eczema

The Eczema Diet

If you have eczema, you might be wondering whether the food you eat plays a part in not only triggering a flare up, but also plays a part in healing. Do you need an eczema diet?

The answer would be a definitive YES to both. Food can definitely play a part in setting off a flare up and is a huge part of the healing process.

As eczema is a highly inflammatory skin condition, you want to remove the highest inflammation causing foods to reduce the body burden and allow the body and skin to repair.

Possible Food triggers for Eczema:

Removing these foods will not cure the eczema in you or your child, but it will alleviate the symptoms and reduce flare ups.

Eczema Diet
  • Gluten

  • Dairy

  • Refined Sugar

  • Nuts

  • Soy

  • Corn

  • Eggs

  • Shellfish

  • Possibly Fish

eczema diet

The first step would be to remove GLUTEN, DAIRY & SUGAR as these are the HIGHEST inflammation causing foods and remove the other foods as secondary if symptoms still remain.

Sometimes, even after you have removed ALL of the above foods, symptoms still persist.

If that is happening for you, then the intolerance may lie deeper and may be caused by naturally occurring food chemicals, which include:

  • Histamine or Amine

  • Salicylates

  • Fodmap

This is where food elimination diets can get really tricky and complicated – unless you are working with someone that can help you navigate nutrition and identify the best starting point for you and your family.

So looking at the above list, you may be thinking, what on earth can I eat???? Let’s focus on that instead.

 The eczema diet food list

Without a shadow of a doubt, the diet must be rich in whole and real food and free from any additives, preservatives or colours.

The specific beneficial foods to include are:

  • Fatty Fish- Such as salmon, cod and herring which are high in essential fatty acids, omega 3 and said to be ant-inflammatory

  • Foods high in quercetin which is a natural powerful antioxidant and anti-histamine (great if you are avoiding high histamine and amine foods)

  • Probiotic containing foods – these will greatly support the immune system as well as aid healing the gut.

  • Quality sources of pastured protein - meat and quality dairy (if not removing)

Your Eczema Diet Shopping List:

  • Salmon, Herring, sardines or cod

  • Organic pastured grass-fed meat or grass fed at a minimum

  • Apples

  • Blueberries

  • Cherries

  • Broccoli

  • Spinach

  • Kale

  • Avocado

  • Olive oil

  • Seeds

  • Good quality yoghurt

  • Sourdough bread sparingly

  • Miso soup

  • Naturally fermented pickles

  • Sauerkraut

  • Fermented drinks and tonics

  • Tempeh

  • Good quality grass-fed bones to make bone broth

Where to from here?

Any food that triggers eczema that you choose to eliminate from your diet, should NOT be long term. The purpose of the elimination serves purely as a window of healing to provide the body the right environment to heal whilst you treat the root causes.

While all this information is useful, I have to stress that the food is not the problem, it is merely a trigger and the problem lies much deeper in a root cause such as:

  1. nutritional deficiencies,

  2. gut microbiome imbalance,

  3. high levels of toxicity and

  4. high stress levels and toxic mindset.

This is where your focus needs to be.

Rather than micro managing a food elimination diet that can be rather tricky and overwhelming, you need to get help to navigate this journey with the right level of support.

If you are interested in how I can support you during this journey, please email me at info@chantalkhoury.com.au or head to my contact page and leave me a message there.

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Chantal is a Certified and Accredited Nutriton & Wellness Coach with a special interest helping stressed and overwhelmed mums create robust and thriving families using healing nutrition and transformational wellness practices.

 

 

The Role of the gut in ECZEMA

That itch, that flare up, not another round of cortisone, sleep……what is that you ask????

eczema, gut, skin rash, food intolerance

 As someone who has navigated eczema with her baby quite successfully a number of years ago, I understand your angst when it comes to dealing with this skin condition. You just want it to go away, but how???

 I remember searching for hours on end for the MAGICAL solution or cream.

The truth is that eczema is a complex condition to navigate and what works for one, might not work for the next child or person. My road to success will look very different to your road to success, because each and everyone of us are so uniquely different.

However, at the heart of the issue for everyone, the same foundational pillars need to be “FIXED” in order to heal and it takes TIME, WORK & PERSEVERANCE.

The skin is influenced by other organs in the body and this is especially true of the gut and brain, so much so that scientist coined the term “gut-brain-skin axis”

In this article I am going to focus on the role of the gut in healing eczema.

The triggers of a flair are different for most people, but the most common include:

 None of these “triggers” are the real problem for eczema, but rather an indication that the gut microbiome is out of balance and that the mucosal lining needs to some repair, otherwise known as a leaky gut.

So rather than messing around with lengthy food eliminations protocols for an unsaid period of time, you want to put your efforts straight at the ‘ROOT CAUSE,’ and that is healing the gut.

