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Eliminating Disease With Natural Methods: My Psoriasis Success Story

My symptoms started with dry patches on my fingers and eventually progressed to oozing, flaky, painful, itchy rashes that spread to the fronts and backs of my hands. On my worst days, I also had itchy hives on my arms and nasty blotches on my face, neck, underarms, and foot. When washing dishes, I had to wear cotton gloves underneath my rubber gloves to avoid additional pain and cuts to my hands. I was scared of holding my squirmy kids because their clothes irritated my hands whenever they moved around in my arms. At night, I taped a sock onto my hand to protect myself from obsessive scratching in my sleep. The worst of my symptoms lasted for about five months. It took a lot of perseverance, but multiple lifestyle changes finally led to the restoration of my hands and skin! Continue reading to find out more about my story.

April

My fingers became dry and itchy. The rashes started spreading from my fingers to other parts of my hand.

May

I started cutting processed foods and sugar out of my diet.

June

My skin got worse.

July

I bought Dr. Axe’s Healing Leaky Gut Program and began to completely overhaul my diet. After a couple of weeks, I had hives on my arms; I also began to experience extreme fatigue, weakness, brain fog, and mild depression. This was probably due to the Herxheimer Reaction—a common reaction that occurs when toxins in the body start to die off.

I started bathing my hands in epsom salt and essential oils. I’m embarrassed to admit that this was a foolish move on my part. I shouldn’t have used Epsom salt and certain essential oils on open sores.

August

My hands started rejecting everything that I put on them. Up to that point, I had avoided going to the doctor because I don’t like taking drugs. Late on a Friday night, I was in so much pain that I followed a friend’s advice and went to an Immediate Care center. The doctor prescribed a topical steroid and an oral steroid for my “psoriasis” (according to the doctor, it was not a “slam dunk” psoriasis diagnosis). I said “No” to the oral steroid but I took the topical steroid. After a few days of using the topical steroid, my hands started to get better and I started to feel some relief from the itch and pain.

I was glad that the steroid helped, but I wasn’t interested in just putting a band-aid on my symptoms. Instead of staying on the steroid for too long, I stopped using it after five days. I was determined to find out why my skin was so angry. I started reading The Autoimmune Solution by Amy Myers and began to tweak my diet again.

I visited a chiropractor/acupuncturist who recommended six sessions over the course of three weeks. I was feeling hopeful that my skin would be back to normal by the time I went on vacation in September. The first four sessions were very relaxing, but my skin was starting to get inflamed again. I decided not to spend the extra money on two more sessions.

I started reading The Maker’s Diet by Jordan Rubin and tweaked my diet for the third time. Symptoms of the Herxheimer Reaction continued.

September

I restarted the topical steroid for about three days and went on vacation for a week. It was difficult to find “real food” to eat, but I did the best that I could.

After I got back from vacation, the skin on my hands became inflamed once again. Due to all my dietary restrictions, my weight dropped down to 90 pounds (my regular weight was 105 pounds). I followed Amy Myers advice and found a Functional Medicine practitioner (a practitioner that looks for, and treats the root cause of disease). She ran some blood tests and recommended that I increase my dosage of fish oil. When I got home, I immediately started taking more fish oil. Two days later, the skin on my hands started to clear up! Unfortunately, after about a week, my skin started to look angry again. Symptoms of the Herxheimer Reaction continued.

October

I did a cleanse with essential oils. To my surprise, my skin started to clear up again! The oils gave my body the extra help it needed to scrub off some of the toxicity in my gut. (Please note that cleansing while breastfeeding is not necessarily recommended. This was something that I was not aware of at the time.)

My blood test results came back and revealed dehydration (I had been breastfeeding since August 2018); Epstein-Barr virus reactivation; toxicity and yeast in the gut; and a high need for vitamin C, alpha-lipoic acid, B-vitamins, probiotics, pancreatic enzymes, glutathione, and plant-based antioxidants. Also, my practitioner believes that I have MTHFR mutation. My practitioner noted that if I had not made so many healthy diet changes in the past few months, then I would have been in worse condition.

Based on my test results and my practitioner’s recommendations, I tweaked my diet (yet again) and added some extra supplements to my daily routine. Because I am breastfeeding, we chose to focus on detoxification with foods instead of using more aggressive measures. To help with further detoxification, low energy, and mood support, I started doing essential oil protocols on my feet.

