Acne (and IBS) vanished with a diet change

Before and after

Before and after

Can severe acne be cured with a diet change? This is still controversial but there are many who have experienced this and there are studies that prove that it may work.

I received an email from Micke, and here’s his story, translated from Swedish:

The email

Hi Andreas!

Here’s yet another success story that I’m happy to share with everyone out there, who has acne issues. I have other success stories in other categories that I’d like to share in the future, if there is interest.

Since my early teens I’ve had major problems with acne. Extremely severe acne, I should add. As for many others, my problems started out fairly undramatically. A pimple here and there. Mainly in my face, but was that so strange? But it spread like wildfire and my cheeks and neck looked like the picture to the left. With other words a crater. But this was far from hell.

The acne spread further and I’ve never felt so physically and emotionally poor as I did then. The acne grew into large abscesses and I had, among other things, such a hard time leaning against the back of a chair that it simply wasn’t possible. It hurt incredibly just being caressed over the shoulders or back. My bed sheets looked like a murder investigation scene because of all the blood. Many nights I had trouble sleeping because of pain.

I finally did what so many others do. I contacted the health care system and received a lot of tips, none of which worked. I’ve tried ointments, aloe vera cures, homeopathic medicine and oils. Nothing out there really produced any significant results, and finally I got tired of it and thought that hopefully this would subside with age. Not so…

After many years with subsiding and recurrent acne, at 21 years of age I had finally had it and went in for one last doctor’s visit. I wanted to put an end to this. I should add that it wasn’t just for the acne that I went to the doctor but also for, among other things, issues with undiagnosed IBS and fatigue.

I received advice on trying antibiotics, which I was prescribed. I went to the pharmacy to fill the prescription and felt somewhat anxious as I had read the very same day about antibiotics to patients with acne, who didn’t improve, and many of whom had gotten worse acne with various side effects from the medicine. So this was my absolute last resort, I thought.

I came home and read the package insert and died a little inside when I read that the medicine should not be taken with dairy products. Milk addict as I was, I put the medicine away in the cabinet, where it has remained UNTOUCHED for over a year now.

Why? Well…

Around the same time I learned from my partner that she had heard about LCHF and the Diet Doctor, and watched some of his lectures on YouTube, and read success stories from people with IBS. Immediately, this caught my interest because I felt I had reached rock bottom and wanted to give this a chance. As a gluten intolerant person and having an interest in diet since I was a child, I didn’t see any difficulties with the diet.

From my previous and present research, and success stories, I drew the conclusion that perhaps it simply was the sugar which made me sick. It always struck me that every time I ate a larger amount of sugar (such as candy), my acne was always worse.

Believe it, or not, but that was the case…

May 2013 – 22 years old:
After only a few days on a strict LCHF diet my IBS wasn’t noticeable. After about a month my recurring acne subsided and my skin has never been as great as it is today. My fatigue during the day has vanished and my hunger has decreased as a result of the high-energy food. I was simply sugar intolerant.

Today, I have largely to thank my partner, but also the Diet Doctor and other involved people, including Jonas Bergqvist, who has also changed my view on food in relation to exercise.

Thank you for everything, and I hope that my story will inspire many others with severe acne to try this natural medicine.

– Real Food –

Sincerely/ Micke

(For those interested, I’m on Instagram: Mickemickz)

Comment

Congratulations, Micke!

Improved acne is a common side effect of a low-carbohydrate diet. There are also a few studies showing that it has a positive impact for many.

For an extra bonus be careful with dairy protein (also insulinogenic). The #1 diet for acne may be a low-carb Paleo diet.

Do you have any experience with acne and a diet change? Feel free to share it in the comments below!

More

LCHF for beginners

Previously on digestive issues

PS

Do you have a success story you want to share on this blog? Send it (photos appreciated) to andreas@dietdoctor.com, and please let me know if it’s OK to publish your photo and name or if you’d rather remain anonymous.

