Reflection 3. 29.12.14. The Ugly Duckling.

During my late adolescence I was notoriously unattractive. I had an extremely weak chin, a severe overbite and overjet, my face was covered in cystic acne and style was certainly not my saving grace. These days I still have a severe overbite and overjet, and a weak chin but you can’t tell because I ‘hold’ my face differently. It is less an aesthetic problem and more of a functional and structural one.

From the ages of 16 to 19 my life was very different to how it is now. I was regularly insulted by strangers in the street, in person and in vehicles, and shop clerks either ignored me or made passive aggressive comments regarding skin products. Sometimes I would be insulted in the street multiple times in a day. I remember the day my previous boyfriend’s drunken father chastised him for his low standards, stated that I wasn’t fit to be a ‘Friday special’, and resorted to saying ‘eww’ repeatedly in a desperate  effort to describe how hideous I was. One day I asked my previous boyfriend whether he found me attractive, and without conviction he looked at the floor and said I was pretty.  Of course, I knew this wasn’t true. Another one of my previous boyfriends said something along the lines of “I was debating whether I was going to ask you out or not, as you have loads of spots” and later added “sometimes it looks flaky too, ewww”. On another occasion I was nominated for an academic award in college, the usual routine was to take a picture of the winning individual and put it in the main passage, however the principal decided to find someone else to nominate. I am sure you can guess that I wasn’t attractive enough to be one of the poster children of a middle class college. This was my life, even my best friend said I was unattractive.

When I wasn’t been insulted, intentionally, or otherwise, I was invisible. Of course people didn’t invite me to events, of course no one went out of their way to seek my friendship, and of course almost no one or no one found me attractive. I did not exist as a human with a sexuality or the capacity for enjoyment. I was outside of some sort of world occupied by attractive people. It is difficult to describe. When I walked in the street it was almost as though I was surrounded by a fog. I might be able to describe by comparison, nowadays people make eye contact with me, people smile at me, they are usually interested in what I have to say, I have even been flirted with at a party, and shop clerks tell me to have a nice day. Last week the same best friend who told me I was unattractive around a year ago, said I had an attractive personality and appearance. It’s a difference in atmosphere. I can walk into a fashion shop without receiving stares.

I don’t think I am unattractive anymore. In superficial terms it is like I have graduated from a hideous 3/10 to an okay 6/10 (but not from the right side of my face) in about a year. It’s a transition I doubt many make as rapidly. Interestingly the previous boyfriend recently sent me a message on Facebook telling me that he now has a job, is getting his own place and still thinks of me. I found his idiocy deplorable for a multitude of reasons, I am now in a relationship with a wonderful man, we are incompatible in personality, he is not nearly as ethical as he thinks he is, and did not treat me with the respect I deserved in the relationship. I blocked him and I will never talk to him again. Needless to say my life is very different now.

This is quite a drastic shift for me and it presents itself as a fairly complex experience. It shows the obvious in that in the public sphere appearance has great importance, but says nothing of the importance of other qualities in more personal settings. There seems to be some kind of gulf between our evolutionary drives and the consciousness of the everyday and so I was able to live somewhat ‘outside’ of human sexuality and comparisons of attractiveness for some time. I cannot yet place the subtles of this gulf.

I was so unattractive in brief, as the majority of the blog concerns this, because I was neglected and abused by my mother as a child and adolescent. I was not fed sufficiently, I was rarely afforded new clothes, and I was not cleaned or taught how to maintain myself as a child. I was not spoken to, In was not breastfed, and I was not treated when I was ill. In the end for whatever reason, perhaps from lack of chewing, lack of nutrition, and some mouth breathing, my face developed vertically and asymmetrically. I acquired some sort of GI disorder after being left as usual for too long in a state of sickness, which is heavily connected to my skin problems. I am short, generally underweight, have wonky crowded gnarled teeth, covered in a light dusting of acne scars, and I have a narrow face. During my late adolescence my mother threw me out after peaking her domestic abuse of my father. And so, I did not have the resources to be overly hygienic and look after myself. I had few clothes and these were generally in a state of disrepair. Taking all of this together, you can see why I was so unattractive.

Interestingly having left my ‘mother’, me, my father, and my younger sister have become progressively healthier and more attractive whilst the opposite is true of my siblings who still live with her. It is also worth noting that there isn’t a single individual that I know who is from a bad background, in terms of abuse or values, who is attractive. I am not saying that there are no attractive individuals who have been abused. I am saying that when abuse and family values stand in the way of health and development, more often than not, unattractive individuals will result. Additionally I acknowledge that some individuals are born genuinely unattractive in spite of having a blessed background. But, generally a bad background precedes unattractiveness in my view. It follows that when people mock other individuals for being unattractive, they are usually mocking people who by no choice of their own, were subject to developmentally poor backgrounds.

