While a little rash on the hands or elsewhere may not seem like a big deal, for some people it is way more than a little redness. For some people it is a major health problem.
Both children and adults can suffer from the unsightly scales and intense itching of eczema. Dermatologist treat it as if it were an isolated skin condition.
Far from it.
Your skin is a window to what is going on inside of you – particularly in your gut. Any skin condition reflects the balance of your internal health.
No Medical Cure for Eczema
There is no medical cure for eczema. There are drugs like steroids to manage it, but once you stop taking the steroid creams, the problem returns – and many times it is much worse. Treating the condition myopically as an isolated problem with the skin will never address the real cause of the problem.
Every time you apply steroid creams to the skin you are simply putting a bandaid on the problem. It’s like a leak in the roof. Would you just keep patching it or does it make more sense to actually address the cause of the problem? Of course it makes more sense to address the cause even if that is the more difficult route.
The Real Cause of Eczema
The real cause of eczema is dysbiosis in the gut – also known as leaky gut – also known as imbalance in gut flora. I’ve written a lot about the role of the intestine in illness. This is the most fundamental cause of most skin problems including psoriasis and acne. This is the problem that has to be addressed in order to cure eczema or any other skin condition for that matter.
Taking a medication is only addressing the symptom – the rash on the skin. The skin is the largest organ in the body and through it, the body releases toxins and other products of metabolism. If these products are very toxic, as they would be when there is an imbalance in the gut flora, the skin will suffer as it tries to get rid itself of the poisonous elements.
Over 70 years ago dermatologists John H. Stokes and Donald M. Pillsbury first proposed an association between the gastrointestinal tract and depression, anxiety and skin conditions such as acne. I’m amazed that they knew this so long ago and yet we are still fighting the conventional doctors about this concept.
Stokes and Pillsbury hypothesized that mental or emotional states might alter the normal intestinal microflora. They proposed that this would lead to an increase in intestinal permeability and contribute to systemic inflammation.
Stokes and Pillsbury recommended Lactobacillus acidophilus cultures as part of the treatment protocol. Many aspects of this gut/brain/skin theory have recently been validated.
The ability of the gut microbiome and oral probiotics to influence systemic inflammation, oxidative stress, glycemic control, tissue lipid content and even mood itself and are now being widely studied in their relationship to acne, eczema and other skin conditions.
Inflammation is Also a Player In Eczema
Gut dysbiosis goes hand in hand with inflammation. At the basis of gut dysbiosis or leaky gut, are the myriad of immune reactions that drive inflammation. We know that 80% of the immune system is in the gut and this is where all the action takes place.
Every time an immune response is activated, chemicals called cytokines are released. These cytokines are purveyors of inflammation. Therefore, each time an immune response is initiated, inflammation occurs under the radar. If the person’s immune response is unbalanced in the two arms (Th1 and TH2) the response may be inappropriate and will create inflammation.
Inflammation is destructive and chronic inflammation is the basis of all kinds of degenerative diseases.
I have already talked about the inflammatory effects of gluten and grains on susceptible individuals. However, there are other triggers of inflammation that may be different for each individual. These food intolerances must be addressed or the gut will not heal.
Diet Play a Major Role in Healing the Gut
A person with an unhealthy digestive tract (dysbiosis) will have trouble digesting certain foods. Undigested, they stay in the intestines and become food for the pathogenic bacteria and yeast.
These pathogens can then proliferate and overpower the numbers of beneficial bacteria and yeast in the gut. When this happens, a vicious cycle begins.
These pathogens give off toxic acidic byproducts which can damage the delicate lining of the intestinal tract and cause symptoms such as, excess mucous (in an attempt by the goblet cells to protect the epithelium against toxins), excess gas, diarrhea, constipation, blood in the stools, etc.
Any damage to the lining of the digestive tract also causes a loss of the digestive enzymes that are embedded in the lining. Therefore, digestion is further compromised. This can eventually develop into a disease process. In the case of skin conditions, the body is trying to get rid of some of these toxins through the largest avenue it has: the skin.
The Eczema Cure
My friend Emily over at Holistic Squid has written an e-book that outlines the steps needed to cure eczema. It addresses the cause and it gives clear steps you need to take to overcome this disorder.
What You Will Learn
- The root cause of eczema
- How steroids and antibiotics contribute to the condition and make it worse
- Exactly how to identify environmental and dietary trippers so you can avoid flareups
- How to “put out the fire” that causes the itchy, red and oozing rash that is so uncomfortable
- How to strengthen your immunity to help deal with the eczema
- The exact supplements and nutrients your body needs to heal — as well as the best sources
- The vital role of probiotic foods in your diet
- Facts about dairy, dairy sensitivities and alternatives
- Information about how to detox gently with food
- And so much more
Real Food is Part of the Cure
Eating nutrient dense real food is the basis for healing the gut. Emily gives step by step guidelines for how to get started as well as over 15 recipes! Fermented or probiotic foods also play a larger part in the program.There is some really great food that is included here: pizza, Mexican carnitas, sauerkraut, ice cream, and guess what else!
Kombucha Helps Eczema
Are you surprised? You shouldn’t be if you have joined the Kombucha Challenge!
Kombucha is a beverage made from fermenting white, green or black tea, by adding sugar for the cultures to consume. When the sugar is mostly gone, it is ready to drink and contains many beneficial elements.
It looks like a nasty jello pancake that is called a mushroom or mother. But it is not a mushroom at all. It is actually a SCOBY.
A SCOBY is an acronym that stands for Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast. It’s a lot easier to say SCOBY when referring to the culture, which may also be referred to as the mother. Say that with respect!
Just by virtue of it being called a colony of bacteria and yeast, tips you off that this is a powerful probiotic beverage.
Be Careful How You Use Kombucha
Don’t start by guzzling a whole bottle! There will most likely be a massive die-off if you do that. You must start slowly with just an ounce with meals and gradually bring it up to about 1/2 cup with each meal. This will prepare your body for all the good microbes without a healing crisis.
In cases of severe eczema, it is wise to start even slower and be mindful of any reactions to it.