As I mentioned in a previous post, I consulted with a functional medicine or integrative medicine doctor as a means to improve widespread inflammation, including my rosacea. This process has been really eye-opening for me, and I wanted to share an update. Let me reiterate that you should consult with your doctor before starting any diet on your own.
What I appreciated most about this doctor was that it was scientifically based. He utilized lots of lab work in order to devise an individualized plan. It took some time to get all the results in so that I could begin this program. What surprised me and at the same time, did not, was that all of the healthy foods I had been regularly consuming I had become sensitized to and were causing inflammation. Hard to believe that broccoli, spinach, ginger, and blueberries were a problem! I’ve always known I did not tolerate wheat and dairy, even since infancy, however I was shocked that I also had an egg allergy among many other things. Because I have a dairy intolerance, I had been using coconut milk and almond milk products, but this testing revealed I was now sensitive to these as well. Thankfully, macadamia milk and oat milk are not off limits for me. This doctor put me on a very restrictive rotation diet. The foods I was not reacting to were allowed, but I had to rotate them every four days so that I would not become sensitized to those. In addition, I was placed on supplements to heal my leaky gut. Unfortunately, none of this was covered under my insurance so it can mean a lot of out of pocket cost. I guess when you compare it to the cost of poor health, there is no comparison!
What was the result? After a couple months, I noticed many of my symptoms were improving including anxiety and swollen hands. I had been unable to wear any rings for almost nine months prior and had even had my wedding ring resized so that I could wear it. I very quickly lost ten pounds and now my resized wedding ring was too big!
The downside to this rotation diet is that it did not fix all of my problems. My rosacea has improved over time, but I’m not sure how much is just related to using sunscreen and other topical treatments. It has also become increasingly difficult to stick to the diet. Currently I’m travelling quite a bit and it is really challenging to plan and pack all my food while still working. Since I’ve been slacking off some on the diet, I have noticed more headaches, body aches, and malaise setting in. After four to six months, I am supposed to try reintroducing problem foods to see if I can tolerate them. I will likely always avoid dairy and wheat. It doesn’t mean I won’t ever cheat but I just do not feel well when I do. I miss eating foods I love, so I am hoping as I reintroduce foods that if I keep them on a rotation, I will be able to tolerate them. My evening snack used to always be coconut milk yogurt and blueberries, but I’ve learned people like me who become sensitized to their food cannot eat the same things every day.
One benefit to this experience is that it helped me to open up to all new foods. It has been fun to grocery shop just for me and it was a way to nurture myself which I had neglected for so long. Be encouraged, mamas, that God will lead you when you seek Him! We live in a fallen world, so perfect health is likely not attainable, but God is our healer! More than physical health, spiritual health should be our focus. I Timothy 4:8 tells us “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”