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Rapid Breakout From Kombucha, Apple Cider Vinegar. What Does It Indicate?

acv probiotics die off leaky gut intestine vinegar zinc paleo probiotic

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#1 ninjafriend

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 01:03 PM

Hi there.

I am 34 and have dealt with acne for more than half my life. I have used almost every conventional medicine under the sun, including Accutane (one full course and three weeks of a second course). None of these drugs has ever dealt with the condition to my satisfaction, so I have been recently looking into a more natural/holistic solution. I have been eating paleo for the last 10 days or so, and I thought I'd try drinking a few teaspoons of apple cider vinegar with water last night. I had a significant and almost immediate breakout as a result, and I woke up with several new pustules on my chin this morning. I normally get one very small pustule every few days, and this is clearly a response to the apple cider vinegar I consumed last night. I have seen a similar reaction when drinking kombucha in the past, which I obviously don't do anymore. Finally, I think I've seen the same reaction with potent probiotic supplements in the past, but I can't say that for sure. (I do know that I stopped taking probiotic supplements because I perceived that to be the case.)

My problem is that I can't figure out what this means, or how to proceed. Here are the possibilities I've discovered in my limited research:

  • a vinegar allergy. This would account for the reaction to kombucha and apple cider vinegar, but not the probiotics (but again, I'm not 100% sure that was happening).
  • a sensitivity to probiotics. What does that mean? What does it indicate about my internal health, if anything?
  • a leaky gut. If the probiotics/organisms are passing through my intestines into my bloodstream, that would explain the instant inflammatory response showing up on my face.
  • a "die-off" reaction. Some would suggest that the apple cider vinegar is killing the bad stuff and purging toxins from my body, in this case through my skin (wonderful). Others insist that the notion of a die-off reaction is overemphasized and usually not what is happening.

I am committed to improving my health through natural means such as diet, but I want to make sure I'm heading in the right direction. I've eaten like crap most of my life, and have really only tried to change that in the last year or so. And like I said, the paleo thing is still very new, so I obviously haven't seen any benefit from that yet.

What do you guys think? How should I proceed? Many thanks in advance for any feedback/ideas.

(I am currently using differin and duac on alternating days, which has helped a bit, and a zinc supplement.)

#2 alternativista

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 01:11 PM

A reaction that fast is some kind of intolerance. Have you tried other sources of probiotics? Do you have a reaction to other vinegars?

You could try eating a lot of easy to digest and/or gut healing foods for a while. Do you have other health issues?

#3 ninjafriend

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 01:30 PM

A reaction that fast is some kind of intolerance. Have you tried other sources of probiotics? Do you have a reaction to other vinegars?

You could try eating a lot of easy to digest and/or gut healing foods for a while. Do you have other health issues?



Thanks for the quick response.

-I used to eat a decent amount of yogurt, but never really noticed any correlation. I have since cut out all dairy, so haven't had yogurt in quite some time. Besides the probiotic supplements I discontinued (a NOW blend and a Natren blend) I don't really consume probiotics. I dropped the supplements (because I though they were causing breakouts) long before figuring out the kombucha/acv - acne connection. I have cultured coconut milk in the fridge, but I am honestly a bit reluctant to try it now (just bought it the other day).

-I almost never consume vinegar because I'm not big on the taste. I've never noticed anything with vinegar in dressing or on a sandwich, but I also very rarely eat those things.

-Is there anything else I can do alongside trying to stick to a Paleo diet? What is considered a gut-healing food?

-No other big health problems come to mind besides acne and oily skin. Well, I do contend with depression, anxiety, and a lack of energy (although I think a lot of the depression stems from the acne). EDIT: I also suffer from a chronic sinus/nasal condition. My nose is often stuffy, and I produce a lot of excess mucus in my nose/throat. It comes and goes.

Edited by ninjafriend, 02 August 2012 - 02:09 PM.


#4 dejaclairevoyant

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 02:40 PM

Hi. I also have an immediate, violent reaction to Kombucha. Not only do I get severe cystic breakouts from the stuff, but my entire system gets inflamed (painful joints and that "electric shock" sort of nerve pain that you sometimes get with a bad fever). I concluded awhile ago that at least for me, that stuff is completely toxic.

I also have the same reaction to probiotics, but no reaction whatsoever to vinegar.

I believe I have a damaged gut, and the stuff is just too strong for it.

#5 ninjafriend

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 03:24 PM

Hi. I also have an immediate, violent reaction to Kombucha. Not only do I get severe cystic breakouts from the stuff, but my entire system gets inflamed (painful joints and that "electric shock" sort of nerve pain that you sometimes get with a bad fever). I concluded awhile ago that at least for me, that stuff is completely toxic.

I also have the same reaction to probiotics, but no reaction whatsoever to vinegar.

I believe I have a damaged gut, and the stuff is just too strong for it.


I'm leaning toward gut issues too, but what are you doing or what have you done to address the issue?

#6 alternativista

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 03:48 PM


A reaction that fast is some kind of intolerance. Have you tried other sources of probiotics? Do you have a reaction to other vinegars?

You could try eating a lot of easy to digest and/or gut healing foods for a while. Do you have other health issues?



Thanks for the quick response.

-I used to eat a decent amount of yogurt, but never really noticed any correlation. I have since cut out all dairy, so haven't had yogurt in quite some time. Besides the probiotic supplements I discontinued (a NOW blend and a Natren blend) I don't really consume probiotics. I dropped the supplements (because I though they were causing breakouts) long before figuring out the kombucha/acv - acne connection. I have cultured coconut milk in the fridge, but I am honestly a bit reluctant to try it now (just bought it the other day).

-I almost never consume vinegar because I'm not big on the taste. I've never noticed anything with vinegar in dressing or on a sandwich, but I also very rarely eat those things.

