Thanks for your post relating your experiences after eating Chinese take-out and pizza. I'm convinced now that soy has been my problem all along. Up until this past year, every time I've had eczema, it's been topical (i.e., from products I've put on my skin that I'm allergic to.) What perplexed me when I developed eczema this past January (which I had through July) is that I couldn't pin it down to any new product that I was using. I had been using the same products that I had always used (Cetaphil gentle cleanser and Aveeno fragrance free body wash.)
However, in January I found a new dish at my favorite restaurant called vegetable curry, which I started eating a lot. Oh, it's delicious! It's cooked in coconut milk, which is so tasty! Since I developed the eczema about the same time that I started eating this vegetable curry dish, I wondered at the time if I could be allergic to curry. I remember mentioning to a friend that I could be allergic to curry because of the eczema. He suggested that the eczema might also be caused by stress. Since I was under a tremendous amount of stress at work, I thought the stress must explain it. What I didn't realize was that in addition to curry, this dish has a lot of tofu in it. Now I know that it most likely was the soy in the tofu that had caused my eczema.
I can't really say that I haven't eaten soy since July because soy is in almost everything. Who knows how or why soy has ended up being an ingredient in so many foods. Growing up I don't remember soy being in anything except Chinese food. I also still eat the vegetable curry, although less frequently. I'll definately stop eating the tofu in it, though. I probably don't eat as much soy as others, though, because I avoid processed foods for the most part. I try to eat simple, whole foods that generally don't have soy in them because they aren't processed with soy to begin with. I don't trust these foods with all of these chemicals in them. So, I buy home-made bread at my grocery store that doesn't have soy in it and use organic eggs and organic butter. (I live on the east coast where we have a grocery store called Harris Teeter which, thankfully, sells a lot of organic whole food items.)
These cookies that I ordered were an exception, however. These cookies are from Nutrisystem, and I ordered them from QVC. Soy is one of the first ingredients listed on the package, which means that they are mostly soy. They aren't really yummy like home-made cookies, but they will do, and they do cut down on the urge to nibble because they're high in protein. There must have been too much soy in them for me to tolerate. I'm very thankful for your posts here--this is the second time that you've led me to the answers as to what may be causing my eczema--first the mold and now the soy!
The eczema is completely gone now. The Doctor's Defense is so wonderful. It cleared up the impending eczema outbreak in record time, and I've stayed away from the soy cookies since my problem, which has also helped. Like you, I also only use the Doctor's Defense for emergencies, like this one, but I'm so thankful to have it when these incidences occur. Up until a few weeks ago, I had used Doctor's Defense once or twice a week to keep the eczema away, but then I stopped using it entirely to see how it would go. Not using the Doctors Defense these past few weeks may help to explain why I had the eczema outbreak, but I would rather find out what I'm doing that is causing the eczema so that I can stop it instead of relying on Doctors Defense to curtail an eczema outbreak.
As for the holidays, the cookies and cakes might not be so much of a problem because they are usually home made. People generally don't serve store bought cookies at parties because they want to show off their cooking abilities. Home made foods don't have soy in them, so hopefully this will get us through!
Let's definately keep working together to figure out how we are going to get through this. I remember your mentioning when you first found out that you were allergic to soy that not eating soy would be a big change for you since you had a lot of soy in your diet. How were you able to make the change? I've read a lot of articles on how to avoid soy, and it's not easy. I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts!
Thanks so much!
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