Today

My skin now looks normal and I can do the things that I used to do without pain. I don’t have to tape a sock to my hand to prevent myself from scratching in my sleep. I can change diapers and hold my kids without fear of blood, pus, and additional damage to my skin. I can wash the dishes without wearing any gloves! On some days, my energy and mood are better than ever before. There are also days when my skin is a tad itchy and irritated, but it does not bother me much at all. My Functional Medicine practitioner told me that it would take six months to a year for me to fully recover.

Why This Happened

Since 2011, I had been pregnant three times and had breastfed each baby for two years. Throughout this time of growing babies, breastfeeding, working, and dealing with daily stressors, I was not taking proper care of myself. I did not make the time to drink enough water or eat the right foods that would help my body to rid itself of toxicity and ongoing threats. If I had taken better care of myself, the Epstein-Barr virus (an extremely common virus that does not always cause noticeable symptoms) would probably not have been an issue and my body would have been able to function normally, despite the possible MTHFR mutation (many people have this mutation, but everyone is affected differently by the mutation). The body can handle some abnormalities and neglect, but at a certain point, the body will reach a breaking point and start crying out for help!

What If?

Let’s play the “What If” game for a second. What if I had only visited a conventional physician and had simply decided to take medications to get rid of the symptoms? In the best-case scenario, my skin would have immediately improved with minimal drug side effects, but my nutrition would have continued to decline, leading to additional symptoms and serious disease. In the worst-case scenario, my skin would have continued to get worse, I would have needed more powerful drugs that would have caused more powerful side effects; my overall health would have continued to spiral downward; and I would have been left with a pile of medical bills.

Takeaways

There are a lot of people walking around with mild or severe symptoms that can be improved or alleviated by changing just a few simple habits. I hope that you are empowered and encouraged by this simple truth! If you take anything away from this post, I want to encourage you to take charge of your health by considering these three things:

1. Eat real, nourishing foods.

2. Consistently eliminate toxicity from your body and eliminate toxicity from your surrounding environment.

3. Use additional support like essential oils, health supplements, and a Functional Medicine practitioner.

I truly believe that almost every grave, chronic, “uncurable” disease can be managed or eliminated using natural tools that can help the body to heal itself. Don’t give up. True wellness might be just around the corner!

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Essential Oils Can Uplift Your Mood

A few weeks ago, everyone in my house (all five of us) were attacked by the stomach bug. The first couple of days were spent nursing the kids back to health and cleaning up after them. The third day was the worst because that was the day that both my husband and I developed symptoms. When the fourth day rolled around, my stomach was recovering, but breastfeeding my four-month month old baby left me further depleted and malnourished. The malnourishment and nausea eventually fostered feelings of depression. I knew that my body was starting to recover, but everything in my house smelled disgusting and made me nauseous. So, that night, I opened my box of essential oils and pulled out clove, geranium, grapefruit and juniper berry. I laid down on the bed and closed my eyes. After a few minutes, the soothing aroma slowly melted my nausea and sadness away. The enchanting fragrances of plants and flowers gently transformed my bedroom into a welcoming, comforting haven. Continue reading to learn more about these precious plant oils!

Clove

When I open a bottle of clove oil, I imagine exotic, luscious desserts originating from the fairytale world of Hansel and Gretel. Not only does clove oil smell delicious, it can also be used for cleaning teeth and gums.

Geranium

The lovely, floral scent of geranium evokes feelings of peace. Like the Egyptians in ancient times, our current culture uses geranium oil to beautify the skin and hair.

Grapefruit

Grapefruit oil has a sweet, fruity, inviting aroma. In addition to uplifting the emotions, grapefruit has been known to promote healthy metabolism and healthy skin.

Juniper Berry

The fresh, energizing scent of juniper berry can be used to purify the air. When used internally, juniper berry can support the urinary tract and kidneys. When used topically, this oil can be used to clear skin blemishes.

What are some of your favorite essential oils?

This post was originally published on March 2, 2019. It was updated on December 9, 2019.

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I Tried Raw Milk

I was recently battling an itchy, painful skin condition (psoriasis?) on my hands for about five months. Because of my skin, I drastically changed my diet, read books about natural health, and saw some unconventional medical providers. In my quest to heal my skin, I came across raw (unpasteurized) milk. Wow! I didn’t know that raw milk was so controversial.

The Center for Disease Control makes raw milk sound super dangerous while raw milk advocates claim that it is a lot safer than other foods that we eat on a regular basis. While raw milk advocates claim that it is a complete superfood that is wonderful for allergy sufferers, the gut, skin, and immune system, raw milk antagonists claim that these benefits have not been proven. Raw milk advocates also claim that pasteurized milk (almost all the milk in the U.S.) has been stripped of the components that make it so healthy, and that the pasteurization process actually makes the milk unhealthy for us.

