First, I want to say how much I appreciate the research you’ve shared here on the boards. I know you have spent a lot of time and are dedicated to helping others.
How bad was your acne before you began treatment? How is it now?
Did you ever try B5? What is your opinion on it?
I’m a 24 year-old female whose acne problem began at age 22. Before that, during my teenage years, I had occasional blemishes, but not to be considered a problem. I’ve had oily skin and hair since puberty.
My acne is primarily around my chin and mouth area and in the center of my back, but I get blemishes just about everywhere on occasion – cheeks, forehead, eyebrows, ears, scalp. I have I guess what you’d call mild acne (about a dozen noticeable blemishes at any given time), but with red marks leftover galore! I also have many small bumps that are not noticeable except close-up. They are not red or whiteheads, but they never go away and they do have white gunk in them if squeezed – but I try not to do that because that makes them red. Then they come back later anyway…
Topicals (AHA, BHA, BP) seem to help, but I think internal is key here. I take a multi-vitamin as well as Essential EFAs.
I have a doctor’s appointment next Monday and plan to have the appropriate tests done to determine allergies, intolerances, hormonal imbalances, or nutrient deficiencies.
My questions for you involve diet… I’d like to start with yours… (I know the same thing won’t work for everyone, but I figure your diet is a good place to start since you’ve done so much research.)
Your quote from a previous thread:
“I personally discovered that not only does Gluten Grains (wheat, barely, rye, etc) cause me problems, but so does GF Refined Cereal (acne in/around earlobe), Soda, Bananas, Peanuts (forehead, eyebrow acne), and Cherries.”
I’ve eliminated bananas from my diet, because they caused me to have heartburn. My skin has improved since eliminating them.
I’m going to eliminate peanuts and peanut butter, because I think those may also be contributing.
I don’t eat cherries or refined cereals.
I want to try Gluten-Free as well, but I don’t know where to start.
Where can I find a list of foods that contain Gluten??? (I don’t want to buy a book.)
Should I give up my morning coffee sweetened with Splenda?
Diet soda? I know Dr. Perricone says NO COFFEE!
Should I try green tea with honey? I’ve heard Splenda is bad too…
What about a caffeine pill in place of coffee? I like my caffeine…
I drink water, but probably not enough. I have consumed up to a gallon of H2O a day and that didn’t seem to help my skin much.
What does your average daily diet consist of?
What are some foods that you eat on a regular basis? I’m especially interested in quick snacks (maybe nuts, seeds, cheese, other whole foods). I don’t like very many fruits (only pineapple, grapes, apples) but love vegetables.
That’s all for now. I truly appreciate your help!!!
Some companies sell 20%, others 80% - 90% and 85%-95% Free Fatty Acid Sterol content in their Saw Palmetto. To get the most effect from yours you want the highest amount since this is the active ingredient. Now there are prostate formulas that will use less than this, but I'm guessing it's because they combine SEVERAL natural anti-androgens together and you wouldn't want to overdue it, if you're male ;-)
Actually Beta sitosterol is THE ingredient found in Saw Palmetto, Nettle and some other herbs. I personally have only ever used saw palmetto, but you are welcome to test them all out. Of course if you can, make sure you get Capsules, Gelcaps, or Tinctures of the supplements you take for the best bioavailability.
Do you still take Saw Palmetto?
How much do you take?
I read in a previous post of yours that 1000-2000mg is suggested.
Hey there, how are things now? I know that you are working on Sunfells diet and I heard that you've seen some results! =) So tell me what are you avoiding at the moment?
As for what I do, I made a list of foods and substitues here Acne SAFE Recipes & Substitute Foods but I didn't mention specifics yet. If you love veggies than eat all you want of them. Especially the greens ones. In terms of the fruits, sometimes there's a reason you only eat certain foods, so don't expand your list of foods unless you are looking for variety or you genuinely enjoy eating them. Sometimes our fav. foods can be bad for us and sometimes our least fav. foods can be bad for us, so that may be a bit of a natural Instinct thing ;-)
As for junk food or snack foods, I eat trail mix (gluten free ones). I eat all kinds of trail mixes and dried fruits and nuts as long as they aren't the ones that I'm avoiding (cashews, peanuts, cherries, and bananas). I love mangos, Kiwis, grapes, peaches, plums, pears, dried cranberries (flavored), raisens, etc. Insead of eating ice cream, I'll eat some yogurt, but mostly I buy all natural applesauce. Now these are also flavored and so I throw them in the fridge and grab one when I want something cold or am too lazy to cut my own apple ;-) I also eat the canned and prepackaged cup fruit blends, but I don't drink the juice because it's filled with added sugars.
