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My Registered Dietitian's Recommendations

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I thought I'd share this information in case it might help others. Last year I was tested for food allergies and discovered I was allergic to some pretty common foods (tomato, celery, onion, etc.) and some of the usual suspects (wheat, corn, etc.). I was supposed to see the dietitian at that time but put it off because I thought I could adjust meals on my own. Big mistake! I ended up fudging on my allergy diet which may have contributed to periodic flare-ups. I finally went to see her this past month and found out dietitians are an incredible source of information and support. My first two visits were totally covered by insurance and after that are just 15% co-pay. She sees me for an hour at a time. She has been a godsend...and so supportive!

My doctor and my dietitian strongly believe that chronic resistant adult acne is partly (if not mostly) due to ingesting foods and substances that the body is sensitive or allergic to. This in turn causes inflammation throughout the body starting in the gut. Digestion is compromised causing an inability to take in nutrients that can help calm inflammation which adds to the problem. Intestinal flora is damaged by antibiotics and/or an inflamed gut. This can happen even if antibiotics were taken years ago...the body just limps along afterwards.

Getting tested and following a proper diet, along with using a topical to clear up pores is what they recommend. The key is to balance the immune system and the inflammation response so that both are working properly and not over working (...flare-ups...). This in turn helps the hormones to balance out. It takes time for healing but I noticed a difference in a few days. It was like a fog lifted...I felt better and my skin seemed much less oily and the itching was gone!

Along with following a good diet for your particular body, they say the gut has to be healed. This is done with probiotics and suppliments. This is the list of suppliments my dietitian has me on...

Zinc Picolinate (absorbs better) 50 mg

Ester C 500 mg

Glutamine (heals gut) 2000 mg

Quercetin with Bromelain (anti-inflammatory) 800 mg + 200 mg

Multi-vitamin ("The Big One")

Nordic Naturals Omega-3 690 mg

Citrical + D3 (vitamin D is good for healing) 600 mg + 750 iu

Ultra Flora Plus - no dairy (refrigerated high # of live flora)

Flaxseed ground 1-2 tablespoons

She also recommends drinking a green smoothie each day. She says this is the best way to get the nutrients in greens which are very healing for the skin. We can eat salads, etc. but we just can't chew things up sufficiently to get everything possible out of the greens.

Here are the ingredients for my green smoothie. It is very tasty!

1 cup rice milk

1 banana

Handful of frozen blueberries and/or peaches (I do u-pick during the summer and freeze)

Bunch of chard, kale, spinach (whatever I have on hand)

1 tablespoon of almond butter

1 handful of raw walnuts (very good for skin)

1-2 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds

I also drink two strong cups of an herbal tea everyday that is good for healing the skin. My dietitian thinks it is an excellent blend. I put it together myself from bulk herbs at the health food store. It is really cheap...much less expensive than tea bags.

2 cups spearmint (anti-androgen)

1 cup chamomile (anti-anxiety)

1/4 cup dandelion (liver cleanser)

1/4 cup hibiscus

1/4 cup peppermint

I hope this helps others. I was very scared last year when my derm took me off antibiotics and then this year when she took me off Spiro. I was sure my skin would go bonkers. To be truthful...when I look back at my skin journal I can see that even when I was on antibiotics and spiro that I was still getting periodic flare-ups. My derm knew this too and felt that I had been on them long eneough. Her reasoning was that I had now been using tretinoin cream long eneough to open the pores (2 years) and that these flare-ups were something else. This is where allergy testing came in. I was also tested for hormones but those results were normal.

I am now about a month into strictly following my allergy diet and supplimentation. My skin is looking better...basically clear. All I have are two red marks from the last flare-up. The key now will be in a month or two...will I get a flare-up? I'll update as I go along.

Edited by cvd

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Thanks for the advice. I know diet strongly affects me but i do not know why. Lowers inflammation, candida yeast, I dont know. All i know is all the stuff I love is on the list of food not too eat =/

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I'm now a little over 2 weeks into strictly following my dietitician's recommended allergy diet and suppliment regime. In the first 4 days I noticed my mood shifted...from a foggy anxious feeling to a more balanced uplifted feeling (interesting). I've heard that food allergies can cause mood changes and I'm seeing the difference. I've also noticed that my skin is less oily. My skin is moist but not thick with oil in the t-zone like usual. My t-zone feels a little dryer after washing and there's a bit of peeling but not much. It feels like it is healing overall. Since starting this diet-suppliment regime I have gotten only one teeny whitehead that was gone in a day.

Hi Chris (...very disturbing pic...sorry...) --- yes, I agree. All my fav foods are restricted. When my husband has his cinnamon toast in the morning I about faint with hunger. I'm trying to get excited about quinoa hot cereal with blueberries and rice milk but it doesn't have quite the same appeal.

