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Pixy's Quest for Regaining Health

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  • #16
    Good luck with your dad and the PB! I just gave my mom a copy. I don't know if she's reading it yet. I hope so. Keeping my fingers crossed...

    What you said about breaking out in cysts is not something that happened to me, but I see how it could. I also think most of the people who do oil cleansing use olive oil, which I think is OK, but it's full of omega-6 fats, which I understand are pretty inflammatory. That may be why people don't get the greatest results with olive oil. I didn't, although my skin did improve quite a bit, it never healed completely until I switched from olive oil to coconut oil.

    Yeah, timing a possible breakout is probably a good idea, huh? No fun being all zitty in the holiday photos. Been there, done that, more years than I care to remember!

    Not to take up too much space in your journal, but I will share with you something another forum member shared with me about why acne can get really bad soon after starting PB:

    From Paleobird:
    About the zit issue. When your body, particularly your liver, is overwhelmed with toxins it encapsulates them in fat and stores them away as a self defense mechanism. It can't work fast enough to get rid of them all. When you go low-carb you switch over to burning fat which is good but the side effect is that the stored toxins have to get out somehow. Most go out in urine but some come out your pores as well. This may be what is causing your zits. Stored up toxins from your Krispy Kreme days are trying to get out. Once you burn off all that old storage fat, this should go away. In the mean time, don't think, "Darn, there is another zit spoiling my pretty face!", but instead, "Yay! There are some more toxins getting the heck out of my body".

    From me:
    And, my skin does seem to be following your theory. It has cleared remarkably in the past couple of weeks. I know there may be another flush of toxin release/breakout, but I will be ready for it this time. And you know what else was interesting? The huge, infected zits I broke out in, almost a month into PB, were totally unlike any I'd ever had before, even in my many years of acne. They were probably that way because they were infused with toxin-laden fat! So that may be why they were soooo inflamed, so swollen, and took soooo long to heal, leaving red scars like none I have ever experienced. Like chemical burns, almost - I guess that's kind of what they were, little chemical burns.

    What has really helped too has been the addition of coconut oil to my skin at least once a day. The nice properties of it really seem to soothe my "burned" skin. And really, in the past couple of weeks, it is almost totally healed. Which is awesome, because maybe it's a sign that I am almost detoxed from the Krispy Kreme days!

    OK, enough from Jazmin! I will stop bugging you about coconut oil. I am like an annoying coconut oil evangelist!
    ~ Ex-Herbivore Goes Carnivore: Jazmin's PB Journal ~


    • #17
      Haha jazmin, no worries! Your posts are super-helpful! Coconut oil is pretty awesome stuff; so many different uses. Plus it smells yummy, even though it's kind of odd both moisturising and cooking with it because I end up smelling like my dinner. Breaking out during the holidays would be kind of bad, but I'd rather avoid a serious breakout altogether because it will scar, no doubt about it. That's why I'm being such a pansy about trying the oil cleansing method, though it is tempting!

      That theory about toxin release is interesting. Not sure if I buy it, but I definitely believe that switching to primal eating/living can throw the body off-balance before it stabilizes again, resulting in things like exacerbated acne for a bit. I'm five months in and still breaking out badly, though, so if that toxin theory holds any water then I'm loaded with 'em! :P


      I've been moisturising with coconut oil 2x daily for a few days now, and it's a lot more moisturising than the emu oil. Think it may be giving me some small pimples, but my skin's probably just getting used to it. I also skipped out on the Retin-A for the past two nights to give my skin a rest. I think the scarred pores are my skin's way of saying "Hey, back off!" Everything just looks so red and irritated.

      Still focusing on improving my healing overall. Decided to start taking Vitamin C again, starting off with 1,000 mg 1x daily. Trying to eliminate negative thought patterns and reduce stress, and making sure to get daily exercise even if it's only a 20 min. walk. Also trying to get more active in life overall again

      It amazes me how papery my skin and lips are with all of the fat I eat and water I drink. Not sure that there's anything else I can do for those, 'cept slather on the coconut oil.

      Trying to find a good recipe for the skate wing I got from H-Mart. Sauteeing it in white wine and butter seems like a good idea.

      Really gotta make some bone broth...I just need to figure out a good way to crack the marrow bones I got.

