Ask The Diva: How Can I Help My Lichen Sclerosis?
Do you think lichen sclerosis can be cured with diet? If so which protocol would you advise? – CJ
Great to hear from you CJ!
When it comes to lichen sclerosis, there are a few theories about it which could sway your healing direction in more than one way. I will outline those here in order to present the differing sides.
Firstly, lichen sclerosis is a condition that creates white, patchy skin that is thinner than normal, healthy skin. The condition is most often found on the vulva and anus in women.
Here are the theories of why this condition may come about, and some healing suggestions.
As far as what I believe, I can’t speak to cures for legal reasons, but I can say I’ve seen great success in women who find their underlying cause(s) and follow a lifestyle and nutrition change to support it.
In women with lichen sclerosis, there are often high levels of circulating autoimmune antibodies. Not to mention is often coexists with other autoimmune conditions such as autoimmune thyroid conditions and lichen planus, another unpleasant vaginal condition.
Inflammation and your immune system go hand in hand, so it’s hard to separate them. Rather I believe it most likely a combination of autoimmune and inflammation in many cases. However, inflammation is present in many women with lichen sclerosis, as they have a proliferation of monoclonal T lymphocytes (aka fancy white blood cells).
Please note that I am in no way saying the following will help your particular case, these are just suggestions that have shown promise. Always take the advice of your primary health care practitioner.
- Address leaky gut
- If you have symptoms of gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, skin issues, or mood irritability- your gut may be impaired.
- Gut health is of the utmost importance in any natural healing regime
- Drink lemon water on rising to help set your digestion for the day
- Don’t eat crappy food- this ends up undigested and sending potentially harmful (and inflammatory) substances into your blood stream
- Eliminate food sensitivities (might consider IgG test or elimination diet)
- Reduce stress: Stress freaks your body out and chronically can increase inflammation, muck up your hormones and perhaps lead to autoimmune-related conditions.
- Do something to reduce your stress every single day. Rotate to keep yourself interested, or based on the time you have. Yoga, meditation, gardening, walking outdoors, reading and having a bath are all great choices.
- Balance sex, stress and thyroid hormones: We’ve seen that autoimmune thyroid issues are often present in women with lichen sclerosis.
- Try hormone balancing herbs like those in my Detox Tea to rebuild your hormonal pathways and support your immune system.
- Walk outdoors daily at the same time, to bring your sex hormones naturally into rhythm
- Enjoy high mineral foods like dark leafy greens, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, almonds, bone broth and sea vegetables like arame, wakame, nori, kelp, dulse and others to support your thyroid gland.
- Adopt an anti-inflammatory diet or some principles of the autoimmune paleo diet
- Remove foods your are sensitive to
- Consider reducing foods like tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, potatoes and other night shade vegetables which can be inflammatory
- Enjoy an abundance of dark green, red, purple and orange vegetables to support the whole shebang
- Use good amounts of healthy fats like avocados, olive oil, flax oil, walnuts, coconut milk and oil, ghee, fatty fish like salmon and sardines, etc
The last thing I will mention is very important. Before making any drastic change in diet or adopting any specific protocol, it is best to consult with a trained natural health practitioner to make sure you are on the right track.