Jump to content
Search In
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Orthorexia: Healthy Eating For Acne An Eating Disorder?

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

I came across an article about ORTHOREXIA, which is an eating disorder defined by strict, rigid, religious healthy eating, and wondered if my "healthy eating" is considered orthorexic.

I am a 21 year old Japanese female, who has been struggling with mild acne since 12. My acne flared up high school and first years of university both due to a combination of stress and medication. Since medications were only making the acne worse, I tried controlling my acne more naturally by first eliminating junk food, then meat, dairy, eggs, sugar, high glycemic foods (i.e. pasta. white and whole wheat bread, etc) and finally last year I refrained from eating any foods touched with vegetable oil. I also take red clover and black cohosh supplements for menstrual breakouts. Thankfully, my skin has gotten much better as I only get one or two pimples occasionally and they go away fairly quickly. Honestly, I am very happy with how my skin looks now and very glad I started my dietary restriction.

However, in exchange for clear skin, now I think I'm considered orthorexic. Some of the symptoms of orthorexia are:

- rigorous controlling of foods

- worrying about foods triggering health symptoms such as cancer, heart disease, asthma, allergy, etc

- avoiding foods with certain ingredients such as: artificial colors, flavorings, added salt, fat, and sugar

- social isolation, interference with activities and interest, nutrition deficiencies because of the dietary restrictions

BUT, I believe the boundary between orthorexia and healthy eating is rather unclear, for example it's rational to avoid eating at a fast food restaurants because (for me) fast food triggers breakouts and I know it. Also, what about vegans, raw foodists or juicers? They avoid eating certain foods but are they now orthorexic as well?

So my question is:

1. are you on some kind of dietary restriction to maintain or achieve clear skin?

2. if so, do you consider your self orthorexic, or at some degree obsessed with your food?

3. if so, would you abandon your eating strategies now that you have an eating disorder?

Thanks for reading and please reply :) Any comments, questions, concerns are appreciated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i feel 6 years too late

if any does see this though i have a few things id like to share 

i also feel i may be developing orthorexia. i have many of the same dietary restrictions.

-low sodium intake (no added salt, low sodium, ect.)

-low sugar (same concept as salt)

-no high glycemic index foods

-no oils, no refined sugars, artificial colors, no dairy, no soy


i am doing this yes in hopes of clearing my severe cystic acne, however i also have had a terrible body image since i can remember. im in a pretty bad place now about that too, so i fear my eating troubles go beyond orthorexia. i restrict and count calories i begin to go into a sort of panic when i eat too much or eat any  foods or when i realize the only to eat consists of these forbidden foods. i work out a lot and get very anxious when i either havent in a day or feel like i didnt work out enough to compensate for whatever my caloric intake for the day was. its important to note im a 16 year old female with a low, not yet underweight, bmi. 

idk i guess my problem is two fold my terrible skin and my terrible body image/ self confidence. there is defiantly something mentally not right happening with me just not sure if its orthorexia or something else 


i dont know what this post hoped to accomplish maybe just need to get my troubles out int the void idk.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Had this same problem before taking accutane. I was about 170-180 lbs lean but with bad skin. I adopted a very clean diet only consisting of vegtables and lean protiens (chicken, tofu, lean beef) maybe  and some rice 1000 - 1500 calories aboslutely no junk or snack foods. I did this for a few months and dropped down to about 120-130 lbs and  I am not a short guy (6ft) .  I had clear skin finally but people thought I was anorexic or something but I felt full but a little weaker than my normal self. Also, I looked like crap so I decided bump my weight back on to my usual weight and the acne started up again. At this point I just decided to take accutane so  I can eat whatever I want withtout worrying about breaking out. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also think I might have this.

I often avoid certain foods such as carbs and sugar in fear that they will make my stomach hurt, cause yeast infections or make my acne worse.

I’m getting increasingly picky and some foods just taste completely different than they did before. 
I went vegan a year ago (for animal rights reasons) and fear that I am often low on vitamins. 
I have also been body shamed by many of my family members and believe I’m “too skinny.” Even the doctor told me I was. But I can’t gain weight no matter how hard I try.
This may be due to the fact that I only go into the kitchen if it is empty. Any of my family members being in the kitchen makes me irritable and either want to punch them or get out of the kitchen as soon as possible. 

I’ve tried to ask my parents about eating healthier (more whole foods and produce and less carbs and sugar) and they always ignore me. And whenever I have tried to set boundaries and ask them to leave the kitchen, they get offended and mad at me. I often skip meals because of this. I wish I could live alone because then I could eat lots of healthy food and eat alone in the kitchen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Personalized Advice Quiz - All of Acne.org in just a few minutes