My name is PJ, I'm 24, and I've been struggling with severe acne, social anxiety and depression for ten years (since I was 14). Over the past year I decided to take my health seriously, because I could not live in pain any longer. I found out in Aug. 2013 that I have low testosterone (80 year old man level), low thyroid, food allergies, leaky gut syndrome, scoliosis, and low vitamin D. I found out in Feb. 2014 that I have a bad Candida yeast overgrowth, which is the main cause of everything else. I am applying the functional medicine approach to heal and balance my body's systems. I'm documenting my journey here and on facebook.
But that's the short story. Want to know my full story?:
As a kid I was always quite shy, anxious, and cautions of people. I had a good childhood though, and this didn't take over my life until puberty. In high school I started to get acne and increased social anxiety. It started mild, but got worse. I was covered in cystic acne by age 16. Being a shy person to begin with, this pushed me into isolation. I was extremely fearful of social situations and talking to people. People noticing my existence made my heart rate skyrocket. I was put on antidepressants and various acne medications (antibiotics, Proactive, retin-a). Nothing helped. Nothing actually got to the root of what was causing my symptoms. I tried my best to function and got through school while working a part time job. After school I continued to work random jobs, and my symptoms continued.
My anxiety and depression continued to get worse. My only option was to get better. I was either going to get better, keep suffering, or kill myself. I chose to get better. In November 2012 I started trying to heal my body naturally and holistically on my own through diet, supplements, and exercise. I was motivated by other people who cleared their skin this way. I stopped eating all processed foods and cut out the common food allergies. By December I added raw vegan to that list, and was only eating green smoothies. I switched my skin care routine to honey and natural oils. I started taking tons of supplements. February came and my skin only got a little better. I had lost 15 pounds (from 156 to 140). Not good since I am 6'3" and 156 is underweight to begin with.
At this point I knew I needed professional help, but I went to the wrong person. This mistake wasted a lot of time and money, which added to my suffering. I decided to go to a naturopathic doctor, which is exactly what I needed, but I went to one who didn't practice functional medicine. He wanted to guess and experiment with me rather than run tests to find out what was truly wrong. So I spent a the next 6 months of my life mostly paleo, and using supplements he thought might work. My skin got a little bit better. I was still getting cystic acne, just not as much. I still felt really terrible.
That brings me to August 2013 when I saw a new naturopathic doctor. But this doctor was different in that he practices functional medicine. I got a bunch of tests done which revealed candida yeast overgrowth, 20 food allergies, low testosterone (80 year old man level), low thyroid, leaky gut syndrome, scoliosis, and low vitamin D. Basically revealing the actual causes of my suffering. He explained how candida yeast, food allergies and inflammation causes hormonal imbalances, anxiety, brain fog, fatigue, and everything under the sun. I cut out all my food allergies from my diet, and started taking supplements to heal my gut. In October I detoxed my body with powerful supplements and a strict diet.
After the detox was over I experienced chronic fatigue for 3 months, didn't leave the house once, and was basically bed bound. This was not normal, and my doctor knew there was some kind of infection. So, I took a GI stool analysis and the results showed I have a severe candida overgrowth. This is most likely the root cause of all my symptoms I've experienced over the past 10 years. I am currently treating this candida with the anti fungal Nystatin and on a candida diet which excludes carbs and sugars.
I continue to update on my situation, what I'm doing, and the results. To learn more please like my Facebook page: