love the post -- thanks for caring to share your knowledge & observations!
been away for quite a while. had my baby last may '09; he is now 9 months old. yes, i'm a new mom! HORMONES can do funny things to your body when you're pregnant.
while i was pregnant, my lip peeling/cheilitis/whatever-it-is, went on remission. my lips felt almost normal; still vulnerable, but the peeling subsided. i'm quite sure it's due to hormones & a suppressed immune system.
also, my DANDRUFF went away during my pregnancy! (while it's usually not so bad, i had a chronic flaky scalp that matched my flaky lips.)
bad news: now that i'm back to "normal," my lips went back to their chronic love affair with peeling & splitting & all that mess that you're all suffering with.
TIMES MY LIPS WERE PERFECTLY NORMAL:
- when i was on prednisone in '08. but a few weeks after coming off the drugs, my crazy lips made a comeback.
- when i was sick with the flu & had a high fever in '07. well, that didn't last either. (someone else mentioned this; this one is Definitely interesting.)
- when i was in costa rica in '05. i didn't even need to slather on lip balm! also, my lips were fairly good when i was in hawaii in '07.
WORST TIMES FOR MY LIPS:
- when i'm stressed (especially social stress): i could feel my saliva start to thicken, i could feel my lips start to dry up, crack & peel. putting on my lip balm at this point only adds to the cakiness. i think it may actually stress out my lips more. i read about the cortisol content in saliva during stress. may have something to do with it.
NOTE: i do Not habitually lick or bite my lips. but i am allergic to many things, so i steer clear of my known allergens (incl. lanolin, cortisone, neomycin, synthetic fragrances, flavors & colors, hair dye, etc., etc.).
OTHER: i've been diagnosed with sjogren's syndrome, an autoimmune disorder in which my own antibodies attack my connective tissues (incl., collagen, excretory glands, etc.)
had BLOOD TESTS done 2 weeks ago: tests show no gluten sensitivity, no celiac, no inflammation. i Do have Enlarged Red Blood Cells. cause unknown. going to see my rheumatologist in a couple of months to discuss.
CURRENTLY: been taking taking probiotics for 3 weeks now. no changes. i'm a health/nutrition freak, and have the healthiest diet: no alcohol, minimum amount of caffeine, lots of fruits & veggies (mostly organic stuff), minimum amount of refined stuff, lean meats (my blood is high in protein), no transfats, no high fructose corn syrup, plus i hate pop/soda/candy. so i don't believe it's my diet. but i have a feeling (just a theory), that i have MALABSORPTION of some key vitamins & minerals, maybe B12. still, i can't say if that could be a cause of my lip/skin problems. but i Was diagnosed with deficiencies in B vitamins, iron & folate in '08, during my pregnancy.
i've tried many, MANY things, and have noted all the changes. i even went on an Elimination Diet for 3 weeks: no dairy, caffeine, alcohol, any meats, eggs, soy, bread, gluten, etc.; just lots of beans, quinoa, brown rice, fruits & veggies. no change on my lips. but like i said, it had nothing to do with my regular diet. i think.
challenging to pinpoint the cause, huh!
i also feel that all the Antibiotics & corticosteroids i've taken in the past have done a number on me. (and maybe even my birth control pills, with their synthetic hormones). more likely negative.
here are some things that i Know have caused changes, either positive or negative, in my body:
- autoimmune disorder
- suppressed or overactive immune system
- vitamin/mineral absorption/malabsorption
- tropical, warm/humid climate; saunas (definitely positive on this one!)
tough to crack. treatments don't last. (i've tried Everything, including homeopathy treatments & alternative medicine.) no known cure. no definitive known cause. for now, option is management.
how to find lasting treatment, maybe a cure? i've done many experiments on myself, and i don't have the answers.