People keep telling me I need to eat meat to get well - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 09-30-2007, 01:06 PM
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I suffer from HORRIBLE cystic acne that I have been battling for years now. Im at the end of the line as far as what I can take anymore. My face is painful and ugly.



Many acne sufferers are doing the "paleo" diet, which includes meat. And whenever I try and find help for my skin I get advised that I need to eat meat to get well. That the seeds nuts vegetables and fruits Im eating now are aggravating my acne. I eat mostly raw, lots of green smoothies, some cooked beans and rice and the occasional poached egg, and sometimes yogurt. Ive eliminated wheat gluten, msg, soy, most dairy products, and all trans fats, just in case any of that could be causing the problem. Ive done many cleansing and health protocols and my skin is still a nightmare.



It TERRIFIES me that I may not be able to get well being vegetarian. I feel vegetarian diet would be the healthiest, but the way I continue to suffer makes me worried this isnt the case. A lot of people say they are getting well from eating meat and the thought makes me so sick. Being a vegetarian means everything to me, but im getting to the point of being suicidal over my skin disease. I need help.



Have any of you cleared your skin while on a vegetarian diet? I dont mean a few zits here and there either..I have severe, cystic, hormonal acne. Its physically painfull. I dont know what to do, and Im ashamed to say Im even considering eating meat again. Please help.



note-ive tried about every acne treatment out there, like I said Ive been in this battle for years. This is why Im at the end of ideas.
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#2 Old 09-30-2007, 01:52 PM
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diet is not the be all and end all with acne. You are eating healthily and drinking adequate amounts of water? you may be doing everything you can dietarily speaking for your skin, just by eating so healthy. don't limit so much, though, you don't want to feel deprived!



have you considered talking wtih your doctor about your skin? my cousin had really bad acne that was causing scarring and his doctor recommended a treatment plan that included a prescription that realy helped him.
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#3 Old 09-30-2007, 02:05 PM
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I had terrible acne from being about 11 to 15 when I was referred to a dermatologist and prescribed roaccutane (sp?) its amazing it dries out your skin by stopping the sebum production. You only need one course and it works wonders. No topical lotions or face washes worked for me and this.

Roaccutane is for really bad conditions of acne, other options they like to give first are long term antibiotics and the pill. I think there were lotions and stuff but all that was so long ago I can't really remember.

I saw a dermatologist the whole time and he never mentioned anything to do about changing my diet. I think its a genetic thing like the sebum production is too high.

I recently had a rather serious period of acne again about 2 years after the first course and i was going to go back if it didn't come back after the exams, but it turned out this was stress related and yay my skin is clear again!



If your acne is related to a genetic kind of thing then changing your diet in any short term way won't help the long term. It depends on how serious it is and what is really causing it.

Go to your GP and let them try a few things, then ask to be referred to a dermatologist if none of their treatments work.
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#4 Old 09-30-2007, 03:08 PM
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i also took a course of accutane after suffering with pretty nasty acne for most of my teens. it worked a treat for me, and i had the most beautiful skin for a whole year afterwards. its pretty hardcore stuff, and not without risks and side-effects, but most people who go through a course of it never get acne again, and the number who get acne again after 2 courses is pretty miniscule. have you seen a dermatologist? regular doctors can't prescribe the really strong stuff (not in the UK, anyway) and drugstore stuff is generally complete and absolute rubbish.



if its hormonal, have you seen someone like an endocrinologist to look into hormonal treatments for it? i can't see how changing what you eat is going to affect your body or sort out its hormones enough to solve the problem- unless all the yucky hormones (and antibiotics?) in meat and dairy would be working some kind of magic on your skin, that is.
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#5 Old 09-30-2007, 05:31 PM
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Yeah I thought they proved that diet had almost nothing to do with acne. I think it was that junk foods can aggravate it for some people.



