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Thread: Flushing and high glycemic index foods

  1. #11
    Senior Member Nadine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Birdie View Post
    I agree that diet is significantly important. I have seen the good results changing diet makes on
    My skin. However, to say that other rosaceans "prefer" to take topicals or antibioticsetc.... Is downright
    Inaccurate. Even with a change in diet, a prescription med may be STILL necessary as maintenance
    Or occassionaly to bring it under control. Rosacea is varied in symptoms as we know; and the tools
    In the toolbox can and should be used without burden of guilt.
    I think in a lot of cases - maybe the majority, I don't know - that's true. People either don't fully understand how diet and lifestyle contribute, or don't fully understand some of the long term risks of the prescriptions, or are not getting relief just through diet and lifestyle changes. But I can speak for my younger self and say that I did make a choice to continue drinking alcohol even though I knew it triggered flushing. That was my preference at the time. (I also chose to keep eating sugar, but I didn't fully get how that was affecting me I don't think, so that was sort of a misinformed choice.)

    The other thing that makes these choices hard is that we don't fully understand how the different components of rosacea (which I think is a more accurate term than "subtypes" or "stages") work together. When I was younger, I took oral antibiotics because as far as I knew, it was the ONLY way to stop my eyes from itching, burning, and blurring. I didn't care about the flushing, because it didn't bother me much. In retrospect, I believe the foods that triggered my flushing were making my overall condition worse.

    Longwinded way of saying, I did "prefer" to take antibiotics for a long time, so I took Brady's statement in reference to preferences of that sort. But I didn't take it as blaming; we all make different choices based on the resources and information we have at our disposal.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Nadine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brady Barrows View Post
    And it is ok to make those who choose not to eat sugar feel ashamed and guilty for choosing not to eat? 'Oh, come on, what's wrong with apple pie and ice cream? Don't you love your grandma?' 'This egg nog is grandpa's recipe." "I especially bought this candy for you!" "I went to so much trouble making this just for you." Social beliefs are very strong and can make one feel guilty.
    Oh, the pressure to eat sweets can be intense! It can be especially hard for a thin person, which I used to be (not as much anymore). "Come on, you're so skinny, you can eat whatever you want!!" Afternoon cookies or cake at the office were the worst (now I work at home where I can eat my kale or lentil soup in peace). I'd say, "Uh, if I eat that, I'll go into a sugar coma and be useless the rest of the afternoon." "Oh, that's what coffee's for!"

    Then once I started understanding how my gut and skin problems, and even hair loss - which was pretty alarming for a while there - were traceable to sugar, I just didn't even want to talk about it anymore. It started to feel way too complicated and a little more personal than I wanted to get into with most people. So I would just say, "Oh, sugar isn't good for me." The inevitable response: "Oh, but it's not good for anyone! <as they munch on a frosted cupcake> Come on, you can cheat a little! These are sooooooo yummy!" And then if I still don't eat it, "Oh, you're so good, you have so much will power."

    "Stop trying to make me eat your crappy food," I'd feel like screaming! I'm still trying to figure out a sort of standard response in these situations! I like the peanut allergy or diabetes comparison. I'll work with that.
    Last edited by Nadine; 17th December 2013 at 08:08 PM.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Brady Barrows's Avatar
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    Nadine,

    Isn't it the norm that if you tell someone, 'I can't eat sugar, it makes me sick,' or 'if I eat that, my face with break out,' they look at you like your a nut and then encourage you again to eat it anyway?

    But what if you said, I am allergic to peanuts and can't eat this, they respect it. Maybe the best response is to say, 'I am allergic to what you are offering me' and not have to go into the details.

    My wife can't eat sugar because it causes arthritic pain in her joints, makes her terribly depressed and lethergic as a result of the rebound from the glycemic high. She loves the sugar taste and rush, which we all crave but the rebound can be dramatic in some. That's why they call it the sugar blues.

    If you never read the book, Sugar Blues, by William Dufty you should. This was the book I read in 1999 that changed my life style. I have been singing the sugar blues to all rosaceans since then and only a relatively small percentage will even consider giving up their sugar life style. I have a list of rosacea sufferers who have told me that removing sugar and high carbohydrate from their diet improves their rosacea dramatically. But when it comes to actual numbers, the percentage is very small compared to those who prefer treating their rosacea with prescription drugs. That is why Mirvaso will still make millions of dollars because the average rosacea sufferer wants a pill or a topical to deal with this and keep eating sugar. That's their choice. And they will find out what the consequences are for taking prescription drugs long term to treat their rosacea. And I have tried my best to educate and warn as many as possible of all this.
    Last edited by Brady Barrows; 17th December 2013 at 09:41 PM.
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    I don't know how to put a fancy quote in only part of someone's response, all I know is Nadine's finding that high G.I foods don't always cause flushing BAM on their own, but def put me in a more flush-prone state. I'm so glad someone articulated that because I think that helped make sense of the inconsistency's I have been experiencing.

