Updated: Jul 15, 2020
Although my kids and I are thriving with the help of homeopathy and a nutrient-dense diet, my husband has been struggling. His health was progressing well for several years, but something went wrong in 2018. We're not sure whether his worsening health was related to some financial or familial stresses, but looking back it is clear that something shifted for the worse around the beginning of 2018. And then, in late 2018, things suddenly got much worse.
My husband's health has always been more complicated than anyone else in our family, with a wide range of chronic problems including stomach issues, recurrent sinus infections, back and knee problems, allergies, eczema, vein problems, and insomnia. For several years, we were making good headway in all of these problems with constitutional (chronic) homeopathic treatment. However, in 2018, the intensity of these problems ramped up.
Things got dramatically worse in November 2018. My husband's skin went crazy, itching and burning and feeling like he was being bitten by a thousand ants. It looked liked a cross between eczema and psoriasis, and it was especially bad at night, such that sleep was impossible. He was literally driven to despair by the itching and pain; I watched night after night as he suffered, trying ineffectually to comfort him. By the end of December, almost every single night was filled with distress and struggle. My husband was bed-ridden and suffering much of the time, we were both sleep-deprived, and I was breaking down emotionally under the strain of trying to hold it all together.
We Say "No" To Steroids
The conventional medical approach to treating eczema would be to force it into submission by suppressing it with steroids, such as cortisone cream. However, we know from past experience that my husband reacts poorly to steroid creams. He's been down that path before, leading to an overall worsening of his health because the use of cortisone cream was actually the root cause of his chronic stomach problems.
Homeopaths have long seen the connection between the suppression of skin eruptions (such as eczema) and the worsening of more vital bodily systems. Suppression of skin eruptions doesn't actually heal anything; it just drives the skin problems deeper and often results in worse problems in the respiratory, digestive, mental health, and/or cardiovascular systems. So we are purposely not using steroids or other pharmaceuticals to suppress my husband's skin problems.
We Develop a Comprehensive Plan
After hitting rock bottom in December and early January, my husband and I finally came up with a comprehensive plan to try to identify what will help him heal. Our overall plan includes using homeopathic remedies, identifying food sensitivities, reducing environmental toxins, increasing his nutrition, and implementing stress reduction.
Homeopathic remedies are a cornerstone of my husband's healing plan. They work naturally, with no side effects, and help the body to heal the underlying imbalance that leads to the symptoms.
We've found two homeopathic remedies thus far that help significantly with my husband's eczema/psoriasis symptoms: Pulsatilla in alternation with Kali Sulphuricum, one extra-diluted dose every 3 days. These remedies were selected specifically to match his own individual skin symptoms, including burning, itching, and peeling, with worsening from heat, bathing, bending over, and at night in bed. (There are many other homeopathic remedies for eczema and psoriasis; these ones work well for my husband because they were selected specifically to match his own individual symptoms.)
Identifying Food Sensitivities
Although my family had very mixed results with the GAPS Diet years ago, we are temporarily using the GAPS Intro Diet protocol to identify food triggers that worsen my husband's condition.
The GAPS Diet protocol is based around healthy fats (such as ghee, coconut oil, and tallow), meats, fruits, veggies, broth, and fermented foods; it allows no grains, starches, or sweeteners (except small amounts of honey).
We are specifically using the GAPS Intro Diet protocol, which starts with a quite restricted list of foods, and then adds in foods one-at-a-time. This is allowing my husband to see which foods lead to negative reactions. Thus far, we have identified pork as a food that greatly exacerbates his condition.
Reducing Environmental Toxins
We already keep a fairly *clean* home environment, with no toxic cleaners, no non-stick cookware, no synthetic fragrances, our wireless internet turned off most of the time, etc. However, we identified three areas that we could assess further: laundry detergents, skin lotions, and electromagnetic field exposure.
