I’m always on the lookout for ways to combat stress. Stress can wreak havoc with hormone levels and, especially in women, can aggravate breakouts. This is because stress activates the adrenal gland. The adrenal gland is where we produce adrenaline, which the body pumps out in response to stress. Well, it just so happens that women make much of their testosterone in the adrenal gland as well. So, that means stress can alter testosterone levels in women more radically and inconsistently than in men. Voila…breakouts. Even though the stress/acne issue may be a larger issue for women than for men, I heavily suspect it is also of real concern for men.
So on comes Oprah talking about how she’s done with endless dieting and declares that her war with food is over. My interest was piqued, partly because I have so many women in my life with food issues (don’t we all…), and partly because I had a sneaking suspicion that the food/stress psychology that Oprah says was liberating her might be of interest to all of us, regardless of our stressors.
So I bought the book she was speaking about, Women, Food and God by Geneen Roth, and read it. At first I read it just keeping in mind women whom I care about who have food issues, and it rang true. Then I read it again, trying to imagine that Ms. Roth was speaking about stress in general. It made good sense again.
In a nutshell: Stress, and its subsequent outgrowths of overeating, overworking, overthinking, overdrinking, drug use, etc. is precipitated by “leaving ourselves” many times a day. She means this quite literally. We become so afraid that our emotions in our bodies will “kill us” that we escape into our chosen method of flight from what is happening inside our bodies. The remedy is to stay with whatever we’re feeling in our body, bringing curiosity to it, and giving it the time to expand and unwind. Feelings, Ms. Roth contends, simply want the attention and room to dissolve on their own. She urges the reader to practice living a new, embodied life in the moment through eating guidelines, and a process she calls “Inquiry”.
If you guys read this, let me know if it affects your stress levels. Thanks!
Dr. Debra Jaliman contacted me recently wishing to speak with me regarding new acne treatments that have been released over the past few years. She is passionate about acne. It was a great conversation. You can read the full interview here. Some of the standouts:
Dapsone: This is a new topical anti-inflammatory which can be used alone or with other topicals, like benzoyl peroxide. It seems to have few side effects, and from what Dr. Jaliman has seen, her patients do not get worse before they get better. However, she did say Dapsone can take 12-14 weeks to start producing results. She claims about 80% of her patients are satisfied with its efficacy.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome can cause hormonal irregularities that can lead to skin issues. Dr. Jaliman says this may be more common than we realize. If you or someone you love has menstrual irregularities and/or excess hair growth (hirsuitism), it may be a good idea to get checked out.
Dr. Jaliman also offered an invitation to anyone to email her with questions. I thought that was quite generous. If you have any questions for her, feel free to email her at [email protected].
Hey you guys. I’ve been spending today researching oral contraceptives and acne. It’s interesting stuff. However, I ran out of time before I got to a daily video again! I’ll be sure to get one up tomorrow.
In the meantime, if you are jonesin’ for a good video, might I suggest the one from 2 days ago titled “Dental health does not take a holiday”? We had a lot of fun doing that one and worked all day on it so you guys have to watch it
I’m doing a bunch of research on topics that relate to women and acne, such as premenstrual acne, pregnancy and acne, birth control, makeup, spironolactone, and cyproterone acetate. It’s fascinating stuff. The human body is an incredible thing, and so complex.