-Is there anything else I can do alongside trying to stick to a Paleo diet? What is considered a gut-healing food?

-No other big health problems come to mind besides acne and oily skin. Well, I do contend with depression, anxiety, and a lack of energy (although I think a lot of the depression stems from the acne). EDIT: I also suffer from a chronic sinus/nasal condition. My nose is often stuffy, and I produce a lot of excess mucus in my nose/throat. It comes and goes.


Here's some info on healing digestive tract issues. http://www.acne.org/...e/#entry2574119

I have a chronically stuffy nose too. That can be a result of our hyperkeratinizatio/hyperproliferation tendencies that also cause our acne.

#7 ninjafriend

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 04:47 PM



A reaction that fast is some kind of intolerance. Have you tried other sources of probiotics? Do you have a reaction to other vinegars?

You could try eating a lot of easy to digest and/or gut healing foods for a while. Do you have other health issues?



Thanks for the quick response.

-I used to eat a decent amount of yogurt, but never really noticed any correlation. I have since cut out all dairy, so haven't had yogurt in quite some time. Besides the probiotic supplements I discontinued (a NOW blend and a Natren blend) I don't really consume probiotics. I dropped the supplements (because I though they were causing breakouts) long before figuring out the kombucha/acv - acne connection. I have cultured coconut milk in the fridge, but I am honestly a bit reluctant to try it now (just bought it the other day).

-I almost never consume vinegar because I'm not big on the taste. I've never noticed anything with vinegar in dressing or on a sandwich, but I also very rarely eat those things.

-Is there anything else I can do alongside trying to stick to a Paleo diet? What is considered a gut-healing food?

-No other big health problems come to mind besides acne and oily skin. Well, I do contend with depression, anxiety, and a lack of energy (although I think a lot of the depression stems from the acne). EDIT: I also suffer from a chronic sinus/nasal condition. My nose is often stuffy, and I produce a lot of excess mucus in my nose/throat. It comes and goes.


Here's some info on healing digestive tract issues. http://www.acne.org/...e/#entry2574119

I have a chronically stuffy nose too. That can be a result of our hyperkeratinizatio/hyperproliferation tendencies that also cause our acne.



I've looked through your pinned thread a few times and don't really know where to start. I'm already low-GL/low sugar on Paleo, and probiotics are starting to look like something I can't consume.

I guess I should just pick something and try to work on it.

#8 Binga

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 10:23 PM

You probably have a weak immune system given ur sinus condition. Not all strains of probiotics are tolerated by every individual. Start drinking fresh vegetable juice (carrot, cucumber, celery, beet, ginger, dandelion greens) one cup daily. Also get some tests done including blood sugar levels from a specialist doctor/naturopath.

#9 alternativista

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 10:45 PM

Hi. I also have an immediate, violent reaction to Kombucha. Not only do I get severe cystic breakouts from the stuff, but my entire system gets inflamed (painful joints and that "electric shock" sort of nerve pain that you sometimes get with a bad fever). I concluded awhile ago that at least for me, that stuff is completely toxic.

I also have the same reaction to probiotics, but no reaction whatsoever to vinegar.

I believe I have a damaged gut, and the stuff is just too strong for it.


Don't you consume other fermented foods?

#10 AcneIsACurse

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 05:01 AM

Yes it's possible you have a reaction to vinegar or even probiotics, I get acne from drinking decaffinated green tea and fish oil which are both supposed to help, everyone is different one person's medicine is another person's poison.

#11 dejaclairevoyant

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 09:22 AM


Hi. I also have an immediate, violent reaction to Kombucha. Not only do I get severe cystic breakouts from the stuff, but my entire system gets inflamed (painful joints and that "electric shock" sort of nerve pain that you sometimes get with a bad fever). I concluded awhile ago that at least for me, that stuff is completely toxic.

I also have the same reaction to probiotics, but no reaction whatsoever to vinegar.

I believe I have a damaged gut, and the stuff is just too strong for it.


Don't you consume other fermented foods?


Just kimchi. It doesn't seem to be anywhere near as strong. It's something about the strength or the level of probiotics, I can only guess.

Super strong probiotic supps = horrible breakout
Kombucha = horrible breakout

Kimchi =nothing

it's possible that I'm reacting to something in the probiotics and kombucha themselves and not the actual probiotics... but I've tried many different flavors and different brands of kombucha (same with probiotic supps) and they all give me a similar nasty reaction.

#12 Binga

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 09:35 AM

You can try cup of organic plain yogurt if you dont break out but I would suggest getting some vitamin/supplements prescribed by the doctor/naturopath A, C, E, Zinc etc.

Edited by Binga, 03 August 2012 - 09:36 AM.


#13 alternativista

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 10:30 AM



Hi. I also have an immediate, violent reaction to Kombucha. Not only do I get severe cystic breakouts from the stuff, but my entire system gets inflamed (painful joints and that "electric shock" sort of nerve pain that you sometimes get with a bad fever). I concluded awhile ago that at least for me, that stuff is completely toxic.

I also have the same reaction to probiotics, but no reaction whatsoever to vinegar.

I believe I have a damaged gut, and the stuff is just too strong for it.


Don't you consume other fermented foods?


Just kimchi. It doesn't seem to be anywhere near as strong. It's something about the strength or the level of probiotics, I can only guess.

Super strong probiotic supps = horrible breakout
Kombucha = horrible breakout

Kimchi =nothing

it's possible that I'm reacting to something in the probiotics and kombucha themselves and not the actual probiotics... but I've tried many different flavors and different brands of kombucha (same with probiotic supps) and they all give me a similar nasty reaction.


Have you ever come accross info on what probiotics form in fermented cabbage and what they do?