By Ana Maria Aguirre
Cat lady without cats. Obsessed with music, cosmetics and NYC. Always politically incorrect. When I was little I thought I was She-ra (Master of the Universe), but at most I got a Master's degree in public communication of science (among other novels).
"Let your medicine be your food and your food , your medicine "
Very well they say: We are what we eat. But I would add: and what we absorb. Nowadays, due to various factors such as pollution, processed foods, genetically manipulated foods, stress, among others associated with our lifestyle, we are not absorbing nutrients correctly.
This leads to countless health problems due to inflammation and deficiency of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and phytonutrients. All essential for the proper functioning of our body.
The human being is a perfect machine, the only one that works by doing millions of processes per second, without anyone directing it. When something is wrong, this little machine tells us. It is what we can identify as a symptom. In my opinion, when a symptom exists, it should not be ignored under the premise of “it will pass”, “if you don't think about it, it will go away on its own”. Well no, the body speaks to you, it tells you that something is happening, it emits signals that if you detect them and attend to them in time, you can correct and prevent a greater evil.
Among these signs, in addition to pain or discomfort, are those that occur on the surface of your skin, hair, and nails. It is no coincidence that we have super dry hair, all split ends, skin with inflammation, acne or eczema. Ignoring these symptoms will only make the situation worse.
I am going to tell you about my experience how I achieved a 360 degree change in my skin and hair. It is not a ONE FITS ALL recipe (that fits everyone) , because each body is different and each person has different needs and requirements depending on their sex, age, height, weight, lifestyle, profession, and any possible condition or health problem you present.
My goal is that this article serves as a guide to inform yourself, a light on the path for people who still do not decipher what is happening to them, and so that they can go with greater certainty to a medical professional who can attend to their health needs. Remember that self-medication is counterproductive and also expensive. It is very likely that they do not need the same thing as me, nor in the same quantities.
For me it all started when I started training very hard, 5 times a week (and sometimes 6 with an additional tennis class on Saturdays) and out of ignorance, I did not look for a proper nutritionist to effectively guide me in my food intake according to my new requirements and the physical wear and tear he was experiencing. When you physically decompensate, it is possible that the body generates cortisol and instead of achieving well-being through exercise, what you achieve is to stress and inflame it.
For this reason I suffered a small injury that caused tendonitis and since I could not take anti-inflammatories because I was allergic to NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), it worsened over time until it became chronic. That added to a life change that I made when I went to study in Europe. I changed country, city and continent. These changes also produce disorders in the microbiota. I was exposed to other microorganisms that were not what my body was accustomed to.
Not to make the story any longer, the entire imbalance produced excess parasites which blocked my absorption of nutrients and inflamed my digestive system. I also moved again (my master's degree was international) and I went to live in New York for a year. With my body already inflamed, with stress and constant discomfort, I began to sleep very poorly, which is lethal for health and produces a vicious circle of constant inflammation.
After visiting countless doctors and therapists, from traditional physiotherapists, osteopaths, acupuncturists, copas, Inca chiropractic; hypnotherapies, Chopra meditations, ballet... and in desperation even alternatives far from science and common sense such as hemp oil, maca, moringa, collagen, celery juice on an empty stomach... nothing seemed to resolve my pain and inflammation which everyone said was just muscular (or failing that, it was just in my head).
And you might wonder, weren't we talking about the skin? Well yes, in addition to the muscle discomfort, I began to suffer from a lot of eczema (allergy to everything and nothing) and acne. I am a person with atopic skin but I have never had an outbreak or breakout that lasted so long. My skin couldn't even resist being looked at, it was inflamed all the time, I could only use my 24k gold facial oil (a blessing) to relieve a little of that sandpaper-like dryness that causes eczema. For this reason, I had practically eliminated half the food from my diet and I became malnourished. As you see, everything is connected. What at first was just a muscle discomfort ended up affecting my skin, my mood, and my physical, emotional, and mental health.
