Many sufferers of the skin condition hidradenitis suppurativa have found that conventional medications, such as antibiotics, are often not very effective when it comes to controlling the symptoms. This means that other methods are needed in order to manage the condition and minimise the pain that is experienced, as hidradenitis suppurativa can be extremely painful at times. This is due to the pus building up under the skin in the numerous cysts and abscesses, and these will apply considerable amounts of pressure.
It is possible to use natural treatments that can either be applied topically to the affected areas or taken as supplements, and in order to minimise the symptoms as much as you can, it will be necessary to use a variety of approaches. Controlling your diet is also one of the best methods of keeping your symptoms at bay, but finding out which foods to eat and which to avoid may not be easy. However, increasing numbers of hidradenitis suppurativa patients are now finding that they benefit from following the Paleo diet, so this is an option that you may wish to consider.
The Paleo diet is based on what experts believe would have been eaten in prehistoric times, before the agricultural industry took over the majority of food production. This involves eating primarily meat and vegetables, which would have been available to a hunter-gatherer society. Fish and fruits are also included in this plan, but you will need to cut out all processed foods, including potatoes, pasta and bread. (Wheat has only been included in the human diet for a relatively short period of time, and it is considered to have an impact on a number of health conditions. Cutting it out can lead to improvements in symptoms that are experienced.)
If you are looking to start the Paleo diet, then you should first eliminate all processed foods, and those based on grains, from your kitchen. This will reduce the chances of you being tempted to stray from your diet plan. Stock up on fresh meat (preferably organic), fruit and vegetables. Some patients find that red meat, such as beef, can cause symptoms to flare, but this will not be the case for everyone. Be vigilant, and eliminate red meat if you think it is causing problems. Large amounts of vegetables can be eaten, ideally raw, but steaming is acceptable if you prefer them cooked. Try to avoid foods such as peppers, aubergines (eggplants) and tomatoes, as these may all aggravate your symptoms.
A meal of meat and vegetables can be eaten between two and four times a day. You should also try to ensure that you have a steady intake of omega 3 fatty acids, which are most commonly found in nuts, but also in oily fish such as salmon and mackerel. One serving of fruit each day is also advisable, and these should ideally be varieties that are low in fructose.
You could try eating berries (strawberries, raspberries or blueberries) or melon.
In addition to eating the right foods, you should also avoid caffeine. This is the stimulant found in tea, coffee, cola and also chocolate, and many adults have come to rely on it to help them get through the day. By cutting caffeine out and sticking to the Paleo diet, most people find that they start to see improvements in their symptoms within two weeks.
It would be advisable to use this diet plan in conjunction with natural treatments to alleviate the swelling. Turmeric is a spice used widely in Asian cooking, particularly in India. It is an anti-inflammatory and is extremely effective in reducing the symptoms. You may want to add this spice to your food or take it as a supplement.