Thursday, January 19, 2017

How Psoriasis and My Leaky Gut Empowered My Life

Thank you for stopping by as always my goal is to empower and transform your life. 

When I was 17 years old, doctors told me I had an Peptic Ulcer and stool was leaking into my blood system. (How gross does that sound?) I didn't understand what the doctors told me as I was just happy the pain was gone. Later, I went to Cook County Hospital for a colonoscopy and learned I had a disease called Inflammatory Bowel Disease. I was told to stay away from spicy, fried foods, soda pop, sugar, tomatoes, meat, citrus fruits and to focus on vegetables and some fresh fruit and drink plenty of water. Now being a seventeen-year-old, I certainly didn't follow all those instructions, but I did stop drinking soda pop, and laid off the spicy foods. After a while, the problem seemed to expire. Shortly after, doctors diagnosed me with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD.) Again, doctors told me to adjust my eating habits. When I turned twenty-five, I developed a condition called Psoriasis. (See image below) I used hydrocortizone, and within three weeks, they vanished. I thought everything was clear. When I was about 30 years old, I experienced what medical doctors call Irritable Bowel Syndrome, (IBS). It is very painful and debilitating.

Doctors also told me there was no cure, but if I ate fruits and vegetables, it would improve the symptoms. I also saw a psychologist and was given Zoloft. Eventually, the pain subsided, but what was to come was the absolute worse. But, before I share that experience, I want to talk about another diagnosis before. The one thing I noticed all of my conditions had in common was food and stress. But how? I will get to that in a moment. In 2014, my menstrual cycle stopped, I felt dumb and could not remember anything even if you told you told me five minutes ago. I was very fatigued, as I slept four hours during each day and that was after eight hours of nocturnal sleep. I was depressed, had no sexual desires, gained twenty-five pounds, and the worse was, I could not move my bowel. By then, I knew the problem was serious. Our digestive system is uniquely constructed to perform its specialized function of turning food into the energy we need to survive and packaging the residue for waste disposal and mine was not working. At any rate, I went to the doctor and immediately the doctors assumed I was in menopause. I wasn't too convinced about that. I've worked in the healthcare industry for over twenty years as I have an Associates of Medical Laboratory Science and a Bachelors of Health Information Management. I knew something more serious was involved.

I suggested the doctor run a complete workup on my Thyroid, and later we discovered my values were below normal, meaning Hypothyroidism. The doctors suggested I follow a specific diet. After three months of taking Levothyroxine, the symptoms disappeared, and I felt 100% better. However, I wasn't too happy about having to take a pill for the rest of my life. So, I began researching how to heal Hypothyroidism naturally. The following year, doctor's diagnosed me with Early-Stage Heart Disease after completing a stress test. Again, the doctors wanted me to follow a particular diet. I was so not happy as my health was failing right before my eyes. I was the reason for my entire physical breakdown. Not only was I ingesting toxins, but I was harboring unhealthy toxins in my mind. (thoughts and emotions). Some might ask, well what do your thoughts and feelings have to do with illness. All of the digestive conditions I discussed are considered Psychosomatic Disorder according to John E. Sarno, M.D, The Divided Mind. But where exactly did the Psoriasis and Hypothyroidism originate? According to medical doctors, psoriasis is a chronic skin infection without a cure and hypothyroidism is in my case, caused by an iodine deficiency as I am allergic to iodine, shellfish, etc. Once again, relating back to food.

Last year, Psoriasis resurfaced in the worst type of way. In the tailbone area and my navel, I itched. When I looked closely at the skin lesions, they looked like ringworms. I went to Walgreen and purchased a topical ointment. One of the lesions disappeared, and the others didn't. I decided to visit my Dermatologist, and she diagnosed me with Psoriasis. Okay, no worries. I figured I could use Hydrocortizone and everything would be okay. That was not the case. My doctor prescribed a stronger steroid that discolored my skin and in fact, made it about ten shades darker. I decided not to use any more prescription drugs and do some research. What I found was astounding. Psoriasis is associated with Leaky Gut. Take a look at the title of this blog and refer to the bold sentence in the first paragraph. Doctors describe an Ulcer as Peptic ulcers or open sores that develop on the inside lining of your stomach and the upper portion of your small intestine. Peptic ulcers include Gastric ulcers that occur on the inside of the stomach. Duodenal ulcers occur on the inside of the top part of your small intestine (duodenum). The most common causes of peptic ulcers are infections with the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) and long-term use of aspirin and certain other painkillers, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) and Naproxen sodium (Aleve, Anaprox, others). Stress and spicy foods do not cause peptic ulcers. However, they can make your symptoms worse (Mayo Clinic, 1998). 

