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gutgirl

My holistic journey :)

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I have been on here for a while now, reading about other people’s struggles and solutions whilst going through my own and I said once things started to get better for me I would post on here and share my experience.

I have had beautiful skin for the last 5 years. Someone from those skin places in the shopping malls even asked me to work there one time that’s how good it was! No one can prepare you for something that shows up so visibly on your skin and how it affects your sense of self worth every day.  So quick background I came off the pill this year, out of a devastating long term relationship and had many other stressful things in my life. I was living a typical twenty something lifestyle drinking, eating carb heavy foods (i’ve always loved anything with sugar in it) and switching between dieting and bingeing. Overall I liked to think I was pretty healthy because I would try balance it all out. A few pimples here and there started to appear, but then it was downhill for both my face and my mental state. Small pimples all over my face and big ones that would hurt, you know the deal. I didn’t want to leave the house, even to see my closest friends. Anxiety and depression and hopelessness were all there and I would spend all my time looking up how to cure my face as well as how I was feeling in my head.

I am a person who will research stuff to death when it comes to my health.  I just don’t trust other people and I can be a bit of a control freak. I refused to go back on the pill or take antibiotics (I had been on accutane in my teens and so much of my hair fell out). This is what I have found that helped me and I hope maybe it can help others.

I feel that health, both mental and physical needs to be tackled holistically

MENTAL

No matter what happens to your skin or how bad it gets, you aren’t your skin. You are the person you decide to be despite the skin you’re in. I had to remind myself, I still had control of who I was and I decided to see my acne as a test to see what my mind was made of. Every one of us is beautiful if we are good people no matter what we look like. Your mental state is linked to your body.

·         Keep mental distress to a minimum (meditation, yoga, enjoyable activities) – read up on psychoneuroimmunology and how your mental state can affect all the cells in your body and your ability to heal. This includes regular exercise and 7-8 hours of sleep. There is very good research to support good sleep and exercise and its effect on your health. The mind and body are all connected. We are made up of complex, interdependent systems.

Skin is about health just like any other ailment your body experiences. Chinese medicine believes that your gut is the centre of health and your organs and mental state are all related. Your intestines and lungs are connected organs which also manifest in your skin. Check out the chinese face acne map which shows how the skin tells you about health of your organs (maybe not exactly but there is some truth to it). This is in line with current western medical research showing how gut health and flora is integral and related to a range of conditions (look it up if you don’t believe me).

PHYSICAL

I had both hormonal driven (got worse before period and hormone tests confirmed this) and gut related acne (acne all the time). I took a holistic approach.

·         Diet is important if your gut is already compromised.

o   Some people can eat shit because they have amazing stomach and guts. If you have acne your gut is probably not one of those.

§  I stayed away from SUGAR, ALCOHOL, CAFFEINE, SIMPLE CARBS and also PEANUTS and DAIRY as much as I could. But again, for the sake of mental health, don’t cry yourself to sleep over a missed jacket potato. These are short term improvements to support your gut and digestion that can become less strict as healing improves.

§  Eating cooked foods is easier on your digestion

§  Vegetables are better than fruits (I didn’t eat too many high sugar fruits at the beginning)
- I didn't drink water with meals ( dilutes stomach acid). Ate 4-5 meals per day. Grazing is taxing on your digestive system. It needs a rest in between meals.
 

o   Healed my gut lining (slippery elm).

§  Get health tips including improving stomach acidity, candida growth (look it up, candida test and stomach acidity test). A faulty gut lining allows toxins to leak into the bloodstream.

o   Improved my gut health and bacteria

§  Drank apple cider vinegar -1T 2x per day (ALWAYS DILUTE to prevent damage to your lining). You can test for candida at home by spitting in a glass of water first thing in the morning. Probiotics were very important for me. Essential vitamins including zinc which will help repair your gut and your health.

o   Vitamins

§  I’ve also been using regular doses (not super high of E, A, B, C, Zinc vitamins and fish oil). With vitamins it’s always best to check what you are deficient in and make sure you STILL eat a balanced diet on top of the vitamins you take, it’s much better to get it from food. Other people have also included magnesium and calcium. Vitamins work because your body might be deficient in them due to your gut not working properly. A healthy gut can extract the nutrients it needs from a fairly balanced diet without needing supplements.

·         Acupuncture (for hormones but also helps with general digestive problems) – optional but I think it helped me a lot to balance out systems that were distressed.

If you want to get to the root of your problems, there is no one root. Our systems are complex, and every person works differently, some people get lucky and find that one thing that might make their skin better but I think everyone deserves to have good mental and physical state that will maximise living a happy life, not just a quick fix to get by. Look at the symptoms that your body is telling you, you know it best. Start somewhere that fits for you. I strongly suggest the gut, but try not to neglect mental and physical health in general. When I have acne and it looks worse, I look sick. When it got better, I looked healthier and felt better! I feel like I addressed the cause of mine and will continue to maintain being healthy so I can take the most from my life. I know I won't have to be strict and lame forever, a good solution should be able to be maintained in the long term without having to restrict so much. I feel that my gut and mental health will spiral upwards and then I won't have to be so strict when my health is stronger.

                ALWAYS look up negative side effects before trying something and do it in moderation so you don’t harm your body. I know it’s hard when you want a quick fix or just need to know if it works. I recommend tracking your changes too but don’t become obsessive about it. Can I just say, I am so inspired by people’s stories on here. IT IS SO HARD. SKIN is SO HARD. Just keep going and trying things, you will get there and you will be stronger and better for it.

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