So, as I mentioned in my last article, I recently went back to my naturopath for a check up and to see if whether being much more liberal with my diet over the last year had affected my gut and created more food sensitivities.
If you want to know more about seeing and finding a naturopath to consult with about your acne, and an explanation on food sensitivity tests, read my article about naturopathy for acne.
So here’s the deal… I want to backtrack and update everyone on my naturopath adventures, because I’ve never fully disclosed all the dirty little details of my visits, including all the specific foods that I’ve tested sensitive to over the years.
The reason for this is because I was aware of the fact that everyone is very different in the foods they react to. I was afraid that if I told you exactly what I was tested as being sensitive to, you’d get all crazy and go and cut those foods out for no reason.
I’m going to reveal all now, but please, don’t go cutting out these foods from your diet! Just because I’m sensitive to something does not mean you are allergic to it too!
Why I Went to See a Naturopath in the First Place
When my acne got bad, and I decided to heal it naturally. I basically read the entire internet, and I formulated a cutting edge plan.
I cut out all and every processed food ever and was very, very strict about it. I ate a vegan diet because I believed people who said that was the epitome of healthy eating. I religiously avoided dairy, gluten, and soy. I juiced green juice and made crackers out of the pulp. I even tried juice fasting for TEN DAYS.
That’s right. Nothing but juice for ten days (I thought for sure that would be the end of the acne, but no).
I went crazy. Honestly, it was pretty overboard. I was in steel grip control mode because I hated the way acne made me feel. I was willing to do and try anything.
Anyway, all in all, these extreme measures did improve my acne a fair bit from where it had been, likely due to the vast reduction of crap in my diet, and the vast increase in nutrients. It was also likely due to the other, non-diet stuff I was doing, such as using honey to clean my skin, sleeping better, exercising, and doing yoga.
But several months on, I was still getting a lot of ugly inflamed acne around my mouth, chin, and smile line. This was simply not good enough.
Frankly, I was at my wit’s end, because I thought I knew everything and I thought I was doing everything right. It was like “Dude, seriously? What else can I do?”.
Except it wasn’t so casual. It was more like “GHH*h&%h F*DCKDLDING DAMN Gl WWWHWYYYYYywhYYWywyywyYWYY!?!”
I hadn’t gone to see anyone about my skin at first because I thought I knew better. And well, I didn’t want to spend the money. But desperate times call for desperate measures, so I finally decided it was worth it to pony up the dough at the naturopath’s office (seriously – the juice fast was the last straw).
Her assistant tested me for food sensitivities and candida levels. Turns out I was sensitive to all sorts of random ass stuff I never would have known about.
After that, I went to see the big lady in charge, Dr. Macdonald, and was comforted by the fact that she had gotten into naturopathy in the first place because of her own acne problems. She must have the answers!
So, due to the findings of the test, and probably her vast vault of knowledge, experience, and wisdom, she sent me home with a bottle of probiotics, Thorne SAT Liver Support for liver support, Vitex (Agnus Castus), and DIM for my hormones.
At that time, due to my own bias about the overarching importance of diet and gut health in the role of acne, I had it in my head that the food sensitivities and the probiotics were the most important pieces of the puzzle, with the liver support coming in a close second, and the hormonal supplements a distant last.
I very fearfully avoided everything on the list of foods for months. I was deathly afraid of these foods. It wasn’t really a good scene, to be honest. And I also took the supplements.
After starting her regimen, it quickly lead to the rest of my acne disappearing. Luckily, that really was the end of the severe acne.
I took all the supplements until the bottles ran out and then stopped, because honestly – I didn’t really know what these supplements were. I didn’t really understand the reasoning behind why I was taking them. After all, I hadn’t heard about them on the ol’ internet! So I just dropped them.
Around the same time that I stopped (I didn’t really put two and two together at the time that this was related), mild acne appeared around my chin which would come and go for the next few years. This acne frustrated me. I had tried lots of different stuff I had heard about on the internet, but it would never budge for long. I wanted perfection. Especially since I was blogging about it.
Yes, that’s right. As all this was happening, I had started blogging the heck out of The Love Vitamin and sharing my discoveries and speculations about acne with you.
Funnily enough, over the course of The Love Vitamin, I have come full circle and re-discovered the supplements that she prescribed and realized that, hey… she was right!
I heard about how Estroblock could heal female hormonal acne. I tried it and found that Estroblock makes my skin – and many other people’s skin – glorious. I then realized that Estroblock = DIM, and DIM was actually what she had prescribed me in the first place. Oh wow.
