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About Quetzlcoatl

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  1. Quetzlcoatl added a post in a topic Can Anyone Explain Why Carbs Should Be Eaten With Fats?   

    Fats slow the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates. Slower digestion means the sugar enters your blood over a longer period of time, leading to a lower spike in blood sugar.

    Protein has a larger effect, though.
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  2. Quetzlcoatl added a post in a topic Why Califlower Causes Acne?   

    Could be a specific type of fiber that promotes the growth of a niche species in your flora, to which you have an immune response. Solution: don't eat it, I guess.
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  3. Quetzlcoatl added a topic in Diet & holistic health   

    Isotretinoin - Recurrent Athlete's Foot Cure
    I wasn't really sure where to post this, but I wanted to share an interesting observation that I made with all of you. I have been on isotretinoin (Accutane/Claravis) twice now for (mostly comedonal) acne that only partially responded to dietary changes and topicals. On both occasions, my athletes foot was permanently cured. Now, you might say, "Quetzl, that doesn't make sense, how can you permanently cure something twice?" To which I reply, read on my friend.

    I had recurrent athletes foot for over ten years. I tried everything to cure it; topical antifungal creams, tea tree oil, oral fluconazole, itraconazole, and terbinafine, powders, sock and shoe changes/heat-kills/hydrogen peroxide soaks, diet changes, herbal supplements including candex, berberine, oregano oil, and a host of others. Some worked moderately well for a short period of time; but it would always come back, and make my feet smell.

    When I started my first isotretinoin treatment (10mg/d, ramping up slowly to 60mg/d, seven month duration), I noticed that the athletes foot became worse. Much worse, in fact; it was uncontrollable. My shoes smelled all the time. My socks would smell after one day's use (in contrast, I can now use them practically indefinitely, but I don't, because I'm still paranoid). The higher the dose, the worse it got. This occurred in tandem with a number of other mild side effects, such as dry lips and skin, weird headspace at the higher doses, muscle twitches, mild lower back pain, crackling joints, and susceptibility to sicknesses (I went from getting sick once a year to getting sick five or six times over the course of my treatment, with heightened severity). It wasn't the greatest experience, but I would do it again, in retrospect, as none of these side effects were permanent.

    A month after I stopped the drug, my athletes foot vanished. Gone, completely. No trace of it whatsoever; just smooth, supple, scentless skin. I thought, maybe, that it was a coincidence. But half a year later, when my acne returned, I began my second course of isotretinoin. My athletes foot returned within a month of beginning treatment. And it was bad, again. I applied terbinafine cream to keep it somewhat under control, but my shoes and socks still constantly stank. Several months later I finished my second course, and again, within a month, the athletes foot vanished, leaving no sign that it was ever there. It has since not returned in any form; I haven't used any antifungals and I haven't been particularly careful with my feet.

    Now, the theory. We know that athletes foot is a disease of the immune system; dermatophytes are veritably everywhere, but some people get an infection, while others do not. It is technically contagious, but one must be susceptible to it in order to become infected. We also know that isotretinoin is an immunomodulator; its mechanism for acne is likely the forced apoptosis of TH17 cells and the attenuation of IL17. I propose that, much like acne, recurrent athletes foot is the result of an imbalanced immune system - one that perhaps sees dermatophytes as commensal organisms, and thus doesn't attack them. Treatment with isotretinoin in this case acts as a 'reset' button, possibly by suppressing the branch of the immune system that is regulating the interaction between the dermatophytes and the host immune system, thus resulting in increased disease activity; upon cessation of the drug, the suppressed immune system bounces back, controls the pathogen, and establishes a new equilibrium of immunity. I think this might be consistent with other facets of the drug, such as (rare) reports of autoimmune disorders developing after taking isotretinoin (but not during) and of course, the sometimes permanent elimination of acne, both of which could be acting by the same mechanism as described above (albeit in different environments).
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  4. Quetzlcoatl added a post in a topic I Need A Diet Plan!   

    Paleo diet. Include fermented dairy. I would recommend the site Mark's Daily Apple for information. Most people go paleo for weight loss, but it's also very useful for correcting inflammatory disorders such as acne.
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  5. Quetzlcoatl added a post in a topic Drinking Tea And Lemon Juice To Clear Acne?   

