Back when I was first contemplating starting the GAPS diet, I did a lot of Googling about GAPS and acne. Acne was one of my main health complaints and I was reticent to undertake such a rigorous diet if it didn’t have any chance of healing my acne. I never did end up finding many testimonials, but I was out of ideas so decided to give GAPS a go anyway. In the interest of providing more information for fellow acne sufferers, today I want to share a bit more about my experience with acne and the GAPS diet.
GAPS Hugely Improved My Acne…
GAPS has made a very noticeable difference in my acne. Before GAPS, I would probably classify my acne as moderately severe. I was horribly embarrassed about my skin and tried to avoid social interactions whenever possible. Thanks to GAPS, however, my skin has improved immensely. Now I’d say that I probably only have minor acne. I still get blemishes around my mouth and chin, but it is nowhere near the levels that I used to suffer with.
I think that GAPS was able to greatly improve my acne because much of it was gut-related. If you are a “GAPS person,” your digestive system is damaged in such a way that you can’t digest complex carbohydrates like grains and starches. If you continue to eat these foods, they will create toxins in your digestive system that your body then needs to deal with. This “dealing with” can take many forms; in my case, my body seems to prefer to detoxify these toxins through my skin. When I went on GAPS, I greatly reduced the amount of toxins that my gut was generating so my body no longer had to dump so many toxins out through my skin.
I should add that it took many months for my skin to show improvement on GAPS. After about five months, I was starting to notice a small difference in my skin. It was an additional six months before I got to the relatively minor amount of acne I experience now. Gut healing is a slow process!
…But GAPS Hasn’t Fixed My Acne Completely
As I mentioned above, GAPS has not managed to completely clear my acne. I believe this is because my remaining acne is hormone-related. While I haven’t gotten an official diagnosis of hormonal acne, I believe my acne is hormonal because:
- I mostly break out around my mouth and chin, which I have repeatedly read is related to hormonal issues;
- I have obvious signs of hormonal imbalance in the form of painful, heavy periods;
- I notice changes in my acne over the course of my cycle.
Hypothetically, GAPS should be able to balance my hormones. I have heard of at least a few women that have fixed painful periods through GAPS. Unfortunately, I have not experienced any obvious hormone-balancing while on GAPS. I do believe that I have a long-standing family history of hormonal problems, though, so it doesn’t seem unreasonable that I might need some extra help to heal my hormones and thus eliminate my remaining acne.
In the last few months I have been trying acupuncture for my hormones and hormonal acne. Progress has been slow, but I’m hopeful that I’m headed in the right direction.
Does Everyone with Acne Need GAPS?
While GAPS has made a big difference for me, I don’t actually believe that everyone with acne necessarily needs GAPS. When I was searching for answers to my acne before I decided to try GAPS, I found so many stories of people curing their acne by making much smaller changes, such as eliminating sugar, changing their skin care products, switching to real/traditional foods, taking probiotics, supplementing with cod liver oil, or going gluten-free. So I think it’s worth it to explore other avenues before deciding that you need GAPS. You may be one of the lucky people that can fix their acne without needing to do as rigorous a healing program as GAPS.
In my particular case, the small changes that I tried made absolutely no difference in my acne. I believe that this is because my gut was so damaged that I really needed something that healed the gut while removing all sources of toxicity.
If you’ve tried making changes to your diet/lifestyle (such as those listed above), but haven’t seen any results, then I would suggest looking into the GAPS diet. Like me, you may find that it does dramatic things for your acne problem! Even though GAPS hasn’t cleared up my acne completely, I am so grateful for all of the skin improvement I have experienced.
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Have you dealt with acne? What’s worked for you?
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