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Accutane as acne treatment

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  • #16
    Hi Tovek,

    I too had terrible acne and took Accutane after years of other medications. Looking back, I can honestly say that severe acne (with cysts, ugh cysts) was so much better than the effects the Accutane had on my body. Not only did I have awful terrible dry skin while taking the medication, I was also depressed. After Accutane I became lactose intolerant and perhaps developed IBS. Now... 6 years later, I'm researching to decide if my suspected PCOS (and potential infertility, which is just awesome to think about) is because of the Accutane or the acne was because of the PCOS.
    That said, my diet was AWFUL before the Accutane and after it when my skin flared again. In my 3 weeks of a mostly Primal lifestyle, my skin has cleared tremendously. It's not red and inflamed, it's not nearly as oily, and I have about 10% of the breakouts I did before Primal. That's in just a few weeks! I know for a fact my diet and stomach were a wreck for the last 10 years and my skin was just a symptom of that. Here's hoping that I can clear my skin for good and be the healthy person I want to be through a Primal Lifestyle. Not sure my story is of any help to you, but I wanted you to know that you're not alone and it does get better. If you're afraid of Accutane, ditch it. I wish I had, or at least had taken the time to really educate myself on what it would cause down the road.

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    • #17
      I know people can suffer terribly from Acne and it's not to be taken lightly, but you sound like you are at the verge of clinical depression, maybe caused by the accutane. I would say you also sound like you'd like to try doing without it. So do it! Take two or three months off and see if paleo helps. I don't really have much acne, but I can tell this is really good for the skin. I'm glowing! Me! I have a 2 and a 4 yo, and sure wasn't glowing before I went paleo.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by ashleyinalaska View Post
        Hi Tovek,

        I too had terrible acne and took Accutane after years of other medications. Looking back, I can honestly say that severe acne (with cysts, ugh cysts) was so much better than the effects the Accutane had on my body. Not only did I have awful terrible dry skin while taking the medication, I was also depressed. After Accutane I became lactose intolerant and perhaps developed IBS. Now... 6 years later, I'm researching to decide if my suspected PCOS (and potential infertility, which is just awesome to think about) is because of the Accutane or the acne was because of the PCOS.
        That said, my diet was AWFUL before the Accutane and after it when my skin flared again. In my 3 weeks of a mostly Primal lifestyle, my skin has cleared tremendously. It's not red and inflamed, it's not nearly as oily, and I have about 10% of the breakouts I did before Primal. That's in just a few weeks! I know for a fact my diet and stomach were a wreck for the last 10 years and my skin was just a symptom of that. Here's hoping that I can clear my skin for good and be the healthy person I want to be through a Primal Lifestyle. Not sure my story is of any help to you, but I wanted you to know that you're not alone and it does get better. If you're afraid of Accutane, ditch it. I wish I had, or at least had taken the time to really educate myself on what it would cause down the road.

        Thank you for sharing your story, ashleyinalaska. It makes me want to go the natural way even more, I am inspired. I haven't been taking Accutane for two days, and I already feel I am on my way back to normal. It feels right. My stomach is a wreck, so I guess my immune system was at the bottom before the medication too. With 80% of the immune system in the gut I see reason to focus on the skin first. From now on I am going to eat a primal diet as possible, and I will focus on probiotic food and ditch ALL the sugars, and cut down with the dairy.

        I am sorry the medication have caused you trouble, it is not fun at all to hear. I am so angry the doctors give this out to easily..Hope you are getting well!

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        • #19
          Originally posted by tovek View Post
          I haven't been taking Accutane for two days, and I already feel I am on my way back to normal.
          Glad you stopped with it and are feeling better I too, did take accutane while younger, while it did stop my acne 100% at the time a year or so later it came back anyway. So only thing my course of accutane gave for my was one acne free year, permanent acne scars, depression, dry skin (still have), pretty sure I did devolope allergies to a bunch of stuff I normally could eat and a bunch of other shit, no one should touch that accutane shit.

          I would sugest you quit dairy 100% atleast for a couple of weeks to test, its usually not enough to just cut it down. Also cut grains 100%. Lots of people have had succes supplementing with Zink and fishoil. Probioitics usually help alot, especially for people whoe have taken antiobiotics and wiped out all good flora. I would also buy a good enzyme supplement to help digest the food.

          Then as always excercise is good (in moderation), and because your from Sweden, supplement with Vitamin D3, we Swedes are 100% deficient in that. I also like to go to the solarium ones in awhile, always good for my mood and helps with my depression.

          Good luck!

