"Acne is a terrible problem. I know this first-hand as I suffered with it for over 20 years. It wasn't until I studied natural medicine carefully that I realized there is a virtual surefire solution for acne that does not involve any medications at all."
- Dr. Mercola www.mercola.com
When I was in high school, I had pretty bad acne. I was joyous when my mom thought it was worth going to the Dermatologist to treat it. I took whatever drug was prescribed. We tried one thing, then the next, and eventually I went on Accutane. I now look back, and realize that I wish someone would have intervened and given me another solution. When I was that young, I thought I was educated and up to date with most issues in the world. However, no one in the progressive political arena was talking about how to take care of oneself. I was unaware prescription or over the counter drugs were made by big, bad corporations, or that they were toxic chemicals and potentially deadly, just like the environmental toxins I became an activist over. I never knew these drugs cause cancer and other diseases just like the toxins in the drinking water I was so concerned about.
From being an environmentalist I discovered vegetarianism. That directed me toward animal welfare and the concept of animal rights. Eventually I learned about animal testing. As groups like People for The Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and others would criticize animal tests for household products or cosmetics, they did not discuss or criticize the topic of pharmaceutical testing of drugs on animals.
Through some more radical groups, I learned that these companies were not doing a public service to help society. They were researching drugs that they could make the most money off of instead of ones that would help the most amounts of people. They were making drugs for a few cents a pill and charging hundreds of dollars for them. They were denying apparently “life-saving” medications to those in the third-world who needed it – due to patent disputes. They were delaying the introduction of new AIDS medications until the stocks of the old, less effective ones, were sold. They were not only using millions of animals in experiments, but those experiments were not carried out properly. Scientific procedure and protocol were broke regularly, and approved by management. I learned that data is often falsified to try to get results that will help market the drugs.
These companies were also committing some of the worst human rights abuses I could imagine. Bayer was caught selling HIV-infected drugs to foreign countries, Pfizer was caught doing clinical studies for their experimental drugs on Africans without their knowledge, and GlaxoSmithKline was testing their experimental AIDS drugs on not only guinea pigs and primates, but human babies in New York City’s orphanages. There is a Hollywood movie called The Constant Gardener about the Pfizer debocacle you can get at the public library or Blockbuster. There is a romantic comedy directed by an ex-pharmaceutical sales rep to try to alert the public of the deceptive marketing practices involved in pharmaceutical companies, called Side Effects. It’s because of them putting profits before patient safety that doctors were lied to and told by reps that Vioxx was more effective than other painkillers on the market. It wasn’t. It also was a lot more dangerous and 100,000 Americans are now dead due to its use.
The combined track record of all these practices compelled me to forgo an Advil when I had a headache, and left me completely open and in search of a way that it could be possible to completely boycott pharmaceutical companies and never have to give them a dime of my hard earned money for the rest of my life. At first I didn’t think it was possible. I saw an infomercial on TV once that really changed my life. I bought the book, read it front to back in two days and have been researching information, products, and websites from the book ever since. There is a lot of information out there every day, my research is continuously ongoing.
Six years after my acne, I now have obtained more knowledge about how the body heals itself, what causes disease, and how to prevent sickness than I ever knew about environmentalism, animal welfare, or any other issue that has ever concerned me. Yet there is so much to know. I at least have honest trustful resources at my disposal to check and that I can rely upon to give me information that I need. My friends and family on occasion get sick or have a condition and ask me “I need the natural cures for _.” So I look it up for them. I was recently told by my ex-girlfriend that her sister is on the acne drug Accutane. Because she is female, they also have to put her on birth control because Accutane would cause a severely deformed baby if pregnancy occurred. During my hours of research I came to the realization that a health problem that I am now suffering with is most likely a direct result of my prescription with Accutane.
