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-   -   Food & acne (why dermatologists don't tell the truth) (https://www.healthboards.com/boards/acne/210298-food-acne-why-dermatologists-dont-tell-truth.html)

SweetJade1 10-12-2004 05:16 PM

Re: Food & acne (why dermatologists don't tell the truth)
 
[QUOTE=acnemom]Your posts make a lot of sense, how do you know that you have very high androgen levels? Just curious.My daugher (blood type O) was told by doc that her blood sugar levels were low, do you think this may figure into all this?[/QUOTE]

Yeah, low blood sugar means she may be HyperInsulinemic otherwise known as Insulin Resistant. She tried accutane and it didn't work, right? If she is Insulin Resistant, it will never work (100%).

I know that I have high androgen levels because of my physical symptoms (acne, hirsutism) and also because of years of testing. I've had acne since I was 10, but it took a regular doctor when I was 17 to look at me and the hair on my arm and say "no this isn't normal" Prior to that I had tried to get a diagnosis and even saw an Endocrinologist, but I came up normal based on what he tested me for. I believe it was because he only tested me for Thyroid problems, but Androgens are what contribute to acne production so it doesn't make sense that most automatically assume you must have only thyroid problems if you have acne.

I didn't actually get a diagnosis until a few months before my 21st birthday. That was after seeing my 3rd endocrinologist and from being on BC (Tri-Levlen) and Spironolactone (200mg) for several years. Those drugs only eliminated about 50% - 75% of my acne, but it NEVER eliminated my "Breakout Cycle" That is what I call the period where my acne is at it's worse (9 months out of the year). So when I found this new endocrinologist, he tested me for everything imaginable & based on my family history. Then he would test me for other things, such as gluten intolerance & my blood type, if I put up a good enough case ;-)

End result, due to having high DHEA (adrenal androgens) and High Free Testosterone levels, you could say I was Hyperandrogenic. BC (50%) & Spiro (30%) only reduced [B]my[/B] Free Testosterone levels by 80% which was still too high for a Female! All males & Females should have 97% of their Testosterone bound, what's left is known as Free Testosterone. This FT is available to be converted into DHT (super testoserone) which is associated with a variety of virilizing effects in females as well as prostate problems in males. According to my lab results (reference ranges vary by lab) a female has 0 - 1.4% Free Testosterone levels. Yet I started out with 10% and dropped down to 2% from BC & Spiro and it still wasn't enough.

Therefore, because the other drugs (antiandrogens) weren't enough he put me on Avandia (dropped the BC & went on 150mg of Spiro). The reason this drug works is because it will help our body better utilize insulin and as such, will boost our SHBG (binds Free Testosterone), thus lowering your Free Testosterone levels. Unfortunately after a year, 2mg of Avandia only improved my skin by another 10%. I don't know how it affected my actual androgen levels, but I'm sure it helped a wee bit more based on the results. Changing my diet gave me 99% clear skin & body w/o drugs (tested this), a lot less oil, smallest pores since before puberty, and eliminated my menstrual pains (always regular cycles), but because of the hirsutism I still use 100mg of Spiro.

So, does any of the above associated problems run in your family? What about her fathers? Does she have any other symptoms such as weight problems, menstrual irregularties or pain? hirsutism or alopecia? Insulin Resistance is generally asymptomatic for many many years before you begin to show signs, like acne or weight gain, but the one sign apparently common is Acanthosis Nigricans (dark patches in certain folds of the body). Insulin Resistance is something that we all go through during puberty, but it is supposed to be temporary, ending when puberty ends. Yet, if she still has low blood sugar levels and seemingly persistant acne and other problems, hopefully you'll look more into this.

