The Road to Self Discovery and Inner Beauty

by Bronwen Thompson
(Bournemouth, United Kingsom)

Raw Beauty

Raw Beauty

Hello! My name is Bronwen and I live in the United Kingdom beside the sea. Having very fair skin, red hair and freckles means I have always had sensitive, delicate skin. From a young age I have always looked after my skin and have been fortunate never to suffer from any terrible skin problems such as acne. Naturally I am very sensitive to the sun and I find many regular beauty treatments too harsh for my skin, often resulting in rashes, inflammation and itching.
What brought me to this site was my research into Salicylates and their effect on our physical/mental well being as well as our skin care programme.

I was diagnosed at the age of 8 with a severe allergy to Aspirin. Naturally since that time I have not taken an Aspirin tablet and try to avoid all medication containing Aspirin. However, it just seems that for ever I have struggled to maintain a balanced and constant level of health. During my school days, especially at high school, I would often come home feeling very tired and would have to take a nap and found it hard to keep my motivation going.

In my late teens early twenties I moved away from home and went to work in Belgium. I didn't really take great care of myself at that time, spending more time partying and eating too many high fatty foods, such as all those lovely Belgian chocolates. It was during this time that I started to experience quite a few health issues. I struggled with depression, really bad migraines, periods of black outs and my skin would go through spotty/blackhead periods. I would go on diets to loose weight, give up drinking alcohol for a while then lapse back into my old ways. I did give up the chocolates and found relief from the migraines.

In 1987 I married and moved to the Netherlands. I thought married life would sort out many of my problems, it did for a while but the lack of energy, depression, IBS was still there. I found my sensitivity to light increased and was unable to got out without wearing sunglasses even on a dull, cloudy day. In 1988 I became pregnant with my son and at about 6 months pregnant it was discovered I had a serious vitamin B12 deficiency. I received weekly injections for the rest of the pregnancy and felt great. Once I gave birth the injections stopped and I though no more about it. I struggled being a mum with bouts of depression, mood swings,lethargy and my skin reacted accordingly. We moved to Germany, things went OK for a while then it was back to the old routine.

We moved back to the Netherlands in 1994 and in the summer of 1994 I had one of my black outs seriously hurting my head and ending up with concussion. I was very ill for a long time after that and from that time I developed food intolerances to gluten and dairy products. I started to look more at the food I ate and tried lots of holistic therapies to regain some sense of health and normality. I started doing yoga and started my journey of discovery. I followed an exclusion diet and stuck to it religiously but even though I did that many of the health issues that I had struggled with all my life were still there although at times not as bad as they had been in the past.

In 1996 my mum died and then in 1997 we moved again back up to the north of Holland and by the October of that year my marriage was on the rocks. Needless to say my health took a massive hit and my skin told the story of hurt and pain. I divorced in 1998 and moved into my own place with my son. I started to look into macrobiotics as an eating plan and way of life which seemed to help me a lot, although the periods of depression, extreme tiredness and very dry, lifeless skin was still there.

Life took another turn and in July 2002 I had to move back to the UK. Although this was tough for me as I had to leave my son behind in Holland, it really was the beginning of a series of life changing events. For a while I continued with the yo-yo life style of periods of lots of energy to times of depression and lethargy, until 2005 when a friend who was a nutritional therapist was very worried about my health and sent me off to see her doctor.

After numerous tests it was finally discovered that the Vitamin B12 deficiency had never gone away and I was immediately put onto regular injections which I continue to have to this day. What a difference that has made to my life, for the first time since being a teenagers I felt like someone had taken a huge paper bag off my head and said "hello welcome to the world".

Although the B12 helped a lot, especially with the depression and keeping my energy levels up I still didn't feel great all of the time and my skin would be up and down too. In November 2006 another major life changing event hit me big time. I was involved in a serious road traffic accident and suffered several broken bones but more seriously a severe head trauma - I spent three days in hospital in the head trauma unit and that was the event that would change my life forever.

