Skin writing disease — sometimes also called idiopathic dermographism, chronic idiopathic urticaria (ICU) or dermatographic urticaria- can have plethora of causes. Doctors mark it idopathic once they are unable to find a cause… and that was exactly my case. The end diagnosis of my immunologist was that it is “genetic” and incurable. Luckily I did not give up, and found a cure.
In my 7 years long search for curing it I stumbled across many articles and stories, but I did not find any solutions. I read a lot about similar conditions — sun, cold and stress initiated.
Mine was purely pressure related, but the solution I found should be useful even for those not pressure related.
The symptoms first appeared in February of 2010. One day the skin on my back suddenly started itching when I was sitting and leaning back in a chair and the more I scratched it, the more it itched.
I visited an immunologist who prescribed me with anti-histamines called Ewofex, it was based on fexophenadine.
It relieved me of the symptoms, so where the skin itched, was kind of 3D and yellow, it became 2D, red and did not hurt/itch. QoL, “Quality of life” elevated — but the cause was still hidden.
By the way, I found that almost all people writing about this disease have very pale skin — yeah, I have not been going outside either at that time 😉
Doctor told me that I should dose every day with the pills and wait until it heals itself. Yeah, right. Like that ever works, just hiding the symptoms and ignoring the cause. But that is western medicine for you.
I visited a gastroenterologist and immunologist and they did not find anything either (no parasites, no immune-deficiency, just ELEVATED BILIRUBIN and worse than normal C4 complement.).
Elevated bilirubin is called hyperbilirubinemia, or hyperurikemia — both of which are mostly caused by improper liver function.
When you eat so little that your body goes into catabolic state and starts burning your muscles to obtain energy. In which I was most of the time — when I was playing PC games I did not feel hunger, because my brain was so preoccupied with the games and bombarded by dopamine from the instantly rewarding stimulus.
The immunologist ended it with “The bilirubin in your blood is of hereditary causes. Does your dad have gout? You will too. It’s in your DNA.”
The bilirubin was the main symptom, doctors diagnosed it as M. Gilbert syndrome, hereditary.. oh okay. I guess I should accept my fate then. Later it turned out that it was not hereditary at all — doctors just diagnose something as hereditary when they don’t know what pills to prescribe you anymore.
If I believed him and accepted that it is incurable I would never have healed myself. Never give up!
First I found and tried Daosin, which is diaminooxydase in pill form, because histamine is broken down by it. It did not help me at all. In some cases it might, but not in mine. It was like turning on the windshield wipers when you are in a middle of a sandstorm, hoping you will see better. My gastrointestinal tract was in such a devastated state, that some pills would not help.
The doctor tried to help a bit, he proposed diets, like gluten free diet. I was 15 and a gamer, so eating junk food all day and drinking soda, for YEARS. In my 15-year old mindset I stayed with my normal eating and lifestyle habits, except I avoided bread. Nothing changed, of course.
Some years later I did have a “spiritual” event in my life, which changed my personality a bit.
Right after that I had a (foolish) feeling that I can control the illness with my mind, if I meditated a lot.
This is also the time in which I seriously meditate, so I focus more on sensations in my body (anapana sati, vipassana).
And then I saw something I knew but did not admit to myself for years — the pills I have been taking for years have just been alleviating the symptoms, not healing me. Doctors gave it to me to shut me up and so I can have a decent “QoL”.
But when I covered the symptoms, I was also “shutting up” my body, screaming for help. Don’t ever do that to yourself, please. Listen to your body. It is telling you exactly what it needs, but in our society we are too used to just shut it up.
I understood all of this after reading the psychosomatic book — almost all illnesses stem from repressed emotions or of course, treating your body like shit and ignoring it. Which I did.
I was few days off medication, just to experiment on myself.
One day at lunch I was eating tofu, beans with tomato sauce and rice at my job. This is 4th day in row on the same food and without anti-histamines.
About 30 minutes after I finish eating my hands start pulsating. I did not touch anything except the fork in the past hour so my hands should NOT be pulsating and itching (as would normally occur if I irritated the skin somehow).
„What is this?! “ I whispered.
An idea jumped into my head and I googled “acupressure points on hands” immediately.
And that got me thinking. I googled some more and I just had to take a photo of the PC screen. I still have it:
I didn’t take any “real” actions yet, but the idea of being able to heal this with the help of researching it myself stayed in my head.
I went drinking with my friends few days after. Day after the party I had bloody stool, first time in my life. And that freaked me out a lot. But also, I was off medication AND drinking, in this combination, for the first time.
