(Video) The Acne, Caffeine, and Estrogen Connection
Acne is not just a problem for teenagers; it can develop and persist well into adulthood and a whopping 80 of us will struggle with it at some point in our lives. There is a common misbelief that acne is a topical issue, and hundreds of millions of dollars are thrown down the drain every year on topical acne products that simply don’t work. In fact, many topical acne products actually make acne worse because they increase inflammation, irritation, and skin dryness, which causes an increase in the production of pore-clogging sebum. Acne is a lifestyle disease, caused by an unhealthy, inflammatory diet, toxic overload, lack of sleep, and chronic stress. Caffeine consumption is another major contributor to acne because of its stress inducing and hormone altering effects on your body. So if you want to heal acne for good, ditch that cup a joe and listen-up.
The Caffeine and Acne Connection
Every time you consume caffeine, it stimulates your adrenal glands, which are responsible for the fight or flight response. Caffeine confuses your adrenals and causes them to release stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenalin in or to prepare your body to fight the perceived threat. The release of these hormones is what produces the stimulatory effect of caffeine. Unfortunately, your adrenal glands can only take so much, and chronic caffeine intake can cause them to weaken and stop releasing adequate levels of essential hormones. As a result, the blood sugar regulating hormone-insulin becomes impaired and blood sugar fluctuations become rampant. The consequent rising and falling of blood sugar leads to extra inflammation and it makes your skin produce more acne-causing sebum. In addition, your thyroid, (which also produces a variety of vital hormones and relies on your adrenal glands for many functions), begins to weaken. This combination increases inflammation further — worsening the swelling and redness of acne lesions. All of the changes in your body caused by caffeine, also results in a reduction of important sex hormones such as testosterone and progesterone.
The Caffeine, Estrogen Dominance and Acne Connection
The majority of adult acne cases are caused by, or in the very least exacerbated by, hormone imbalances. You need progesterone in order to keep estrogen levels in balance, and the reduction of progesterone caused by caffeine can lead to a condition known as estrogen dominance. When estrogen dominance occurs, insulin levels rise, which leads to excess pore clogging androgens and more acne. Estrogen dominance also causes numerous additional symptoms including weight gain; hair, libido and muscle mass loss; PMS, depression, mood disorders, impotence and increased cancer risk.
The Effects of Caffeine on Your Thyroid and Adrenal Glands
The chronic overstimulation of your adrenal glands caused by consuming caffeine regularly, eventually leads to adrenal burnout, fatigue or insufficiency. Adrenal burnout not only contributes to acne, it also makes you feel lousy because it slows down your heart rate, and causes blood sugar crashes, insomnia, consistent fatigue, brain fog, muscle tightness, and low blood pressure, amongst other symptoms.
The Solution for Radiant Skin
The first solution to eliminating the effects of caffeine on your skin, is obvious — ditch the caffeine. Avoid coffee, tea, soda, and energy drinks. Sugary beverages, alcohol and cigarettes, should also be avoided because they too cause overstimulation of the adrenal glands, blood sugar fluctuations and inflammation. Cocoa also contains caffeine, so limit your intake of chocolate, because it contains both sugar and caffeine – a double acne whammy! Try drinking herbal teas, lemon water and 100 coconut water.
Although eliminating caffeine is an important step on the path to radiant skin, the damage already caused by too much stress, caffeine and other lifestyle factors also needs to be addressed. Start exercising regularly, consuming at least 8 glasses of water daily, and eating a whole-foods, plant based diet. Avoid dairy (a major acne contributor), reduce meat (it increases inflammation and is loaded with hormones), and eat a high fiber diet to help absorb and eliminate excess toxins.
Finally, talk to your healthcare practitioner about taking a supplement to help cleanse your liver and reverse estrogen dominance. EstroBlock Pro (http://estroblock.com/estroblock-pro/) is a potent source of Diindolylmethane (DIM), indole-3 carbinole, and a range of inflammation-fighting, liver-cleansing herbs such as wasabi root powder and chrysin. Taking EstroBlock Pro helps to reduce extra estradiol and reverse estrogen dominance. It also reduces inflammation and strengthens liver function (which is essential for healthy skin). Although it was originally developed with the primary purpose of reducing estrogen, EstroBlock Pro has now become world-renowned for its ability to help reverse acne and promote radiant, clear skin, even in the most stubborn of cases.