      Sleep has been good; getting to bed before 11 on most nights, up at 8. Lots of vivid dreams. Sometimes when I first wake up the images from my dreams carry over into waking consciousness, almost like a hallucination; it's been happening more often since going primal. For example, when I woke up this morning, I saw a small dinosaur on my bed crawling toward me for a few seconds before I realized I was awake, sat up, and watched it disappear. Other times I've seen giant shadowy spider creatures on the ceiling. It's all very bizarre. I think they're called hypnopompic hallucinations, and I have no idea what causes them, but they certainly get my heart going!
      Last edited by QuirkyPixy; 12-09-2010, 11:51 AM.
      * Pixy's Quest for Regaining Health *
      Trying to gain weight, clear scarring acne, and fix thyroid and digestive issues with primal lifestyle- here goes something!


      • #18
        Had a bunch of non-primal stuff at a holiday dinner party last night: red rice beer, tiny sandwich, a bit of cheesy mashed potatoes, and a few spring rolls. 20%, woooo! Felt really sick about 5-6 hours after eating and couldn't sleep, but it eventually passed.

        Going through a bit of a sea-change with my life right now and stressed as hell over it. Deeeeep breath.
        * Pixy's Quest for Regaining Health *
        Trying to gain weight, clear scarring acne, and fix thyroid and digestive issues with primal lifestyle- here goes something!


        • #19
          ~Deep breath~

          It will all work out.

          Something I was reading this morning:
          ~ Ex-Herbivore Goes Carnivore: Jazmin's PB Journal ~


          • #20
            Breathing...breathing...breathing....ahhh, crap. Still stressed.

            Thanks for the blog link, jazmin! That reminded me that I want to eat more fish. I've already tried most of the supplements she mentioned with little effect, but I do think that eating fish helps!

            Aaaand I'm breaking out like a teenager- more pustules than usual, lots of inflamed stuff big and small, one even on my neck and another on my shoulder (odd). Got some more of those scarred pores on my chin and cheek; I have hope that they'll fade significantly with time because they're pretty shallow, but still. Boooo. Anyway, not dwelling on it, even though it's pretty sore. There's not much I can do but keep on truckin'!

            Today I volunteered on Thompson Island in Boston Harbor and nearly impaled myself on broken Phragmites reeds because I am a clumsy bugger. We worked in a frozen marsh, kicking the base of the dead grasses to snap 'em and then bunching them up and tossing the bundles aside. But soon after we started the ice began breaking and we had to wallow through broken ice chunks and marsh mud while trying not to jab any of the other volunteers with our seven-foot-long pointy sticks. So of course I ended up almost falling face-first in the muck. Caught myself on some broken grass before it was too late, and now my arms have some mighty-fine scratches. PB rule #8 win! Overall though, it was fun times!

            Eggs definitely make me sleepy. Hrm hrm hrm.

            On the health front, I got some more labs back from my doc:

            Vitamin D: 86 ng/mL (30-100) (doc sez "great!")
            Ferritin: 40 ng/mL (11-307)
            TSH: 1.25 uIU/mL (0.34-5.60)
            Free T3: 2.33 pg/mL (2.50-3.90) LOW
            Free T4: 0.99 ng/dL (0.54-1.24)

            So the doc wants to trial me on a low dose of some T3 thyroid meds to see if they help my symptoms. I have an appointment with him on Monday and will probably pick up a prescription for Armour or Cytomel then. I'm wondering why my TSH is "better" than before but my free T3 is crappy. Mostly, I'm happy to finally have some proof that there is something weird going on with my thyroid and that I'm not a freakin' hypochondriac.
            * Pixy's Quest for Regaining Health *
            Trying to gain weight, clear scarring acne, and fix thyroid and digestive issues with primal lifestyle- here goes something!


            • #21
              Pixy, your backstory reads like a classic case of Celiac disease. Have you cut ALL gluten from your diet (there is lots of hidden gluten around)? You hair problem does sound as though it could be thyroid related though. Did the Dr do the second level tests?

              I had similar symptoms, but not as severe, all my life and 2-3 migraines a week to boot. After 5-8 days on low carb they were all gone and I have not had a single migraine in 5 years. My hair and nails are strong and healthy.

