Sunday, December 4, 2011

Allergy investigation

For the last 6 months or so I have been struggling with a rash on my face that comes and goes. It varies in intensity from a small patch at my temples to the whole side of my face from the corner of my eye to the hairline, all the way around my forehead and to the other side. One time my face swelled up so bad that my eyes were almost swollen shut.



It also spreads to my body during really bad flareups. It kind of looks like eczema when it is on my face and chicken pocks when it is on my body. It has been super frustrating because it is terribly itchy and won't seem to ever go away completely.

I have been to two doctors and two dermatologists. They all say the same thing, it is an allergy. To what they have no idea. And they don't seem to interested in trying to find out either. They have prescribed: antibiotics, high dose prescription antihistamine, cortisone cream, and even steroid cream.

The steroid cream worked like a charm at first, but I know it is really bad for me and has terrible side effects that I want no part of. I used it at first and had relief but only for a while and then the rash came back. Basically the cream only makes it go dormant but inevitably the rash comes right back every time. And now it doesn't seem to work at all.

I asked my doctors for some tests that could help determine what the cause of the allergy was but they hummed and hawed and didn't seem very confident that I would find the source that way. They say a patch test could help find the culprit but that they can't really do the test until the rash is cleared up to get an accurate reading, and I never seem completely cured so that is difficult. They say that I could have developed an allergy to something that I have used or eaten for years but now all of a sudden my body doesn't want it anymore. Because of that, they say that they may never find the cause. Their final thoughts? You are going to just have to live with this for the rest of your life...people develop allergies, too bad for you...

Well, I was not going to be ok with that. So I decided to go to a naturopath and see what they had to say. The doctor was confident that she could find the source of the allergy and fix my problem. That was the first thing she said, now that is much better to hear than what the medical doctors were saying...I hope she is right.

So she first did a blood test that tests for over 90 foods that I could have an allergy to. She thinks that if I have some kind of sensitivity or allergy to food that it could be weakening my bodies defences against whatever is causing my rash. So the food allergy itself may not be the culprit but it may be making my body unable to fight it off as easily.

So, I started with the test. It came back with only one allergy, just one out of 90, everything else had no issues at all. Sesame...I have an allergy to sesame. Interesting. Three days a week or more, I eat a big salad with lots of yummy veggies and chicken and seeds. I always put a handful of sesame seeds and I use an asian sesame dressing....bingo.

I eat quite a bit of sesame actually. It is something that I really love, the smell of sesame oil, the taste of the seeds. I even put the seeds on my food at home and when I eat stir fry I put a good helping of seeds on my food then too. I love sesame oil in salad dressing and so on...So apparently the sesame is weakening me to this rash. So, now, no more sesame for me and the naturopath has given me this terrible tasting oil to drink and these pills that are supposed to help me get rid of this rash...She said I have high levels of bacteria and yeast in my body that is causing the rash and exacerbated by the allergy to sesame seeds.

Well, at this point I will try anything. So I have been off sesame for a little over a week now and have been drinking this terrible oil and taking these pills...we will see if this works.

In the mean time, I have been changing all my products, shampoo, soap, makeup etc in an effort to try and pinpoint exactly what this is. Sesame may be it but I am not completely sure. It has been over a week since I had any and my rash is as worse as ever.

I am anxious to have it clear up this time because in 11 days I am going to be in the bahamas, and I have to wear a bathing suit...I don't want to look like a chicken pox freak on the beach. I need to get rid of this annoying rash!

I am not a person who has sensitive skin. I have rarely ever had rashes and besides hay fever I have had no allergies until now. Before intermittent fasting I had really bad acne on my face and shoulders and back that cleared up completely once I started intermittent fasting and never came back. I have been so enjoying my completely clear skin for the first time in my adult life. And now this rash has taken that joy away from me. No more clear skin, back to the terrible red patches and marks that I suffered with for all those years in the form of acne...I won't just sit back and say oh well, just going to have to live with this. I am going to keep trying to find out what this is and fix it.

4 comments:

  1. You'll find out what it is and beat this! Allergies...

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  2. It is possible to get idiopathic allergic reactions - as in, your body basically reacts to pretty much everything. it is often caused by stress - your body does not know what to do with the stress hormones, and your histamine system goes out of whack. If this is the case, you can get tested for everything under the sun & it will do no good, as it is your immune system that is acting up. My good friend had this for five years, after the incredible stress of her father being ill and then passing away. she still gets it sometimes, but it is much much less frequent now. She also got tests from many many doctors, naturopaths, etc., and finally decided the best course of action was to take care of herself physically and spiritually (diet, yoga, massage, meditation). That is what actually (eventually) helped her, since it reduced her stress levels. The blood tests that naturopaths do test for antibodies, but keep in mind that you can actually have a positive result on that blood test from something that is not actually causing you to have a physical reaction - so sesame may or may not be causing it. anyhow, i doubt this is the answer you want to hear, but it is something to consider....

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  3. I cannot believe the western med doctors didn't order a full out allergy patch / prick test. It looks like you're having intense swelling, this can be dangerous, especially if your throat swells.

    I got the same response when I asked for an allergy test - i had severe rashes on my hands and arms, they just kept giving me the cortisone cream. Like you, the creams stopped working after awhile. I went back and asked "can't we do tests to determine the cause so I can avoid it?" They hemmed and hawed, too. I really wish I could find a good homeopathic doc, I tend to avoid doctors at all costs now, why bother having insurance when no one is interested in helping you anyway. This past summer my husband was stung by a bee and he had some swelling in his arm; right away our doc ordered a full battery of allergy tests for him. WTF?? Now I'm wondering if they're all just sexist bastards.. I really don't like thinking that way, but why else are women treated so horribly by doctors?

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  4. Try using Dr Bronner's Baby mild organic soap. My hair used to feel like it was on fire until I found this soap.

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