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I've been wanting to have allergy tests done but when i went to the doc she said you cant do specific tests to determine certain foods. had me a bit confused as i know you can because so many people like yourself get specific foods as results. anyways I think she just gave me a test called: "H2 breath test (frustose/lactose/laculose) would this at all help me? I have to go to a nutritionist to get it done but im not sure if it will give me specific results. are tests universal? im from australia and dont know what tests to ask for, would you be able to help me out ? :)

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I've been wanting to have allergy tests done but when i went to the doc she said you cant do specific tests to determine certain foods. had me a bit confused as i know you can because so many people like yourself get specific foods as results. anyways I think she just gave me a test called: "H2 breath test (frustose/lactose/laculose) would this at all help me? I have to go to a nutritionist to get it done but im not sure if it will give me specific results. are tests universal? im from australia and dont know what tests to ask for, would you be able to help me out ? smile.png

Get allergy tested for Soybean, Peanut, Milk, Egg White & Yolk, & Wheat. They are blood tests. Make sure the do IgG & IgE on all of them.

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Hi FSAS --- I went in to take the fructose test but after talking with me they said to save my money because it was obvious I had some version of fructose malabsorption...the key is following the low fructose diet and seeing if it helps or not and then adding back in foods slowly to see what the reaction is. I think I must have a mild to moderate form of fructose malabsorption as I have to avoid all sugars and fruits except berries, peach, and banana. I also have to avoid carrot and tomato. The blood test I took was through my doctor's office and MRT Food Sensitivity Test (Signet Diagnostic Corp). I also did a skin prick test on my back that included environmental irritants (dander, etc.).

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Guest Zevcat

I'm looking foward to try these lifestyle changes more and more. Right now, in addition to the acne and itchy oily-ness, oily scalp, hair loss

I have irritability and concentration problems. I have a yoga mat and strap in the closet, blocks, and I have yet to try it all out!

Meditation is a challenge. I know these two would be good for me.. I think I want to start with meditation because I feel so irritable.

It's hard for me to relax and clear my head, period.

Also, sugar cravings, I've been having horrible sugar cravings lately and I don't know why. My diet hasn't changed. That's

driving me crazy too.

Cvd, how do you brew your tea, with all your herbs? I've never made loose tea.

I want to find an MD or nutritionist who can do the Food Sensitivity Test. I think all I was tested for was environmental allergens.

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Hi Zevcat --- it's hard to make lifestyle changes! I've been working on it for years and only now have I really become disciplined about doing yoga daily and also meditation. A book I really like is "The Joy of Living" by Tibetan master Yongey Rinpoche. He's a young man who overcame extreme anxiety through meditation. He describes everything very well and from a scientific point of view. I also really like Eckhart Tolle. On his website there are guided meditations and talks that help to center the mind.

Re: how to make loose tea

I buy bags of organic spearmint leaves, chamomile, peppermint and hibiscus from the bulk section at our local health food coop. This is very inexpensive. I also add a bag of dandelion leaves every other month or so. Mix together in a large bowl 2 cups spearmint + 1 cup chamomile + 1/4 cup hibiscus + 1/4 cup peppermint and if you're adding dandelion then 1/4-1/2 cup of that. I keep this blend in a large mason jar. I scoop a heaping tablespoon of the mixture into a ceramic teapot I bought from the coop and add boiling water...a little more than two cups...basically fill the teapot about 2/3 full. I let that steep for 3-5 minutes and then place an individual tea strainer (it sits on the edges of the mug) and pour out a cup of tea. I add rice milk to this. As I shared above...studies have shown spearmint tea to have an anti-androgen effect when you drink 2 strong cups a day. I let the blend to steep in the teapot and take some to work or have it later in the day too...by then it's steeped even more and is stronger.

When I travel I just take regular individual teabags of spearmint and chamomile teas that I get from the health food coop rather than fuss with loose tea. I like the Traditional Medicinals brand. Commercial teas, even organic, are not as fresh or as strong as loose tea. When using tea for medicinal purposes most practitioners would recommend using loose tea. But when traveling I make exceptions!

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Guest Zevcat

Thank you for the advice! I am looking foward to making this tea.

I'm going to make a list of things to use now, to try to get a handle on this thing. Already my skin seems to

have stopped breaking out and is somewhat less oily. Have a lot of red marks on my face, but at least it

appears I'm heading in a good direction.

I think just freaking out about my skin alone has been creating chaos! There is definitely a stress-component here,

although I suspect it's not the only thing. I was getting scalp blemishes and hair loss even before this last breakout.

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Yes --- stress is indeed a component but from everything I've read it's not too important to worry about. Of course easier said than done! I actually talked with some professionals about this and they said the kind of stress referred to is extreme stress endured over time...not the usual kind of stress associated with acne. Although if acne becomes totally overwhelming...like it has for me at times...then cortisol levels rise and hormones get released including the dreaded androgens that promote acne. What I've noticed is my skin gets really oily and clogged up.

