i think this topic deserves a post on its own,
maybe the little section under my FAQ isn’t eye catching enough to entice you to read it,
because i’ve received several emails enquiring about my diet.
some seem to be very surprised that my skin healed despite not following a certain diet.
i think they probably got it wrong.
what i had was TSW, not just the atopic dermatitis/eczema that the doctor diagnosed me with.
meaning, my eczema was brought about by overuse of steroids, not the common environmental allergens such as food, dust or chemicals.
anyway i’ll just do some elaboration on the diet i was on that helped me recover (sarcasm).
you wanna know my secret?
i’m going to do a full disclosure here so you don’t miss out on a single thing.
the anti-candida diet
a show of hands who started to wean themselves off steroids not knowing about TSW, but because you suspect your ever worsening eczematic rashes was due to your diet and the health of your digestive system (because you’ve tried all other alternative methods that you can think of, and tried almost all of the moisturizer that claims to repair the skin barrier that will theoretically stop the spreading and worsening of rashes but they have all failed you)?
i assume most of us have tried the anti-candida diet (or some other form of diets that claims to help with skin inflammation) because we’re desperate for a solution. if you haven’t, here’s what you need to know about candida, and the anti-candida diet.
candida: a relative of the yeast fungus that grows within our gut. just like lactobacillus, it is actually a friendly fungus that helps in the breaking down of our food.
it even helps to produce some important vitamins that our body are not able to synthesize!
but just like the wonderful chocolate, it’s bad for you in excess quantity no matter how much healthy antioxidants it contains.
if the candida population surges it is said to put a load on your body. more specifically, it’ll weaken the stomach lining and cause a series of problems (such as eczema). i’ll not go into the technical details of how candida end up causing skin irritations since you can read that up on your own, it’s all over the internet and i don’t see a point in paraphrasing what others have already paraphrased over and over again. (sometimes i feel that if the same phrase is paraphrased enough times, it’ll end up exactly the same as the original phrase. the circle of plagiarism!)
being educated as a science student all my life, i’m open to experimentation. i’m always trying to find out what exactly went wrong with my skin, so there’s no harm in trying one more thing. if it works for me, good bye eczema! if it doesn’t, at least i know candida is not the reason that causes my worsening skin.
anti-candida diet: since fungus feed on sugar (not just talking about table sugar here, sugar as in glucose, sucrose, fructose, the entire family of saccharides), therefore the anti-candida diet = NO CARB DIET, as carbohydrates are broken down into simple sugars. good bye starch, bread, cakes, and anything laced with flour and sugar.
so that’s the introduction that you need to know.
what i ate during that first 2 months are as follows:
– brown rice.
(waiiiit, didn’t i say NO CARBS? but rice is a carb! i ate it because its low glycemic load is supposed to mean the rice is being convert to sugar slower than white rice [debatable], so that i use the sugar up before it can be fermented by the fungus [according to information i found from the internet 3 years ago]. makes sense? either way, it doesn’t matter anymore, because i don’t have candida overgrowth! )
– unprocessed meat. if they don’t resemble their relatives who’re still alive, i won’t eat it. (e.g. bye bye sausages, luncheon meat, fake crab stick, fish balls, and so on.)
– probiotic supplements
i cut out ALL sugar, including:
– sugary drinks
– products made with flour (e.g. noodles, bread, pastries)
i only drank:
the first 2 months was also the time i tried a shit load of supplements (in the name of experimentation, trying to find out the cause of my bad skin), it ranges from:
– apple cider vinegar
– himalayan salt
– milk thistle
– virgin coconut oil
– i even tried to do a colon detox with some bentonite clay and psyllium husk shake (good lord.. i must be really desperate)
– multi vitamins
– vitamin C
– magnesium citrate (????? i don’t know why i bought it)
– cod liver oil for the anti inflammation effects of omega 3 and omega 6 oils (along with DHA and EPA, vitamin A and D).
– i think there’re more but i can’t recall
bye bye money.
my skin did not improve over the 2 months.
it actually got worse.
in fact, i stopped the diet after 1.5 months because it really didn’t do anything good to my skin.
if you’ve already seen my photos in the photos page, my skin only worsened.
yea yea yea i read all about the “cleansing” action of the diet, about how the death of the fungus will make situations worse at the start, and how our body will recover after it detox-ed.
sadly my skin worsened not because of any die offs, but because it’s the natural course of TSW.
perhaps you may say that it’s not a good experiment at all because i didn’t cut out rice, which is a source of sugar for the hypothetical candida overgrowth in my gut.
also, i did not carry out scientific methods to measure the amount of candida i have in my gut, how can i be so sure that i don’t have an overgrowth? (at the same time i also can’t be sure if i have an overgrowth in the first place or not)
i’m going to show you why i don’t have candida overgrowth later on. be patient!
