I began fighting acne from the day I started my period, 13 years old . It was not pretty. Cystic acne, small tiny bump acne, back-ne, chest acne, everywhere. My dermatologist put me on years worth of antibiotics, and for the longest time, they worked wonders. When they didn't work anymore, he told me it was time for Acutane. That lasted all of three days until I developed bloody stool and he told me to stop immediately. Ummm...why? Aren't bleeding intestines normal? What about my acne? Am I going to look like this forever? Enter in birth control pills. Ahhh... the magic pill. It gave me flawless skin, regular periods, and zero cramps. What could possibly go wrong? After 11 years on it...something.
Let's backtrack to my freshman year of high school-new school, new friends, same acne, and now chronic sinus infections. At least one a month. Real cool, self. The doctors couldn't figure it out. They gave me every pill under the sun and nothing worked. I just sucked it up...literally. These infections also exacerbated by asthma, which I developed as a 10 year old and struggled with for years.
This went on until age 26. I developed an autoimmune disease, Sjogren's syndrome (characterized by an attack on my mucous membranes). I was in pain and the doctor told me I needed steroids and immunosuppressants. I would've done anything to lessen the inflammation. I decided to get off all meds, so I discharged the contraceptives...and after three months, half of my hair fell out, I went into mild depression and the acne came back with a vengeance.
I heard others had some relief from a vegan diet. Determined, I did it for 4 years (My previous diet consisted of bread, cheese and peanut butter). At first, I felt on top of the world. My AI symptoms diminished greatly and my asthma and sinus infections practically vanished! Looking back, I believe it was the lack of dairy in my diet that stopped the sinus troubles. With all these wonderful changes, my acne was still going strong, like a pubescent boy, but a woman, at 26.
After four years, my Sjogren's symptoms got worse after a bad stomach bug. I decided to try a Ketogenic/low carb diet this time, to get my Sjogren's under control. After one week on this, my acne completely went away. Gone. It only took me a lifetime to figure this out and all it took was me cutting sugar! Thank you, Jesus!
I'm still working on the AI disease and probably will be for quite a while, due to years of damage from diet, oral contraceptives and antibiotic use. I manage my symptoms through a high vegetable/low sugar paleo diet, without nightshade veggies (no grains or dairy either), a food-based prenatal vitamin (breastfeeding), and a combination of amino acids (L-Glutamine, L-Proline, L-Lycine and Glycine) and a food based vitamin C supplement. I also take a high quality probiotic in an effort to restore my gut bacteria from all those antibiotics as well as Fish Oils to reduce inflammation.
Finally, I give all Glory to God who has sent the right people in my life to support me and help me along this journey.
**I don't eat Keto while breastfeeding.