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my experience with the gluten-free diet

This is a diet update for May 2016.

When I talked about quitting smoking and vaping (which I have stuck to, by the way,) I made mention that vaping does cause acne. True? In my case, yes, but it was just one of several steps I've taken to completely rid myself of acne forever.

There is speculation that gluten in the diet causes acne; a Google search for that will bring up many articles on the subject. You'll read stories about celiac disease and also a thing called non-celiac gluten sensitivity, or NCGS for short. It's specifically NCGS that acne sufferers are interested in.

A few words about the gluten-free diet and weight loss

I did not go on the gluten-free diet to lose weight, but because some people will need to be told this outright, no, the gluten-free diet will not help you lose weight.

If you want to lose weight, watch Forks Over Knives, watch Sugar: The Bitter Truth, switch to a whole food plant-based diet, stop eating meat, stop eating dairy, stop eating or drinking anything with added sugar in it, keep your caloric intake under 2,000kcal daily, and exercise for at least 30 minutes every day. You do that, you'll lose weight. You don't, and you won't, simple as that. Going gluten-free is not enough.

Does the gluten-free diet work to clear skin?

I've been on a gluten-free diet for a week, and my skin has noticeably cleared up. Not completely, but like I said, it's noticeable in a good way. However, the real test will be if it stays clear. And I won't have that answer until a few weeks have passed.

I can't proclaim "YES! IT WORKS!" just yet. Can't do that. Too soon. But I can say that things are looking very promising.

Ups, downs, patterns and hope

Acne for me has been a roller coaster ride, and I'm hoping the ride is finally over.

Over the span of roughly 2 years, this is what has happened.

I quit tobacco smoking and switched to vaping. My face started getting ridiculously oily and acne started forming, but it was manageable.

I changed my diet, started exercising regularly, lost of a bunch of weight and kept it off. My face became even more oily from doing that, but I was still able to manage it, albeit just barely. This is the time when I started experimenting with different soaps and shampoos in an attempt to curb the oils my face was constantly producing.

Then I switched over to 0% nicotine e-liquid for my vaping, and that's when my face basically exploded. It was normal for me to wake from sleep with a face that felt like an oil slick. And during the day, the oil just kept coming. I would wash my face, and in 3 to 5 hours, my face would be oiled up again. I was also using benzoyl peroxide like it was going out of style, which dried my face up something awful.

On some days, the acne on my forehead was so bad that I'd wear a baseball cap to cover it up before out in public. And I really don't like wearing caps.

You know those people that say "I tried everything" to clear up the skin? Well, I tried everything. Hypoallergenic soaps and shampoos, vitamin regimens, apple cider vinegar, milk of magnesia, you name it and I probably tried it.

Nothing was working.

I was ticked off enough to want to punch a hole in the wall from this stupid acne. But instead of doing that, I just quit vaping instead cold turkey. I had eliminated every other possible thing that could cause acne, so I took a few last puffs from my vaping pen, then threw it all out. All the pen batteries and the tanks were tossed in the trash, and I dumped the rest of the e-liquid I had straight down the drain.

After quitting vaping, my face started to clear, but then a pattern started happening. After every weekend, I would have an acne breakout, almost like clockwork...

...and that's when I started looking at my diet more closely.

During the week, I'd eat nothing but healthy stuff. Carrots, broccoli, bananas, apples, potatoes, rice and so on. But on weekends I would "treat" myself to filth. From weekend to weekend I would either eat pizza, Chinese takeout, Subway subs, Taco Bell, etc.. No, not at all once. I'd have a pizza Saturday and Chinese takeout on Sunday. The next weekend, I'd have a Subway sub on Saturday and then Taco Bell on Sunday. I did this for variety.

What common thing did all the filth food have in common?

Gluten.

What I found out from a lot of research is that when I ate filth, the gluten would not trigger acne the day I consumed it, but rather 1 to 3 days afterward. And, sure enough, after eating filth on the weekend, I'd have an acne breakout on Tuesday or Wednesday the following week. I could almost time it.

I found a pattern, and that was the eureka moment. It was the damned gluten. I found the answer to that one question all acne sufferers all want the answer to: What is causing my acne? When you know what the cause is, you can address it, the acne goes away and stays away.

For me, it's very likely that vaping and gluten are what have been causing my breakouts all along. By stopping vaping and not consuming gluten, I'm treating acne from the inside out instead of just from a skin level with topical stuff.

What's in vaping that caused me acne? I'm not sure because it's tough to pinpoint. It could have been the e-liquid, the metal in the pen, the wick, the wrong vegetable glycerin/propylene glycol ratio mixture or something else entirely. I've no idea. What I do know is that vaping causes acne. If you need proof, just search Google for "vaping acne" and see for yourself.

As for gluten, it causes something in my system that makes me break out over time. Gluten goes in, a reaction happens after a few days, and acne forms on my face. What reaction is going on inside, specifically? That I don't know. What I do know is that when gluten goes in, acne happens a few days afterward, and the pattern was consistent. Once I recognized the pattern, that was the first time I was able to recognize acne as not being "out of nowhere." I could actually predict it, and as noted a moment ago, that was the eureka moment.

I thought, incorrectly, that quitting vaping was enough to clear my skin. It wasn't, because the acne came back, although not nearly as bad as before. Since kicking gluten out of my diet however, that has really helped.

At this point, I'm hoping my skin will clear completely and stay clear, because God knows I've tried everything else.

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