So been quite a while since I posted here, have been busy with life and enjoying having clear skin that doesn't cause me to obsess in the mirror day in day out - it's very liberating! Have had no issues skin wise really apart from a pimple here and a pimple there, generally tied to hormonal fluctuations. Finding it increasingly easy to avoid gluten and I am thinking as well that perhaps I am becoming less sensitive to possible exposure, as I have had a few glasses of wine recently with no ill effect (perhaps I just lucked out and managed to find a gluten free brand however) and also I have eaten out in a restaurant and had a sauce that may very easily had some form of gluten in (although again I can't be sure) as well as eating walkers cheese and onion crips that states that they have been made in a factory that handles gluten. While there may have been no gluten in any of these sources, I am hoping that maybe my reaction to it is becoming less severe. I am not going to knowingly ingest some gluten to find out however, it just makes me less paranoid about everthing I eat that I am not 100% sure about, which is great.
So that's everything really, health is great - no headaches in the longest time which is a real bonus. Asthma settled, ya-de-ya-da.... I'll report something if I have anything to report, but on the whole, this blog is getting kind of repetitive as it is clear that gluten was an issue for me and removing it in all it's forms has been what I needed to do to get my health back on track. Just wish I had realised this years ago and my 20's and 30's would not have been such a battle with my skin and confidence - ah well, you live and you learn I guess!
Peace out guys, and thanks for reading my blog, if anything new crops up I'll report it, but for now adios!
So this morning my skin if looking and feeling GREAT - strong looking, unclogged, glowing, more even toned - all in all I am a very happy girl! Not sure if it's the addition of the vitamin D, the fish oil or the turmeric masks that I am applying on a daily basis, but to be honest, I think it is a combination of all three - not the most scientific way to go about things, but hey, if it's working, it's working!
It is also the middle of my cycle give or take a few days, and my skin is always better at this time of the month, so that probably has something to do with things as well. Either way I am very glad as I have a presentation to do at Uni tomorrow for a work in progress research conference, and there is nothing worse than standing up in front a room full of people feeling self conscious about your skin.
I think the turmeric masks are doing a really impressive job of fading my melasma and post inflammatory hyperpigmentation and I am definately going to keep them up, and also I am going to start adding grapefruit seed extract 3x a day into the mix which I have read is meant to be very helpful with melasma. In addition I am brewing up my kefir grains that have been sat hybernating in the fridge for the last month as I am finding that I am missing my morning kefir so in my mind that is my body telling me I need a probiotic hit again. I tend to go through these cycles with kefir where I take it for a few months, and then I get bored with the faff of it and put it in the fridge for a month or so, then dig it out again to restart the whole process. I have been having a few digestive problems of late in terms of regularity, so I definately think that it is the probiotics I am needing.
Gluten free wise, I am not even noticing not having bread, pasta, biscuits or oats - it has become second nature to avoid them. Health is great - hardly have to use my asthma inhaler at all, generally I am using it only whe I go for a run, and no achey joints for AGES - simply wonderful!
So discouraging spot on side of nose and cheek have pretty much died over weekend thanks to liberal applications of lavender oil and antibiotic cream 2-3 times a day. Have steered clear of worcester sauce and gravy I made for for Sunday roast yesterday was just as delicious using a splash of sherry vinegar and some tamarind as substitue for the tangy worcester sauce flavour. Skin on the whole looking good and am feeling fairly posistive again about my progress.
Am going to start to supplement again using Vitamin D and fish oil caps - it will be interesting to see how my skin reacts now I am gluten free, and I am hoping that there will be a significant difference in the way my skin responds now that my system is in a much less inflammatory state, and my gut is hopefully healing from gluten damage. So my doseage wil be:
2 x 1000 iu vit D3 caps - twice a day
1 x 1000mg wild salmon oil cap - twice a day (about 236mg omega-3 per cap)
I am going to split the dosage to get an even spread of both supps throughout the day.
Feeling discouraged today, so this entry is probably going to end up more of a rant than anything. Have developed a painful inflammatory spot on the side of my nose which I ended up messing with yesterday instead of leaving it alone, and when I woke up this morening it was painful and angry so I squeezed the hell out of it, relaeased the infection, and while it now feels a whole lot better, I know I will be left with a mark for a while there now. Also, because I messed with that I ended up going for broke and messing with an uninflamed bump that has been bugging the hell out of me that was sitting in the middle of a hyperpigmented patch of skin on my cheek. It was the wierdest bump - right under the skin, no head and just was sitting there doing nothing, so I squeezed the hell out of it and managed to get only the tiniest speck of sebum which seemed to come from quite deep down, and now my skin there is bruised and will probably be even more hyperpigmented than before.
