Hi Primal folks - and thanks!
A big thank-you to Mark for this website, and to all you folks for pushing the Primal lifestyle.
I originally went on the Atkins diet about ten years ago - felt great, but was eventually convinced that I must have been doing myself some harm and went back to a conventional diet.
I've had trouble with IBS, eczema and asthma for most of my life. When I went on the Atkins diet, asthma and eczema weren't a problem, but the IBS (which was) completely disappeared. Despite this, I decided to follow CW again and stop "harming" myself with this fad diet, and the symptoms returned.
I've had various health problems over the years - asthma for most of my early life; mystery "viruses" affecting my liver (which showed fatty deposits - I wonder what could have caused that!); eczema over my hands and body; general weight gain; IBS; etc..
The IBS was checked by a gastroenterologist, who told me that nothing was wrong, but that nervous individuals can have this sort of problem, and I should eat low-fibre high-carb meals to help with it. Nothing that should irritate the gut - white flour, white rice, etc.. Really helpful. Made no difference at all - in fact made it much worse.
My health got to its worst about four years ago, when my whole body became covered with eczema within a couple of weeks. My hands were already so cracked that I could hardly bend my fingers. I was under a lot of stress; certainly eating a lot of carbs to "compensate" - but none of this clicked.
I was sure that it was something that I was eating which was causing the problems, but couldn't work out what. I cut out various foodstuffs - tomatoes, bananas, wheat, dairy. For a while I tried existing on oats and rice (hilarious looking back - not at the time...) but nothing seemed to work.
I kept a food diary for a few months, and just couldn't spot the significant factor in my meals. (It's very interesting reading now - with hind-sight...)
The doctor had prescribed creams and steroids for the eczema, but these made the itching worse. I was pretty miserable and nothing was working, so was referred to a dermatologist.
Having had a biopsy taken, and having done a great deal of research on the net, I asked them to look for fungal elements in the skin sample. After my visit to the dermatologist, I stopped off at a herbalist shop (not a usual haunt of mine) pretty much in desperation. I was spending most nights lying in a warm bath of water, because the itching was so bad I couldn't sleep. There was a book there on Candida and fungal infections, which explained how sugars could feed the fungus in the body, and how this can affect both the skin in the form of eczema and psoriasis, and also the gut. It all started making sense. The fungal test of the biopsy turned out positive - fungal hyphae visible.
Immediately, I cut out all sugary substances, and began to feel better. Slowly the eczema began to subside. I also switched to whole grains and slow-release carbs. Still better - but not great. The cracked skin was still there on my hands, and some of the eczema on the body. I knew things could be better.
I'd heard of the book "Dangerous Grains" and understood that some people were permanently cutting all grains and sugars from their diet, but the idea seemed so hardcore and alien that I hadn't really considered it as an option.
More recently, a friend at work pointed me towards this forum (amongst others), and I took my diet the one step further onto Primal eating. Now it's six months later, and I'm nearly 30 pounds lighter, and I haven't looked back.
There's no longer a trace of the eczema on my hands or body. I have no IBS. I have no asthma. For the first time in years, I feel really truly healthy. I'm sticking with this for life.
What can I say? Thank you!
Congratulations on your success! It's so amazing the multitude of maladies people get rid of by going primal : )