17 comments

  1. Boundless
    > Improved acne is a common side effect of a low-carbohydrate diet.

    And the first carbs to completely eliminate are the gluten-bearing grains, principally wheat.

    Dr. Davis has a lot of older traffic on his blog about wheat and acne, for example:
    http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2012/12/the-acne-miracle/
    Search there gets more hits.

  2. Mark John
    Well done and thanks for sharing.

    You may also want to try taking MSM (methylsulphonylmethane) - do some research on the internet - to really clear your skin.
    MSM isn't expensive and initially you may have to take 5 - 10 grams per day but it may really help.
    Try it for a few weeks.

  3. Misko
    Wow, congrats, Micke!

    How good it must feel now, after having gone thru what you did.

    Between the age of about 15 and 19 I had acne issues. Had I known then what I know now about LCHF...I'm now 47 and sipping on a butter and whipping cream coffee, and doing better than ever health and strengthwise.

    Anyways, keep it up!

    - Misko

  4. Gen
    My scalp was always very oily since I hit puberty (I'm now 40) & my skin always seemed to over-produce oil. Going on to LCHF for weight loss has given me the wonderful side-effect of a much less oily scalp & skin. I've also noticed that the hair on my arms & legs, while it was always blonde, has become finer, shorter & more sparse. So LCHF has balanced out my hormones, & I didn't even realise there was an imbalance!
  5. Marylou VanHintum, RN
    Yes I too have seen this with my son. He started HFLC after reading healing ADHD and it recommended he take out all of the processed foods. The acne was the bonus! He had suffered for a couple of years, tried antibiotics without success.. He too was a milk addict! I think that the milk was a trigger for him. He still avoids these foods however on occasion when he has sugars he will break out. Also GI upset is a sure sign he had had some sugars somewhere.
  6. Vicente
    Thanks for sharing, Micke. One of my daughters is worried about acne and it is good to know what can work for her.
  7. Lissa
    I'm glad you've had such great success! You might want to look into whether you might have Celiac Disease-skin issues and IBS are classic symptoms of this. Your diet should stay the same but you will have to be aware of even a tiny crumb of gluten because it can cause damage to your intestines even if you have no symptoms. Take care!
    -Lissa
  8. Nan
    What a terrific change! I recall reading that acne was very rarely seen in Asian cultures before starting to adopt western diet.
  9. Martin Rivera
    that before and after pic is amazing what a change i know it must feel real good to wake up and have clear skin. didnt know a diet change could clear skin i will deff look into it thx for the post

    Get Rid Of Acne Marks

  10. Sophie
    Starting in my 20s I had occasional acne near my jaw line. It was not as dramatic as on these photos, but I hated it. I talked to doctors and no one knew how to deal with it. No cream seemed to help.

    Since I went low carb 2 years ago, I have NEVER had that acne again. My skin has cleared completely.

