Post Accutane Recovery Journey

Jan 23, 2020
8
8
3
21
#1
Hi everyone, long time lurker/first time poster here. It's great to be apart of a community where others are going through the same issues as me. So to put it simply, accutane basically wrecked me (as it has for many others here I'm assuming). I went from a confident, social, and happy kid to an anxious, depressed kid with absolutely no confidence. It's been tough to endure as I've dealt with pretty much every post accutane symptom (ED, fatigue, digestion/metabolic issues, sleep issues, etc.). Once I made the connection to these symptoms, I basically dedicated my life to healing myself.

I've done a TON of research looking at studies, forums, and other stories. I've also tried a variety of supplements, protocols, and diets as well. It's taken a while, but I'm figuring out what works and what doesn't in terms of my symptoms. From all of this work I've done, I'm happy to say that I have seen real improvements and I'm definitely recovering..it just takes a while. I really do think that I understand our problem here and possibly how to fix it (which I will get into after the log). So now I'll get into what I've done with a timeline:

Recovery Log

October 2017: Began taking accutane when I was 18. Only symptom was dry skin to start off.

November 2017: Stopped 20 days later due to ED/sleep issues. Before I came off I googled "accutane and ED" and found all the forums/stories. This terrified me so I stopped immediately.

November-May 2017: Symptoms started gradually increasing. ED remained, fatigue was bad, digestive issues began. At the time I didn't associate these with accutane since I came off so long ago.

June 2017: Started making the connection between my symptoms and accutane. Still didn't attempt to treat anything.

August 2017: My first real "crash". My body went extremely sympathetic and it seemed like all my emotions were blunted. I was stuck in this "fight or flight" state with horrible anxiety, bad constipation, and sleep issues. ED was at its worst here. This is when I found all the forums and came in contact with a guy who put me on the iodine protocol. I was desperate so I tried it. I initially felt good but crashed three days later worse than ever before. Could only sleep for a few hours a night and "fight or flight" was at an all time high.

September 2017-February 2018: I was definitely at my lowest point here. This is where I began really experimenting with diets, supplements, and protocols. Overall not many improvements. This is what I tried:

Diets:
  • Keto diet- made me feel worse
  • Gluten free- slight improvement here but nothing too major
Supps/Protocols
  • Started addressing it as a possible adrenal fatigue issue:
    • Ashwaghanda- extreme anxiety from this.
    • B Vitamins- improvements with energy, nothing major
    • Multivitamins- seemed to make symptoms worse (which I will soon find out to be because of the vitamin A)
March 2018: This is when everything changed. I found the Nature Crazy video and ordered all the supplements. Here are the ones I tried:
  • Tudca- MAJOR improvements here. ED improved, fatigue lessened, and started feeling somewhat good again.
  • Ox Bile-originally didn't feel much but only tried it for a week.
March 2018-August 2019: During these months I was just using tudca and (and occasionally ox bile). I played around with dosages, starting with 250 mg a week and eventually 250 mg every few days. Came off a few times but maintained for the most part.

August 2019-Present: I worked up to 500 mg of Tudca a day. Sexual and metabolic function was very good, pretty much felt like my old myself except for some bad anxiety. Tudca was very constipating. I realized that whenever I pooped, I always felt better in terms of anxiety and overall symptoms. I started realizing that Tudca wasn't helping me eliminate much. The source I was using for TUDCA (Nutricost) started using fake tudca so I am no longer on it. Currently using jarrow bile acid factors (I'll get into those below):

WHAT I'VE LEARNED AND WHAT I'M USING NOW:
So after all of this, I think I've really figured this all out. I'm definetly not totally healed yet, but I'm getting there. I started connecting the dots and finally got some answers.To start, I am someone who has always had bad detox issues my whole life (canker sores, sick all the time, stomach issues, etc). I've always had bad reactions to supplements too. Take creatine for example. This substance is VERY hard to digest. I tried this when I was younger and I had similar symptoms to accutane but at a MUCH less severe level (increased adrenaline, constipation, some ED). These faded away quickly. Now, accutane is a synthetic form of vitamin a, which is a fat soluble vitamin. Anything that is fat soluble is hard for our body to digest. The fact that accutane is synthetic too makes it even more difficult for our bodies to process. Now here's the big point: anything that our body cannot digest well is seen as a "toxin". Our bodies go into a "fight or flight" mode to deal with this where all non essential bodily functions (sexual function, for example) slow down so the body can focus on the toxins. People with acne already have bad detox pathways, so throwing another toxic substance in there makes detoxing even worse.

