Heal Your Body With Diet: Part 1

Heal Your Body with Diet

The Rash

Since I was in elementary school, I’ve had an itchy, noncontagious rash. For years it would just pop up behind my knees, almost like heat rash. It was worst in the summer and so I called them my “summer bumps.” They were inconvenient but I tolerated them.

Then I got pregnant with Isaac (my oldest). The “summer bumps” turned into a full-body rash that lasted my entire pregnancy.

From neck to foot, I was covered in itchy bumps. I had to take Benadryl at night just to sleep because I was always scratching. Doctors thought it was PUPPS, something dermatitis or eczema. There was never a consistent answer and one steroid cream helped some.

Within hours of Isaac being born, they were virtually gone.

This happened again when I got pregnant with Eva and has continued until now. I thought it was hormonal, but it remained after I had the babies and after weaning as well (that one month when I was neither pregnant or breastfeeding).

From 2007-2011 it was concentrated on my stomach, lower back and chest as well as behind my knees.

This is the ugly, itchy, un-sexy rash that I’ve been dealing with.

The Culprit

After talking to new friends, reading numerous blog posts and researching a ton (thank you God for all of the info that coincidentally popped up at the same time) I discovered that it was dietary; most likely yeast and I needed to stop eating sugar and gluten.

Right before Christmas 2010 I got a new rash on my elbows that took over the insides of my arms. The rash also went from being just itchy to itchy and painful.

After that, I decided that it was time to get rid of the rash and make the changes necessary to end this miserable itching.

I quickly found that I needed to cut out all grains (rash got worse and made my stomach hurt) and on the one day that I cheated with half a pretzel and half a hamburger bun, I was in terrible stomach pain for the rest of the day and the next morning. No gluten for me, thanks.

In addition to the rash, I’ve also struggled with depression, fatigue and almost-daily stomach pain. So, in addition to cutting out irritating foods, I’m also adding in a good probiotic to help restore my normal gut flora and cod liver oil for the vitamin A and D.

The Solution

Did I just pull all of this stuff out of the blue? No. Much of what I learned came from the GAPS diet, a dietary treatment plan developed by a British doctor to help heal her son of autism.

The diet also works for people with depression, asthma, schizophrenia, Celiacs, eczema, Candidiasis and more illnesses.

I also use certain supplements that have helped immensely. The number one being the Lifelong Vitality Pack from doTERRA.

So why am I sharing this with you? It took me hours and hours of searching and lots of prayer to learn that I’m suffering because of a damaged gut and that this rash is a symptom of that.  I want to help anyone out there who is in the same boat, sick of being misdiagnosed and desperate for relief.

Update: The rash is gone. After much experimentation, I know that the rash comes with gluten, sugar, corn and milk (though I can eat yogurt, cheese and butter). However, after implementing the above suggestions, particularly the Lifelong Vitality Pack, I can eat small amounts sourdough bread with no issues. I also can eat natural sweeteners

Here’s Part 2 on how I’ve been able to stay strong on this difficult path to healing.

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Nina Nelson

Hi I'm Nina. Healer. Writer. Wellness advocate. Mama of four. Former bus dweller now focused on exploring simple hospitality. I love Jesus, simple natural living, coffee, and Shetland ponies.

Comments

  1. says

    Interesting. This might sound weird, but we’re treating our dog for yeast, and it actually gets worse before it gets better. Really worse. So maybe the yeast is coming out? Another weird thing is that thyroid issues can hinder the dog’s healing, I’m not sure if that’s completely true for humans too or not. Nzymes.com is the program we have her on. I don’t know what my point is, just that I’ve been thinking about yeast lately and wondering if the treatment for my dog translates to people to or not…

  2. says

    Interesting. I just read someone’s web site where she had something very similar, and she said it got bad after she started treating it with GAPS and then it finally went away. Maybe that’s the deal with the rash on my arms?

  3. says

    I was reading on a friends facebook just a couple of days ago that she went through withdrawal and felt awful when she was coming off of gluten. I didn’t notice a difference, aside from I’ve lost almost 20lbs!! I dropped the gluten mainly because my baby showed an intolerance when I introduced wheat, and my son shows an intolerance neurologically. But I have more energy, and don’t feel icky after eating thigns like pancakes and waffles (SO NOT healthy, but I love them! even gluten and dairy free)

  4. says

    Yay! I’m glad you were able to post. That’s awesome that you’ve lost almost 20 lbs! It’s amazing how gross you can feel after eating that stuff. I had no idea that it was playing such a huge role in how bad I felt.

  5. Joelle says

    I had a similar rash for 2 and a half years, beginning right after the birth of my first child. I went to multiple naturopaths who told me I had shingles, candida, problems with authority (yes!), parasites, and stress. After trying all the recommendations, no change. Finally, I saw a naturopath who did muscle testing and told me that I had liver problems. I never would have guessed it- I was never an alchoholic, don’t have hepatitis, why would I have liver problems? I still don’t know, but what I do know is that after a year of adding liver supporting foods and herbs (never did a major cleanse because I was breastfeeding), my rash is GONE! Hallelujah! The road to healing is sometimes a long one. Stay on the path and be encouraged- wellness is possible!

  6. says

    Thank you so much for sharing Joelle! I’m glad that you’ve gotten rid of the rash. Of course, liver support! I smacked my forehead when I read this. I definitely need to be more intentional about that. Thanks again!