Some causes of Leaky Gut Syndrome can include poor diet, difficulty digesting proteins, reduced liver function (your skin is your 3rd lung), emotional stress, hormonal changes, intestinal permeability, vitamin deficiency, etc. If you recall in my book, Perfectly Planned (Overcoming, Incest, Rape & Sexual Abuse), I mentioned suffering from severe migraine headaches and being prescribed 2800 milligrams of Ibuprofen as I took them for months. The Ibuprofen tore several holes in my stomach and intestines. (If I knew then what I know now, I would've sued Cook County Hospital). Now, imagine feces, undigested foods or protein molecules leaking into my bloodstream. The inflammatory response would be unimaginable and something like Psoriasis. The Father of Medicine, Hippocrates, said: “All disease begins in the gut.” And more than 2,000 years later, we’re only starting to understand just how right he was. So, here I am experiencing a condition which began almost 30 years ago and due to my diet and unhealthy emotions. What about Hypothyroidism? According to Chris Kesser, (2016) it appears that Hypothyroidism is direct cause of the insufficient amount of the healthy gut bacteria - intestinal sulfatase - that converts T3S and T3AC into active T3. T3 is responsible for regulating your body’s temperature, metabolism, and heart rate. In the absence of T3, hypothyroidism results. So, there it is. Hypothyroidism is also a result of a leaky gut or an unhealthy gut (A gut lacking good bacteria).

Earlier I posed a question that one might have, and that was, what do emotions have to do with physical disease? Let me delve into that. When I learned I had Psoriasis again; I immediately looked within myself to figure out what unhealthy emotions was I harboring and what experience was eating me alive. In that, I needed to release some destructive emotions that stemmed from my son's traumatic experience as well as walking away from health care after twenty  + years and not having the bi-weekly income I was accustomed. I felt powerless, worthless sometimes and very anxious and angry. I blamed myself for my son's experience as I felt like without the income I used to have, I wouldn't be able to care for him. I felt useless as I had no idea how to embrace my new life without a job. I lost all sense of connection to myself and my confidence. I ate just about anything to suppress or ignore my pain. The beginning of  2015 and 2016 was terrible for me, and I had a rough time processing the thoughts and emotions surrounding them. All of the unhealthy energy led to my Leaky Gut. The Leaky Gut partners with the digestive system that which is directly connected to my Solar Plexus or Personal Power Chakra (Manipura). Our Chakras are energetic sources or vortexes that attract and emit energy. Chakras are responsible for providing the attached organ the vital energy that promotes functioning. When our Chakras are closed or inactive, physical dis-ease occurs. When physical dis-ease occurs, that means your spirit is speaking loud, and it is now time to pay attention to not just your body, but your thoughts and emotions. Hypothyroidism associates with the throat. The Throat Chakra (Vishudda) is the voice of the body. It is a pressure valve that allows the energy from the other chakra to express. If it is out of balance or blocked, it can affect the health of the other chakras. Some conditions that occur when the Throat Chakra is imbalanced are throat lump, laryngitis, sore throat, tonsillitis, teeth problems, thrush, jaw problems, earaches, ear problems, sinus infections, thyroid problems, arthritis in shoulders, sore shoulders or arms, and neck problems.  If your throat chakra is over-active, you more than likely be over-opinionated, perhaps very critical of others and how they are performing in life. You may be verbally abusive to those around you and may find yourself yelling a lot when not necessary. You won’t allow others to “talk back” or voice their opinions about certain situations; it will be your way or no way. A year after I married my husband, I wanted a divorce and mainly because he had not resolved his past pain of sexual abuse and had not forgiven his ex-wife for cheating on him. My husband brought all that baggage to our marriage and more than often I was very judgmental and opinionated. Some days, I buried my true feelings, and for three years I sat still feeling hopeless knowing I wanted out of the marriage.  I didn't believe I could help him and thought the marriage was doomed. That was enough stress and unhealthy emotions to destroy more than just my thyroid.  I wanted my husband to heal.