HTH

Anibanani 10-12-2004 06:58 PM

Re: Food & acne (why dermatologists don't tell the truth)
 
I agree with this post and I can say that diet did cure my acne if only while I stayed on it. But lately I've been starting to eat regular food again and the acne is starting to creep up on me again*sigh* aw well at least I know what does work so if it gets to a point where I can't stand my skin I know how to fix it

boulder21 10-12-2004 07:07 PM

Re: Food & acne (why dermatologists don't tell the truth)
 
SweetJade -

You say low blood sugar levels may be a cause but I think blood sugar levels that are too high also cause problems. One of my problems is I need to eat a lot. Like ~3000 calories per day just to break even and not lose any weight (I need all the weight I can get). I'm fairly busy so in order to save time I'd eat one huge meal per day and smaller snacks (fruits, cereal ...) the rest of the day. That one large meal spikes your blood sugar and is my case was probably causing a problem. Can I say for sure that it was a blood sugar problem, no. but once I started eating more throughout the whole day instaed of all at once things got better. Foods with a low GI may have helped also.

I'm pretty lucky I didn't have to change to much but try to avoid things that spike blood sugar our are very greasy and high in fat. Pizza is out -- spike in BS (white bread) and greasiness. Peanuts/Peanut butter -- out too high in fat. Trying to make a long story short!

SweetJade1 10-12-2004 07:26 PM

Re: Food & acne (why dermatologists don't tell the truth)
 
[QUOTE=boulder21]SweetJade -

You say low blood sugar levels may be a cause but I think blood sugar levels that are too high also cause problems. One of my problems is I need to eat a lot. Like ~3000 calories per day just to break even and not lose any weight (I need all the weight I can get). I'm fairly busy so in order to save time I'd eat one huge meal per day and smaller snacks (fruits, cereal ...) the rest of the day. That one large meal spikes your blood sugar and is my case was probably causing a problem. Can I say for sure that it was a blood sugar problem, no. but once I started eating more throughout the whole day instaed of all at once things got better. Foods with a low GI may have helped also.

I'm pretty lucky I didn't have to change to much but try to avoid things that spike blood sugar our are very greasy and high in fat. Pizza is out -- spike in BS (white bread) and greasiness. Peanuts/Peanut butter -- out too high in fat. Trying to make a long story short![/QUOTE]

LOL, yeah that's how it does get to be confusing. What happens is you end up with high insulin levels in response to an initially high blood sugar. Your insulin will then allow that sugar to enter your cells, but if it's too much, it will cause your blood sugar to become low. Or if your cells are resistant (several reasons), then more Insulin is released to pump that sugar into the cells and again you end up with low blood sugar. That's how you end up being hypoglycemic. After several decades, maybe a person who's a Type II Diabetic & Hypoglycemic may end up being a Type I Diabetic & Hyperglycemic as their body finally got tired of producing sooooo much insulin. I definately graze throughout the day too though and I've heard it's good to keep stable levels, but basically I do so because it's how I've always been...didn't change all my habits ;-)

Oh yeah and fats are what cholesterol is made from and that is what our steriod hormones, more specifically androgens are composed of. Plus these fats can compete with sugar in the blood stream (boosts insulin resistance) and can also contribute to inflammatory fatty acids (menstrual cramps, acne). Not to mention they will boost our IGF-1 (which is a growth factor) so that we continue to have skin cell hyperproliferation (dandruff?, hyperkeritinization), sebaceous gland stimulation & growth which means larger pores & more sebum. Trans Fats (hydrogenated oils & partially hydrogenated oils) don't seem to do much to me physically other than mess with my pores & increase some hair growth. Now I very rarely eat them knowingly (had some fries this weekend) and once I stopped consuming them my pores were looking awesome. It's odd, you look in the mirror and it's like you are almost seeing a different person. I never wear make up so I'm not used to seeing my skin like this good, but do you feel like you look different too?

