Eat, Pray and How I Got Rid of My Acne
Acne prescription treatments cost the healthcare systems more than one billion dollars per year in the United States. Are there alternatives that can help get rid of acne and not require a cost burden to the healthcare system? Dr. Mark Hyman seems to think so as he describes how he tried an “eat, pray and how I got rid of my acne” method. His personal journey struggling with bowel disease led him to a better understanding of how nutrition, food allergies and stress negatively impact acne-prone people. Does this sound far-fetched? Possibly, but case studies of successes seem to support his theories.
Acne has considered at least partially hereditary as the size of sebaceous glands, skin texture and tone are inherited. What is unclear in families that are acne prone is whether there are added factors of lifestyle and nutrition that also play a role in the condition of the members skin. There are certainly examples of how certain illnesses and deficiencies in key nutrients can alter complexion and negatively affect skin appearance. Dr. Hyman suggests that poor diet, especially one that causes spikes in insulin, can also cause or worsen acne. The evidence he uses is indirect that people who eat healthier diets high in fruits and vegetables have less acne and the indigenous cultures shift in diet coincides with increased acne.
The basis for Dr. Hyman’s recommendations comes from his story of “how I got rid of my acne and healed my gut”. He suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome that he believes was due to irritation of his gut from foods that he did not tolerate. Beyond the effects on his energy levels and bowel function, he noticed significant changes in the health of his skin. When he focused is efforts on resolving his problems with food and lowered his stress level, his skin improved and his acne subsided. He offers advice to other acne sufferers especially those who have skin changes later in life to direct their efforts to better nutrition and alternative means of stress reduction.
With regard to nutrition and acne, he offers that the key component is managing the glycemic index by reducing foods that spike blood sugar and insulin levels. Adding foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids and soy protein, reducing sugar and increasing fruit and vegetables are all part of an acne sufferers natural therapy approach. Since there are also studies that suggest a role for the mind-body interaction, Dr. Hyman’s second approach to clearing up acne is to use mediation, yoga, biofeedback and other stress-relieving rituals.
Will eat, pray and how I got rid of my acne convince people to stop using the over 100 million dollars annual of over-the-counter skin care remedies for acne? Not likely any time soon. His advice to improve nutrition, eliminate allergy-causing foods and manage stress through methods that can positively affect breath and blood flow can all be considered good advice with overall health benefits. Whether used alone or in conjunction with dermatologic solutions for acne, these suggestions can additive benefit to getting rid of acne.