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grains and acne connection? (probiotics question as well)

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  • grains and acne connection? (probiotics question as well)

    So I've posted here in the past about going primal to help clear up my face. I'm a college student and I can't cook, so going 100% primal probably isn't realistic, but I've continued to make strides since discovering the primal way last summer. I've had acne since high school, and all the medications (mostly antibiotics) and creams I've used haven't worked (or worked for a little bit then stopped being effective). I've been to the dermatologist a couple of times and not once was diet ever mentioned.

    Having read MDA and searched this forum on acne topics, it seems a lot of people have had success cutting out sugar, grains, and dairy from their diet. I've done a few experiments over the past few months on myself, and I can conclude that I don't believe dairy affects my acne too much, and cutting out sugars helped a little. During my school's Winter Break, there was a 1-2 week period in which I ate minimal grains. I probably didn't consume more than 50-75 grams of carbs per day during that stretch. My face was as clear as its ever been since like 8th grade. No whiteheads, blackheads, or red bumps. Unfortunately, I broke my low-carb streak while at a friends (his mom made spaghetti and meatballs for dinner). Within hours of eating, I noticed a couple of whiteheads on my face. When I woke up the next morning, I could feel inflammation on my face and a few bumps. So I think it safe to think that grains contribute to my acne.

    I've been back at school for 2 weeks now. I have every intention of going low-carb, but during the first week I did indulge with cookies, burgers (with buns), and jalapeno cheese fries (I have a weakness for them...). I've been better in the past week, but I am wondering what would be good target for the amount of carbs to consume per day? I don't think 0g is realistic. Maybe 100g? I've discovered that my campus has a place that makes breakfast all day with decent prices (for a college campus), so I've been getting a meal of 3 eggs, bacon, and sausage there once a day. I can also make eggs and omelets (with coconut oil, no less) at my apartment. I'm also doing the OCM about every other day and going to bed each night with coconut oil smeared on my face. Right now, my face is pretty clear although there is a little bit of inflammation.

    As for another topic, I've been having some digestive issues for the past 2-3 weeks. I really think it all started when I ended my low-carb streak. I've been having 1-2 BMs a day pretty regularly, but I've noticed they're kinda loose and weirdly colored (a single BM might be part very dark and part very light). Sorry for the kinda graphic details. I picked up some yogurt (unflavored, Greek, minimal sugar) last week and I ate a full tub over the course of a few days, but I haven't noticed much improvement. I've been taking priobiotics (CVS brand) daily over the past month but I have the feeling that they're crap. Maybe because they're CVS brand. I don't know.

    Wow this is longer than I expected. Let me summarize:
    1.) I think that grains are what cause my acne. It isn't feasible for me to consume 0g of carbs per day, but do you think somewhere around 100g would be good enough to keep my acne at bay?
    2.) Digestion hasn't been so good the past few weeks. I've tried yogurt and priobiotics, but they haven't really helped much. Any more suggestions? Fasting?
    Yes, the real Dirk.

  • #2
    1) Absolutely grains cause acne in lots of people, especially wheat (big bad gluten seems to be to blame). Grains are carbs, but "carbs" does not = grains. So while it is feasible to get very low carb (0g is very difficult), it's not necessary if all you need to do is avoid grains to prevent acne. You can still eat your 50 to 70 g of carbs (if that's how much/little you need), just get your carbs from good sources like veggies, tubors & fruit. Easy

    2) Probiotics vary from brand to brand, so it may just be a case of trying a coupla different ones until you find one that works well for you. But I'd look at what you've been eating in the 12/24 hours before these dodgy BM's and work from there. If they only started when you started eating grain products again, I think that's you're answer right there
    If you're interested in my (very) occasional updates on how I'm working out and what I'm eating click here.

    Originally posted by tfarny
    If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least


    • #3
      Thanks. I was sloppy there, conflating grains and carbs. If I eat breaded chicken fingers, that would be eating grains, right?
      Yes, the real Dirk.


      • #4
        in your situation, screw counting carbs. eat all the carbs you want, with two caveats: 1) no wheat; 2) no sugar.

        there is evidence linking milk to acne, as well as wheat.

        everyone is different. you may be super sensitive to wheat (or dairy) and it may result in a breakout. i'm sensitive as well to both (with similar reactions to your's) but my breakouts are delayed anywhere from 3-5 days. but i know, 100% that if i deviate from paleo, that I will get a breakout in short order.

        best of luck.


        • #5
          Originally posted by dirk41 View Post
          Thanks. I was sloppy there, conflating grains and carbs. If I eat breaded chicken fingers, that would be eating grains, right?
          correct. not to mention any detrimental effects from the unknown oil used to fry those things (assuming you're not the one cooking them).


          • #6
            If you read Wheat Belly, there seems to be a clear connection between acne and wheat in particular - the most modified and hence the worst of the grains IMHO.
            Eating primal is not a diet, it is a way of life.
            Don't forget to play!


            • #7
              I will look into Wheat Belly. Are there any good articles explaining the link between grains and acne?
              Yes, the real Dirk.