This is how it looked BEFORE a year ago... these photos are captures from the video I made to teach how to use Aggi Beauty concealers and foundations. I was very embarrassed to publish them, because obviously I don't look good at all, I have acne, ezzema in my eyes and lips, dark circles under my eyes, but after weeks of thinking about it, I concluded that it was necessary as a visual support so that you can know what I'm talking about. In this photo I look completely emaciated, even my eyes lack vitality. Today I see it and it makes me want to cry but at the same time I pat myself on the back and say BRAVO! you got over it.
These photos here are from the same video, the same day, after the makeup (not bad, huh?) so you can see how I concealed it.
I don't want to go into more details because I would end up boring you and my goal is for you to read everything (maybe we'll leave it for a live Q&A or IgTv), I'm just going to tell you how I finally solved my problem: with supplements and a diet designed according to my needs. .
It's not as easy as it sounds, believe me. What made the difference was that in the last of my attempts, and thanks to a recommendation that someone made to me in one of my moments of desperation, I went to a functional doctor. I can say that Dr. Rafael Serrano gave me back the life I had lost. When I went to him I felt completely weak, fatigued, irritable, stressed, helpless and depressed. My memory was failing, I had a hard time retaining or remembering things, sometimes I would ask the same thing several times that people would get angry with me. My skin and hair were a disgrace, my dark circles weren't even there, and I didn't understand why even though I supposedly “had nothing” I felt so bad that honestly, I would have preferred death to take me.
The Dr. explained to me that due to poor absorption, I was deficient in iron, magnesium and vitamin D. After reading a lot about it, I learned that deficiencies do not happen overnight, sometimes they can take months or even years. to manifest.
The diagnosis was determined through blood tests. I am a supporter of science, when it comes to health I do not like to put it at risk with pseudosciences or shamans, little rock flowers, among others. Although many argue it, and I know that it can work for some because of its placebo effect, when you need something real, a few sugar nuggets or water injections are not going to do the job.
Likewise, I am in favor of doing good research and not masking the symptoms with drugs that in the long term cause damage to other organs in the body or simply do not solve the root problem. That is why I am fascinated with functional medicine, because it cares for the patient in a comprehensive manner, and treats the human being as a whole, as the perfect and interconnected system that it is, without isolating a single aspect of it or reducing it to a symptom or illness.
Thank God I didn't have anything serious, and by serious I mean a catastrophic illness, because when I told the doctor that, his eyes widened and he said, “How? Doesn't that seem like a lot to you?!" And Bueno agreed with me when I told him that I considered that there was actually nothing serious because I didn't have cancer, or anything that isn't treatable only with supplementation and a good diet. For me that is a blessing since not everyone has the same luck.
I give you some heartfelt advice: never blame the patient for their illness (although sometimes it feels like it because they do not follow medical recommendations), nor compare it with other more serious illnesses, because pain is pain, and the anguish is the same when it is not being able to find a solution to a problem that affects you all the time at all levels. No sick person wants to be sick, nor does he complain because he wants to annoy others. It is very easy to have positive thoughts when you are well, however when you are unwell for a long period, your mind begins to play against you; It is the same as asking a depressed person to be happy because life is beautiful and the sun rises. Hormonal imbalance causes depression, there is nothing a person can do about it with simple willpower. Be compassionate, supportive and empathetic. Instead of judging, let's ask more often: Are you okay? How do you feel? I can help you?
Now we come to the part that all of you wanted to read from the beginning, but I wanted to put it in context so that you understand that the information you should get from this article is not the prescription that the doctor sent me, but the moral of listening to your body , even if others tell you that you are exaggerating, that you are a hypochondriac, and get advice from the right people. Trust your instinct and intuition, if you feel that something is not right, it is because it is not right, even if others tell you otherwise. Let us remember that this is why SUB-CLINICAL diagnoses exist (they do not yet appear explicitly in exams, but present symptoms that require further investigation and consideration of other indicators or correlations).