              Have a look at this thread on an Australian low carb forum, it has a great deal about diagnosis, testing etc that you may find useful.
              F 58 / 170cms / SW 131.5 kgs / Current 112.4/ GW 65
              following Primal Lifestyle and swimming my way to health

              My Primal Blog / Photo Blog / RedBubble shop / My Calendars / My Facebook


              • #22
                Hey Analog6, thanks for the help and input! I tried the gluten-free thing for about 7 weeks, though that was before I was savvy to the fact that gluten can be in things like tea and can cross-contaminate pans and such, so I may have accidentally ingested small amounts during that time. I'd like to try it again, but I work at a bakery and am in constant contact with glutenous substances- flour, breads, etc. I don't eat any gluten, but I'm sure I touch and inhale it. I'll give it a shot again as soon as I can get myself a new job! But I think it's more of a gut dysbiosis issue caused by antibiotics than true gluten intolerance.

                Glad to hear that PB fixed your migraines/hair/nails! I'm sure you'll notice even more benefits as time goes on.


                I have to gush about my doctor right now, because he is seriously awesome. After dealing with so many useless docs, the fact that this one actually listens and has lots of ideas on what to do is amazing. I went to see him this morning to follow up on all of the tests I had done. He explained that my T3 was low, and that given my symptoms, my thyroid was probably not converting T4 to T3 very well. He said that sometimes the thyroid gets "stuck" in a depressed state due to stress or illness, and once the stress passes it doesn't switch back to normal; the depressed state becomes the new baseline for function. So what he does is give low dose Armour to give the thyroid a little boost, giving the body the support it needs to heal whatever is causing the issue in the first place, and once the patient is feeling better for a while, he weans them off the medication. I should have a prescription for Armour waiting to be picked up later today.

                Also, he ordered a stool culture, stool o & p with GIardia, C. Diff, and Cryptosporidiosis tests before I try the CDSA, as these are covered by insurance while the CDSA would cost mucho dinero that I don't have-o. He also referred me to a GI doc to get a second opinion on the GI stuff, possibly an upper endoscopy to check for inflammation and other things, so I'm going to make an appointment with her as soon as the referral goes through. My doc agreed that the constant gurgling makes it seem like some sort of problem with gut flora, so I think we're on the right track.
                Last edited by QuirkyPixy; 12-13-2010, 08:51 AM.
                * Pixy's Quest for Regaining Health *
                Trying to gain weight, clear scarring acne, and fix thyroid and digestive issues with primal lifestyle- here goes something!


                • #23
                  Took my first Armour pill this morning. Don't feel any different, but I'm sure it'll take a few weeks for my levels to rise. However, I've been reading a lot of disconcerting things on the interwebs about how Armour was recently reformulated and is not very effective anymore. I think I'm going to give it a few weeks to kick in and then if it doesn't work at all I'll ask my doc if he could switch me to Nature-Throid, which more people have had success with. But everyone is different, so Armour might work for me!

                  I also ordered an iron supp. because peeps on a thyroid help forum told me that my ferritin is actually about half of what it should be, and the fact that I eat red meat 2x/day most days yet still have ferritin so low in the range is weird.

                  Done with Retin-A. I got some more of those little scars above my eyebrows and in the center of my forehead. I can't keep track of them any more because of how many have formed, but I'm not gonna let them get to me. Right now, I'm just washing, using Aczone and moisturizing with Complex-15 2x/day until I think of a better option. I think coconut oil may have broken me out, unfortunately!

                  Thinking about signing up for a hunting education course in February (free, wooo!). Certainly would be an odd experience, as my classmates would probably be a bunch of grizzled middle-aged men and their sons. Think I'd get some interesting looks; why would a tiny, delicate little girl like me want to kill anything, after all?
                  Last edited by QuirkyPixy; 12-14-2010, 08:12 AM.
                  * Pixy's Quest for Regaining Health *
                  Trying to gain weight, clear scarring acne, and fix thyroid and digestive issues with primal lifestyle- here goes something!


                  • #24
                    I need more variety in my diet! I don't have time to make something new tonight or tomorrow night because I'm going out, but on Friday, IT'S ON. Part of the problem is that I'm still stuck in that unhealthy mindset that OMG I MIGHT BREAK OUT if I try something different. Which is incredibly stupid, come to think of it, because I'm breaking out even on an entirely "safe" diet.

