Leah’s Health Journal 5/23/14: Keratosis Pilaris ?

     Keratosis_pilaris_arm

     So I’ve been back to my whole foods diet now since February. I’m not a first timer, except I am just realizing now it can be categorized as ‘Paleo’. I made a conscious effort summer of 2012 to eat only foods that made me feel good.

     Food-Allergy-Awareness

    Anyone who has had the pleasure and joy of sharing a meal with me gets to see how I react to food. It started around 21-22 when I noticed I would get the sniffles  after a meal out at a restaurant. It started to proceed to intense mucus build-up (can’t breathe well), instant gas (I could eat half a sandwich and look pregnant), then sneezing and uncontrollable coughing added to the mix; It was pretty obvious I have a food allergy. I ignored it being young and not too bright about my health (well I thought I was, pounding diet pills and diet food). After awhile I began feeling like total crap and I could see it in my features, I take care of myself so no one could really tell but my skin was always dry and greasy at the same time, my eyes were turning yellowish, and my acne was out of control. It’s expensive to be unhealthy, all the beauty products I paid for then I maybe pay a fraction extra now in better organic food.

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     I started researching more about what it could be and briefly spoke to my doctor about it during a check-up, then heard it again at a food seminar. He and the nutritionist told me my best bet was to eat whole clean foods (un-processed, which means eating the food in its natural state, sometimes a chemical change can occur in processed foods that doesn’t react well with some people’s bodies, not to mention the arguable health risks associated with un-natural chemical additives) and start eliminating different things from my diet then waiting to see if it improved or worsened.

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   I started to just eat fat burning foods. A fat burning food is something that fills you up but keeps you going and improves your metabolism. Spinach, turkey, raspberries, lamb, etc. are all fat burning foods. Raspberries have ketones in them which are a key ingredient used in some fat burning pills (I do not condone these, from horrific past experiences), as well as lamb which is a natural source for carnitine, also a natural fat burner.

Any who, if you keep up with my blog you know the rest. I’ve fallen a few times off of my diet, mostly because of emotional hard ships in my life (physical and emotional). I have a tendency to say F the world when I’m on hard times and the first thing to go is my diet.

Now that I’m older though and I’ve done so much research on food allergies, it is pretty obvious that having a food allergy and ignoring it only causes internal break down (folks with Celiac’s disease can expect to face bowel cancer if they ignore it, as an example) and I could see the physical hints of it.

So my first physical change that my boyfriend actually noticed was the disappearance of our “chicken skin, sugar pimples, white arm bump things, or incorrectly diagnosed as dry skin” was going away!

keratosis

What were we doing different? Well we both have pretty much eliminated grain from our diet, as well as milk products. Once in a while I’ll have something but it just doesn’t work well for me and results in mucus, breathing problems, ibs like symptoms, sneezing, coughing, and sometimes itching. We also have switched out our normal lotion for pure coconut oil, the kind you can cook with yes. It has a great smell and serves multiple purposes without leaching chemicals into your blood system that eventually travel to your heart. The skin is an organ and needs to eat healthy too.

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Here’s an example of how you can start judging your internal health based on your skin. If you are always touching or aggravating your face, wearing makeup, or other obvious reasons don’t jump to thinking you are dying haha.

So I have been excited about Paleo because it gives me more recipes related to the way I eat, I don’t 100% agree on the kinds of meats eaten (I don’t eat pork, it makes me want to die inside), my mom never cooked this and my body isn’t a fan. I also don’t agree with all the beef, so I eat a lot more turkey, fish, chicken, and lamb.

So! my main point, I was flipping through my Paleo Magazine, Modern Day Primal Living. I saw an article talking about “chicken skin” or keratosis pilaris. Keratosis Pilaris is actually clumps of cells that haven’t keratinized correctly. Which means the skin proteins are multiplying faster than they can shed from your skin. The typical American symptom treatment is to exfoliate them away. I’ve tried all sorts of things myself, even so much as to buy those $100 dollar dead sea mineral scrubs at the huge promise it would work. Nope.

I couldn’t fix an external problem when the root cause was internal (for me). Which I didn’t know until it went away from a dramatic diet change, well not dramatic to me but I guess it’s really unsettling to everyone else I don’t eat bread anymore… 😉

Keratosis is “usually” a Vitamin A deficiency and manifests itself through our skin as chicken bumps since the body needs proper Vitamin A to synthesize proteins completely. Can’t I just eat carrots? Well carrots are full of beta-carotene which can be “converted” into Vitamin A, they do not posses true Vitamin A though. The conversion rate between beta carotene to Vitamin A is not reliable and the conversion rate is too poor to get your Vitamin A from.