Take Care

P.S. Yeah I avoid most nuts too

acnemom 10-13-2004 04:18 PM

Re: Food & acne (why dermatologists don't tell the truth)
 
This blood sugar thing really makes sense, thank you for your response SweetJade. I am going to encourage my daugher to start elimingating certain foods, starting w/sugar, this may be difficult she just left for her first yr at college. This insulin resistantce really has me thinking, thanks. I do believe there is a genetic predisposition, i had terrible acne, but it makes sense that diet would have a connection, i just spent many hours looking at old photos of my ancestors fron the 20's/30's - no one had acne, foods were much more pure back then, and less processed.

openseason 10-13-2004 07:27 PM

Re: Food & acne (why dermatologists don't tell the truth)
 
Sweetjade there is no connection between diet and acne because no scientist or researcher has ever been able to show such a connection. People have food allergies but those symptoms are rapid heart rate, difficulty breathing, tight throat, itching, or anaphylactic shock. If anyone could show a diet and acne connection they would make billions selling their diet book and cure. The only treatment that has a chance of working in some cases is oral antibiotics, because acne is caused by a combination of excess skin oil and bacteria. Drinking lots of water does not lessen acne either.

boulder21 10-13-2004 08:14 PM

Re: Food & acne (why dermatologists don't tell the truth)
 
SweetJade -

You must be a doctoral canidate? you seem to know way too much to be an undergrad! Yes it's so nice to be able to look in the mirror and see clear skin!!! If only I had known 5 or 10 years ago!!! Although I'm still not ready to say I've got a long term solution...one day at a time!!!

Yeah, SweetJade you could make Billions selling this information!!!! Unfortunatley that thought doesn't hold water because all it takes is a trip to a nutritionist and will power (too avoid bad foods). For most people insurance covers the cost of the nutritionist!

Nametaken84 10-13-2004 08:17 PM

Re: Food & acne (why dermatologists don't tell the truth)
 
openseason I disagree with you. For the past month or so I've been drinking lots of water every day because it is supposed to flush out toxins. I've noticed much better skin. I've also cut back on junk food. And as for acne being hereditary - NONE of my grandparents had it, NONE of my aunts and uncles had it, NEITHER of my parents did, and my sister doesn't. So where the hell did I "inherit" it from? It doesn't make much sense to me.

boulder21 10-13-2004 08:24 PM

Re: Food & acne (why dermatologists don't tell the truth)
 
I'm the same way, no close relatives have had a problem. But if you whip out your punet square (sp?) and look at dominant and recessive genes you may find your answer. or older generations may have had the problem but didn't eat the same foods that are around today. ADM kills us (read "The Informant, Kurt Eichenwald).

SweetJade1 10-13-2004 11:47 PM

Re: Food & acne (why dermatologists don't tell the truth)
 
[QUOTE=openseason]Sweetjade there is no connection between diet and acne because no scientist or researcher has ever been able to show such a connection. People have food allergies but those symptoms are rapid heart rate, difficulty breathing, tight throat, itching, or anaphylactic shock. If anyone could show a diet and acne connection they would make billions selling their diet book and cure. The only treatment that has a chance of working in some cases is oral antibiotics, because acne is caused by a combination of excess skin oil and bacteria. Drinking lots of water does not lessen acne either.[/QUOTE]


Sigh....I just spelled it out for you, but yet again...some people don't READ. I honestly don't know what part you are having trouble grasping, but I wish you the very best of luck.

SweetJade1 10-14-2004 12:14 AM

Re: Food & acne (why dermatologists don't tell the truth)
 
[QUOTE=boulder21]SweetJade -

You must be a doctoral canidate? you seem to know way too much to be an undergrad! Yes it's so nice to be able to look in the mirror and see clear skin!!! If only I had known 5 or 10 years ago!!! [B]Although I'm still not ready to say I've got a long term solution...one day at a time!!![/B]

Yeah, SweetJade you could make Billions selling this information!!!! Unfortunatley that thought doesn't hold water because all it takes is a trip to a nutritionist and will power (too avoid bad foods). For most people insurance covers the cost of the nutritionist![/QUOTE]


Yup, that's exactly how I felt when I first changed my diet. At the time I was on 150mg of Spiro, 4mg of Avandia (recently upped dose), & an antibiotic for my ear infection (lack of sleep does make u sick). That was in August and I started to get IBS symptoms (lacking fiber) and so I went off of the Avandia to see if I was experiencing side effects (stopped that antibiotic much earlier) 3 months into the diet AND into my (non-existent) breakout cycle. At this point, my acne hadn't worsened and I was cautious/afraid that if I went off the Avandia it might do so. Yet....my skin kept getting better =) Despite the research I had to suuport what I was doing, others testimonies & my results it took over a year before I was confident enough with my diet to know that this was working and this was REAL.

