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Low carbing rash - is it just me and what do I do about it?

(10 Posts)
berberana Mon 20-Jan-14 19:53:14

I have successfully followed a low-carb eating plan before and about 6 years ago, lost around 2.5 stone. I know it works and it suits me because I can still eat nice things – I like cooking and I like food!

However, when I did it for around 4 months (a week in rural Spain and a sudden aversion to eggs knocked me off completely!) I developed a horrible rash after a few weeks which was very unpleasant, but I didn’t immediately link it to my diet.

But whenever I have tried to LC subsequently, the rash has re-emerged around day 7 and this has always put a spanner in the works, as I know if I eat a few pieces of toast or a pie it will disappear leaving no trace within a matter of hours! So I have found this difficult to stick to – the memory of agonising months of looking horrible, outweighing the prospect of weight loss.

I have wondered if it’s to do with all the nasty toxins being flushed out, but then you would think it would have died down over the course of 4 months, wouldn’t you?

It appears where my underwear is! Starts around the underwire of my bra and then all around the sides of my boobs and under my arms, and then starts to appear where my pubic hair grows! It’s itchy and hot and lumpy and bright red and looks bloody awful. It’s doing sod-all for my sleep or self esteem! It is at least contained and when I am fully clothed (or even just in a swimming costume) you would never know, but the discomfort is at times unbearable and I feel pretty self-conscious about whipping togs off for DH cos it looks so ugly!

It gets worse when I am hot or if clothes rub against it and irritate it, so exercising is even less appealing than usual (and this is something else I am keen to crack on with – I am so unfit!).

I just wondered if anyone had any amazing insights or thoughts as to how I can control this. GP prescribed several topical creams – anti-fungal, steroid, anti-histamine, none of which worked in the long term and they only treat the symptoms rather than the underlying cause.

I am really determined to lose weight this time (would like to lose at least 3 stone) and I know that in every other respect, this way of eating is fantastic. I find it easy to avoid sugar cos I know that it is off limits. I am eating more veg than I ever would if I was “carbing”, everything is home-cooked and prepared from scratch so all fairly “clean”, I am consciously drinking tons of water, I lost half a stone in the first week and – remarkably – Sunday was the first day in what feels like months when I (almost) sprang out of bed when 2yo DS woke at 7.30 – usually my first waking thought is “when can I go back to bed?”!!

But later in the day a few small itchy lumps appeared and by this morning I looked like my bra had burned my skin!

What the hell is causing this – how can I react to something I am NOT eating??!

I want to do this!! Help?!

P.S. I am making an appointment with a new GP – I think that now Low Carbing is more accepted, there may be a willingless to investigate, rather than telling me that introducing carbs back into my diet is the only option and I “should be eating a balanced low-fat diet anyway”.

BIWI Mon 20-Jan-14 21:05:48

Have a read of this

Seems like you might need to up your carbs a bit.

Hope you get some relief soon!

newfavouritething Mon 20-Jan-14 21:18:26

It sounds to me a bit like an allergy - possibly to the elastic in your bra/knickers? I sometimes get it, often see where the edges of my bra straps leave big weals. Have you tried taking anti-histamine tablets? I often have random allergy stuff happening, and different anti-histamines do different things. For me cetirizine over the counter, or levocetirizine from the doctor works best for that type of rash.

berberana Mon 20-Jan-14 21:45:23

Newfavouritething I really don't think it is an allergy to anything I'm wearing as it only develops when I cut carbs.

Thanks BIWI, I had seen that article and it seems similar in many ways to my condition. Just wondered if anyone on here had successfully counteracted the reaction!!

Looks like I need to trade slower weight loss for comfortable skin! Just need to figure out what carbs to add in and when so I avoid the cravings and crashes... This happens even on boot camp light so maybe porridge for breakfast or something is the way to go.

SteeleyeStan Mon 20-Jan-14 21:49:49

Oh that does sound nasty. sad

I was complaining in last week's thread about my neck and chest looking like angry hives. It was on my cheeks sometimes, creeping down towards my boobs, too. I only really tried aloe vera and witch hazel on it, which didn't help. It didn't get nowhere near as bad as to think about needing a doctor, luckily.

It seemed to stop for me when I stopped eating olives, but it's not 100%, so I'm not really sure. And olives haven't done that to me before...

That article BIWI linked is really interesting; I'd never heard about this before! The pics on the site look very much like mine. Then again, I haven't added carbs (at least consciously) and it's still improved now.

You don't have to be in ketosis to lose weight on LC, luckily. Maybe try staying away from grains and added sugar etc and just add some more carby vegetables, milk etc to see if you can find a happy medium?

BIWI Tue 21-Jan-14 13:35:17

I've never heard of it before either, so it sounds like it's an unusual complaint.

How about introducing a slice of wholemeal toast into your breakfast? Dr Charles Clark's plan "The High Protein Diet' allows for this - he recommends a higher daily amount of carbs generally.

berberana Tue 21-Jan-14 16:58:00

Thanks BIWI, yes I have his book and have re-read it today so I think I will have to play around a bit til I find my own rules which allow me to lose weight but stay rash-free! A slice of bread each day could easily lead to 4 in one sitting so I might introduce a couple of oatcakes or something and see how that works.

Hope I'm still allowed to use the bootcamp weight tracker?!

BIWI Tue 21-Jan-14 20:46:11

Of course!

superstarheartbreaker Mon 24-Feb-14 16:56:46

I have a rash too. Only a few spots but there.

Jujubee24 Thu 27-Feb-14 18:56:38

Srsly?! Eat some cabs.

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