Celiac disease is a malabsorption syndrome and chronic digestive disorder. The intestine is not able to absorb vital dietary nutrients from foods containing gliadin, an alcohol-soluble portion of gluten. This condition which is often hereditary means the sufferer has a serious intolerance to wheat (including durum, semolina and spelt), rye, oats, barley, and related grain hybrids such as tritaclae and kamut.
Arthritis refers to inflammation of the joint. The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis which is characterised by joint degeneration and loss of cartilage. Rheumatoid arthritis is a type of inflammatory arthritis which is also an autoimmune disorder. In this case the body's immune system attacks its own cartilage and tissue surrounding the joints.
Some detoxification experts advocate fasting, while others do not. It is known that the components of any well-designed detox program will stimulate the body to cleanse itself, but people who are underweight, are undernourished, have weak hearts, have blood sugar issues or are ill should avoid fasting. Some studies have shown that restricting food intake can actually lead to bingeing.
Hemorrhoids are extremely common in industrialised countries and it is estimated that fifty percent of persons over fifty years of age have symptoms of hemorrhoidal disease. Although most people may begin to develop hemorrhoids in the twenties, the symptoms do not become evident normally until in ones thirties!
ECZEMA: Atopic Dermatitis
- What is eczema?
- How can I treat eczema naturally?
- Eczema - Natural treatments and remedies
- Diet for eczema
- Supplements for eczema
- Natural topical applications for eczema
- Herbs for eczema
- Lifestyle tips for eczema
Eczema is a skin condition that causes patches of dry, scaly, extremely itchy skin. Worldwide, eczema is now three times more common than asthma, and it is on the continually increase. Researchers believe the problem is a genetic one, exacerbated by environmental pollutants. Although common in children, up to 40% of children will outgrow eczema. Long-term effects of eczema include infection and scarring and the emotional frustration is also under-minding!
Eczema is not contagious, but if the lesions become infected, the organism causing the infection may be contagious.
Dermatitis of a chronic nature can take a while to clear when working with herbs and natural supplements. However it is worth persevering as the outcome is likely to be a vastly improve ones eczema and it also have the general benefit of helping ones overall health at the same time with no nasty side effects. Please bear in mind that sometimes the symptoms can appear worse at first as the condition clears the body.
Pharmaceutical drugs and treatments often are targeted with the main goal being to minimise the symptoms. Natural therapies like to treat the cause as well as the symptoms.
As eczema tends to start as an inappropriate immune reaction, one must first look at dietary and environmental possible irritants and intolerances. Common food intolerances that can cause eczema are milk and wheat. Eliminating these two main culprits in food intolerance - wheat and dairy is often enough to clear the eczema. There may be other aggravating factors however than these, so this is where a qualified health professional can help...by working out these triggers for you.
Certainly a healthy gut is important in the treatment of eczema as it normally requires internal treatment as well as external. Here are some dietary suggestions that many find useful.
Increase Vitamin C rich foods. Information on vitamin C for dermatitis is somewhat limited, but early studies suggest that there may be a role for this vitamin in treating symptoms. Lots of fruit and vegetables should be beneficial.
Essential Fatty Acids Omega-6 fatty acids have a longstanding history of folk use for allergies as well as being proven recently by research. They are essential fatty acids (EFAs), meaning that they are needed by the body and must be obtained from the diet. People who are prone to allergies may require more EFAs and often have difficulty converting linoleic acid (an inflammation- provoking type of omega-6 fatty acid) to gamma-linolenic acid (GLA; an anti-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acid). In terms of dietary changes relative to EFAs, sufferers should try to eat foods rich an omega-3 fatty acids (such as cold-water fish, flax seeds, and walnuts). Eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids and limiting foods with omega-6 fatty acids (found, for example, in egg yolks, meats, and cooking oils including corn and safflower) may reduce allergy symptoms in general. This is because omega-3 fatty acids tend to decrease inflammation while omega-6 fatty acids (other than GLA) tend to increase inflammation.
Reducing the intake of foods that may stimulate inflammation (such as full fat dairy products, sugar, and highly processed foods) may also improve the symptoms. You may find your eczema is triggered by food intolerances / allergies. Undertaking a food challenge or a food allergy profile such as the Elisa test may be necessary neceesary part of your treatment protocol.
Drink adequate water (typically 8 glasses of pure water a day)
Drink Spirulina. Studies suggest that spirulina, an immune system stimulant, may help protect against harmful allergic reactions. It appears that spirulina prevents the release of histamines, substances that contribute to symptoms of allergic reactions.
For digestive health: Foods that would be good for her gut health and gut integrity are wheat grass, spirulina, brown rice and chorella.
Aloe Vera juice would be a great food supplement as well and is now available with manuka honey so it tastes a lot more palatable.
Lemon juice in water before meals helps increase digestive enzymes and therefor good digestion of food.
A good multivitamin supplement that is rich in the antioxidant vitamins A and vitamin E, plus between 40-50mg of zinc per day is useful (depending on age, please check dosages with a health professional). Of course fish oils or flax seed oil should be added via supplements if you are not getting adequate supply through the diet.
Lots of sufferers have also found relief with quercetin - an anti-allergenic flavanoid found naturally but in small quantities in red cherries, onions, garlic, broccoli, and cauliflower - which has excellent anti-inflammatory properties and has become one of the biggest -selling supplements in the US.
GLA is an omega-6 essential fatty acid. Studies are mixed, but there is some evidence that the metabolism of essential fatty acids is abnormal in people with eczema, resulting in low levels of GLA. Several early studies suggested that GLA derived from evening primrose oil (EPO) is beneficial for relieving symptoms associated with this skin condition such as itching, redness, and scaling. However, more recent studies have not had the same positive results. Whether or not GLA or EPO supplements work for eczema may be very individual. Interestingly, preliminary studies show that pretreatment of skin with fatty acid-rich creams can reduce the severity of eczema or prevent eczema entirely.
If leaky gut is suspected as a causative factor (please see the file on leaky gut on the website) some of the following supplements will be useful:
N-Acetyl- Glucosamine which protects the microvilli and helps glue the intestinal
Glutamine helps regenerate muosal cells, it maintains gut mucosa integrity and reduces gut permeability.
Aloe Vera soothes and heals the mucous membranes and helps soften stools;
Slippery Elm has mucilaginous qualities and it help sooth and protect the GIT.
Pectin which supports the growth of bifidobacteria and suppresses the growth of pathogenic bacteria. As a result it is beneficial for constipation
Finally probiotics are often very useful, especially after antibiotics. Specific strains to look for are Propio- Fidus, Bifidobacteria and L.rhamnousus which improves immunity and reduces allergy, promotes gut barrier function and alleviates intestinal inflammation.
Dry skin is a fairly common occurrence. It can also be a serious problem if you have eczema. Dry skin often itches, and, for those with eczema, scratching it only triggers more itching and inflammation. With proper care, though, there are things you can do to help reduce dry skin and itching.
One of the best topical ointments is a chickweed based ointment, preferably in a zinc medium.
- Avoid irritants that tend to worsen symptoms
- Avoid scratching the lesions.
- Keep the skin moist with natural lotions and ointments to reduce symptoms.
- Avoid excessive bathing and lengthy exposure to baths to reduce flare-ups.
- Don't bathe babies with soap too frequently. Mild neutral soaps are recommended as needed, and bubble baths should be avoided.
- Keep infant's and children's fingernails cut short to avoid irritating lesions from scratching.
- Avoid heavy ointments such as petroleum jelly or vegetable shortening. These can make symptoms worse because these products block the sweat glands.
Star flower cream can relieve the itching, especially in children. As well as borage, it contains chamomile and chickweed both of which can treat many other skin conditions too. Napier’s, for example, make an star flower starflower cream that can be used for children over four months old and is also very good for irritated facial skin in adults.
