It’s been a while since my last blog post, and in that time I have done a lot of learning and thinking.
Before I begin, let me explain my absence. I recently graduated University yay and began my first real job in the adult world. I had to move house ( with my boyfriend’s very kind parents whilst we save to move house) and got accepted for a masters degree next September. All in all a very busy and exciting time. If you’re busy and excited you’re sure to be at least a little stressed. Not great for Lichen Sclerosis…But as I’ve said before, I will not let my obsession with my vagina stop me living life. HA!
Learning and Thinking
Since starting this blog I’ve done a lot of researching, learning and amending the way I live my life. Getting Lichen Sclerosis is a huge learning curve, or at least it should be, for a every woman and man who is diagnosed. You’re basically told that your body is attacking your skin cells, that your diet, clothing and washing habits will all contribute to making this disease worse. Not only is this a horrible and painful disease but it mainly attacks a part of the body that for many, whether knowingly or not, forms a huge part of their personality, identity or psyche. Learning to change lifestyle habits that for most LS sufferers have had for life is tough. A lot of women are diagnosed during menopause, that’s a lot of habit. Even for young toddlers there will be a lot change. Young parents will have to change their lifestyles, whilst dealing with the pain of seeing their child suffer and knowing there will be no cure.
Whilst I found many of the changes I had to make easy I found many difficult and I still struggle. Switching to organic haircare was easy, though making my own at home didn’t last long. I struggled greatly with changing my diet to the raw food diet. I became very sickly, with many vitamin deficiencies.
I think the problem is that I tried to change too much too quickly. I thought Id have the will power and knowledge to completely change my lifestyle in a few short months. How wrong I was. I’ll talk about each issue below.
Diet is the hardest to change. I’m already a vegetarian and many of the autoimmunity protocol diets require the removal of food types which are a huge part of my diet and to instead eat lots of meat. Not Great. I did not wish to sacrifice my morals for my health. I began the raw food diet. This did not go well. The main issue was no matter how much healthy food I ate if I didn’t eat enough calories none of the vitamins from these would be absorbed. I really struggled to pack raw food recipes full of enough calories to be sustainable. I was so disappointed with myself. I felt like a failure. I let my vagina down.
After much thought and research I believe that I won’t be able to just pick up someone else’s ready made diet plan and expect it to work for me. It just won’t. Just like all of our symptoms are different so are our dietary needs.
I think an important thing to remember is that PROPER PLANNING PREVENTS PISS POOR PERFORMANCE.
Before beginning my diet changes I am going to properly plan everything. I cannot change my diet too much write now as someone else is doing the shopping and the cooking. So I am going make a recipe book, based around the food diary I’ve been keeping. The recipe book will contain a months worth of recipes for each piece of food I will remove from my diet. Starting with gluten.
Gluten is such a huge thing to remove which is why i think this needs proper planning. I need to know where to buy the best and least expensive gluten free products. I will put the first month of recipes on here when they are complete.
In my first few blog posts I told you guys about sodium laureth sulfate a horrid little sulfonate used in car wash and oven cleaner which is also put into our skin care products. I have mostly eliminated all skin care products containing this or its sister products, in both cheap and expensive ways. In the next few months I’ll be sharing more hints and tips on the best carcinogen free and organic skin and hair care products including makeup brands.
Today I quickly want to mention oral health.
I know believe I have Lichen Planus, Which, I guess, can be described as oral LS. the centre of my lip along the gum is splitting and fusing all the time. I have white patches on my gums. I AM THRILLED!
As such a I began to examine the products I brush my teeth with.
Can you believe that there is only one toothpaste on the shelves not containing sodium laureth sulfate. No wonder they tell us not swallow. I cannot believe I have been brushing my teeth all this time with a product that is in oven cleaner.
The toothpaste without SLS in Sensodyne toothpaste, which is relatively cheap toothpaste.
In the coming weeks I’ll be sharing products, recipes and research I have discovered over the last few months. But first….
The Vulva Health Awareness Campaign has launched a vulva health awareness month in February. You can find out how to help raise awareness by emailing them at email@example.com
Also PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE take the British Associations of Dermatologists Survey on vulva health. The more people who take this survey the more likely it is that they will realise just how many people are affected by LS and other vulvar diseases.
Find out how you can help to make awareness by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and download the awareness poster and display it anywhere where women will have the chance to see it and be educated.