So the first inflammatroy sopt I've had in over a month and I caved and killed it, and a non-inflammatory bump that I shoulda just left well alone and I couldn't help but kill that too. Mnah. My skin looks worse for it, and whilst everywhere else is okay and I didn't end up going on a full scale squeezing session all over, mainly cos the rest of my skin is fine, I feel I have really let myself down when my skin was doing well and looking great.
Trying to think what could have caused me to breakout on the side of my nose, and thinking that it could be an emu oil thing, but I have no clogged pores anywhere else, so perhaps it is just one of those spots that everyone gets now and then. I haven't eaten any gluten, although I have been using the worcester sauce in my cupboard on a few things this week - it isn't gluten free (has malt vinegar in) but I figured that as it was only a trace amount I might be able to get away with it, and I know I was using it at the beginning of going gluten free before realising that it contained malt vinegar, without any problems at all. If this has been the cause, it just goes to show how sensitive my system is getting to gluten now that I have been off it for such a long time. Will definately buy the kosha worcester sauce next time I am in the supermarket for futue use.
Skin has been kind of clogged over last week, mainly I think because I have had my period, so the old hormones have been acting up and making my skin more prone to clogged pores and increased sebum production. Just goes to show that cleaning up your diet doesn't cure everything - mnah!
Nothing really bad though, and nothing that I couldn't have ignored if I had a bit more will power - literally no inflamed sore cystic acne, which used to be a usual occurrence at this time of the month, just clogged pores and non-inflamed bumps. Guess it takes time for skin to stop doing this shit, espeically when you have an element of scarring to contend with that means that your pores don't behave the way they should.
Have started using a night time combination of emu oil mixed with jojoba with a combination of essenatial oils to try and deal with some old scarring and also to reduce oil production. I found that emu oil was clogging my skin last time I used it (before I went gluten free), so will be interesting to see how I react to it this time. I decided to mix it half and half with jojoba for this reason, and also, the essential oils I am using should help to keep pores unclogged by reducing sebum levels. So far so good (has only been a few days however) - will report back how my skin likes it over the next couple of weeks. I think dealing with the scarring needs to be a priority issue for me as the brown marks that hang around on my skin for months at a time really make my skin look worse than it is, so I am as yet only feeling the psychological benefit of going gluten free regards my skin, rather than the physical benefit of it looking clear every time I look in the mirror, i.e. I *know* it is better cos I have less sopts, but the old marks hanging around don't make this obvious....if that makes any sense at all!
Health wise, I am feeling better and better - have started running again and am loving it, really have so much more energy and stamina to run than I used to - feels great! Asthma very settled, haven't had any heartburn for weeks and weeks, zero headaches apart from one I got around my period a few days ago, so all in all, I am totally hooked on grain free and feel that it is 100% the way my body needs to be - I just don't tolerate grains.
It's been a while since I posted cos I have been on holiday with my family, which proved difficult to keep to 100% gluten free as we were all eating together and different people were cooking on different nights, so inevitably I ended up getting a bit of exposure despite everyone keeping wheat out of things. Also, i drank a few glasses of wine at the start of the holiday which I definately reacted to, but on the whole the main form of gluten I was knowingly exposed to was corn and i also definately reacted to that - sores on the old head back again within a day of eating polenta other bits and pieces of corn in a salad and also a corn cracker thingy that i felt obliged to eat cos my step sister had bought them for me thinking they were gluten free and okay. Damn, it's difficult avoiding ALL grains, but now I am back home it should be easy again, and the sores that did form on my head are healing up rapidly, so all good.
Apart from that, my skin is still clear on the whole - certainly nothing inflammatory in over a month since I kicked the oats, which is a pure miracle for me - and blocked pores on my nose are taking about 8-10 days before getting bothersome to me, as compared to the 3-4 cycle I was previously in. I still have marks from old acne scars that are healing slowly (I scar brown as well as I have an olive complexion, and they hang around FOREVER), so that is annoying, but improving steadily. I now need to work on extending this to as many days a possible to give my skin a chance to heal and repair itself. Hopefully over the next few months things will continue to improve once my system really starts healing from the damage that gluten has caused. I am under no illusion that this is a long haul thing, and I am still in the early stages.
Health wise, my asthma is the most settled it has been in a very long time and I have started running again which is a good sign that my energy is increasing. No achey bones for a while either, so that is very encouraging.
Things seems to be continuing to improve with one major milestone in particular - I am now on day 8 of not having squeezed these two particularly troublesome pores on my nose that are close together and always have got blocked with deep filaments/balckheads that I always end up having to get rid of because they are so noticeable (in my mind at least). Normally the cycle is 3/4 days, but today is day 8 and I have no urge to attack them because they are just not really there! Woohoo!! This is a major accomplishment for me, never have I gone over a week without having to address these two f*@!ers!