You might say, I obviously got the Leaky Gut from using all the Ibuprofen and the Psoriasis and Hypothyroidism is a symptom of the unhealthy or Leaky Gut, and indeed you are correct, physically speaking. But we are more than our physical bodies. We are beyond the physical world (metaphysics), but that is another blog.According to Louis Hay (1990), digestive issues or gut problems spiritually represent dread, fear of the new, inability to assimilate the new. Psoriasis arises out of fear of being hurt, deadening the sense of self, and refusing to accept responsibility for our feelings. Hypothyroidism or throat problems represent humiliation "I never get to do what I want to do." "When will it be my turn?" and the inability to speak up for oneself. Swallowed anger, stifled creativity and refusal to change. Does all of that not align with the italicized phrases written above in the previous paragraph? My spirit spoke to me so that I can clear my mind and acknowledge my emotions. Today, I have accepted full responsibility for my feelings, and I digest life with ease. Life agrees with me, and I assimilate the new every moment of every day. I am alive to the joys of living. I deserve the very best in life as I love and approve of myself. I move beyond all limitations and now allow myself to express freely and creatively.

As you know, I believe Pain is Power as that is just how life is set up. So, let's talk about the empowering aspects of my Leaky Gut today. Some of you may not know that I have smoked cigarettes for almost thirty years. Well, after researching the dynamics of Psoriasis and Leaky Gut, I released that attachment on December 24, 2016. I AM smoke-free. I have tried to quit smoking numerous times and failed. Well, thanks to Psoriasis (pain), I quit (power). How cool is that? I asked the Universe to give me strength, but I never questioned how and it came in the form of pain. If there is one thing I know to be true, for every breakdown, there is a breakthrough. What a breakthrough as I am so grateful for Psoriasis. Had it not showed up and showed out, I'd probably be smoking a cigarette as I write this blog. I am so proud of me. I visited some friends, and a few of them smoked cigarettes and my body rejected it as the smell of them made me want to puke. My eyes burned, and my nose was irritated, and for me, that was a good thing. My body no longer desired Nicotine. I am a non-smoker after thirty years of smoking. Thank you Psoriasis.

I thought I would never quit smoking cigarettes after trying to stop and starting back. I was also afraid of the weight gain. When I quit smoking at twenty-two, I gained forty pounds, but obviously started back. This time was different. This time came with a severe cost. The cost of my health. I knew it was time for me release all things that no longer served me a purpose as my health was failing right before my eyes. I was in a do or die space and didn't allow any fear to arise and stop me. I bought some Nicotine patches a couple of days before Christmas and wore one on Christmas Eve. I wore them for about four days. But, after researching Psoriasis and Leaky Gut, I decided to stop wearing them as I didn't want anything released into my bloodstream. I removed the Nicotine Patch and is now smoke-free. I cannot tell you how good I feel. Giving up cigarettes is a huge accomplishment. I am smoke-free! ​THANK YOU PSORIASIS!!!

What's more, after releasing an addiction, the average person finds a substitute like I did when I was twenty-two, and that substitute was food. Not today. In fact, I have released lots of weight, and the additional energy is still evaporating. I did it the natural way, no pills or diet fads, just healthy eating, and exercise. How cool is that? ​Not only have I released excess weight (not sure how much), but I feel so good. I can fit clothes I was unable to. I can exercise and do high-intensity cardio without feeling short-winded. I no longer eat pork, beef, turkey, processed foods, wheat, (gluten) and I just started a new Yoga program.

Let's talk about Psoriasis. As described earlier, Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes skin cells to turn over too quickly. The skin cells don’t shed. Instead, the cells continuously accumulate on the skin’s surface and cause thick patches of dry, scaly skin (Healthline).

These are the symptoms I experienced.
Pins and needles
Dry, cracked skin
Deep itch no amount of scratching relieved
Raised red patches of skin covered in silver scales

Personally speaking, I believe Psoriasis is a symptom of Leaky Gut. I understand all too well what autoimmune is and if Psoriasis is considered an autoimmune disease than what's causing it. And is it a symptom of something larger or a disease within itself. What is the inflammatory response that causes over the reproduction of skin cells? Why are the skin cells responding in overtime and again, to what? An autoimmune disorder is when your antibodies attack your tissue, cells, organs, etc. Besides the obvious, your deficient immune system, what would cause your immune system to attack itself.  ​

If you recall the definition of Leaky Gut (Intestinal Permeability), The wall of the intestine is considered a semipermeable. Semipermeable means the pores only allow certain things to enter the bloodstream and block other things from entering the bloodstream. For instance, specific molecules and nutrients are allowed to pass through but prevent toxins and large undigested food particles.

