating and decided to look into it more.

The benefits you can get from this type of diet are as follows:

*More energy for tough workouts- You can have a higher carb day on the days you do your tough workouts. This will provide you with more energy to get through them.

*Increase of insulin sensitivity- You can still get this benefit even if you are not strictly low-carb or keto every day of the week.

*Sustainable- It is easier to stick with due to having less restrictions

*No low carb/keto “flu”

This type of eating sounded perfect for me, so I got started on it right away. Since anything under 150 grams of carbohydrates is considered low-carb, I wanted to make sure my weekly average came in under that amount. I calculated things out and came up with this carb cycle:

*180 grams- three days per week

* 100 grams- one day per week

* 50 grams- three days per week.

This gives me a weekly average of 113 grams (rounded up).

I have been doing this ever since the end of February and it has been amazing for me! My body composition has changed even more (for the better), I do not get “hangry,” I have a lot of energy and it is something I can stick with which is really important.

If you are interested in trying to cycle your carbs, I would suggest looking into it more. There are plenty of resources out there that explain it in detail so you can better understand how it works.

No guarantee

I decided to make this post to share my experiences in hopes that it might help others out with their health, fitness and body goals. Because I am not a medical professional, you must look up intermittent fasting and carb cycling to decide whether they will be right for you.

These ways of eating have worked great for me as well as many other people. There is no guarantee that they will work for you though. If they do not, that is okay! There are plenty of other ways to eat and

Have you done intermittent fasting and/or carb cycling before? What are your thoughts on it/them?

Thanks for reading!

Some sources:

https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/full/10.1146/annurev-nutr-071816-064634

https://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-carb-cycling

https://www.span.health/blog/7-types-of-intermittent-fasting-explained

#lowcarb #intermittentfasting #diets #weightloss #fatloss #fitness #pcos #health

How Race/Ethnicity Affects A PCOS Diagnosis

How Race/Ethnicity Affects A PCOS Diagnosis

Beauty comes in all colors!

I try not to make everything about race/ethnicity. As a black woman though, I can’t help but think about how my race influences things and how things influence me because of my race.

When it comes health issues, there are a lot of race/ethnicity related figures that show how each group is affected by them. They say what the likelihood of them getting it is, likely severity of it, mortality rate etc.

I had been wondering lately about how and if PCOS presents itself differently in each racial/ethnic group. Looking up facts and figures on this topic was interesting to me so I decided to make a post about it.

To organize my findings, I decided to break things down by race. It just seemed easier that way. Read on if you are interested!

Black women versus other groups

Diabetes is something that women with PCOS are at risk for. In all research articles about race/ethnicity and PCOS, it was found that black women were at a higher risk than the other groups for getting it. Their fasting insulin levels were higher and even significantly so in some cases.

The risk of hirsutism showed conflicting results. One article showed that black women were at a higher risk and a couple of others showed that there was less of a risk.

High blood pressure is something seen in a lot of women with PCOS. Per the studies, black women are more likely to have hypertension than whites and Asians but less likely than Hispanics.

Obesity is also an issue in black women with (and without) PCOS. It is shown that there is a significantly higher chance of this occurring in blacks than in whites and Asians. This was contradicted in one study as it showed that the black women actually had lower body fat than the others.

The likelihood of getting heart disease was significantly higher in black women in the studies. This was true even though our triglyceride levels were lower than the other groups.

A few studies showed that black women with PCOS had higher sex hormone binding globulins (SHGB) than whites and Asians. SHGB tests show how much testosterone is going to the tissues in our bodies. A very high level of SHGB comes some issues such as low energy and sex drive.

Another problem specific to black women with PCOS was that there is less success with IVF cycles. People might think that all black women are really fertile due to stereotypes, but this is not true according to studies.

PCOS is said to affect an estimated 8% of black women.

Hispanic women versus other groups

The studies indicated that Hispanic women with PCOS presented with more severe cases than the other groups. The reasoning for this is unknown but could be due to diet and genetics.

Their risk of insulin resistance was shown to be significantly higher than in whites and Asians. In comparison to black women, their risk was only slightly higher.

