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chunkylard

Why initial breakouts occur when switching to a BETTER diet regimen.

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Many people often experience what might seem like an out of place breakout when improving their diet or lifestyle. There are also many who believe that if your skin is breaking out, it means something is wrong (this is true.) For some people, this in turn can mean that if a diet geared towards curing your acne is breaking out, it's not working and you're doing something wrong or your acne is NOT diet-related. We can all agree that acne is a sign that something in your body is wrong, right?

So if you're eating a diet geared towards acne, or are switching from a crappy diet to a diet suitable for acne control, does that mean you shouldn't experience an initial breakout because you're bettering your diet, body and everything else?

Well, no. The way I see it, there are two types of breakouts. Persistent acne due to various triggering foods, allergens, or lifestyle habits. Then there is the initial breakout (detox/healing effects/die-off symptoms.)To understand initial breakouts and why they have the possibility to occur and why they are real, you must understand how the body accumulates toxins.

[What are toxins? We always hear about toxins and how they must be flushed, excreted, extracted, removed, perspired and gotten rid of. Toxins generally refer to heavy metals (Mercury and Lead are the biggest problems, but even many minerals such as Zinc/Molybdenum/Copper/Manganese, which are necessary for a proper functioning body, can cause complications.) There are also things called Dioxins, which are basically the evil stuff factories dump in our oceans and gets into our overall food supply.

PCBs (Polychlorinated Biphenyls) are another toxin. In the past, they have been used as insulators and fluid-cooling/heating systems for machines. Obviously that's not something you want in your body. But the real reason PCBs are bad is because of how UNREACTIVE they are in your body. They are very resistant to bonding with pretty much anything in your body, so whereas something like Mercury which is a heavy metal, is actually able to be excreted by the body (it takes a long time) PCBs may take even longer and since they're just hanging around, they can really cause problems. These toxins contain chlorine atoms, which are released into the body and can cause things like acid-reflux due to too much HCl being formed in the stomach and neural toxicity. PCBs can screw with hormones and some forms of PCB mimic estrogen molecules. They can also cause anorexia (the symptom, not the psychological disorder) organ problems and even shutdown in accumulated doses, birth defects, reproductive problems in both males and females and the C-word.]

So where do toxins accumulate in the body? Generally almost everywhere, but the 4 most important places are Fat (adipose tissue), the liver, the kidney and the brain. The first 3 will probably relate the most to acne so those are the ones I'm going to talk about, but the 4th is undoubtedly the most important.

Skin is made up of fats, proteins, water, minerals and skin cells. Fat is found more or less everywhere in our bodies (even our brain) and is always in close proximity with the skin. Our skin is made up of lipids/fats too, which is something many people wouldn't really expect. If the fat in your body is accumulating enough toxins over time, it's no wonder that it would appear on your skin.

The liver is responsible for a multitude of functions, but the one that greatly pertains to this situation is the production of bile in the liver. Bile is a compound that helps remove fat from the body. Since we now know that toxins accumulate in adipose tissue, if your body is not removing enough fat over time, it's common sense that the amount of toxins in your body will also accumulate. If the liver is being sabotaged by these toxins, it is less efficient at producing bile and in turn less efficient at removing waste from the body, which in turn means you will accumulate more fat over your lifetime. The liver is also partially involved in the way hormones are used throughout the body. The liver is often bombarbed with excess sugar (combined with insulin resistance this is quite damaging,) alcohol, formaldehydes and other various negatives which renders it unable to deal with such stress, and it becomes damaged, less efficient and you may develop a condition known as fatty liver.

The kidney is responsible for filtering blood. If you're not removing waste like nitrogenous compounds/urea, electrolytes, used water, cellular respiration remains, whatever, it doesn't take a huge leap of faith to see how that would contribute to acne. If your kidney is being compromised you can see how that happens. It is important to take great care of your kidneys because they are essentially your sanitation department and get rid of the bad stuff we accumulate through both external and internal metabolic means.

Thankfully our body is like a car. And like a car, things can be fixed and even upgraded. Our liver is amazing at repairing itself, and with proper diet and the right combination of electrolytes, water and supplements, we can make our kidneys more efficient and reduce the strain they're put under every single day. We can eat healthy fats and proteins that will supply our proverbial car with the proper fuel and won't wear down the paint job.

Through digestion, foods containing these toxins interact with our other organs such as our mouth, esophagus and colon. It's very likely that these organs are affected as well. Once we switch to a diet which is aimed at controlling acne, these toxins will gradually begin to lessen and the accumulation in our bodies will be dispersed and removed over time (in the case of certain heavy metals this can take an extremely long time.) When most people think of removing waste, they think of the two obvious ones (#1 and #2.) But your skin also removes waste through perspiration. As does your mouth/lungs through respiration. In this way it is simple to see how your skin would have an "adjustment period" shortly after improving your diet, which might resemble a regular old breakout.

There is also another small factor but it is not as big of a factor as the information mentioned above in my opinion. Homeostasis. Homeostasis in laymen's terms means the body's need to be unchanged, undisturbed and balanced. It's possible in theory, that due to natural selection there are people who might be more resistant to the crappy things in our food supply like toxins. Even if one does not have this resistance, if you suddenly switch up your diet, your body is going to feel confused and will need to shift gears and realign itself. Imagine that you're running on a treadmill for 30 minutes at full speed. Now jump off. You'll still feel like you're running even though you completely changed what you were doing. The same idea can occur in your body. This might contribute to an initial breakout.

