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 exhausting work weeks but it felt like more than sleep deprivation.  I had rosacea where my cheeks were red and 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. I felt bloated after every meal and just wanted to desperately take a nap.  I was so frustrated and maybe vain but nonetheless, I didn’t feel healthy.

All the western medicines prescribed to me barely helped.  Around this time my best friend talked me into following a low carb diet which required me to get rid of the “white stuff” and higher sugar fruits and veggies and balance my protein.  I have to admit it was tough.  For the first two weeks I was so crabby and irritable and I didn’t think I would make it.  But 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, my LDL  ” bad cholesterol” went down from 140’s to 60’s!

Back to my vanity.  Within a few months, my rosacea and eye condition cleared up.  Even better, I was able to go off the medicines.  It wasn’t until years later after playing around with my diet more that I realized it was really wheat that was the culprit.  If I would eat too much wheat, my eye condition will flare up and my cheeks turn red.  You may think life without croissants is unbearable but it is totally worth it!  I still eat the occasional wheat but it is far and few between when 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.  Our Wellness Program follows this moral and we have seen amazing results and lives changed.  Visit to learn more about our Wellness program and to read more of my health blogs.

By Cammy Benton, MD, ABIHM, Benton Integrative Medicine