When it comes to hirsutism and acne, the studies showed a higher prevalence in Hispanic women. Excess hair on the face in particular was worse.

In all of the studies, their blood pressure results were higher than whites, Asians and blacks. High blood pressure can lead to heart attacks, strokes and aneurysms. They also had higher HDL levels than whites, blacks and Asians. This is considered to be good cholesterol but if the levels are too high it can be a bad thing.

 PCOS is said to affect an estimated 13% of Hispanic women.

Asians women versus other groups

There was some contradiction between studies on the likelihood of hirsutism and acne in Asian women. It also appears as though the likelihood is different depending on the region of Asia. For example, studies showed that women with PCOS from SE Asia were more likely to have more excess hair and acne than white women. East Asians, however, were less likely to deal with excess hair and acne than the other groups.

It is well known that Asian women are usually of lower weight/BMI than the other groups. Despite this, they are more likely to have insulin resistance and diabetes than whites. They also have higher odds of having excess abdominal fat with their PCOS diagnosis.

The percentage of Asian women with PCOS is unknown.

White women versus other groups

 If you have read this far into the post, you probably have a good idea on where white women lie with these issues that accompany a PCOS diagnosis. They are less likely to have certain things and more likely to have certain things.

One thing that hasn’t been touched on is the mental health aspect of PCOS. The physical effects (abdominal fat, acne, oily skin, excess hair, hair thinning etc.) of the disease can really hurt a woman’s self-esteem. Researchers found out that white women had much higher levels of anxiety and depression than women of other races/ethnicities.

According to a few studies, PCOS affects about 4.8% of white women.

Native American versus other groups

 Unfortunately, there was not much to be found on Native American women with PCOS. The only thing out there was that they usually have a higher a BMI than whites, Asians and blacks. It was on par with Hispanic women.

The rate of PCOS in Native Americans is unknown.

There are differences

From the research that has been done, there are differences in the way PCOS affects women of different races and ethnic groups. There might be varying reasons as to why this is so. It could mean that the treatment plans need to be different.

Hopefully in the future there will be more research done in general on PCOS to improve the lives of all women affected by it.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this!

Some sources used-

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3132396/

https://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(13)03253-6/fulltext

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5420474/

https://www.havingbabies.com/blog-list/dr-diana-chavkin-discusses-infertility-among-african-american-women

https://obgyn.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jog.14132

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3024276/

https://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(11)01213-1/fulltext

#pcos #race #diversity #ethnicity #pcosawareness #health #womenshealth

PCOS And Exercise

PCOS And Exercise

Yay for arm definition!

As stated in other posts, I enjoy exercising regularly. I love what it does for my mind and body.

I had been wondering if women with PCOS respond to exercise differently and if it helps treat our specific health problems. This led me to investigate this topic more.

In this post I will talk about what I found out!

What many women with PCOS struggle with

A PCOS diagnosis comes with health struggles. It is a chronic condition that women with it must be mindful of in order to have a good quality of life.

Weight and body fat level are two areas that a lot of us have problems with. We may have excess weight on us with a lot of fat in our upper body (mainly midsection). In most cases, it is insulin resistance that causes it.

To control our weight and fat, diet is paramount. This typically means that carbs (along with calorie counting) need to be watched to increase our sensitivity to insulin.  Some women also find that intermittent fasting and supplements help them.

Exercise is also important as it is for anyone without this condition. Although diet comes first, getting some good movement in during the week can really help with having an overall healthy life.

How exercise specifically helps those with PCOS (according to research)

There were several great research articles I found on exercise and how it effects women that have a PCOS diagnosis. They further proved the point that physical activity is a must in people’s lives due to all the benefits it provides.

Testosterone levels in women with PCOS are sometimes considered too high. In a few studies, exercise reduced the high levels. Since having too much testosterone as a woman can cause various issues, adding in exercise could help to eradicate them.

The improvements of conditions associated with metabolic syndrome was noted in each study. This was the case even in the absence of weight loss. The positive changes were as follows:

  1. Lowered fasting glucose levels
  2. Waist circumference reduction
  3. Blood pressure reduction
  4. Increased insulin sensitivity

These results were seen with just aerobic activities or a combination of aerobic and strength.