I've been dealing with this for 14 years now and have always been open to dietary changes, natural treatments or whatever would have helped my acne go away. If I had known, I certainly would have done this 10 years ago too. Right or wrong, if I had even a whisper of it, like we did with the sodas, iodine, & chocolate rumors, I would've done it in heart beat.

SweetJade1 10-14-2004 12:51 AM

Re: Food & acne (why dermatologists don't tell the truth)
 
[QUOTE=Nametaken84]openseason I disagree with you. For the past month or so I've been drinking lots of water every day because it is supposed to flush out toxins. I've noticed much better skin. I've also cut back on junk food. And as for acne being hereditary - NONE of my grandparents had it, NONE of my aunts and uncles had it, NEITHER of my parents did, and my sister doesn't. So where the hell did I "inherit" it from? It doesn't make much sense to me.[/QUOTE]

Nametaken,

In my opinion, there are "textbook" scientists and then there are real scientists. The difference being that a textbook scientist isn't as likely to question things (like you should) or "step out of the box" very often. Where as a "real" scientist not only knows what's in the textbook, but is actually able to [B]apply[/B] that knowledge so that when he/she has accidentally or intentionally "stepped out of the box", they might actually be able to put the pieces together & discover something new! To me this is the essence of science and I can't understand why some people that are in similar fields can't see that. =(

Yet, your case is a prime example of what is going on today. They know that [B]preventable[/B] health problems, including acne are on the rise, but not everyone is really "looking" for the answers. Sure it could definately be due to stress, bad skin care products, toxins, or your (poor) diet as all of these things have increased over the years. You would think that science would help us build quality products, but at the moment not everyone realizes that just because a pesticide kills the bug, that does't mean it can't also harm those of us that choose to eat that apple. That just because Trans fats have a longer shelf life, it doesn't mean that once we eat it, it won't contribute to heart disease, obestity or diabetes. Sometimes the environmental influences ARE stronger than the genetic influences and ALL scientists & doctors, especially endocrinologists, geneticists, biologists, nutritionists, or even an epidemiologist would know this. So, while there's a lot of good that's being done, some of this "technology" has negative consequences in the human body.

This, right now, today, is the largest ongoing (& poorly monitored) experiment we have involving diet & weight gain, diet & cancer, diet & acne, etc. There usually aren't any clinical trials about the health effects of certain diets beyond a few months. So we have to wait 10, 20, 30+ years for the side effects to show up within the unsuspecting population. Yet if we all learned how to use our heads & do our own research or found someone thoughtful enough to pass the info along (whether they believe in it or not), perhaps more people wouldn't have to be apart of this "experiment"

Hope you continue to do well =)

openseason 10-14-2004 04:28 AM

Re: Food & acne (why dermatologists don't tell the truth)
 
SweetJade if food causes acne it would be very easy to prove it the connection. Just because you state it dosent make it so. Point me to the scientific study which shows food causes acne because I want to read it for myself.

BostonGirl44 10-14-2004 06:31 AM

Re: Food & acne (why dermatologists don't tell the truth)
 
Sweetjade,

Thank you for all your posts. I was never big on the diet-acne connection myself but your posts make so much sense, it's hard not to understand that there could be a connection. Anyway, I've taken accutane and it's worked very well for me. But in case I do get a relapse (cross my fingers, knock on wood), could you possibly list some foods that you eat that are "acne friendly"? Thanks so much!

openseason 10-14-2004 07:46 AM

Re: Food & acne (why dermatologists don't tell the truth)
 
The title of this thread is why dermatologists dont tell the truth. The fact is no one knows what drives the biological process that causes acne. However there is a strong genetic predisposition. Hypoglycemia may be found in some people with acne. That does not mean the hypoglycemia caused the acne. You need to take antibiotics to stop the bacteria from growing in the oil glands if you want to treat acne.


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