With Leaky Gut, the walls or tight junctions are no longer semi-permeable but widened. In this case, undigested food particles and toxins make their way into the bloodstream. Your antibodies view these undigested food particles and toxins as foreign and attack your healthy cells, and that can often lead to allergies or other immunologic responses, like Psoriasis.

What was my experience with Psoriasis? Horrible! Every day and night my skin burned as it felt like fire ants crawling all over my body. The heat was unbearable. At any given time, I felt overheated and sometimes like hot pins and needles stabbed me. I was uncertain why. I cried. I sat in cold water. I stood in front of the fan. I stood on my patio with a sleeveless t-shirt on in thirty-degree weather. You're probably wondering why my body was hot. Even after all the research, questions and reading, I have yet to find an answer.  The lesions were sore to the touch and inflamed. They were bright red and very tender. I could barely wear clothes some days. Underwear and bras were not an option. When anything rubbed against my skin, more lesions appeared. Many days I walked around in Pat's oversized tee-shirts. Some days, I wore cotton or rayon pajamas as those were the only fabrics my skin allowed. I could not sit as the skin on the back of my thighs felt like it was cracked.  The itch was deep, like underneath my skin, or one that you couldn't reach. And my goodness, I cried and cried. I awoke in the middle of the night rubbing shea butter, olive oil, coconut oil, jojoba and any other oil I could on my body. None of the oils worked. The only thing that relieves the itching was Patrick's body massage. Pat was awake with me many nights trying to comfort me. Shemar felt useless as he had no idea of what to do. He cried with me. I swear this was a very painful and teaching lesson for me. I was beyond miserable and wouldn't wish this shit on anyone.

I went to see an acupuncture specialist and the burning subsided. Dr. Liu explained to me that there was too much heat in my body. My tongue was beet red. She also told me to avoid anything spicy, fried, sugar, wheat, gluten, etc. Immediately after that visit, I researched Psoriasis, and it's relation to heat and still could not find an answer. I searched every day whether it was Google, Scholarly articles, and my resources. The medical doctors were not able to give me any information that satisfied me so there I was on my journey to healing.

Supplements and Vitamins
As the days passed, I realized the only thing that would heal me was food. After much research and reviewing my resources, I realized I needed more than Nutrition. I needed supplements as well. I need to cleanse my blood, add good bacteria to my gut, repair my intestines, support my lungs, boost my immune system, aid in digesting my food, improve my skin cell growth, reduce swelling and inflammation and promote more oxygen to my cells. I had a lot of work and repairing to do. Here is the list of natural supplements and vitamins I am taking right now, and all of them are vegan, non-GMO, and gluten free. Click on the supplement to see the benefits. 

I started taking these supplements about a month ago, and I must say, I feel 75% better than I did before. Holistic healing doesn't happen overnight just as the damage to my body didn't happen overnight. So patience is necessary when taking the holistic route and I recommend it. My psoriasis is no longer bright red and inflamed. In fact, they are darker due to hyperpigmentation. Some doctors say that the hyperpigmentation is due to melanocytes sending too many signals to replenish the skin cells that were absent during the flare-up of psoriasis. So there you have it. My psoriasis is healing. However, the Leaky Gut will take about three to six months, so right around the summer time; I will feel better than I ever felt in my life. This condition has been here since I was seventeen and it is time to release it.

In the midst of healing Psoriasis and Leaky Gut, I have learned to give extra love and nurture to Kelley. Monday through Thursday I exercise and meditate. I read empowering books, and currently reading The Divided Mind. I do a detox bath at least twice a week, and I do mirror work. I also window shop and takes drives to areas that I would like to live in one day. Yes, I am always manifesting. (-: Women have been programmed to love and nurture everybody but themselves and especially their spouse and children. And that is what I did and have done for the past five years; take care of everybody else except me. Well, Psoriasis has been a wake-up call for me. I am currently in the "selfish" space, and that is perfectly fine as it is about time. I cook once a week as seventy-five percent of my food is in the form of liquid. Shemar and Patrick both know how to cook, so there is no need for me stand over a hot stove. Besides, standing over the hot stove provokes my Psoriasis, and my body becomes overheated, so I will not do any major cooking probably until the summer time. And even then I don't do much cooking in the Summer so those two men of mine, will live in the kitchen.

