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whole30 and hand eczema troubleshooting


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I'd like to get some feedback on this.  Here's my story.  About a year ago (around this time) I started getting some little bumps on one finger of each hand.  They were itchy, they would come and go, occasionally they were significantly worse, and then they'd clear up, but they never fully disappeared.  By the end of 2014 they'd spread a bit more to other fingers and across a few knuckles.  I have not been to a doctor, but after doing the research (and talking to my mom who had hand eczema for most of her life after a run in with cleaning chemicals) I'm guessing I likely have hand eczema.  (I'm an artist, and I've worked with many toxic chemicals in the past...perhaps that was one of my triggers).  


Anyway, jump forward to January 2015, I did my second whole30 and extended it to a whole45.  While I saw wonderful results in most other areas of my health, life, and well being, my hands got progressively worse.  I thought maybe it would get worse before it got better, but after 45 days of no cheats it was significantly worse than it's ever been.  


I had a family celebration on day 45, so I had a few cheats, hated the food hangover I felt the next day, and jumped right back on the whole30 train.  


I'm currently happy to continue this way of eating and really start to trouble shoot this increasing hand eczema.  


I've looked into some of the food culprits, especially eggs and night shades.  

I recently took eggs completely off my plate for a week but saw no difference in my hands, so I've added them back in.  Do you think a week was long enough to determine any sensitivity to them?  


My next question is night shades...I absolutely love spicy food (and growing up in New Mexico, I've eaten it regularly throughout my life).  However, when it comes to the rest of the night shades, I've really never been a big fan of most of them.  So before and throughout my whole30 I really consume very little of them.  Here and there I add some chilies or peppers to the dishes I cook, but otherwise I'm not eating a significantly large or regular amount of them.  Do you think it's still worth while to cut them out completely?  


I do eat a fair amount of coconut (oil, flakes, butter, milk) and I've heard some people have intolerances to coconut.  Is it specifically related to the guar gum, etc added to most canned coconut milk?  Or would I benefit from taking it off my plate all together in every form?  (I did consume coconut in all its forms before my whole30, but not as regularly as I do now).  


Are there any other suggestions or recommendations?  I believe fully in the whole30 and have loved everything about it and how I feel, but I can't help but feel disheartened that my hands have gotten significantly worse as the rest of my health has improved so much.  Perhaps I am being impatient and simply need to give this way of eating more time?  


Your help and suggestions are much appreciated!




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Some thoughts here - 


Nightshades include: peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, and potatoes - as well as most seed spices.  I know you mention that you don't eat a lot of nightshades - such as peppers or heavy spices - but what about tomatoes or potatoes?


Do you cook with Ghee at all?  The reason why I ask is I have noticed direct correlation between my use of ghee/clarified butter (I use it every now and again) and my eczema.  I use it - my skin gets super dry and flaky.  I use it again my knuckles and creases on my hand start splitting open.  


I also know that if I eat too many peppers and tomatoes I get red itchy sores on my hands.  So I limit my consumption of them to once or twice a week.  I have less issues with cooked as I do with raw.  Raw gives me more problems. So I make sure my nightshades are cooked.

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Thank you for the food for thought!  I really very rarely eat tomatoes or potatoes as well.  And I've been on the lookout for any correlation between any nightshade and my hand flare ups, but it doesn't seem to correlate.  


You know, I do cook with Ghee quite often.  I've used both store bought and home made.  Now that I think about it...the very first time my hands broke out last year was about a month after I'd completed my first whole 30 and I was incorporating Ghee into my diet much more often.  That's very interesting to hear about your correlation with eczema and ghee...thank you for your insight!  

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