    I've made major major major lifestyle changes, and I'm on meds (recently diagnosed).... I think as of right now I am SO freaking lucky because I've gotten to a point to manage it. However, I am sscared to do anything with my meds now that I finally have myself under control. Except for excessive morning flaking around my nose/mouth.

    (That was me thinking outloud) BUT anyway. Thanks so much Nadine for this articulation. I agree. Even though excluding sugar is so sad, and these diet changes of mine has literally taken ALL JOY out of food for me (rofl it's dramatic, but it's so true) it has been effective.

  5. #15
    Senior Member Starlite's Avatar
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    Oh Man, top quality thread Nadine! I have been certain my flushing is directly related to blood sugar, or at least that's how I have been saying it. I've noticed it's more if the blood sugar crashes suddenly, then I flush badly. To me the flushing part is different then the red, rashy p&p part. That part I have totally well handled. I'm sure I started in with the occasional flushing again because I fell off the no wheat, sugar, and dairy wagon. I just wanted to mention I think you are describing it better by naming the glycemic index as what matters. That is right, the rapid rise and fall of blood sugar is all about the glycemic index of the food.

    I see people say pretty regularly that their Derm told them there is no causal relationship between rosacea and diet so I don't blame them for believing it. Even if they say to avoid "triggers" they aren't instructing people that a long term change can completely manage the issue. Even doing that, did not address my SBIO so there may be a need for some meds to deal with parts of this complicated monster.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Nadine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brady Barrows View Post
    Nadine,

    Isn't it the norm that if you tell someone, 'I can't eat sugar, it makes me sick,' or 'if I eat that, my face with break out,' they look at you like your a nut and then encourage you again to eat it anyway?
    Yep, that's the norm alright.

    But what if you said, I am allergic to peanuts and can't eat this, they respect it. Maybe the best response is to say, 'I am allergic to what you are offering me' and not have to go into the details.
    Yeah, one of the things that annoyed me was that whenever I gave a general answer like that, I found 9 out of 10 times the person seemed to sort of go into investigation mode and start asking for specifics. I've actually been amazed; there seems to be no social taboo about asking a relative stranger to discuss their health in detail. And when I've said flat out, "Oh, I'd rather not get into it," they usually proceed to tell me they have a good reason for asking, because of some issue of their own or someone in their family. Food issues are sort of a hot topic I guess. I usually end up coming across as a secretive weirdo for not wanting to talk about it, but I guess I just don't feel like discussing my gut flora every time I happen to find myself in front of an hors d'ouvres table!

    My wife can't eat sugar because it causes arthritic pain in her joints, makes her terribly depressed and lethergic as a result of the rebound from the glycemic high. She loves the sugar taste and rush, which we all crave but the rebound can be dramatic in some. That's why they call it the sugar blues.

    If you never read the book, Sugar Blues, by William Dufty you should. This was the book I read in 1999 that changed my life style. I have been singing the sugar blues to all rosaceans since then and only a relatively small percentage will even consider giving up their sugar life style. I have a list of rosacea sufferers who have told me that removing sugar and high carbohydrate from their diet improves their rosacea dramatically. But when it comes to actual numbers, the percentage is very small compared to those who prefer treating their rosacea with prescription drugs. That is why Mirvaso will still make millions of dollars because the average rosacea sufferer wants a pill or a topical to deal with this and keep eating sugar. That's their choice. And they will find out what the consequences are for taking prescription drugs long term to treat their rosacea. And I have tried my best to educate and warn as many as possible of all this.
    Thanks - I'll go check out that book! I got on an anti-sugar kick a few years ago when my mom had cancer and I read a book called AntiCancer: A New Way of Life, by David Servan-Schreiber. He goes into detail about how sugar and other high glycemic index foods break down quickly and contribute to the proliferation of cancerous cells. For a while after that I was really careful about sugar (and a lot of other lifestyle recommendations from the book), but then I started slacking off. Maybe Sugar Blues will help me get back on the wagon and stay there this time!

  7. #17
    Senior Member Nadine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KTM View Post
    I don't know how to put a fancy quote in only part of someone's response, all I know is Nadine's finding that high G.I foods don't always cause flushing BAM on their own, but def put me in a more flush-prone state. I'm so glad someone articulated that because I think that helped make sense of the inconsistency's I have been experiencing.

    I've made major major major lifestyle changes, and I'm on meds (recently diagnosed).... I think as of right now I am SO freaking lucky because I've gotten to a point to manage it. However, I am sscared to do anything with my meds now that I finally have myself under control. Except for excessive morning flaking around my nose/mouth.

    (That was me thinking outloud) BUT anyway. Thanks so much Nadine for this articulation. I agree. Even though excluding sugar is so sad, and these diet changes of mine has literally taken ALL JOY out of food for me (rofl it's dramatic, but it's so true) it has been effective.
    Oh, I hear you. When I was on my super-strict anti-candida diet, I felt like if I had to do the diet permanently my life would be over! I actually enjoyed the healthy food I was preparing at home, but I hated not being able to just partake of whatever was available at restaurants or graciously accept whatever was offered at someone else's home. Fortunately, I don't have to be quite that strict now, but I still have to be careful.