Feeling energetic and mostly my skin is clear, apart from a couple of zits on my jawline that I think could be down to stopping retin-a as my skin is especially thick there and also there is a fair bit of scarring from a couple of years ago when I had cystic acne due to the mirena coil which totally screwed up my skin for a whole year. I also think that they could be due to being glutened last weekend in a residual way, but they are not particularly sore or inflamed, they are just kind of *there*.
So things still good, not missing biscuits really at all, and am finding alternatives for treats like gluten free coconut cakes and almond and maple syrup pancakes - the good thing is about a restrictive diet is that it makes you figure out alternatives and your cooking becomes more creative and adventurous.
Well it's been a while since I posted - over a week - but thought I would update. Things are still going well, although I had a bit of glutening over the weekend that I am still recovering from. Red wine of all things, which i now know can contain gluten as they ofetn use it as a fining agent (clears the wine) as well as sealing barrel head with flour paste, so wine is a no no for me from now on, unless I am sure it does not contain any gluten. Will have to source some gluten free brands.
But my skin is still good despite having a rection over the weekend where I got a few sores on my scalp, the pores on my nose filled up - bleugh! - and also by the third day after drinking the wine i got a bit achely in my left arm, alot like the arthritis like aches i was gettin daily before i kicked oats out of my diet. I also got a spot on the side of my nose on Sunday that was one of those painful healess ones that i inevitably squeezed and ended up making worse. I slathered antibiotic cream on it and left it alone though and now it feels like it is going away. So the lesson to be learned is that sources of gluten are everywhere, and also it is probably the case that the more I am off gluten, the more my body is becoming sensitive to it when i do accidentally consume the stuff. When I think back over the weekend to what i ate (because I was away visiting my sister I ended up eating out a bit so there may have been a couple of other sources in there as well, for instance, i had a quinoa and kale salad on the saturday which also had some sweet corn in it, and also a sweet chilli beef salad that looked like it might have been made with corn four) I am pretty sure it was the red wine, as I got a headache the next morning that wasn't a hangover cos I didn't drink enough, and also the night I drank it, when we got back to my sister's flat I felt unusually tired and flaked out on the sofa and was asleep before my 11 year old had gone to bed. And then when I woke up I dodn't feel refreshed at all. That suggests to me that it was the wine, as well as the fact that my skin started reacting the next day.
On the whole though, my skin is breaking out less and less, my pores are still producing less sebum (now that they have settled down from the glutening) and my complexion is more even and the skin looks stronger. All good!
Feel quite proud to have reached 10 days of eliminating all grains from my diet without caving once. My skin is still good, strong looking and spot free, apart from a couple that popped up over the weekend, but considering I got my period on Saturday this is hardly surprising - hormonal for sure. They were very small and easy to deal with as well, just pus filled blisters more than angry inflamed painful pimples, and they literally cleared within 24 hrs.
Healthwise I am feeling good - asthma settled, clear nose again (although slightly blocked on one side). My period arrived with an absence of pain apart from when it initially came in. It's like I came on strong and on Saturday night I felt knackered, drained and crampy, but as soon as it started these symptoms went away and now I am back to fully charged again. Normally I feel crappy throughout my period, so perhaps this effect is gluten related as well? Sorry if this is all to much information for you guys!
So all in all good. My marks and hyperpigmentation are fading fast - if this continues I will have completely blemish free skin in a matter of weeks, which will be first for me
Didn't post yesterday cos I couldn't be arsed, but all in all it was a good day, with no new breakouts and my skin looking stronger and stronger. I was sneezing alot all day though, with what felt alot like allergic rhinitis, which I thought could perhaps be a healing crisis of some sort.
Anyway, today I am much the same, still a little stuffed up nasally, but not as bad as yesterday. Skin is looking great! I have not felt the need to squeeze any blocked pores either which is a minor miracle for me as normally I can go 3/4 days and i see *something* I need to squeeze, usually on my nose, but my pores are pretty diminished and clog free and I really have no desire or need to attack anything - joy!
Not finding not being able to eat grains of any sort a problem either - had quinoa last night with my curry while my fella had brown rice, and i felt great about it. Normally on rice i get kinda sluggish but quinoa is a really light but filling meal and if anything you feel more energetic after you've eaten.
Missing bread and biscuits a bit, but am just going to go and buy myself some green and blacks organic dark chocolate instead as a treat - there are ways to compensate on an elimination diet so you don't feel too deprived for not being able to eat things you used to love!
Feeling great this morning, lots of energy - pretty much jumped out of bed and was awake well before the alarm went off. I have noticed that I am sleeping much more deeply, and considering that i had suffered from an extended period of insomnia before i ditched the wheat, that is a really good sign I feel. Hopefully now i have removed all grains my sleep will be further improved and perhaps I will need less of it - sleep that is.
