Introduction

By: David Stern | Posted: June 13, 2018

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My name is Dovid Stern. I’m a film maker. I’m an orthodox Jew. I’m overweight and I have severe eczema. These are basic ways you can identify me. Some of these I won’t ever change. Some of these I desperately need to.

Eczema is not one of those diseases you typically think of as life-threatening. There are no recorded cases of people dying from eczema. While my eczema certainly is not threatening me directly, it certainly is damaging. When you’re in pain, your motivation to be a productive member of society plummets. You are so caught up in pain management, how can you muster the mental strength to do anything but distract yourself?

It seems to me that in the past, I’ve done all I could to treat my body right, and it has always ended up in utter failure. Am I a failure? These are the kinds of questions a person in my situation ends up asking. Day in and out, you watch all of your efforts result in more pain, more anguish. A year and a half ago, I decided I wanted to take better care of my body. I started calorie counting, cutting out as much fat from my diet as humanly possible, and lifting weights. Over the course of 4 months, my eczema got progressively worse. In my weekly progress pictures, I watched my weight drop, the fat seeming to melt off my body. I marveled at my newfound strength and confidence in the gym. But it came to a head when one Friday, I was reduced to tears as my eczema was so inflamed, and so unbearably itchy, I couldn’t help but scratch my skin wide open. My wife hurried off to the story to buy some Cortisone cream.

Of course the Cortisone cream helped. I healed up immediately. But after a few weeks of using it irregularly (one week on, one week off) I noticed that the time between flare ups had reduced to only 4 days. At that point I would need to use the cream once again. I made the decision to stop using it altogether. Clearly it wasn’t working.

After trying several other diets (ketogenic diet [made my eczema MUCH worse], fasting [I consumed nothing but water for 21 days straight – this actually kind of worked, but that’s a whole other story]) and cutting out exercise altogether, my family was so concerned for me they had me try homeopathy at my behest. I wanted real healing, not pseudoscience. Obviously, after all of this, I was running out of options. The very next thing I wanted to try was medicinal marijuana.

It was then that I met Dr. Gutman.

I heard him speak about a plant-based diet, and I remembered that many people claimed to have cured their eczema with exactly that. So here we are. Today is day 2, I have my whole foods, plant-based lunch waiting for me. So far so good. Only mild headaches, mood swings. I’m waiting for my eczema to flare up from the change in diet. Fingers crossed.

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