So, who should you believe? I’m not going to tell you that, but I will tell you about my experience with raw milk. The Natural Health Nut inside me had to try it!

First off, it wasn’t easy to find someone that sells raw milk (the sale of raw milk is illegal in some American states). When I finally found a vendor, my first experience with raw milk was raw goat milk. It was delicious!

To get my hands on raw cow milk, I went to the Weston A. Price website and contacted my local Weston A. Price chapter. Weston A. Price was a dentist that traveled the world and studied the eating habits of healthy people. If you are looking for raw milk, you can also go to realmilk.com.

The raw cow milk was very creamy and delicious. I also started consuming raw kefir and raw cheese. In the past, when I consumed pasteurized dairy, I used to experience nasal congestion. This didn’t happen to me when I consumed raw dairy!

You may be wondering if I am concerned about the safety of raw milk. Chris Kresser claims that the chances of becoming hospitalized from drinking raw milk are very small–you are actually three times more likely to die in a plane crash. 

With that being said, to be completely honest, there was one time that the raw kefir tasted funny and I had major stomach upset. But, to be fair, I ate some questionable meat on the same day. So, I don’t know if my stomach was upset due to the raw dairy or the meat.

I haven’t had raw milk or raw kefir in a couple of weeks. I miss it! I think that it is helping with my gut; also, my skin is almost completely healed! Because I made so many health changes in the past few months, it’s hard to tell which changes were the most beneficial for my recovery. Who knows? Maybe the raw milk played a role in healing my skin.

Want to know something really cool and odd? Apparently, there are Raw Milk vending machines in Europe!

So, what do you think? Do you drink raw milk, or do you think that it is too risky?

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Who Are You?

No more labeling of children’s charactersEvery child needs to be seen as a multifaceted being-now shy and withdrawn, now boisterous and outgoing; now slow and thoughtful, now swift and purposeful; now stubborn and uncooperative, now flexible. But never the same, always in process, always with the capacity for change and growth…Every child needs to be seen as a “learner” and encouraged to experience the joy of intellectual discovery and the satisfaction of making progress-however fast or slow…Every child needs to be encouraged to experience the pleasures of sports, song, dance, theater, and art without worrying about having to be the star athlete or a musical genius or the class actress or the family artist. No more imprisoning of children’s hopes and dreams and possibilities by locking them in with labels. Who knows what any of us might become if just one person believed in us enough to help us explore our unexplored selves.”

This is an excerpt from the book, “How to Talk So Kids Can Learn at Home and in School” by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. Do you ever feel like people slap labels on you? I know that I am guilty of labeling myself and others. This is not always done with malicious intent. Unfortunately, the label that we slap onto ourselves or someone else is incomplete and sometimes even inaccurate. Here’s my challenge to you–scrape off the labels that have been slapped onto you. You don’t have to live by those labels! Go out and join a Meetup group to make some new friends, pick up a fun hobby, volunteer for an important cause, read some stimulating books or travel to an inspiring location. As the author puts it, I challenge you to explore your unexplored self.

This post was originally published on February 14, 2019 and was updated on November 18, 2019.

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Fun, Fab, FAT diet

It’s dinnertime! It’s time for the low fat, low carb, low sodium meal again. Sound delicious? Not really! These are the kinds of meals that I used to make in 2010. I’m so glad that I am not eating this way anymore. Do you know why? Research shows, and health gurus agree that…fat…is…good for us! Our brains and bodies need fat to work properly. It’s also difficult to feel satiated when we don’t consume enough fat. Filling up on carbs to feel full may lead to health problems like diabetes and obesity.

If you want more information about a diet high in fats, you may want to read about the Ketogenic diet. My husband has been on this diet and has lost 40 pounds. Personally, I don’t follow a particular diet. I believe that the ideal diet includes organic/natural/clean foods and should contain mostly vegetables/fruits, some meat, and minimal grains/sweets.

Regardless of the diet that you follow, our bodies need fat. Some healthy fats include organic/free-range eggs, organic/free-range chicken, organic/grass-fed beef, organic ghee, avocado oil, coconut oil and olive oil (please note that olive oil becomes unhealthy when cooked at a high temperature).

Let’s get back to dinner. Now I’m hankerin’ for a large portion of colorful vegetables, some grass-fed beef and a small portion of sprouted rice. Let’s throw in some organic ghee and avocado oil. Doesn’t that sound delicious? Bon Appetit!

This post was originally published on February 6, 2019. It was updated on November 8, 2019.

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