When I altered my oral posture and worked on my flaws I concluded that most people can recover attractiveness. It is merely a matter of understanding the process of disintegration and creating long term action plans regarding the core issues underpinning one’s unattractiveness. Unfortunately I think its a process that requires a certain obsession and the capacity to transcend commonly held beliefs like you cannot change your face without surgery, like the notion that bone is dead, and that GI issues cannot be cured. When you invest in yourself, when are you are honest, when you express your weaknesses, when you can say that you are an ill individual, and you are willing to be a little selfish to recover, you just might succeed. That said, this may not be possible for everyone. I believe that because the face is a living thing, open to manipulation, that most people can be more attractive. Not only that but the lifestyle changes I have made to compensate are really paying off, I am aging comparatively slower than my partying attractive peers, and now look slightly younger than my biological age. As time progresses and I become more disciplined and advanced this difference in aging will only increase.

I would also like to add that I do not believe being unattractive tends to prevent people from forming healthy romantic relationships. In my own experience, and having witnessed this is regards to others, unattractive people tend to acquire unattractive partners and they genuinely love each other. The same principles underpinning love apply to unattractive people to. Chemistry and sexuality is not the sole reserve of attractive individuals. I was at my most hideous in college, and while I was never flirted with or otherwise, I did manage to form friendships which developed into romantic relationships. In fact I managed a grand total of four relationships during my mid and late adolescence while being hideous. I might add that I was extroverted and zany back then and actively hunted down individuals to be friends with. I was very confident in my intelligence and creativity. So, my advice to an unattractive individual in finding a partner would be to forget about formal dating where people are differentiated based on appearance. Go make friends with people who you get along with doing things you enjoy. Be nice to individuals and appreciate them for what they really are. Do not set out with an ulterior motive to make friends with individuals based on their appearances, because your intentions will betray you and the chemistry won’t be there. If you are authentic in your endeavors, chemistry will take care of the rest without you having to worry. In fact, if anything, being unattractive will reduce your employment prospects, pay, the rewards you receive in life, and the amount of general respect you are afforded as a human being. That, is what I think unattractive people should be concerned about. So, remember just keep looking and eventually you will find someone. I promise.

To close I will summarise by saying the differences in how attractive and unattractive people are treated is incomprehensible. It is almost like humans cannot contain their disgust, as though something was so vulgar that profanities escaped their mouths without thought. Human reality is indeed separated into very distinct levels much of which you will never know. Generally people who are unattractive are from backgrounds that discourage good development and are punished for this by individuals who are also unattractive and often by more attractive others from good backgrounds. That said the principles of facial development and a proactive problem solving approach can allow most individuals to become more attractive. Unattractive people will generally find unattractive partners who will love them and therefore should be more concerned about their financial and social prospects. This is how I understand the situation so far, I have no answers, but I do have insights and suggestions. I do not yet understand how I psychologically survived being a homeless, ugly, child abused creten so I have no advice regarding psychological maintenance as of yet.

In 2013, my face really was that bad.
In 2013, my face really was that bad.
Back in summer I still looked awful, you can see I did not know how to care for curly hair at this point.
Even when my skin became clear in the summer, my face still looked really weird. This picture was took on my mobile camera, like the two pictures below.
Even when my skin became clear in the summer, my face still looked really weird. This picture was took on my mobile camera, like the pictures below.


In December 2014, the difference is insane.
In December 2014, the difference is insane.
A little bit of facial redness in this one.

Useful to Some: SCD Lifestyle Simplified Video Transcriptions III

SCD Lifestyle is essentially a business that creates profit by educating individuals about gut health. It makes sense to do such a thing, as the individuals who run the business have put a lot of effort and research into dealing with their gut issues, so they might as well profit right? Actually, I don’t think the answer to that question is so straightforward.

Nevertheless, I have written transcripts for a few of their videos. When I first watched the videos I found them pretty overwhelming and so I attempted to make sense of the information presented through writing. Hopefully someone will find this useful, and may even come up with ideas regarding what might be causing their gut issues. Remember, you can find your own answers.

Here is the third list of transcripts. It is worth noting these are only partial videos, as SCD Lifestyle sell the full videos alongside full transcripts. Despite this, I have found the partial videos  very useful as they have put into perspective just how important it is that I fix my gut issues to avoid further physical degeneration. It has also opened up a new realms of knowledge to explore, of particular interest to me, given my previously difficult existence is the concept of adrenal fatigue. I see now that it is also possible that I might be in danger of acquiring an autoimmune disease assuming that I don’t already have one.

The Exact Process of How Autoimmune Disease Starts:
Autoimmunity and autoimmune disease are separated by the quantity of damage and the symptoms it produces. Symptoms are caused when enough damage to tissues happens. The point at which autoimmunity leads to autoimmune disease varies from person to person, depending on the tissue being attacked, and the aggressiveness of the autoimmune disease. Symptoms can include more benign things such as fatigue, headaches, muscle pain, mood issues, skin conditions including rashes, dry skin and acne.
Two things have to happen to create an autoimmune disease, that is to move from a state of generalized inflammation, to a targeted attack on the part of the adaptive immune system. . The first thing is the production of a antibody, a protein. There are cells in the adaptive immune system that produce antibodies, which target specific entities, which are usually foreign invaders. Antibodies have a structure that resembles a Y. The of tips of the Y, have antigen binding sites on them, this is like a lock and therefore it acts to acquire the appropriate key. It is looking for a specific sequence of around 15-20 amino acids, as it does not recognise whole proteins, which it binds to. It follows that the antibody is looking for a specific protein fragment. In doing this the antibody signals to the adaptive and innate immune system that there is something that needs attacking. There are millions of antibodies in our immune system. Every cell produces a type of antibody which bonds a specific protein fragment.