                    My acne has been very rash-like since stopping the Retin-A, especially on my forehead which was pretty much clear before. I'm wondering if it may be seborrheic dermatitis or something other than acne at this point. Whatevs.

                    On the thyroid front, I feel a bit...different. Placebo, maybe, but I feel less anxious and snippy, and my sense of humor seems to be making a slow return. Could be due to a bunch of things, though. I'm sure the meds take more time to work.

                    Going to a book club meeting to discuss The Omnivore's Dilemma tonight. About 40 people are going according to the Meetup site, and I'm not sure how it's gonna go down because it's in a vegetarian restaurant. I'm also only about 1/2 through the book, but I'm going anyway because I need to get out more and I like talking about food and agriculture with total strangers.
                    * Pixy's Quest for Regaining Health *
                    Trying to gain weight, clear scarring acne, and fix thyroid and digestive issues with primal lifestyle- here goes something!


                    • #25
                      Broke up with the (first!)boyfriend of 2.5 years. Things had been going downhill since I graduated college last September, and both of us weren't happy with the situation of basically living in two different worlds- him in the busy city going to bars and partying and working in a lab, and me at home in the burbs working at a bakery, going for walks, reading and volunteering. We tried to patch things up a few times, but he always felt like I was stepping on his freedom, and I felt neglected and ignored.

                      I can't help but wonder if the circumstances were different how things would have played out; if I'd gotten a better job, been more independent, lived in the city with everyone else, been more stable and had higher self-esteem, if we would have felt differently about each other. We certainly get along just fine and plan on trying to stay friends- we just...grew apart. But dwelling on what I could have done is unhelpful. I am where I am in life right now, and I'm doing the best I can. All things considered, we will eventually both be happier this way. It'll just take me longer to get over it entirely, I think; I'll keep most of my rambles about that to my paper journal.

                      After the realization that things are over finally settles in and I finish the process of moving on, I think I'll stay out of dating until I sort myself out health-wise and mentally. I need to focus on patching up old friendships and getting a job before I'll be in a place where I'm ready to date again; that'd be way too much extra stress when I'm trying to heal.

                      And on that note, I think I'm going to enjoy my day off by sleeping some more then watching some movies, eating some yummy grass-fed beef stir-fry and probably going to a ukulele players meetup tonight if I feel like commuting into Boston in the bitter cold.
                      * Pixy's Quest for Regaining Health *
                      Trying to gain weight, clear scarring acne, and fix thyroid and digestive issues with primal lifestyle- here goes something!


                      • #26
                        Began iron supplementation- I'm trying 27 mg of elemental iron 4x daily with Vit. C until my bottle runs out (90 caps); if things get better I'll keep it up, and will probably get my levels tested again in a few months.

                        Thyroid symptoms still the same, though my anxiety really seems to have been taken down a notch. My hands and feet have been really cold lately, though. Brrrr!

                        Also, I think I'll be needing to buy new jeans and bras soon, because mine are all getting uncomfortably tight. I almost feel like I'm going through a second puberty.
                        Last edited by QuirkyPixy; 12-17-2010, 11:43 AM.
                        * Pixy's Quest for Regaining Health *
                        Trying to gain weight, clear scarring acne, and fix thyroid and digestive issues with primal lifestyle- here goes something!


                        • #27
                          I seem to have developed a weird aversion to egg whites; the thought of eating them grosses me out now. I'm going to try hard-boiling instead of frying them and see if that helps me get them down.

                          Skin is understandably crazy and wicked dry, but I'm not too upset about it. In general, I feel pretty calm, which, all things considered, is incredibly odd.

                          The iron supps are constipating me, despite using a good quality brand/form and taking Vit. C and Magnesium. Joy.

                          Lamb chops and asparagus for dinner tonight, om nom nom!
                          * Pixy's Quest for Regaining Health *
                          Trying to gain weight, clear scarring acne, and fix thyroid and digestive issues with primal lifestyle- here goes something!


                          • #28
                            I've had a constant headache for the past few days. It could be the thyroid hormone, or it could be ketosis. I'm gonna make a coconut milk smoothie with berries to see if it helps.

