I was working with a client this week who had experienced a persistent itchy rash on various areas of her body. She had tried multiple treatments and her Doctor had prescribed cortisone that helped. However, as soon as she stopped taking the cortisone, the itching would return – with renewed vengeance.
Something that is not immediately obvious is that the skin is part of your microbiome. We commonly think that the microbiome is in the gut only, but it extends much further than that. The majority of our immune system is located in the microbiome.
If I had to narrow down eczema to two primary causes, they would be:
- Leaky gut. Medically called “increased intestinal permeability.” Leaky gut creates low-grade inflammation in reaction to food particles that literally leak through your gut wall. This causes food sensitivities, especially to gluten and dairy, which are the most common food causes of eczema. Leaky gut also triggers many other health problems, including fatigue, brain fog, headaches, depression, allergies, sinus problems, irritable bowel, reflux, joint pain, skin diseases such as acne and eczema, autoimmune diseases and more.
- Abnormal gut flora. Getting rid of the overgrowth of bad bugs and yeast can make a huge difference to eliminate eczema. This is called dysbiosis. It is when the 1.5 kg of bacteria in your gut become out of balance, driving inflammation. Yeast overgrowth is a common cause of eczema. It can be caused by a high-sugar, refined carb, low-fiber, processed diet. Yeast overgrowth also can be triggered by the use of antibiotics, steroids, hormones, and even the birth control pill.
There are other culprits too. Chemicals in cream, lotions and detergents can certainly trigger eczema. I’ve found that when your body becomes out of balance, these topical substances cause a more adverse reaction than normal.
The question really is; why are you so reactive? Why has your immune system gone crazy?
Many people don’t make the connection between gut issues and immunity. Over two-thirds of your immune system resides in your gut. Small changes in the intestinal tract from multiple insults – such as too many antibiotics, aspirin, acid-blocking drugs, ibuprofen, stress, infections, food sensitivities, or even toxins – allow food particles to enter your bloodstream and get exposed to your immune system, creating systemic havoc.
Creams, antibiotics, and other conventional solutions are really just short-term solutions that fail to address the root cause of eczema and often have rebound reactions once you stop them. They are only masking the symptoms.
That is why it makes a lot more sense to address the root cause.
Change Your Food, Improve Your Skin
Food is medicine. Bad food is bad medicine and will make us sick. Good food is functional medicine that can prevent, reverse, and even cure disease. Take away the wrong food, put in the right diet, and magic happens. It really is that simple.
The problem with current medical thinking is that it treats diseases individually, requiring specific diagnoses and labels such as “you have eczema.” And then you get the antibiotic, the immune suppressant etc…
What if you didn’t have to treat diseases specifically or even need to know their names? What if you could just treat the whole person with dietary changes, upgrading the information given every day to your body through food?
With that approach, inflammation dies down, gut issues subside, your immune system finally gets that much-needed break, and conditions like eczema eventually subside.
So the solution is to pull the junk and replace it with healthy foods. To simplify this, I have developed a 10 Day detox, which eliminates processed, sugary, and inflammatory foods, while adding healing, detoxifying, anti-inflammatory foods.
Before you take another pill or apply another toxic lotion, try these eight strategies to help you eliminate eczema, and who knows, many people that we work with, you might discover unexpected bonuses like weight loss and increased energy.
- Try my elimination diet. The two most common and harmful food sensitivities are gluten and dairy. My Diet eliminates these along with sugary, processed foods, resulting in reduced inflammation and results in just 10 days. Great idea to kick off the process with a consultation including Live Blood Analysis to check for anything that could be aggravating the problem.
- Incorporate anti-inflammatory nutrients and foods. Eat plenty of wild-caught fish and a colourful array of plant foods, and use spices like turmeric liberally. Fish oil and curcumin are among my favourite anti-inflammatory supplements.
- Normalise gut flora. Prebiotics, probiotics, and digestive enzymes all normalise healthy gut flora. Restoring healthy gut flora reduces overall immune activation and many inflammatory diseases, including asthma, eczema, rhinitis, and inflammatory bowel disease.
- Normalise the skin acid mantle. Your skin has a pH of 4.2 to 5.6, which means it’s more on the acidic side. Any great deviation—either too high of a pH or too low—throws off the “ecosystem” of skin and causes inflammation and irritation when the natural oils and natural bacteria on the skin are disrupted. The connection between pH and bacteria comes from shifting the pH so far in either direction that the “good” bacteria are no longer able to keep inflammation and “bad” bacteria in check.
Probiotics can help restore the balance of skin and bacteria both externally and internally, but it’s important to adhere to a good topical regimen and diet to decrease the disruption of the good bacterial flora and pH as well.
In addition, remembering to treat your skin delicately (not over washing, over scrubbing or using random products) will help prevent the destruction of the sensitive acid mantle and will help protect your skin so it can protect you.
- Use the right supplements. The protocol I use to reduce eczema includes fish oil – the Solgar Full Spectrum Omega is a great choice, Zinc and vitamins D and A.
- Get sufficient sleep. Studies show lack of sleep fuels the flames of inflammation, exacerbating eczema, and other conditions. That’s among the many reasons you want to aim for eight hours of quality, uninterrupted sleep every night.
- Get moving. Studies show regular exercise reduces inflammation and boosts your immune system.
Control stress levels. Besides making you absolutely miserable, studies link chronic stress levels with inflammation. Whether you do meditation, deep breathing, yoga, or another form of stress reduction, make it a priority, and do it regularly.
As always C Beyond Health is here to serve you with:
• The highest quality supplements,
• Personal recommendations,
• Live blood analysis,
• Organic- non-GMO-, vegan-friendly, gluten-free foods
• Life coaching to guide you through these tough times for and even more health and wellness.
Come see your health differently. Visit our website or come and see us or call the Hemel & Aarde Village (028 316 2848) or Eastcliff Village (028 312 4299).
Looking forward to meeting with you and serving your purpose!