My 5-Year Eczema Story: Finding the Cure (Part 2)

I began researching about eczema and discovered about GAPS diet and leaky gut since if you ask for medical opinion, they will only say that it is incurable and you the only remedy for managing is the steroid cream (the cream is very expensive!  I ended up spending around 3,000 php/month).  (see part 1 if you haven't) I also sought help from a friend who is into alternative medicine but most of the food suggestions were inaccessible or expensive like organic duck eggs.  I bought natto and prebiotics and resorted to making vegetable juice for months.  It’s funny how times of difficulty could push us to learn things.  Before this, I have never made anything in the kitchen.  Unfortunately, my effort was not as fruitful since I later discovered through my bowels that I having a difficult time digesting raw vegetables.  I was also suggested to have sunlight from 11-2 pm but it also didn’t work and just burned my skin. 

After washing the blender often, I also discovered that I was allergic to all dish washing soaps and laundry detergent.  It caused my hands to have various slash wounds out of nowhere.  I only used Perla soap or gloves to wash the dishes.  My family was in disbelief as they have never heard of such.  But, I pushed on and the hand wounds disappeared one by one.  I also shifted my soap to baby soap and used baby shampoo which eased the eczema in my body.


Lower Body Update 2 (Warning! It's a bit disgusting)

The eczema issues just kept on as time went on… To mellow it a bit, I used everything I’ve researched on the internet (mostly, Apple Cider Vinegar Spray, Epsom Salt with Apple Cider Vinegar Baths (this made me very dehydrated and I felt my eyes drying but this also toned down the ooze because it kept my skin dry), Honey (external application), Virgin Coconut Oil (I believe the 2 Table Spoons a day made me fat so I applied after half a year, I applied this externally) and sometimes Extra Virgin Olive Oil (1 Teaspoon).  Because of these remedies and mummy-style cling wrap, I became capable of sleeping. 

Photos (Click at your own risk)
 Because I was so hopeless, I documented by photo my eczema from August 2014 until May 2015 and kept a diary of what I eat so if I do conquer it I can inspire others like me.  (The photos I’ve decided to post are when they are dry after my Epsom baths so it’s less disgusting)  During these months, I questioned a lot of things like Why Me?  I felt ashamed that I used to tell Ex to eat healthy and I’m the one who is ill.  He drinks coke every day.  And, most of the time eats hotdog, Maggi and rice for lunch.  I believe I ate a well-balanced meal - same as my family who don't have eczema!  I began to back track the things I’ve done and the things I could have done better.  And, at some point, I realized that stress is one of the main cause of my eczema so I spent most of my time reflecting about life, my existence etc.  It just hit me that all my fears are just illusions of my mind.  Everything is a matter of perspective.  (It is this that motivated me with photography.  Check out my IG as my visual memoirs if you have time)    I could no longer afford to be angry or irritated so I had to reexamine every argument I could remember (most of it were petty arguments between Ex and I).   Throughout the process, you know I couldn’t find one argument where I did not misunderstand his good intentions.  I think that one of the biggest lessons I got... with understanding and empathy to sense warmth in ever living being, it is difficult to trigger my negative vibe and therefore, I was no longer emotionally triggering my eczema.  I know people say that we could not live on the past and past is past.  I get that.  But, during those times, I also realized that as long as we are alive... life goes on regardless of how we want it to... So even if I can't go back to the past, it made me feel that I want to survive so I can go on and pay them forward. 

After months of staying away with sugar, I actually felt good.  I no longer had pessimism and mood swings.  You can do your own research on gut bacteria and its effects on the brain and behavior.   This experience has thought me that even the little lest things should not be taken lightly.  In fact, it is these little buggers (and maybe cancer) that are almost invincible.  Sometimes, we humans think too much of ourselves.  (I know I once have)  Yet, we are just temporary like everything else...  we don't even own our bodies.  But, I’d like to think our soul will live on when we die so perhaps our purpose is to gain wisdom that goes along with our soul.  Otherwise, what's the point of living?

On October 11, 2014 early morning, I was rushed to the ER for diarrhea.  Since 12 am, I had 20 watery stools and 2 vomits.  My skin turned pale and I felt inflated.  I was nauseous and had heart palpitations of 70 heartbeats in a minute.  I was given 2 bottles of 100ml cipoflaxin as lactate since they found bacteria in my stool test.  I also had an electrolyte imbalance.  I had ultra low sodium and potassium so I was given iv supplements of sodium and potassium.  I felt that my Apple Cider intake and Epsom slat baths contributed to it so I stopped from this point. 

After my recovery, I began to change my diet to chicken bone broth soup with cheap vegetables from the market like Saluyot, Bitter Gourd Leaves with onions, garlic, tumeric and ginger.  I began taking Centrum Multivitamins and Fish Oil together with my probiotics (any brand I can get from Ebay).  I also ate banana almost every day.  I also tried making sauerkraut and had been successful only once.   On some day, I have kimchi (if I managed to buy some).   My bowel movement became regular from this diet so I continued this for a year or so with cheating whenever I went out for food blogging or with family.  Although I had maps of eczema still at this point, I was already raging with positivism that I think nobody could tell anymore.  I also noticed that my skin is responding to sunlight.

On January, 2015, I went to a beach trip at Grande Island Resort and had an acupuncture session with Dr. Philip NiƱo Tan-Gatue.  The beach I’m certain helped.  While, the acupuncture prevented it from spreading.

It was a slow recovery.  By some miracle, on June 2015 (before I began my review school year) my eczema healed.  There were only visible bruises but I already wore regular clothes because I'm always for comfort.  My friends would joke that I was battered and I just laughed it off.  I was so proud and happy with the bruises after all I’ve been through. 

By my graduation (on January 2016), most of my scars have lighten up.  I can now eat regularly.  I can sneak in a couple of sugary foods.  I am no longer allergic to anything again.  However, if I get exposed to stress (like my recent bar review) or detergents whenever I am in a hurry to clean up the dishes, my hands get slash wounds and the bruises get darker.  I always take that sign to slow down.  I couldn’t avoid getting slash wounds on my left hand for the past few months and I kept on getting flu from sitting down too much so a  month before my exam, I bought Alive Multivitamins and Spirulina which I took together with my regular Fish Oil and Probiotic. They helped me prevent having a flu but the slash wounds wouldn't go.  Lucky for me, there was none on my right hand which was my writing hand for the exam. 

So that sums up my 5-year episode with my eczema.  I’m not fully healed from this auto-immune disease but I’m pretty sure I can be!  And, since eczema is common... I hope my realizations and discoveries help you guys too!