When the cells of the innate immune system find something they tell production cells to produce antibodies specific to the invader. Other parts of the immune system decide whether the production of these antibodies is a good idea or not.

What can happen is that because antibodies are binding to very small protein fragments, they can bind to sites that are not specific to a forgein invader. This happens because there are structural similarities in cells and these similarities are necessary for life. Unfortunately this means that antibodies may attack the body.

There are certain things that make the autoimmune response more likely, including genetics, and infections. Some infections are more likely to lead to the production of antibodies that also recognise the body.

Antibodies attack the body in everyone. The body has a large number of fail-safe mechanisms to try to prevent the immune system from attacking the body. There are cells that exist to recognise autoimmune antibodies, and make sure that these autoantibodies are shutdown or killed. However in autoimmune diseases the fail-safes fail and so the production of autoantibodies is allowed to continue. So the immune system is simulated in a way that results in it attacking the body, it is unable to shut down autoantibodies, and will not cease their production. When enough damage results you have what is called an autoimmune disease.

Autoimmune reactions can result from chronic stress, leaky gut, infection or some kind of toxic exposure because they stimulate the immune system.

The Gut-Hormone Connection Stealing your Energy:

There is a direct correlation between how exhausted the adrenal glands are and how damaged the gut lining has become.

When you are first having adrenal fatigue, and increased cortisol levels, it can take a few years of stress before GI symptoms result. It is practically a prerequisite to have a gut problem if you have notable adrenal gland burnout. It is also the case that notable gut problems are usually accompanied by some level adrenal fatigue. They cannot be separated.

Cortisol is in charge of the secretion of immunoglobulin A (SIgA). Immunoglobulins protect the intestinal lining against potential foods that could be reactive or cause a problem. It also protects you against potential pathogens like bacteria and parasites or yeast. So, if your adrenals are burned out they cannot produce enough cortisol and your SIgA drops. This is why there is a direct relationship between how stressed you are and your gut health.

If you’re doing something to inflame your gut, you drive cortisol up, because cortisol is an anti-inflammatory hormone. So damage to the gut makes the adrenals worse and damage to the adrenals makes the gut worse. NSAIDs, substances like alcohol and poor dietary decisions cause gut inflammation.

Physical stress can be equally as damaging as emotional stress. So, both physical stress and emotional stress do the same thing, they drive cortisol up and cause gut immunity to drop.

There is a process by which cortisol becomes high, and then later becomes low. Initially we react to stress in such a way that our cortisol levels go up. However if this goes on too long our cortisol levels drop. This process exemplifies the stages of adrenal fatigue.

In stage 1 of adrenal fatigue cortisol levels are high. In stage 2 cortisol levels start to drop. And finally, in stage 3 cortisol levels become very low. The lower the cortisol the more fatigued the adrenals are, and therefore the harder the problem is to fix. An individual with more adrenal fatigue will have more gut issues and their situation will be harder to fix.

Low cortisol also relates to the accumulation of body fat, fatigue, and low sex drive.

How Leaky Gut is Probably Causing All Your Skin Problems

You might have dysbiosis, SIBO, parasites, fungal overgrowth, intestinal permeability, or just a lack of beneficial bacteria. All of these things can directly and indirectly contribute towards a plethora of skin problems. Changes in the gut flora can be due to antibiotic use, not being breast-fed, being born via Caesarean section, eating a poor diet, chronic stress, sleep deprivation, exposure to environmental toxins, et cetera. Changes in gut fora then predispose people to intestinal permeability and inflammation, which as mentioned leads to an inflammatory skin response.
Substance P is a neuropeptide that is produced in the gut, the brain and the skin. Altered gut microbiom promotes the release of substance P in both the gut and the skin. Probiotics have been shown to attenuate or mitigate the situation regarding gut flora.

The gut microbiome also influence lipids and tissue fatty acid profiles, which in turn influence sebum production (an oily waxy substance produced by the sebaceous glands in the skin) and the fatty acid composition of the sebum itself. This can predispose individuals to acne.

There are have a myriad of studies that have noted a significant connection between gut and skin issues.

Two researchers Stokes and Pillsberry were talking about the gut skin axis, as far back as the early 1900s. They said that there is an important link between emotion and skin issues such as acne outbreaks, erythema, urticaria and dermatitis via the physiology and bacteriology of the gut. They noted research at the time that indicated that 40% of acne prone individuals in a given sample had low stomach acid. Low stomach acid can contribute towards SIBO and intestinal permeability. Low stomach acid can therefore contribute to the development of skin issues.