Bacteria (and by extension, various fungi/protists/viruses) have lifespans. When they die off, their negative effects may be encountered by an individual. When a person has an E. coli infection, it's not recommended to take antibiotics because it could release all of the E. coli at once and a person could die.

Hemoglobin (red blood cells) take about 120 days (~4 months) to die and renew. This means that ANYTHING bound to your red blood cells stays in your system circulation for quite a while. Sugar-bound blood may affect relative blood sugar levels. When these cells die, that sugar is excreted. This may be another reason for die off symptoms for those doing Candida cleanses or people who eat excess sugar in general.

Edited by chunkylard

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Awesome post. The only thing I would add is toxins can accumulate from yeast overgrowth (Candida) and from 'bad' bacteria and parasitic organisms. Of course this is including the waste from our actual cells. :)

I often hear people say, "I eat a perfect organic diet, what toxins can I have? Why would I need to detox?"

Our own cells create their own waste products that need to be removed via the lympatic drainage system, liver and kidneys. Even a person not eating or breathing a single molecule of something 'bad' can become toxic under certain conditions.

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bump!

This is an awesome post! I see a lot of (what I see to be) knee-jerk reactions to breakouts, when really if you're correcting yourself and starting to truly be healthy, everything that comes after is the body healing and re-righting itself.

I love this article, explaining "die-off" reactions from a healing perspective, not from a disease perspective. --- can't seem to post website addresses, but google search "False Information About Die-Off Symptoms & Herxheimer Reactions," will be the first entry.

I'd also chip in that toxins can include spent hormones swimming around in your blood, if your liver is overwhelmed and cannot deactivate and clear them out, these spent hormones are just as dangerous as any other toxins when flooding the blood.

Also (don't worry I'll stop in a sec), don't try one supplement, quit then try another. All the vitamins and minerals we need work synergistically, which means if you're only doing one and not the rest, you're not getting the full benefits. EXAMPLE: you need magnesium to absorb calcium, etc.

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Also (don't worry I'll stop in a sec), don't try one supplement, quit then try another. All the vitamins and minerals we need work synergistically, which means if you're only doing one and not the rest, you're not getting the full benefits. EXAMPLE: you need magnesium to absorb calcium, etc.

That is why it is always best to get your vitamins and minerals through food sources if possible. :)

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Also (don't worry I'll stop in a sec), don't try one supplement, quit then try another. All the vitamins and minerals we need work synergistically, which means if you're only doing one and not the rest, you're not getting the full benefits. EXAMPLE: you need magnesium to absorb calcium, etc.

That is why it is always best to get your vitamins and minerals through food sources if possible. :)

Very true vegangirl! Whole foods first, pills last. And even if you're using whole foods, you should still keep track of your dose, and try and get the same doses everyday. That way if you're going to change something, you can see the affects.

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Shameless bump. I added some minor but helpful information in the middle and at the end.

Hemoglobin (red blood cells) take 120 days (~4 months) to die and renew! This means that ANYTHING bound to your red blood cells stays in your system circulation for quite a while. Sugar-bound blood may affect relative blood sugar levels. When these cells die, that sugar is excreted. This may be another reason for die off symptoms for those doing Candida cleanses or people who eat excess sugar in general.

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Great Bump Chunky! I've always wondered if the people who said diet wasn't working for them were doing things right, or gave it enough time. Quite frankly, 18 years of abuse and a 2-4 month recovery period on average, that's about as long as a topical regimen would take to see results, but people seem so quick to give up when it comes to diet/lifestyle.

One of the most frustrating things for me when I started this journey was hearing the term "toxin" thrown around so much, with no explanation as to what they were! I slowly found out on my own that it was things like heavy metals, PCBS, stuff like that. I plan to get my amalgams replaced next year, but I need to look into the alternatives, any recommendations?

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Yeah, "toxins" is such a superfluous and vague term. Toxins this, toxins that. Pretty sure hearing the word toxin is enough to give most people toxins.

Pretty sure they have porcelain/some white colored glass-type compound fillings now.

Fucked up my incisor once playing baseball (split the tooth in half diagonally basically) and they filled the remainder in with some porcelain and now you can't even tell it's there.

Edited by chunkylard

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Glad to hear the filling worked out! I'll ask my dentist about it again. I tried asking my old one a year ago, gave me the whole "it isn't toxic speech," even after I asked why they have to handle it like it is. :snooty:

lol, toxic stress from stressing about toxins and what they are, sounds like me a while back :redface:

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Great Bump Chunky! I've always wondered if the people who said diet wasn't working for them were doing things right, or gave it enough time. Quite frankly, 18 years of abuse and a 2-4 month recovery period on average, that's about as long as a topical regimen would take to see results, but people seem so quick to give up when it comes to diet/lifestyle.

Hemoglobin (red blood cells) take 120 days (~4 months) to die and renew! This means that ANYTHING bound to your red blood cells stays in your system circulation for quite a while.

It also takes some time for your lipid profile to change as you improve your omega3/6 ratio. And it takes some time to improve insulin sensitivity. And heal your gut. And a myriad of other things.

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Yup, exactly. And that whole 27 day keratinization cycle and skin cell turnover ensures that people won't see too much (visible) significant improvement in their skin for at least a month.

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