(NaturalNews) Eczema can be a distressing condition which is characterized by inflamed, itchy skin that sometimes develops into open bleeding sores. It can appear at any age and affects approximately two to seven percent of the population. Currently, research indicates that food allergies can be the root cause of eczema. All eczema patients have positive allergy tests. Eczema is a tricky illness with many causes, but with some changes can be reversed.
Two thirds of patients have family history of eczema. Many eczema patients eventually develop hay fever and/or asthma.
Both allergies (IgE mediated which can be tested with your GP) and IgG intolerances to foods (tests completed by nutritionists) are key to treatment.
For most people eczema symptoms tend to worsen: * When they are under stress or exhausted * When eating certain foods * When drinking much tea and coffee * Exposure to heat * Exercising * Exposure to external irritants such as perfumes, washing powders, shampoos and paints * Pet hairs - especially cat hair
However Eczema is most commonly linked to food intolerances and leaky gut. If the illness starts in early childhood, it is often linked to dairy intolerance, eggs, citrus or wheat.
Leaky gut is a condition that comes about when the health of the gut is out of balance. Technically leaky gut is where the junction between the cells of the gut lining develops gaps through which undigested food particles get through and enter the blood stream. These particles should not be there and so are foreign to the body. The immune system starts to react to them, producing all types of inflammatory symptoms including joint pain, fatigue, headaches and asthma.
The gaps between the cells of the gut lining come about due to damage in the gut from toxins, parasites, and overgrowth of bad bacteria in the gut. Over time, a buildup of stress, chemicals, heavy metals, impacted old faeces, and a high sugar or poor quality diet can all feed the overgrowth of bad bacteria and reduce the health of the mucosal lining in the gut.
All people have good and bad bacteria in the gut, but a healthy balance is about 80% good and 20% bad. When this gets out of balance, the bad bacteria produce toxins which damage the gut lining, causing the leaky gut.
Foods to avoid: * Cut out all dairy produce, coffee, tea, chocolate, beef, citrus, eggs, wheat, alcohol, peanuts and tomatoes; this is a long list but is guaranteed to improve your eczema.
* Also avoid decaffeinated coffee products - if you are sensitive to coffee, it is not just the caffeine which is problematic.
* Avoid preservatives, additives, pesticides, food colorings, and refined and processed foods which can cause allergies and intolerances which all trigger eczema.
Foods to increase
* Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables and ideally make them organic so they are free from pesticides.
Healing Foods: *Foods which help a leaky gut include cabbage and fresh ginger, which all help to soothe and heal a leaky gut.
* To help good gut health and avoid leaky gut, foods high in fiber are important because they feed good gut bacteria. These include beans, lentils, garlic, onions, leak, salsify, Jerusalem artichoke, oats and bananas.
* Have oily fish three times per week (salmon, herring, anchovies, tuna, and sardines). These oils are anti-inflammatory, and can reduce the severity and inflammation of the skin as well as help to heal the affected area.
* Pear juice is a good alternative to orange juice.
* Wheat germ oil and avocados are good for skin healing as they are high in Vitamin E.
* Other anti-inflammatory oils that help heal eczema are unrefined organic omega 6 oils, found in nuts and seeds.
* Unrefined olive oil, sesame and walnut oils are good for salad dressings.
* Oat milk, soy, buffalo and rice milk are good alternatives to dairy milk.
* Have a daily vegetable juice with carrot, raw ginger, apple, some cabbage, celery and cucumber - this is a great way to get high dosage supportive nutrients and heal the gut. Beetroot, artichoke, celeriac, celery and radish can also be swapped into your juice for extra help in liver cleansing.
* Seafood is also a good source of zinc and protein, which help nourish and repair the skin
Lifestyle changes to reduce stress may be important:
* Yoga, tai chi, meditation or some other form of relaxation is helpful. * Gentle exercise can help relieve stress, including walking, swimming and cycling. * Aromatherapy massage with oils soothes and nourishes the skin, as well as helps aid in relaxation. * Constipation and liver stress are known to cause problems for eczema; speak to a nutritionist for help with bowel and liver cleansing. * Wear lightweight and airy clothing over affected areas to avoid sweating - especially when exercising. * Switch to organic, chemical-free soaps and shampoos. Use Epsom Salts and oils in your bath rather than standard bath and shower gels.
Alex Howard is author of "WHY ME? My Journey from M.E. to Health and Happiness" and founder of The Optimum Health Clinic, an award winning clinic specialising in M.E./C.F.S./Fibromyalgia based in Harley Street Clinic, London, UK. The clinic has treated over 5,000 patients with M.E./Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Fibromyalgia in over twenty-five countries around the world, and is currently running a two year clinical trial in conjunction with two top universities. A free information pack, including a 75 documentary about the clinic and its work, can be ordered from www.FreedomFromME.co.uk