How do we know the flares we experience during TSW are fully attributed to topical steroid withdrawal, and not other factors such as moisturizer use, diet, environment, etc?
I post this question because when people stop using moisturizers, they enter a flare or regression of skin condition. When this happens, do we attribute the bad skin experience as TSW or more logically, an experience resulted from the stopping of moisturizers?
Likewise, when we take certain supplements and suddenly we enter a flare. Is this again, TSW, or due to the intake of those supplements?
In the course of TSW, many people, myself including, go all out and try all sorts of stuff, supplements all at once. At the end of the day, we end up none the wiser.
To know if something is really effective, you have to change one variable at a time, and experiment it for a significant period to see if there are any possible good effects due to the input of the variable.
This is the problem with supplements. Even if they have any possible benefits, they take a significant time to show. And this is precisely the reason why the supplement industry is a huge one, and those who sell them make money based on less than rigorous scientific data. First, you will want those research subjects tested on a long timeframe, something that is rarely done prior to product release (the funding and time and effort will be tremendous). Second, you have to ensure all the positive effects are attributed to this particular supplement over THAT long time frame, again, which is something that is impossible because test subjects are subjected to other variables during this time frame.
I’ve got an intuitive feeling that the supplementation business is a big scam. There might probably be some benefits in certain supplementation for certain groups of people who are tested deficient in certain areas. However, for the average person, supplementation may not do much and may even have possible iatrogenic properties.
I’ve stopped all supplementation as a trial and experienced almost no drastic change in my life. The opposite, when I was taking all sorts of supplementations, made my skin flares worse. (probably due to allergies to certain compounds, hence the iatrogenics).
Unless you have a perfect biochemical view of your body and can detect the exact changes that these supplement bring to your body, there is no way to quantify the effects and to make a convincing argument that this “X supplement” works because it “worked” for you.
The effective method to knowing what works or what doesnt, what is true and what is not, is thru the method of removal, not addition. Via negativa. You remove something in your life and detect the changes, one by one. When you trial by error via addition, especially to a complex non-linear entity like our bodies, there is absolutely no way to prove something has a good or bad effect.
A simple example of via negativa is: When I remove the source of sunlight from plants, they wilt and die. We can be very clear on the effect of removal. To the same plant in presence of sunlight, when we remove their water source, they wilt and die. We don’t do the opposite to prove the same statements. Statements that show proof via positiva is less conclusive that those via negativa.
Next time someone tells you so and so supplement worked for me, give less credit to the statement. Whereas, when someone tells you that a removal of certain stuff (such as moisturizers or certain diet, food type or supplements), pay more attention due to the concept of via negativa.