The healing power of LCHF
Most people focus on the weight-loss aspect of a LCHF way of eating. For many people it is the diet that FINALLY works for them and allows them to easily maintain their weight-loss. But in this post, I share with you one woman’s incredible story of how LCHF healed an intolerable skin condition for which none of the doctors and specialists she consulted could find a cure. My friend’s journey back to health illustrates very powerfully how the food we eat impacts not just our waistlines, but our health. This is Helen’s story…….
A year ago if you had told me that I would go through months of anguish and discomfort due to an itchy skin rash, then only to remedy it through my diet, I probably would not have believed you. Eating for me has always been a non-event. I eat to live, not live to eat.
However, I started feeling sluggish and bloated which was often accompanied with serious abdominal discomfort after meals. Then in June of 2013, I developed a severely itchy skin (see my photo below). It was so bad at times that I would scratch until my skin bled. The scratching would make the rash worse and so the vicious cycle began. Sleeping was also a problem. Lack of sleep and having the itches left me feeling very stressed and drained.
My journey began with a visit to the GP. I was prescribed oral cortisone and antihistamines. After no relief, I consulted a dermatologist. More cortisone and antihistamines as well as blood tests and a skin biopsy was done. Nothing untoward presented itself. I then consulted my gynae. More blood tests were performed and my hormone levels checked. Results were all normal.
I had gone so far as changing my shampoo to organic, changing my body lotion to dermatologically approved, and I stopped using softener on my clothes. I gave up drinking alcohol as that also seemed to trigger a reaction! It was a very slow and frustrating process and all the while my skin remained itchy and sore.
I was desperate to find a solution. The cortisone creams and antihistamines were only masking my condition. It was suggested to me by friend and blogger of this blog, Nicky, to seek help from nutritionist, Sally-Ann Creed. At this stage I was willing to try anything.
My consultation with Sally-Ann was very enlightening. My symptoms indicated that I was suffering from a leaky gut and further tests confirmed candida. Whole proteins were entering my bloodstream through the damaged gut lining and causing sensitivities to food. This auto-immune response manifested itself with the itchy skin rash.
I was put on the LCHF (low carb/high fat) eating plan, cutting out all grains, sugar, processed food and limiting my dairy intake to a minimum. Wow!
I had remarkable results in a very short space of time. Within weeks of following this eating plan, along with taking probiotics, L-glutamine and candex to heal my gut, my skin has miraculously healed. I am feeling great! It has now been 4 months of having a rash-free, itchy-free skin.
It has been quite a journey but one for which I am eternally grateful. It has allowed me to take a good look at what food I put into my body. It has pointed me in the right direction of healing my gut and has given me a healthy body and skin again. I am loving the LCHF way of eating and an added bonus is that I have lost a few stubborn kilo’s along the way. Don’t underestimate the power of food. “Let food be your medicine”.
Helen, thank you so much for sharing your story with us. We hope it will encourage others to open their minds to alternative ways to heal themselves, especially once conventional medicine no longer has any answers or solutions for them.
What is leaky gut?
Leaky gut, in very simple terms, is when the walls of your intestines have developed holes that are larger than they should be and undigested food particles and other toxins are leaking from your gut into your blood stream. If your immune system cannot keep up with getting rid of these toxins, they are absorbed into tissues throughout the body which results in inflammation.
This can lead to a wide variety of symptoms like bloating, cramps, fatigue, food sensitivities, flushing, achy joints, headache and rashes, constipation and diarrhoea as well as excessive fatigue. It can also lead to an array of autoimmune diseases such as Chronic Fatigue, MS, IBS, Ulcerative Colitis, and Fibromyalgia.
What causes leaky gut?
There is still a lot to learn about this condition, but it seems like the following list are some of the main culprits which cause or aggravate leaky gut syndrome:
- Medications such as antibiotics, pain-relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs
- Steroids such as cortisone and prednisone
- Cytotoxic drugs (such as those used for chemotherapy)
- Birth control pills
- Consumption of sugar, grains, artificial sweeteners, MSG and trans-fats
- Nutrient deficiencies (Zinc, B-6, vitamin A and l-glutamine)
- Low levels of stomach acid
- Candida (a type of fungal infection)
- Celiac disease (severe gluten allergy)
- Microbial imbalances in the gut (caused by parasites and bacteria)
- Chronic stress
Dr James A Ferrel MD claims:
“The Leaky Gut Syndrome may be the cause of many ‘etiology unknown’ illness. LGS may also explain many of the symptoms patients have that confound and confuse many physicians. In my opinion Leaky Gut Syndrome is grossly under considered as a ‘mainstream’ medicine diagnosis.”
There you have it. Leaky gut is unfortunately something that your doctor probably knows very little (if anything) about as it is not taught in medical school. Lets hope that the syllabus changes soon.
Do you have a success story to share?
If you also have a success story (big or small) related to health or weight loss due to a primal/paleo or LCHF diet then please go to my Success Stories page and complete the form. I would love to put your story on my blog as a way to encourage, inspire and motivate others.
Click here for a very informative website on Leaky Gut Syndrome.
Some interesting articles:
- Heal your gut by Dr Chris Kresser
- 4 steps to heal leaky gut and auto-immune disease by Dr. Axe
- What to eat to heal a leaky gut from The Paleo Mom
- Leaky Gut Syndrome In Plain English – And How To Fix It by SCD Lifestyle
- Could Leaky gut be what’s troubling you? by Dr Oz
Here is a short 7 minute video with gives a good and simple explanation of leaky gut syndrome.