How I Discovered My Triggers and Avoid Them
Discovering my triggers has been an uphill battle. Because our bodies change as we get older and so do my food tolerances. Where I once was fine with eating a pot of beans with no problem, it causes me so much inflammation now. So, I've had to love myself enough to make a change.
When I first attempted to gain an understanding of my triggers, I was 350lbs and I ate everything under the sun. It was honestly a great place for me to start. What I did was take one thing out of my diet at a time. First was pork. This was hard because I was a pig fanatic. I loved anything with pork in it. So, after cheating myself a few times to eat pork I decided to seriously commit to eliminating it from my pantry and I did.
Starting a hidradenitis suppurativa elimination process
I didn't notice much of a difference in my hidradenitis suppurativa but I decided to continue the elimination process until I figured out what the issue was. Next on my list was beef. I wasn't a heavy beefeater to be truthfully honest. My mom switched us over to turkey meat a long time ago and I never really went back after that. I had my occasional steaks and burgers but it wasn't consistent. Eliminating beef wasn't nearly as difficult as pork. Still, I hadn't noticed much of a change in my HS. I kept going.
Eventually, I began working out along with my diet change to see if that would help me as well and it did. I started noticing some changes in my HS. New boils stopped appearing so frequently. Next on my list was processed food. After watching a documentary called Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, I was done with anything processed in my life including meat. I still ate chicken and seafood but more chicken than seafood because I was on a college budget at the time. I began getting all of my fruits, veggies, and meat from a local farmer's market.
Noticing changes with my HS
By this time, I had lost around 60 or more pounds and I began noticing more changes in my HS. I didn't get any new boils, but I did still have tracts, tunneling, and drainage. Because of this, the elimination journey continued. I began not only working out six times a week but I also tried to walk everywhere I could, even though I had a car. I was exercising all of the time. Where HS didn't affect my body, my skin was flawless. When I moved in with my aunt, I decided to start going full vegetarian. It was difficult because my aunt can cook up a storm. I ate meat a few times before I fully committed but when I committed, I committed.
My father then went on a juice fast and completely turned his health around which motivated me to try a juice fast out to see how my HS would be affected. I did this in the midst of transferring to another university so I pledged to do two weeks but only committed to a week and a half. After that week and a half it was almost like I went to sleep one day and woke up and the HS on my breasts, back, and sides of my torso just healed. The only thing left was discoloration. I was shocked. By this time I had lost well over 100 or more pounds through the elimination process.
"Take it one day and one moment at a time"
Like I say in most of my articles, what works for me won't necessarily work for you, but the idea is to take in someone else's story of success and use it as fuel to make a change in your life. The journey you will go on to find your triggers will be vastly different than mine or it might be an identical twin. You will never know until you try. Take it one day and one moment at a time. Remember why you're doing it and allow yourself to be frustrated in the process. I wouldn't say make it a habit to cheat but if you do, don't beat yourself up.
Hop right back on that horse and ride it because you might be on the horizon of your healing. Discovering triggers is not fun because there may be times where food you didn't know would cause a boil, does. However, the positive to this is that now you know to avoid that particular food. In the words of the late and great Nipsey Hussel, this journey is a marathon, not a sprint. Hold tight and stay committed to yourself and your goals.
What's in your self-care toolkit? (Choose all that apply)