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          • #20
            Originally posted by tovek View Post
            This is really strange. I was just thinking of writing a post about candida, hah. Here is my story about candida(which I am not that proud of):

            About four years ago, I first got genital candida. I had it for a few months before I checket it, and when I saw the doctor she put me on Pevaryl which is a candida-killing cream. It didn't work, so I tried other similar creams(stupid as I was). None of them worked. I saw the doctor again, after a few months. I got prescribed Fluconazol(an antibiotic), which didn't work either. After that, I didn't do anything about the problem for a long while, because I have been told It wasn't dangerous. Last summer, the doctor(another one) put me on fluconazol, twice. Without any success. I haven't been taking anything more since, instead I have been focusing on eating less candida-feeding food. The itching isn't as bad as before.

            BUT: There is another problem, which started to appear last spring:
            I started to have strange toilet visits now and then, once or twice a week. They start with some stomach ache, and I feel I have to go to the toilet. I have to sit there for at least ten minutes til it's over. It hurts sometimes very much, and it feels like my gut forces out everything that's in it and wants to completely empty it. It comes way more than a regular visit, and the soil is softer and contains undigested foods like seeds. Since last spring I have had these "attacks" now and then.

            I saw the doctor about it, but I didn't mention the candida. He didn't even mention it as a possible reason for my problem. I am going there again next week to finally solve this. Can the genital candida spread to the gut? I have searched for info about this but haven't found any answer. But it seems likely that the problem with my body is candida. My acne problems have been way more severe the last two years, while I have suffered from genital Candida..

            I should definitively read about the anti-candida diet you describe. I have thought of that before, but it's hard to change my diet that extremely. If the doctor sends me to a specialist, what treatment do you think they'd put me on if it's candida I suffer from?

            Thank you, ozbuckley!
            Hey mate,

            Well you can go to a naturopath and get a stool test done to see what organisms (including candida) may show up.

            Candida (yeast) problems always (from my knowledge) begin in the gut and that is where true healing takes place: in the gut!

            With your past use of anti biotics it is obvious that the health of your gut is very compromised. Your gut flora is probably all over the place and needs correcting.

            To overcome candida and fix up your gut health I would check out the GAPS diet. ...and it may be helpful to also eliminate fruit and dairy from the diet too for the first few months.

            The diet seems restricting at the start but if you read about the diet you will discover that this is one of the best ways to heal your diet and this seems to be a big chunk of where your ill-health is coming from.

            I wish you all the best...

            Oz

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            • #21
              Just my 2c.

              I really feel for all who've commented and are going through severe acne or have been through it and have physical or emotional scars. If you get hit hard by acne, it can be huge mountain to climb, socially and emotionally.

              Had severe acne as a teenager and have pretty bad scarring as a result. Accutane didn't come onto the market until after the worst was over, and my mum probably wouldn't have let go on it anyway.

              To be honest, up until about a year ago, I wish I had been given the chance to roll the dice and go on it. Now I'm not sure. As an adult I still used to get mild to medium breakouts on my body during summer, even into my late 30s. Since going primal it's gone. Totally gone. Now I deliberately wear singlets at every chance.

              Not saying I know for sure a primal diet it would have stopped all acne when I was a teenager, but it would have helped.

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              • #22
                Tovek, I'm only to your post so if someone else has mentioned this forgive me. Your description of your problems since treatment, particularly with antibiotics makes me think you're suffering from Clostridium difficile (C.Diff). It messes up the gut flora and needs strong antibiotics to fix. Make sure your doctor checks for it. It can turn up a year after finishing a course of antibiotics.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by ozbuckley View Post
                  Hey mate,

                  Well you can go to a naturopath and get a stool test done to see what organisms (including candida) may...

                  Oz
                  Hey,

                  I will definitively tell the doctor to send me to a specialist when I see him on thursday. It may be interesting.

                  I think so too. Therefore, I am avoiding all sugars, and dairy as much as I can. Unfortunately, I have to eat what is served at school, which is where I live. I eat every meal here. And sometimes the food contains grains, milk and other bad things.. I can't go buy my own food, I can't afford that. But I have only seven weeks left here, so I have to do the best of it and avoid as much as I can.

                  It FEELS like my gut flora is all over the place. But it's better since I quit Accutane, fruits and some other candida-feeding things. I will definitively look closer to the GASP diet. But unfortunately I can't totally avoid diary for the next seven weeks. That's what we get served for breakfast(besides breads...).

                  Thank you for helping!

                  //Tove

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                  • #24
                    Get healthy, acne is not cancer.

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                    • #25
                      Thank you for your answers.

