About acne and insulin resistance
The internet loves to run with a good story, particularly when it comes to health and wellbeing. Stories about curing chronic ailments through natural dietary methods seem to keep cyberspace abuzz with excitement. Acne certainly gets more than its fair share when it comes to dietary methods to prevent and treat acne – but is the advice any good?
There are a few different diet related internet theories about acne. Many only sources claim that acne is caused by insulin resistance. Therefore by sticking to a very ‘low carb’ diet, you can prevent and cure acne. Gluten intolerance makes its way into the acne argument from some sources; and dairy is blamed by such a huge array of anecdotal reports that I have lost count. Often, no sound scientific data or medical information is referenced by these sources.
What is insulin resistance?
Usually, the body’s cells use insulin to take up sugar in the blood. Using up the sugar lowers blood sugar levels. Insulin resistance is a metabolic disorder when the cells start to lose their ability to use insulin to utilise blood sugar.
Where did this all come from?
Acne is a multifactorial disease that affects millions of people at some point in their lifetime. For a small percentage of people who suffer from acne, it is a symptom of a systemic hormonal problem. In an even smaller number of these patients – for example Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS – both acne insulin resistance has been indentified and related to their condition. These figures are specific to these groups and are not generalisable to all persons with acne.
Generally speaking, acne is a disease that is manageable through topical and oral treatments. It is encouraged all of acne patients to eat a well balanced, wholefoods based diet to achieve optimum health and to help them recover well. There have been some foods, vitamins and minerals that have been identified as potentially useful in treating acne, and research is ongoing.
If you are concerned about your acne and would like a holistic approach to your treatment, we offer a range of services including nutrition and dietetics, dermatology and skincare. Our dermatologist and skincare nurse provide individualized care targeted to your concerns. Contact us today!