I am 26 now. In July 2018 (I was 165 m and 53 kg) my health started to decline even more than usual. I had:
– indigestion( occasional vomiting )
– gut pain
– anal itching (resulting in scratching and psoriasis)
– hair loss (at the front)
– hirsutism (upper lip hair was getting darker and thicker)
– greasy skin with acne
– disturbed periods (dropped to 2 days from 3, with decreased blood)
– painful intercourse
– urinary infections (after sex, despite careful hygiene measures)
– monthly canker sores
– occasional cold sores
– beer smell on my bra (suspected candida infection)
– itchy, smelly scalp
– back pain and generalized body tension
– feet pain (improved a lot with intrinsic feet strengthening exercises, but still present on walking and particularly standing)
– poor breathing ( asthma like)
– fatigue ( even after 10-12 hours sleep/night)
As you can notice, I was basically dying. So middle of September I started an elimination diet inspired by Mikhaila Peterson. For some, reason despite knowing about her story long before, I did not feel compelled to try out the elimination diet. I think I did not believe it will do much. At the time I was also a fish eating vegetarian and I believed I am following a healthy diet.
The way I eliminated things was not very systematic and careful, so up until this point, I can say I can only partly identify what food causes what. Nevertheless, here are the results:
From the above list, the most fascinating changes were the reverse of:
I had both of them ever since I was a baby.
I started waxing my upper lip hair at 15 after I got made fun of in school. I thought it was genetic, since my eyebrows are pretty dark as well, although my hair is dark blonde. So what was the diet connection? What are the suspects?
– fruit (definitely)
– dairy (somewhat)
– sugar, other carbs (possibly)
What is the mechanism? I don’t know for sure. Dr. Jason Fung has a lot of articles on the connection between type 2 diabetes, fructose and glucose and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). I had a gynecological consultation though and I had no cysts, and generally I don’t fit the profile very well. It could still be a hormonal form of PCOS, or other inflammatory reaction.
Side-note: I had periods of a week or longer of 0 upper lip hair growth, but right now I have slight growth of about 1-2 mm/week and rare. The reason for this lack of clear, systematic results is the fact that I cannot do a full elimination diet, beef only.
Where I live right now, beef is not a thing. No one eats beef, and if you find beef in the stores it is entirely fatless, it takes more than 1 hour to cook and it’s pretty expensive. Instead, I consume once or twice a week a younger form of beef, something between veal and beef. This one is again fatless, so I cannot rely solely on it.
So what do I eat then?
– chicken, veal, fish
– tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, radishes, carrots (rarely peppers, zucchini and eggplant)
– butter, olive oil
– pepper, salt, paprika
– 85% or 75% dark chocolate
Why don’t I try to eat only meat? I do not afford it at the moment, is one reason. I find it hard to not lose my appetite eating only meat, unfortunately. I struggle already holding my weight in check (I have 49 kgs now and a BMI of 18). If I could have access to ribeye, which is what Mikhaila Peterson and Charlene Anderson live on, I would most likely be able to do it too. 500 grams of ribeye = aprox. 1500 calories.
So back to *hirsutism*. It’s clearly reversible even when you have it since you were a child.
This change blew my mind, and I never expected it. Everyone talks about dairy being the nr1 mucus production. It wasn’t in my case, dairy doesn’t give me mucus. What does is:
– fruits (I only got to test bananas, apples, strawberries)
– possibly other things, but nothing on the list of foods I eat right now
It’s amazing to be able to breathe fully. Before, I would get out of air from climbing a couple stairs, no matter how fit I was. Removing those food cleared my mucus and healed my lungs.
So for the remaining symptoms:
– indigestion( occasional vomiting ) – gone (removing gluten and fruits helped the most, peanut butter is bad as well)
– bloating – gone ( primary culprits are fruits, gluten, quinoa, avocado, white cabbage, mushrooms)
– gut pain – gone (gluten was very bad for sure, and dairy seems to be as well)
– anal itching (resulting in scratching and psoriasis) – still have it
– hair loss (at the front) – my hair is growing back
– greasy skin with acne – no more greasy skin, but I still get pimples on my chin. I noticed dairy made it worse.
– disturbed periods (dropped to 2 days from 3, with decreased blood) – still get it only 2 days but the flow is stronger so I am not worried
– painful intercourse (did not have the chance to check this one)
– urinary infections (after sex, despite careful hygiene measures) – gone (fruit was a big reason. By the way I was only consuming 2 pieces/day, so not that much. Yet, it made a difference. Coupled with the beer smell in my bra, I suspect I had high blood sugar which induced both the candida and the urinary tract infections)
– monthly canker sores – gone
– occasional cold sores – gone
– beer smell on my bra (suspected candida infection) – gone
– itchy, smelly scalp – gone
– back pain and generalized body tension – (still have it but it’s 100% something in my food. When I fast for longer than 15 hours I have no more pain, tension, and I feel great)
– feet pain (improved a lot with intrinsic feet strengthening exercises, but still present on walking and particularly standing) – 100% gone
– fatigue ( even after 10-12 hours sleep/night) – still fatigued, but slightly less badly
Unfortunately, I lived with brain fog for 4 months or so, after I started this diet. I tried fixing my electrolytes by adding more salt and magnesium. The first magnesium I took was magnesium citrate and the smallest dose would give me diarrhea. But then I took marine magnesium, so magnesium extracted from sea water, and that helped tremendously, and removed the brain fog. In prehistoric times, humans would consume about 600 mg of magnesium/day. So don’t be shy about taking a magnesium supplement.
At some point, in order to increase my fat and caloric intake, I increased my dairy intake. I did this because dairy was not giving me breathing or digestive problems, so I thought it’s fine. It took me a couple good months to figure out that the joint pain I started to experience for the first time in my life was from the abundance of whole milk, cheese and greek yogurt I was consuming. So after I cut it off, the joint pain was gone, and my skin became softer and it got a nice glow.
So this is my story! I hope other girls with hirsutism get to read it, and try out the diet. I know that there have been plenty of other stories about arthritis or asthma induced by food, but not facial hair growth. Good luck! 🙂
Victoria is a native of Paraguay currently living in Florida. She tells her health story and how she has been getting members of her family, both in Paraguay and the US, onto a species-appropriate diet and turning their health around.