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jdl001

Food intolerance testing

Like many people here i'm not sure what's causing my acne. I exercise regularly, have a reasonably healthy diet, drink plenty water etc etc.

Doctors and derms have only provided temporary relief through use of drugs and creams which have side affects.

What i'm wondering is whether food intolerance/allergies could be at the root of the problem. I've found this test i could take:

It's quite expensive so i'm wondering what your thoughts are before i consider paying for it.

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Hello,

I don't really have an answer to your question, but I'm in a similar situation - healthy life style, but persistent acne, for which for nearly 20 years I have never been without some kind of medication.

I have tried eliminating all kinds of things from my diet and nothing worked, even though eating a generally healthy, balanced diet does improve the acne somewhat.

From what I gather reading other people's entries over time is that miracle cures are not to be expected from diet changes. Unfortunately some of the medications we take over time, especially birth control pills for women, only put the problem on hold for a while and then it comes back with a vengeance, while the hormonal imbalances that caused acne in the first place have become exacerbated from years of taking them.

Good luck, and if you do a food allergy test I'd certainly be interested in the outcome. Have been considering it myself, but have not done anything about that so far.

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Hello,

I don't really have an answer to your question, but I'm in a similar situation - healthy life style, but persistent acne, for which for nearly 20 years I have never been without some kind of medication.

I have tried eliminating all kinds of things from my diet and nothing worked, even though eating a generally healthy, balanced diet does improve the acne somewhat.

From what I gather reading other people's entries over time is that miracle cures are not to be expected from diet changes. Unfortunately some of the medications we take over time, especially birth control pills for women, only put the problem on hold for a while and then it comes back with a vengeance, while the hormonal imbalances that caused acne in the first place have become exacerbated from years of taking them.

Good luck, and if you do a food allergy test I'd certainly be interested in the outcome. Have been considering it myself, but have not done anything about that so far.

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As far as I know, there has been no solid scientific link between diet and acne. My own experience and many others seems to confirm this.

Personally, I have a strong genetic link - prevalent acne on my mom's side of the family. There is little I can do to eat to change this (although my MIL, a food nut, disagrees :P). Not that I haven't tried though...

I think there may be a minority of cases where acne is truly caused by some food intolerance. But for most of us, it's not so easy. I definitely wouldn't spend money to be told this, chances are diet change will not help you.

Edited by nvarsj

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As far as I know, there has been no solid scientific link between diet and acne.

Because of a deeply flawed study some decades ago, the link between diet and acne has gone essentially unstudied until recently. With the astounding discovery that not a single acne lesion could be found among hundreds of men/women/children in the Trobriand Islands, combined with the fact that no island people have remained acne free after adopting "civilized" lifestyles (which makes it highly unlikely the Trobriand Islanders are genetic freaks), scientists have started to examine the diet/acne link seriously for the first time.

So far, initial studies have revealed a correlation with skim milk (but not whole milk) with acne in teenaged boys, and a correlation between lower GI diet and less acne.

For me, the most stunning research has yet to be connected to acne by scientists. This was the Japanese study that showed that living in dim indoor light increases carbohydrate malabsorption. Since we already know that carb malabsorption correlates with lowered levels of tryptophan (required to make melatonin) and zinc, and we know that melatonin along with zinc combine to make the most powerful anti-oxidant for superoxide anions (the reactive oxygen species that appears key to creating acne), that study reveals why diet not only affects acne, but why its effects are highly variable. Live in bright enough light and sleep long, hard, and regular in complete darkness (like the Trobriand Islanders are forced to do -- they have no artificial lighting), and diet will have little effect on acne. Live in dim indoor light, and suddenly all the foods that can induce carb malabsorption (most notably, fructose) will be able to impact your acne. Add in the fact that civilized people go to great lengths to destroy their melatonin cycle (sleeping 6 hours instead of 9-10, going to bed at irregular times, using caffeine/alcohol/drugs, sleeping in light pollution, etc.), and it makes sense that roughly half the adult population has at least one zit on any given day.

Once you realize that estrogen helps control pineal melatonin production, the acne associated with monthly cycles and menopause also neatly fits into place.

Finally, the Trobriand Islanders staple food is yams (the enormous scaly "real" yams, not sweet potatoes), which may be giving them more lycopene than most modern people (except ketchup freaks!) are getting. Lycopene appears able to elevate the same key anti-oxidant that melatonin can, and likely decreases sebum production by interfering with DHT as well.

chances are diet change will not help you.

I would say, chances are the diet changes you imagine would help acne will not help you. For example, many people have claimed their acne got worse when they started eating "healthy", but when you look at what they actually eat, they're eating a high-fructose diet full of things like apples. If you're not keeping your eyes in bright outdoor light all day every day, then eating the FODMAP way would probably improve your symptoms (though you probably still need to get back a normal melatonin cycle to be acne-free, which is very hard in modern life).

Personally, I have a strong genetic link - prevalent acne on my mom's side of the family. There is little I can do to eat to change this

This is why genetic thinking is so dangerous; it invokes the fundamental attribution error that we are all prone to, making us imagine disposition is everything, and situation is nothing. Perhaps you genetically inherited a love of fructose, or an indoor lifestyle, or a heavy caffeine habit, or a hatred of tomatoes, or... any number of things that you could fairly easily change that could affect acne even though in some technical sense your acne could be deemed "genetic".

There is no aspect of humans that is 100% controlled by genes (not even hair color)! It's too bad we don't teach kids enough biology to actually understand how genes work so they don't fall into this trap. Once you understand that just reaching over and setting the thermostat ten degrees hotter alters the behavior of your genes, you become deeply suspicious of anyone who throws their hands up because a disease is "genetic". :D

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