                      I have researched a lot about Candida, and now I am pretty convinced that it is what I've been suffering from. All the symtoms I've had the last two-three years matches all match up with candida overgrowth. I have had(and still have) a lot of symptoms in the past years, which I haven't got an clear answer to. This is the symtoms I have had the last two years:
                      - Genitale candida(and other problems down there)
                      - Headaches, a lot
                      - Acne
                      - Scalp problems
                      - Immune dysfunction
                      - Weakness
                      - Constipation
                      - Bad breath(white tongue)
                      - Stomach problems
                      - Digestion problems
                      - Often hungry(and sugar cravings)
                      - Depression
                      - Foggy brain(bad short-term memomy, confusion, concentration problems)

                      All theese problems have ruined and complicated things for me in life, completely unnecessarily. I feel sorry for that, because I thought I was a very confused and slow person naturally. I am also relieved. Of course I can not be sure it is Candida, but it really feels so. By the way, I just made the spit-test. The spit is floating, and made threads.

                      Next: the doctor. I am so motivated of getting rid of my problems, even if it takes a year or two.

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                      • #26
                        Hi Tovek,

                        I'm glad you're going to take a break from the accutane and look at dietary changes.

                        I'm 28 now, but have had acne since the age of 11, which was very severe by the time I was in my mid teens, and I was put on Roaccutane at 16. At the time I thought that the only side effect was very dry skin and lips (my lips would crack and bleed just from talking), but looking back, taking roaccutane coincided with a period of intense depression, and I now attribute my poor mental health and resulting self-harm practices to this drug. It did make a huge difference to my skin, but I hadn't tried anything else - I was vegetarian, eating heaps of wheat, dairy, and sugar, and not much else. I wouldn't take it now.

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                        • #27
                          Hi birtdance,

                          I am too.

                          I just don't see any reason to start treat just one problem with a drug that possibly gives bad and hurtful side-effects, when you can start at the bottom of it and possibly make ALL problems disappear, in a natural and healthy way. I just can't understand why the doctor didn't ask me about my diet/habits and told me to start there to see if that helps?! It bugs me so much. Doctor's of anyone HAVE to look at the whole body. I possibly don't have acne just because It's in the genes of my family. There is so many things that can be the cause of it! Food, bad behaviors, stress.. You name it. The body isn't a simple machine, it's an ecosystem. I wish doctor's were concious about that basic thing.

                          I am sorry you went trough it too, and when you were that young. I also experieced things with this medicine(/poison). Exept dry lips and skin, I felt mentally strange in some ways. My mood could shift very fast, and I could start to cry without reason. That was the hardest side-effect. I felt weaker too - it attacked my immune system. Now when I have been without it for a week, I already feel different, and stronger.

                          How are you and your skin today? Have any side effects from Accutane appeared later in life?

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by tovek View Post
                            How are you and your skin today? Have any side effects from Accutane appeared later in life?
                            My acne came back when I was 18, although much more mildly, and I went on a second course of Roaccutane. (Hadn't worked out how bad it was for me yet!) I've never had bad acne since then, but I still get pimples and blackheads, ten years later. My skin is great when I'm eating primal, but I do have very scarred skin. My brother, who is 40, has been paleo for years and still suffers from pimples. His skin is great now, but his diet is at the point where literally all he eats is meat, vegetables and minimal fruit. If he adds anything back in his skin reacts again.

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                            • #29
                              I thought I had candida too. What I now realize is that I started to get *old on the inside* beginning in my late 20s due to diet related *hormonal imbalances* likely caused by *grains and sugar* and insufficient *saturated fats* and *low calories*. Go primal and see how that works for you.
                              Get the grains and dairy out (don't believe kefir is the "cure) and the digestive stuff will go away. EXERCISE is good too for bowel function.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by fiercehunter View Post
                                I thought I had candida too. What I now realize is that I started to get *old on the inside* beginning in my late 20s due to diet related *hormonal imbalances* likely caused by *grains and sugar* and insufficient *saturated fats* and *low calories*. Go primal and see how that works for you.
                                Get the grains and dairy out (don't believe kefir is the "cure) and the digestive stuff will go away. EXERCISE is good too for bowel function.
                                Okey. Did you have many of those candida symtoms? That sounds likely. I am almost primal, exept some dairy(that's what is served at breakfast at school..), and a bit of grains now and then(lunch/dinner at school). But in seven weeks, when I am done at this school, I will go fully primal. Because of my low energy I mostly just don't manage to get the exercise I need. I walk much instead. But soon i hope to get some energy back.

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