  7. says

    I just found your website and this post by looking up information on rashes after pregnancy. It started with a bad rash as a reaction to the adhesive stuff used by my OB to place a NEW vacuum pump thing over my c-section incision. It worked on helping it heal and close, BUT the plastic around it that was sealing it closed started coming off and everything around my stomach and thighs itched like hell and everything from my belly button to my upper thighs has been on fire since a week after my c-section. Funny, but diaper rash cream, Triple Paste, and baby powder have actually helped. The rash was so bad that my skin was leaking water, and baby powder helped to dry it out. But then, other places on my body kept breaking out and ITCHING!!! My chest, my breasts, my underarms, and my whole stomach. I did start taking an iron supplement a week before, and I decided to research it online before I took any more of it.

    It turns out, that a few of the severe reactions to the iron medication was hives, rashes, and itching. Darn it! Between that and my pregnancy hormones, it’s been 2.5 weeks, and I am still having issues Itching. But it’s only been a week since I stopped taking the Iron. My chest is the worst part right now. It’s really red and itchy. No more wearing v-neck shirts till it stops. So embarrassing and uncomfortable.

  8. Kyle Nieman says

    A few years back, I had a rash on the inside of my elbow, which ended up spreading to my entire body. It was awful. Doctors told me it was autoimmune, and the treatment was “Light Box” where I put tanning goggles on and stood in a room full of uber bright fluorescent light tubes for increasing periods of time. It took several weeks of therapy before the rash went away. A couple times since then, I have been out in the heat and noticed the hint of red bumps under my arms, after which I immediately slather on a steroid cream. That, so far, has kept repeats away. Is it possible this isn’t autoimmune, but is in fact dietary? Are steroids overkill, perhaps?

  9. says

    Could be. I treated mine with steroid cream for a long time. It worked with a really strong cream and then that stopped working, too. You should get Mike to do his allergy test on you. :)

  10. Andi S. says

    I have had issues with allergies my whole life but never had a food allergy or intollerance. I get sinus infections all the time, yeast infections often, really bad acne, and stomach pain and heart burn after I eat. My boyfriend’s mom was telling me that I could be wheat intolerant or wheat allergy so I’ve been doing research. I stopped eating wheat for a week (didn’t cheat) and then on the weekend I drank beer and ate some wheat. After I would eat the wheat products I felt like crap. On Sunday night already I had a major yeast infection. I’ve also been trying really hard to cut down on sugars especially high fructose corn syrup, bc it makes me feel so sick when I eat it. I need to see an allergist but I’m trying to pay back my current medical bills before I go back to the doctor. I’m also nervous about seeing a naturopath bc I never have before but I don’t like taking meds that I get from my regular doctor bc I’m afraid I will have weird side effects. Its good to know that other people are having issues and going through this too.

  11. Karen says

    Have you watched “fat ,sick, and nearly dead”? It’s free on YouTube or join the reboot. It changed my life.
    Best of luck,
    Karen

  12. says

    Wow, Andi, that sounds SO familiar. A lot of what I have done has been self-experimentation – not eating the food and then eating it and seeing how I felt. It’s helped me to rule out what makes me sick and what doesn’t. It doesn’t make it any easier to stop eating that stuff. I’ve only just begun seeing a naturopath because I’ve been so exhausted lately and I think it’s my adrenals. After blood testing, she determined that I’m low in vitamin D and B12 and that I need some adrenal support. I’m also seeing a wonderful chiropractor who does myofascial release and I’m thinking about seeing an acupuncturist. And yesterday, I started the Whole30 program because, frankly, sometimes I tell myself that the pain won’t be so bad. Hopefully someday I’ll learn. :) All that to say, research, research, research. Cut out the foods that make you feel awful and stay away from processed junk. It helps so much.

  13. Andi S. says

    Nina,

    thank you so much for the insight! I will definitely be researching a LOT in the near future!

    -Andi

  14. Karen says

    I’m so glad you liked it. If you get into juicing, another person I like that has good recipes , although kind of wacky at times is ” the life regenerator” on YouTube.
    Take care,
    Karen

  15. says

    Thanks! I borrowed my Grandma’s juicer today and made my first juice this evening. It had apple, carrots, ginger, kale and beets. Truth be told, this is the first time I’ve eaten beats. It was pretty good! I’ll check out the life regenerator on YouTube.

  16. Karen says

    awesome. Beets can naturally lower your blood pressure. I found they made me dizzy. So I do small doses of them.
    Karen

  17. maria says

    I have suffered from acne and sebborheic dermatitis on my scalp for most of my life. Dandruff shampoos do not help. Do you think the problem might be gluten and yeast? Whenever my liver is tested, enzymes are high! Can anybody help? Drives me batty because most dermatologists and doctors are no help! Very frustrating! Thanks!

  18. says

    When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox
    and now each time a comment is added I get
    several emails with the same comment. Is there any way you
    can remove people from that service? Thank you!

  19. SeattleGirl says

    I totally agree with what Christy’s post. This happened to me when I started detoxing and taking iodine. I try to think of it as my body purging, something that has always been there and starting to rise to the surface and heal. The same thing goes for cupping…stagnant blood comes to the surface so it can clear.

  20. says

    Hi Sherry,
    I’ve noticed more energy, improvement in PMS symptoms and some serious changes in my digestive system. I can eat foods without pain/rash that I thought I had to stop eating.

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