There is a lot of information I can tell you about on how bad Accutane is, or the corruption involved in getting Accutane on the market, in fact nothing would please me more than to write a book about it. But for the sake of time, I won't. You should also know that birth control pills are also terrible for you - just think about how unnatural it is! Read
href="http://www.mercola.com/2004/jun/12/contraception_facts.htm">http://www.mercola.com/2004/jun/12/contraception_facts.htm to read about birth control drugs and alternatives. Maybe I’ll write another article on it. For now, I’ll focus on my arch nemesis: Accutane. By the time you’re done, my hope is that you will believe it is terrible and you should throw out the pills right now and never get another prescription. I know I am not a doctor; but neither are you – probably. Doctors used to promote cigarettes so your excuse for not taking what I say with accuracy is silly. You can go to any Naturopathic Physician and they will back up what I am saying here. ND’s actually go through the equivalent of conventional medical school, then “unlearned” in a sense, and are taught why toxic drugs and cutting open people is not the best way to help people. They are taught all the alternatives and then some. They are taught up to date information that is just coming out now – new paradigm’s for how we look at nutrition, prevention, and holistic medicine. So, my point is that ND’s get more schooling than MD’s and they will back up what I am saying.
Here is what you need to know about Accutane. Accutane is an antibiotic. What antibiotics do is kill bacteria. In doing this, they do not discriminate. This means they also kill beneficial bacteria like the critical kind that lives in your gut. These “good” bacteria help you digest food properly, help your body absorb and make the most of the nutrients in the food you eat, and they provide other vital functions for health maintenance. If you have an unhealthy gut, symptoms will spur up all over the body and you will undoubtedly have an unhealthy body. Taking antibiotics, especially long term, will lead to digestive problems. Here’s where I come in – since taking Accutane, I have developed the worst digestive problems that has caused me lots of money, embarrassment, and inconvenience.
In addition, antibiotic use may also cause yeast overgrowth and candidiasis. Scientists who have alternative theories on the cause of AIDS even claim that long-term antibiotic use causes autoimmune deficiency (AIDS), because antibiotics are immune-suppressant. Accutane increases suicide risk and shuts down frontal brain activity. Accutane increases risk for inflammatory bowel disease - a digestive problem - big surprise!
I took Accutane for at least an entire year, maybe two. I am convinced it was because of Accutane that I now developed all my digestive problems. I have been tested by a clinical laboratory for these problems and have found out the following. I am allergic to soy, peanuts, mustard, almonds, corn, cashews, cantaloupe, the herb astragalus, peas, and a couple others. Being vegan and being allergic to soy and the two main nuts has really been an inconvenience. I have really bad flatulence when I eat these foods and my breath smells terrible all the time (the smell comes from the gut). I have an overgrowth of bad intestinal bacteria and I have spent hundreds of dollars on probiotic supplements to try to counteract the years of taking antibiotics. I would like to take this time to thank Roche (the manufacturers of Accutane), as well as my mom, the dermatologist, and the drug reps who push their drugs on doctors. Thank you for making me have really bad gas every time I have tofu “chicken” or peanut butter sandwiches. I’d also like to take the time to criticize groups who are against cosmetic animal testing but not pharmaceuticals. Because of you, I remained ignorant of alternatives to drugs like Accutane throughout my adolescent years. Thank you to anyone in the progressive arena who did not think that health and wellness is an important social justice issue. Yes, I am being sarcastic.
The manufacturers of Accutane, Roche, are being sued in hundreds of class-action suits for their drug increasing suicide risk. Just do a goodsearch for "Accutane lawsuits" yourself! This company was also fined a record $500 million for their Trust violations - the largest fine for a corporation in history! And this was even a settlement!
Roche, like all pharmaceutical companies also torture and kill bunnies, puppies, and marmoset monkeys in experiments. You trust a company like this to treat your acne in the best way possible? They do not care about you or your health; they want you to take a pill every day for as long as possible so they make money off of you every day. That is their one sole legal obligation [see the movie The Corporation which explains corporations’ legal rights]. In fact, drugs like Accutane or antidepressants prescribed to teens are both great for them because they really want to get you hooked while your young. Then, when the toxins in those drugs build up in your system over time, you’ll get some other health condition that will lead to you being prescribed more and more drugs. It’s a snowball effect.
Taking an antibiotic long-term to treat acne may work over time, but it is surely not treating the cause. And the side-effects? Just look at what it says on the package! Look at the animal tests! Look how many animals died on cancer in the studies. It has warnings that it causes birth defects in humans which is why they make you go on birth control as well! Do you think that is good for you to swallow two chemical pills every day? The toxic buildup from the synthetically manufactured drug will harm your liver over time and some of your other organs - forcing you to go on more prescription drugs soon in life. By the time your fifty you'll be on a few dozen drugs every day. It is a snowball effect and you’re rolling down the hill towards toxic oblivion and you won't be able to slow down until you hit a tree. But you can grab hold of the ski lift and fly across the mountain to good health and avoid hitting any trees...only if you choose. The earlier you make this life-transforming decision, the happier and healthier you will be and the less money you will spend on medical bills or supplements. In China, doctors get paid only when their patients are healthy. They have true health-care. In America, we have a sick-care industry.
