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Use Accutane for Acne and Risk Bowel Disease

August 29, 2006 | 21,059 views

A study has at last confirmed the long-held theory that the acne drug isotretinoin (accutane) can cause an increased risk of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). IBD includes Crohn's disease and a similar condition called ulcerative colitis.

Possible, Probable, or Highly Probable

A review of all reports of accutane-associated IBD showed that between 1997 and 2002, there were 85 cases of accutane-caused IBD. Accutane was graded as a "highly probable" cause in four cases, a "probable" cause in 58 cases, and a "possible" cause in 23. In no case was the accutane considered a "doubtful" cause.

Not Recommended for Some

Doctors are advising that those with a prior personal history or family history of IBD should avoid accutane.




Dr. Mercola's Comments:

An elevated risk of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is just one reason among many that you shouldn't be treating your acne problems with Accutane. But despite all the restrictions in place to safeguard child-bearing women -- not to mention the risk of depression and suicide -- researchers flinched when it came to recommending patients avoid Accutane altogether.

Acne is the most common skin disease addressed by dermatologists, affecting about 85 percent of us at some time in our lives. It is something that I suffered with for most of my life. I wish that I had understood insulin physiology when I was younger, as it would have spared me enormous grief.

Dermatologists typically prescribe long-term antibiotic treatments for acne. This can be especially problematic since every time you take an antibiotic, you kill beneficial bacteria along with the problematic bacteria. This can lead to many secondary conditions, such as yeast overgrowth and conditions like Candidiasis.

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.

Optimizing your insulin levels is the real answer to controlling acne, and reducing, with the plan of eliminating, grains and sugars from your daily diet is the best way to do that. I did not understand that when I was younger and was munching whole grain breads and oatmeal for breakfast.

This, combined with the fact that I was clueless about omega-3 fats, set up a major inflammatory condition in my body that allowed me to struggle with painful acne nodules on my face that were also horribly embarrassing.

If I only knew then what I understand now I could have saved myself so much grief. BUT you or your relatives don't have to suffer with acne as the solutions are simple and inexpensive.

Eating refined carbohydrates and sugar leads to a surge of insulin and an insulin-like growth factor called IGF-1 in your body. This can lead to an excess of male hormones, which cause pores in the skin to secrete sebum, a greasy substance that attracts acne-promoting bacteria. Additionally, IGF-1 causes skin cells known as keratinocytes to multiply, a process that is associated with acne.

So if you suffer with acne stay away from grains, as even organic whole grains will cause hormone imbalances that will lead to acne. This restriction also includes hidden sources of grains, like pasta, corn, rice, potatoes, chips, waffles, pancakes and also sugar and most all processed foods.

You can view my natural health plan for more details.

It would also be wise to have a regular source of high-quality omega-3 fats like krill oil, as that will radically reduce the inflammation that leads to the development of acne.



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