The gut and eczema:

Eczema is a highly inflammatory skin condition which is a signal that the immune system is unbalanced. The unbalanced immune system is as a direct result of an unbalanced gut flora and leaky gut.

The approach to healing, is that if you correct the gut microbiome balance and seal a leaky gut, this improves the immune function, which decreases inflammation, the body is better able to handle the “triggers” and therefore heal eczema.

How to heal the gut?

When healing the gut, it is best to adopt the very common 4 R approach used in functional medicine:

  1. REMOVE – all packaged and processed food in addition to any known trigger foods

  2. REPLACE – with whole & real food

  3. RESTORE – balance with healing nutrition such as bone broth and fermented foods

  4. REPLENISH – the whole person with lifestyle choices that enhance emotional wellbeing

 In a nutshell, eczema is just a symptom of a number of organs that are not functioning at optimal levels, one of which is the gut. Start wherever you at and make smaller consistent changes over a period of time and be observant with YOUR reaction to the eczema.

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Chantal is an Accredited and Certified Nutrition & Wellness Coach with a very special interest in helping mum’s create thriving wellness for them and their family through the use of healing and transformational wellness practices.

The Top 3 Foods that could be triggering the next Eczema Flare

This really is a topic that is close and dear to my heart. My little man suffered terribly with this debilitating skin condition. I was literally pulling my hair out and would do ANYTHING to give some relief and not watch him scratch himself to sleep. These are memories that still haunt me today. There was a silver lining in the cloud and we did heal his eczema naturally with lots of concerted effort.

Eczema is very much an inflammatory skin condition that is linked to the health of 2 organs in particular, the gut and the brain, i.e. root causes. Will go into that another day.

There are 3 main triggers that can set off a flare up, food being one of them. Most people suffering from eczema will quite often have a very strong sensitivity or allergy towards the common inflammation causing foods. This was definitely the case for my son, even though none of the practitioners would listen to my concerns at the time to get him tested. In true stubborn "Chantal" style, I took myself privately to get him tested, and what do you know? A positive testing to at least 3 of the 7 common foods, anaphylactic to 2 of them.

The top 3 trigger foods for Eczema:

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  • Dairy - A sensitivity or allergy to cow milk dairy is more than likely due to the A1 protein found in the milk. This is not to be confused with a lactose intolerance to dairy, which is an issue processing the natural sugar found in the milk.
  • Eggs - Once again due to the protein found in the egg and more than likely the white of the egg than the yolk, however both can present an issue as it did for my son.
  • Gluten - The culprit here, you guessed it, is the protein found in the gluten. Unlike the other 2 foods above, symptoms can be presented within minutes of consuming gluten, whilst the others can have a delayed reaction.

Other likely and common culprits are:

  • Nuts
  • Soy
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
milk-1887234_960_720.jpg

My little man tested positive to Nuts, Eggs, Dairy, Peanut & Sesame with anaphylaxis to Nuts, Peanut and Sesame.

How do you know whether these foods can be a trigger for yourself or a loved one?

The short answer is to remove them from the diet for a minimum of 30 days. Couple this strategy with a healing protocol and you will give the body an innate window of healing at which point you can challenge the trigger food.

Just removing the 'culprit food' is counter productive if no healing strategy follows.

For clarity purposes, I want to re-iterate that allergies or sensitivities to the above mentioned food is not the main cause of the eczema, they are just a symptom of a much deeper issue, however can trigger a flare up in most people, not everyone.

If you are feeling completely frustrated and overwhelmed dealing with a skin condition, then why not grab my 90 minute Nutrition & Wellness Audit, where I can help you, uncover the the potential triggers & root causes. Together we will lay out an achievable plan how you can overcome the root causes and start healing without relying on topical & band aid solutions.

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Chantal is a Certified and Accredited Nutrition & Wellness Coach with a special interest helping families implement healing wholefood protocols and wellness practices to transform the health of the family.

Healing Eczema a 2nd Time & the lessons I learnt along the way!!

In the interest of being of very open and transparent, I have really been fighting with myself whether to share this or not. I felt like a fraud basing my success on healing my son’s very bad eczema naturally as a baby, and for it never to be seen again until mid last year.

Checking in again with my purpose, vision and passion for what I do, it was to inspire, support and empower as many families on similar journeys to make lasting nutritional & wellness changes to lead a healthy happy life.

With that in mind, I decided it was only right to share my recent experience. After all, living optimally is journey and not a destination and definitely not linear.

You would have thought I’d be all calm and relaxed about this seeing we had been through all this before, but instead I was blubbering mess when the penny dropped as to what was happening.

In fact I freaked out (that is putting it mildly) and so did my husband. It was pure and utter FEAR, as a storm of unpleasant feelings and memories came flooding back. It was a place I NEVER wanted to visit again.