Stokes and Pillsberry suggested a number of remedies including probiotics and cod liver oil (a rich source of EPA and DHEA). EPA and DHEA are both anti-inflammatory. Additionally cod liver oil is a rich source of vitamin A (preformed vitamin A- retinol).

How Gut Inflammation Triggers Depression

There are systemic effects to anti-depressants and psychotropic medicines. In 2009 there were about 235 billion prescriptions written for anti-depressants. The effects of anti-depressants and psychotropic medicines are not completely understood in all cases. That said, they can be very helpful. They are not magic pills. In fact in some cases they may not be the right instrument compared to modulating the immune system and modulating pathology via managing diet, managing gut microbiome, and making sleep changes. Lifestyle changes are more in line with our very complicated pathophysiology than the usage of psychiatric medications.

Inflammatory cytokine model of depression: inflammatory cytokines could be crossing the blood/brain barrier suppressing activity in the frontal cortex which may lead to depression.

If the microbiome is off in your gut it will cause an inflammatory reaction. The immune system near the gut will release sorts of inflammatory cytokines including interleukin 1 (IL 1) and interleukin 6 (IL 6). They send a direct message to the hypothalamus, which in turn tells the pituitary gland to the signal the adrenal glands to release more cortisol. It follows that gut issues can lead to depression, or manifest as the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

How important is it for people to address the gut during the treatment of anxiety and depression?

Switching from a diet of highly processed food to a diet of less processed food will help the gut. Managing sleep is going to help the gut. All these things can affect the gut bacteria and the stress response.

In Victorian times they used to treat TB, depression and anxiety by visiting the seashore wherein they stay out in the sunshine and eat fish. Additionally individuals were taken to countryside mental institutions where they would be taken out in the early morning into the sunshine. When individuals were manic they would lock them in a dark room. Mania is characterised by immense energy, but also psychotic delusions. It happens in various disorders including bipolar and schizophrenia.

You can temporarily sleep deprive a depressed individual for half a night. Their depression will get immediately better, but once they sleep normally it will return as it was before.

Chronic sleep deprivation is a stressor that can cause depression. We are having around 20 less hours of sleep a week relative to 60-70 years ago.

Interestingly a 10,000 lux light box used before 10am in the morning from September to March can be as effective as an antidepressant. This is known as chronotherapy. However it is risky to use the light box after 10am, especially if you have a family history of bipolar.

If you have depression is it prudent to get up at 6:00am or 7:00am and go outside for some morning sun exposure. It is also a good idea to avoid night computer use. If you use your computer at night use blue blockers install Flux on your computer for use after sunset. This will help reset your circadian rhythm.

The blue light sends a signal to the hypothalamus saying “goodmorning”.

Useful to Some: Insane Beauty Bargains (UK) 15.12.14.

£5 in Boyes, these Revlon Age Defying Makeup foundations (I assume) have an impressive ingredient profile and are SPF15. They are absent of major irritants such as some alcohols, camphor, and volatile oils. They also contain a number of antioxidants too, fairly far up the ingredient list, including vitamin C. They have a formula similar to Age Defying CC Cream SPF 30 by Revlon, which received a ‘best’ rating in the Paula’s Choice Beautipedia.
I use this sunscreen in the morning. It is extremely basic, and contains nothing of value other than SPF 30. That said, it is non-irritating and only £5 in Boots.
Generally Olay moisturisers contain niacinamide, which helps the skin retain its barrier, helps moisturise the skin, and increases microcirculation in the skin in such a way that is beneficial. This particular cream also contains green tea extract fairly far up the ingredient list, which is particularly useful in dealing with any form of facial inflammation, rosacea or acne. You can find this in Superdrug, but you will need a bottle to transfer the contents into. The useful ingredients will break down in the jaw once it is opened.
I bought one of these! They have pretty moisturising formulas but do contain ammonia, which will damage your hair. So, your hair will look better than it would have, if you had used a less moisturising formula, but your hair will still be damaged. You can find this in Discount UK for £2.
Clearasil Ulta Overnight Face Lotion is a cheap BHA, 2% salicylic acid. It has an okay formula, and I would suggest that someone with hardier acne prone skin should buy it. You can buy in Discount UK for £2. Simply put, this will dissolve blockages in your pores quite effectively. It will definitely help an acne prone individual.
Neutrogena Visibly Clear Spot Stress Control; Ultra-Light Spot Treatment Moisturiser, has some green tea extract fairly far up the ingredient list. Additionally it is a fairly non-irritating BHA, 2% salicylic acid. I think it will be more beneficial for an acne prone individual to use this instead of the Clearasil Ultra Overnight Face Lotion. I can conceive that it might have additional anti-inflammatory properties. You can find this in Tesco.
Milk Thistle supplementation is one of way of increasing levels of serum glutathione, which can alleviate acne. Essentially acne prone individuals tend to have lower levels of glutathione in their bodies. Glutathione is an antioxidant that exists in the body. You can find this fairly priced pack of 30 tablets in Superdrug.
This looks really promising, whilst the rest of the new Superdrug line looks like cosmetic trash. Their anti-aging serums are alcohol based, which is proaging!
Sorry about the picture. You should be able to see that this CC cream contains nothing particularly scary alongside vitamin E, vitamin C, panthenol, and harmless fruit extracts. The fruit extracts may provide antioxidant benefits at best. Nevertheless, this is a decent product for a great price. You can find this in Superdrug.

