I am not a doctor and this post is not medical advice. This is simply what has helped me in my own health journey. Please keep in mind that we are bio-individuals so what helps one person may not help the next.
That being said, I know I gained a lot of insight from reading about how others managed to heal or reverse their autoimmune conditions. So I feel like this post may be helpful to some of you!
The questions I’m most often asked are ones that relate to how I’ve healed my lichen sclerosis and eczema. Eczema was a part of my life for years and years (since childhood), and I was diagnosed with lichen sclerosis at the age of 21. You can read my full health journey here. But now, I can say that both of these conditions are very, very well managed. So much so that I currently consider myself in remission.
Does this mean I am cured?
When I say “remission”, it simply means that I am not experiencing any symptoms at the moment and both conditions are not progressing… at the moment.
It’s quite possible I will experience flares/symptoms again, which is one of the reasons I continue to work on my health and healing.
Here’s the way I look at it…
For a combination of reasons – genetics, toxin exposure, leaky gut caused by an unhealthy diet and lifestyle of many years – has resulted in my body attacking itself in the form of Lichen Sclerosis and Eczema. I may not be able to cure the disease or change my body’s response BUT I can reduce (or even eliminate) my symptoms and reverse some of the damage through nutrition and lifestyle.
So how did I get to this point? How exactly did I manage to eliminate my symptoms?
Before writing this post, I thought a lot about the steps I’ve taken to heal and regain my health.
I’ve taken many steps on my healing journey. But I’ve decided to highlight 5 that I feel made a huge impact!
There was a time where I felt completely out of control of my health. I was so inflamed. My LS was flaring 24/7. My eczema was spreading. I was in full blown panic mode all.the.time.
I learned to turn to my breathing. I started doing acupuncture with my naturopath at the time. During these sessions she would walk me through guided imageries.
The simple act of deep breathing, and imagining my symptoms decreasing made a huge difference in how I felt. To be honest, I don’t even think my symptoms actually decreased. But I started to feel more in control again, which is exactly what I needed.
My mantra became “yes it is possible for my body to heal“. I decided to believe this fully and started imagining my life without LS and eczema.
Instead of viewing these conditions as a life-long sentence (as I was told many times) and asking “why me?”, I changed my point of view. I began to view the LS and eczema as my body’s way of revealing that something is not quite right with my health, and it was up to me to figure it out!
2. Balancing Blood Sugar
I knew I needed to become in tune with my body, if I was going to figure this out. So I started paying attention to how my body reacted to different foods and the first thing that stood out was sugar. Sugar was most definitely not my friend!
Anything with sugar, even fruit, was causing flares. And considering I was already diagnosed with hypoglycemia, it’s safe to say my blood sugar levels were out of whack and very much affecting my LS and eczema.
So I focused on balancing my blood sugar levels by reducing my refined sugar intake and eating balanced meals. I was a big fruit eater, so I had to be mindful of how much fruit I was eating. And when I did eat fruit, I made sure to eat it with a healthy fat and/or protein.
I also started taking the supplement chromium picolinate, which helps stabilize blood sugar levels, and I immediately noticed relief in terms of my LS.
3. The Autoimmune Protocol
When I first discovered AIP I was already gluten, dairy and egg free. So the concept of eliminating allergenic foods was not necessarily new to me. However, I won’t lie, I was very surprised and frankly a little scared when I read just how many foods are eliminated on the autoimmune protocol.
I was thinking, “is this really necessary?”
But the more I read and researched about the protocol, I knew it was something I had to try.
So I’d say I started paleo right away and then within a few weeks I was fully AIP. After several weeks of eating AIP, I felt my system calm down, way down! It felt like my body wasn’t screaming at me any more. And I finally wasn’t thinking about my LS all day long.
I go into more detail on what AIP is in this post, where I also link to several excellent AIP resources.
Supplements have definitely played a key role in my healing journey. It’s important to note, I’ve changed supplements over the years and they continue to change depending on what I’m focusing on in my health. That being said, there are several supplements I consider an integral part of my healing.
- Probiotics – helps to balance intestinal bacteria.
- Women’s Probiotics – helps to balance vaginal flora.
- Vitamin D – lowers inflammation and helps to boost moods.
- Chromium Picolinate – helps with balancing blood sugar
- Collagen – healing to the gut lining and benefits skin, hair, and nails.
- L-Glutamine – aids in healing leaky gut.
5. Seeking Help
I couldn’t have gotten to where I am now, if I hadn’t sought out help from professionals. I believe it’s super important to work with someone that gets you! I’ve seen quite a few Naturopaths and honestly they haven’t always been the right fit. But once I found the right type of help, my health and healing benefited ten fold!
I still consider myself a work in progress. Currently, I’m concentrating on sealing my leaky gut and reducing candida overgrowth. Reducing stress, exercise, and getting enough sleep are areas I’m consistently working on improving.
But meeting regularly with a professional provides me with support, guidance, and motivation. It really keeps me on track and encourages me to keep making good decisions for my health and healing!
If you’re feeling out of control of your lichen sclerosis and are seeking help on your health and healing journey, book a discovery call with me to see if we’d be a good fit. I’d love to chat!