My Skin Journey
It is a HUGE bummer to be in your 20s or 30s, doing all the “right things” with a balanced diet, regular exercise, and a regimented skin care routine, yet still struggling with pain and bloating after meals, embarrassing acne, and low energy. Maybe this sounds familiar?
I had always struggled with problematic skin as a teenager. My acne became worse in my mid-20s, a few years after graduating college, even though I was eating relatively well. I tried the conventional methods to treat my skin, but quickly became tired of the topical creams prescribed by dermatologists and the birth control pills pushed by gynecologists. None of these interventions were even helping my acne! And none of the doctors seemed to care about addressing the root cause.
I began to experiment with food as my medicine. I adopted a vegan diet for environmental reasons and noticed improvements in my skin; looking back, I have a suspicion that eliminating dairy was beneficial. I was amazed that something in my previous diet had been causing a reaction: this sparked my interest in nutrition even further, and I decided to officially pursue a nutrition education to learn as much as I could!
In Fall 2018, I began my holistic nutrition program at Nutrition Therapy Institute. Throughout the program, I was learning SO MUCH about how gut health is related to almost all other symptoms in the body, including skin health. I was still following a plant-based diet, but my skin has taken a turn for the worse and I lost my menstrual cycle. I knew I needed help - I was exhausted from trying to “fix” myself.
In Summer 2019, I began working with a naturopathic doctor who specializes in hormone health. Turns out, my hormones were not the problem: instead, I was diagnosed with Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) – yes, a gut issue. My body was speaking to me through my skin health, a common symptom of gut dysfunction. I was so concerned about my skin that I didn't even realize how many digestive and other health issues I was dealing with!
With the help of my doctor, I went on a strict diet and herbal supplementation protocol. My skin, digestive issues and overall health improved, but even after a year of various protocols, I was still getting breakouts. My skin was not where I was hoping it would be!
By this point, I was almost finished with my nutrition certification, and had a feeling there were other underlying gut issues. Results from functional testing showed that I had a candida yeast overgrowth that was never addressed.
Finally, in early 2021, after 18 months of a gut-balancing and skin-healing journey, the protocol clicked. Within weeks of a candida protocol, my skin cleared up for good!
Healing can take time.
Improving the internal ecosystem does not happen overnight.
For some people, cutting out certain foods and changing their skincare routine could be the solution. They are the lucky ones! For others, like me, it was many months of digging deeper and deeper to find the multiple root causes.
If you have tried the general recommendations - cutting out dairy, reducing sugar, drinking more water, eating more vegetables, changing your skin care routine - and nothing has improved, I can help.
Let’s work together to get to the ROOT CAUSE of your acne!
Read the following blog posts to learn more about the connection between Acne & Gut Health