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nonbelievers of the diet/acne connection, i urge you take a few minutes to read this and consider it. believers, please comment and share your experiences.

i am 28 y/o female. my acne came back with a vengeance about a year and a half after two courses of accutane. since then, changing my diet (specifcally to low simple carb, low glycemic index, low sugar, low dairy) has controlled my acne . when i stick with the diet i am clear, when i don't i get blemishes within 1 - 3 days.

i think there are three main reasons that make the diet/acne connection difficult to believe:
1. MISunderstanding the meaning of "healthy" food
2. MISunderstanding of the way food "works."
3. condsidering acne a cosmetic problem rather than a health problem

for a long time i was a NONbeliever in the diet/acne connection. it took me 27 years to realize, that food that comes in a can or box is not only not healthy, but not exactly "real" food either. throughout highschool and college i ate very poorly (fries, pizza, chicken wings etc). at one point i thought i'd be healthy and help my skin by eliminating greasy food. i stopped eating pizza, fries etc but still had acne. what was i eating mostly? pasta, potatoes, dairy, sandwiches, cereals. at the time, i didn't know all these SIMPLE carbs and processed food were so bad. then i came across a few acne message boards and other info on the internet and learned/realized what foods are not very good for you: SIMPLE carbs (bread, pasta), HIGH glycemic index foods (potatoes, carrots), dairy (ice cream, cheese, milk, butter), and sweets (cookies, pastries, etc). i know...it covers A LOT of stuff. i thought to myself...i can't do this...i'll starve! i didn't think it was possible/healthy to NOT eat this stuff. but i was so desperate i tried it. over the course of the past 11 months i've nearly elminated these "bad" foods. now i only eat what i believe are truly healthy foods: COMPLEX carbs, LOW glycemic index food, the majority of my meals now consist of FRESH vegetables and fruits, leafy greens, beans/legumes, nuts and seeds. "real" food is NOT paul newman's "healthy" line of foods. although probably better than other commercial brands of food, they still contain lots of sugar and preservatives. nor is healthy food boxes and cans that read "low-carb" and "vitamin enriched." i don't think a supplement is quite the same as getting the vitamins directly from fresh vegetables and fruit; some people have noted their acne got better when they stopped taking commercial vitamins, like centrum. NATURAL foods. natural meaning it doesn't come in a box or can, it's naturally occurring in nature.

no matter what you eat, food IS DOING SOMETHING to you internally. the way it MANIFESTS itself is going to be different from person to person. certainly if this were a weight board instead of an acne board, you wouldn't be saying "food doesn't make you fat." i can pretty much eat as much of whatever i want and not get overly fat. yes i will gain weight but i will not balloon. my brother can eat whatever he wants (which is mostly fast and proccessed food) and he doesn't gain weight at all, he's a toothpick. does that mean the food he is eating is not doing anything to him? he doesn't have acne, but he has high cholesterol and a lot of stomach probs. i have a couple girlfriends who have slight weight problems. when they eat poorly, they say they can "feel food" going to their thighs. when i eat poorly, i notice my skin get oiler and i'll get blemishes 1 - 3 afterwards. in short, food is doing things inside of us. for some of us, including me, poor foods manifests itself in the form of acne.

what is most worrisome is that most of us, including the medical profession, consider acne a cosmetic concern, not a health concern. but it really should be a health concern, especially for those of us past puberty still struggling with acne. our body is trying to tell us something is awry. also, the philosphy of the medical profession in general is to treat the SYMPTOM of an ailment, not the ROOT CAUSE. for example, consider acne being a rash. let's say that rash was due to new detergent. most doctors would most likely give you some topical cream and not consider environmental factors. last time i went to a derm, she barely looked at me, and less than 10 minutes later, walked out with 5...FIVE! prescriptions, which of course, did not help.

last, but not least, on other health message boards i have been on (not just other acne boards, but also PCOS, diabeties, excessive sweating, excessive body hair, excessive fatigue) many, many people have indicated they've controlled and/or CURED the symtpoms from these ailments from changing their diet to low carb/low glycemic/low sugar.

ok, that's it. i know it was a lot, but i just had to get this off my chest.
[b]idealist[/b],

Thank you so much for starting this thread. It took me nearly 30 years to become a believer and I feel like such an idiot for not making the connection sooner cause it seems so obvious now. After all, no one doubts the connection between diet and heart disease or diet and diabetes. Do you mean to tell me that foods are powerful enough to clog your arteries, damage your kidneys or your liver, and rot your teeth, but they can't affect to your skin? Give me a break. I think a big reason why so many people are still unconvinced is because they don't realize the full extent of what foods are unhealthy. I'll hear people say they quit eating greasy foods and foods with sugar, but they still have acne. Well maybe it's because you didn't eliminate all the bad foods or maybe you did, but you didn't stick with it long enough to see the results. I was like a lot of people. I believed that dairy products, whole wheat bread, and brown rice were safe. No one ever died from eating bread and milk. And the famous food pyramid told us these were good foods. Of course now I know the food pyramid is useless since it was designed by The Department of Agriculture, a department whose primary function is to protect the health of the food industry.

Now I realize just how powerful food really is. Millions of years of evolution have conditioned our bodies to run on certain foods, but now we feed ourselves foods that our bodies aren't quite equipped to handle. It's like if you took regular gasoline, changed it, added some new ingredients, and then put it in your car. Would you expect your car to run the same? Of course not. As far as acne is concerned, dermatologists have little credibility in this area. The practice of medicine is first and foremost a business. You won't last long if you're telling your patients to go home and stop eating certain foods. But you'll make a lot of money if you can get them to take one drug after another. And the drug company who makes the drug will reward you handsomely. But it's not always a case of doctor looking to make money off of you. Sometimes, they just don't know better. They're just doing what they've been taught. Unfortunately, what they've been taught isn't always right. Food corporations influence what's taught in nutrition classes in med school and drug companies influence research studies to skew the findings in their favor. Think about all this the next time your dismisses the diet/acne connection and then tells you to take accutane or some other pill.





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