6 months ago– in my fridge you would ALWAYS find: tons of yogurts, cheese… cheese galore, and ice cream. Never a fridge without ice cream! Anything from milk was pretty much my go-to in terms of food I really enjoyed and had often.
But this past summer, one of the worst things that could ever happen to me happened: I had to give up dairy. And yes, it was f*cking dramatic because dairy foods were MY foods! My go-tos. Pizza? Bye! Cheese and crackers with a glass of wine? NOPE. Not anymore. 99% of ice creams… later. Now I can only have that “Soy Dream” kind of shit. You guys… imagine a burrito with NO cheese. A taco… with NO CHEESE! It was a very sad time for me! haha
I’m not crazy allergic. I’m not lactose intolerant. So wtf happened right?
Well, I have eczema. Slight– only sometimes on my hands and toes but it’s enough to be a REAL pain when it happens. I’d have flare ups every 3 months or so, that lasted anywhere from a few weeks to a month. It can be REALLY painful. The scratching can keep you up at night. Your skin can break open and that takes so long to heal. It doesn’t make you feel your prettiest either. (I will always remember being on a date with this one guy and not letting him hold my hand because I was so embarrassed. It sucks!)
Earlier in the summer I had a flare up that lasted 2 whole months. It was the most painful and lengthy one I had ever endured. And it wasn’t going away. I was fed up… besides the pain and annoyingness, it was also ruining my accessory game! Yes I’m serious!
This was towards the very end so it wasn’t as bad… but trust me it’s no fun wearing big ass bandaids around your fingers for weeks/months at a time. (And yes… my friend and I apparently drinking like fishes 😛 )
Anyway- I write my Doctor an email one night just pleading for a stronger medication because it had been weeks and no resolve. I was so uncomfortable, For the first time, she told me I might want to start experimenting in finding out what actually triggered my eczema. She suggested the “elimination diet” of different foods at different times to see if one group had a negative effect on me. She suggested my first try be dairy… (Noooooooooooooo!)
I read up on it. I learned that dairy really can have a direct correlation to eczema. Something about how it’s not necessarily the milk causing it, but HOW your body digests it that can be a trigger. There are a lottttt of people who report dairy being a huge cause of their eczema too.
Before, I had a steroid cream I would use whenever it happened, and it would help, but…. supposedly they aren’t really good for you in the long run and they don’t help in preventing eczema from coming back. It just helps you when you’re already flared up.
So besides the sadness of giving up dairy… here’s what happened to my skin within ONE week: Eczema, GONE.
I had even stopped using the steroid cream, it just started clearing up entirely all together. This is f*cking amazing I thought.
And here is what else is nuts: It’s been almost 6 months since I have given up dairy and I have had ZERO flare ups. I try to stay 90% dairy free -can’t torture myself, gotta live a little- and since I have had no eczema problems. In fact, when I get a little sloppy with my dairy intake.. I can feel my skin start to react a little bit… like the first signs of a flare up brewing. So then I get super strict again and it never goes over the edge and flares!
It’s so weird. Never thought I’d say it- but dairy really turned out to be the enemy for me!
So if you’re dealing with eczema, or other skin issues (there are studies claiming dairy just sucks in general for your skin.. google that shit) then perhaps the dairy-free thing might be your new jam! I have had a lot of success with it and so have many other people. Consult your Doc of course. My Doctor rocks, but most won’t suggest eliminating dairy because there’s not enough science to back it up. But hundreds of people saying it’s made a difference for them was enough for me to want to try it out. And I’m so happy I did. Even though I miss my pizza so much.
What have you guys HAD to give up for health or lifestyle reasons? What was really worth it? Maybe one of your stories will help someone else. 🙂