The chances of successful ovulation increased with regular exercise in a couple of the studies. This was most likely due to the other health issues that that were addressed by engaging in physical activity. For example, treating insulin resistance has been shown to help with ovulation.

In some studies, there was greater muscle strength shown in the study participants with PCOS versus the ones without it. They were able to life a great deal more than the other participants.

In regards to helping with weight loss (along with a good diet), a couple of studies showed it didn’t add any benefit for the women with PCOS. For them, it was only diet that helped.

Anecdotal reports

Every woman with PCOS has a different experience with the diagnosis. It is interesting to look around forums and blogs to read about them. Exercise is one of the topics that is talked about a lot on these sites.

These days more women are doing weightlifting because of the benefits that come with it. Some women with PCOS feel as though they will get bulky if they lift weights regularly. The reason they think this is because of the excess androgen levels a lot of us have.

The whole “getting bulky” thing is not true though. Being as though exercise helps treat insulin resistance (which can cause elevated testosterone levels), there is a good chance that women can lose some fat with weightlifting multiple times a week. This will make them look lean.

There have also been some women with PCOS saying that they seem to get stronger quicker than women without it. They said that they were able to progress with the amount of weight lifted at a faster pace than others even though they started their strength routines at the same time.

When it comes to me, I can get fast results (muscle definition, lean appearance) from exercising regularly. This is true even with not watching my calorie and carb intake very much.  This has just been my experience though and I am not trying to brag at all.

Exercise is an important part of life

To have a good quality of life, exercise should be part of it in addition to a healthy diet. There are great benefits to be had for everyone.

It is safe to say that women with PCOS might see a reduction in their symptoms when combining regular physical activity with the appropriate daily food choices. The evidence (scientific and anecdotal), clearly shows the healthy, PCOS-specific effects that we get from it.

Do you have PCOS? If so, how has exercise helped your symptoms?

Thanks for reading!

Sources-

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26587847

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29927897

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25430509

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3289164/

http://www.sjosm.org/article.asp?issn=1319-6308;year=2017;volume=17;issue=3;spage=123;epage=128;aulast=Shetty

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3115385/

#health #fitness #weightloss #weightlifting #diet #pcosawareness #pcos #womenshealth

Milk Thistle/Silymarin: Does This Really Help PCOS?

Milk Thistle/Silymarin: Does This Really Help PCOS?

I didn’t know what other picture to use!

As stated before, I love to do research on supplements and other science/health related things. Too bad I can’t make a career out of it!

Going on Pinterest or just typing “PCOS” into a Google search, comes up with lists of supplements that people say will help this condition. I plan on reading up on them and making posts showing my findings. These may or may not interest anyone but myself.

As the title states, this post is all about milk thistle. I will be discussing what it is, the alleged benefits, research done on it and my thoughts. Read on if you are curious!

Milk thistle: what it is and what it might do

The scientific name for milk thistle is silybum Marianum. This plant is native to North Africa, Southern Europe and parts of Asia. Its use in traditional medicine goes back thousands of years.

The active ingredient that is extracted from the plant is called, silymarin. This is said to be what causes the benefits it is touted as having.

The alleged benefits of milk thistle/silymarin are as follows:

  1. Helps acne and aging of the skin
  2. Treats liver problems
  3. Lowers cholesterol
  4. Treats type 2 diabetes
  5. Helps with indigestion
  6. Helps with hangovers

Milk thistle is sold in oil, capsule and powder form from a variety of brands. The dosage is usually 250 mg taken 1-2 times per day.

The side effects of supplementing with milk thistle include GI discomforts and headaches. It is also important to know that milk thistle should not be combined with medications that are changed by the liver (there are many, with Tylenol being one of them), estrogen pills and statins.

The research

There was a good amount of research articles I found on silymarin. One study did mention that there were poor study methods involved in some of the ones showing evidence of beneficial effects. That didn’t stop me from reading them though!

The liver-helping effects of silymarin were noted in several studies. The positive results that study participants obtained were by way of the lowering of their liver enzymes. Researchers believe that there is a lot of promise in this area.