The result of all this? The body essentially slows down all of its functions to deal with the synthetic vitamin A. Bile becomes sluggish and we can't detox.. we are all poisoned with accutane. This is why the drug is so effective at controlling acne, it just stays in our system and keeps our skin dry and acne free. This slows down our metabolism and is the reason for all of our symptoms.

The good news here? The answer is bile. Tudca definitely helped but it was just a bandaid basically. This bile acid is used to help the liver function well when its under stress. Whenever I came off I felt off again. I viewed it almost as a "liver stimulant". It basically just throws everything into the lymphatic system and keeps the liver stress free. It didn't really help bile flow all that much, it just seemed to help my body deal with the toxins better. I've definitely healed a great deal by using tudca, but the real healing will take place with a lot of bile in your system, such as supplementing with ox bile/bile acid factors.

After researching bile, I've found out how important it is when it comes to our metabolism, gut health, and overall bodily functions. We need it to function properly and without it, our bodies collapse. I've been using jarrow bile acids now for a couple weeks and have seen great improvements.The key is to find a dose where you're pooping at least 3-4 times a day. Reducing the toxin load will allow our bodies to come back on line and start producing bile again. The more you eliminate, the better you will feel. It takes time though, so just keep continuing!


My Final Notes:
So here is my full log. Hopefully you all can read this and figure out your issues as well. One thing I'd like to point out is that we all need to stop trying all of these crazy protocols with all these different supplements. This will make things WORSE. If you keep throwing toxic things into your body without bile, you will only deteriorate even more. This is why so many people don't heal. They just continue to listen to every "accutane prophet" who healed spontaneously or randomly.

Go watch that Nature Crazy video and start healing guys. The answer is bile! Just stay consistent! It may take years, it may take months, but just stay consistent guys. Good luck!

Other Helpful Suggestion:
  • Eliminate foods that you're intolerant to .This will help your liver function better as well (for me its gluten).
  • Reduce retinol consumption (vitamin A) until your bile is back on track.
 
Last edited:

Minime

Well-Known Member
Oct 4, 2017
281
102
43
#2
Hi everyone, long time lurker/first time poster here. It's great to be apart of a community where others are going through the same issues as me. So to put it simply, accutane basically wrecked me (as it has for many others here I'm assuming). I went from a confident, social, and happy kid to an anxious, depressed kid with absolutely no confidence. It's been tough to endure as I've dealt with pretty much every post accutane symptom (ED, fatigue, digestion/metabolic issues, sleep issues, etc.). Once I made the connection to these symptoms, I basically dedicated my life to healing myself.

I've done a TON of research looking at studies, forums, and other stories. I've also tried a variety of supplements, protocols, and diets as well. It's taken a while, but I'm figuring out what works and what doesn't in terms of my symptoms. From all of this work I've done, I'm happy to say that I have seen real improvements and I'm definitely recovering..it just takes a while. I really do think that I understand our problem here and possibly how to fix it (which I will get into after the log). So now I'll get into what I've done with a timeline:

Recovery Log

October 2017: Began taking accutane when I was 18. Only symptom was dry skin to start off.

November 2017: Stopped 20 days later due to ED/sleep issues. Before I came off I googled "accutane and ED" and found all the forums/stories. This terrified me so I stopped immediately.

November-May 2017: Symptoms started gradually increasing. ED remained, fatigue was bad, digestive issues began. At the time I didn't associate these with accutane since I came off so long ago.

June 2017: Started making the connection between my symptoms and accutane. Still didn't attempt to treat anything.

August 2017: My first real "crash". My body went extremely sympathetic and it seemed like all my emotions were blunted. I was stuck in this "fight or flight" state with horrible anxiety, bad constipation, and sleep issues. ED was at its worst here. This is when I found all the forums and came in contact with a guy who put me on the iodine protocol. I was desperate so I tried it. I initially felt good but crashed three days later worse than ever before. Could only sleep for a few hours a night and "fight or flight" was at an all time high.

September 2017-February 2018: I was definitely at my lowest point here. This is where I began really experimenting with diets, supplements, and protocols. Overall not many improvements. This is what I tried:

Diets:
  • Keto diet- made me feel worse
  • Gluten free- slight improvement here but nothing too major
Supps/Protocols
  • Started addressing it as a possible adrenal fatigue issue:
    • Ashwaghanda- extreme anxiety from this.
    • B Vitamins- improvements with energy, nothing major
    • Multivitamins- seemed to make symptoms worse (which I will soon find out to be because of the vitamin A)
March 2018: This is when everything changed. I found the Nature Crazy video and ordered all the supplements. Here are the ones I tried:
  • Tudca- MAJOR improvements here. ED improved, fatigue lessened, and started feeling somewhat good again.
  • Ox Bile-originally didn't feel much but only tried it for a week.
March 2018-August 2019: During these months I was just using tudca and (and occasionally ox bile). I played around with dosages, starting with 250 mg a week and eventually 250 mg every few days. Came off a few times but maintained for the most part.

