Why addressing my food sensitivities was the best thing I did for my health

Natasha Asselstine, R.H.N.
Natasha Asselstine, R.H.N.

Since I was a baby I have experienced bouts of eczema. I remember using hydrocortisone cream almost daily to manage it, and going for allergy tests that always came back negative. I grew up believing that this was the skin I was given, and that was that. No big deal.

Several years ago, I developed a small patch of eczema on my right eyelid. Again, I thought no big deal, and a little cream will put it in its place. But I was wrong, and a few weeks later I woke up covered head to toe with inflamed eczema – my entire body had erupted in a rash that looked like burns. I had never had it anywhere near this bad. I could barely open my eyes or mouth and I was also incredibly congested – sneezing incessantly and constantly rubbing itchy eyes, nose and skin. I tried taking antihistamines but they didn’t work. Needless to say, I was miserable!

This was the start of a long journey towards health and education. I was in countless doctors’ offices trying to uncover the cause and address it. But unfortunately it wasn’t so easy to diagnose and I was given more hydrocortisone cream to manage it. As the weeks passed, I also experienced extreme fatigue, brain fog and dizziness, forgetfulness, weight gain, bowel issues and I lost what felt like half of my hair. The congestion and allergy symptoms were also fierce, my iron stores had plummeted to a dangerously low level and my thyroid was being negatively impacted, too.

All this began with a small patch of dry skin above my eye.
One of the hardest aspects of it all was simply trying to communicate how unwell I felt. After all, it was “just eczema.” But I knew I wasn’t right. Having dizzy spells in my boss’s office, being bedridden on the weekends, panicking over anything added to my to-do list and forgetting loved ones’ birthdays was just not “me.”

In the end, it turned out to be food sensitivities (rather than immediate response allergies – those tests came back as negative) to quite a few of the foods that were staples in my diet. To be honest, I was first sceptical with the diagnosis, but at this point I was desperate to get better, so I was willing to try anything. I immediately got creative in the kitchen and tried a bunch of new ingredients and recipes.

Admittedly, I had my ups and downs and certainly complained a great deal when I couldn’t enjoy certain foods during social occasions, but more than anything I remember appreciating how this experience was forcing me to learn how to eat better. I also found the process of sourcing out foods that I could eat, and enjoy, to be a lot of fun! It opened up my eyes to a whole new way of eating (pardon the pun). Not only did I change my diet, but I also supported my gut – which I later learned to be the source of the development of food allergies.

Starting at just three months I noticed great improvement and by a year my eczema and food allergies cleared up for good! I used my last drop of hydrocortisone cream in 2013. Not only did I clear up my eczema for the long term, I’ve also experienced a variety of health improvements:

  • my mind is clear and focused, and my energy is incredible
  • my iron levels are the best they’ve ever been
  • I no longer crave sugar and refined foods, or experience “hangriness”
  • I enjoy and crave the taste of healthful foods, and am no longer a fussy eater
  • my hair has grown back
  • my thyroid has improved
  • my weight hasn’t come back on
  • I no longer experience sneezing, itchiness, congestion – or even hay fever in the spring!

I grew up my whole life thinking my eczema was normal. It’s now when I look back that I realize it was my body’s way of trying to tell me something. My body was able to hang on until 2012 before it threw in the towel.

It was a long journey to identify what was wrong, but that discovery was the best thing that ever happened to me, and even led me to return to school and pursue a career as a nutritionist.

My biggest lesson from this is to listen to my body, and that by nourishing it well it can take care of the rest.

Also Read These Related Pages

Natural Treatment for Eczema

contact us schedule an appointment