  11. Nettie
    Hi all! Love this site. I'm a 41 year old Registered Dietitian and I'm pretty open to trying out different ways of eating to see how it affects my health. Just to chime in, I'm only in my 1st week of LCHF eating (enjoying a whole milk Ricotta cheese and berry parfait for breakfast as I write this). I have always had whiteheads under my lips and at least 1-2 pimples on my face at any time. I also suffered from severe acne all over my back as a teenager and still have breakouts there as an adult. After only a few days on the diet, I am noticing the field of whiteheads starting to clear up. It's like magic!!!!
  12. Abu Sumayah
    This was a very interesting read. Thank you for sharing your experience. I'm 27 years old and also suffered from acne since a teen. In short I basically eliminated the problem with a LCHF diet. I'm working on some blog posts in regards to the ketogenic diet and my experiences with it and will be releasing these in the future. I try to put a lot of research into my posts and don't like to rush them as I don't want to put our poor content, so am expecting to post once a week. My blog is: http://www.morefatlesssugar.wordpress.com
  13. V
    Huh. I'm only a week in, but I'm having the opposite happen. My already oily skin is even oilier & I've started breaking out like I haven't in years. I'm 43.
  14. Stacy Welch
    I take a multi-mineral, Prescript Assist probiotics, Apple Cider Vinegar tablets (prebiotics), ZMA and MSM in conjunction with a cyclical ketogenic and paleo diet. I went from grade III acne to virtually none, except when I eat a little too much dairy or cheat and eat something "gluten free". All grains are a problem for me. But since I changed my diet, my migraines went away and I have kept off 10 pounds for 4 years. Low grade inflammation from leaky gut causes autoimmune diseases like acne. The book "Eat Dirt" by Dr. Axe is a pretty good read that compiles a lot of this type of information. Chew you food! The more you chew and digest your food with warmer drinks the better. Think about bacon fat. Do you really want to throw that down the cold sink pipes? That would clog everything up. On keto you shouldn't drink cold water and a bunch of fat. It's hard to digest. Also, there is nothing wrong with a water fast. It's an awesome detox. Eating a restricted calorie diet sucks. It feels horrible. I hate those type of detoxes. A straight fast doesn't cause that effect. You're barley hungry and your bodily happily sources energy from fat. And hopefully that fat isn't full of toxins, otherwise you can experience another type of breakout from that. In that case, take lots of supplements and then separately take activated charcoal. I suffered for over ten years and will never go back. My self esteem has changed dramatically for the better. I am now a successful esthetican and spa owner. This wouldn't be possible if I still had grade III acne. Don't just treat the surface. Some people cannot process some saturated fats and cannot change the enzymes in the body needed for keto with epigenetics. Some people will never thrive on a ketogenic diet. My sister in-law and her children cannot eat soy bean oil, coconut oil, and nut oils or they get severe cystic acne. It's all trial and error. Figuring out what works for your body takes a lot of patience and a lot of guess work and experimentation. For acne scarring there are many anti-inflammatory chemical peels. Microneedling is amazing and should be performed with a doctor. See a specialist and do not disregard the post care or you'll have bigger problems. Accutane causes leaky gut and a host of other problems. Find the diet that is right for you. Sometimes its your supplements that are temporarily causing acne. I've had many clients who took biotin and had cystic acne because the formulation needed more pantothenic acid for them. They took an extra pantothenic acid and the cystic went away. Or they stopped taking biotin and the acne went away. If you really can't figure it out yourself try taking an ALCAT test. Or see Naturopath or functional medicine doctor. It's expensive, but worth it. There may be more problems going on in the body when you have severe acne. A lot of my younger clients just won't change their diet until they get migraines, or something that really bothers them. A lot of my clients have infertility until they change their diet. Another thing to consider is Monsanto's RoundUp or glyphosate which is a real culprit for leaky gut and infertility. Consider other toxins, mold toxin and heavy metal exposure. Personal care products and perfumes can be some of the most carcinogenic and mutagenic things around us. I had the worst skin when I worked in an organic chemistry lab. If our bodies are processing all of this crap, how can it process natural stress hormone like cortisol and rebuild and repair skin at night? This requires so much vitamin C and Sulfur and glutathione. Also, about sugar, I see some people thrive on fruit diets and that's pretty high insulin spiking. Just saying. Insulin resistance is one thing, but is easily corrected by a water fast. Sometimes I eat fruit and I don't breakout at all. It's just so complicated in my experience to say what is right for any one person. Figure it out for yourself.
  15. abigaylejackson
    Acne is a skin condition that causes pimple or zits. This is very common problem among teenagers. A recent acne study published that if you take vitamin D supplements continuously for 8 weeks, you can reduce acne formation. Acne is a curable disease and for that you have to use correct medicine in correct timing. The best and tested way to treat acne is a natural treatment. Natural ingredients are safe and effective.
    Reply: #16
  16. John
    Did you read the article?
  17. Mette Lund
    Low carb, gluten and diary free diet was really effective to acne problems, among a lot of other health challenges.
    Mette

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