Recently I found out that I have an allergy to yeast. Sounds tragic, it kind of is. My entire lifestyle of 30 years and relationship with food has to change. So far it’s been a difficult transition but it’s forced me to get creative in preparing meals.
I guess my story starts when I developed Perioral Dermatitis about a year ago. A couple trips to the dermatologist and a few topical creams seemed to keep it at bay for the most part. However, it seemed to be spreading as time went on. I started to notice things changing in my day-to-day life as well. Since the beginning of this year, not only was I dealing with PD, I just didn’t feel like “myself.” I was tired all the time, constantly thinking it was related to “that time of the month” and shrugging it off as fatigue. I was also getting more irritable and emotional. Again, not thinking about it too much and that it was just hormone related. Still, the run-down feeling wasn’t subsiding and I was becoming depressed.
After many medications for the PD with no success and a depressed state that wasn’t subsiding, I opted to take a holistic approach.
The dermatologist had given me a topical steroid cream, which I learned was the WORST thing I could be using on my face. Thanks, doc! I immediately stopped using it. By doing so I knew it would make the dermatitis worse before it got better and boy, did it get worse! My face was so irritated and uncomfortable. Even the texture of my skin was changing. It was so dry and tight and felt like burning/stinging all day long. I barely went out in public for a month. I decided then to make an appointment with a homeopathic doctor. She ran some blood work, gave me an ocean sulphur soap to wash my face with and I continued using coconut oil and/or jojoba oil as a moisturizer. I changed to non-fluoride toothpaste and made sure nothing I was using contained SLS (sodium lauryl/sodium laureth sulfite). Nothing seemed to be helping and waiting for results seemed like an eternity.
Finally, some answers! We discovered I was insufficient in Vitamin D (as most people are during winter months in New England), low in B12, and my adrenal count was well below average for someone my age (chiro’s adrenal analysis confirmed). In 2009 a different homeopathic doctor discovered that I had an overgrowth of candida (yeast) in my system. As expected I am dealing with this again. The most shocking part of this news is that not only is my body harboring yeast, I’m allergic to it as well. Fortunately, I was anticipating the overgrowth so I started to follow the Anti-Candida Diet when I stopped the steroid cream to be somewhat ahead of the game. I had no idea I could have an allergy to it. I took the information the doctor had given me and did some research of my own and discovered that a lot of the symptoms are things I have been experiencing throughout my entire life.
As far as my skin goes, it’s all trial and error from this point on. The candida overgrowth may not be the leading cause of my dermatitis but treating it will more than definitely change my overall health and mood. I am taking supplements to kill the yeast in my body, avoiding all sugars, even natural sugars, except an occasional whole piece of fruit which is allowed. No alcohol, dairy, vinegar, or soy products. It’s been about 3 weeks now and I’m feeling a little better. I am still burnt out at the end of the day even though I may not have done much. I don’t have any expectations just taking one day at a time. Above all things, I am relieved to know what’s going on and it’s allowing me to breathe easier. My skin is still red and dry and can be extremely itchy at times. I want to assume this is a sign of healing. The stinging and tightness has stopped, thankfully. I have also purchased all natural makeup that won’t irritate my face.
Going forward, I have to eat foods that are fermented/aged or contain sugar very sparingly. Truthfully, I’ll be happy enough to have fruit back! Sadly though, I have to end my relationship with beer and bread. We’ve had a good run these past few years. I can’t say that I won’t miss all the brew fests in the fall time, they’re always a blast; however I think bread will be a lot harder to avoid. Bread crumbs included. I’m sure the Italian side of my family won’t even know what to do with me. Sandwiches will never be the same, literally. Changing the way I eat will require a lot of work on my part but I am confident. Once I find a balance, I’ll be able to enjoy foods that I love on occasion.
Welcome to the new Peppered Soul! Living yeast free and embracing a challenging new lifestyle.