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Hi all!

This is my first post. Oh, and I have a feeling it is going to be a long post, so bear w/ me! I have been lurking for quite some time and have been intrigued by the posts relating to diet and acne. I have suffered from acne for quite some time, now...about 9 years. I have Celiac disease (which is a disease that renders the small intenstine unable to digest gluten, which is found in most breads/pastas, etc) and have been on a gluten free/milk free diet for over a year, now. I have felt a bit better on this diet, however I still suffer from acne!! I am not able to digest: wheat flour, barley, millet, yeast, and a tonne of other grains due to the Celiac disease (therefore, I don't eat a lot of carbs to begin with). I'm also intolerant of milk and soy products (although up until a week ago I ate a lot of cheese and yogurt). On top of that, I've tried a restricted carbohydrate diet for a period of time (eating lots of meat/cheese - my nutritionist said that cheese & yogurt were OK to eat as they contained very little lactose - nuts and fruit/veggies). I really tried to restrict my sugar intake on this "specific carbohydrate diet", too. I did not find that I had that much success with it in terms of clearing up my acne and craved a little bit of carbs.

Quite recently, due to the fact that I am SICK of acne, I looked more closely into the acne/diet link. I have tried *every* type of product given to me by a derm: Accutane twice (worked well, but zits came back after a short period of time), antibiotics (I am on minocin right now, but trying to get off of it), BP bills (I am on Diane-35 right now...I don't find it really works, I've been on it for about 2 years), all sorts of topicals (I am using Tazorac right now...not sure about that one, either) and face-washes. Due to the fact that I have also tried to restrict my carbs and have tried the low carb diet by supplementing a lot of meat and cheese with my meals everyday and having little success, I am trying one other option: a vegan diet. I have been on it for a little under a week and am eating rice (for one meal, only - I don't eat any other grains except for rice), lots of fruits and veggies, water (lots of it!), beans and nuts. That is my diet. I have cut out all meats/fish/eggs, *all* dairy products, all sugar, high animal fat foods, junk foods and most carbs (with the exception of rice). I use only olive oil and canola oil to cook with (mostly olive oil, though). This is the only other option I can think of that will help me since I"ve tried *everything* and have restricted my diet already! I was talking with a co-worker a little while ago and she is a strict vegetarian. The reason she does not eat meat is due to the high levels of hormones and other additives in animal products and byproducts. Looking at the reports that link excess hormones to acne, and the fact that I have tried a diet high in animal protein/low in carbs and had little success on it (and I was strict about this diet, too!), I am thinking that there is a connection.

However, I am finding this vegan diet to be very difficult as I already have a very restricted diet as is. In order to maintain a vegan lifestyle, it is crucial to get protein from other sources, such as soy/dairy/grains. Since i am intolerant of soy, dairy and most grains, I am finding it increasingly difficult to get an equal balance of these things in my diet. I am also taking lots of vitamins since people with Celiac Disease tend to be deficient in many vitamins. I am currently taking: Vitamins: A,C,all B vitamins, D,E, Chromium, Selenium (yeast-free), Zinc, Iron, Calcium, MSM (4000 mgs a day), Flax Seed Oil (3000 mgs a day)... and I think that's it!

Does anyone out there have experience with a gluten-free/vegan diet? I would love to hear some input on this. On a plus side, I have noticed that my skin *is* a little better (granted, it's only been a week). I will keep you posted on my results.

Thanks for reading. Any advice would be *so* appreciated!

Hey Lizzybeth!

I have actually been doing a lot of research about a vegan diet as well for helping the skin. There is a website I found that is based in Canada that specializes in holistic healing for the skin and they strongly believe we need to heal from the inside first to remedy acne and even acne scarring. I have started reading lots of other literature about nutrition as well and I am starting to believe that there really is a link between diet and acne. Many holistic practitioners believe that when our digestive system gets clogged with lots of "unhealthy" food, our body is loaded with toxins and needs to find a way to elminate them. And often, when the digestive system is not working properly, our body eliminates these toxins through our skin.

I recently bought some vegan cookbooks that help with finding recipes to make meals -- this definitely helps since the choices are limited. I also bought a juicer and have been making carrot juice which is supposed to be excellent for your overall health. I love it.

