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I Couldn’t Keep Up with Clean Eating for Eczema

The closest I came to managing my atopic dermatitis (eczema) to a place where it was at its most comfortable was back in 2016. At the time, my now ex-wife was studying to become a nutritionist.

Controlled but not cured

Thanks to her knowledge and understanding of how our bodies react to certain foods, she steered me on the right path to, if not a full recovery, then one that certainly felt like I was well in control of my destiny.

Of course, there is no one magic pill or solution to get rid of this awful disease. It is a constant struggle and requires persistence – evaluating and re-evaluating what little changes need to be made.

Nutrition is key

What we decided to do was to cut out refined sugars, and all processed foods. So things such as processed meats like ham, salami, chicken slices, crisps, chocolate, fizzy drinks, milk, etc. Essentially, I became a pescatarian. My diet was literally fish, grains, bulgur wheat, lentils, brown rice/pasta, and vegetables. So a typical day would be a plant-based smoothie in the mornings, boiled egg toastie with spinach for lunch, and grains with cherry tomatoes, red onions, smoked salmon, and rocket for dinner.

My eczema started to clear

Coupled with this new diet plan, I made the decision, on the advice of my GP, to reduce my use of steroid creams and ointments. Within six weeks or so my skin had completely cleared up. My hair and eyes looked vibrant. The rough scaly patches on my neck, in my joints; back of my knees, and inside of my elbows had all cleared. The scarring on my wrists, neck, and eyes softened. My asthma even improved.The only downside was that it was costing a fortune to live like this. Eating well is expensive. It can be done on a very stringent budget, which is what I do now but since then I’ve lost my way a bit.

Although my skin had healed, I still had flare-ups but they were not as intense as they had been, but intense enough to still have my sleep interrupted.

Out of control eczema

Since being on my own (2017) and handling life’s pressures, my skin has taken a turn for the worse. It’s been out of control for a while now.

Not eating clean

I put this down to two things, one: not eating completely clean. It’s like my body has become more sensitive to bad foods. (Crisps, chocolates, fizzy drinks). Perhaps, once one eats clean, there is no turning back. One has to keep eating clean to keep the AD at bay.

Life’s pressures

And two: pressures and stresses of living alone and being self-employed. Knowing that you are solely responsible for bringing in the monthly pay-cheque and that there is no safety net with a partner’s wage to take the pressure off. Also, when my skin is really sore and not looking its best, you don’t feel like going out and socializing. You just want to hide yourself away. This in and of itself can produce anxiety when having to cancel appointments. Often I find myself lying to people because no one wants to hear that you are “suffering” again. Boring! So it’s easier to blame it on something else.

An uphill battle I'm ready to take on

I do believe I can get there again – to a more manageable place with my eczema. It’s going to be a battle but one we all must take on! We cannot allow it to beat us.

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