    Cleanse toxins? How exactly would tea do that? I don't think toxins are the problem. Maybe you should just cut back on sugar and let the outbreak resolve.

    Of course, green tea does have plenty of anti-inflammatory compounds, so it could help to resolve it faster. Black tea would be much less useful. White tea would be superior to green tea.
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  6. Quetzlcoatl added a post in a topic I Know The Cause And The Cure For Acne   

    I don't buy it. People can suffer acne in their 40s and 50s. Moreover, carbohydrate restriction, while successful for some, is a far cry from a cure. It did nothing for me, for example, and indeed eating a reasonable quantity of carbohydrates daily seems to improve my skin.

    That being said, I think a diet like the paleo diet is an excellent place to start in the treatment of acne (and a host of other conditions). But I am of the opinion that this is more due to the diet's nutritional density, the avoidance of seed oils and grains which both promote inflammation, and the consumption of plenty of fruits, vegetables, and omega 3 fats.

    Hormones may be necessary for acne to form, but that doesn't mean they are causing it. They could simply be unveiling low-grade inflammation that was already present before puberty even hits. Or they could be allowing the skin to manifest a response to endotoxins that result from a dysbiotic flora. Hormones do have a role, but from all I have learned, I would bet that the cause is immunologic.
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  7. Quetzlcoatl added a post in a topic Suspect Leaky Gut, What Snacks Can I Have, Low Carbs? Strict Diet Results   

    It's probably microbial. You could take a probiotic (I recommend Elixa - I may be writing a more in depth post on this probiotic in the near future if my skin continues to improve from it). You could also try different carbohydrate sources. I would avoid grains to start - wheat (including pancakes, pasta, bread, etc), oats, barley, rye, and possibly even rice. I would then avoid legumes (beans, lentils, hummus, peanut butter, etc), which are also mostly carbohydrates, and tend to be antigenic.

    The safest carbohydrates tend to be root vegetables. I would try squash or sweet potatoes first, as some people have problems with white potatoes. You could try some white rice as well, as it tends to be very safe. If you have a problem with all of these, then you almost certainly have dysbiosis, which should be treated with probiotics (see above), or if unsuccessful, antibiotics followed by probiotics. But hopefully you can tolerate some of the mentioned safe carbohydrates.

    As a side note, fruit can be safe, but if you're sensitive to something like citric acid, a lot of fruits will break you out. I am not so certain that sugar is necessarily the problem here for you. Chocolate itself - even without sugar or milk - is also problematic for many people.

    Finally, to help with leaky gut, I suggest making bone broth soups. This will help your gut heal if you have leaky gut, which you probably do to some extent. Start with a bone broth (google a paleo bone broth recipe), add meat and vegetables. Then you can add a safe carb, such as a root vegetable or white long-grain rice. You should be able to tolerate this.
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  8. Quetzlcoatl added a post in a topic Gluten And Lactose Free Diet Seems To Be Working!   

    Primitive tribes have better lives in some regards, and worse lives in others. I don't think anyone is making the claim that an entirely primitive way of living is superior; however, we can still take bits and pieces of primitive lifestyles that are beneficial, while leaving the parts that are detrimental. For example, we can eat a whole-foods paleo-style diet, while becoming vaccinated against disease. The basis for this is the idea that a total departure from the environment and lifestyle that we evolved with generally results in the deterioration of health, but there are always negative pressures (as parts of those environments) that can be alleviated.
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  9. Quetzlcoatl added a post in a topic Ketosis And Accutane   

    Ketones are produced using enzymes that are not involved in the conversion of isotretinoin to retinoid derivatives. Also, people generally enter ketosis every night while sleeping. You should be just fine.
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  10. Quetzlcoatl added a post in a topic Anyone Have Any Luck With Raw Honey?   

    I've tried raw honey, didn't do much for me. It slightly improved skin texture, but did not affect acne.
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  11. Quetzlcoatl added a post in a topic Grain Free/paleo Diet Made Things Worse For Me?   

    Paleo isn't really low carb. That's just what people who want to lose weight do. Plenty of starchy root vegetables, fruits, honey, are all great.
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  12. Quetzlcoatl added a post in a topic What Do You Think The Reason Is For The Fact That Diet Can Lessen Acne?   