When looking into milk thistle’s use as a supplement, I did not see that it could possibly be of use in the treatment of cancer. A few of the articles I read discussed there being anti-carcinogenic effects. One study even showed that it could help with chemotherapy side effects.

In most of the articles, there were said to be a lot of antioxidant actions with the supplementation of this plant. The researchers are saying that these effects are what causes the liver healing benefits shown in the studies. There were also some anti-inflammatory benefits that seemed to improve lung impairments.

In terms of the treatment of diabetes, results tended to be mixed. There were declines in blood glucose levels, but it was mainly in the study participants that also had liver problems. Also, the antioxidant actions did seem to show some positive effects on diabetic neuropathy.

The acne and hyperpigmentation lightening ability shown in some of the studies seemed like another promising benefit. There was a moderate reduction in the incidence and severity of acne lesions in the study participants. Antiaging and UVA protection potential was also noted which was attributed to the antioxidant effects that silymarin is said to have.

I only found a couple of research articles that mentioned things that could be relevant to PCOS. One showed there being some phytoestrogenic activity. This means that it could either reduce or increase estrogen levels. There were some mixed results regarding the supplementation of it improving fertility in women and sperm quality.

My thoughts

First, I should start off with the fact that I am not a medical professional or scientists. I know nothing other than what I read from various sources.

In my opinion, lifestyle changes (diet and consistent exercise) should be made if need be before jumping into trying milk thistle/silymarin or other supplements. I have read about women having a lot of success adding in these things to their daily diets though.

 It is important to understand that milk thistle/silymarin should NOT be combined with certain medications (liver changing ones) you are taking. I, myself, am unable to take this supplement due to being on a medication called, Lamictal.

As far as just attempting to treat skin problems (a symptom many of us with PCOS have), it could be worth a try. The silymarin can be bought in powder or solution form (see here: https://www.bulkactives.com/product/product/silymarin.html)  and used in a DIY skincare recipe.

In summary

Milk thistle/silymarin does show the possibility of having good benefits for a few different things. There needs to be more research done on it though (like so many other supplements!).

There is a lot of positive anecdotal evidence out there for it, but one should still be careful if they decide to take it.

Have you any of you taken milk thistle/silymarin to treat PCOS?

Thanks for reading!

Sources-

https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Silybum+marianum

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK11896/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17548793

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31956630

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27980584

https://examine.com/supplements/milk-thistle/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22354081

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6470681/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3198528/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4310066/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3519762/

#supplements #pcos #pcosawareness #hormones #womenshealth #diet

Supplement for PCOS: Berberine

Supplement for PCOS: Berberine

Treating PCOS is challenging. There are options available but as with all medications, they can be hit-or-miss for everyone.

Since insulin resistance is common in many PCOS sufferers, treating that part of it will sometimes lead to a reduction in other symptoms we tend to have. There are several things (prescription medications, diet and supplements) that are said to help with this problem.

Metformin is one of the medications that is used to treat insulin resistance. It is well-known around the PCOS forums for helping symptoms as well as causing bad side effects. Many have had to stop taking it due to these effects.

There are some herbal supplements that have shown to possibly have the same kind of effect on insulin resistance. One of these supplements is called Berberine. I have seen quite a few posts about this alternative to Metformin.

In this blog post I will be talking about what Berberine is, the alleged benefits, what the research says about it and my experience taking it.

Background on Berberine

Berberine is a chemical found in several different plants. The use of Berberine dates back to 650 BC and is still used a lot in Chinese medicine.

The alleged benefits are as follows:

1. Lowers blood sugar levels

2. Helps with weight loss

3. Helps with GI functioning

4. Fights inflammation

5. Improves the immune system

There are quite a few brands that sell Berberine in capsule and powder form. The recommended serving size per day is 1200 mg for most of them. It is to be taken right before or after meals.

The research done on it

There were some interesting research articles on Berberine. They all pretty much concluded the same, mostly positive things about its use as a supplement. It is important to remember that further studies are still needed though.

Three of the articles caught my attention the most and I read them all the way through. I decided to summarize the conclusions of each one below:

Article #1- Back in the 80s, Berberine was studied and showed anti-diabetic actions. It seemed to be very much like Metformin despite working differently. This meant that there was a decrease in fasted glucose and body fat. There were also some anti-tumor effects.

