Living with Hidradenitis Suppurativa can be completely debilitating. Here I want to teach you how to manage your hidradenitis suppurativa (HS). I know from personal experience that you can put Hidradenitis Suppurativa in remission or at the very least improve symptoms and feel more in control of what is happening in and on your body.
Do I Have Hidradenitis Suppurativa?
This autoinflammatory skin condition is characterized by painful bumps that appear on the skin, they can range from pea-sized to golf ball-sized. Usually, impacting areas where the skin folds like underarms, inner thigh, groin, buttock, under breasts/ chest.
These painful bumps can often develop into boils or inverted acne and often burst and leak fluid, blood, and puss. When you are stage two and beyond they can also cause tunneling and appear in clusters. While Hidradenitis Suppurativa is not an infection, when the boils open and leaves open wounds, an infection may occur. Many people go their entire lives without a diagnosis because they feel they are alone.
You are not alone. You are not dirty. This isn’t because of your body size, lack of hygiene and it isn’t your fault at all. There are genetic predispositions to HS, and certain lifestyle and environmental factors which contribute to inflammation can make it worse.
What Causes Hidradenitis Suppurativa?
The cause is still not known, although there are several theories! The most popular school of that is that follicular occlusion causes HS. Follicular occlusion means hair follicles become blocked with keratin and then form cysts or boil which often rupture, thus creating an inflammatory skin condition. Keratin is a type of protein found in hair, nails, and skin.
However, are another study that shifts away from the follicular occlusion theory propose that Hidradenitis Suppurativa is an autoinflammatory keratinization disease. Per Cambridge Dictionary, Keratinization is the acquisition of a horn-like character by the epithelial tissue in many parts of the body. As cells move from one epithelial layer to the next, they accumulate more and more keratin through a process called keratinization.
Observational, experimental, and therapeutic evidence supports the concept of hidradenitis suppurativa as a primarily inflammatory disorder, a disorder of autoimmunity, or both, in contrast to the currently prevailing paradigm of primary follicular occlusion. (1)
Some studies point to low serum zinc, Vitamin D, and magnesium levels in HS patients. I personally and in my practice find it effective to supplement with these. My protocols are listed in my Fullscript Dispensary.
Inflammation is a theme present among all theories regarding the root cause of HS and autoimmune and autoinflammatory pathology is often referred to as well. As such treating, HS like an autoimmune disease works, in my opinion.
Many things can cause inflammation in the body, from leaky gut to poor diet, out-of-whack hormones, and blood sugar regulation.
Although Hidradenitis Suppurativa is not (yet) classified as an autoimmune disease, in my personal and professional experience with a focus on gut health, nutrient density, and stress management – many improvements in symptoms can be achieved, as well as possible remission. I know it was for me.
How Put my HS in Remission Naturally
I’m not a Doctor, so I don’t diagnose or treat HS, but I am someone who has dealt with Hidradenitis Suppurtiva since I was 13 years old (36 now) and I put it in remission with diet, lifestyle, and supplements. As a nutritional therapy practitioner, I’ve also helped countless others do the same. You can read my story here.
This entire blog, as well as both of my cookbooks, is dedicated to helping people with chronic illness and inflammation to feel better. Diet and lifestyle changes are an important part of any care plan. Be sure to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements or diet changes.
My Foundational Approach includes:
- Find your Trigger Foods
- Optimize Digestion
- Gut health
- Blood Sugar Regulation
- Nutrient Density
- Supplement Support
- Stress Management
- Topical Care
You can find resources on this blog for all of the above! I am a firm believer in making this information accessible to all. But if you want more direct care you can join my Holistic Hidradentits Suppurative Course!
Resources to Help Manage your Hidradenitis Suppurativa
- Diet change is paramount. All of the recipes on this blog are free of top HS triggers (for most people). But beyond that, I think a proper elimination diet like the Autoimmune Protocol, Dairy-Free Keto, or AIP KETO is necessary, even if for 30-60 days.
- This video explains how HS is my WHY, the reason I do what I do! Topical care is also a big part of hidradenitis suppurativa. If you know my story, you know that I have tattoos over my scars, and in this post, I share how I prepped my skin for that and my favorite Hidradenitis Suppurativa topical care products.
- My cookbooks are free of gluten, grains, dairy, nightshades, and more. They have helped thousands of people learn to cook to feel better. Made Whole and Made Whole Made Simple are available anywhere books are sold.