August 2019-Present: I worked up to 500 mg of Tudca a day. Sexual and metabolic function was very good, pretty much felt like my old myself except for some bad anxiety. Tudca was very constipating. I realized that whenever I pooped, I always felt better in terms of anxiety and overall symptoms. I started realizing that Tudca wasn't helping me eliminate much. The source I was using for TUDCA (Nutricost) started using fake tudca so I am no longer on it. Currently using jarrow bile acid factors (I'll get into those below):

WHAT I'VE LEARNED AND WHAT I'M USING NOW:
So after all of this, I think I've really figured this all out. I'm definetly not totally healed yet, but I'm getting there. I started connecting the dots and finally got some answers.To start, I am someone who has always had bad detox issues my whole life (canker sores, sick all the time, stomach issues, etc). I've always had bad reactions to supplements too. Take creatine for example. This substance is VERY hard to digest. I tried this when I was younger and I had similar symptoms to accutane but at a MUCH less severe level (increased adrenaline, constipation, some ED). These faded away quickly. Now, accutane is a synthetic form of vitamin a, which is a fat soluble vitamin. Anything that is fat soluble is hard for our body to digest. The fact that accutane is synthetic too makes it even more difficult for our bodies to process. Now here's the big point: anything that our body cannot digest well is seen as a "toxin". Our bodies go into a "fight or flight" mode to deal with this where all non essential bodily functions (sexual function, for example) slow down so the body can focus on the toxins. People with acne already have bad detox pathways, so throwing another toxic substance in there makes detoxing even worse.

The result of all this? The body essentially slows down all of its functions to deal with the synthetic vitamin A. Bile becomes sluggish and we can't detox.. we are all poisoned with accutane. This is why the drug is so effective at controlling acne, it just stays in our system and keeps our skin dry and acne free. This slows down our metabolism and is the reason for all of our symptoms.

The good news here? The answer is bile. Tudca definitely helped but it was just a bandaid basically. This bile acid is used to help the liver function well when its under stress. Whenever I came off I felt off again. I viewed it almost as a "liver stimulant". It basically just throws everything into the lymphatic system and keeps the liver stress free. It didn't really help bile flow all that much, it just seemed to help my body deal with the toxins better. I've definitely healed a great deal by using tudca, but the real healing will take place with a lot of bile in your system, such as supplementing with ox bile/bile acid factors.

After researching bile, I've found out how important it is when it comes to our metabolism, gut health, and overall bodily functions. We need it to function properly and without it, our bodies collapse. I've been using jarrow bile acids now for a couple weeks and have seen great improvements.The key is to find a dose where you're pooping at least 3-4 times a day. Reducing the toxin load will allow our bodies to come back on line and start producing bile again. The more you eliminate, the better you will feel. It takes time though, so just keep continuing!


My Final Notes:
So here is my full log. Hopefully you all can read this and figure out your issues as well. One thing I'd like to point out is that we all need to stop trying all of these crazy protocols with all these different supplements. This will make things WORSE. If you keep throwing toxic things into your body without bile, you will only deteriorate even more. This is why so many people don't heal. They just continue to listen to every "accutane prophet" who healed spontaneously or randomly.

Go watch that Nature Crazy video and start healing guys. The answer is bile! Just stay consistent! It may take years, it may take months, but just stay consistent guys. Good luck!

Other Helpful Suggestion:
  • Eliminate foods that you're intolerant to .This will help your liver function better as well (for me its gluten).
  • Reduce retinol consumption (vitamin A) until your bile is back on track.
I’m PAS as well as PFS so I have all of the Accutane symptoms, including horribly bad dry eyes at times and, of course, bad digestion. In fact, in all my years of suffering, my digestion is currently at its worst, and I’m not sure why. Anyway, I am not very knowledgeable regarding the bile, Tudca, etc. Can you help clarify for me how taking a bile supplement will help heal the liver so the liver can create sufficient bile again? Thanks.
 

tanedout

Well-Known Member
Oct 17, 2017
602
362
63
#3
TUDCA and ox bile definitely help, and I've been taking them for a few years (currently take ox bile and tudca daily), but it's not a cure, and I don't think its purely down to vitamin a - more likely something related to messed up cholesterol metabolism IMO. People with PFS and CFS also often have issues with bile flow, not just PAS.

