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Does anyone know of a link between acne and anorexia?

I've always had acne, but my skin got REALLY bad when I developed an eating disorder in 2012. About a year earlier, I had lost my period. Now, I'm 8 months into recovery (yes!!!), have a regular cycle, and my hair is becoming a little thicker, but my skin is still awful.

I've spent thousands of dollars on derm visits and every acne treatment available, but NOTHING has worked. So I'm desperate to understand the link between acne and my eating disorder (if there is one).

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Much praise on your commitment to recovery and all the hard work you did to get this far. :smileys_n_people_97:

I am currently taking adjunct courses in Nutritional Psychology and have a particular interest in the connection between typical and atypical eating disorders and the gut/brain/skin axis, because yes, there does seem to be a strong correlation--especially in women. Have you ever heard of amino acid therapy?

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4 minutes ago, SkinDeeply said:

Much praise on your commitment to recovery and all the hard work you did to get this far. :smileys_n_people_97:

I am currently taking adjunct courses in Nutritional Psychology and have a particular interest in the connection between typical and atypical eating disorders and the gut/brain/skin axis, because yes, there does seem to be a strong correlation--especially in women. Have you ever heard of amino acid therapy?

I haven't. Is it designed for acne caused by anorexia/malnutrition?
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In a way. It will restore your amino acid levels to a place where altering your diet and lifestyle choices (in order to heal your skin) won't trigger a relapse, because that's the most important thing right now. 

Dr. Julia Ross (she saved my life): The Diet Cure [Link removed]

Edited by MadsKeystone
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My niece is suffering from anorexia as well and for the first time in her life, has severe acne. I had her speak with my esthetician yesterday in fact to see what she thought. It came out that my niece recently stopped having a period and that was an "ah ha" moment for my esthetician. She explained that most acne si hormonally caused. And when your period stops, it screws with the adrenal glands, causing a big hormonal upset and imbalance. She said if my niece weren't already prone to acne then this wouldn't have that much of an effect but she is so... basically, she just said that my niece needs to focus on getting the nutrition her body needs to get her period back and the acne should become less severe.  I am hoping that my niece "heard" her and it helps her recover a little.  But who knows. I know that anorexia is one of the toughest battles out there and I feel for anyone suffering from it. 

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I believe there is a link. Ive had anorexia and bulimia for the past 17 years and ive noticed that when im going through an anorexia cycle, my acne gets worse than when my body is getting more healthy nutrition (eg when im in hospital getting proper adequate nutrition). Also I def believe water intake is so important to get enough of. If I dont get enough vitamins and minerals, I breakout.

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It's not just a mineral deficiency [which can def make things worse] or a lack of healthy fats/omega 3's. It's also because when a woman really develops anorexia to the point where she is missing periods, her estrogen levels begin to drop. This makes her more androgenic, and more likely to develop acne. This kind of sudden hormone imbalance can trigger breakouts...so can the constant stress anorexia places on the body. 

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I found when I was starving and smoking my acne was at its clearest. I previously read that long term starvation reduces oil production.  In a way your skin is shutting down as an organ, so it will just age and die. Yes my face was clear when I was starving but it looked decrepit and lifeless.

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