The holy remedy: Supplements
Just by starting to take the supplements orally, starting with COMPLEX B , in 3 days I already saw a change in energy levels. I can't explain to you how that also influenced my mood because I was finally beginning to see improvement. I started taking B complex Plus from PURE ENCAPSULATIONS (nothing is sponsored in this article) which also has BIOTIN. You don't know what improved my hair. From dryness and split ends to the crown, today it is shiny, long and in excellent condition. (I make a parenthesis to mention that in that bad state my hair was rescued by the cut made by Antonella Pereira , since I asked her to please do everything possible to keep it "long." And it left me fabulous, even though she had to cut 50%).
This supplement has methylcobalamin which is supposedly better absorbed than cyanocobalamin, however some doctors consider it safer to prescribe cyanocobalamin since it has been studied for more years, is more stable to be stored for longer and is cheaper.
In general, it is very rare to have a vitamin B12 deficiency since the body is able to store enough for a few years, and it is normally obtained from a balanced diet (not vegan or vegetarian). However, people with absorption problems and older adults could suffer from it. B12 deficiency is very serious and can cause irreversible neurological damage. It is only found in animal sources such as meat and dairy products, so a vegetarian could not survive healthily without supplementation. Vitamin B12 intervenes in numerous fundamental processes in the body:
- Maintains the proper functioning of the nervous system.
- It helps the production of red blood cells (lack causes suffocation, as well as fatigue).
- Promotes mental clarity, concentration and memory.
- Increases physical, mental and emotional energy.
- Contributes to a healthy immune system.
- Protects the heart and circulatory system from homocysteine.
Lack of vitamin B12 can cause anemia, depression, dementia, cardiovascular diseases, neurological disorders, muscle weakness, intestinal problems.
PROBIOTICS were a basic pillar to reduce the population of harmful bacteria, and reduce inflammation in my digestive system to begin to absorb food better. I take the ones from Dr. Mercola Complete Probiotics , which are one of the few that do not need to be refrigerated so that they do not spoil (maybe in our Guayaquil climate I keep them refrigerated to protect my beloved bacilli). I switched from the regular ones to the ones for women that contain certain different strains that are ideal for our vaginal microbiota.
For general inflammation of the body OMEGA 3 with essential fatty acids. I like the Krill Oil for women from Dr. Mercola that has primrose oil (helps regulate hormones). The Viva Naturals one is also very good and more powerful (2 capsules have the same as 3 Mercola capsules). Both contain other antioxidants and essential fatty acids such as astaxanthin (the most powerful of the carotenoids, 100 times more than vitamin E and which is excellent for eyesight), EPA and DHA, GLA which for decades have been recommended by the pioneer, Dr. Perricone in his diet “ The Wrinkle Cure ” (I mean, not for nothing is all this anti-aging, and I can attest to that!) and “The Anti-inflammatory diet” (that's what it's all about! Don't forget that the Acne is also an inflammatory disease). Astaxanthin also helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles and reduce hyperpigmentation (skin spots). In another article I will tell you about the most beneficial anti-aging supplements for the skin.
Omega 3 gives you all these benefits:
- Reduces inflammation of the organs.
- Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Stabilizes blood sugar levels.
- Improve your mood by regulating serotonin levels.
- Increases the health of the immune system.
- It helps you lose weight because it suppresses excessive appetite.
- Reduces the severity of symptoms in rheumatoid arthritis.
- Reduces the severity of skin conditions such as eczema.
- It makes your skin look more radiant.
- Omega-6 fatty acids help fight allergies.
These two brands did not cause me an upset stomach, nausea, or a bad (fishy) taste in my mouth, plus they are considerably small and easy to swallow. In another article I will tell you about foods rich in Omega 3.
"By controlling inflammation, we can help reduce disease and maintain the health and youth of the skin." - Dr. Nicholas Perricone.
As digestive and muscular support L-GLUTAMINE, one of the 20 amino acids that are present in protein, is present in muscles and helps keep cells in good condition and repair tissues. It is a support for cardiovascular and muscular health. This was especially good for my muscle spasm and pain caused by the contracture, since it is prescribed precisely to reduce episodes of pain.
