I have a lot of ladies in my practice that have struggled with period related acne despite diet changes, probiotics and harsh topical treatments.

The mineral zinc balances copper levels naturally in the body. The more stressed we are the more we deplete our zinc stores. The more estrogen we have in the body the lower our zinc levels are.

Elevated estrogen is linked to elevated copper in the body. When estrogen is elevated it’s likely due to a condition called estrogen dominance.

Estrogen dominance presents itself with weight gain in the thighs and backs of the arms, PMS, acne and migraines before the period. Quick to anger and irritability are also signs of estrogen dominance.

Pair all of the imbalances from hormones and stress with a diet trend toward a paleo lifestyle that is rich in nuts, seeds and nut flour treats and you get a higher surge of copper in the body.

So if you’ve been eating a paleo diet, noticing weight gain in the thighs and arms (or lack of weight loss in those areas despite a ton of effort) plus stubborn acne even though you are eating clean, taking probiotics and have an anti-acne topical routine you may be zinc deficient.

I recommend trying zinc piccolinate out for 3 months to see if it can help with your acne. Start with 15 mg a day for one week then increase by 15 mg weekly till you reach 60 mg. There are reports of some people taking up to 150 mg of zinc a day however, I recommend keeping the amount of zinc you consume on a daily basis to under 60 mg.

Worried about taking zinc without knowing if you have a deficiency?

Good question. I do recommend testing your red or white blood cell level of zinc prior to supplementing with high levels of zinc. Insurance isn’t prone to covering these tests yet one can obtain a red blood cell zinc test out of pocket via Lab Corp. To obtain an even more accurate amount of zinc in the body one can have their white blood cells tested using a company called Spectra Cell’s Micronutrient Testing. The Micronutrient testing is the most accurate way to determine vitamin and mineral deficiencies in the body. The testing costs around $400 US. You can find a doctor who uses Spectra Cell near you by searching their website. https://www.spectracell.com/patients/get-tested/

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