“I’ve got a terrible case of eczema. I itch all the time,” writes this week’s House Call. “Is there anything I can do besides taking topical steroids to suppress my immune system?” Again, great question – especially as the winter months approach and skin becomes more susceptible to these issues. The simple answer is yes, you can.
Simply put, eczema becomes a sign that your body is inflamed. The solution, then, becomes figuring what’s wrong inside your body and reducing that inflammation, NOT slathering potentially dangerous stuff onto your skin. The root cause of eczema is a disturbance in your immune system. Your body is overreacting to something attacking you or inside you.
Let me be more specific. If I had to narrow down eczema to two primary causes, I would say Leaky Gut and Abnormal gut flora…
Medically called“increased intestinal permeability”. This is a sign of a good gut gone bad. Leaky gut creates a low-grade inflammation in reaction to food particles (deemed foreign by your immune system) that literally leak through your gut wall. This causes food sensitivities, especially to gluten and dairy, which are the biggest food causes of eczema. Leaky gut also triggers many other health problems including fatigue, brain fog, headaches, depression, allergies, sinus problems, irritable bowel, reflux, joint pain, skin diseases such as acne and eczema, autoimmune diseases and more. Inflammation also causes weight gain which is triggered by insulin resistance, food sensitivities and food allergies.
Abnormal gut flora
Getting rid of the overgrowth of bad bugs and yeast can make a huge difference to eliminate eczema. This is called dysbiosis. It is when the 3 pounds of bugs in your gut become out of balance driving inflammation. Yeast overgrowth is a common cause of eczema. It can be caused by a high-sugar, refined carb, low-fiber, processed diet. Yeast overgrowth also can be triggered by the use of antibiotics, steroids, hormones and even the birth control pill.
Now, there are other culprits. Chemicals and other weird stuff in cream, lotions and detergents can certainly trigger eczema. But I’ve found when your body becomes out of balance, these topical substances cause a more adverse reaction.
The question really becomes, why are you so reactive? Why is your immune system so out of out of whack?
Connection between gut and immunity
Many people don’t make the connection between gut issues and immunity.
Over two-thirds of your immune system resides in your gut.
Small changes in the intestinal tract from multiple insults – such as too many antibiotics, aspirin, acid-blocking drugs, ibuprofen, stress, infections, food sensitivities or even toxins – allow food particles to enter your bloodstream and get exposed to your immune system, creating systemic havoc.
Put another way, creams, antibiotics and other conventional solutions are really just short-term solutions that fail to address the root cause of eczema. They are just covering over the symptoms.
Functional Medicine approach
That’s where a Functional Medicine approach, which looks at a disease’s root cause and takes a big-picture approach to the solution, becomes so valuable.
I once had a 60-year-old patient with eczema all over her back, legs, and abdomen. Dermatologists had been unsuccessful giving her topical creams and steroids to calm everything down. Understandably, she arrived in my office miserable.
It didn’t take me long to determine the triggers. She was eating a diet super high in sugar and yeast, she was allergic to dairy, she was nutrient-deficient, and she took copious antibiotics.
The beauty of Functional Medicine lies in its simplicity, and this approach gets results. I gave my patient a drug called Diflucan, incorporated eczema-healing supplements (including fish oil, vitamin A, zinc and vitamin D), removed food sensitivities (including gluten and dairy) and had her switch from her high-sugar diet to an anti-inflammatory diet that eliminated excess sugar. Her eczema went away, she looked and felt better and as a nice “bonus,” she lost 60 pounds in the process.
This wasn’t a miracle, and it didn’t happen overnight; however, the results were impressive. With their short-term solutions, conventional practitioners had overlooked the bigger picture. My patient provided proof I’ve seen many times: When you fix your gut, you can get rid of eczema.
Change Your Food, Improve Your Skin
Food is medicine. Bad food is bad medicine and will make us sick. Good food is good medicine that can prevent, reverse and even cure disease. Take away the bad food, put in the good food and magic happens. It really becomes that simple.
The problem with current medical thinking is that it treats diseases individually, requiring specific diagnoses and labels such as “you have eczema.” And then you get the antibiotic, the immune suppressant, that sort of thing.
What if you didn’t have to treat diseases specifically or even need to know their names? What if you could just treat the whole person with dietary changes, upgrading the information given every day to your body through food?
With that approach, inflammation dies down, gut issues subside, your immune system finally gets that much-needed break and conditions like eczema eventually subside.