I'd love to hear how you are doing on your diet. bella
Lizzybeth, how were you diagnosed with Celiac disease? ..... what are the symptoms of this disease? ... I head that acne is a symptom, that worries me.

I truly believe that there is a link between acne and diet ... diet may not be the cause but it is a factor that may influence the severity of acne.

Thank you,
Take more flax, atleast 5000mgs, try udo's perfect oil blend, it has O3,06,and 09 in perfect balance..It sounds like your diet isn,t a problem..
also you can start with some relaxation sessions..two 20 minute sessions a day, you can buy some relaxation tapes to help you reach deep relaxation..
Hi Mike!

The symptoms of celiac disease can be varied, but generally include: anemia, diarrhea, weight loss, fatigue, cramps, bloating, irritability, vitamin deficiencies, skin rash (dermatitis herpetiformis). I was diagnosed at a very young age (many people are diagnosed in infancy or shortly thereafter, however there are still a number of people who go undetected for decades)and kept a strict gluten-free diet for many years while I was growing up, but when I hit the age of 12/13, I started eating whatever i wanted, whenever I wanted. I didn't really have much trouble with my stomach (or so I though) while I ate a diet rich in gluten (I more or less ate hamburgers, hot dogs, cake, etc, etc..). When I hit the age of..oh.. 22 (a couple of years ago) I went back to a specialist and asked if I had been misdiagnosed since I didn't seem to be reacting to anything. They did a biopsy which came back positive, which meant I still had the disease. Since then, I've worked very hard to maintain my diet, but it is difficult since gluten is in almost EVERYTHING! ..
Since I've been thinking a lot about diet and acne lately, I'm sure that my acne *could* be related to my previous poor diet patterns. And since my digestive tract is probably not up to speed anyway, perhaps I just don't digest food properly, leading to a buildup of bacteria. This is just my interpretation of it.. I know that there is a skin rash associated with the disease, but I'm also sure that it can cause a load of other problems that are not mentioned.

Anyway, I hope this has helped. If you'd like a good website to visit on the topic, try:

Lizzybeth, you ought to be able to get *plenty* of protein from non-soy beans, like kidney beans, black beans, white beans, chickpeas, etc. unless you're allergic to them. i prefer them to soy myself.
And brazil nuts seem to be a very good protein source

Hi Tommy jojo, nice to see you ar still around! How are you doing?
As you may have noticed, there is a new diet in town (Raw food diet aka Wai's diet). I just started with it myself.
Sorry to hear about your problem.

I've been vegan for quite some time, almost 3 years, and I have IBS so I must stay away from eating wheat. I don't have anywhere near the amount of restrictions you do, so I can't offer any new advice, but I agree with the person who said to find some good cookbooks. I don't have a lot of money, so what I do is go to the bookstore (barnes and noble is a good one) and I bring a notebook with me. I'll sit in an aisle and jot down all the recipes I want to try, that way I don't waste any money on cookbooks but I get a whole bunch of new foods to try.

One thing to remember is that you're doing this for your health, but you want to be happy. If you aren't being satisfied with your diet, your health won't improve. Keep trying new recipes, fiddle around with ones of your own, and you'll find that you're getting better.

Best of Luck
What is the name of the holistic website you mentioned, which is based out of Canada? I would love to read up more on this.

If you are concerned with not getting enough complete protein and B-12 on a vegan diet and are trying to stay away from the hormones found in commercial livestock and poultry, you might consider fish or organically grown grass fed beef and poultry and eggs. Another avenue is an "elimination diet" to determine exactly what it is that you are sensitive to. Most elimination diets allow cod and flounder for protein initially since very few people are sensitive to these fish. You can find out more info by doing an internet search with using the search words "elimination diet".

Regarding hormones, you might have a hormonal imbalance. You can get these tested via salivary hormone tests that you can get over the net. These tests are supposed to be more accurate than blood tests since they measure the free (unbound) circulating hormones. For more information, just do a search using the search terms "Dr. David Zava hormones".

Regarding the whole range of diet and health issues, Dr. Mercola's site has quite a bit of useful information. He advocates a low or no grain diet using whole natural foods as a first step in treating most ailments.


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