ECZEMA: What Most Doctors Won't Tell You
I have a great deal of experience with eczema. It is perhaps the area in which the medical community has disappointed me the most.
My two sons suffered from serious eczema from the day they were born until the oldest one was seven. No one could really explain it to me, and all I could do was medicate their poor little bodies. It wasn't until I took up the crusade on my own that I got some answers and found some very powerful solutions.
Eczema is a pernicious disorder symptomized by red, flaking skin, in some areas moist and oozing, and frequently very itchy. It is commonly located in the joint areas, such as the back of the knees, the inside of the elbows, the inside of the wrist, the digits of the fingers, but is also found on the face, behind the ears and in the groin area.
Doctors typically prescribe topical anti-inflammatory ointments containing corticosteroids to combat eczema. They don't cure anything, but they might kill the itch, as long as you use them, but in most cases once you stop using them the irritation resumes. Long term use of steroid creams has its side effects. Among them is the thinning of the skin and the suppression of the adrenal glands over time.
Certain circumstances such as stress can aggravate eczema.
Nearly all eczema patients suffer from some type of allergy, and most are not even aware of it. Eliminating common allergens from your diet is a good place to start in your battle against eczema. In fact, if there is any type of food that you crave often (cheese, wheat products such as breads, cookies, donuts, orange juice, etc.) that is very possible the culprit. Food sensitivities can act much like addictions.
I have seen hundreds of eczema cases clear completely within weeks using the natural supplements outlined below. And every time I see it, it still amazes me. Something so simple and yet impossible to get the medical doctors to tell you about! Truly disappointing (not to mention aggravating and expensive).
The presence of food allergies is the key to managing most eczema conditions. The primary focus of any eczema program is to identify and eliminate the allergenic substance.
The most common food allergens are milk, eggs, peanuts and wheat. To a lesser extent, soy, citrus and fish may trigger reactions. However, virtually any food can be the offending agent.
You can have an allergy test performed to help you identify more specifically the offending substance or substances. Or you can go through a professional detox, and in the process you will learn which food substances aggravate your condition.
There are very few supplements out there that I get behind 1000% and promote to everyone I see and speak with. However, Milk Thistle deserves our complete attention and respect.
Milk thistle is an extremely powerful liver protector and enhancer. Your liver is charged with clearing various substances through your body. Liver integrity is essential to overall health and longevity. The liver of Eczema patients is working overtime. It is having a difficult time clearing certain substances.
The active ingredient in Milk Thistle that works such wonders with the liver is called Silymarin.
Silymarin has the amazing ability to protect the liver. Research indicates that it performs this incredible task by altering the outer structure of the liver cell membranes in such a way as to prevent certain toxic substances from damaging the liver itself. Further, silymarin helps protect the liver by scavenging for substances called free radicals that can also damage the organ.
Silymarin provides yet another remarkable benefit to the liver: it encourages regeneration of liver cells, and can actually help reverse damage and help cure the liver.
However, all milk thistle supplements are not created equal. I have wasted much money on milk thistle extracts that did nothing. Milk Thistle avoids aborption in the small intestine, so capsules for the most part are a big waste of money. I prefer my organic, pharmaceutical liquid. Milk Thistle teas probably do not contain enough active ingredients to be medicinally effective. Silymarin does not dissolve well in water, so the tea usually contains little if any.
ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS
For all the reasons outlined in my previous article The Fats That Heal, we should all be eating essential fatty acids as the primary source of fat in our diets.
Essential Fatty Acids ("EFA's") are not the fats that kill, but the fats that heal, the ones found in fish oils, certain nuts and seeds such as walnuts, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc. These fats enhance all body functions, and are required by all cells of the body, especially the brain.
Ideally, we should be eating EFA's in a 4:1 ratio against other forms of fat. This is a difficult standard to meet. For this reason, supplementation is key.
EFA's enhance the skin, be it normal, oily or dry. Anyone suffering from skin conditions such as psoriasis, rosacea, acne or eczema ABSOLUTELY MUST improve their EFA intake.
