New Year’s Resolutions 2012

December 27, 2011 in Categories: , by

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I love making resolutions.  And I don’t restrict my resolution-making to just New Year’s. I make resolutions anytime a little extra resolve is required in my life.  For example, on August 31, 2011, I resolved to eat a paleo diet for three months.  It has now been four months.  The difference in my health has been revolutionary and I have already resolved to never eat a gluten containing grain again in my life.  But, not all of the health issues that brought me to paleo have fully resolved. I have one lingering condition:  lichen planus (also called lichen psoriasis).  Lichen planus is related to eczema or psoriasis but the inflammation occurs in the mucosal layer of the skin.  Insanely itchy, purple-red, scaly lesions appear typically on wrists and ankles, with some forms also having lesions on the shins (which I have) and the mouth (which I don’t have).  There is some evidence that a person suffering from lichen planus can also have interior lesions in the gut mucosa, the long-term effects of which are unknown.  This possibility terrifies me.  There is no known cause (although anecdotally, many people find relief by going gluten-free) and no known cure (only treatments are steroids and malaria drugs).  

Lichen planus is an auto-immune disease that should be able to be addressed with a paleo diet, but perhaps requires a stricter implementation than what I have been doing thus far.  The culprit may be some gray area foods that I still include in my diet.  Also, after reading a review article on the gut-brain-skin axis (thanks to Chris Kresser’s blog for pointing me to it!), it is clear that I also need to keep working on cortisol levels.  So, my New Year’s resolutions for 2012 are aimed at trying to get my lichen planus to resolve. I am going to commit an entire month to the super strict implementation of paleolithic nutrition advised for those with auto-immune conditions (now referred to as the Auto Immune Protocol).  So, for the entire month of January, I will consume no caffeine, no alcohol, no chocolate, no grass-fed dairy (I don’t eat much of this as it is, so it should be easy to cut out), no nuts, no seeds and no night-shades.  Hardest of all, I will give up eggs (I am still considering leaving eggs in for the month of January and then removing them from my diet if everything else I am doing is insufficient).  I will severely limit fruit, starchy vegetables and paleo baked goods to keep my carbohydrate intake very low.  I will eat lots and lots of vegetables (thinking of Dr. Wahls’ recommendations for those with multiple sclerosis) and be extra mindful of my omega-3 intake.  I will increase my fish oil and probiotic supplementation.  I will go to bed at least a half hour earlier.  And I will increase my time commitment for low-strain exercise ( yoga, pilates, walking).  This is going to be a huge challenge and I am dreading the adjustment period.  If this works, I can experiment with adding foods back in.  If it doesn’t, I’m not quite sure what I will do.  But, I am optimistic.  At the very least, this should help me lose those last few pounds!  Wish me luck!

Comments

I hope you find the missing thing that makes it work. I have recently found the Bulletproof Exec blog. For him, the solution is watching for mycotoxins, from fungus in foods. He has put together a paleo diet that avoids mycotoxins. Doug Kaufmann is a guy with a TV show about health. he has written many books. I have not read any of them.
My chiropractor is helpful for keeping me aligned. In addition, he does muscle testing to evaluate supplements and any questions about which direction to do.

Thank you so much for the good wishes! I will definitely look up Kaufmann. I feel cautiously optimistic though. It is generally beloved that eczema, psoriasis, lichen planus are all forms of food allergy. The usual culprit is gluten, but caffeine and eggs are very common as well. In fact, in just two days without eating eggs at breakfast, I can already see a difference. The stupid part is that I adore eggs.

Hi Sarah,

I just stumbled upon your blog through mentions on other blogs. This post caught my attention and made me want to respond. I’ve been on the Paleo diet since October ’11. The reason I decided to try it is because I wanted a natural cure for my persistent adult acne. As you mention, skin issue can be related to food sensitivities. Even though I had been eating strictly Paleo for around four months, I was still suffering from the cystic acne! I knew I had to be missing something in my diet. So, on February 2, 2012 I met with a Naturopathic Doctor. She said that most often skin issues have to do with food sensitivities and gave me a blood test for IGg and IGa antibodies. She also said she wanted to flood my body with nutrients and put me on powerful supplements of vitamin D3, a multivitamin, omega 3 fish oil, probiotics, vitamin A and vitamin C. Three weeks later my blood tests came back and I couldn’t believe the results. I am extremely sensitive to eggs (yolk and whites), almonds, gluten and dairy. I hadn’t been eating and gluten or dairy since October, but I was eating eggs and almonds everyday. It’s been six weeks now since I quit eating eggs and almonds. I can’t believe what an improvement I’m seeing in my skin! The acne is dare I say it- gone! I can’t recommend getting tested for IGg and IGa enough. Food sensitivities are related to countless health issues. Rather than go on an elimination diet, it’s so much easier to just get tested. You last posted on December 29th, how is you eczema, psoriasis and lichen planus now. Are you still egg free?

Kind Regards,
Malena

I have been considering seeing a naturopath for a while now. I am seeing slow improvement, but nothing as dramatic as you are experiencing. You are right that I am probably still consuming something that I shouldn’t be. I have been using elimination diet thus far because it seemed simpler (and cheaper), but it sure would be nice to have a definitive answer on what foods to avoid. Thank you!

The two blood tests (IGg and IGa) were done through U.S. Biotek and together cost $234.00, a little expensive but well worth it. Your insurance may even cover the cost. They have a website, http://www.usbiotek.com, that’s very informative.

It just amazes me so much that no western doctor or dermatologist I’ve seen know about the correlation between skin diseases and food. The thing I really like about Naturopathic Doctors is that they identify and treat the cause of disease, not just mask the symptoms with drugs. I recommend seeing a natuopath. I’m really happy I did. Good Luck!

Hi Sarah!

I was searching your blog and didnt see the answer but maybe you can tell me. Do you apply any topicals to your lesions? Long time ago I used Dovonex (a steroid) but haven’t used any medication for over 5 yrs. My psoriasis is VERY bad right now (I’m working on giving up gluten, having a tough time). Very itchy, painful, bleeds at times…it’s never been so bad. My scalp is a wreck as well. I was reading your post about stopping shampoo and conditioner and wondered if this might help me? Also, any recommendation for what I might be able to use on my elbow lesions to lessen the pain? I will not use any steroids. I’m currently using Gold Bond (it has helped in the past but isn’t anymore). Thank you so much. I have pre-ordered your book and can’t wait for it to come out :)

Sami

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