Most doctors treat eczema as a condition that needs to be treated topically with lotions and creams. In certain instances testing for food allergies may be instigated. But in the majority of cases eczema is treated as a condition that can't be cured only managed, the causes of which are majoritively ignored.
To understand eczema we need to firstly look at the digestive system: the largest immune system in our body. If the gut isn't functioning optimally the body becomes vulnerable. Inadequate nutrition over a long periord of time, with food being either poorly digested, absorbed or elimated, or most likely all three, leads to a gut that isn't doing its role in suplying the body with nutrients or acting as a defence against invading pathogens. This places great stress upon the liver, the organ responsible for detoxifying the body. This in turn can bring about a compromised immune system or, as in the case of eczema, an immune system that overreacts.
In order to treat eczema the digestive system and the liver must be firstly be healed. This involves a process of removing harmful foods from the diet, detoxifying the gut, repairing the gut and improving its function, replacing beneficial bacteria, giving the liver the opportunity to regenerate and improving the overall diet and adding supplements where necessary. The body must be spared from excessive toxins which place strain upon the liver, substances such as drugs, environmental pollutions such as non-organic household cleaners and heavy metals such as lead and mercury must be avoided where possible. The diet itself must include as much organic foods as possible and any household product, or any product brought into contact with the skin must be from natural origins. Allergy testing is essential to avoid trigger foods, pollen, dust or other chemicals that aggrevate eczema. Blood tests to ascertain the body's nutritional status are also imperative.
An unhealthy gut means an increase in candida albicans, a yeast found in healthy guts, in small quantities. Candiasis, candida overgrowth, can be tested for in the laboratory but a simple test to perform at home is the saliva test. Fill a clear glass with water and place it by your bed at night. When you wake in the morning spit as much saliva as posible into the glass. It is important that nothing enters your mouth or touches your lips before doing this. Note how the saliva looks. Check again 2 or 3 minutes later and continue to check the glass every 15 minutes until leaving home for the day. Healthy saliva will appear clear, it will float on top and it will slowly dissolve into the water without any cloudiness and without sinking. There are normally some bubbles or foam present. Candida saliva will have one or more characteristics that point to a candida albicans overgrowth:
- Strings traveling down to the bottom of the glass
- Cloudy saliva that sinks to the bottom of the glass
- Cloudy specks suspended in the water
Able to penetrate the gut wall Candida yeast can spread throughout the body. The toxic by-products such as acetaldehyde, it produces damage body tissue and organs. Acetaldehyde is converted by the liver into enthanol and people with heavy candida may often experience drunk-like symptoms, particularly in the morning.
Treatment of candida is best undertaken under the guidance of a nutritional therapist as the dying off period - the period during which the candia overgrowth is killed by natural means - can be severe and therefore require professional support.
Eczema is also a sign something is out of balance, that the body is producing too many or too few hormones, again usually traced back to an unhealthy gut. Low thyroid function is often implicated. When the thyroid function is low, circulation is reduced. In advanced cases of hypothyroidism, the skin, in fact, may receive as little as one-fourth to one-fifth the normal blood supply. With reduced circulation, the nourishment supplied by blood is reduced and waste products are not removed promptly or completely. The result is a skin which is unhealthy, perhaps itching, swelling, blistering or scaly. Getting your thyroid may also assist in a treatment plan.
Finally, a stressful lifestyle with lead to a raise in the hormone cortisol which destroys friendly bacteria, thereby increasing the likelihood of candida overgrowth, in turn predisposing the body to eczema
Following a process of detoxification and regeneration the body can be given the chance to heal. But healing eczema is not an over night process. It takes many months and as the body cleanses itself the skin may appear worse before it improves. In fact, the skin is usually the last organ in the body to heal but once the process is complete not only will the eczema clear up but the whole body will be functioning more efficiently, ensuring higher energy levels, less sleep and improved well-being.
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