Here are what I found are the natural cures for Acne. If possible, find a licensed naturopathic practicioner in your area and go see them. They are trained in the field and can take your biological individualism into account when assessing getting to the route cause of your acne.
But, here are some of my recommendations; in order of what I think would be most useful. Try to do as many of these as possible because the cause is probably a multitude of factors of not living a healthy physical, emotional, and spiritual lifestyle. Natural Cures for Acne:
1. Start consuming essential fatty acids (EFA's) daily; since acne may very well be a symptom of an omega-3 fatty acid deficiency. Acne is caused by inflammation and Omega 3's are an inflammation-fighting food. EFA's are available in fish, but so are heavy metals like mercury that can build up in women's bodies over time, leading to brain damage and autism in their children. A safer bet is to consume flax oil - a possible miracle cure for breast cancer by the way - you can get a bottle in the health food store refrigerated section, or buy flax oil supplements online or in the vitamin section of any grocery store (but be careful for sketchy fillers). I use flax oil on my oatmeal, cold cereal, as salad dressing, or conceivable in just about any dish you make or prepare. It has a creamy nutty flavor and can be spooned or put in any beverage (soymilk, juice). You can not heat flax oil but can put it on hot foods. Take 1-2 Tablespoons every day, or more those with serious omega 3 deficiencies. Another cheaper, yet less absorbable source of daily omega 3's is flaxseeds - but they have to be ground otherwise they just pass right through you. You can add ground flaxseeds to anything. Yes, anything! Just sprinkle a tablespoon on top of every meal you eat - its only two dollars for a pound of this stuff. This is probably the cheapest way to get your daily omega 3's, but especially since you are deficient, I would highly suggest investing in some flax oil and building up your stores of EFA's. Also, consider supplementing with DHA, an omega 3 fatty acid found in marine algae that fish eat, and usually only found in fish. Go to one of the online vegan shopping stores (veganstore.com) to find them. DHA helps build brain and eye tissue as well. It is not necessary to take this forever - but is a very smart idea to buy a bottle of this and use it up so at least you will restore your levels to healthy normal levels. Unfortunately if this is the cause of your acne, it will take a while to cure because it takes time for your EFA levels to go back to normal. It could take up to a year which is why everyone should make sure they are getting proper nutrition and enough EFA’s even if they have no health symptoms (like acne) yet.
2. Dr. Mercola says that key to controlling acne is to optimize your insulin levels. Eliminate sugars and high-glycemic grains (potatoes, white rice, white bread, white pasta, chips, white flour waffles/pancakes) from your diet in place of whole grains and natural sweeteners. Agave Nectar is a low glycemic sweetener that has the same consistency as maple syrup/honey and is good to use for baking or adding a little sweetness to your whole grain oatmeal or quinoa, for example. Avoid all sugar, high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, etc. Do NOT replace sugar with artificial sweeteners like in diet drinks (aspartame, NutraSweet, sucralose, Splenda, etc). Do not drink pasteurized fruit juices - they are high glycemic too! Eat the whole fruit! Drink filtered water (preferably Pi “living” water)! No soda either! Drink water, drink herbal tea. Watch out for soymilks too - all processed drinks are sweetened with some type of sugar. Even if it’s organic sugar or natural "cane sugar" it is still sugar and has the same affect on your insulin levels! Read the ingredients of everything you eat for a month or two until you are familiar with products!
Note: Even organic and whole wheat grains may trigger acne. Try eating a lot less grains and see if your acne gets better. Keep a journal/log to keep track. Consider trying a no grain diet for a month to see if that helps. Dr. Mercola is famous for a book entitled The No Grain Diet; check out this article on his website: "No Grain Diet Cures up Acne" - http://www.mercola.com/2003/aug/23/acne.htm
3. Certain food allergies could cause acne. Use rotation diet by eliminating common allergic foods from your diet for a month and see if your acne clears up significantly. Then start reintroducing foods back one at a time. Keep a journal of how bad your acne is and everything you eat. Common food allergens are dairy, wheat, and soy.