My skin is looking fantastic! No new breakouts at all and I am coming up to my period so that is a minor miracle! It just feels and looks stronger, more toned, has a nice glow to it....I am still healing from last weeks gluten induced breakout, and because i mark very easily (olive skin that scars dark) they will be with me for a while, but they are soooooo much better than they were just a few days ago. Everything looks good on the oil production/clogged pores front too. All in all, it's happy skin and happy dayz
Otherwise I just feel *good* - energy, asthma is very settled, can breathe clearly through both side of nose, although have been sneezing a fair bit this morning. Last night I had a bit of a background headache and often when i go to bed with an aching head, i tend to wake up with it the next morning, but it has completely gone in the night.
Yesterday i noticed a big difference when i drank my kefir as well - it was as if it was working on a different level and making my stomach/gut growl and groan, and I had to have a few bowel movements afterwards. I noticed that effect when i frist started drinking it a few years ago, but then it stopped after a while. Now that i have removed grains from my diet it feels like it is having that same effect of repopulating of friendly bacteria in my gut, but to an even greater degree.....
Also, i was getting some joint and bone ache in my left arm that had been there for a few weeks, and that has completely gone. I was starting to think that it was the beginning of some inflammatory rheumatoid condition and I was managing it using honegar (ACV mixed with honey), which was really helping, but now it seems to have completely gone since I have jettisoned the oats.
All in all, I'm feeling *very* positive about going 100% gluten free - wish i had done it years and years ago, my life, my skin and my health would have been totally different. When I think of all the carring - emotional and physical - that I could have avoided, sheesh....well, I guess it doesn't pay to think like that, and i should be grateful that at least I have come to this realisation now age 38, before any nasty gluten induced degenerative disease really took hol, like Rheumatoid arthritis, or Chrons, or the Big C even.....
I have been 100% grain free since Friday 6 May 2011, and I decided that it would be a worthwhile thing to do to track my progress and experiences with completely removing all grains from my diet.
That means avoiding all sources of gluten from:
Sorghum (whatever that is!)
Basically NO grains of any description! Essentially, my thinking now entails the view that grains are only acceptable in a diet if the indivudal eating them has feathers, wings and a beak, and as I have none of those enviable traits, grains are out for me....at least until my next reincarnation
My history is an frustrating one of bad skin since puberty, around 14-15 years ago now, sometimes really bad - not cystic but lots of clogged pores, enough spots to be noticable and the occasional bout of cyctic that I would inevitabley make worse through not being able to leave it alone. I also had a significant number of anitbiotics through childhood, from a really early age (6 months, when I cought pnemonia as an infant), and had subsequent chest infections that I remember being treated with that strawberry or banana flavored stuff. I really believe that all those antiboptics from such an early age are the reason my health ended up being so bad - asthma, allergies, eczema as a child, hayfever - which thankfully I have now mostly outgrown.
I think that disrupting the formation of my natural internal enviroment as a baby was the start of my health problems - the digestive system and the friendly bacteria that reside there are, I believe, the seat of health and immunity. There are the alpha and the omega of the digestive process from which we extract all the nurtients we need to support every cellular process in our bodies.
Anyhooo....so I decided to knock gluten on the head a couple of months ago, but I didn't realise at the time the potential importance of getting rid of ALL grains - for some people just cutting out wheat as the major source of gluten is enough, but for many it is only when every gluten containing grain is removed from the diet that real healing takes place. I had been taking oat milk in my tea and coffee, and it started to occur to me that maybe I needed to remove oats too - I just wasn't getting massive results on the gluten free diet I had been adhereing to that far. I was aware of the uncertainty surrounding oats, whether they were okay or not for gluten sensitive individuals, but I was myself unsure and wanted to see how I went just removing wheat gluten.
So today is day 4, and really my skin is looking alot better than it was last Friday, when I had a breakout on the left side of my face from getting glutened with wheat in a meal I had - there was wheat flour in the gravy, and I ended up getting these wierd weepy spots just on the left side of my face that didn't respond like a normal spot, they just sat there and wouldn't reduce or change.
They are healing up nicely, and my skin just kind of looks stronger today, more even and pretty much smooth. Still scars, of course, but my skin scars when you look at it, so that is hardly surprising.
Health wise, I am feeling really quite energetic, and my asthma which has been playing up recently because I have been dealing with my inner smoking demon again and have fallen off the wagon (again - sigh!) after 6 smoke free months (DOH!), seems really quite settled and my lings feel pretty good. No heartburn either since I ditched the oal milk on Friday, so that is also a good sign for me.
I'll try and post every day to get an accurate picture of things. Cheers for reading!