I would think meat would only aggravate it though. Meat's like poison to your body.
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#6 Old 09-30-2007, 05:52 PM
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So what is this magic substance that meat is supposed to provide that will solve your problem? Anecdotes aren't reliable. It doesn't seem likely that a high quality scientific study has been done on this question. If there is a well-known connection, you'd think that pharma companies would already have synthesized a medication based on the cure.



If i were in your shoes, I would try eating meat for awhile as an experiment only. The goal is to see whether there is really a relationship here or not (I seriously doubt it, but you never know). If you notice an immediate, rapid, and amazing improvement, then you need to bring this to the attention of modern science so that researchers can analyze the phenomenon. It's possible that someday researchers could synthesize a (vegan) cure. Whether your experiment succeeds or not, you've made some progress. If your experiment succeeds (i.e. meat helps), you can still go back to your v*gan diet, but now you'll have hope that someday there will be a cure. If your experiment fails, you can stop thinking about the meat connection and turn your attention to other things.



It's helpful to remember that 'you' are not your body. Your body is what carries 'you' around. Beauty is much more than skin deep, and your concern for the animals shows already that you're a beautiful person



i had moderate acne as a teenager, and was always very embarrassed about it. Looking back on that period over 30 years later, I realize that it wasn't all bad despite my suffering. It's possible that it made me a bit more self-reliant and independent than I otherwise would have been.



Best wishes!

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#7 Old 09-30-2007, 06:02 PM
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Why the hell would digesting animal corpses be good for the skin?

Did you have skin problems before going veggie? if so thats a bloody good reason eating meat wont help!



sorry i cant help more
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#8 Old 09-30-2007, 06:52 PM
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Who is telling you to eat meat? people who have read some book, or actual dermatologists?
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#9 Old 10-01-2007, 07:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pirate Ferret View Post

Why the hell would digesting animal corpses be good for the skin?



Thats a very good point.



Also can I just say, acne isn't an illness.

I just realised you said that your acne is hormonal. Putting dead stuff into your body won't change your body's secretion of hormones.
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#10 Old 10-01-2007, 07:32 AM
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If you haven't seen a dermatologist, I think you should.
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#11 Old 10-01-2007, 07:53 AM
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I did a google search on "acne and meat". These were not vegan websites nor close to vegetarian promoting sites.



I didn't find a SINGLE one that said that meat is good for acne. In fact, every single one I went to read said that meat is very bad for acne.
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#12 Old 10-01-2007, 08:33 AM
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i think it's a common tactic for many people. the big thing about the paleo diet is not the meat, but the fact that it is dairy free.



i would suggest going dairy free first, see if ti works. it may, particularly if you have an allergy or reaction to pasturized milk (most people do).



beyond this, it is largely hormonal and something that one can grow out of. i had bad acne as a teen (with a healthy diet, etc), but it cleared up when i turned 18 and hasn't come back. very nice. people say that i have really beautiful skin. very lucky me.



but, during my stint with acne, i learned a lot about how to care for my skin. you can wash with olive oil, for example, or honey, or with egg yolk. these seem to help me a lot. also, using aloe was helpful as a 'spot treatment' for easing redness and pain.



anyway, if you want more topical stuff using foods, let me know. instructions on how to wash with olive oil, for instance. it feels great.
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#13 Old 10-01-2007, 08:47 AM
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I sing the praises of flax oil for all sorts of things, this would be one time as it's good for lots of skin problems. Here are some "testimonials" I randomly found on google:

http://www.acne.org/flaxseed-oil-reviews/230/page1.html

One of the things it helps me with is keeping a rash related to a medication I must take way down. Made a ton of difference. I take a lot, like 2 T a day (in a soy or rice smoothie).

And if you are, don't do dairy.
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#14 Old 10-01-2007, 09:49 AM
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Thank you guys.



Well first of all I have been to dermatologists and I hate them {well not really but kinda}. I have no insurance that pays for stuff like that or anything..and in the past I spent probably thousands of dollars on dermatologists who prescribed expensive creams that do nothing. They did tell me not to go on accutane because I suffer from depression, bad depression, and I guess it can make it worse. Ill never go on it honestly. Well actually, let me rephrase that. It would be a LAST resort..like..done everything I could and was about to kill myself etc etc.