I’m sorry about the quality of the images. This was a spontaneous post based on my failed licorice product hunt. 🙂

Journal Log 5. 15.12.14. Patterns in Flushing and Gut Issues.

Hello there,
I have noted a few little things, the significance of them is not yet known. I still haven’t had a serious flushing episode, it has been about 10 days now! There has been a slight change in  the flushing, until very recently my face would become progressively more flushed and red throughout the day, but it would not progress in such a way as to cause too much distress. For the last two days this has not happened, and I have instead had ‘micro flushes’. So, my face will go bright red, so red it will be practically luminous, and then return to normal in a few minutes. It did this a grand total of four times yesterday and so I flushed for maybe fifteen minutes at most throughout the day. Weird. I think this is significant in two ways. The first is that my face is returning to normal quickly which indicates that the vascular system in my face is not overly damaged. The second is that this may not qualify as rosacea flushing as my face is returning to normal very quickly. That said, there is definitely something wrong with me. It is also possible that I have another broken capillary but I can’t tell  for sure. But then again the flushes may simply be short lived because of my efforts in controlling them.

I have been mixing a pea sized amount of Adapalene cream (a fairly non-irritating retinoid generally used to treat acne) into my moisturiser for the last two nights and applying it to my face. The Adapalene seems to reduce overall background facial redness, probably because it is a fairly powerful anti-inflammatory. I have had no general negative reactions to it if anything my skin feels better. It is possible that because my flushing started during a course of accutane, Adapalene is a retinoid and therefore a derivative of vitamin A, Adapalene is having a peculiar twofold effect on my face. It was claimed by some individuals in the Post Accutane/Minocycline Facial Flushing thread on (see the very very long thread here: that vitamin A in consumption and topical application can worsen post-accutane flushing. However, Adapalene is poorly absorbed to the point where any absorption may be undetectable in humans (see here: I wouldn’t necessarily say my flushing has worsened, just changed, and there are number of potential factors that might have contributed. For example it is a hormonal time for me as a female, I have been eating a lot of wheat as a negative experiment, and I forgot to apply my aspirin face mask yesterday. Overall I think Adapalene is fine to use in instances of acne rosacea, but some caution is required in cases of post-accutane flushing.

I have one additional point to make regarding skin. If anyone ever finds themselves in my situation, remember to use your aspirin face mask religiously every two days! Essentially, it  seems to reduce facial redness, limit the severity of facial flushing and may have antiangiogenic properties. Preventative measures need to be repeated to do just that, prevent something from happening.

I have been deliberately eating a lot of wheat for the past three days as some kind of really crude test to see how it affects me. Yes I know, I need to up my game. Anyway, having eaten flour slices of bread and two bowls of knock-off Shreddies everyday for the last three days, I have a headache, fatigue, and embarrassing bathroom delight. I feel like I am going to die, and unfortunately I am going to try to continue this for another four days. On reflection I think my symptoms were much worse when I was a vegetarian and ate a lot of carbohydrates. I think I have a number of sensitivities corresponding to different issues. However, I think it is not so clear cut, I have sensitivities to constituents rather than simply foods. The table below shows my limited understanding of the matter.

Problematic Foods


Gut Issues












It is very clear that I should not eat any form of sweet junk food, and that I seem to have issues with some sorts of fibre. Protein is normally harder to digest than other foods, and so perhaps it makes sense that if I have something wrong with me I might struggle. On the other hand, I might for some reason be easily satiated by it and not actually struggle with its digestion. Perhaps, I have low stomach acid or some such thing. Anyway, I will torture myself with knock-off Shreddies for long enough for me to definitively conclude that my malaise is because of it. Then, I will cease to eat wheat for a yet to be specified period of time.

I remember doing quite well on some kind of lazy Paleo FODMAP diet. I simply cross referenced FODMAP food lists with Paleo food lists and ate that way for around 70% of the time. However, I was undone by eggs. I will repeat this process but I make a number of adjustments:

  • Include probiotics
  • Include more probiotic foods
  • Remove wheat entirely
  • Eat rice porridge made with almond milk for breakfast*
  • Take licorice supplements*

*I used to eat rice porridge everyday for breakfast, but it seemed to make my acne worse. It may have done this in part because of the milk used to make it, and so I will experiment with milk alternatives. When I was eating rice porridge for breakfast I had symptom free days,

*I am currently writing a post on licorice supplementation for rosacea. In summary, but I assure you I have a myriad of references to back this up as you will see soon, licorice seems to make it difficult for H pylori to adhere to the stomach mucus lining and has anti-H pylori activity. It is also antiangiogenic. That said, it is a complicated substance with both good and bad side effects. It also interacts with a lot of medications. So, do not take it without thorough research in regards to dosages, side effects and interactions.