Occasionally I'll buy granola bars, but I think that they also cause me problems, but not 100% certain yet. I also eat rice cakes, popcorn, potato chips. I try to go for the best possible, but 50% of the time I am eatin those bad oils. Not to mention that I do eat fast food french fries ;-) Certainly not as often as I used to but maybe 1x a week along with a salad or some chicken wings l buy. Yup, I still eat out at resturants and at fast food establishiments (greatly decreased). I still very slightly misbehave and my skin doesn't really complain about it. Although I do still have 1% left and all the above and more could be the reason why ;-) I personally haven't pulled a connection with hydrogenated oils (have't given this up 100% to know for sure) and diary (rarely consume this). It could be that or it could be the corn that I'm eating, they are all up there at the top of the "bad" list. That would suck if it's the corn, because where I live it's a BIG thing. I eat some form of corn daily, if it's not corn on the cob, it's popcorn, tacos, tequitos, tamales, nachos, ....it's one of my staples (rice too) instead of bread now. Nevertheless, once I'm done with next semseter, I'm willing to figure out if it is the corn. Infact I may test that out during Winter Holiday ;-)
In terms of veggies, I'm not a big fan, but if you are going to give up bread you need to be. However, I love to eat carrots, string beans, spinich, cauliflower, broccoli, most lettuces, cucumbers, corn, and potato. The best potato you can eat is the sweet potato, is has selenium in it which we know is good for acne, but I dont like because it tastes sweet, LOL. So usually I get about 3 bites worth of this stuff during thanksgiving. So to as far as snacks go, I love to hit up the fruit and Veggie tray at parties! I'll eat the carrots, broccoli, cucumbers and even some celery (not found of that string in my teeth feeling). I'm currently looking around for dried/dehydrated veggie mixes to snack on.
Nowe, considering that I really don't eat bread and I rarely eat the GF substitutes, if I want a sandwich I make it out of either Corn shells or LETTUCE! Have you had a Lettuce Cheeseburger? I had my first one (and last) in July and it was good! I was going to only eat just the meat but there was these big pieces of lettuce in front of me so I just grabed two pieces and made a sandwich. Only to find out in the recent Glamour magazine that this is what they suggest as a low Carb solution ;-) Now whenever I want something like that, I just have it in lettuce instead, or you can use cabbage (beef cabbage rolls are yummy). So interms of fast food, I go to the sub sandwich places and I have them make my sandwich as a salad....it's really good too. I also eat chili, beet stew, any soups as long as I know they haven't added in the wheat, etc.
In terms of desserts, If it has gluten, Ill just eat the filling like Pumpkin Pie, Pecan, or Cheesecakes. Otherwise, I usually eat GF deserts, but even then the last time I had one of these was for my birthday in August (coworker made me GF brownies). I have had GF cake donuts that were the BEST thing ever. I've had brownies, apple cinnamon muffins (made from oats and rice), peanut butter cookies (before I knew better), oatmeal cookies, chocolate chip etc. GF foods are really good. I actually prefer GF cake donuts, pretzels, and pasta (rice ones) over the "real" thing. When I changed my diet, the desire to drink juice and other things disappated. All I usually want is water, if I want something else it's usually because I'm hungry. I've noticed that I'll start to crave sweets if I havent' all day. Yet when I eat regularly, sweets are too sweet and all I want to drink is water. I'm not a regular coffe fan, nor do I believe in consuming anything with artificial sweetners (pick stevia if you can stand the taste) so I can't tell you had it will affect you I learned that I still can't consume soda, but moderate amount of chocolate doesnt' hurt me. When I do want something like candy it's either the chocolate or the 100% fruit roll up things.
Last edited by SweetJade1; 12-07-2003 at 12:27 AM.
Now for the more technical stuff I guess. I would say that you should go into your doctors office with a list of your symptoms and a history of your family's medical background. Symptoms can mean anything from dental problems, vision, wieght, menstrual, pain, IBS, constipation, headaches, fatigue, etc. You want to find out if your family has Diabetes, or Cancer, High Cholestorol or Blood Pressure, Arthritis, etc. I personally feel that if you have any questions for your doctor you should also write those down. Afterall, those 15 min sessions last long and you don't want to waste anytime ;-)
In terms of what you should talk to him about depends on what your family history and your symptoms suggest. If the women in your family or overweight, have menstrual problems, cystic ovaries, fibroids, hirsutism, etc. you want to mention that to him. You may want to mention Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome just to see what he says. That involves a variety of tests. I posted the list somewhere around here, but it's in the archives so searching isn't possible. Hmm... below is topic that i posted but it was in the archives. It's not the one I'm looking for, but it will give you an idea of treatments you could ask about.
"Since this is about Insulin Resistance and HOW to treat it, I'm also going to add other treatments that extend beyond diet.