The people telling me this are other people who claimed to have suffered from acne terribly and now eat an all {or mostly} meat diet and are acne free. Someone over on the acne boards claimed they started having regular bowel movements {something I have trouble with ew} when eating mostly red meat. He claims the fiber in a vegetarian diet is bad for us. Sounds like bull to me... Ive had maybe three more people tell me they were vegetarians and had the worst skin ever and started this paleo diet or whatever and now they are clear.



But maybe your on to something zoebird..maybe it is giving up dairy instead of just eating meat. I think that diet doesnt allow beans which is why I never felt I could follow it. I practically live off beans and I love them.



The weird thing is, I have adult onset acne..I never had acne during puberty or even throughout my teen years. I dont think Im going to grow out of it.
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#15 Old 10-01-2007, 10:01 AM
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could be a vitamin A deficiency, which might require dairy, though. look, there can be so many reasons. . . everything from a chronic inflammation to a yeast problem (candida/thrush), to a variety of others.



have you considered Traditional Chinese Medicine?
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#16 Old 10-01-2007, 10:40 AM
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I started having facial skin problems later in life. When I was younger I never suffered from any acne problems. So I was quite concerned when this all started. I tried lots of things to alleviate the problems but they only got worse. So I got a refferal from my GP and went to see a dermatoligist. It turns out that I have a type of Rosacea, skin and occular {my eyes feel dry, tired and gritty}. There are many reasons for this, hereditary, hormonaly, diet etc. With special attention to cleansing and an antibiotic topical cream I am glad to say it is under control. My main reason for bringing up Rosacea is that there is another type called acne rosacea which you may want to google and look into, Good Luck, Our Face is the first thing people notice when they meet us and I know how insecure and stressed we can get if we do have a noticable skin condition.
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#17 Old 10-01-2007, 11:10 AM
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have you tried using a little cortisone on your skin? just a thought.
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#18 Old 10-01-2007, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoebird View Post

could be a vitamin A deficiency, which might require dairy, though. look, there can be so many reasons. . . everything from a chronic inflammation to a yeast problem (candida/thrush), to a variety of others.



have you considered Traditional Chinese Medicine?



Its funny you say that, Im trying a chinese pill right now. Its something I used for my psoriasis {completely cured it and it was chronic and covered my full body so it must be powerful stuff!}. On the bottle it says its indicated for rashes, acne, boils, and vaginal infections due to "damp heat" in the body. I had a bottle left over from a psoriasis flare in 05 and I never even thought of using it til yesterday. So I will see if it helps any.



Vitamin A..well Im not sure about that all I can say is I eat lots of good vegetables, tons of carrots which have a lot of beta carotene. Its possible I have some type of leaky gut situation going on where Im not absorbing nutrients, which relates to the candida issue. The candida issue worries me though, because I love fruit, and I know youre not supposed to have any when you have candida . I was recommended to try some anti fungals on another board though so Im going to try that.



DLS what kind of cream are you using? I cant afford a doctor but perhaps there is some type of natural alternative for cheaper?



And no never tried cortisone..what is that? Like the stuff for bug bites?
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#19 Old 10-01-2007, 07:07 PM
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Hi starseed13,

Zoebird's Ideas on possible causes are right on, many of us have chronic yeast infection of one kind or another and we don't even know it. I do not know if there are any conclusive tests for yeast on the skin or not. I tried anti-fungal tretaments to no avail, I had my doctor check my skin with a black light and she found no abundance of fungal growth. I would still love to know how I can control it without medication, and I will keep on looking. But for now I clean my face with a soap free cleanser by Spectro Derm for dry and sensitive skin, you can get it at most Pharmacies. The antibiotic cream is by prescription, it is called MetroCream active ingredient is Metronidazole.
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#20 Old 10-01-2007, 09:35 PM
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My mom didn't have acne as severe as yours, but she usually had a few bumps on her face at any given time when I was little. Once she started getting wrinkles she started using "old lady cream" (or at least thats what she calls it) and all her acne is totally gone. I know she uses oil of olay products now and like them (but they're tested on animals). You might try some of that stuff if you haven't?



