Exclusion Diets

In 2012 I gave up dairy for over 3 months and I did start to notice a difference to my skin, however I wasn’t that consistent and it wasn’t enough to justify giving up my Brie addiction.

However as my Eczema has got a lot worse recently I have decided that I’d rather give up something I crave for a while and have good skin than eat crap that’s making me look like I’ve been dipped in acid.  If it turns out I’m not intolerant to certain foods then I can scoff away knowing I’m not harming myself.

There’s SO many different theories, diets and suggestions for exclusion diets.  I’ve done every food intolerance test there is- most come up with bizarre, contradicting results, and GPs always dismiss it.  I did speak to a dermatologist recently who was very helpful.  I am allergic to peanuts, this was severe when I was younger.  I also had horrific reactions to colouring and certain additives and E numbers in food.  I did my best to avoid these, but perhaps now as an adult fending for myself I’m less careful about what I eat.  I ate something a few months ago that made me a little wheezy and come out in a rash, I discovered it had peanuts in it.  I was very surprised at my mild reaction and assumed I was getting immune to peanuts and my allergy was fading.  The Dermatologist I spoke to suggested that although I may be less allergic than I was I might be eating more things with peanuts in than I realise which is having an effect on my skin.  I’d never really thought about this.  It got me thinking- I don’t actually check that much and I always assume as long as I don’t eat peanuts or peanut products I’ll be OK.  She also suggested I check carefully any products I use on my skin.  I’m VERY anal about what I use on my skin and spend a lot on decent products, which I will blog about later.

It was the same GP that got me thinking about my skin in general.  This was a new doctor I’d never seen before.  After all my frustration at being sent away with stronger steroids and told to ‘get over it’ she was a breath of fresh air.  Although I did walk away with a heafty  prescription for two new steroid creams to try and antibiotics….

Anyways, she suggested that in order to see if it really is food affecting me I’d need to do a full exclusion diet.  She was VERY skeptical about food intolerance but as my Eczema has been so wildly inconsistent and weird recently I’d like to strike off food allergies as suspects once and for all!  Even if it turns out I’m ok with most foods, which I suspect I am, I’d rather know than be wondering.  The GP also told me that she thinks stress is a factor.  I’ve had quite a lot of upset recently with family and my relationship, however this is ok at the moment so hopefully that will help.  Talking to a few ladies at work they suggested work may be a stress factor.  I changed careers last year and was on a trainee scheme for a whole year in 2013, this year  I’m working on my own and not as a trainee and every day I wake up with the fear that I wont be good enough or I’ll make a mistake and not know what I’m doing.  I’d never even thought about work before!

There are many, many factors that can contribute to skin flare ups, and in my opinion what we put into our body is important.  Look at avid gym goers, models and athletes- they don’t look like they do by stuffing their faces with crap.  All the ‘celebrity diets’ are a load of rubbish.  If you want to be slim and healthy you have to eat properly and exercise.  There’s no magic pill.  In the same way I think food affects skin.  I know for a fact if I eat a bag of Wine Gums, my skin is awful.  Go figure.

There are many good books and websites on exclusion diets so I’ve started with going back to basics, as suggested in The Body Language of Health book.  I have been reading several blogs, including Scratch Me Not, which was a real interesting read. I will write up the foods in my next blog.

If you have done an exclusion diet then let me know your thoughts, if you are starting out on one then good luck! x

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