    One thing that helped me was the idea that (in my case) little yeast organisms that were overgrown in my system were the ones demanding the sugar. The idea was that I was basically starving them to death with the diet. I think what's also going on is that sugar is just addictive. I've been avoiding refined sugar (again) for the last few weeks (with a couple of oopsies over Thanksgiving), and I'm embarrassed to admit that I have a persistent mental fantasy running most of the time involving a chocolate milkshake (with whipped cream AND one of those horrible maraschino cherries that I don't even like!).

    It's an addiction. Quitting is hard!

  8. #18
    Senior Member Nadine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starlite View Post
    Oh Man, top quality thread Nadine!
    Thanks!



    I have been certain my flushing is directly related to blood sugar, or at least that's how I have been saying it. I've noticed it's more if the blood sugar crashes suddenly, then I flush badly. To me the flushing part is different then the red, rashy p&p part. That part I have totally well handled.
    Yeah, that's where I am now too. I'm really happy that my face isn't breaking out in pimples anymore - ecstatic even! I'm so, so happy to have my smooth skin back and see my familiar face again in the mirror. PHEW! But the flushing seems to have picked back up, reminding me of my early rosacea days. So I'm sort of troubleshooting a little. I think avoiding sugar/high glycemic foods is one key, and I think maybe cutting back on the topical sulfur might be another one. Only problem is, topical sulfur is what helped me get rid of my p&ps, so I'm trying to find the right balance.


    I'm sure I started in with the occasional flushing again because I fell off the no wheat, sugar, and dairy wagon. I just wanted to mention I think you are describing it better by naming the glycemic index as what matters. That is right, the rapid rise and fall of blood sugar is all about the glycemic index of the food.
    Thanks, yeah, I think there's another factor too. I've heard/read that if you are going to eat a sugary snack, you can slow down its absorption (minimizing the high glycemic effect) by eating it with something high in protein. (e.g., nuts with your chocolate.) The theory behind that would be that the problem has to do with how fast it gets broken down. But then there's also the theory of feeding the bad micro-organisms (e.g. candida), and under that rationale you just have to avoid carbs altogether.

    I'm still uncertain about wheat and dairy. I'm tentatively thinking wheat is probably ok for me as long as it's whole grain, so no white flour. (Or at least keep it to a minimum.) As for dairy, milk has some sugar, and there are also sensitivities to dairy proteins to consider. (With dairy there's also animal cruelty to consider, at least with industrial dairy.)

    I had a bagel and cream cheese the other day and didn't notice any problems, but that was before I tuned into this cumulative effect idea Brady was talking about. Now I'm thinking I'd need to go cold turkey for 30 days or longer to figure out once and for all how wheat and dairy are affecting me. But for right now I'm more focused on the sugar/high glycemic issue.


    I see people say pretty regularly that their Derm told them there is no causal relationship between rosacea and diet so I don't blame them for believing it. Even if they say to avoid "triggers" they aren't instructing people that a long term change can completely manage the issue. Even doing that, did not address my SBIO so there may be a need for some meds to deal with parts of this complicated monster.
    Yes and each of our monsters has its own particular parts and pieces! But it sure would be nice if the derms could just throw out as an idea, "Hey, some people have great results by cutting out sugar, you could try that" instead of telling us diet is a non-issue (and sometimes looking at you funny for even asking).
    Last edited by Nadine; 18th December 2013 at 06:44 AM.

  9. #19
    Senior Member Nadine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brady Barrows View Post
    If you never read the book, Sugar Blues, by William Dufty you should.
    Picked up a copy at the library today. So far it's a fascinating read, if a little dated. For example, he focuses on beet and cane sugar, but high fructose corn syrup has become an even bigger problem. Anyway, I've only just started, but so far the historical background is very illuminating!

    While at the library I also picked up a couple of books in the same section with Sugar Blues, including one called the Low GI Handbook. I've only just flipped through it, but noticed it starts out right away saying that sugar isn't even the worst problem, as white flour and other simple starches actually have higher GI than refined sugar.

    The other book I got is The Sugar Blockers Diet. I'm a little suspicious of this one because the subtitle is "A Doctor-Designed 3-step Plan to Lose Weight, Lower Blood Sugar, and Beat Diabetes While Eating the Carbs You Love," which sounds gimicky to me. But I thought it might at least shed a little light on why eating sugary foods alone is worse than eating them along with other foods, because I've bumped into that idea in a few different places.

    I won't read all 3 of these books cover to cover, but I'll spend some time with them and come back with thoughts.

  10. #20
    Senior Member Starlite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nadine View Post

    Yes and each of our monsters has its own particular parts and pieces! But it sure would be nice if the derms could just throw out as an idea, "Hey, some people have great results by cutting out sugar, you could try that" instead of telling us diet is a non-issue (and sometimes looking at you funny for even asking).
    Yes it would!

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