The first of November I decided not to buy any carbs and stick with chicken, fish, turkey and vegetables. I was never a fan of pork or beef. I did that for the first thirty days and felt somewhat better. The following thirty days, I did not purchase any meat. I ate vegetable dishes, some carbs, grains, and wheat. I noticed my body itched like crazy whenever I ate grains, wheat, and even the smallest amount of sugar, like one cookie. I immediately removed the wheat, grains, starch and yeast from my diet and detoxed my body. I juiced, ate raw foods and drank a fiber supplement. I did that until my poop no longer had a foul smell which was about five days. When January rolled in, I purchased all veggies (some wild caught canned salmon), and since then I have juiced, eaten raw foods and taken my supplements. At this time, my body isn't tolerating much. However, I do have a list of foods I can eat that will not affect my Leaky Gut.  What's weird is, the doctors told me I was allergic to wheat, corn, yeast, ash trees, dust and shellfish when I was about twenty-six. However, whenever I ate shrimp from the whole foods store, there was never any reaction.  I am sure GMO's have everything to do with it, but I will not test it anymore. This journey has been emotionally and physically painful.

Weight Release
I had not noticed the weight release until Patrick made it clear to me. I was and am focused on healing my body, and that comes with weight release. Once I did pay attention to the weight loss, I was amazed at how my waistline shrunk about three-four inches. My breast shrunk about two sizes and my thighs trimmed down about an inch as well. I was excited and felt so good about healing my body. Weight release isn't all about releasing weight as it is about healing your body. My organs are functioning better, I feel better and have a lot more stamina and energy. Before  Psoriasis, I weighed 170lbs. I was unhealthy, overweight (according to European standard), slightly elevated cholesterol, borderline high blood pressure; my knees hurt, my lungs couldn't fully expand, I sometimes drank too much wine when I was out and just felt run down.  I did not love the weight I carried and obviously has issues with me, like old patterns and behaviors. My weight came with emotional pain and attachments. Again, dealing with my son's traumatic experience as well as choosing not to punch the clock anymore was emotionally draining to the point to feeling dead on the inside. I had given so much of me to the world, that I forgot about me and used food as my comfort. Food has always been a comfort to me as that was one of my old behaviors when I felt alone and sad. Today, it's kind of hard to lean on food as a comfort when your food consists of green juices, smoothies, raw foods and salmon from time to time. I thank the Universe I was never addicted to sugar. My love was always potato chips, and although carbs break down to sugar and sugar to fat, I eat healthy chips from the Whole Food Store. I also have a beet and carrot juice when I want something sweet. I can also have some dark chocolate, in moderation. Another release that will take place is my addiction to the fat in meat. I have no desire to eat pork, beef, or turkey again. Eventually, I will give up chicken, but never Salmon. (-: The main foods and toxins I will avoid for the rest of my life are wheat, gluten, yeast, corn and shellfish as those are the foods I am allergic to as well as nicotine and alcohol. I will also avoid dairy, processed and fried foods and the meats I stated earlier. 

Topical Treatment: DIY (Mixture)
100 % Organic Coconut Oil Lotion
100 % Organic Shea Butter Lotion
Chamomile Oil
​Tea Tree Oil
Geranium Oil

In conclusion, I love my body as I am grateful it still works and speaks loud when I am not listening. If there were anything I want you to take from my experience and this blog, it would be to hear to your body and do a detox at least once a year. I will love and take care of my body from this moment forward. No more toxins, smoke, alcohol, emotional stress or physical stress; just me nurturing my body and creating longevity. This experience has provided me with more pain, power, passion and purpose.

The most important part of this entire process is loving you. It's so easy for us to say, "I love me." Well, I pose the question, how is your overall being doing? Are you harboring unhealthy emotions, negative thoughts, ill and disconnected from your spirit? Have you done mirror work? Are you taking medicine, smoking, using drugs or drinking alcohol on a regular? Do you allow people to mistreat you? Are you in an abusive relationship? I am not here to judge, but I want you to take a look at your life and determine if self-love exists. It is imperative that you love self as my entire journey has always been learning to love my whole being and treating it as so. I finally made it. But, I am sure another wonderful lesson will come forth.

I take full responsibility for my condition and healing. I have no shame or embarrassments as my wish is to empower you to start loving yourself, eat healthily and stop abusing your body. I would love to help you start over. If you have questions, please click 
here. What's coming up for me? An appointment with a holistic, functional medical doctor (Assess Leaky Gut).

For more information about me, please click here.  

Thank you for reading and please comment below. Share your Psoriasis or Leaky Gut experience with me.

Dr. Josh Axe
Chris Kresser, M.S., L.Ac
Mayo Clinic
Cleveland Clinic
Carol Tuttle
One World Healing