One of the comments I received recently, on my few months old LP/LPP post, clearly showed areas where I need to update my readers, those who are interested in information on Lichen Planus (LP) and Lichen Planopilaris (LPP) (a form of scarring alopecia).
There has been so many comments and conversations about my experience with LP/LPP, that I forget how unorganized the information may appear. I mention things here and there, as questions pop up, and I probably need to organize it in one update/post. I will attempted here, to address all the questions I have been asked about my experience with LP/LPP:
- I was diagnosed via two biopsies – scalp and body (neck down), in the spring of 2010.
- In July 2010 I had my first appointment with a naturopath who has completely changed my life! But first he has changed my diet 🙂 By the summer of 2011, a year later, signs of my LP were almost gone. The rash, the dark spots (someone described them as cigarette burns looking spots) were all disappearing.
- My LP (skin on my body) is in remission it seems…as I have not have had a flair-up in over three years, ever since the original rash went away (took more than a year for every sign to clear up).
- LPP is inactive, I can not call it a remission, as it is sort of my health meter now – if I eat badly, repeatedly (like on vacation) I usually get flare-ups, very quick ones, they last no more than a day or two. New spots, not old.
- Old LPP spots are healing nicely, indentations are gone. Not all of them are scar tissue, some are just thinned out hair where the scar tissue never formed. I do have some new hair growing in the scars here and there.
- The trigger for my LP/LPP is not known – I got better not only due to the drastic diet changes, but just as importantly, to drastic lifestyle changes – better stress management, slowing down a bit, quitting my high stress job, improving the dynamic of my family relationships, etc…trigger could be the blood pressure meds I was put on for a few months, the C-section I had, a compromised immune system after pregnancy/C-section, extended nursing (two years), a very very stressful and emotionally draining few years prior to 2010 (money, job, relationship issues), bad diet…in my opinion it is a culmination of things! One of them, or even a couple, would not have any noticeable health consequences, but all at ones – “shit hits the fan” type of moment – and vu a la – I get this skin thing, and a few months and a couple of biopsies later, I get the diagnosis of LP and LPP.
- I did use some steroid and cortisone treatments, barely anything initially, as I was nursing and did not want to expose the baby to the drugs in my system. Later I did try topical treatments as well as steroid shots – nothing had a healing effect. New spots kept appearing, and with LP been literally all over my body, neck to toes, I could not possibly cover myself in steroid/cortisone creams, and expect to not develop serious side effects.
- My scalp – since new spots kept showing up, I knew that with conventional treatment it is just a matter of time before I loose most, if not all of my hair. Doctors were not able to find the cause and address it, nor were they able to stop the progress, without potentially harming my health and immune system even more. I was not a big fan of staying on steroid shots/creams for the rest of my life. There was no reason for me to stay with conventional doctors, I knew there had to be a better way and so I have completely dedicated myself to a healthier lifestyle, healthier body and more importantly healthy mind, better nutrition, and therefore giving my body a chance to heal.
My diet has been ever-changing since my diagnosis (I believe, I have in fact tried everything from raw and vegan to Atkins) and finally I am on what I call a modified Paleo, and I feel wonderful! I would say it is a plan-based diet, with the addition of healthy fats and some clean animal protein. Here is a quick breakdown:
- No grains (just occasional oatmeal for breakfast or brown rice bread toast).
- No Gluten. I have been diagnosed with Celiac via blood test, and then later endoscopy showed no signs of Celiac – but by that time I was Gluten-free for about a year, so potentially my gut had a chance to heal. Anyway, according to conventional doctors I have Celiac, and I do in fact feel the effect of gluten when consumed.
- No nuts (some almond milk).
- Small to moderate amount (20-30% of our diet) of clean/healthy/humanely raised/grass-fed/organic/wild animal protein (fish, poultry, eggs and some red meat). In the winter we eat more animal products, so the number may go up, while in the warmer months we naturally are drawn to more fresh vegetables and fruit.
- And most importantly! At the base of it all, I would say 70-80% of our diet are fresh/cooked/raw/juiced vegetables and fruit. Less starch vegetables.
- No diary (no goat diary either, no dairy at all)
- No yeast – I try to avoid any food that contain yeast.
- No fermented foods, drinks. No beer, no wine.
- No GMO containing products.
- No corn.
- Very little soy milk
- Coconut, olive oil and other natural oils, as much as I need/want.
I stay physically active, drink a lot of water, herbal teas, do take supplements (the selection changes all the time).
I think this is it really…Please let me know, ask, if I missed anything.
To your health,