The crazy thing about it, was that the eczema was no where near as bad as he previously had it and it was very localised.

No amount of logic and rationalisation could remove the fear and utter devastation I was feeling. I just kept on thinking “I can’t do this again”. As he is older now and could understand more, his view was “Mum, you fixed this before when I was a baby, you can do it again”, but deep down I thought what if I can’t.

He contracted the molascum virus which is common and ordinarily harmless, however it triggered eczema again.

After wallowing in my own self-pity, I decided to pull up my big girl pants and start the healing process AGAIN. As always, it was a multi-faceted approach.

I sort help from a qualified health practitioner to assist with supplementation as it was obvious his immune system needed some help to fight this virus.

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During the healing process we focused on all 4 key foundations of health and these were the steps that I took:

Nutrition:

Undertaking the GAPS protocol a few years ago, he was already base-lined so I did not feel the need to put him on another cycle again. Instead I took the principles and put them to work. One week a month for 4 months we completed a mini healing protocol, i.e his diet consisted of all soft easy to digest foods such stews, casseroles, soups and plenty of broth, meat and well cooked vegetables. The remaining time the focus was on quality wholefoods with plenty of vegetables, quality protein, quality fats, minimal grains, gluten free and healing foods such as broth and fermented foods on a daily basis

Microbiome

This time I stool tested him and identified that he was particularly low on a specific strain of beneficial bacteria and we supplemented him on a single strain for a period of 3 months.I also ensured his diet contained plenty of PREBIOTIC fibre to help the current beneficial flora to flourish.

Toxicity

By default with what we were doing, we were allowing the body to naturally detoxify itself. Some supplements were also added to assist with this. See below. He also bathed daily in either epsom salts or bi-carb soda to further assist the detoxification process. We are typically a low tox house, so that side of things have always been taken care of.

Emotional Well-being

This was a biggy, more for me than him. It was probably the area that had the greatest impact on his recovery......much to my surprise and a concept I was really RESISTING.

When I consulted the book “The Secret Language of Your Body” Eczema was seen as a result of anger, resentment and frustration. Given his nature of being so grounded and pleasant, I could not understand how he could be experiencing these emotions. After digging some more, I became to understand that this was energetically being fed off me........say WHAT!! I was in fact experiencing these trapped emotions and I was the one who needed to work on my emotions. I used the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) along with a few other strategies to shift this and I saw dramatic results in his skin within 24 hours. I was GOBSMACKED. This was months after working on all of the other aspects above which were yielding results, however actively working on this foundational pillar just really sped up the healing.

I no longer could ignore the impact and connection our inner being had to our physical well-being AND that of our children.

Supplements we found useful and their purpose

  • Colostrum for immune support
  • Saccharomeycess Boulardii – to promote growth of beneficial bacteria and yeasts
  • Activated B – to assist with methylation & detoxification
  • Liver Support – further aid detoxification
  • Single strain & broad spectrum probiotics – promote beneficial bacteria growth
  • Fulvic Minerals – supplementation of trace minerals
  • Essential fatty acid Fish Oil. – good for skin health
  • Vitamin C – Immune and collagen

Other Treatments we undertook

  • Homeopathy to further support healing and he really responds well to it
  • Cranial osteopathic adjustments
  • EFT to support his emotional well-being during the healing process

Please note, I provide this list for informational purposes ONLY and everything listed has been prescribed by a qualified health practitioner purely based on my little man.

Please consult a health care provider before deciding to consume any supplements for health benefits

My takeaway lessons from this experience:

  1. Health is not a destination - it's a journey and you need to be aware, flexible and adaptable
  2. Knowledge is power and empowering. It doesn't matter how many times you need to press the RESET button, you have the tools and knowledge to be able to it
  3. Do not underestimate the power of emotional well-being and it's impact on physical health, i.e. FIRSTLY for ourselves as mums AND then teaching our children how to be emotionally intelligent.
  4. You need work on EACH of the 4 foundations to resolve any health condition long term.

I am pleased to report that his eczema healed beautifully once again, and in fact he so much more stronger and resilient because of it, as we did not try to suppress the condition or the virus, but instead worked at the root causes, supported and allowed the body to heal itself.

I now actually have gratitude for this experience as it has brought a whole new understanding of what it means to be truly HEALTHY and with an innate knowing that you CANNOT just focus on nutrition, EACH of the 4 foundations needs to be actively addressed which I do in my signature 1:1 Healing with Wholefood Program.

If you are stuck on your healing journey, either for yourself or your child, get in contact with me for a 30 minute FREE Health Mapping Session to see how best to move you forward.

 

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Chantal is a Certified Nutrition & Wellness Coach that specialises in helping stressed and overwhelmed mums heal their children with wholefoods using a personalised wholistic step by step approach.