I would like to state that no I am NOT a Diabetic Type I or II. I do not have high cholesterol levels or high blood pressure. I am not obese, but actually underweight. Basically I don't fit the Mold, but yes, these treatments, some MUCH more than others, have worked for me.
Like I've mentioned in a few other posts, Insulin Resistance is something that we ALL go through during Puberty and then it goes away. It is a temporary part of our hormonal imbalance. Unfortunately for some of us, it can occur while in the womb or all the way into adulthood. As a result other hormonal problems occur, such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), Diabetes, Heart Disease, Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH or NCCAH), Obesity, Hirsutism, Hyperandrogenism, Hypothyrodism, etc can occur.
Now, I'm not really sure if ALL hormonal disorders are related to this mechanism but the various defects that have acne as a symptom, keep going back to the same gene (cyp450). It's job is to make the enzymes neccessary in controlling our hormones, detoxification, etc. Infact, some of the treatments below, depending on your hormonal disorder, are a result of our body's being deficient in a certain enzyme.
That is why I URGE you ALL to see a doctor, a specialist even! If one of them ignores you, then TRY AGAIN and AGAIN!!! Over a 10 year time span, it took me THREE tries with an Endocrinologist before I got diagnosed and more importantly the neccessary prescriptions (spiro only now). However, there are various herbs and vitamins, and other supplements that can do the SAME job as the medications or diet would do. They all are going to either:
-balance your insulin levels which will balance your androgen levels OR
-they will balance your cortisol levels which will balance your androgen levels OR
-they will reduce your androgen levels, OR
-they are going to inhibit the effects of androgen in your system (sebaceous glands) OR
-they are going to prevent the conversion of testosterone into DHT (super androgen)
The list goes on depending on the disorder, but did anyone notice the key here is ANDROGEN? Thankfully there's several ways you can go about dealing with this hormone. While, I do not claim that diet will help EVERYONE, what I do know is that it has helped me and others that had tried a great deal of things, natural supplements, medications and I believe that we are really lucky as a result. We might be able to stop something worse from happening (fingers crossed).
Now, from various reputable sources, doctors, and testimonies, I've found that the most popular PRESCRIPTIONS among women are:Birth Control (regular bc - balances hormones, lowers testosterone)
Yasmin BC - (see above & has a progestin [synthetic progesterone known as Drospirenone]
Diane BC - (see above & has Cyproterone to block effects of androgen)
Spironolactone (diuertic for high blood pressure, DHT conversion inhibitor, inhibits the effects of testosterone, anti-androgen)
Prednisone (anti-inflammatory, corticosteriod that improves cortisol balance)
Dexamethasone (anti-inflammatory, corticosteriod that improves cortisol balance)
Metaformin (balances insulin levels)
Avandia (decreases insulin resistance)
The most popular "NATURAL" treatments among women are:
D-Chiro Inositol (formed from Lecithin, or inositol)
In case I failed to say this, but you DO NOT have to have ALL of the "symptoms" of PCOS (Syndrome X, Syndrome O, & other names) to be dx as such. That's why it's called a syndrome, because there are no set symptoms. You can be thin and have regular periods, and no cysts, like myself and a few others, and still be pcos. The confusing part is whether PCOS is a symptom of Insulin Resistance or if Insulin Resistance is a symptom of PCOS ;-)
Through some hormonal testing of her own, one woman found out that she had high copper levels. Then she found out that progesterone cream would help balance this and so when she took it, her acne went away and her menstrual cycle regulated. She was PCOS this whole time, but her doctors didn't pay enough attention to her (gave her accutane, but it didn't work 100%). I'm not sure what else she uses, but she doesn't avoid food as "strictly" as I do becaue the NPC has balanced her hormones wonderfully.........................
P.S. Yes, MEN can be PCOS also ;-) Or if it makes you feel better, you can consider yourselves Insulin Resistant, since you aren't likely to have certain supposed symptoms. Personally, I think the term PCOS is just used for those people that the doctors can't find another disorder for. Infact, unless I'm really close with them, most people just think I'm sorta Insulin Resistant as the reason I avoid certain foods. So anyway, because men are just as capable of being Insulin Resitant as women, they can and HAVE used MOST of the above treatments to balance/lower their testosterone levels, among other health problems. "
So, interns of Saw Palmetto, I have used it and it didn't affect me negatively, but it did'nt affect me postively either. However, it takes on average 3 months to rebalance your hormones and so I usually stopped at the 2 - 3 month mark. I probably wasn't giving it enough time ;-) Although, other women and MEN, have used lesser doses with great results.
I was trying to find the list of hormonal tests one would take so that you'd be aware of what your doctor might test you for. If I find around here somewhere I'll post it for ya. Otherwise, I hope I didn't overwhelm you with all this info