Today I’m sharing a post introducing my dear friend Heather Petersen who will be guest blogging here throughout the month of June. Many of you already know her from the last 3 annual 30 Day Raw Vegan Challenges. Well she has returned for our 4th and we’re shaking things up a bit!
This year not only will she be summarizing her Red Skin Syndrome battle and her annual Raw Food journey in a few posts on the blog, Heather will be posting her exclusive photos and commentary in our PRIVATE Facebook group “21 Days To Glow”for those who purchase the program. When you purchase the “21 Days to Glow” Program you’ll receive over 60 delicious simple recipes, shopping lists, tips and tricks to successfully go Raw Vegan for 21 Days. Plus you’ll have access to our private Facebook group to meet other glow-getters, get support and ask questions to get you well on your way to glowing health! Together we invite you to join in on the fun!
Make sure to use Heather’s SPECIAL coupon code VEGIEVORE when purchasing the program to SAVE 25% this month! And as an added bonus, when you sign up for my weekly blog newsletters you’ll receive a bonus e-book with tips and recipes on how to go raw for 1 day!
Hey! I’m so excited it’s that time of year again, woohoo! Starting June 1, 2016 I’m going to journal a bit about my Raw Vegan journey and my battle with Red Skin Syndrome. Can you believe this is my 4th year as a guest blogger on justglowingwithhealth.com? I sure can’t. Time is flying!
Since Christine released her amazing new Eprogram “21 Days to Glow”, I thought I’d use this as an opportunity to challenge myself. I’ll be making as many of the recipes while posting exclusive pictures and spins on her recipes from the EProgram in the private Facebook group. So not only will you read my entries on the blog and Instagram @justglowingwithhealth, but daily comments, pics and tips in the private FB group “21 Days to Glow” too. Way more fun! I’m really looking forward to your feedback and questions, so don’t forget to sign up for the EProgram.
Welcome to Just Glowing with Health’s newbies! My name is Heather Petersen. Let me tell you a bit about myself. I am a Certified Nutritional Counselor through AANC, a California State Licensed Esthetician and a Dr. Vodder trained and certified Lymphatic Therapist. However, in 2012 I became disabled while recovering from Red Skin Syndrome (RSS) due to Topical Corticosteroid Addiction.
“What’s Red Skin Syndrome?” you ask. Excellent question.
Many skin rashes and other common forms of Atopic Dermatitis are treated with Topical Corticosteroids (the synthetic version of the hormone Cortisol prescribed to suppress the body’s immune response). Long term use of these creams, ointments, foams and sprays can lead to the body developing a dependency on the Corticosteroids. Dependency on this synthetic hormone can lead to a mess of problems which ends up being called “Topical Corticosteroid Addiction” and is identified by a Red Skin rash that looks similar to Atopic Dermatitis – thus the layman’s term “Red Skin Syndrome”. (Read more about it on the International Topical Steroid Awareness Network’s website www.itsan.org.)
“How does this happen?” you wonder. Let me illustrate by summing up my personal experience.
I developed Eczema, and as is the common allopathic western medical practice, my physician prescribed Topical Corticosteroid Creams and Ointments to treat the Eczema. Overtime as my Eczema got worse the physicians treating me continued to increase the strength of my topical prescriptions and added additional prescriptions of Oral Corticosteroids (Prednisone) and Intramuscular Corticosteroid Injections (Kenalog akaTriamcinolone). During the course of receiving prescribed Corticosteroids my body (in particular the Endocrine, Immune and Integumentary Systems) became dependent on the Corticosteroids and developed an “addiction” to them. All as a result of the misdiagnosis of Corticosteroid induced symptoms and the improper prescription of long-term Corticosteroid therapy. It led to the deterioration of my body and caused MANY problems, as you can imagine. (Read more about it on my blog www.eczemancipated.com )
What is the solution to these problems? Well like any person rehabilitating from drug addiction has to do, I had to stop using all forms of Corticosteroids “cold turkey” and go through drug withdrawals. In addition, I’m recovering from the other cellular damage done due to long-term Corticosteroid use. For example, my body has to relearn how to create and regulate its own hormones, skin, and cellular tissue while stabilizing the immune system.
I’m now under the care of several physicians including, Dr. Marvin Rapaport who is a Dermatologist and specializes in helping patients recover from Red Skin Syndrome due to Topical Corticosteroid Addiction. Dr. Rapaport has helped over 3,000 patients recover from Red Skin Syndrome. (Find out more about him at www.rapdermbh.com. You can check out the YouTube Q&A Video about Red Skin Syndrome https://www.rapdermbh.com/2015/02/10/questions-answers-marvin-j-rapaport-m-d/)
“Will I recover and when?”
Most patients recover from Red Skin Syndrome within 1-4 years, but it can take up to 7 years depending on the person’s age, years of usage and other health problems. The good news is that all Red Skin Syndrome patients can fully recover if they stop using Corticosteroids and their skin will even ultimately decrease or completely cease to have Atopic Dermatitis symptoms (which is the original problem the Topical Corticosteroid therapy is often prescribed for).
Christine and I have been friends for decades and have shared a lot of knowledge with each other through those years. She’s kindly been working with me since 2011 to help improve my health through diet modifications, Raw Vegan cleanses, water fasts and health education.
What type of progress have I made? Well I’ve officially been off of Topical Corticosteroids since May 2012, which make this month my 4th anniversary. YAY!
The road to recovery has been long…
The quality of my skin has greatly improved: I don’t ooze, crack, swell, turn purple, burn, itch, rash or get infections nearly as much. This means I don’t have to wear bandages anymore, even when I’m not flaring. I used to wear cotton gloves when I left the house but a couple of months ago I didn’t even need the most of the time. I’m still wearing vinyl gloves when using public restrooms or doing house work. I’ve finally been able to wear different fabrics this last year other than cotton.
My Thyroid has its ups and downs. I went into an Autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s when I came off of Corticosteroids. With the help of the doctors from Holtorf Medical Group (www.holtorfmed.com) and PAMF (Palo Alto Medical Foundation), the Hashimoto’s is in remission and they monitor my Hypothyroid, Cortisol level fluctuation and suppressed adrenals in between Red Skin “Flares”. All my doctors are positive I will recover. They’re helping to support my body’s own natural healing process with immune boosting Herbal/Amino Acid compound formulas.
Since my adrenals are stabilizing the periodic insomnia has stopped. I only need 10 hours of sleep and only wake up 1-2 times a night – as opposed to the 18-20 hours of sleep I initially required with the every 2 hour itch flares I would wake up to. My energy levels are getting closer to normal and at times I can do activities for a few days in a row – as if I had never been sick. But I can make it about 3-4 days straight with a “normal” schedule before I need to be home and resting. I have to schedule activities around how much rest I will need in between them. Sometimes I will need a week of rest from just a few day’s activities. But I’m thankful I can do “normal” activities now. I used to just be a red oozing scratching burning stinging itching mess of a blob that laid in bed all day.
Well that’s the scoop.
Join me in raising awareness for Red Skin Syndrome and in support of my Raw Food 30 day challenge journey with me to “Glowing Health”!