Did you detox when you switched to vegan? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 01-27-2013, 07:53 AM - Thread Starter
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I am wondering if that's what is going on?


For the most part I feel great - more energy, losing weight, better digestion, my blood sugar is normal. 


(That last one is huge - I have diabetes and I was very worried that more carbs and fruit and less protein would mean my blood sugar would be harder to manage.  The opposite is true, after only 10 days my blood sugar is fluctuating between 80-110, perfectly normal.  I've even added fruit smoothies and OJ to my diet!  Before, when I was trying to eat a "healthy" diet but counting carbs and eating meat and dairy with every meal and snack I was still dealing with high blood sugar and instances of hypoglycemia.  But, I digress... :))


The issue I am having now is my skin is a mess.  I have scalp psoriasis but until a few days ago it was being well managed with my medications.  Suddenly they aren't working and it's really bad, worse than ever.  It's so bad that I have two secondary infections from it, an ear infection and cellulitis on my scalp.  Also, I am having bad acne on my face, neck and back and random pimples in other spots (even my legs!).  I have an itchy and sore rash in my armpit.  My skin, in general, feels sore and inflamed.


Could it be a food allergy?  The only food I've really added to my diet that I've never had much of before is coconut in the form of coconut oil and milk.  Could it be a "healing crisis"?


I haven't switched shampoos, laundry soap, lotions - nothing like that.  The only change is in my diet.  I am not eating processed foods other than store bought nut milks and tofu.


This is really disheartening because I had hoped going vegan would make my skin better and that maybe I could go off my psoriasis medications.


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#2 of 4 Old 01-27-2013, 09:01 AM
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I don't have a lot of advice but I definately think you could be sensitive or allergic to coconut. Can you eliminate it for a while and see if things get better for you? If it stays the same you can add it back and look at other possibilities, but it sounds suspicious to me. I hope you feel better soon.
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#3 of 4 Old 01-27-2013, 09:01 AM
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Great to hear you're already seeing huge diabetes improvements from going vegan.


As for your skin issues and ear infection, I could easily believe they're side effects of your body re-balancing and healing itself. What I have heard is that people who go whole-foods plant-based with their diets eventually have to stop taking all their medications, because they start to experience their medications' side effects more dramatically as their bodies stop needing them. You might take a look at the small print that comes with your existing medications and see if anything in the contraindications or known side effects rings a bell with what you're experiencing.


I'm not a physician. I think you should see one, preferably one who is well-versed in a whole-foods plant-based diet. You could search the archives at http://www.nutritionfacts.org/ to see what physician Dr. Greger has said in the past about skin disorders and food. You'll see a lot about how the scientific data has correlated dairy consumption with acne and skin problems, but that shouldn't be your issue of course.


Since you did add coconut to your diet, you could try omitting that for a week and see if that helps.


In general, our family has good results with quercitin for sinus infections, and it might help with ear infections as well, given that ear, nose, and throat are all connected. You can try eating more quercitin-rich foods like tea (green, white and/or black), juice-sweetened cranberry juice, kale, watercress, sweet potato, buckwheat, and dark berries (blueberries, cherries, etc.).


Speaking of tea, it's important to drink plenty of water for good skin in particular and for good health in general. I'd make sure I was drinking at least 8 glassfuls of filtered water a day.


I remember reading somewhere that psoriasis can be caused by a bacteria (sorry I don't have the reference). This suggests to me it might help to increase your probiotics: eat more unsugared yogurt (maybe soy or almond, not coconut?), more miso soup (careful not to boil the water, as that kills the probiotic bacteria), more pickles (true ones, made without vinegar), more tempeh (don't cook it at too high temps, again to keep the probiotics alive), more kombucha if you like the taste, more kimchi or sauerkraut if you like the taste, and maybe more green-ified juices with chlorella or spirulina or the like (careful with these, though, if you've been exposed to heavy metals like mercury, as chlorella is a not-well-understood chelator).


Anyway, there are some things that I'd try if it were me. And again, I'd do this in close communication with my physician.


Good luck!

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#4 of 4 Old 01-30-2013, 07:53 AM
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Great to know about you blood sugar normalizing. I haven't been to my doc. in ages since every 3 months we'd see the same results - pre diabetic. Every now and then I'd be able to bring it down but only to be on the border line. Sounds like you're detoxing. I know coconut oil has a lot of benefits. As a pp said to try and eliminate it and see if it helps. I'd eliminate it during the detox or the adjustment period and re-introduce it in a few months.

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