That’s it for now, I’ll keep you posted.

Useful to Some: SCD Lifestyle Simplified Video Transcriptions II

SCD Lifestyle is essentially a business that creates profit by educating individuals about gut health. It makes sense to do such a thing, as the individuals who run the business have put a lot of effort and research into dealing with their gut issues, so they might as well profit right? Actually, I don’t think the answer to that question is so straightforward.

Nevertheless, I have written transcripts for a few of their videos. When I first watched the videos I found them pretty overwhelming and so I attempted to make sense of the information presented through writing. Hopefully someone will find this useful, and may even come up with ideas regarding what might be causing their gut issues. Remember, you can find your own answers.

Here is the second list of transcripts.

The Sure Fire Way to Create more Chronic Disease

Any condition that you’re going to your Doctor for, that is resistant to the correct treatment, might be resistant because of inflammation in your body. That is, a leaky gut. Inflammation may worsen just about every condition so it is prudent to check for signs of a leaky gut. For example chronic fatigue syndrome may be linked to intestinal permeability. Not every condition is, but many are connected to intestinal permeability. It follows that to prevent the progression of the disease if you have leaky gut, you must act to stop leaky gut from getting worse.

Autoimmune diseases are the number 3 cause of morbidity and mortality in the world (getting sick and dying). The mechanisms underpinning different autoimmune conditions are very similar despite the different ways in which the diseases are managed and treated.

Autoimmune diseases stem from a genetic vulnerability, which couple with environmental triggers (bodily insults) to produce disease. One of the most common environmental triggers is food. Consider how much food you eat in your life. So, the food you eat is an environmental trigger for possible disease. The third thing relating to the development of autoimmune diseases is intestinal permeability, and therefore the treating of intestinal permeability can prevent the development of autoimmune disease.

Are you Gaining Weight because your Metabolism is Broken?

Metabolism is a chemical process that occurs within a living organism to try to maintain life. There are generally two types of metabolism. Constructive or anabolic metabolism is the building up and synthesis of proteins, carbohydrates and fats to create tissue and to store energy. Destructive or catabolic metabolism is the breaking down of chemical substances as to produce energy or excrete waste. The goal of metabolism is to help maintain homeostasis, the sort of balance necessary to maintain life. There are different aspects to homeostasis, including temperature.

In some overweight people, their metabolism is damaged. It is possible to damage your metabolism by overwhelming it with negative variables. There are so many different variables that can overwhelm homeostasis as to lead to the accumulation of bodyfat, some of which are in our control and others not. For example there are generational (epigenetic) effects, so the way the generations before you lived influences you now! Additionally the maternal relationship with your mother can influence how likely you are to accumulate body fat. Infections can result in a change in the microbiota in your body, too, which can encourage the accumulation of body fat.

There are so far over nineteen known ways in which the gut can become leaky.

Obesity is categorised as a body mass index (height to weight ratio) of 30 or more. The number itself doesn’t necessarily reflect what is happening in your body. There are about 50 or more comorbidities that accompany obesity. In other words you more likely to acquire at least 50 different conditions if you are obese. Of course being more to likely to develop a disease doesn’t mean you will get the disease. Obesity is likely an indication that there is something wrong with your body.

What Food Sensitivities are Telling you about Infertility Problems

Food sensitivities indicate that your immune system is dysregulated. There are common factors that unite couples struggling to conceive, including common food sensitivities. For example they may struggle with gluten or dairy. This means that the immune system is using precious energy to create antibodies designed to attack food particles. Food sensitivities can lead to greater intestinal permeability and consequently cause even more problems in the body.

Just because you don’t feel ill when you eat something does not mean you are not sensitive to it. It is possible that you may not be aware of the negative internal processes that result from you eating a food. A food you are sensitive to, will cause inflammation in the body which will speed up the aging process. For example food sensitivities encourage blood vessel damage which may contribute to atherosclerosis.

Food sensitivities are not necessary for you to have a degree of intestinal permeability. This is because there are many causes of intestinal permeability, such as antibiotics or chemical triggers. Poor intestinal flora can also cause intestinal permeability. However, food sensitivities are the most common cause of intestinal permeability.

How a Leaky Gut Jumpstarts Autoimmunity and Massive Inflammation

Your body’s functioning is dependent on the health of your digestive system. The bacteria is your gut interact with the gut wall, in such a way that merely having the wrong kind of bacteria or having them in the wrong places can cause a leaky gut. Approximately 80% of your immune system is housed within the tissues of our gut. This why leaky gut is linked to practically all chronic diseases. Furthermore chronic systemic inflammation, which can be the result of a leaky gut, is a contributor to all forms of chronic illness. It follows that the barrier function of the gut is one of the most critical aspects to health.

The intestinal barrier is deigned to absorb the nutrients, both macro and micro, into the body. It is also designed to keep everything else out, such as viruses and parasites. Waste, bacterial fragments (dead bacteria), excess hormones and endotoxins are all things that are supposed to leave the digestive system. However, with a leaky gut they have the opportunity to enter the body and stimulate the immune system.

