30 Bananas a Day!

***Edit added 9/17/09:
I'm healed! Thank you all so much for your helpful advice. I went 811, stopped shaving, increased my exercise, and stopped using natural deodorant. Any my husband still loves me (despite years of playful jibes that he would divorce me if I ever stopped shaving my pits or wearing deodorant). Hairy pits aren't so bad...so far. :)***end edit

About 1.5 years ago, I switched from regular deodorant to Herbal Magic. I stopped using chemical products in my home and on my person. I couldn't handle going completely without any deodorant at all, since I was not and am not a fruitarian. I only started adding more fruit and cutting back on fats a few months ago, and I had been eating cooked vegan food once or twice a week for a while.

I have had a small, hard lump under my armpit for a long time, maybe even years. Right next to it is a little indentation. I thought it was scarring from an ingrown hair. About a month or so ago, I think I got curious about the lump and I prodded it a little. Well, it got inflamed. Then I shaved and I think I scratched it, so it got red. Then I sweated (the natural deodorant doesn't stop sweat at all), and it got itchy. And it gets worse every day.

I thought it was an ingrown hair so I tried to exfoliate using a scrubby. That just made all kinds of red bumps appear, which got worse every time I shaved, or didn't shave. It got worse when I used natural deodorant, and even when I used no deodorant. Actually, It gets much worse when I don't shave because the little hairs poke, and when I sweat it gets really itchy. When I do shave, it's hard to avoid scratching the bumps, so it hurts either way. Sometimes it itches so bad, I can't help but scratch and it gets really inflamed.

So now I have all kinds of red, hard, itchy bumps. They hurt. They don't seem to be ingrown hairs. My sweat smells like celery. It's stronger on the side with the bumps. It's not an unpleasant odor. It's kind of nice, actually. I eat a lot of cilantro, basil and other greens, so I guess my sweat just smells like my food. I wash my armpits several times a day because I don't like the moisture and it starts to smell if I let the bacteria grow.

I did some online research and I think its HS
This scares me. I looked up pictures of HS and they are seriously nasty. Mine isn't so bad yet. It gets pretty red and swollen at certain times. My concern is that the web sites say it only gets worse and is incurable. The treatments they mention include antibiotics and surgery.

What really gets me is that all this got bad after I went raw and stopped using deodorant, which makes me think it could be detox. My symptoms match HS, which is blocked sweat glands. It seems to me that the sweat glands were blocked when I was using regular deodorant for 20 years. Yet now that I let myself sweat naturally, I have this problem, which I didn't have when I was using chemicals.

My plan:
For the past two weeks I have been all raw and working to reduce my fat intake. I made an appointment with a dermatologist (2 weeks from now). I am going to stop using natural deodorant and stop shaving. I'm going to use liquid Dr. Bronners soap several times a day to cut down the risk of bacterial infection. I'm going to increase my exercise and get some bouncing to pump my lymph, and I am going to see if a splash of apple cider vinegar helps. I always wear tank tops because it's really hot here, but I think I may start wearing cotton or bamboo t-shirts to help absorb some of the moisture. Moisture makes me itchy, and scratching makes it worse. The web sites say not to shave, so I guess I am going to have to wear short sleeves anyway because I don't want anyone to see my sweaty, hairy, bumpy armpits.

Do any of you have any advice or suggestions?

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Melissa,
Thank you for sharing your experience. Please let me know if you learn anything new and I'll do the same. :)
Fruitmonger,
Thank you very much for the suggestion. I haven't tried it but it sounds like a good idea. :)
Cold shower water spraying on your underarms at the end of your regular shower. It stimulates your lymph nodes. Very important. ICE cold... no warmth for comfort!

I got this from my teachers of kundalini yoga at the Yoga West center in Los Angeles. They taught that the practice comes directly from Yogi Bhajan, who brought kundalini yoga to the west and founded this center. (Not that this matters to you, just giving the background).

Actually, the way it is taught at Yoga West, they do the cold shower first thing in the morning. The philosophy is that to start with warm water and end with cold is like starting your meal with junk food and ending with the healthy stuff...

I do it every day, you get used to it, and I actually look forward to it and find it refreshing. (But I must admit, in my personal practice I "eat the junk food first")lol.
Chloe,
Thank you very much for your suggestion. I think it is a very good one. I always take really hot baths and end them with a cool splash (would do shower, but have no shower curtain), and I find it very helpful. I must admit, I have an aversion to cold water. It kind of hurts. I started doing hot/cold treatments after watching a Richard Schultz video series, but I fell out of the habit. I never tried it directly under my arm pits. I think I will get one of those spray hose attachments for the shower head so I can direct the stream, and a shower curtain so I don't flood the house. I'll let you know how I do! :)
Fruitmonger,
Thank you for your advice. Why no cold water? Do you think it will close the sweat ducts?
I heard about this from my physio-therapist/massage therapist who said it would get the lactic acid out of my muscles. He trained National Level athletes who attended the Olympics.. He called it Contrast Showering.. Apparently they even had special showers built in the training facilities for this very purpose. I don't believe it is recommended for everyone so research it first before shocking your system. Not everyone is a conditioned athlete!
Dave,
Thanks for the advice. :)
Hot cold contrasts are really great for getting the blood circulating which facilitates cleansing and healing. It trains the pores to breathe better. I like to do cold after hot to close my pores. It's also helpful to alternate between hot and cold repeatedly. I love really hot water but can't stand cold, so I kind have to force myself, but it gets easier with practice.
Luke,
Thank you for your reply. I am trying 80/10/10 now and I haven't had cooked food in over 2 weeks. The problem is still getting worse. I haven't worn deodorant in about 2 years. I smell like celery and fruit. I am hoping it will disappear. I used to have all kinds of health problems that have already been long forgotten, so I am optimistic. :) I suspect that a full commitment to 811 will do the trick, but I have had to ease into it because I am coming from a background involving an unhealthy relationship with food.
Luke,
That's great advice and I will try it. :)
Bryan,
Thank you very much for your suggestion. Why only water?
Thanks for your advice. :)

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