Eczema Nutrition | Fight Eczema With Diet
How to Fight Eczema
The trouble with eczema is trying to diagnose its type. Different eczemas are caused by different nutritional deficiencies. If you don’t know what eczema you have how are you going to fix it? It is this very complication that makes eczemas difficult to cure. A true cure would get the body to stop producing eczema and start making healthy cells. That is the bottom line. Instead of putting your attention on what name or label your particular eczema is a better approach is to get your skin to do what it should & defend you.
Eczema is an indication that the body’s biggest defense system & the skin – is in trouble. If you go to a medical doctor you will generally be given a cream containing the synthetic steroid hormone, cortisone. Cortisone will clear up most eczema whatever their origin within a few days. Unfortunately if you go off the synthetic cortisone the skin condition usually re-appears, sometimes a little worse than before as your body had to burn up sorely needed nutrients when detoxifying the synthetic hormone. Detoxification of drugs requires nutrients and the chemistry of cells is an intricate interchange of nutrients and wastes. Add more drugs and you place more pressure on the cell to rid itself of the waste.
Although cortisone is a naturally occurring hormone in the body, synthetic cortisone is produced in a laboratory. It is chemically similar to the natural steroid but the synthetic produces wide and varying side effects. You end up swinging between no eczema and side effects and the reverse.
Eczema Nutrition – Sources of Eczema
There are two main sources that create eczema: Dermatitis or contact eczema. This is inflammation of the skin from coming into contact with an irritant – either chemical or cosmetic. Withdraw the irritant and the eczema vanishes. Atopic eczema & a mild, chronic inflammation of the skin that gets worse occasionally then reverts back to its chronic state. It is the second type of eczema that is caused mainly through malnutrition.
Skin is the largest organ of the body and demands its own specific nutrients to create new cells. When these nutrients are missing the skin reacts by displaying damaged cells in various ways, hence, eczema. Thousands of people suffer from eczema every year. Often you will find one member in a family all eating the same food has eczema. This is possible because certain individuals have higher requirements of a particular nutrient than others.
Eczema Nutrition- Diet
The solution to eczema is diet and nutrition. The word “diet” means different things to different people and often we assume that the reader knows what is meant by diet. In this article, diet is the food you currently eat, not just the slimming food you eat but all the food you eat. To solve the ailments of the skin you have to provide that food which healthy skin needs to reproduce itself exactly. When skin reproduction is faulty you can deduct that the skin is not obtaining the nutrients to reproduce itself as it should. Like any recipe, if you supply half of the ingredients or the wrong ones and you end up with a disappointment.
Eating Correctly: The first step to retuning your skin to health is to examine what you are currently eating. Food is a major factor in any approach to improving a skin condition. You have to throw out or limit what doesn’t build good skin cells and start to add what does. The quality of the food you put into your mouth is also a factor. You have often heard that you must eat fresh vegetables and fruit. The reasoning behind that is those plants supply you with fibre ( good for colon health), nutrients and enzymes. However they are as susceptible to nutrient deficiency as we are. Your food may be grown on depleted soils; over chemicalized from non-organic fertilizers; poisoned with insecticides, fumigants and weed killers; denuded of trace elements. The food is then picked green, transported and stored for long periods then sent to ripening sheds. All this delay from picked to reaching your table ensures that vitamins and nutrients are lost. “Fresh” has been redefined by the transportation and storage technology available today. Eating these foods is better than living on refined flour, hormone and antibiotic laden meat and vast quantities of sugar. However if you truly want to build healthy skin, you must search out quality food.
Eczema Nutrition – Organic
Certified organic food is the best choice when trying to regain health. Buy what you can within your budget and concentrate on those that are specific to skin building. Eat a wide variety within the skin building group. This action will at once start to provide you largest organ with the nutrients to correct itself.
Vegetables and Fruit: Vitamin A is an important nutrient for skin. It can be found in substances called carotenoids which are a group of compounds related to Vitamin A. Yellow and green fruit and vegetables contain carotenoids. Refer to Table A to see what fresh vegetables and fruit you should be concentrating on.
- Green- Asparagus, beet greens, broccoli, collards, dandelion greens, kale, dulse, spinach, Swiss chard, turnip greens and watercress.
- Yellow- Cantaloupe, carrots, yellow peaches, pumpkin and yellow squash.
Fish liver and fish liver oil supply pure Vitamin A.
Essential Fatty Acids ( EFA) These nutrients are key ingredients in feeding the skin. The best EFA’s come from seed oils that have not been refined in any way and are expelled mechanically from the seed without solvents. These oils are heat, light and oxygen sensitive so buy small quantities at a time, keep them in the ‘fridge and in their original containers. Take at least a tablespoon a day. You can take it neat, it’s quite palatable or stir into yoghurt, muesli or use as salad dressing. In his book “Fats that Heal and Fats that Kill” Udo Erasmus gives the top three oils as Hemp seed, Flax and Pumpkin. In fighting eczema you must have EFA’s as part of your healthy skin building strategy.
Vitamin B Complex Eczema sufferers have been dramatically helped by taking B complex. There is a reason for the B vitamins to be classified as a complex. This group of vitamins must be taken together. If you have a deficiency of biotin, one of the B vitamins, by taking that nutrient alone you can cause other B deficiencies to develop. The B vitamins work together by making each other more efficient. Choose a supplement from a reputable vitamin company with a proven track record. Different brands of B complex supplements can have widely differing quantities. If you are new to choosing supplements go to a few health shops and ask lots of questions. You’ll soon gather enough product information to make an informed decision. The B vitamins are water soluble and need replacing at least two or three times per week.
Topical Applications Vitamin E oil mixed with a little Lavender essential oil can be helpful in soothing itching irritated skin. However most creams advertised to calm eczema contain cortisone. Learn to read labels. The best (non-prescription) eczema treatment is made by Aveeno.
How Much Do I Take? Every person has different needs. A highly stressed thirty-year-old executive breathing air conditioned air and sitting at a desk will need different quantities to a teenage girl who is still growing, has started to menstruate and rushes around with her daily chores and school commitments. The only way you can answer “how much” is by reading widely and consulting with a Naturopath or health care practitioner who specializes in nutrient therapy. The more you know about the building blocks of your body, the less effect you’ll be of the stresses of today’s living and the better you’ll be able to think with the information you receive.
Eczema does not have quick fix. Yes you can suppress the symptoms with drugs but there is no repair of tissue and cortisone use long term just condemns you to living with side effects. Eczema can be banished if you are prepared to provide your body with the foods and nutrients it needs to build healthy cells. It takes about four months to start repairing damage so don’t look at this in the short term .
Improving your nutrition has overall long term health benefits. By using good quality supplements, consulting with practitioners trained in vitamin and mineral therapy, buying the best quality food you can afford and planning your meals to include eczema fighting components you’ll be on the right track to repair cell damage and eventually conquer the ailment.
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