In the vitamin shops you will find EFA's in the form of fish oils, pumpkin seed oil, borage oil, Flax Seed Oil Supplements, Fish Oil, evening primrose oil, and others. They are not all the same, some are stronger than others, and some are blended in with omega-6 fats (vegetable based fats) that I personally don't think we need more of in our lives.
We are fortunate to have available at a very reasonable price pharmaceutical stabilized fish oil, the most powerful omega-3 supplement available today. Eskimo-3 Natural Stable Fish Oil Supplement is a powerful and pure concentration of fish oil that will make a very positive impact on your skin and your health. Eczema patients need to mega-dose here, no less than 1-2 tablespoons daily, every day. You WILL notice a difference, I promise. Eskimo-3 is not to be compared to the over-the-counter fish oil capsules you see in the stores. This suppelment is in an entirely different league, and it perfoms accordingly.
Lastly but certainly not of least importance is a high quality multi-vitamin. In the United States where we perceive ourselves fortunate enough to have an abundance of food, we are commonly and regrettably suffering from nutritionally deficient diets. Anyone who has tried to get their children to eat broccoli will tell you that children are no exception!
In my opinion, a high quality multi-vitamin is essential to maintaining optimal health. We don't live in a one-a-day world anymore, so I respectfully dissent from my colleagues who suggest that simply meeting the Recommended Daily Allowance of vitamins is enough. The government's evaluation of the RDA is based on how much of a nutrient it takes on average TO AVOID DISEASE. I say we can do much better than that. And while MORE is not always BETTER, a carefully formulated multi with high doses of those nutrients the body burns most and just enough of what can become toxic in large doses is called intelligent supplementation, and that is what I promote.
A great place to start: my Physician’s Choice Multi-Vitamin and Mineral Formula. Four to six capsules a day (depending on how stressed you are, how badly you have eaten, etc.) is an excellent starting point and will provide a bioavailable and significant nutrient base to draw from.
IN TIMES OF TROUBLE
Intestinal issues are often connected to eczema. This stems from the fact that in most cases, food sensitivities are the trigger factor, and when we ingest these foods to which we are sensitive, our intestines become inflamed.
To help combat the physiological reaction that accompanies these foods, Deglychirrizinated Licorice ("DGL") is a good thing to have on hand. Taken before a meal, it will help minimize any gut reactions that you may or may not be aware of, and that will help calm the skin.
For extreme times of trouble, when no matter what you do the itching is just too much, I turn to Liquid Organic Licorice. Taken internally, this will often suffice to stop an "itch-fest" in its tracks, but you can even apply it topically to the itchy area, simply apply and rub into the affected area. In most cases the itching will stop immediately. Applied topically, licorice will not result in any side effects, however taken internally, liquid licorice will cause high blood pressure, so reserve it for immediate and acute situations, never take it for more than 10 days in a row. The DGL I spoke of above has no affect on high blood pressure, so if high blood pressure is a concern for you, rely as much as possible on the DGL.
There is another high-impact solution I recently became introduced to that can help to considerably and noticably reduce the inflammation of the digestive tract so commonly associated with Eczema: Calcium Magnesium Buytryates. Butryrate is a fatty acid that is usually deficient not only in Eczema patients, but those suffering from other inflammatory conditions involving the digestive tract ("leaky gut syndrome", diverticulitis, ulcers, colitis and many food allergies.) Butyrate helps restore a healthy mucus membrane to the digestive tract, which lines and protects the intestines. Butyrate is naturally produced by bacteria in the large intestines, but often lacking in those suffering from these digestive disorders. Butyrate capsules taken regularly can restore butyrate levels rather quickly.
Eczema is not difficult to manage if you remain focused and dedicated to this supplementation protocal and dietary guidelines. Occasional dietary deviations won't be so devastating if you make sure you are supplementing your body daily with these nutrients to support your liver, skin and digestive tract.
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