Article #2- The study that was done in this article showed the positive effects that Berberine has on lipids, renal functioning and cardiac contractions. There was a section of the article that also talked about inflammation and how Berberine is active against the metabolic pathway that causes it.

Article #3- This article, like the others, showed the supplementation of Berberine’s anti-diabetic action. The study also concluded that the lipid metabolism action of it was better than Metformin’s. When it came to waist measurements, the participants had a decrease in numbers even despite no weight changes.

For all three of these articles, side effects of Berberine were noted. They included diarrhea, constipation, bad gas, stomach pain, nausea and headaches. These are like what people experience on Metformin but were said to be less severe in some cases.

Researchers are not sure about the long-term use of Berberine. This is due to the DNA damage that it could possibly produce. It also is said to kill some good bacteria that is in our guts.

My experience with Berberine supplementation

Back in 2016, I came across posts on a PCOS forum about using Berberine instead of Metformin. The possibility of weight loss (I wasn’t that happy with my body at that time) and just to treat my PCOS symptoms in general were what caused me to buy a bottle of it.

I don’t remember what brand the Berberine capsules were from, but I assume it got relatively good reviews (I wouldn’t buy it if it didn’t). It came quick and I was really excited to start taking it.

I began taking just one (500 mg) a day for a week. Then, I went to two (1000 mg) a day for four weeks. I didn’t have any side effects, nor did I notice any positive effects either.

After those weeks of two capsules a day went by, I upped the dosage to three (1500 mg) capsules a day. Around four days of taking that much, I ended up going to the ER due to a gall stone. It was the worst pain I have ever felt.

I was thinking that the gall stone was caused by the high dosage of Berberine, so I decided to stop taking it completely. I found out after reading my medical notes a few days after my ER stay that I lost eight pounds during my time taking the Berberine. Since I never weighed myself and clearly didn’t pay attention to how I looked, I was surprised.

People were telling me that I looked as though I had lost weight and I guess I had. I am thinking it was from the Berberine. Since I never changed up my diet during that time, I don’t have any other explanation for it.

Will I take Berberine again?

I honestly do think about taking it again. This time it would be for the alleged immune system benefit. I believe that if I do indeed have insulin resistance, it will be treated just fine by me watching my carb intake.

As far as weight loss goes, I do not need any help in that area. I also don’t have issues with gaining a lot of fat on my abdomen area.

Since I can’t take any supplement (besides vitamin b6, ginger, probiotics and colostrum) without feeling extremely nauseous these days, I will probably not be buying Berberine again.

That is it for this post. Have you taken Berberine or Metformin before? If so, what were your experiences?

Thanks for reading!

Sources-

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6111450/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5839379/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2410097/

#pcos #pcosawareness #insulinresistance #lowcarb #health #womenshealth #supplements #research #science

Dealing With Functional Dyspepsia: Align Probiotics

Dealing With Functional Dyspepsia: Align Probiotics

Functional dyspepsia is really frustrating for anyone who has it. All of the tests we take usually show that nothing is wrong with us. Thus, we end up wasting a lot of money.

The doctors seem to think that we are crazy and it is all in our heads. So then we are told to seek out therapy and/or go on antidepressants (although some are said to help with gut issues).

For this post, I wanted to discuss this topic again and give an update on how I am trying to deal with it.

The treatment options

There are very few treatments available for functional dyspepsia. Part of this is due to the fact that we don’t know what causes our stomach problems and why.

The only treatments that I know of are as follows:

1. Anti-nausea prescription medication (Zofran, Phenegran)

2. Anti-nausea OTC medication/supplements (ginger, Dramamine, Unisom, vitamin B6 etc.)

3. Cognitive behavioral therapy

4. Amitriptyline

5. Hypnosis

6. Acupuncture

7. Probiotics?

My hope is that more research can be done on functional dyspepsia so that us sufferers can have more effective treatments.

New product I am trying

I have been taking probiotics by the Beeyoutiful company (called Tummy Tuneups) for a few years now. In one of my other posts, I had mentioned that I didn’t really feel as though they were doing much for me.