So I wrote down everything I ate that day, just to debug and analyze possible dietary causes:
rye bread, hummus; smoothie — sunflower seeds, almonds, goji, chia, 2 bananas, unfiltered tap water; jasmine green tea
beer, croissant, piece of cake, apple cider
Next hangover breakfast and lunch
insta coffee, chocolate croissant, 2 soya yogurts, goji, sunflower seeds, clementine, chia, eggs, potatoes, dill sauce, jasmine tea
So as you can see — loads of sugar, gluten and alcohol — not very friendly to your intestines at all, but I wasn’t aware of that back then.
So the illness was manifesting itself this way and I was not going to ignore the symptoms this time, or try to suppress them. I calmly examined the situation, it was not dark blood, which means it was not from the stomach bleeding, it was light, which meant gut inflammation.
Right there and then I went into almost crazy-analysis of everything about my body (that I quit my job about a week before helped a lot — loads of free time to do research!), researching immunology, inner workings of organs, hormones, ncbi papers.. for 2 weeks I spent 10 hours or more a day on it.. it went to such extremes that I was washing dishes and a deep voice in my head asked me a question — “What about cytokines?”. No, it was not the solution at all, but you get the idea on how deep I was in it. My unconscious started throwing ideas at me.
All you have to do to heal the illness you have is to go back to when it started.
For me it was high school. I was a nerdy kid. I would come home and play games all day long, all night long. Call of Duty mainly, but anything really, just to escape from reality.
And here it comes — I was also drinking Coca Cola instead of water. Every day 2 liters (64 ounces). Do you know what a monstrous pile of sugar that is?
I began on the wrong track at first, researching immunity, but the information I found still helped, it got me deeper and deeper. Just don’t stop.
Good bacteria vs bad bacteria
You have bad bacteria and good bacteria in your gut, and even Chinese knew 3000 years ago that there is gut-mind connection. Yes, because the bacteria in your gut help you generate neurotransmitters, such as serotonine and dopamine (serotonine more so, about 90% of it is created in your gut!). So your mind is in the same state as your gut basically, and that is a huge deal for mental disorders — depression or ADHD.
Then there are saponins, chemicals that are contained in nuts and seeds, quinoa, tomatoes and legumes (beans). They are nature’s way of saying “don’t eat me” (if you eat a lot as an animal, you lower your rate of survival, effectively killing off your species).. Saponins literally eat holes in your gut lining.
This way almost everything you eat becomes toxic for your body, because the undigested particles leak to your body. Then the cytokines and zonulin cause a chain reaction which leads to another (auto-immune) reaction. Your cells become inflamed which causes histamine to release, and now you have itching skin. Thus the term “leaky gut”, as is this condition called. Increased intestinal permeability.
Here it is roughly… a VERY restrictive elimination diet. You start with almost nothing.
Lot of meat — which was problem because I was playing with veganism at that time. But tofu released toxins a lot (even now I get inflamed, just shows you how unhealthy an unfermented soy is. Tempeh is a different story tho 🙂
I ate only tempeh, rice, sweet potatoes occasionally (sugar in them), potatoes and buckwheat.
And strawberries, bananas and blueberries (lowest glycemic index, so important if you have to avoid sugar to starve the Candida. It was full on war!).
So basically it’s diabetic/gluten intolerant diet. If I had not given up being a vegan (which was a silly decision at that time) and haven’t started eating meat and eggs I would have lost more than 7 kilos like I did. In a month!!
Another source of toxins was water. So I drank only tap water first filtered with Japanese filtering coal for a few hours, mostly overnight.
Of course no coffee, that would just add more acidity to the stomach and hence bloodstream.
I drank a lot of matcha tea and I was supplementing with various herbs like gotu kola, spirulina, ashwagandha, schisandris chinense, chlorella and acerola. I was also experimenting with linden extract (relaxes the gut and helps digestion).
Every few days I would allow myself goji (high glycemic index).
Very important was L-glutamine — in fitness its used for rebuilding muscle, but it also helps to rebuild your gut lining — almost any leaky gut diet website will tell you to use it, so will ncbi research.
I took diary of everything I ate and then analyzed it for correlations. Every now and then I would cause myself a slightly painful scratch and then watch how soon it a skin reaction would show up. I also rated the pain on scale 1 to 10.
I discovered that the skin reaction was almost non-existent when I was hungry, so that confirmed my theory in the beginning of the experiment that it is digestive tract related.
Anyway, its been a few years since I started this diet and I did not take any pills at that time. I held the diet for about 4–5 months, being most strict in the first two. Now I consider myself completely healed, but one thing I try to avoid is sugar, as it was the main cause of the Candida overgrowth.
If you have any questions, please leave them in the comment section, I will be happy to answer.
This is literally the image that started it all. Liver and intestine regions on both of my hands were pulsating. Probably the saponins in the beans and unfermented tofu toxins. If I had not been into meditation, eastern medicine, and did not read a book about psychosomatic healing I would have had overlooked it.