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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Get To The Root

I have said it before and I will say it again--most of our health issues are rooted in our diets (and the diets of our mothers and grandmothers, certain things we were born with, were because of their diets, but most can be reversed).


I thought I had found the root of the dermatitis I was experiencing--stress, and I detailed that here.  But I removed sources of stress in my life and slowed things down and saw a little recovery, but not full.  Anytime something came up, EVEN just having to leave the house(!), I would experience a flare-up.  On top of a patch of dermatitis on my hand, I was also experiencing eczema and hives on most of the rest of my body.  Not fun!!!


Through all this, I have tried my best to put my trust in the Lord and NOT lean on my own understanding.  Sometimes this is difficult for me, since I have studied up on health so much!  I just had to get to the point where I turned it TOTALLY over to the Lord and didn't worry or think about it anymore, including no more research.


I was constantly reminded of the verse that says, "God is not the author of confusion," so anytime a solution came to my mind that brought anxiety, I knew it wasn't from God.  I only followed leadings that brought peace.  (For instance, I had thoughts of trying the GAPS diet, where you eliminate all grains, all dairy, and all starchy vegetables and fruit, but that brought me great anxiety.  I think GAPS is wonderful, but it wasn't the answer for me at this time.)


One day, I felt the need to research hives and adrenals glands and low and behold (!), I found information that matched what I had been experiencing, PLUS other issues, like the dizzy spells I detailed here, and low blood sugar issues, mentioned here, hay fever, and quite possible the irregular cycles I've always experienced.


So, it seems I WAS correct in saying that our diet is the root of our problems.  I was experiencing stress, but that was because my adrenal glands were fatigued and couldn't handle the stress properly.  (When your adrenal glands are tired, everything stresses you out.)  I am now focusing on healing the adrenals and am seeing bigger recovery.  My hand is almost 100% clear and the rest of the skin issues are greatly diminished as well.  


Here are the articles that helped me so much:

Adrenals & Allergic Response (hives are an allergic response, as is eczema and dermatitis) by Dr. Thomas Cowan

Adrenal Fatigue & Your Diet by Dr. Marcelle Pick

Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue (My craving for salt started years ago, I had no idea that was related to adrenals!)


This is part of the Real Food Wednesdays Blog Carnival hosted by Cheeseslave and Kelly the Kitchen Kop.  This week's topic is Real Food Testimonials, check out the link to read many more inspiring stories of how diet has changed people's lives!


  1. Thanks for sharing those links. I've been wondering recently if my adrenals are tired, so I plan on checking them out.

  2. Glad to help! I will be posting more on this topic soon, like what I'm eating and how I'm eating and what supplements I'm taking. Stay tuned!

  3. Hi Shannon,

    I've read those same articles before too! Coming from someone who knows for sure I have adrenal issues, I bet you're right, you probably do have adrenal problems! The getting stressed cause you have to leave the house? Been there. :-) I've probably improved 75 to 85 percent, and have been planning on doing a series on my blog too about feeding your adrenals. It's great that we will both be addressing this common problem!

  4. Kimi,

    I look forward to reading your posts on adrenals and comparing notes!

  5. Thanks for the links! I also found this one on DHEA and Adrenal Fatigue from the Women to Women dot com site -- I had never read about this before!

  6. shannon
    i read your post on annemarie's blog that mentioned that low carb aggravated your adrenal issues. can you describe what you mean? i've been trying to heal my adrenals and have been trying to limit carbs but i'm not sure that its helping. everywhere i look people seem to think the less carbs the better, but i'm not sure if it is working for me.

    i'd like to hear from someone who has found carbs necessary.


  7. Jacqueline,

    That was a great article - thanks for the link! I especially liked the chart that shows we must get cholesterol in our diets in order to have proper hormone production! Also, scientific proof that, "A merry heart does good, like a medicine." (Prov. 17:22)

  8. Katie,

    I heard a while ago that if you eat too many carbs you will stress the adrenals, but also not enough carbs will stress the adrenals.

    Well, I have tried to eat low carb for many, many years, most recently in the last couple years when I stopped nursing my daughter, to stave off weight gain.

    My day would consist of a breakfast with no carbs (eggs & plain yogurt), then lunch with VERY little carbs (nuts, cheese, apple, PB, etc.), then I would enjoy a normal dinner with the family in the evening. I love food and couldn't bear to limit myself when the rest of the family was enjoying. :)

    Well, I started noticing when I would follow this routine strictly that I would get dizzy spells (talked about that here - http://allthingshealth.wordpress.com/2009/02/13/why-2/) and would just feel fatigued in general and blah. I would always feel better after dinner, so I started thinking maybe my breakfasts and lunches weren't so good.

    In the article above I mentioned, by Dr. Cowan, he mentions eating 3 regular, balanced meals with whole grains and protein. The article by Dr. Pick mentions eating throughout the day, snacking between meals. She also mentions something my husband has been saying for a while, "Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper." Basically, the opposite of what I was doing.

    So I don't know if I'm eating more carbs now than I was, but I am balancing carbs and protein throughout the day. It's a balance you just have to find for yourself. I do know if I eat too many carbs I don't feel well, but also, if I try to cut the carbs too low, I don't feel well.

    I eat a little something within an hour of rising, usually some raw milk or plain yogurt. One day I tried a piece of WW toast and yogurt and found that was too many carbs. I can handle carbs later in the day, I can have a piece of WW toast and glass of raw milk for a snack at 9pm and feel fine. I now eat eggs for breakfast with WW toast, some sort of mid-morning snack (kombucha lately), a healthy-sized lunch, mid-afternoon snack (typically nuts), and a small dinner. Often I will need something around 9pm, sometimes it's just tea w/stevia.

    I am feeling better than I was, all-around--mood, energy, and skin--but I am also taking LOTS of supplements, too. (detailed on Cheeseslave's blog).

    I hope this helps!

  9. Katie,

    I wanted to add that even though I may be eating more carbs than I was, I have cut way back on refined carbs. I am focused on whole foods all around, as much as I can--soaked grains, sucanat instead of sugar (but not much of it), whole fruit, no juices, etc.

  10. Hi Shannon,

    I enjoyed your post. Especially about going by the Lord's peace to gain wisdom. I am a Christ follower and amen that! :)

    I found your site from Cheeseslave's blog. What supplements are you taking to help rebuild your adrenals? After a few years of prolonged stress I just feel exhausted all the time. I have been slowly moving to organics over the last 6 months and lately have been moving to the NT way of eating. Any tips you can offer on what to take to help rebuild the adrenals and gain energy? Besides from praying for the Lord to rebuild me? :)


  11. Bayleigh,

    My next post will be all about the supplements that I am taking. I will get to it soon. :)

  12. [...] have explained some of the physical issues I’ve dealt with these last 11 months, here and here.  Lately, headaches and exhaustion were added to the mix, along with the dizzy spells [...]