Recovering from the accident has been a full time occupation and a personal battle and struggle on a physical and mental level. I knew at the time that I had had the accident for a very good reason but it would take time for the reason/reasons to be revealed to me. The accident sparked off different reactions, I was no longer able to tolerate any highly chemical skin/hair products, my sensitivity to sun and light had increased, noise and chemical pollution was also now a problem.

It has been a slow process of elimination, changing daily routines, stripping my life back to the bare roots and rebuilding from the ground up. I am happy to say that after two and half years of hard slog I am slowly getting there. However, that general sense of well-being on a constant level just never seems to be quite there.
Recently I experienced painful swelling in the joints on my fingers and strange rashes in elbow/knee joints.

I started to look around on the internet and have been reading up about Salicylates in our food and health care products. This past week I have started to eliminate high Salicylate foods from my diet and already much of the painful swelling in my joints has gone down. My skin seems to be in good shape at the moment and I have been encouraged by this website and all the information which is motivating me to keep on going on my road of discovery.

I want to know more about creating lasting beauty and being able to share my experiences with others and learning from others experiences to be able to live a happy and fulfilling life in the future eating the foods which are in harmony with my body and using beauty products which help me find the natural beauty within.

Comments for The Road to Self Discovery and Inner Beauty

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Aug 04, 2009
Great news
by: Mashubi

Hi Bronwen,

That's great news that the low salicylate diet is helping! I am so glad to hear that. I'm sure that is helping your whole body, especially since you were diagnosed a while back with a salicylate allergy. I don't think medical science has much experience yet with how a low salicylate diet may help people with aspirin and salicylate allergies. I'm sure your body is happy that you are "listening" in this way! :-)

One of the things I've heard people with salicylate allergies say is that they have to become very pro-active because there isn't yet a lot of medical knowledge about the subject.

I believe that Cleure does ship internationally even though they don't make this very clear on their site yet. The last time I ordered I saw an international shipping option available, and when I asked them a while back who they ship to, they said that they can get products to anywhere, especially to Canada and Europe.

If you find any other salicylate free product lines in your research, please let me know. I'm not aware of too many, and there seem to be very few resources for people with salicylate allergies.

Aug 03, 2009
Another Good Day
by: Bronwen Thompson

It's been another good, positive day today following my salicylate diet. I am really getting into the swing of it and discovering what are the most suitable foods for me to eat. Even though I have only been following the diet for a few days I can see a few changes already. The swelling in my finger joints has gone down and I can move them without any pain now. I have also noticed the rough pimply skin at the top of my arms and legs is a little smoother.
I am enjoying cooking with different ingredients and finding new ways to make meals exciting. I know it is early days but I feel very encouraged by these small changes.
Redefining the diet seems much easier to do than finding skincare products which are salicylate/paraben free and work. The product database is so amazing and extremely useful to find out what is exactly in many of the so called 'natural' skincare products on the market today. I think it is going to take some time and effort to get the right skincare products - but I like a challenge. Cleure products look really good but unfortunately they are not available here in Europe, so my search continues.

Aug 03, 2009
Welcome Bronwen!
by: Mashubi

Welcome Bronwen! Thank you so much for sharing your story here with us. I am touched by all that you have been through, and the strength of your spirit as you explore the journey of healing.

I have come to understand after going through so many unusual skin and health challenges myself, that some people who are very sensitive seem to be more affected by the extreme environmental imbalances that exist in our world.

It is my sense that these imbalances affect everyone to some extent, but sensitive people tend to feel them more. For example, modern farming practices that deplete many of the minerals from our foods (which are essential to health) and environmental pollution affects everything we eat and drink and breathe. The number of chemicals we add to foods and personal care products causes stress to the body.

I am so glad you are finding information and resources that are helping you to heal, and I look forward to hearing more from you if you'd like to share here. Please let me know anything that would be helpful for you that we can add to the site here!

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