Have you been plagued with boils, cysts, ingrown hairs, and acne-like bumps that take months to resolve, leave embarrassing scars, and cause considerable pain? Have you been to the doctor, only to leave with a prescription for antibiotics, few answers, and little to no hope? Hidradenitis supprativa (HS) is a poorly understood skin condition that is believed to affect nearly twelve million people in the United States alone. Only a small fraction of those affected have been properly diagnosed, leaving many others to suffer in silence or pursue ill-advised conventional treatment methods that fail to address the cause of this painful condition.
Tara Grant, a twenty-year sufferer of HS, has become an underground legend to her Internet community of HS victims by presenting a methodical, self-tested action plan to heal naturally. The centerpiece of her holistic approach rests on the understanding that HS is an autoimmune disorder caused by leaky gut syndrome. With a few simple dietary changes that eliminate certain “trigger” foods, you can heal your gut, restore your skin, reclaim your health, and rid yourself of HS symptoms forever. That’s it—no antibiotics, no experimental surgeries, and no more pain, suffering, or confusion.
Q&A with Tara
1. What was it about the subject you chose to write about in your book that made you feel so passionate about spreading the word and getting your book published?
My motivation for writing this book was the overwhelming response I received from people on the Internet when I originally posted about it in March of 2012. It turns out it’s a pretty common condition, but many people (and doctors) don’t know what it is. It’s pretty standard to visit various doctors, and be told that you have “acne,” or to be subjected to butchering surgeries. There is no treatment for HS, according to the doctors. People with it suffer immensely—in fact, HS is acknowledged to be one of most painful conditions in the world. I’ve even received letters from doctors and nurses who suffer from HS, thanking me for telling them what it is that they have—and for offering them hope.
The primary motivating factor for writing this book, however, was an email I received from a 12-year old girl, who said she was going to kill herself because of the pain she was in. I immediately wrote her back, but I never heard back from her. I am desperate to know that she’s okay. I don’t want anyone else to go through what I did as a teenager—I myself thought about suicide on more than one occasion. I’ve had many letters from people who say they want to kill themselves since.
2. HS is hard to diagnose, and many doctors aren’t even aware of its existence. How did you get a diagnosis?
I’ve had HS since I was thirteen years old, but wasn’t diagnosed until I was in my mid-30s. Up until then, I saw over forty doctors from four different countries - none of whom could tell me what was wrong with me. I eventually found the name “Hidradenitis suppurativa” in a book about PCOS (also known as polycystic ovarian syndrome, which I also had) and could finally put a name to the horrible condition I had suffered from for so long. I took that information to a dermatologist. That’s when I finally got a diagnosis—over twenty years later. At that time, I had already changed to a Primal diet and my HS was drastically better, so I declined the antibiotics and Accutane the doctor prescribed. I also refused to believe what she said: “You have to live with this for the rest of your life.” I knew, as a longtime sufferer of HS, that the doctors I had seen had no clue what they were talking about.
My journey was extremely frustrating, and I went through it completely alone. Over the years, I was told I had “adult acne,” and also told that they didn’t know what was wrong with me. I was also told that I was overreacting, not keeping clean enough, and told to lose weight. Not a single doctor