What foods are rich in Vitamin A? cow liver, egg yolks, raw milk with the fat intact.

Unfortunately, if you aren’t a person with a balanced diet (everything is accompanied by bread which is an anti-nutrient, lots of processed foods, fake sugars, corn  another anti-nutrient, etc.), vitamins have a very hard time being absorbed. Sometimes we can keep eating certain vitamin rich foods but if you aren’t eating a well-balanced diet, you will just urinate them away. You should also take these vitamins into consideration when trying to absorb Vitamin A; the mineral zinc, K2, and D. Vitamin D is the biggest vitamin deficiency found in people today and is related to everything from depression to skin issues, since everyone wears sunscreen 24/7 and works in doors you are cutting out the 15-20 of sun you DO need and the general public has cut cholesterol filled foods out of their diets. I implore you to do further research on this as well, science has de-bunked the cholesterol from fat theory and is looking at a new approach, grain (anti-nutrient, which blocks vitamin absorption to heal the body). However, you won’t hear or see much about this since a billion dollar industry thrives on it (diet foods, sick care, and agriculture). I would persuade those interested to steer clear of the internet mumbo jumbo and get your butt to a real book store to do real research. The internet is great for sharing ideas and knowledge but anyone can well write a blog haha or pose as a health professional. One of my favorites is “Why Diet’s Don’t Work” you can check it out on Amazon through this link. It is an un-biased scientific approach to why typical American diets do not work and how the processed foods of today are really effing things up. I’m a person who believes in science and not fads, this was the first thing to open my eyes up about many things.  I advocate for paleo because of its ties to the whole food diet.

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Hope you all have a wonderful weekend, get some sun, eat well, live well, smile often.

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6 thoughts on “Leah’s Health Journal 5/23/14: Keratosis Pilaris ?”

  1. Love this post. I feel like I could have written this. I also started with whole foods and eventually realized I was basically doing Paleo. I also primarily experience nasal/mucous issues from food allergies, and not stomach issues. I’ve written about this on my blog but I had a chronic cough I was prescribed steroids for. I cut out dairy and gluten and it was gone. And for a while I was getting 2-3 sinus infections per month. Also gone now. Also that pic if your upper arms could be me! This is also largely gone now with my change in diet. Amazing, powerful stuff!

    1. I wanted to post this too also see if others suffered from this as well, I feel like no one I know had the same symptoms. The severity of my reaction varies but it always happens. Unfortunately I don’t have a good shot of my arms from before because I didn’t think it was anything more than dry skin. I found a picture of girl who’s arms looked like how mine looked though, I was always popping and picking them (gross) :/. My boyfriend’s are a little worse and a lot darker red, his aren’t 100% back to normal but there is a huge difference and everyone tells him how good his skin looks now, he’s 32 so he has fine lines but they’ve seemed to go away and he has a glow 🙂 . I also don’t get the stomach issue like a person who suffers Celiac’s disease, except gas and constipation. I do have one thing though that makes me think it could possibly be preservatives…my lips swell up when I eat certain kinds of shrimp, usually the cheap frozen kind. When I eat them fresh I’m ok, my doc said I’m probably allergic to the preservatives they use in them. So I have been trying to eat gluten free products to see how I react to narrow down the issue. I still get the symptoms though, so I’m wondering if it is preservatives. Either way I’m so happy to find a way of eating that let’s me feel like a normal person 🙂 Thank you for sharing your experience with me.

      1. My husband gets the same reaction from some shrimp- and only some! We always figured it was something about it not being über fresh but the preservative theory is an interesting one. I never thought of that. It makes sense! As for me, I’ve found I need to go behind paleo to AIP paleo – basically means further restrictions. It’s tough but when I do it fully I feel my best. I’ve had a few false attempts at doing another AIP detox and now with birthday, wedding, and just generally more social events season here it’s hard to find the right 30 days to carve out for it. Anyway, I’m so glad you’ve found this way of life. I know when we make these connections is just life changing – and dumbfounding that this is not conventional thought in western culture.

  2. This is great! Have you read, “Grain Brain”? A friend recommended it to me when I said I was trying to go Paleo, and it gives you SO many more reasons to cut grain from your diet. The book is by David Perlmutter, and I highly suggest it as a summer read. Keep the great posts coming!

  3. Very great post!
    I also have keratosis piralis all over the backs of my arms and thighs. I am not sure what is causing it, because I eat paleo and have no food allergies. I think it may be because I have nutrient absorption issues, and as you said in the post, you need sufficient vitamin A and other vitamins, which I may not be absorbing.
    I’m glad that you posted this article because for a long time, I thought I was the only one with keratosis!

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