I also re-discovered Vitex as another supplement that kicks ass for female adult acne. Again, this was something that she prescribed me (although I never started using it again, since Estroblock has been working fine for me on its own)
I also found that Thorne SAT Liver Support – or milk thistle and other liver support herbs – are what help your liver to detoxify those hormones and keep all that stuff in balance. Again, something that she prescribed me.
Dang. She smart.
I have also discovered that yes, candida and food sensitivities are an issue for me. And they are for many other people with acne.
However, I used to think that these and food in general were the very most important things to healing acne, but I think that I have caused myself a lot of unnecessary grief in having this belief. Because really, it IS super important, but it’s only one piece of the puzzle.
We need to eat real food most of the time, but we don’t have to be crazy about it and go on insanely restrictive diets for the rest of our lives. I didn’t have to fear these foods like a maniac for months, when they only even recommend you cut them out for 6 weeks and then get retested.
I’m really thankful it’s all worked out in the end, but good grief. It’s been a journey. But as I talked about in my last article, I have it all dialled now. Oddly enough it was the act of trying to discover what works for all of you which has ultimately allowed me to rediscover what worked for me in the first place.
And I’m not saying that what has worked for me is exactly what will work for you, but it does seem that what has worked for me works very well for many other people as well (especially if you are a female struggling with the dreaded won’t-budge-no-matter-what-you-do chin and jawline acne).
Anyway…. What Were My Food Allergy Results?
So you wanna know what I was sensitive to, do ya? I am ready to reveal all!
According to the most recent test, I have moderate levels of candida yeast goin’ on, as I expected.
To my surprise (and relief) though, I actually didn’t react as sensitive to that many foods she tested. Seriously… this was the best test I have had yet! Which surprises me… I figured that my diet lenience and the increase in processed foods over the last year would result in at least the same amount of sensitivities as I had a couple years ago.
But… hey… it didn’t! So that’s awesome!
The way it is ranked is that you either have a strong reaction, mild reaction, or no reaction to a food. No reaction means eat it as much as you want. Mild means don’t eat it more than once or twice a week. Strong means avoid it altogether.
They recommend you go by these guidelines for 6 weeks and then get retested.
The first time I got tested (when I was still trying to get rid of my severe acne), I tested very sensitive to bananas, eggs, garlic, hazelnuts, sulfites, and cocoa. I tested mildly sensitive to gluten, wheat, lemons, tuna, peanuts, nitrates, pepper, and feathers. And I had a candida level of 3 out of 10.
She prescribed me (including links to the exact brands of supplements I purchased from them and used):
- Avoid food allergies
- For bowels: take a probiotic twice a day, and one tablespoon of psyllium husk per day.
- For liver: take one Thorne SAT Liver Support once a day
- For hormones: 1 cap of Vitex (agnus castus), and 1 cap per day of Indolplex DIM (similar to Estroblock that I take now)
The next time I went back was about three months later. I was still strongly sensitive to eggs, garlic, sulfites, and cocoa, and still mildly sensitive to gluten, and feathers.
After that, I went back maybe 9 months later for a full retest because I was having some intense eczema on my hand. Unfortunately, I actually can’t find the records of that one. I think I talked about in this video though.
I do remember that I was no longer reacting to eggs, garlic, cocoa, and all that stuff that I had been before. I had a few random sensitivities, but I definitely wasn’t reacting as strongly to as many things as before. And I had a candida level of 4/10. After that, I did a candida cleanse, and sorted all the eczema out within a couple weeks, and it has never come back like that since.
After that, I never went back for a couple of years, until just recently. And as I said, it was my best one yet in terms of sensitivities! I’m calling that proof that relaxing about diet really isn’t that big of a deal!
This time I reacted mildly to wheat, eggs, garlic, mushrooms, cocoa, and mould. No strong reactions at all! Except to aspartame. But like… I ain’t drinkin’ no Pepsi One, so whatevs. I also tested 4/10 for candida.
I got some probiotics and antifungals and went on my way, which I’ve been taking for the last few weeks. But I’ll be honest – I haven’t bothered to cut out any of the sensitivities. I intended to, but I admit that I just haven’t bothered. We’ll see how it goes.
One of the reasons I went back to the naturopath was that I could nix the mild yeast infections I’ve been getting every month, so if just taking the antifungals and probiotics doesn’t work, I will do the full on candida cleanse again (speaking of which, the Love Vitamin’s group candida cleanse begins June 25th if you want to try a short candida cleanse with the support of others!)
Me Talking a Bit About This in Video
Have you ever been to see a naturopath or other natural practitioner about acne? What happened?