MONTH 3 – 28
the “healing” diet (sarcasm alert, in case you didn’t pick it up)
if i were to merely state what diet i followed during my TSW, this entry might possibly be the shortest entry here ever. because i didn’t follow any particular diets.
if you think my diet healed my TSW, then go ahead and call it the healing diet.
i’m being a little sarcastic here. it’s not that i’m not a believer of the importance of diet. i know how it all plays a part in the overall health of our body, and i’m actually very conscious about what i put into my body. but calling my diet the healing diet is akin to making stupid logical assumptions.
i inhaled oxygen in the air for the past 2.5 years. i healed in 2.5 years. oxygen in the air healed my skin.
i watched dramas when i was stuck at home for the past year. my skin healed a lot in the past year. watching dramas healed my skin.
i was depressed during the duration of my TSW. my skin healed a lot during this time. being depressed healed my skin.
this reminds me of an episode of house. dr house was refuting claims of a new medication that claims to cure migraine. he proved the doctor’s research to be a fraud and raised a similar example.
a girl with cancer drinks orange juice. she recovered from cancer. orange juice can cure cancer!
what i know about TSW is that the body will do all the healing. whether you supplement it with good food or not, it will heal. does it heal it faster? i don’t know, since i didn’t cut myself into half to experiment on this. if i can, i would have fed one side of my body with pure organic produce, NO processed food at all, plus all the supplements and detox stuff that i can get my hands one. the other half will get the normal diet.
also, i feel that it’s unfair to compare two different person’s diet and their speed of recovery (even if they have the same steroid usage history), because our body is simply too complex for you to draw useful and reliable conclusions from just observing 1 variable when in reality there are so many unknown variables that will affect the rate of healing.
my diet for the rest of my TSW journey follows these guidelines:
– no fast food, processed meat, junk food, soda, sugary drinks, alcohol
– excessive quantity of carbs (bread, cakes, biscuits, crackers, rice, noodles, everything)
– nuts, beans, blablablah.
– probiotic drinks
is this diet different from a normal healthy diet? i’ve never been one to binge on junk food since the beginning of time anyway. it’s almost like the diet that i always had, just that i am now making conscious effort to avoid them instead of simply eating limited quantities of them. i didn’t supplement myself with extra vitamins, minerals etc though. i think the food i ingest contains sufficient stuff i need.
i cut out all processed meat, but i continued with my baked goods.
here’s the reason why i know for sure i don’t have candida overgrowth. if i do have it in the first place, my skin wouldn’t have healed up at all because the candida population will flourish with my high carb diet! what will happen instead is an ever worsening skin.
this is the healthy diet that all nutritionist have been promoting, isn’t it? (ok, i’m sure they don’t advice SO much carbs).
the reason why i never thought of talking about my diet is because i don’t attribute my healing to my diet.
hahaha maybe that’s why it took me 2.5 years to get better? i’ll never know. i don’t think i want to know anyway, since what’s done is already done!
anyway, as time goes by, i started to eat some processed food again. i’ll have pizza (OMG HEAVENLY) once in a while. i also ate one filet o fish in the past 2.5 years. just one burger, without the fries though. i’m going all out on the full disclosure! hahaha!
skin got better in july (month 4) briefly, and then it got worse, then worst, then better, then good.
what’s the correlation then?
from the years of being a science student, i really can’t draw any good correlation between my diet and my healing.
the most i can say about TSW is that the healing is not linear.
i’m not advocating you to eat unhealthy food (excessive amounts of baked products) like i did. what i’m merely trying to say is this, even if you’re on a normal diet like me, you’ll still recover. whether or not a cleaner diet loaded with supplements will help you heal faster, that’s up to your personal beliefs and preferences. you choose what you want to believe, since there’re no hard facts out there that states a clear link between clean/crap diet and TSW recovery speed.
i don’t attribute my healing to my diet. ok, to make a scientifically right statement, i mean that if i take my diet out of the equation, i’ll still heal nonetheless. whether i ate crap or real food, i’ll still heal. the question then is, will i heal faster or slower? i think that’s what a lot of you are trying to find out because c’mon, who doesn’t want to get out of this hell hole faster?
as for me, i choose the route that cost me the least money. i think i’ve wasted enough money in the first 2 months to know that they don’t work for me.
who knows, perhaps they’ll work for you? but then again, we really can’t compare ourselves to each other because there’re simply too many unknown variables across the entire population.
i know there’re lots of unanswered questions and lack of factual data to support my statements.
for example, you can always argue that my skin got better in month 4 (july) because my body has gotten rid of the excess candida and is now back in balance, but i reintroduced myself to carbs after that so my skin worsen again because the candida rises to power once more. but my skin eventually healed because of the probiotics that i’ve been consuming, hence putting the candida nation under control once and for all.
i’ve put my experience out there, it’s up to you to see what you want to see. take away all my personal comments and you can deduce for yourself. 😉
i hope i didn’t enrage the health conscious skin warriors who’re firm believers of how the diet can help our TSW heal faster. if i did, can i redeem myself by telling you that i’m currently on a low (low is different from no) carb diet because i really do believe in the power of food and its effect on our health?
please don’t flame me. juliana likes peace.
p.s. rolling this entry out earlier than i planned because my laptop is going haywire. i’m currently editing this entry using my tv as my monitor and i’m breaking my neck looking up for extensive period of time.