Thursday, 19 February 2015

Blood Sugar and Acne

It's live! It's live! My Love Vitamin reader story was posted to Tracy's blog last week. The story chronicles my 'aha' moment from this Fall where I finally realized that even though I'd been on my natural skin care journey for over a year, I was still looking for the 'silver bullet'/one thing I needed to do to have clear skin.

The post was written in mid-October at the start of my gluten-, coffee-, processed-food and sugar-free, insulin stabilizing diet. To read it, click here.

Tracy Raftl, blogger, is this amazing woman from British Columbia who is a wealth of knowledge and resources on how to have beautiful, clear skin naturally. She was the reason I made the full plunge into healing my acne from the inside out and is truly an inspiration. I owe her my skin! Her e-books and programs are worth every penny. I highly recommend her candida cleanse challenge, which she now packages as part of her Naturally Clear Skin Academy

Blood sugar and acne 

Tracy did a great follow-up post this week on how to manage your blood sugar to prevent acne, spurred in part by my story.

I do feel that following such a strict diet for three months was the final summit I needed to scale to have consistently clear and beautiful skin. It is likely that my acne is partially related to spikes in my blood-sugar, which is also why I'm seeing clearing success with the diet and the insulin-regulating herb berberine. (wow, is berberine ever amazing! Anti-microbial AND insulin-regulating. An acne-fighting miracle! haha). Lara Briden, naturopath and healthy hormone blogger, has a couple fantastic posts on how to overcome insulin resistance and why cutting all sugar is so important for your skin.

On Lara's blog post about overcoming insulin resistance, she talks about what the condition is and how it is diagnosed with a fasting blood sugar test. I haven't had one recently, but I did while I was pregnant to see if I had gestational diabetes (it's a standard test for all pregnant ladies). I failed the first time. My midwife said it was likely because I ate a few candies that day. Seriously? Three Mike and Ike's can make my blood sugar all out of whack? Now, I feel like I should read that as a possible warning sign for my skin. . . . . .

The day before my second blood sugar test, I made sure to eat a lot of protein and stayed away from sugar. I passed with flying colours. (Btw - the test is the worst two hours I've ever endured. Following 12 hours of fasting, you have to drink this disgusting orange pop-like drink and then have your blood drawn one hour, and two hours later. It's the worst sugar crash you will ever experience. I spent the hours crying in the clinic washroom, I felt so sick and crazy. Following each test I would promptly go to bed and sleep for hours and hours).

I will never do that test again, even with subsequent pregnancies until I have risk factors for gestational diabetes such as age, obesity, family history and abnormal weight-gain during pregnancy. I have cut out sugar, though, and will continue to maintain my blood sugar and overcome any insulin resistance. Seriously, that type of diet is easier than doing the blood-sugar fasting test. 

Insulin resistance is very common (affects one in four adult Americans), and it may be a player in your skin conditions. Have you tried maintaining your blood sugar throughout the day? Has it helped your skin?


  1. Hi there! I have no idea how to contact you. But I think it's worth a shot! I've been paleo for years, but eating some white rice, soaked beans and nuts, and no dairy or estrogenic foods. I had nice skin due to paleo but a few months after i got my iud I had stress, anxiety (uncontrollable - never in my life had anything like this), my skin was dry and bumpy, acne. I read that you supplemented with zinc to help balance your copper.

    I'm really confused on "how much" zinc to take...I don't want to overdo it or underdo it. I've had my iud for 5 months and have the same symptoms of a copper toxicity. I'm not sure how the device leaches that much copper. Is it constantly leaching copper, wouldn't it eventually deteriorate if that was the case? Does it stop leaching after a while? I wish I knew how much copper the iud was putting into my body, so I could figure out how much zinc to put in. The concept baffles me. It's a solid copper device...why doesn't the copper run out?

  2. Hi Chrystal,

    Thanks for your comment. I'm sorry that your copper iud seems to be causing you so much distress. Naturopaths and other health bloggers recommend 50 mg of zinc picolate as it's more bioavailable than other types of zinc so that's probably a good place to start for you. Other good sources are grass-fed meats and pumpkin seeds.

    You may want to consider seeing a naturopath to check your copper levels and test for any toxicity to determine the course of action to take. That's probably the quickest path to recovery for you. The paragard IUD can be used for 5 - 10 years, so I believe it doesn't stop releasing copper for quite some time. At only 5 months old, yours would still be going strong. The mechanism for contraceptive action is that copper creates a hostile environment for sperm.

    I hope this information helps.

    1. Oh my gosh! You actually responded! THANK YOU SO MUCH! Do you think a Naturopath would be covered by insurance? I started a zinc p. supplement today! It fathoms me how much drs don't tell us or deny. People thought I was crazy to suggest that the iud coper levels could affect my body system!

    2. Hello! Im interested in getting a copper IUD and through my researching I came upon this article. I hope that your symptoms have cleared up. I was wondering if you could share more of you experience, just to help me decide if I should go through with the IUD or not. It would really help me out! But I understand too if you dont feel comfortable to.
      Also thank you Meg for being so educated and helpful. I am very fortunate to find this article!!

    3. Hi Marina, I just got my second copper iud in and would recommend it. I found there weren't many positive review online, likely because people that have no issues with it don't go seeking out info about it! Though uncomfortable, insertion and removal was fine and not painful, just slight cramping for one day. It gave me longer periods with more spotting, but It didn't overly bother me and I much prefer non-hormonal methods of birth control. After removal last year, I was pregnant with my daughter five months later. I hope that's helpful.

    4. Thank you Meg for the reply! :)

  3. Hi Crystal,

    I'm in Canada and naturopaths aren't covered by our health care system, however they are typically covered by health benefits through your employer (if you have additional coverage through work you might be covered).

    If you continue to feel like your iud is causing you problems, you may want to think about having it removed. . . monitoring your cycles with basal body temping and checking fertility signs can be incredibly effective, and quite empowering when you realize that you can have a cycle that isn't affected by hormones, or copper, or other chemicals, and prevent pregnancy. The Kindara website is pretty good for information on this: It'll cost you about $15 for a basal body thermometer and then just a few minutes a day to chart in your app.

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