One of the biggest problems that plagued me from grade school through college was every teenager’s worst nightmare: acne. For years, acne hampered my confidence and self-worth. I would stare in the mirror just counting my zits—I would have given anything to make just ten of the biggest ones go away. I used to beg my sister to go buy me make-up and help me apply it—not great for the ego.
In an effort to understand and correct my acne problem, I sought the advice of every website and medical professional I could find. I tried retinol (high dose, synthetic vitamin A), Clearasil®, Proactiv®, and every scrub and facial wash I could find. Eventually in college, I ran out of options and I went to the dermatologist.
I remember during that two-minute visit how she took one look at my skin and told me I had rosacea. No testing. No effort to understand. No questioning allowed. It’s rosacea. She then prescribed me an antibiotic. When I went to the pharmacist they dropped the straw that broke the back—the prescription would cost me $220.
Disillusioned, I still tried it and when it failed, I went back and was prescribed Accutane. No discussion of diet, lifestyle or natural preventative techniques—she kept going straight to drugs.
Accutane has a Black Box Warning. A Black Box Warning is put on a box as a bold warning that there are serious or even life-threatening risks associated with the drug. My acne was bad. But it wasn’t that bad.
Accutane was developed in 1982 and was taken off the market in 2009. It has severe side effects including Crohn’s, birth defects and liver damage. It’s so hard on your liver that it’s required by doctors to monitor your liver enzymes.
A direct quote from Roche from an article in DrugWatch, the company that manufactured Accutane, on why they stopped producing the drug: “It was an economic decision based on generic brands of the medication taking over the market.”
Horrifying, but I commend them for telling the truth. It’s all economics.
It was later in my life that I realized my dermatologist was being paid by the drug companies to pimp their product. This type of information is being made public through a site called Dollars for Docs. Want to see if your doctor is on this list? Check out a list of Medina, Ohio doctors being paid by the pharmaceutical companies to sell their drugs by clicking here.
My father, Douglas Weeks, M.D., used to tell me that when a drug has been on the shelf for about 20 years, all the negative research and aspects of that medication come out. Coincidentally (or not), 20 years happens to also be the expiration of patents on medications.
What Actually Causes Acne?
I eventually cleared up my acne in graduate school when I gained knowledge of its true causes.
So when a young girl named Taliah recently came into my office with severe acne at the same age I got mine, my heart just melted. Melted for a teenage girl whose confidence was being destroyed like mine was so many years ago.
Before she came into our office, the solutions that had been offered to her were the typical waste-of-time, high-side-effect drugs: steroids and antibiotics. When those failed, she was given more antibiotics. As if her problem was an antibiotic deficiency.
You can imagine her desperation in coming to a chiropractor for help—chiropractors can only help with back and neck pain, right?
Instead of sending her back to the dermatologist and specialist to continue a life of medications and side effects, I wanted to take a radically different approach. I decided to address the cause and I did so by following these three steps:
- Heal the gut with safe herbs, bone broth and fermented foods.
- Stop eating inflammatory foods such as processed carbohydrates and heated, free radical vegetable oils.
- Replace the lost nutrients with probiotics, enzymes and trace minerals.
How much did this process cost? How many doctors, drug companies and hospital systems made money on this? Who wins out when I tell someone how to undergo a protocol that can enable permanent healing? Only Taliah wins, but can you imagine that win? Look how beautiful she is and I can tell she sees it now. Seeing this picture made me cry. How do you factor that into economics?
If you or someone you know has a health problem that’s not getting better. Maybe you should take a radically different approach and let us help you find the cause. Six months of working with us is cheaper than one night in the hospital and usually a thousand times more effective.
Looking back on my acne I am actually extremely thankful to have experienced it, however awful it was at the time. I’m thankful because it led me to gain a greater understanding about nutrition, lifestyle and life.
There are no shortcuts.