Herbal treatment can be very helpful for the treatment of eczema. Amongst others herbs that are used successfully are the following favourites:
Burdock root (Arctium lappa) – applied topically for skin inflammations or taken
German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) – may reduce inflammation and speed wound healing
Goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea) – applied topically for wound healing or taken internally; has anti-inflammatory properties
Red clover (Trifolium pratense) – has anti-inflammatory properties and has been used as an ointment for this skin condition
Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) – may ease discomfort associated with eczema
Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica)
Calendula (Calendula officinale)
Sarsaparilla (Smilax officinalis)
Yellow dock (Rumex Crispus)
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
Staphylococcus aureus, one of the so-called Superbugs, which is resistant to the most commonly-used antibiotics, has been implicated in exacerbating and spreading eczema in the majority of cases - so you will need to boost your holistic eczema treatment with 3-4g of a strong antibacterial agent. Choose from Goldenseal, Echinacea, or Burdock, all of which will strengthen your immune system. You can take these internally, or, for a face wash antibacterial face wash, dissolve 3-4g of your chosen herb in a pint of boiling water. Allow to cool. Filter through a coffee filter paper and splash over the affected area.
Eczema outbreaks, or "flare-ups" are caused by an overreaction of your skin's immune system to environmental and emotional "triggers". These can range from irritants such as chemicals; to allergens, such as dust or mold and to stress.
For those with eczema, it is very helpful to identify and avoid exposure to such
triggers. However, because there are so many potential triggers, this can be challenging.
What you can do to avoid flare-ups
- Wear cotton or soft fabrics—rough fibres roughfibres scratchy fibers and tight clothing
- Take lukewarm baths and showers, using mild soap or non-soap cleanser
- Gently pat your skin dry with a soft towel—don't rub
- When possible, avoid rapid changes of temperature and activities that make you sweat
- Learn your eczema triggers and avoid them
- Use a humidifier in dry or cold weather
- Keep your child's fingernails short to help keep scratching from breaking the skin
- Some people with allergies find it helps to remove carpets from their house, and give pets dander treatments
- If possible, reduce the stress in your life
- Use natural , low allergenic soaps, laundry moisturizers Avoid anything with perfume
Always use a low allergenic moisturiser to keep the skin soft and not dry.
Other things to consider for environmental irritants
- Cover pillows and mattress with dust mite covers
- Use an air purifier
- To reduce mouldy surfaces. Mould is often found in air conditioners, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, and refrigerator drip pans
- Reduce indoor humidity to less than 50% using dehumidifiers
- Fix water leaks and clean up water damage
- Avoid carpets and upholstered furniture
- Wash bedding every week in hot water
- Keep stuffed toys out of the bed(room)
- Encase pillows and beds with allergen-proof covers
The following sections explain different triggers that may lead to eczema outbreaks:
Extremes in temperature and humidity can worsen or trigger an eczema flare. While it may be tricky, maintaining a moderate and stable temperature and humidity all year is helpful. When it's warm and humid in summer, make sure the temperature inside remains cool where ever possible. Keep in mind that air-conditioned air may also be drying to your skin, so be sure to use a moisturiser.
In the winter, the air tends to be drier (cold air holds less moisture, and heating systems generally introduce very dry, hot air into homes), which makes it easier to develop dry skin. Since dry skin is more prone to itching, using a humidifier during the winter months can keep the humidity at an optimal level.
Irritants can be both physical and chemical. Avoid products containing potentially irritating chemicals. Usually, these are easy to identify—things like pesticides, paint strippers, etc.—but others may not be as obvious. Ingredients such as alcohol, astringents, and fragrances may trigger or worsen eczema. These ingredients can be found in cosmetics, emollients, cleaners, air fresheners, toilet paper, etc. Reading ingredient lists on products is a smart way to avoid contact with irritants.
Something as simple as the clothes you wear can have a great impact on eczema management—from the types of fabrics to how you care for them. It's best to avoid materials that feel "itchy," things like wool, burlap, etc. Try to wear soft fabrics like cotton, which tend to be less irritating. It's also a good idea to wash all new clothes, linens, and towels before using them for the first time.
Many detergents and fabric softeners may contain chemicals such as fragrances that can irritate our skin. Always read the list of ingredients to avoid contact with irritants. Generally, it is good to choose a mild liquid detergent and put your cloths through an extra rinse cycle when they are brand new.
People with eczema are more likely to develop allergies to food (milk, eggs, wheat and peanuts) and airborne allergens (dust mites, molds and pet hairs) Pay attention to any allergy that may worsen or trigger your eczema, and avoid them where possible