january 4, 2020—initial health check-in

Just tossing this out to our little TLAE universe here…this might be a question for an admin or moderator, to let me know if it’s okay to do something like this, and how…

I just had a chat with another member, who has experienced a profound improvement in a serious skin condition that had plagued her for years, that didn’t respond to any of the multitude of treatments she tried. After being AF for a short time (we’re talking just a few months), she reported her skin is almost 100% clear. Coinky-dink? hmmmm…I think not. 

I’ve seen other posts with similar messages, which got me thinking about the rest of us and various chronic ailments we might be dealing with: would others be interested in being a part of a very informal “study” here, to simply name a health concern of yours, then observe the condition over the course of the experiment, and report back at the end of our 30 days any changes you observed?

(Moderators, let me know if this is okay to do, and if so, does anyone have an idea how we could track the info/collect in one easy-to-find place? Thanks!!)

Initial responses to my post (edited, to protect privacy and for clarity/space):

LA: Well this is sort of a weird thing: I started losing my eye brows. When I started researching as to causes one of the things listed was alcohol abuse ….hmmmm sure hope my eyebrows return! I am feeling very good but also hope I sleep better tonight

SA: I’ve had problems with my gut for a long time, and I know alcohol can effect that. Hoping it improves being AFAF!
LE: Me too with the gut health! I am tracking how it changes with this AF experiment. Heartburn too!
PL: Brilliant! There’s some great info ahead on how alcohol affects every part of our body. It would be so powerful to make note of any changes. xo
PMV: I’m hoping my skin improves. I get acne and post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. I’ve taken before pictires for comparison after 30 days. I doubt it will have an effect of the hyperpigmentation, but I’m hoping it will have an effect on the acne that causes it.
KC: developed psoriasis on my leg about 2 years ago. Never had before, no family history. Pretty sure it’s my body screaming 😬

G: I started getting occasional episodes of exercise indused asthma during open water swims. Never had asthma before
FJ: I’ve been having issues with tachycardia. My resting heart rate is consistently over 100bpm. I had an ECG and wore a halter heart monitor for 24 hours and thankfully there’s nothing wrong with my heart rhythm – it just beats too quickly. I’m pretty convinced that it’s the booze. It’ll be interesting to see if my resting HR improves during the month.
FC: Tachycardia, too, when drinking. Over past 2 years when I was sober for weeks at a time my heart rate was consistently about 5-10 bpm slower. When I drank it immediately shot up. Pretty good to know how to keep it down!!
JC: IBS!!! Like out of control IBS.
LBC: My blood pressure is very high even on medication when I drink. When I went 7 weeks off alcohol in August/September it normalized without medication. Hoping I get the same results this time.
CA: Blood pressure on borderline – thinks it’s work stress plus also anxiety produced by alcohol!! 😐
LBC: Yes! My anxiety goes crazy when I’m drinking.
ELG: Bloated lower stomach between belly button and pubic bone. Seems to be worse with alcohol.
          Jennifer H: I’ve had the same experience, ELG; did the Whole 30 (eliminate booze, sugar, dairy and grains for 30 days) a few times, and the bloating disappeared! hmmmm…🤔😄
RR: Stomach issues and white tongue ( all tests done , no answers)
HM: MENTOR POST! Health coach HM here; it’s not a coincidence at all! Alcohol causes intestinal permeability, or “leaky gut”. This means that it allows substances into the bloodstream that aren’t supposed to be there. This sets off your immune system and causes a host of adverse reactions, such as skin conditions, joint pain, headaches, and much more. Your body is so much happier being AF! Quitting alcohol is a massive upgrade to your body, your brain and your mood.
            Jennifer Hildebrandt: HM—I find it utterly astounding that the medical community is so complicit in this health crisis…I know we are the stewards of our own bodies, but when there are literal epidemic numbers of so many health conditions and we literally KNOW the cause—I can be such a skeptic of the medical community for so many reasons and one of them is that proactive health care isn’t profitable…😦
BJ: High blood pressure and horrible atypical asthma symptoms during excercise
LW: Osteoarthritis in my hands and knees. Already feeling better on Day 5!!!
AAS: Have severe rheumatoid arthritis especially in my hands and wrists. I take a biologic now. My hands were basically claws with no strength or grip. I was having a hard time opening doors, turning the key for the car etc…Long story, short. I did the November alcohol free experiment and after two weeks my hands (except for the deformities) have returned to normal !! no swelling, full strength returned and no pain !! It is like a miracle.
          Jennifer Hildebrandt It IS like a miracle, that YOU made happen, AAS!!! Thanks for sharing your experience—it’s so inspiring! 🥰

DKF: Great post! I suffer from eczema and edema in my ankles. I can tell my ankles are already less puffy. Many other health conditions such as osteopenia require testing to see if improvement have occurred. I’m certain going AF will help. It will be interesting to hear about everyone’s results after 30 days.
          Jennifer Hildebrandt: How wonderful that you’re already seeing improvements in your edema, DKF!

