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Just Trying To Find My Way.....a Holistic Approach To Acne

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DAY # 37

So it is official, i have decided to go back to topicals.....at least for a while. Emotionally i was not able to cope with the breakouts and even though topicals have not been a big help in the past, my acne was never this bad, even when on them. I am consulting with derm # 5 on Friday and we'll hopefully discuss some blood testing for hormones and such. In the meantime, i'm back on Acanya until then. Feeling definitely discouraged.

I strongly believe that many people get results from holistic means but sometimes there are the few of us that really need a combination of natural and unnatural stuff so....

As for my follow up with the holistic Dr - he removed 3 of my supplements and added in 7 more. 2 for digestion, vit a for skin, 2 for hormonal and 2 for yeast/candida. I am hesitant to start taking the hormonal supplements (i know one is chaste berry) because they help to balance hormones and i'm not sure what exactly is out of whack (do i have more or less estrogen/prog) so i don't want to further create a problem where there isn't one.

My cycles are normal, i haven't been on BC in years, my pms symptoms just last the first and second days with cramping and the severity of my breakouts don't seem to correlate with my cycle - it's just one continuous breakout (though for the most part, it is contained to my chin/mouth areas -inflamed, under the skin, some pus, clusters).

I will probably update my sig after next week.

He also 'tested' some of my most commonly eaten foods and said to drop:


pea protein(my substitute for whey)

quinoa (kinda annoyed about this one)

He thinks leaky gut is setting off all kinds of allergies in my gut (in other words, he probably has no clue what is causing what).

Anyway, depending on what happens between now and next month, he may add in a supplement to help the leaky gut (but this depends on if the candida is under control - wtf).

Needless to say - i have no words left.

It is what it is......that's all i'm gonna say about that.

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Hey! I'm sorry that things haven't been better. Even though I see a naturopath, I still use Retin-A, I haven't been able to go completely holistic. I don't know if that helps you feel better, but maybe a combo of the two could help. I'm glad you found a good facialist though, she sounds really sweet.

I personally don't believe in "muscle testing", my naturopath did blood tests to diagnose my food allergies. She also did tests for my hormones, and found that I'm progesterone deficient. Chances are you are too, since too much estrogen is more common. There is so much estrogen in our environment, but not much progesterone. I think that the chaste berry would help balance the hormones, regardless of what the imbalance is. I take this hormone balance supplement, which has chaste berry. I think it helped my acne for a while, but I get a resurgence every few months. I have found that icing and arnica oil helps heal any cysts that get.

If your doc thinks you have candida, are you on an anti-candida diet? I was curious, because if you are... you wouldn't be able to eat any fruit, not just strawberries. The leaky gut thing is a pain, but if you can repair your intestines, your food allergies will go away. I am in the process of re-introducing foods.

Thanks for updating smile.png

Edited by 4Fours
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4fours, thanks for the response and encouragement. I have stopped ALL supplements. I don't feel right, my body doesn't feel right and my face, well, it's a mess. I am seeing this muscle testing for what it really is (quackery). My last visit with him had me seeing things in a clear light. He really is just giving me random supplements on the off chance that it works and i don't like that. My body is not a game - this is my life.

I am going back to the derm and asking about getting real blood tests done for hormones.

Also, i may at some point just continue to take zinc, the Vitamin A he prescribed, probiotics and fish oil to finish out the bottle and maybe the digestive enzymes.

As for Candida, he didn't do any tests to determine if i had it so who knows if i do. Apart from acne, i really don't have any other symptoms.

In any events, i am broke and back to square 1 again. I guess now is the time to step back, get some perspective, brush myself off and try again.

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Sasch83 Im glad to hear you stopped taking supplements. I too use to take loads of supplements in hope that one of them might help or cure my acne. However, as you just discovered for yourself they seem only to make the whole thing worse. I think we put too much trust in supplementation. I myself am very distrusting of anything labeled a 'drug' but will toss back any supplement with the off chance of improving my acne.

To be honest, I'm not in the best place to be giving advice. I still have acne. Why the hell would I still be on this board if I didn't. Nevertheless, it is improving. Ill try to share with you the best things I did to help my acne and why I think the cure to acne is almost insight.

First off I would recommend getting a ELISA or some form of an immune response based allergen test. I recently took one and found out I'm allergic to yeast. I had cut out loads of foods before, gluten, dairy, soy, but I never would have thought to eliminate yeast. Now, I still avoid gluten, dairy and soy but I never felt quite right until I eliminated yeast as well.

Secondly, I am a firm believer of the acne - gut - brain axis. We need to improve our digestion in order to improve our skin and our minds. Probiotics CAN be helpful. However, they can also be harmful. Good bacteria is good when its in the right place, i.e., the colon. When that 'good' bacteria moves up into the small intestine it immediately becomes bad. You shouldn't have bacteria in your small intestine (SI). So, avoid taking probiotics too often. I would use probiotics the same way one might use antibiotics, 10 days of intense use (80 billion and day taken at night. Renew Life makes a very very nice probiotic). In addition, foods that ferment in your SI can feed bad bacteria already in there. These foods are called FODMAPS. If you're having digestive issues this is likely the root.

We're trying to balance the bacteria in our gut with probiotics and while I do believe there is a very strong relationship between the gut and the skin, your face is a long way away from your gut. So its good to focus on your skin as well. You skin works suprisingly similar to your gut. You need a balance of bacteria and yeast. If one strain becomes too strong or two week that, in my mind, is the primary cause of acne. So how do we keep the bacteria in check. For one you keep your gut healthy. If you have an overgrowth of bacteria INSIDE your body, your likely to have an overgrowth of bacteria OUTSIDE your body. This is where I'm stuck myself. Currently, I'm trying to find a way of supporting the good bacteria on my face? There are several new face washes, moisturizers and other goodies on the market that include probiotics. I've been looking into them but have yet to test one out. Ill try and remember to keep you posted if you're at all interested.

Finally, my topical regime may seem a bit strange but I have yet to find something that works better for me personally. I avoid washing my face as much as I can because I don't wont to wash away any good bacteria or ruin the acid mantel that protects my skin. It takes 12 hours to reform the acid mantel protecting your skin. think about it. Its late. You wash your face and strip away your bodies natural defenses against pathogens. Then you slam your face into a pillow for 8 hours. Obviously I shower and I do wash my face but I try to do it in the mornings and only when I feel that it is absolutely necessary.

The final part of my regime is the use of essential oils that claim not to destroy good bacteria but will remove any harmful. How this works, Im really not sure. Some of the best essential oils I've found. Thyme. Its recently received some press. YEA! Thymus Vulgaris is awesome. Its powerful as hell and wont cause dryness or premature aging like BP. Plus its promoting the good bacteria and killing the bad. Tea Tree and Frankincense are also great for fungi. I often suffer from dermatitis and fungal based acne. It doesn't have to be a bacteria that gets out of hand to cause acne.

Well thats really all the help I can offer you. Hopefully you or anyone else can benefit from this.

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Thanks for the suggestions - they are appreciated. I have done the food tests and the elimination has not helped. I at this point have given up on the holistic route. I will continue to take the supplements in my sig ( as they claim to help with inflammation, blood sugar, etc) for the next month so that i feel as if i haven't wasted my money.

I have visited a derm and her suggestion to me was to finish my last round of accutane (not very holistic is it). I am on the fence about it.

I also see my GP next week about my blood results so maybe that will provide some much needed answers. I have eased up on my diet as i am sickly thin and i am unhappy. Adding back in gluten free grains(aka brown rice and sweet potatoes). My acne may never go away but i refuse to make myself miserable in the interim.

I can't continue to be afraid of food (as i am now- i'm so paranoid) and believing that i have every issue under the sun (candida, liver issues, thyroid issues, kidney issues, gut issues, issue issues).

Do i think accutane is the answer...hell no! Do i have any other solutions ATM? Nope.

We'll see what happens in the coming weeks.

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This has been one of best weekends i've had in a long time! My family was with me, we went shopping and for once i wasn't in the mirror every five seconds which helped tremendously. Still breaking out, a few inflamed pimples, tons of smaller ones and plenty clogged pores that seemed to have come on overnight. It's ok though.

I ate this weekend, not afraid of my food (still gluten and dairy free though) as i realize that i am breaking out when i eat with my restricted diet and when i don't so i might as well eat and be happy than be afraid to eat and be unhappy.

Have i given up.....maybe....or maybe i am less stringent because in 3 weeks i may be able to complete my incimplete course of accutane that was started in November. Who knows. Accutane is not a drug i want to go on again so hopefully my blood results this Thursday will reveal something.

Will update then.

I am VERY disappointed that the holistic way did not work for me when it seemed to have worked for so many others but such as life - it's the hand that i've been dealt and i have to deal with that.

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Results Are In:

Everything is fine with me health wise.

My A1 C which measure my glucose level for 3 months dropped 3 points to within normal range so YAY!!!!! Liver function was good, cholesterol was great, thyroid function was normal, hormones are in normal range.

The only thing that was out of range was kidney test which showed i was dehydrated (i haven't been drinking as much liquids as i used to).

I am happy to be ok but then i have no clue as to why i have acne and what i can do to help it.

Another Dead End

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Hey All! Just wanted to send a final post/update as i have decided to close this log. I am currently not going doing holistic 100% so i feel as if this log would not be living up to its name.

I will soon be posting a current picture in my gallery so that you can see the current and very sad state of my skin. I will continue to eat as healthy as possible:

no dairy

no gluten

but i have decided to add back in a few things that my holistic dr had taken out and things from my intolerance test (as i noticed no difference even after excluding them for months) such as eggs, berries, sweet potatoes,etc.

I am extremely disappointed that these lifestyle changes did not work for me but i'm glad that i gave it a go. At least i won't have to say 'what if'. As many of you may or may not know, i may be restarting my discontinued course of accutane (i will know for sure tomorrow). I know it is not a cure and i know i may be pushing my luck but as a believer in God, i know that i need not worry as he is in control of my health and my life. I guess what i am hoping is that my healthy lifestyle will kick start some positive changes in my skin eventually and that if i do use accutane and follow up with a topical, i can control my acne much better than i've been doing.

On a final note, i want to say thanks to all of you that have PM'd me and just posted words of advice and encouragement without all the judgement.....it means more to me that you'll ever know

Take Care of yourselves and here's to a brighter future and outlook.

Sasch83 says peace out!

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