I'm sorry you're having these problems!
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#21 Old 10-02-2007, 05:23 AM
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i have a friend who has cystic acne and her doctor prescribed a cortizone cream/cleanser for her that keeps it down.
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#22 Old 10-02-2007, 08:58 AM
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I had cystic acne and rosacia from my teens well into my 50s. I tried everything natural and some pharmaceutical

products and some things helped but nothing really cut it. What finally turned the tide for me was eliminating fruit from my diet. I had been eating a very clean vegan diet, non fat and with lots of fruit but since I never heard anywhere that this could be the problem I never considered it until I stopped eating it for intestinal problems which I developed almost two years ago. Since then my face has dramatically cleared up and I can also eat many things I had formerly found to be a problem. I still find that excess fats will cause a problem and so I keep my fat intake down to about half a cup of nuts or seeds per day. I occasionally will use a small amount of unheated olive oil but have to be cautious of this. I believe(tho not sure) that sweeteners(even natural) and refined carbs may also be a problem so I don't use any of that. I have some theories as to why this all happened, mostly involving the liver. If you want to know more about that you can PM me. And by the way, I never found meat to be helpful but instead only caused more severe problems.
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#23 Old 10-02-2007, 12:13 PM
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you may not be able to absorb nutrients, or you may not be able to convert them. my husband absorbs beta carotene, but he can't covert it to vitamin A, which is why he consumes cod liver oil and butter. it's what clears up his skin completely (without it, he gets cystic-style acne, 'milk bumps', and psoriasis).
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#24 Old 10-02-2007, 08:37 PM
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^Its possible..but so hard to know. Ive experimented so much with so many things I dont even know what the heck is going on anymore.
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#25 Old 10-02-2007, 09:09 PM
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Have you been prescribed any antibiotics yet?



Antibiotics plus a topical cream such as Roaccutane is the usual treatment for cystic acne.
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#26 Old 10-03-2007, 08:07 AM
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i know that when i took accutane while having depression, in my case, it didn't make it any worse. having dry red peely skin and split lips didn't do my self esteem a whole bunch of good, but i didn't loose the plot or get the urge to top myself any more than usual. but it is a really strong drug and not without its risks and side effects, so i can understand your reticence to go there- even though it tends to yeild dramatic results.
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#27 Old 10-03-2007, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sybaritik View Post

Have you been prescribed any antibiotics yet?



Antibiotics plus a topical cream such as Roaccutane is the usual treatment for cystic acne.



Ill never put that stuff in my body. Antibiotic abuse destroys the good bacteria in your digestive track. I avoid taking them at all costs, they only lead to more candida overgrowth and therefor more acne.
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#28 Old 10-03-2007, 08:09 PM
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if you do have a candidia overgrowth though in your digestive system, you may need to take something, otherwise, the good bacteria will never get a chance to win.



if you do use anything ingested, use probiotics as well.
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#29 Old 10-03-2007, 09:12 PM
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Im on probiotics and have been on them for over a year now.

I am looking into anti fungals as well.

I just havent been able to give up sugar! haha..which I know is a part of killing candida. I mean I dont eat any junk food or add sugar to things but I loooooveeee raw fruit.
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#30 Old 10-04-2007, 12:37 AM
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Maybe you could just try giving fruit up for a while and see if it helps. There is a whole approach to diet called Macrobiotics which says that fruit is very yin and should not be a normal part of the diet. I find that I do just fine without it and don't miss it all that much anymore. I think all the fruit sugar was like an addiction. I do take vit C. I guess I'd just reached the point where if it was no fruit or having my face always be a mess I'd choose the no fruit. I certainly didn't want to get into all the chemicals and their nasty side effects. I've tried cleanses and raw food diets but they didn't work for me. It's such a relief to not have to deal with acne after all these years that the sacrifice is well worth it.
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