Food can heal your body
Food is information carrying detailed instructions for every gene and every cell in your body, helping them to renew, repair and heal or to be harmed and debilitated, depending on what you eat.
What if you could send messages and instructions to heal your cells and turn on healing genes? And what if, by some simple changes in your diet, you could get rid of most of your chronic symptoms and diseases in just 10 days?
That is entirely possible. The best part of this approach is that you don’t have to trust any expert (including me!). You simply have to trust your body. It will tell you very quickly what it likes and doesn’t like.
If you are constantly putting in information that is making your body toxic, sick and fat—hyper-processed industrial junk food, sugar, flour, chemicals, additives, MSG, high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, artificial sweeteners, inflammatory foods, or what I call anti-nutrients—it acts like poison in the body. These foods inflame your gut and your cells, leading to whole-body inflammation that you experience as numerous problems, including eczema, as well as diabesity and all its repercussions.
What’s the solution?
So the solution becomes to pull the junk and replace it with healthy foods.
From that approach came The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet, which eliminates processed, sugary and inflammatory foods, while adding in healing, detoxifying, anti-inflammatory foods.
This plan gives you the power to heal in a way that medication won’t and never will be able to. I’ve witnessed it numerous times with my patients and readers. In fact, this approach can work faster and better than any medication, without the adverse side effects.
Reverse eczema and revamp your health
Getting rid of the bad stuff and putting in the good stuff can often reverse the most difficult-to-treat medical problems like eczema and give people the experience of profound wellness, even if they don’t have a serious illness. Everyone should try this just once. Most of my patients say, “Dr. Hyman, I didn’t know I was feeling so bad until I started feeling so good.”
If you want to do just one thing to reverse eczema and revamp your health, take 10 days to see just how powerful a drug called food can be. There is nothing to lose but your suffering. It doesn’t take months or years to see change. It happens in days or weeks.
The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet becomes the perfect solution to get rid of more than just unwanted pounds and so much more. This is your chance to heal your body on every level.
Yes, you will drop pounds, but you will also find that your energy, sleep and mood improve, that chronic problems including joint pain, digestive problems, autoimmune disease, headaches, memory problems and brain fog, sinus and allergy issues, even acne, eczema, and psoriasis will get better or disappear entirely. Your sexual desire and performance may even improve.
Why is that the case? Because what makes you sick also makes you fat, and what makes you fat makes you sick.
Seven strategies to eliminate ezcema
Before you take another pill or apply another toxic lotion, try these seven strategies to help you eliminate eczema, and who knows, like my patient, you might discover unexpected bonuses like weight loss and increased energy.
- Try my elimination diet. The two most common and harmful food sensitivities are gluten and dairy. My 10-Day Detox Diet eliminates these along with sugary, processed foods, resulting in reduced inflammation and results in just 10 days.
- Incorporate anti-inflammatory nutrients and foods. Eat plenty of wild-caught fish and a colorful array of plant foods, and use spices like turmeric liberally. Fish oil and curcumin are among my favorite anti-inflammatory supplements. I often use UltraInflamX® PLUS 360°, a medical food formulated to provide specialized nutritional support for compromised gut function, with many of my patients.
- Normalize gut flora. Prebiotics, probiotics and digestive enzymes are among the things I use to normalize healthy gut flora. Please keep in mind it may become necessary to work with a Functional Medicine practitioner to address gut issues, but removing food sensitivities and incorporating gut-healing nutrients are entirely within your power. Restoring normal gut flora reduces overall immune activation and many inflammatory diseases including asthma, eczema, rhinitis and inflammatory bowel disease.
- Use the right supplements. The protocol I use to reduce eczema includes fish oil, evening primrose oil, and vitamins D and A. You can find all these supplements in my store.
- Get sufficient sleep. No surprise: Studies show sleep loss fuels the flames of inflammation, exacerbating eczema and other conditions. That’s among the many reasons you want to aim for eight hours of quality, uninterrupted sleep every night. Read 19 of my top sleep tips here.
- Exercise regularly. Studies show regular exercise reduces inflammation and boosts your immune system. Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned pro, grab my comprehensive but easy-to-implement exercise plan here and make it your own.
- Control stress levels. Besides making you absolutely miserable, studies link chronic stress levels with inflammation. Whether you do meditation, deep breathing, yoga or another form of stress reduction, make it a priority and do it regularly. Many patients find my UltraCalm CD greatly helps them to reduce stress and anxiety.