4. Stress worsens every disease. It is great to have a good tool to deal with stress when you encounter it. You can not control all the stresses in your life, but you can control the ways you deal with stress. Yoga, meditation, getting good quality sleep (http://www.mercola.com/article/sleep.htm
), or using an acupressure technique called Emotional Freedom Techniques
(or EFT), which is best taught in person by someone training in it (me). Or you can train yourself by downloading a free manual and order some DVDs to teach you the basics.
This is the basics. There are some other essential oils, herbal teas, and such that may help with all this. There are a few different sites giving all the known natural remedies or cures out there – one of them is www.naturalcures.com the other is www.curezone.com. It could not hurt to do some of the other things listed on these sites. The politricks involved with Accutane and the scummy manufacturer:
● Accutane is Roche’s number one selling product, with an estimated 5 million Americans using the acne medication since 1982.
● Accutane has been linked to at least 240 suicides
● The FDA concluded Roche had not acted in good faith when relating information regarding Accutane use in pregnant women. Roche knew about Accutane side effects while failing to fully disclose the dangers to the FDA, physicians, and patients.
● Accutane causes severe birth defects and even fetal death and the FDA concluded Roche did not adequately communicate the dangers to women using Accutane.
● Roche knew about the birth defects that could occur with Accutane and pregnant women years before ever getting the 1982 FDA approval. Despite this knowledge, the FDA and Roche SMART program aimed at preventing fetal death and birth defects in women using Accutane was not implemented until 2000. The SMART program was developed only after a 1998 FDA memo recommended “active consideration of removal of Accutane from the market.”
● Now Accutane is also linked to an increased occurrence of inflammatory bowel disease and lupus
● Roche disregarded its internal doctor's recommendation that users of the drug are monitored for signs of depression and that a warning indicating this is added to the label because “such Accutane warnings could cost the firm sales or prompt lawsuits.”
● Roche's global head of drug safety, Martin Huber, testified in a pretrial deposition for a Florida case that the firm's internal analysis showed Accutane “probably caused” depression and other psychiatric illnesses in some patients, according to the court file summary of his deposition.
According to the summary of Zabrowski's deposition testimony, Schifferdecker wrote a report recommending changes in Accutane's U.S. label and core data sheet, the internal company document used by Roche to ensure consistency of the firm's products worldwide.
● Legal summaries of depositions by Roche's global head of drug regulatory affairs, Daniel Zabrowski, as well as other Roche officials, show that a company doctor, Peter Schifferdecker, who studied the drug’s links to depression at the Corporate headquarter is Switzerland in 1997, recommended Accutane's U.S. label warn users “should be supervised for signs of depression during therapy and, if necessary, referred for appropriate treatment.”
● Zabrowski testified Roche's marketing division was worried the monitoring warning on Accutane's U.S. label could hurt sales. Medical consultants in the marketing department revised Schifferdecker's report to remove the reference to monitoring, which was then sent to the FDA for approval
● Currently, Roche is the target of about 70 lawsuits for allegations of adverse reactions because of Accutane. Plaintiffs claim Accutane adverse effects include suicides, depression, birth defects and gastrointestinal injuries.
● Around 90% of all Accutane patients are considered to have mild acne and should have been using an alternate treatment.
● Roche was issued a warning letter after the FDA found the Accutane promotional advertisements to contain “false and misleading” information.
● At the December 11, 2002 House Oversight and Investigation Subcommittee Hearing on Safety Issues Relating to Accutane, Congressman Peter Deutsch told Roche North American president and CEO, George Abercrombie that, “what you just said is not a truthful statement” when he claimed the company did try to make consumers aware that Accutane is specifically intended to treat severe acne.
This just shows how corrupt the government (FDA) really is and how they are not here to protect your health. And what a poor job our current elected leaders do at protecting the public they serve. There are a few great films that will be screened this semester about drug safety and Big Pharma corruption, keep your eyes peeled for neon flyers and go check them out. I would love to hear any comments, particularly if any of this has touched you. To contact me, email: veganmatty (at) care2.com , myspace.com/fightbigpharma