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I'm brand new to the board. Hello. My 12-year struggle with acne has brought me here. I've been on my own personal quest for viable acne prevention ever since paying my final visit ever to a dermatologist two years ago. I lived a life enslaved to acne vulgaris (couldn't they have given Acne a more amiable last name). I went the whole antibiotics-accutane-topicals-proactiv route like most everyone else who still has acne problems past their early 20's. I've allowed dermatologists to pump me full of one foreign substance after another to the point my body had become a chronic complainer.

I was searching online one time trying to find a remedy to acne that didn't call for anything unnatural coming in contact with my body. I found a few sites talking about a diet-acne connection. I remember laughing and thinking, "How archaic. Haven't these people listened to anything dermatologist said in the past 30 years". Then that's when the epiphony happened….I have been listening to dermatologists ever since my first zit in the early '90s and it has left me no different than when I first began. I became set on finding information that went against the dermatological world's treatments and views on acne.

Side note: it was that day that I got off the Proactiv caustic wash and broke out like a convict at the penitentuary. The urge to get back on Proactiv so I would not have to wear a ski mask in public was excruciating. But I persisted with strength from the good Lord above and my resolve to do things naturally. So I ran into a site by some lady named Wai. I was fascinated by her explanations on the connection between food and acne-- so much so that I tried her sample diet for a month. Basically just fruit, veggies, healthy fats…everything raw. I noticed tremendous improvements, 90% clear. But I got greedy and wanted to be closer to the century mark. I sought more websites that linked eating and acne. I ran into Loren Cordain's study of the acne-free people in PNG and Paraguay. Fascinating reading material. I re-introduced chicken and fish to my diet. I got to about 95% clear.

Further reading found a connection between the glycemic loads of food and acne. This made the most sense to me. Some of the fruits I was eating (grapes, banannas, dried fruits, fruit juices) have a higher GL. Once I kicked them out of my diet I was at 97% (these percentages are an amusing attempt at quantifying my acne vulgaris). Lastly, I read about superfoods like garlic, coconut, avocado, brazil nuts. I ate more of these and have been 99% clear for a few months. I slip up now and then, and my face erupts. That's how I have drawn the connection between foods and acne. I believe it with all my heart, though I know there are other factors involved (I am searching for these factors now).

I know this post was long. My first one, cut me some slack. I will be less verbose in posts to come, I promise. BTW, SweetJade, I've admired your work for a few months now.
Yeah it really is mind boggling isn't it? No one seems to be able to fully connect the fact that Type II Diabetes didn't exist 100 years ago. No one can fully connect that the Top Diseases today, lifestyle diseases such as obesity, colon cancer, heart disease, were not on the top or weren't even on the list 100 years ago. What killed us back then were viruses, bacterial diseases, or nutrient defficiencies, what's killing us now are mainly environmentally induced also, BUT due to our lifestyles.

The other thing that people say is that they eat the same way as their parents, and they never had these problems. Well what our parents eat now, is not what most of them grew up eating. Most grew up eating food prepared at home and so they had a good foundation to begin with. Whereas a % of us may have started out with a good foundation but as we grew older and started going to school, that changed to Refined foods, packaged food, fast food, vending machine food, etc. All things that are convenient but not healthy for us on a long term daily basis, especially while we are still growing & going through puberty!

Most of this food we eat now didn't exist in those forms 100 years ago. In fact I believe TV Dinners just came on board in the 1930s or 1940s and those things were my staples along with canned food for several years (1-2x a day) prior to changing my diet. Fast food was something that I started eating regularly for lunch in High School and continued into college. Fast Food is something that in the 1980s Americans consumed several times a week on average, so imagine what that number is now.

I think that's what people fail to understand. Food isn't just food. The [B]quality[/B] & [B]type [/B] of food has changed drastically this past century. Along with this has come an increased consumption of refined foods that [B]severely [/B] lack the basic nutrients (fiber) to maintain health & prevent disease. When it comes down to us avoiding very specific things like bread for example, it's not because it's "bread" but because of [B]the way it is produced [/B], or because it [B]contains proteins that are problematic[/B] or because there are much [B]more nutritious grains[/B] than wheat. Yet, no matter how naturally nutritious or vitamin enriched a food is, if it causes [B]you[/B] a problem (allergies, intolerance, diabetes, acne) you have NO business eating it daily or at all...unless you honestly don't care about helping yourself.