One of the rockstars of minerals, MAGNESIUM TREONATE is a latest generation magnesium from which the laxative molecule has been removed (it does not create digestive discomfort) and is better absorbed. Remember that it is not just what you take but what you actually absorb. Magnesium, in addition to being an anti-inflammatory par excellence, has the function of keeping calcium in the bones. The one I take is the one from Dr. Mercola and the CogniMag from Pure Encapsulations (this one is more powerful). As a plus magnesium threonate:
- Helps maintain cognitive function during aging.
- Contributes to the maintenance of cardiovascular and bone health and vitamin D status.
- It helps maintain the number of synaptic connections between neurons, improving memory.
- It helps to sleep.
Then I added (with my doctor's permission) liposomal vitamin C and Ubiquinol (from CoQ10) because, well, I was very excited and wanted to have more power faster. You seriously have no idea how my skin got after my body came into balance again.
The brand does matter
The brand of the supplements is extremely important because they have to be of quality. A few years ago they did a study of generic supplements in the US, those sold for example at Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, etc., and unfortunately the results discovered that they were not what the labels said.
I am a witness to this since I was terrified of magnesium (citrate), omega 3 and B complex, because all the ones that I usually bought in pharmacies or GNC, caused me discomfort, stomach upset like gastritis, nausea and a horrible taste in my mouth. The drugstore B complex even gave me a headache.
All this gave fantastic results added to a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, quality proteins such as meats; natural carbohydrates such as green banana, sweet potato and rice; low in dairy (only goat cheese, sheep cheese and Greek yogurt, Galatea fascinates me) without refined sugar or processed foods. By following an anti-inflammatory diet, as a result you will get rid of excess sebum production, enlarged pores, blackheads and pimples. You are going to fight acne, which as I said before, is an INFLAMMATORY disease.
The eczema and some patches around my cheekbones that I had after I used a Korean activated charcoal mask that burned my skin disappeared! (yes, so be very careful with these products). Acne not to mention PUFF! GONE! I haven't had such beautiful, calm skin in years! I think since school time more than 20 years ago.
My skin is still sensitive, but now it looks and feels healthy, although I still don't dare to use makeup other than the natural ones from AGGI BEAUTY (basically each formula is super proven on ME! We are CRUELTY-FREE and specialized on ultra-sensitive skin).
Now I switched to Luna Elixir facial oil to finish clearing the spots left by the endless pimples.
If you have questions or concerns, do not hesitate to leave your comments below the blog and I will be happy to answer them in another article or in a video.
After this experience it is very clear to me that we are BODY-MIND-SPIRIT and that if one of them is out of balance, the rest suffer. If we are malnourished, neglected, we don't exercise, we work excessively, we don't sleep well... sooner or later the body takes its toll on us. And being sick it is very difficult to have ENERGY (because that is what we are and what keeps us alive) to be mentally and emotionally well.
And likewise we must maintain a balance with our spiritual part, our relationships, stop believing that only professional, material, status success is success in life. Be aware that we are more than material, that nutrition is physical but also spiritual and emotional.
I don't have current studio photos but I leave you a selfie from my last trip... without foundation or concealers, but with a lot of energy, joy, vitality and above all with a great desire to live life. If you follow @aggibeauty on Instagram you will also see me doing more stories and videos with my face washed :)
So if you want to have beautiful skin, I'll leave you the secret:
- Good physical and spiritual nutrition.
- Supplements (when necessary).
- Avoid excess or INexcess (like the 80's band) of sun (we need vitamin D!)
- Use healthy and kind cosmetic products for our skin.
- Lead a balanced lifestyle (between work, family, friends, personal care) avoiding living in a state of constant stress.
- Gratitude. They will smile more and look radiant ;)
I hope you liked this article and found the information useful. As Carrie Fisher said, “take your pain and turn it into art.” And here I am, sharing my art with you.
*The list of products on Amazon can be found here.
This article is not intended to diagnose or replace the professional opinion of a medical specialist, it is merely informative. It is based on a specific case that cannot be generalized. Before taking any supplement or medicine, consult your doctor, do not self-medicate.
®All rights reserved. If you want to share this information, please cite the source with the link to the article.
Perricone Nicholas (2001). The Wrinkle Cure: Warner Books Edition.