Interestingly I find the B2 protocol seems to help with bile flow, as does tribulus. Worth checking this out if you haven't already;

 

Bankai900

Well-Known Member
May 27, 2019
252
113
43
29
Poland
#4
Good post. That's why the electrolyte protocol from Helen is so fine. You got it all there.
Was the same thought for me kinda, Fast -> Fix liver and gut(fastest way by far)and other shite, refeed -> Take bile support and all the minerals to get it all covered. Not a fan of doing a keto diet for 3years living like a monk to fix my liver. Hairtest to maybe focus on specific ones.
Stress the system to aid all the pathways connected to longevity and health, gym hiit, sauna, cold, breath. All of those influence the microbiome and gut aswell.
Eat whole foods, antioxidants, to daily aid in recovery and not burden the system.
 

Minime

Well-Known Member
Oct 4, 2017
281
102
43
#5
Good post. That's why the electrolyte protocol from Helen is so fine. You got it all there.
Was the same thought for me kinda, Fast -> Fix liver and gut(fastest way by far)and other shite, refeed -> Take bile support and all the minerals to get it all covered. Not a fan of doing a keto diet for 3years living like a monk to fix my liver. Hairtest to maybe focus on specific ones.
Stress the system to aid all the pathways connected to longevity and health, gym hiit, sauna, cold, breath. All of those influence the microbiome and gut aswell.
Eat whole foods, antioxidants, to daily aid in recovery and not burden the system.
I am contemplating trying the Wilking protocol, which I think is pretty close to Helen’s electrolyte protocol, but with some detox measures thrown in at the beginning of the process. I still need to do a long term fast, just need to find the right time.
 
Jan 23, 2020
8
8
3
21
#6
I’m PAS as well as PFS so I have all of the Accutane symptoms, including horribly bad dry eyes at times and, of course, bad digestion. In fact, in all my years of suffering, my digestion is currently at its worst, and I’m not sure why. Anyway, I am not very knowledgeable regarding the bile, Tudca, etc. Can you help clarify for me how taking a bile supplement will help heal the liver so the liver can create sufficient bile again? Thanks.
Hey sorry for the late response, been busy with classes. TUDCA is a bile acid used to treat cholestasis, which is when bile flow is inhibited in some way (we are all dealing with some degree of this). For example, steroid users take TUDCA while using harsh oral steroids that are known to cause cholestasis/liver damage. Even though the compounds are extremely liver toxic, many of these guys don't have any liver issues at all while using TUDCA alongside it. It keeps the liver functioning when under stress and has many other benefits regarding to overall bodily functions. It is very strong (as long as you make sure to get the real stuff).

I was using Nutricost and this stuff was the real deal. Every symptom I had improved greatly and I attribute a lot of my healing progress to TUDCA. Unfortunately Nutricost doesn't use real TUDCA anymore (I can tell by the effect it has on me) as well as many other brands. There must be a shortage from main suppliers. I'm currently just using ox bile salts. They help but definitely not as much as TUDCA did.

Anyone have effective TUDCA brands they are using currently?
 
Likes: Minime
Jan 23, 2020
8
8
3
21
#7
Good post. That's why the electrolyte protocol from Helen is so fine. You got it all there.
Was the same thought for me kinda, Fast -> Fix liver and gut(fastest way by far)and other shite, refeed -> Take bile support and all the minerals to get it all covered. Not a fan of doing a keto diet for 3years living like a monk to fix my liver. Hairtest to maybe focus on specific ones.
Stress the system to aid all the pathways connected to longevity and health, gym hiit, sauna, cold, breath. All of those influence the microbiome and gut aswell.
Eat whole foods, antioxidants, to daily aid in recovery and not burden the system.
Thank you, and yeah you have the idea. Essentially its just continual detox. Clean foods, healthy habits, and the right supplements. There needs to be a balance though because if you detox too slow, toxins will still build up and if you detox too fast, you'll overwhelm the body. This is why its tough but at least we have the idea down.
 
Jan 23, 2020
8
8
3
21
#8
TUDCA and ox bile definitely help, and I've been taking them for a few years (currently take ox bile and tudca daily), but it's not a cure, and I don't think its purely down to vitamin a - more likely something related to messed up cholesterol metabolism IMO. People with PFS and CFS also often have issues with bile flow, not just PAS.

Interestingly I find the B2 protocol seems to help with bile flow, as does tribulus. Worth checking this out if you haven't already;

Yeah I also agree that a messed up cholesterol metabolism plays a huge part. Bile is what is responsible for cholesterol metabolism though, so it all just leads back to the issue of continual cholestasis for all of us caused by the drugs we took (accutane, fin, SSRI's, etc.). They're all just compounds that are extremely hard for us to break down and it overwhelms our bodies (in my opinion).

May I ask what brand of TUDCA you have been using? Like I said in my post, Nutricost is no good now. The other bile supplements help a little but TUDCA makes me feel my best. Would like to get on it again.