Monday, March 17, 2008

I'm So Hungry!

I have lived with a strange form of skin allergy since I was in college. I remember when the first itchy spots started appearing on my legs then spreading on my arms. I went to a few dermatologists in California, even one specialist at Stanford but all had no idea what was going on with me. I've even had countless biopsies and bare the scars to prove them. I finally found this Indian dermatologist and he said I've simply got extra dry skin and as long as I'm vigilant about slathering on the lotion and using non-soap washes I'll be fine. My skin did get a little better, but not good enough for me to wear skirts or shorts again since then.

I've had many friends tell me in the past that it's all in my head and that I should just wear the short stuff and not think about it. I did it once when the dad of a guy I was seeing at that time mentioned I should try wearing short stuff and that maybe the sun will do my skin good. So I did one day when we went to Great America. He took one look at my legs and I could tell by his reaction that maybe I should keep the long pants on. The same thing happened again with ex-friend when we went shopping in HK a few years ago. She made me try on a dress and told me my skin problem was in my head and that I should get over it. I made her come to the fitting room with me which shut her up after she saw my legs.

But the odd thing was that when I became pregnant with Boy Wonder, all my spots disappeared! I was over joyed. I started wearing all the skirts I had tucked away and I never looked back.

And what do you know? My spots decided to come back with a vengeance last September. I was bit by a mystery bug while attending a wedding in Brisbane. That somehow triggered something and my itchy spots came back and this time I had it everywhere! Thank goodness my face was spared! I went to see 2 dermatologists and both said I am acutely allergic to insect bites and the only solution is to start taking steroids in addition to the steroid creams I was using on my skin. That freaked me out, so I went to see a Homeopath/Naturopath after hearing about it from a neighbor who is a yoga instructor and doing some research on line. I read that they are good at treating chronic illnesses and their philosophy of healing really made sense to me.

Hubby was not or maybe still is not too happy that I've started seeing these "quacks", mainly because our insurance does not cover it. He is highly skeptical, but I'm quite happy with the slow and steady results I've been getting so far. The most eye opening thing I've found out after my naturopath suggested I take the York Blood test which tests for allergies that are slow to show was that I was highly allergic to dairy. Second in line was gluten, wheat, beef, yeast and a few other things. I was happy to finally know what my problem has been all these years, but also sad since I now have such a strict diet! I truly sympathize with people who have celiac disease. All that ingredient reading and just being aware of everything you eat! It also bugs me how everything has dairy! I love my baked goods, so now I have to look for alternatives. Breakfast was the hardest, because have you ever thought about what you can eat for breakfast if you can't have dairy, eggs, beef, wheat, gluten and soy? You can just imagine how boring my meals are now.

I've lost weight since this discovery, but all is not lost. My naturopath said I should stay off these foods for the next 5-6 months while he gives me meds to desensitize me to them. After that I can slowly reintroduce these foods into my diet and see what happens.

Another eye opening thing is that I found out I have an unhealthy level of mercury in my body! My naturopath made me take a urine test after he saw how many of my teeth had the old style mercury fillings. I was hoping he was just being extra careful, but he was right when the results came back. So now I need to spend even more money and find a dentist to replace all my fillings. I didn't know we even could retain mercury in our body. After doing some more reading online, I'm definitely going to get rid of those fillings.

So in the meantime I'm looking high and low for things I can eat and snack on. I find myself hungry most of the time. And even though I've lost weight, I realize I need to start working out again to at least look fit. I'm hoping some exercise will help get rid of more of those nasty toxins I've accumulated all these years and lead a quicker path to recovery. Wish me luck!

1 comment:

christao17 said...

Fascinating. I've heard a lot in the past few years about various food allergies being the root cause of many persistent and unexplained problems. I'll be curious to hear more about how things improve over the next few months.