Unfortunately that's something that people do is live for the "now" and then cry about the future later. Did ya'll know that if you have a hormonal disorder such as diabetes, thyroidits and acne, that we are more susceptible to accuiring more diseases and even cancers? Probably because [B]our bodies are already running in overdrive or underdrive and has yet to find BALANCE![/B] If we don't [B]try[/B] to control or prevent these problems to begin with, after years or decades of chronic imbalance the body starts to break down and as a result, prostate cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer can occur because we [I]allowed [/I] things to further escalate. Honestly, I don't do any of this in hopes of living longer or preventing cancer, but to improve my quality of life, health (eliminate acne, etc) and thus, boost my happiness so that I CAN enjoy my life for the "right now".
[QUOTE=Freerider]Sweetjade, thanks for the insightful post. I agree with everything you wrote. Don't you wish sometimes that you can have a higher platform from which to express your beliefs and the facts on the effects of a modern diet? The acneboard is a humble podium. Until some of talking heads catch the wave, we'll have to keep to our grassroots approach to changing people's thinking. I proposed this argument to a friend eating cheese curls the other day. Drawing from the doodle's resemblance to Styrofoam, I asked my friend if he would ever eat orange Styrofoam. He just rolled his eyes, as he usually does when I begin a diatribe on healthy dieting. I told him that I bet 200 years ago people would have gasped at the prospect of ingesting something as foreign to the body as a cheese curl. He somewhat agreed after pondering the idea. I then bet that 200 years from now, if we continued the downward spiral, people may be eating food closer to the chemical composition of Styrofoam than to actual food. He thought I was an idiot, but I don’t think I was being to far-fetched.

We live in a country of convenience. Because of the societal pressure to be successful, financially-speaking, people have put careers ahead of all else, including family. People used to have more time to prepare food from scratch, grow gardens, etc. Now deadlines and commitments and the drive to be have more money/things than your father and neighbor forces people to turn the priority pyramid upside down. Family and health is the side project to the career. People address me as Freerider (pseudonym), the successful Environmental Specialist, instead of Freerider, the good husband and humanitarian. Okay, I'm at the wrong board for this type of tangent. But I believe the screwed up diet of today has roots here.

Sweetjade, do you have backup research articles or other sources for the thought that those of us with hormonal diseases (inc. acne) are more susceptible to acquiring other diseases? I would be very interested in reading up on this and passing the knowledge to others….[/QUOTE]


Sorry it took me a while to get back to ya but sometimes it feels like you are talking to a wall around here and you've gotta live your own life cuz you know that when you come back, everything will still be the same as when you left it. ;-) Although, I'm always thrilled to see that there are at least few more people that have been successful with diet around here when I do.

Anyway, I only found a few direct studies, the others just show various signs & symptoms of a particular disorder. I don't know if I can post the articles, but I'll just give you the links from that have the abstracts:

[B]The influence of medical conditions associated with hormones on the risk of breast cancer.[/B]

[B]Early growth, adult body size and prostate cancer risk[/B]

[B]Androgen action: molecular mechanism and medical application[/B]

[B]Polycystic ovary syndrome: a review for primary providers[/B]

[B]Cutaneous manifestations of systemic diseases[/B]

[B]Skin disorders and thyroid diseases[/B]

[B]Acne and hirsutism in polycystic ovary syndrome: clinical, endocrine-metabolic and ultrasonographic differences.[/B]

Just for kicks, there was a study done on acneic twins and it was found that those that had acne also had low levels of [B]Apolipoprotein A1 [/B] which is the main part of HDL Cholesterol (good stuff) ....well Insulin Resistance Syndrome, usually a preventable disease, also reduces the levels of both of these.

