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Condition - Eczema

By Nutri People

Eczema is a skin condition where the skin becomes inflamed, dry, itchy and thickened.  In more severe forms the skin can become broken, raw and bleeding. Although it can sometimes look unpleasant, eczema is not contagious.  It can occur along with poor immune function, asthma, hay fever, uticaria and migraine.  In atopic eczema there is sensitivity to allergens in the environment, which are harmless to others. Other types of eczema are caused by irritants such as chemicals and detergents, allergens such as nickel, and yeast growths.  The most common trigger is food sensitivity.  Eczema often occurs where there is a familial tendency to any of these conditions. Although it can occur at any age it is most common in infants, completely clearing in half the cases by 18 months of age.

Contributing factors

  • Hereditary factors
  • Sensitivity to external irritants such as washing powders, cleaning fluid, wool
  • Sensitivity to house dust mite, cat or dog fur
  • Sensitivity to food triggers such as cow’s milk, eggs, nuts
  • Early weaning onto wheat, dairy, eggs
  • Stress
  • Essential fatty acid deficiencies
  •  “Leaky gut” – intestinal permeability which may be linked with repeated use of prescribed medicines such as antibiotics.

 Useful supplements

  • Multi-vitamin and mineral formula
  • GLA e.g. starflower oil – to help skin health
  • Probiotic bacteria  – to help intestinal function
  • Glutamine– to help regenerate the gut lining
  • Milk thistle/artichoke– to help support detoxification
  • Vitamin C– to promote healthy skin
  • Zinc – important for healthy skin
  • MSM – natural sulphur, helps regenerate healthy skin

Dietary advice

  • Identify any food allergens using a food intolerance test or elimination diet (under guidance) – common allergens include dairy, wheat, eggs, nuts and avoid the culprit food(s) for 3 months
  • Avoid sugary and refined foods
  • Increase fresh, whole-foods in the diet including a wide variety of vegetables, wholegrains such as brown rice and quinoa, pulses, legumes .
  • Avoid tea, coffee and alcohol
  • Avoid red meat and dairy – include healthy protein sources such as chicken, fish and beans
  • Drink plenty of water/herb teas through the day (1-2 litres water a day)
  • Use food rich in essential fatty acids such as oily fish, nuts, seeds and healthy oils such as cold pressed flax and hemp seed oils

Include more sulphurous foods in the diet such as garlic and onions. 

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