My dietician and doctor refer to stress the body endures over time from life situations and using medications like frequent use of strong antibiotics. The body doesn't have time to repair itself and so limps along...getting more and more overwhelmed by things it would normally not get affected by like acne. I think this is when we get our major flare-ups.

Supposedly this is where diet, suppliments, probiotics and stress reducers actually help the body to heal. We have to do extra stuff for this to happen. In the old days people took tonics (concentrated herbals), bitters (fresh bitter greens), and drank soothing healing teas, etc. These things helped restore the body back into a healthy balance. Today we treat acute illnesses with medications designed to work quickly (often with side effects) but many if not most of us have lost the arts associated with slow methods of restoring health. I find this very interesting. There are thousands of years of knowledge about how to restore health...and these methods often worked. It's just that most of them produce small changes...designed not to jar the body and hence slowly restore health. I have come to trust modern medications that work like that...i.e. tretinoin cream. It works very slowly.

I'm also learning to trust my skin. When it flares up I want it to immediately calm down. But of course it cannot do that...it slowly calms down...sometimes taking days or weeks. But eventually it does as long as I don't do anything to jar it...like introducing new products, or picking, or whatever.

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Guest Zevcat

I wouldn't be surprised if my stress level factors in, although I doubt that stress alone is responsible for my flareups. Usually when I am under

stress, my good dietary/exercise habits go out the window and my sleep gets worse. I have a high stress job and its a challenge for everyone

I work with not to be allected by the work environment. I like my job because its varied and challeging, but at the same time one is subject

to constant change and the unexpected and has to be flexible. I think meditation/yoga would be very beneficial to help me "roll" with what

goes on, and not get triggered into anxiety and irritability so often. I know the obvious question anyone would ask me is 'why not change jobs?'

But I like this job and it gives me satisfaction in many ways. I feel it's not maintaining good care of myself when I feel stressed that causes problems.

Case in point, reflecting back I realized this last outbreak was triggered by an extreme sugar binge. For 4-5 days I basically lived on sugar, nibbling

on candy all day long and eating other things that contain big triggers for me like refined carbs, gluten, and dairy. When I shut all that down my

oilyness reduced and my skin began to calm down very quickly. The itchy-oily feeling is gone. I'm left with hyperpigmentation now but the breakouts have

stopped and my skin is now only slightly oily. And the massive hair loss appears to have slowed down greatly.

Back to the nutrition....Haven't been able to find loose herbs in my area at all but am now drinking a mixture of spearmint/chamomile tea. I read

somewhere that spearmint tastes good in combination with green tea as well. A lot of people here seem to be touting the skin benefits of green

tea. I've always had trouble with the "grassy" taste. Maybe spearmint will make it tastier.

I'm going to start taking zinc picolinate. The mulivitamin I have has a different type of zinc in it. I read something about needing copper when you

take zinc. My multi has copper in it, I hope it is enough.

Quercetin + bromalain I assume, is an anti-inflammatory. Probiotics, I used to take one, stopped for no good reason. What is the role of

probiotics in maintaining good skin? Also glutamine?

I recognize that supplements are exactly that - supplements. I need to incorporate more high-vitamin leafy greens in my diet. Smoothies

sound like a good idea. I find it hard to make stuff like chard and kale appealing. I have a vegan friend who eats raw kale salads and

I can't see myself enjoying those. The most I've been doing now is putting baby spinach in my salads.

EDIT: My multivitamin has calcium citrate as its vitamin C source, is Ester-C better?

Edited by Zevcat

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Ester-C is supposedly more completely metabolized. All I know is it seems easier on the stomach than straight vitamin C which I find irritating.

Green smoothies don't taste like vegies! My dietitian had to convince me of that but once I tried it I had to agree. Just follow the recipe above and all it tastes like is bananas and whatever fruit you add. All you see of the vegies is the bright green color!

Glutamine heals nerve endings, especially in the gut. According to my doctor this is important for people who have taken antibiotics. The gut lining is compromised and if antibiotics have been taken over time, or if there has prolonged stress, then nerves in the lining have been damaged which makes it harder for it to function correctly which in turn means more inflammation. This is as much as I understand but I think I'll google it to find out more.

Refrigerated probiotics, especially the ones recommended by dietitians, repopulate the gut with good flora to jump start things working correctly. We don't eat like our ancestors...lots of fermented foods...and we kill good flora with antibiotics...so this is the most efficient way to rebalance things. Good flora helps fight inflammation both in the gut and sets up the cycle for the bodies' own ability to generate anti-inflammatory agents which means less acne.

Quercetin and bromelain are both really good anti-inflammatories. Quercetin is now recognized by the regular medical establishment for it's anti-inflammatory qualities.

Stress can be good and bad...but hope it balances out for you! I totally understand about blowing it when stressed. I do the same but much less now as I am dedicated to giving this allergy diet a fair shake.

That said I have noticed that if I get a bump it stays smaller and goes down without getting infected. And thus far I have only gotten one. The rest of my skin is clear. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I am now one full month into following this diet religiously.

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