Breakfast, blood sugar, & inflammation
Recent research has shown that Inflammation is responsible for 7 out of 10 Deaths in the United States. But it doesn’t have to be the same way for you.
In fact, in a fairly short amount of time, you could start to experience better sleep…less stomach issues…more energy and stamina…less muscle and joint pain…a drop in weight…lower stress levels…and much, much more!
Learn how to Prevent—Even Reverse—Most Major Diseases by “Turning Off” Inflammation!
Did you know that one of the best times to stretch is right before bed? However…
What stretches should you do? Here’s a 1-minute stretch routine you can do before bed...
Lisa, Yoga Coach
eatlocalgrown / wisemindhealthybody
...easy, 3-minute exercise that completely cured his horrendous snoring! We can both finally sleep!
Today is a good day. Tonight will be even better. Why?
Because you're about to learn easy throat exercises that cure (not just treated) your stubborn snoring – in 3 minutes – starting TONIGHT!
...even if straps, sprays and even torturing CPAP masks have failed you in the past.
Most people heal their snoring in just a few minutes per day using these powerful throat exercises. And they're so easy, you can do them, regardless of your age or physical shape.
Use them anytime, anywhere... even while stuck in traffic or watching TV.
Plus the results are permanent!
Did you know that your bodyfat can become "calorie-resistant"?
True. And it's completely unaffected by even the strictest diets... and most intense exercises.
However, there's good news- Calorie-resistant bodyfat can be now removed...
It's a little-known, calorie-burning hormone we all have... just waiting for the right spark to come alive. It's not thyroid, leptin, ghrelin, insulin, adiponectin, HGH or any other "fat loss" hormone you may know. Read more to find out precisely how to unleash its calorie-burning power:
To your health!
PS - Studies show that it can also reduce your risk of diabetes by 53.7%, a heart attack by 83.3% and stroke by 51.4%. Here's more of the scientific proof...
I bet you can’t guess which muscle in your body is the #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat. This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
If this “hidden” most powerful primal muscle is healthy, we are healthy.
d) Hip Flexors
Take the quiz above and see if you got the correct answer!
In April, 2009, researchers stunned the medical community when they reported chronic inflammation as the root cause of several major diseases.
See, every year 610,000 people in the U.S. die of heart disease. Cancer claims another 584,000...stroke 130,000...Alzheimer's disease nearly 85,000 — and the list goes on.
Truth is, we now know... chronic inflammation is responsible for 7 out of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States! Hundreds of studies and scientific reviews prove it.
Fortunately, newer research shows you can prevent-even reverse-most major diseases by "turning off" inflammation. And in our new book, we show you how to do just that.
If you or a loved one is suffering from a debilitating condition-and you"re not sure what the culprit is-now's the time to find out...while you can still do something about it!
--> Grab your FREE copy of this groundbreaking soft cover book today (while supplies still last.)
Over the past year, my friend Dave over at PaleoHacks has been working on a super secret cookbook project with our good friend Peter Servold a Le Cordon Bleu trained Chef and owner of Pete's Paleo...
And today, this new incredible Paleo Cookbook is finally available to be shipped right to your door for FREE!
The cookbook is called Paleo Eats, and it's filled with over 80 chef created, insanely tasty Paleo recipes which means they are free from gluten, soy, dairy, and refined sugar.
Get your FREE copy of Paleo Eats Here. (Grab this today, because they only ordered a small batch of these cookbooks for this freebie promotion, and they will sell out FAST!)
Sponsored Health Resources
In the years that I've been working on this website project I've come across some amazing resources by some very special people. I'd like to share them with you here.
NOTE: I update these links often so please check back to see what's new!
1) Everyone knows green smoothies are healthy right? Have you heard of a “red” smoothie? If not, check out this story…
2) Forget what you've read about 10-day lemonade cleanses, 7-day detoxes with green juices and Gwyneth's gruel. All you need to do, and this is perfect for Saturday or or anytime really, is a simple 1-day cleanse.
3) This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
4) I thought it was virtually impossible for a website to be able to tell me anything even a little bit insightful after only submitting my name and date of birth... I was wrong!
5) Turmeric is amazing. The problem is - It's hard to absorb!
6) Wonder why your stomach still sticks out even though you're hammering the core exercises every day? It's a common myth that bulging belly is due to weak abdominal muscles.
7) Even if you're the most active of athletes, you may still suffer from tight hip flexors due to the amount of time you spend each day planted to a chair.
Enjoy! Let me know how these work out for you. And if you run across anything I've missed please let me know.