Posted 2021-01-11 16:14:58 in Life in General
Being a vegaterian from birth, the only animal product in my diet was milk and its products. My vegan journey started around 2002, when I started to slowly reduce my intake of milk and milk products. I completely stopped dairy intake from November 2015. Since then I have seen many changes to my body. Since birth, I had suffered from a severe form of skin eczema. I had tried many things to help manage and cure it, but until 2016 had no success. I am completely free from eczema since 2017.
Now imagine skin rashes on your arms and the intense sensation of itching that accompany them. I went through that day and night, along with very dry skin which in turn caused more rashes and itching. Nothing helped! Name any ointment or skin hydration cream and I have likely used it. It felt like nothing was going to take me out of this endless cycle of pain and torture.
I had been told by my Mum and Grandmother that I suffered from eczema from birth. I would cry because of the itching, and my Grandmother would keep rubbing my body wherever I felt the itch. In those days whatever the doctors said was followed and my Mum used steroid creams or ointments to make me comfortable.
My parents tried many things to help me get over the condition. They took me to the sea to bathe me in the salt water on one recommendation. They even took me to India to try and find a solution for the condition. Everything helped at first, but the eczema would soon return, and we’d be back to square one after a few weeks. On top of this, I developed asthma which was also managed with medication until 1983 and have not had asthma since the birth of my 1st child in 1984.
One ointment that really helped was called Betnovate Ointment. Having used it on and off for over 30 years, the eczema had gradually reduced to just the inner side of the elbows in the folds, back of the knees and sides of the mouth making it manageable. The eczema flared up when I ate sour foods or in very hot temperatures. I could not eat any citrus fruits, raw mangoes, or anything sour, as that would bring on the itching.
I put on weight after the birth of my two children, and was really upset about the itching that I had on my face and hands. I went to a bio-resonance practitioner who did some energy tests and found out that I was allergic to wheat and the dust in the environment as well as dust-mites.
I agreed to get a procedure called bleeding/bloodletting (taking blood out from one acupuncture point in the body and inserting into acupuncture points in different parts of the body) as the practitioner assured me that if I did 12 of these sessions my eczema would clear. After the third bleeding I lost half of the weight (which was wonderful) but unfortunately, my skin was still very itchy and I was very uncomfortable.
I continued with the treatment with the hope that it would be all clear after the 12th session, but due to the dire condition I was in, my husband and family decided to take me to India to find a natural cure. I do not like myself to be left uncovered as my skin was very scally and itchy and being covered helped to keep the skin less itchy. I could not sleep at night due to the itching. I would stay in bed day and night and get hydrotherapy done. A wet cloth would be placed on my very dry skin to keep it moist. If I scratched, a lot of skin would flake out and wherever I sat there would be a pile of skin.
I had heardrom friends and on social groups, that a dairy free diet is good for eczema. After all that I had been through, I thought I have nothing to lose so I started to switch to diary free foods. Something miraculous started to happen within a month of starting the plant-based diet. The itching decreased gradually and my skin got softer and smoother and after a while, no more itching! It took about a year on the vegan diet for the itching to completely go.
In the process, I also lost more than 15 kg of weight in the first 3 to 4 months and have continued to lose more weight, albeit, gradually. There were some foods I could not eat that I can now eat freely. Tomatoes, lemon, mangoes, oranges and tangerines to name a few. Previously, anytime I ate any of these my skin would start to itch. Now, I have no problem at all eating all these foods.
Whenever I meet people now who have seen me go through all this, they always comment on how good my skin is and how much slimmer I am!
I can honestly say that a plant-based diet was a life saver for me. It really changed my whole life around. It made me feel lighter and brighter. People always worry about giving up cheese or milk but actually the replacements are just as good. I gained so much more than I lost.
I wanted to write this article for anyone suffering with eczema so that they do not need to continue to suffer. If you have eczema but don’t have any other underlying health issues, then try a plant-based diet. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!!!
Please always check with a health professional before embarking on a diet change.
Nilam Shah, of NR Holistic Therapies, is an experienced Reflexologist (Bailey School of Reflexology) and a Reiki Master. She uses a holistic approach, combining both the mental and physical aspects, as mental thoughts are closely linked to physical ailments of the body.