I know, I know. People- ahem, experts- say that diet has nothing to do with causing acne. And we believed them, for a long time. Now, I think we are starting to understand nutrition better and our eyes have been opened. At least, I know mine have.
Last spring my daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac, both auto-immune diseases. In an effort to heal her body from the inside out, we worked with a holistic doctor that uses food as the “medicine”. This experience really opened our eyes to how food impacts our health. During our intense dietary adjustment, my daughter had to remove dairy completely from her diet, as well as eggs, almonds and of course, gluten. We were forced to get creative, shop our local health food store and try a variety of new foods and supplements.
The main reason the doctor requested removal of dairy is because it is hard on the digestive system. Since Celiac disease attacks the intestines, it was only appropriate to give her system a break from hard-to-digest foods. We found there was dairy hidden in many, many foods (geesh, casin, which makes up 80% of the proteins in cows milk, is even in soy cheese!). We found many alternative products like rice cheese, rice milk and coconut yogurt (with flavored stevia drops…yum!). Eventually, we allowed her diet to be less rigorous. Having both diabetes and celiac already limited what she could eat and when. Forcing supplements and odd tasting foods down her was not fun for any of us. The one thing we still limit- dairy.
Given that humans are the only animals on this planet that drink the milk of another animal, doesn’t it make sense that our bodies would have a hard time digesting the proteins? Plus, the milk is full of cow hormones! This is why it can cause humans prone to acne to suffer more severe acne and has been blamed for the early development of our children!
Every time you drink milk or eat dairy, the cow hormones are absorbed into your body and can affect your skin in the same way that human hormones can. “Most milk is very high in IGF-1. IGF-1 is a growth factor that peaks in the human body during adolescence, when acne is usually at it’s worst. It is believed that IGF-1, along with testosterone and DHT, trigger acne breakouts.” (source)
While I’d say the majority of the doctors and dermatologists are still not on board with the theory that what you eat can cause breakouts, I am a firm believer. With an improved diet of lean meats, fruits and veggies with brown rice as a “healthy carb”, my family has learned a lot about how what we consume impacts us in many ways. I say to you, if you suspect dairy may be the cause of your breakouts, cut it out for 2 weeks then slowly add it back into your diet. If you break out, have tummy pains or other symptoms, check out the rice or almond milk at the store. It’s easy to get used to, especially if it’s vanilla flavored!
Do you have any foods that trigger your acne?