 EGB: I developed these weird “hivey” patches on either side of my stomach. Antihistamines did nothing. They spread to my entire torso and arms. Eventually put on steriods and they went away. Until a month ago. Back with a vengeance. I am interested if this AE will clear this up for good.
CX: Awful low back pain. I am also starting yoga today and am hoping that the combination of the two will help. Also my face is horribly red. I have been told it’s rosacea. We will see if it clears up this month.
HCD: I have severe hip joint pain when I wake up in the morning. It goes away when I get up and start moving around. I fractured my ankle a couple of summers ago and the hip pain on the opposite side was originally from wearing a boot but now it shifts from side to side.
          Jennifer Hildebrandt HDC—let us know if you observe any changes, I’m seriously obsessed with this topic, as you may have guessed! 😀 Quality of life/alcohol use seem to be inextricably entwined…
SCD: I have osteoarthritis in feet, knees, fingers and I know from previous dry spells that I have a great improvement in pain and mobility when I’m AF but I also have to limit sugar. Makes you wonder why I keep punishing myself. I’m also back on intermittent fasting which is a great healer.
          Jennifer Hildebrandt It really highlights how powerful and prominent cognitive dissonance is in our lives, doesn’t it, SDC? We all engage in that form of punishment, in some way or other…
          SDC: Jennifer Hildebrandt exactly. Knowing the pain I will experience but doing it regardless. Craziness.
MCK: Tinnitus is what I’d like to see go away. Going to loud concerts my whole life (alcohol made it seem not so loud!) is what the dr said.
As an aside, my 95 year old mother switched to gin for her martinis after she read vodka was bad for arthritis 😂
          RP: MCK, my wife has now gone Keto to “manage” her pre-diabetes status, evidently, “technically” one can still drink wine and hard spirits on Keto, because hey! No carbs!! What a load of bs…crazy thing is, eve her doc has supported this. (insert exasperated eye roll…)
OJ: I’ve been having increased stiffness and pain in my hands and other parts of my body. Hard to shuffle cards / will watch to see if it improves of course I also turned 65 this year so maybe just age
MZ; I have severe stiffness in hip and tailbone area. Doctors can’t tell me what it is. I’m 59 but I get up out of chairs as though I’m quite elderly. Hunched over until it loosens up. Not really painful but a lot of discomfort. Have been this way for yrs. I work on my feet 40 hrs a week.
LW: MZ, me too! Chronic inflammation from when I used to run. Subsides when I don’t drink and switched to all grass-fed, organic meats.
MZ:, LW,  I have suspected inflammation.
LP: Celiac Disease
BD: Really bad allergies. Rashes on my arms. I’ve never had them before
WB: I was diagnosed with a very rare autoimmune disease called relapsing polychondritis. It attacks the cartilage.
          Jennifer Hildebrandt: Will be interesting to see if there are any changes, WB. Keep us posted!
          WB: Jennifer Hildebrandt I will. I started eating keto in September and it eliminates alcohol as you know I didn’t limit; just drank vodka and soda and low carb beer.
PCJ: Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. 4 months AF, patches on my skin are 95% gone, the scalp is about 80% improved, less pain in my joints that are affected. 🙂 It really does make a huge difference for me.
JA: Recurring chest pain (I’ve hard a cardio workup with no issues). Usually once a week and lasts the better part of a day. Had it today but it only lasted an hour.
WJ: I have tinnitus (ear ringing) but I’m pretty sure that doesn’t go away. Hopefully it subsides. Also my lowered immune system tends to be prone to cold sores when drinking. And more Obviously red face…
LT: Alcohol is a known risk factor for many skin inflammatory diseases
BM: Dry itchy patches on skin, everything hurts/dehydration/dairy use.
           Jennifer Hildebrandt This one I can definitely relate to, BM. Almost immediately, within the first few days of being AF, my tender, itchy skin is feeling some relief. Hope you are, too!
BS: Low back pain due to 2 herniated discs and a bulging disc. Also, pain in my left shoulder and neck has already improved after 4 days. This chronic pain is one of the main reasons for my AF experiment
          Jennifer Hildebrandt Wow, BS! That’s great to hear, about your shoulder and neck pain! 
MCG: My once low blood pressure has been high this past year. I’m going to measure today then at end of the experiment.
CD: Thinning hair, to the point where I live with a cap on my head. I live in a ski town where a lot of people do this, but I’d like to have an option!!
RAS: I noticed my hands going numb and found out it can be related to alcohol use. Also high BP… hoping these improve! Good luck to everyone
CT: Heart disease, high blood pressure and Reynauds disease
SMA: Pain between my ribs (under sternum)


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