The body can in a sense ‘detoxify’ or remove waste products from itself. There is a system in the body designed to do this, including the liver. The liver detoxifies through a series of chemical reactions. The products of these reactions are sent to the kidneys to removed via the urine or to the gallbladder to be excreted.

Leaky gut allows these waste products to reenter the body which triggers the immune system. This can cause different parts of the immune system to react. Some kinds of reaction include the innate immune system which causes generalised inflammation. These immune cells exist and travel throughout the body and play a part in general inflammation. They attack nonspecifically. Alternatively the adaptive immune system can be activated, which specifically attacks targets, which is what happens in autoimmunity. Unfortunately, both kinds of immune system can be activated simultaneously by a leaky gut. Either way, the immune system will attack the body targeted or not.

The barrier function of the gut is critical in regulating the immune system. In no way is a leaky gut beneficial to the human body.

Journal Log 4. 12.12.14. Thinking about Flushing: A Brief Update.

Hello there,
I haven’t had a serious flushing episode in nearly a week, but my skin gradually becomes redder and tingly most nights and mornings still. It is akin is a low grade flush without a notable stimuli. I appear to have fairly persistent erythema on the right side of my face, but not all the time. To start what I have cannot yet be called rosacea, for I have not as Crawford, Pelle and James (2004) would note, had the erythema for three months yet. And, I don’t want to. Furthermore, they note that a history of acne is not usually present (Crawford, Pelle, & James, 2004). Unfortunately I have a history of severe cystic acne, and now I have flushing and mild acne.
Additionally isotretinoin generally reduces some measure of blood flow in the face and helps with erythema as part of rosacea (Korting, & Schöllmann, 2009). Unfortunately isotretinoin caused a flushing side effect, and this was recognised by my dermatologist. She stated it may or may go away. It did indeed go away, and come back with a vengeance.
Weirdly, the flushing started with an alteration in gut issues, which leads me to ask what in the world is happening?
Something strange is going on, I also now have mild shooting pains that last for less than a second and appear and reappear all over my body. Great.
I am under the impression that I have vascular weakness caused by genetics, sun exposure during accutane (SPF 15 isn’t good enough Zoe!), accutane side effects and the unfortunate tendency of sitting too close to the fire when I was younger. That this weakness is working with some kind of bodily inflammation because there is something wrong with me, which is causing flushing. I hypothesise that it could be a sort of infection acquired, or perhaps some kind of autoimmune response maybe. I can’t wait for the blood test on Thursday. On the bright side I have been feeling quite content psychologically of late, I find investigating and planning empowering. I am the researcher archetype after all.

So far, the clonidine is mildly effective, but not quite effective enough, based on what I have read so far antidepressants are better. I will be seeing Dr Pande in a month and I will arrive with an antidepressant request. I haven’t decided which one yet. The clonidine has caused dizziness, fatigue, and lightheadedness. I thought I was going to faint some this morning. Thankfully, it isn’t too much too handle. But I might be able to use this to acquire a superior anti-flush medication.

The seborrhea dermatitis I was diagnosed with has disappeared after a single wash with Neutrogena T Gel. Like I said, it was the mildest seborrhea dermatitis in the world. It was a decent shampoo but I felt that it was a bit harsh on my hair, which I am trying to grow.

In terms of routine, I am taking vitamin D3 without any notable issues, magnesium oxide, vitamin B6,  Zinc gluconate and two cloves of garlic a night.  No one has stated or noted that I smell of garlic even though I have requested honest objective answers on multiple occasions. They don’t seem to be making the situation worse.

My skin is recovering in terms of sensitivity, and I am able to use my niacinamide moisturiser a few nights in a row. Tonight I will apply a simple mineral oil based moisturizer mixed with a tiny amount of adapalene to see whether my skin can tolerate it. Because the niacinamide moisturiser has sunscreen actives that I might be inappropriate for my skin I will be replacing it as soon as it runs out, perhaps I will be able to transfer a jar of sensitive Olay night cream into a bottle to preserve the antioxidant and cell communicating ingredients.

I will be learning how to use freshly brewed green tea as a toner due to its antiinflammatory and antioxidant properties. I have a very concentrated green tea every morning, and I believe the antiangiogenic properties  might be worth the temporary increase in facial flushing (see here: Green tea basically protects skin from UV damage which is apparently attributed in part in the development of rosacea. I might as well use the tea. As a precaution I will use the tea after any possible reaction to the adapalene subsides and so I might try it in about a week.

I am currently using an aspirin mask every two days. I found this in a US patent ““Aspirin and E5510 (described by Fujimori, T., et at., Jpn J Pharmacol (1991) 55(I):81-91) inhibit NF-KB activation”, essentially aspirin can be used to offset a part of the inflammatory process that contributes towards hypervascularity in rosacea. This was also noted by Odom. “According to Odom, the use of low-dose aspirin, presumably to inhibit cutaneous reactions to inflammatory mediators such as prostaglandins and bradykinin, is based on clinical observation” (Crawford, Pelle, & James, 2004). Do note I haven’t orally took aspirin for several days. Interesting this also applies to quercetin and NAC. I have some NAC in the cupboard. Essentially it can be used to increase levels of glutathione in the body, which is an antioxidant people with acne have less of. In increasing the levels of glutathione acne becomes less severe (see here: This indicates that NAC can be using in treating acne and rosacea!

“Indirect MMP inhibitors include the kinase inhibitors genistein and quercetin (as described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,637,703, 5,665,367, and FR-A-2,671,724, and related compounds, as well as other antioxidants such as NAC (N-acetyl cysteine), discussed below.”

I have found evidence for the use of vitamin E, and magnesium oxide in reducing flushing but I have yet to write about it. Through more indirect mechanisms lactobacillus reuteri,  and oral licorice may also be useful.

Essentially my plan is to research and compile data to do with the first type of rosacea, store it here, construct a thorough plan of action and use it to limit the flushing and telangiectasia while I find out what is wrong with me.  I think this is particularly important as I am under the impression that the online rosacea community is fragmented and full of anecdotes. Acne has Acne Einstein, Clear Skin for Forever, and Skinacea, which generally review the scientific literature on acne, what does rosacea have? I would to clarify that this is the immediate impression I have as someone who has only recently developed flushing.

In terms of my everyday life, I have my university exams in about five weeks, which is no big deal as there are a mere two easy exams. So I will be applying child developmental psychology as part of revision, to my own experiences in this blog. Tomorrow I will have been with my boyfriend for a year. He’s pretty awesome. 🙂

Crawford, G., Pelle, M., & James, W. (2004). Rosacea: I. Etiology, pathogenesis, and subtype classification. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 51 (3), 327–341.

Korting, H., & Schöllmann C. (2009). Current Topical and Systematic Approaches to Treatment of Rosacea. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology. 23 (8), 876-882.

Useful to Some: Licorice in Skin Care Products for Rosacea

I scoured the Paula’s Choice Beautipedia, and came across a collection of products that are gentle, contain useful ingredients such as antioxidants, have a ‘best’ or ‘good’ rating in the Beautipedia, contain licorice extracts (usually root extracts) and are probably useful in dealing with rosacea. The sunscreen actives are generally zinc oxide based and decent for sensitive skin. These are affordable at anywhere between £6 and £15.

Unfortunately, they can be quite difficult to find in the UK. No, doubt I will be on the prowl today. I’ll keep you posted.

Check out Paula’s Choice Beautipedia:

  • Face and Neck face factor 30 broad spectrum, Kiss my Face, price: $12.95“Face Factor Face + Neck SPF 30 is a truly outstanding product in the Kiss My Face line! This in-part zinc oxide sunscreen for normal to dry skin contains a very good array of antioxidants, soothing agents, emollients, and the cell-communicating ingredients. Well done, and it’s fragrance-free, too! That is a great change of pace! This formula should be suitable for those struggling with dry skin and occasional breakouts; however, as with any skin-care product, it takes experimentation to discover what works best for you.”

The presence of vitamin C in an affordable SPF is impressive.

Some its ingredients: “Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Glycerin,  Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil,  Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Oleosomes, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Glycrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Extract, Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Sodium Chloride, Linoleic Acid”


There are few active ingredients, but they are presence, it is a pity regarding the small amount of liquorice.

Contains: “Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate (Licorice Root), Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract (Oat)”
It leaves a slight white cast.

  • OAT PROTEIN COMPLEX SUN SCREEN SPF 18 by Kiss My Face ,Price: $11.95 (no longer recommended for rosacea skin due to a change in formulation- but worth a shot)

Some of its ingredients: “Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera Gel) Leaf Juice, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower Oil) Seed Oil, Glycerin, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower), Avena Sativa (Oat), Betaglucan, Avena Sativa (Oat) Proteins, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Glycrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Extract, Carota Sativa (Carrot) Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Extract”


There are not so many active ingredients in the CC cream, but the quantity is notable.

Some of its ingredients: “Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract, Saxifraga Sarmentosa (Strawberry Saxifrage) Extract,  Scutellaria Baicalensis (Balkal Skullcap) Extract, Morus Bombycis (Mulberry) Root Extract, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Niacinamide””


Some of its ingredients: “Niacinamide, Ascorbyl Glucoside Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract, Saxifraga Sarmentosa (Strawberry Saxifrage) Extract, Hydrolyzed Glycosaminoglycans, Scutellaria Baicalensis (Baikal Skullcap) Root Extract, Morus Bombycis (Chinese Mulberry) Root Extract”

  • LINE SMOOTHING MAKEUP SPF 15 by Almay ,Price:$13.99

The presence of vitamin C in an affordable foundation is extremely impressive.

Some of its ingredients: “Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract Sodium Hyaluronate, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract (Licorice), Punica Granatum Extract, Centaurea Cyanus Flower Extract, Erythrulose, Algae Extract, Vitis Vinifera Seed Extract (Grape), Cucumis Sativus Flower Extract (Cucumber), Hydrolyzed Glycosaminoglycans, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Caffeine, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil, Aspalathus Linearis Leaf Extract”