I decided to look up what the top rated probiotics on the market are. That was when I stumbled upon the Align brand. I was immediately intrigued and decided to look more into them.

The kind of bacteria in it was one that I had not heard of and is not in the Tummy Tuneups. When I looked up reviews on Amazon there were many people raving about it. What I paid most attention to were the people that were saying that these probiotics reduced the amount of gut “flare-ups” that they get.

Even though there were negative reviews on it, I decided that I needed to buy a box. It is pretty expensive which is not good for me right now but I am desperate for relief.

I have only been taking them for 1.5 weeks now. I am not sure if I feel any different yet and I don’t know if I actually will. Time will tell I guess. My plan is to keep taking them everyday for three months and then reassess.

I still have a bottle of Tummy Tuneups and I will take them along with the Align ones until they are gone. In terms of future use, I may or may not buy them again.

Not getting my hopes up

Although I am excited to see if Align works for me, I will not get my hopes up about it. I will be elated if it does help me though!

Do you have chronic stomach issues? What helps you?

Thanks for reading!

#dyspepsia #chronichealthproblems #stomach #health #womenshealth #pcos #pcosawareness

How to Get Rid of Chest and Back Acne

How to Get Rid of Chest and Back Acne

If you are like me, you like to bare skin in the warmer months. I am already looking forward to it!

What I am not looking forward to is the back and chest acne that will surely follow the warm temperatures. I am acne prone everywhere it seems.

Fortunately, I have found products that really help. I wanted to share them just in case someone is struggling with acne in those two spots and doesn’t know what to do about it.

The products

The five products pictured worked really well for me. They might work well for anyone reading this too! Here is a little bit about each of them:

1. CeraVe SA Bodywash- This is a body wash that contains salicylic acid, niacinamide and ceramides. Its purpose is to smooth out bumpy skin in a gentle. It has absolutely no fragrance due to the fact that they sometimes cause irritation.

2. SAL3 Advanced Cleansing Bar- These are bars of soap that contain salicylic acid and sulfur. It is for acne and other skin conditions. The bars have antiseptic and antifungal actions.

3. Sea salt- Pretty simple! Many people have it around. It is all-natural and can be beneficial for quite a few beauty-related purposes.

4. pH Prep Solution from Makeup Artist’s Choice- This is a toner that is recommended by MUAC to be used before and after doing chemical peels. It contains glycolic acid, witch hazel and lactic acid.

5. Alpha Skincare Renewal Body Lotion- This is a 12% glycolic acid lotion. Its purpose is to exfoliate and provide antiaging benefits.

How they can be used in a routine

I have found ways to use these products in my body care routines. You don’t have to do exactly what I do though.

The following is just a suggestion on how these can be part of your acne-clearing arsenal:

*Cleansing the areas: Alternate between using the CeraVe SA body wash and the Cleansing bar on the areas where you get/have the acne. I cleansed my areas twice a day but once is probably fine. Make sure to pat dry after rinsing.

*Toner: I also alternate between using a salt toner (1 tsp mixed into ¼ cup of warm water) and the pH Prep Solution from MUAC. Even though the Prep Solution is supposed to be for using before chemical peels, I have found it fights oil and pimples. You could use one or the other though. Just apply to the areas with a cotton ball and let it dry.

*Moisturize: The glycolic acid lotion provides moisture to the skin as well as fighting acne. After toning, apply it to the chest and back. It is also great for the whole body.

*Something else you can do: Benzoyl peroxide cream/gel is another thing you can consider putting on the areas. This should be done a few minutes after the toner is dry. After applying, make sure to wait about 20 minutes so that it can have time to absorb before applying a non-comedogenic lotion. I believe that putting the glycolic acid lotion on after the benzoyl peroxide might be too harsh.

I hope this helps

Again, these are just ideas. They may work for you or not. I really hope they do help though!

Having acne on your chest and back is a confidence-killer when you want to wear cute stuff in warm temperatures. If you are struggling with severe acne in these areas, it might be best to see a dermatologist.

Do any of you get chest and back acne? How do you deal with it?

Thanks for reading!

#acne #skincare #beauty #summerbody #womenstyle #pcos