                            Running low on food; didn't get enough meat or veggies this week, so I'm digging deep into the freezer. Looks like I'm finally gonna have to cook up that beef liver and the skate wing. Thinking of frying the liver in bacon to try to make it palatable, an epic task considering the taste and texture normally make me want to puke.

                            Also, period seems to be regular again, w00t.
                            Last edited by QuirkyPixy; 12-19-2010, 10:00 AM.
                            * Pixy's Quest for Regaining Health *
                            Trying to gain weight, clear scarring acne, and fix thyroid and digestive issues with primal lifestyle- here goes something!


                            • #29
                              Hi Pixy I have been following your journal for the last couple of days. I had similar issues with acne mostly in my teenage years. I feel like the best thing I ever did to improve my skin was exercising to get a good sweat. And to drink plenty of water. When I incorporated those two things my acne went away. I also stopped using benzoil peroxide, retin-A, erythromycin and all the other topical creams my dermatologist gave me. I stopped heavy soaps and went with the most gentle cleansing bar I could find. Also, don't pick and touch your face or blemishes, every time I did that was when I would have scarring.

                              I too had a really terrible diet growing up. I had some major digestive issues and acid reflux. I avoided veggies like it was the plague. I tried to make improvements in my diet by taking a nutrition class and reading a lot of books. But all of it was CW nutrition. I was eating a lot of low fat, high fiber foods. My day would always start with oatmeal and lowfat milk. Once I eliminated the dairy and gluten I had vast improvements with my digestive system. But the gut does take time to heal especially if its leaky. So I treated it with a GFCF diet approved by Dr. Natasha Campbell Mcbride. She wrote a great book on gut health and restoring it naturally. It was a lot of bone broth, coconut milk and veggies that really restored my digestive health. Give it some time and stick with it and I am sure your health will improve. When your gut heals your body will start absorbing a lot of the good nutrients and vitamins that you were missing because of your leaky gut. You will notice your energy levels rise as well. Just remember your health didn't get the way it is overnight so hang in there! Keep updating us.
                              "If man made it, don't eat it" - Jack Lallane

                              People say I am on a "crazy" diet. What is so crazy about eating veggies, fruits, seafood and organ meats? Just because I don't eat whole wheat and processed food doesn't make my diet "crazy". Maybe everyone else with a SAD are the "crazy" ones for putting that junk in their system.


                              • #30
                                Hey Balance, love your username Exercise is definitely a good idea- can't say that I've been doing much of it! Same with drinking lots of water. I don't pick but I scar anyway, but I definitely touch my face too often.

                                Ahhh oatmeal and lowfat milk for breakfast...I used to have oatmeal every day too, thinking it was super healthy! Oh dear. Same with sprouted wheat toast; pretty sure that tore up my gut significantly. Was the GFCF diet similar to the GAPS diet? I've been looking into that but it seems unnecessarily complicated. If eating a lot of bone broth, coconut milk and veggies can help then I'll definitely boost my consumption of those. It definitely seems like I'm not absorbing some key nutrients (zinc, beta carotene, etc.), so I'm sure patching up my gut issues will help everything else.

                                Thanks for the advice, I really appreciate it!

                                Cold hands are collllld. Anxiety is still much improved. Skin is dry but ok; been washing my face 2x daily with emu oil, including a tiny bit of castor oil at night, spot-treating with Aczone. I know emu oil doesn't break me out.

                                Gonna pick up some veggies for soup tonight. I already have 2.5 lbs of beef knuckle bones sitting in the fridge waiting to be made into broth. I hope it's ok that they're from a CAFO cow because that was all I could afford. Mmmm, hormones and antibiotics!

                                Looks like it's sardines and spinach for breakfast today, blargh. Can't wait to go food shopping tonight! The guy at the meat counter knows my order by heart now because I get pretty much the same thing every week; 2 lbs grass-fed ground beef and 1lb lamb chop. I gotta spice it up, but there are only a few different animals to choose from and I happen to like eating those two the best.
                                * Pixy's Quest for Regaining Health *
                                Trying to gain weight, clear scarring acne, and fix thyroid and digestive issues with primal lifestyle- here goes something!