Friday, 4 January 2013

Gluten Free - My Skin Improvement Story

Since I was little I have always had really dry, rough, itchy skin.  My arms, legs and buttocks were covered with bumps and the rest of my skin was just really dry.  As a kid I was diagnosed with immature skin cells.  It was explained to me as when my skin cells die they don't fall off like they are supposed to, they just stay on my skin creating bumps and looking terrible.  I tried all kinds of creams, lotions and soaps but nothing seemed to help.  I have had this skin issue for so long I had kinda resolved myself to having it forever.

Then one day I decide to Google skin issues and low and behold I diagnose myself with something called keratosis pilaris.  A a common skin condition that is manifested by the appearance of rough, slightly red, bumps on the skin. It most often appears on the back and outer sides of the arm (though the forearm can also be affected), and can also occur on the thighs, hands, and tops of legs, sides, or buttocks.  It is said to be incurable.

It looks like this -

Well just over a year ago I decided that maybe I should try going gluten free to see if it would help me with some digestive issues I've had.  Painful gas and bloating that I've had since I was little as well.  And also because I have a family history or diabetes and high carb breads and cereals tend to make my blood sugar spike and then plummet making me feel like crap.  Cutting out most breads and baked goodies really made a difference.  My gas and bloating went away and my blood sugar levels stayed even throughout the day.  I didn't want to cut out wheat completely though because I just couldn't give up the weekly family homemade pizza night.

Another thing I noticed after eating wheat was something very strange that I hadn't expected.  On days when I did eat wheat my legs, arms and buttocks would get super itchy an within two hours of eating it.  So itchy that I just couldn't stop scratching.  It led me to believe I was having some sort of reaction to the wheat.  So I finally decided to cut out wheat completely to see what would happen.

I have been completely gluten free for about 6 weeks now, with the exception of Christmas day when I ate a small amount of wheat.  I have to say that my skin is vastly improved over these 6 weeks.  The bumps on my buttocks, arms and lower legs are close to being gone.  The skin is smooth and soft, something that shocks and surprises my every time I feel it.  I never thought I would have smooth skin.  I still have some bumps on my thighs though but it has also seen a big improvement.  Another thing I have noticed is my joint swelling has gone down.  I used to have a really hard time taking my wedding rings off because my fingers had swollen joints but now they slide off easily.

I don't know if my skin condition is technically KP or immature skin cells and I don't know if I have celiac disease because I haven't been tested and I don't plan on being tested anytime soon because the tests sound invasive and unreliable.  I do think I have a gluten sensitivity or allergy so I am going to continue to eat gluten free for the foreseeable future and keep listening to my body for signs.

Have an awesome day everyone!

My workout yesterday - After my Killer Leg Workout my legs were toast so I just did 35 minutes of Yoga to stretch everything out.

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