I have always had skin problems. I started getting acne when I was 10 and had terrible cystic acne all through my teen years and into my late twenties, that required high doses of antibiotics to combat. So, when I started getting hives and rashes I just attributed it to my sensitive skin. When I started having issues with swelling hands and feet in conjunction with the hives and rashes, I started to realize I might be dealing with more than “sensitive skin.” I watched what I was eating carefully to figure out what seemed to be triggering my hives and swelling, and tried to control it with Benadryl and other over the counter allergy remedies. These worked for a brief time, but I couldn’t seem to get it 100% under control.
After several months of no relief, after being covered in welts and hives to the point that dressing was extremely uncomfortable, I finally went to see an allergist and was told my skin was too inflamed to do a scratch test, and I would need blood work to test me for my specific triggers that I knew of. When the results came back, I was told I was not technically allergic, just highly reactive and I should avoid those food triggers. The allergist also put me on a daily dose of Zyrtec, Zantac and Cingular. He explained that this was the most common form of treatment for unexplained hives, rashes and reactive skin. I took these faithfully for several months and saw marginal improvement, and then it stopped working. On top of the fact that it stopped working, I was exhausted and my body felt sluggish and “off.” I wasn’t able to do the things I wanted to, and just the thought of getting dressed every day made me want to cry. I had welts and hives all over my torso, arms and legs. I itched constantly. I couldn’t wear my wedding ring due to my swollen fingers. My shoes were all tight and painful due to my swollen feet. My entire body felt bloated and I was not happy.
Christine had mentioned a documentary to me called “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.” I watched it and thought, “Okay, I’ve tried all the options that the medical field can give me at this point, so it’s time to try something else.” I contacted Christine and asked her to help me get started.
I started my own version of a juice cleanse, having juice for most of my meals and a small dinner of fresh food. I was able to start on the Cleanse and Restore kit from DoTerra, and also started the Cynthia Sumner program. Changing the types of food I put in my body DRASTICALLY changed how my body was working.
I have been a processed food junkie for my entire life, and thought that giving up my favorite treats would never work. I especially love Twinkies. I know a lot of people are cringing at that comment, but I love them! Giving up Twinkies was going to be the most difficult thing, I was sure. I have to say, it was easier than I thought. I just don’t buy them any more. Then they aren’t a temptation. I have re-discovered fruits and veggies that I loved when I was younger, but had stopped eating because prepping them seemed harder than just buying a quick prepackaged snack.
I’ve cut out the majority of meat and animal products, and when I do have animal products it is only a small portion of what I’m eating in the day. Most of my diet now consists of raw fruit, veggies, and nuts, as well as fresh juice and water. I’m exercising every day, instead of just when I can muster up the energy. Taking the time to breathe and focus has helped me to put many of my worries and stress into perspective. My anxiety is lower than it has been in years. I’ve learned that taking the time every day to help my body function properly makes my day vastly more productive.
Since starting the program, I had a week where I had a lot of family functions and celebrations and as soon as I stopped eating the way I was learning, reverting back to a lot of animal products and processed sugars, I had an immediate relapse of hives, swelling and acne. It was a definite affirmation to me that I need to be diligent and firm about what I can and cannot put into my body.
I took a few days the next week eating just raw fruits, veggies and fresh juice and immediately felt the effects of letting my digestive system rest and reset. It has been an amazing experience so far, and I’m thrilled with how I feel. I have had many people- family, friends and complete strangers- tell me that I look happy and healthy. One friend even commented that she had never seen my skin so clear in all the years she has known me (and that was nearly 20 years), and that I seemed to glow.
Taking care of my reactive skin has always seemed like such a challenge and I felt like it was a battle of me against my skin and body. The last 2 months I have learned that it is not a battle, it is learning to work together. When I nourish my body, it works properly and I can do everything I need or want to without any complications. I finally feel confident and comfortable in my own skin and body!