Laundry detergent: Although we've used a *natural* detergent (Seventh Gen Free and Clear) for many years, we know that in the past other laundry detergents have worsened my husband's skin issues. So we tested out several other *natural* laundry detergents (and were also shocked to find that many of these include an ingredient known to cause bad skin reactions). In the end, we settled on using Dr. Bronner's Baby Castile Soap as our laundry detergent because it has the most natural ingredient list of any detergents. We follow the Dr. Bronner's laundry directions by adding vinegar to the rinse cycle.
Skin moisturizers: For many years, California Baby Super Sensitive Everyday Lotion has been my husband's skin moisturizer of choice. Lately, though, the California Baby Lotion was causing my husband's skin to burn when he applied it. He's undertaken the process of testing different oils and moisturizers to see if there was one that would work better for him, and has had the following results:
Moisturizers that did not work well:
Hempseed Oil (stinky and produced a weird reaction of intense lethargy)
Raspberry Seed Oil (smells kinda fishy)
Shea Nut Oil (caused painful pimples)
Coconut Oil (my own favorite moisturizer, but caused painful pimples in my husband)
Grapeseed Oil (didn't work well)
Emu Oil (caused painful pimples)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (caused painful pimples)
Borage Oil (smells kinda bad)
Chaparral Salve [caused painful pimples, and also produced a new skin reaction on his fingers (where there was previously no skin issue at all)]
Moisturizers that did work well:
Beef Tallow (This was a surprise! Tallow has consistently worked the best, has not caused pimples, and it moisturizes the best! He prefers to mix it with just a bit of water to reduce the heaviness.)
Argan Oil (works best when mixed with tallow, otherwise it dissipates too quickly)
Raw Milk Kefir (works best when mixed with tallow, but it gets a little tacky)
Electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure: In recent years, EMF exposure has been linked with many different health problems, such as sleep disruption, skin problems, depression, anxiety, headaches, and heart palpitations. Because of the mounting evidence against EMFs, my family had already switched to wired internet connections (with the help of power line adapters), and our cell phones were in airplane mode every night. However, we were still concerned that there might be high EMF exposure at our home, especially because we have an overhead power line close to our house.
Rather than continue to worry and wonder whether EMF exposure was contributing to my husband's health issues, we decided to purchase this EMF meter so we could assess the EMF levels throughout our home. We were pleasantly surprised to find that the tree and bush nearby our bedroom window effectively blocked the EMF from the power line! And we were able to use the EMF meter to further minimize the EMF in our bedroom by optimizing the placement of electrical devices such as our white noise maker and lamps.
My husband's diet was already quite good, but nonetheless we decided that increasing his nutrition would be a good thing to try to assist with healing. As much as possible, we are relying on whole foods as opposed to supplements. He's consuming the following to boost his nutrition:
Fresh organ meats, especially liver (organ meats are nature's multi-vitamins!)
Vitamin D3 capsules (in addition to intentional sun exposure to increase his Vitamin D levels)
Vitamin K2, mostly from ghee, egg yolks, chicken liver, and dark chicken meat
Iodine, mostly from raw milk kefir, ghee, cod liver oil, and egg yolks (because blood tests indicated possible thyroid issues)
Brazil nuts, for their selenium content (because blood tests indicated possible thyroid issues)
Raw milk kefir for its fantastic health properties, including aggressive probiotics (kefir has much stronger and more beneficial probiotics than those found in yogurt)
We've seen a direct correlation between increased stress and worsening of my husband's health, so we're purposefully trying to reduce his overall level of stress to aid in healing. He has found the following to be beneficial in reducing his stress level:
Meditating on a regular basis, in particular with the Insight Timer app
Working through the exercises in You Can Heal Your Life, to help identify and change negative thought patterns that contribute to ill health
Flexing his work hours to allow some extra sleep after particularly bad nights
Ashwagandha root capsules, an herb known to help with stress reduction, seems to have a definite positive effect
Although we still have a long way to go, we are seeing obvious improvement in my husband's condition. Over the last couple months, the number of really bad nights has decreased dramatically, with only one really bad night in the last month or so. He still feels a lot of pain and discomfort, but it is less debilitating than it had been. His skin is healing slowly but surely, and we are feeling hopeful that we will be able to move past this health crisis.
Things are looking up!
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