Thursday, December 31, 2009

Gluten free beauty products?

Based on my digestive issues, symptoms, I am 99.9 % sure that I am sensitive to gluten. I first discovered when I was on a zero carb diet that my digestive system was working the best it had in my entire life! I talked to a gastro Dr. about it and he agreed that it was likely based on my symptoms. My test for Celiac disease came back normal, but he said that it doesn't mean that I don't have gluten sensitivity, just that I don't have that particular variation of it.

So for the past 6 months or so I have been on a gluten free diet. It is really difficult, but I have tried my best. Amy's organic foods have really yummy gluten free enchiladas and other frozen meals, so that has been a staple for me at lunch. For dinner I substitute xantham gum for flour and eliminate any bread.

The strange thing is that since my digestion has gotten better, my skin has gotten worse! I have sometimes itchy rashes on my back, torso, chest, scalp, and face. Ever since I was a pre-teen, I had small, red bumps on my face that never seemed to go away despite medicine and visits to the dermatologist. The dermatologist always referred to it as mild acne. More recently, a dermatologist diagnosed me with rosacea.

I tried a new shampoo and conditioner recently (Aveeno) because I had heard great reviews of it. I used it a couple of times and my scalp and neck broke out in an intensely itchy rash. I took Benadryl and just assumed that my skin is sensitive.

I was researching makeup that is best for sensitive skin on the internet and I came to a FAQ section on a makeup brand's website that asked "are your products gluten free?" First I had no idea that gluten was even used in makeup, and second, I wondered how that would affect digestive symptoms if used topically. It didn't make sense to me. So I started researching gluten sensitivity and beauty products and found NUMEROUS people who had a sensitivity to gluten and broke out in skin rash when using beauty products that contained wheat, rye, barley, or anything derived from these things! I went and looked at the ingredients on the label of the Aveeno shampoo that broke me out so bad and it listed 2 different kinds of gluten as making up a large percentage of the formula! Most Dr.s apparently, will tell you that gluten can only be absorbed by the digestive tract, but there is no conclusive study that this is based on.

I change beauty products about as often as I change my clothes, so when I think back to times when my skin was at its best, I was using a makeup that WAS gluten free! I am going to buy new makeup, soap, shampoo, face wash, and lotion that is gluten free. THANK GOODNESS for Burt's Bees which ALL of it's products are gluten free and much more reasonably priced than any other brand that is. I am excited to see whether this helps!

Another random thing I learned was that Gluten can cause Migraines in people who are sensitive to it! Also, my reflux has gotten better since being on a gluten-free diet. This makes me think that most Dr.s do not do enough to look for the CAUSE of symptoms. Instead, they just treat them.