Back in residency, when I was 28, I was feeling much older than my age. I felt tired and run down. I could blame it on the 100 hour work weeks but it felt like it wasn't just sleep deprivation. I had rosacea which where my cheeks were red, with deep pores, and little telangiectasias (little blood vessels) around my nose creases. Make up couldn't cover it up. I also had an inflammatory eye condition called episcleritis where I had bright red nodules in my eyes and everyone would ask me if I knew I had red eyes. Ugh. I was so frustrated and maybe vain but nonetheless, I didn't feel healthy. I felt bloated after every meal and just wanted to desperately take a nap, which was a combination of the 100 hour work week but also my diet.
I started taking doxycycline orally which is an antibiotic and another topically for the rosacea. I was using steroid eye drops for the eye condition which will some day maybe still cause cataracts. With all this, it barely helped. I started Evening Primrose Oil twice daily which seemed to help more but still it was there. I wanted to eventually have kids but I didn't want to be taking medicines while pregnant for something vanity related.
Meanwhile, my best friend talked me into doing the South Beach diet in which I got rid of the "white stuff" and higher sugar fruits and veggies. I did this because I was always hungry. Literally I would keep food at the night stand to eat when I woke in the middle of the night hungry and first thing since I would wake up ravenous. It was tough! For the first two weeks I was so crabby and irritable and I didn't think I would make it. By the end of the month, all those hunger and mood swings went away completely! I couldn't believe it. By balancing my protein and healthier carbs, I felt tons better. My energy improved, no more belly bloating, no more having to lean back in my seat after eating and unbutton my top button!. On top of that, in spite of doing whole milk, whole milk yogurt, bacon, butter, etc( I had been doing the low fat stuff), my LDL ( " bad cholesterol") went down from 140's to 60's! Thankfully the "low fat" fad is no longer recommended since that is not what causes abnormal cholesterol.
Back to my vanity. Within a few months, my rosacea and eye condition cleared up and I was able to go off the medicines. It wasn't until years later after playing around with my diet that I realized it was really wheat that was the culprit. If I eat too much wheat, my eye condition will flare up and my cheeks turn red. Total bummer I am missing out on croissants but it is worth it! I still eat the occasional wheat but it is far and few between that I save up for yummy sins like delicious fried bologna sandwiches. Yes I eat them once a year!
So, the moral of the story is start with nutrition first, not medicines when possible!