[B]The influence of genetics and environmental factors in the pathogenesis of acne: a twin study of acne in women.[/B] [url][/url]

[B]Prevalence of non-traditional cardiovascular disease risk factors among persons with impaired fasting glucose, impaired glucose tolerance, diabetes, and the metabolic syndrome: analysis of the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III). [/B] [url][/url]

[B]Mechanisms of HDL lowering in insulin resistant, hypertriglyceridemic states: the combined effect of HDL triglyceride enrichment and elevated hepatic lipase activity.[/B]

[B]Lipoprotein lipids in polycystic ovarian syndrome: independent associations with androgen excess and insulin resistance[/B] [url][/url]

Well, I guess that's enough for now. Hope all is well =)
[QUOTE=Blazin mami]so right!!! so what do u do to combat acne?[/QUOTE]

If you are talking to me, and not being sarcastic, I did a lot of different things in hopes of combating acne. I notice that you are a newbie so I hope that means you are open-minded enough to listen to what others on this board say. After all, if you didn't have acne anymore, you probably wouldn't be here. I know that I was never an acne board visitor until a few years ago myself. If I had never visited I wouldn't have found some of the very answers that lead me to where I am today.

I've suffered with acne for 14 years and finally something as simple as certain dietary changes managed to get me 99% clear. People don't want to hear it, and I'm sorry, but I can't change what has worked for myself and others around here just because they don't "like it" or don't "understand". I've nearly exhausted myself trying to come up with simpler ways of breaking it down, but there's always someone that doesn't get it....or flat out refuses to. This is why people leave or probably end up getting banned...due to the intensity that these type of threads can bring to the board =(

People will say that they "won't do it", "don't believe it", or that "there's no connection," but diet threads are very popular threads. Wether people chose to respond or not, just look at how many views these threads get. People are curious...and maybe some of them are a bit hopeful that it could really be that simple. In a sense it really is that simple, after all, the one thing we must do in order to live is eat. We don't need to spend our money on topicals, on supplements, on medications, etc, but we DO need to spend on money on food. So, if food can be our medicine, why not let it be?

I'm not saying that it works 100% for everyone, but from the people that I've talked to, worked with, testimonies, and from the scientific studies, it works more often than not. Of course results vary depending on what people choose to avoid and I think that right there may be the problem. I tried eliminating chocolate candy & soda for 10 years and my skin never cleared. I tried drinking only organic milk for several months and then no milk and my skin never improved. It was only until I eliminated Gluten from my diet that I was able to see a dramatic improvement. After I did that, I was better able to ascertain what other foods affected me too. Candy/sugars somewhat, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Dairy, Trans Fats, etc they were only 4% of my problem, where as Gluten was 95% of my problem, so no wonder I couldn't see the connection sooner. ;-)

I don't know what you believe in, but have you ever noticed how HARD it is for people, the government, others in power, to do the "right" thing? Ever notice how innocent people or those trying to help are booed, shunned, attacked, laughed at, ignored? Yet in the end, how many times were they right? It takes A LOT of "fighting" to get the world to change and anything that has been worth something, end of slavery, women's suffrage, etc. there was a HUGE struggle to get there. People couldn't at first concieve of it and now, most people couldn't imagine it being any other way... this is the same thing.

Personally, I'm open to what ever will cure your acne. I don't have preference for people, although I would like for them to do it as safely & healthily as possible. How many courses of accutane must one go on before they give up? How many times must one go on antibiotics before they realize that antibiotices will never cure them? Yet aside from that, I'm open about so many methods and I offer up whatever knowledge and personal experiences I've had with them. Just because BP, RetinA, and Spironolactone didn't work (enough) for me doesn't mean I'm going to go and attack every poster that raves about how these things cleared them. That's silly, why would I go against something that's obviously working for people and that has scientific studies to back it up, yet that's what some members enjoy doing when it comes to the use of appropriate dietary changes. They completely ignore our doctors' advice, our education (nutritionists, biologists, medical students, etc), testimonies, explanations, recent scientific studies and continue to live in a "world" that I don't come close to understanding, and... I wish that they would just stop and [B]respect[/B] what has worked for us, just as I respect what is working for others.

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