    My guess would be skin flora. I don't think it's necessarily general immune dysfunction, but rather a dysfunctional response against certain bacteria or antigens. I'm not sure how skin flora differs by area of skin, but I'm guessing that sebum has a rather large impact, which is why sebum is generally seen as a necessary condition for developing lesions.

    Alternatively, it really could all be intestinal. We have a biome that is constantly secreting antigens into the lumen of the intestine, and some of them are absorbed. We're also constantly eating food. Differences in target tissues could determine reactions to these molecules, maybe by the presence of T cells that cross react with skin flora antigens, or maybe by the presence of growth factors that provide the right environment for an inflammatory response. It's really hard to know.
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  13. Quetzlcoatl added a post in a topic What Do You Think The Reason Is For The Fact That Diet Can Lessen Acne?   

    I've experimented a lot over the past few years and come to a few conclusions. The primary conclusion is that acne, in many cases, is a symptom of immune dysregulation. That is, acne is the outcome of a hyperactive (probably Th1 or Th17) immune response against commensal bacteria - sort of like an autoimmune disorder, but targeted against the microbiome instead of your own cells (side note - I think dandruff is the same thing possibly involving a fungus instead of a bacteria, but that hypothesis is more shaky).
    I've been on accutane twice, and both times I've made an interesting observation that has been reported once or twice in case studies. While on accutane, my persistent athlete's foot got about ten times worse; it went from practically negligible to covering 30% of the surface area of both feet. It also gave me smelly feet. I believe both of these effects to be outcomes of isotretinoin's proven immune-suppressing effects; my immune system while on the drug was unable to control certain pathogens, and was far more tolerant of other bacteria (which led to an increase in body odor). Even more interestingly, though, is the fact that my persistent low-grade athelete's foot, which I had had for a decade before taking the drug, was cured about a month after cessation of isotretinoin therapy. My immune system bounced back, and the balance between tolerance and intolerance to the dermatophytes was re-established in such a way that they were perfectly controlled. This effect, pertaining to foot fungi, has been reported sporadically, and hasn't really been investigated at all.

    In the case of acne, I might wager that something similar is happening. You go on the drug for 6-12 months, suppressing your immune system, and then when you go off it, your immune system has a fresh encounter with P. acnes and establishes a more favorable tolerance equilibrium. Sure, accutane has sebo-suppressive effects (which are not long-term) and antimicrobial effects (also not long term), and it regulates skin turnover, but I don't think any of these other effects are responsible for long term remission.

    With this in mind, I think the reason diet affects acne is because the immune system is closely intertwined with nutritional status and food antigens. If you tweak your diet, there's a good chance you're changing how your immune system reacts by a little bit. Adding cod liver oil, going into the sun, eating liver, avoiding antigenic foods, supplementing zinc, getting a lot of sleep, eating low glycemic - all of these holistic approaches to treating acne modulate the immune system, usually in a specific anti-inflammatory way, which would support the hypothesis that it's an overactive Th1 or Th17 response.

    As a little side note, I've notice that for me, forehead acne was not a problem until I got severe food poisoning, after which my forehead became a battle zone, even upon resolution of the illness. It would be interesting to see if gut flora has anything to do with acne - I'm sure it does, but I'm not sure how. In my case, I wonder if the food poisoning threw my immune system off balance, so now I react to exotoxins/endotoxins from commensal bacteria that are structurally similar to those that gave me food poisoning. Perhaps some of them find their way into my blood where they interact with leukocytes which then travel and produce comedones. Or maybe there are memory cells embedded in my forehead's skin that react to the toxins in my blood when they are encountered. Unfortunately not a lot is known here, though I do find the fact that acne can affect distinct areas of skin (which histologically look very similar) to be extremely interesting.
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  14. Quetzlcoatl added a post in a topic My Dermatologist And Parents Are Forcing Me To Eat Foods That Will Trigger Acne?   

    Noodles are unhealthy. I don't know why your parents would feed than to you even if the derm was right that they don't cause acne. Which they are not.
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  15. Quetzlcoatl added a post in a topic Paleo Diet Log.   

    Because this post has already been drudged up from the depths, I will add that what you have is probably perioral dermatitis, not acne. Acne does not usually itch. You could try eliminating products that you use on your face and lips, as well as changing your toothpaste to something without fluoride or SLS.
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