Bart's Story: Psoriasis, adverse drug reaction, and how food is medicine.
A man came in to the office: desperate, itchy, but with an openness and willingness to try anything. I've seen some pretty bad skin cases and I remember Bart asking me if this was his worse case scenario. I told him he was in my top 5 but if he loses all his nails, he would be runner up for top 3. I had him taking anti-inflammatory herbs and micro-nutrients but I think the biggest piece to his healing by far was food. Here is his story:
My story started after a week long trip out of the country at the end of February/19. We went swimming in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Acapulco as was discouraged by all of the travel guides. After the trip I had questions about a serious rash on my left thigh and wondered if I was infected by an unknown waterborne ailment that may have been suspect.
I went to the man assigned to me by our healthcare system, who prescribed a round of steroids while claiming their prowess. After finding welts on my hands and feet four days later, I knew that it was time to elevate my issue to the recognized authority (dermatologist) that is supposed to answer the big skin questions. I was in real trouble now it is mid-March and I have red blotches over my entire body as well as my hands and feet. My hands and feet are very sore, swelling, and peeling uncontrollably.
I unfortunately didn't take photos of Bart's nails but note that his ENTIRE body looked like this except his face.
Upon my first meeting with the dermatologist I could see by the look their faces that I was in real trouble, but I was willing to work with them until I was feeling and looking better. They prescribed me more of the same steroids, at triple the dosage this time claiming that the only problem was the earlier doctor’s dosing. After some of my pointed questions I decided to go along with their professional opinion because I had zero alternatives at the time.
All the month of April and the beginning May I continued with their plan of “tapering the dosage” as they claimed that was the mistake made by my “primary care physician” during the earliest stage of the condition. During the “tapering” my skin did show signs of positive progress until the dosing was “tapered” to 5mg level, when my condition seemed to have stalled.
During my last visit I was told the solution was a new and different prescribed magical pill full of the same chemicals that I had never let enter my body before at the low cost of 4000.00/month (insurance cost of course). At this point I looked directly in his eyes and firmly told the senior doctor due to my limited amount of faith that remained, he would never see my face again. I will get better without his chemicals although I actually did not have any answers to get back to my previous health status.
After many frustrating calls and a few consultations I finally found Dr. Lexi Lain, who had the right attitude and answers that I needed, maybe not the answers that I was ready to hear.
Dr. Lexi here: I will interject at this moment because I really appreciate when Bart mentions "answers he wasn't ready to hear." I say this because changing one's diet from things that you really love can be super difficult but if you want to get better, this changes must occur. This is the biggest obstacle by far in using food as medicine.
When I met Dr. Lexi I was covered from head to toe with ugly red blotches and my feet looked so bad I was embarrassed to reveal them to her. I answered many of her focused questions, which gave her a good idea of what direction we had to pursue. Dr. Lexi determined that (in her words) my “bucket was full of toxins” and I need to take corrective actions. I am an omnivore and eat everything from pizza to sushi along with just about everything in between. As we spoke I realized this may be a difficult journey, but after the months of discomfort I had suffered recently I was more than ready to follow her suggestions.
Dr. Lexi asked me if I had any idea what an anti-inflammatory diet is. I had some idea, but I listened very closely knowing it was going to be my new healthy eating habit. She reviewed a booklet of acceptable foods and the ones to avoid. Unfortunately, I related to many more of the “foods to avoid” than the accepted ones on her list. I built and referred to a permanent list on my notepad in my phone of the accepted foods only. She began to tell me what type of timing and recovery that I should expect and gave me a couple of bottles of her organic medicine and planned for another visit in a month.
Patience was my only tool in my toolbox along with her list of healthy food to eat. I am saying REAL patience. Not the patience of waiting for a pizza delivery. Not patience like counting the days for a concert in a couple weeks. Not the patience while waiting for a nagging cut on the tip of your finger to heal. Or even the patience needed to endure a healing broken bone, of which I know too well after a lifetime of motorcycling. This was my REAL wake up type of patience, where you don’t necessarily see or feel progress daily, but the necessity to stick to a plan and never cheat.
For the first three months (3/19-6/19) I was forced to apply moisturizer five to twelve times per day, including in the middle of the night. I used natural compounds like shea butter on my feet and jojoba oil on the rest of my body. With constant application my skin was still flaking uncontrollably along with my hands and feet sloughing off in chunks. As hopeless as it may sound, I was getting better by sticking to Dr. Lexi’s diet plan.
During the next two months (6/19-8/19) I observed some progress all over my body while my hands and feet were still lagging.
My thoughts were the skin on my hands and feet are thicker, requiring much more healing time. Did I mention that I was losing ALL twenty of my nails during this whole time? I asked the dermatologist several times early in the experience what was happening to my nail beds without any answers to my query.
Dr Lexi here: Cold hands and feet? It's a circulation issue and is usually the main areas susceptible to the cold. The hands and feet are often times the areas that heal the last due to the anatomy inhibiting the blood flow needed for healing.
I always work with my hands on many projects including cooking. I was forced to wear nitrile gloves to avoid contamination of the food or any further damage to the skin on my hands. If it weren’t for my loving wife, I would never have been able to maintain my feet or survive for that matter! This may sound like hyperbole, but as a person that makes money by standing for hours and working with my hands, I would be out of business for certain.
After half a year passed by (8/19-11/19), I felt better and the peeling was reduced to my heels of my feet only. I have continued to use shea butter up until writing this report and will also continue Dr. Lexi’s diet, with some pizza and probably a beer. I am very thankful for her and her wisdom of my issue along with her understanding how to direct me.
Dr. Lexi Here: I recently saw Bart, Jan 2020, and he has done remarkably well in his new dietary habits. He is a lover of dairy, wheat, and enjoys a beer AND he has one little patch on his thigh that will tell him when he's been cheating. So he does a 90:10 (90% really clean and 10% cheating or letting loose) and he now knows when his body isn't happy.
Here are photos I took during this appointment:
This is Bart's favorite pose as you can see all 20 nails. When he first came in, his nails were yellow and death-like and his cuticles swollen and inflamed. You can see that his big toe nails are the last to push out.
Bart's one little patch that tells him he's been cheating. This is after Christmas and New Year's by the way and I always tell my patients to enjoy the season just know that flares can and will happen.
He has psoriasis and when he went to Mexico, something turned on his autoimmunity and the steroid exacerbated the storm. He had an severe adverse drug reaction that in turn made the psorasis very angry. The point is, the body can heal and it will tell you when it's pretty angry.
If you would like more information about how to heal your skin naturally, please contact Dr. Lexi using the contact form on the website. I hope this story not only brings awareness to possible adverse drug reactions but most importantly a hope that we are what we eat and food can be medicine.
Bart and Dr. Lexi