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Hidradenitis Suppurativa Can Be Caused By More Than Just Diet

Last updated: August 2022

I’m frustrated. I’m angry. I’m thoroughly annoyed. I don’t know how many times this needs to be said, but let me shout it out loud for the people in the back: Hidradenitis Suppurativa can be caused by more than just your diet! And I really wish some people would start to understand that.

On a recent social media posting, I saw an influx of people trying to say to change your diet, and you’ll not flare. Like many, many people were saying this. Almost every comment had something to do with changing diet. This was coming from people both with and without HS. I even saw someone say “you are what you eat.”

Can you even imagine saying that to someone when you have no idea the HS journey that they’ve been on?

Everyone experiences HS differently

Everybody is different and everyone has a different HS journey. What might work for some may not work for others. Hidradenitis is a vicious disease and having such different factors for everyone is one of the things that makes it so difficult.

This disease is almost entirely trial and error. Some people might flare from nightshades and some people might flare from red meat or dairy. Some people might not be able to have gluten and some people may not be able to have alcohol. But guess what else? Some people might not even flare from food or diet or what they’re ingesting!

It’s wild! I know! (I hope you can sense my sarcasm and annoyance.)

I flared at my lowest weight

At my lowest weight, a normal BMI, and when I was avoiding my triggers (gluten and sugar), I still had to go to my doctor to be lanced, drained, and packed. This is due to my flares being caused by hormonal imbalance, stress, anxiety, and depression. Diet absolutely did not play one factor in these flares.

The reason I started seeing an Endocrinologist about my Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) to begin with was to help my Hidradenitis flares. My flares were being caused by a hormonal imbalance due to having PCOS. She ended up putting me on medication to help with insulin resistance and to get my hormones in check. These medications helped me greatly.

There are so many factors out of our control

Like I mentioned above, stress, anxiety, and depression can also play a huge role in HS outbreaks. These are completely uncontrollable factors that you have to deal with. I get really frustrated and bothered by the amount of people and doctors that think a change of diet will cure all life problems. Don’t get me wrong, Hidradenitis flares can definitely be triggered by diet and what you’re ingesting. But it can also be caused by factors you can’t control, like hormones, stress, anxiety, and depression.

Please never try to tell someone that changing their diet will make everything better and cure their disease, even if it’s personally helped you. Seriously, don’t ever say “you are what you eat.” It’s completely unnecessary and quite frankly, rude and disrespectful. Everybody is different and we are all going through our own HS journey. We are all trying our best and we don’t need unsolicited nutritional advice. HS is SO MUCH MORE than just diet... and don’t ever forget that.

*Mic drop*

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The HSDisease.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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