“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.
11 pounds in 22 days?
Is it REALLY possible to lose 11 lbs. of fat in 22 days? Actually yes… BUT only when you’re a level 4 fat burner. Unfortunately, most people are stuck as level 1 fat burners. So, how do you become a level 4 fat burner to lose up to 11 lbs. in 22 days? Simply eat these foods daily:
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.
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To begin, I apologize for the dark nature of today's email.
However I promise what you'll discover today will be completely worth it.
Imagine a rotting corpse draped over your body from head to toe...
...suffocating tissue, restricting blood flow, damaging joints and infecting your healthy cells.
Shockingly, that nightmare is a reality for most:
64% of women and 74% of men carry too much body fat according to the National Institutes of Health.
It's choking their organs, assaulting their metabolism and sucking their energy dry.
But here's the worst part:
For most, this bodyfat has become "calorie-resistant":
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This zombie fat is essentially... "dead tissue".
That's important for those who have 10, 25 or 50 or more pounds to lose...
AND for those who aren't technically overweight, but have what's called "pocket obesity"...
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First though, here's the #1 reason why bodyfat becomes calorie-resistant:
It lacks blood flow. This has 3 effects:
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- 3) Metabolic hormones carrying the "burn calories" message don't reach the fat cell...
All this means one thing:
Your body can't transform into energy, the 135,000+ of calories the average person stores as fat!
You become a metabolic zombie: NO energy to think. NO energy to move. NO energy to motivate.
Update: calorie-resistant bodyfat can be now removed...
The discovery of this "metabolic jumper cable" can now reverse this process:
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This "metabolic jumper cable" isn't any exercise, machine or pill.
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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.
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d) Hip Flexors
Take the quiz above and see if you got the correct answer!
P.S. Make sure you check out the next page to get to know the 10 simple moves that will bring vitality back into your life!
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Is Bread Really the Staff of Life… or the Stuff of Disease?
For most us, there are few foods more comforting than bread.
Fluffy biscuits, crusty baguettes, flaky croissants… even a simple slice of toast topped with melted butter can taste like heaven.
And that smell… few scents are quite as pleasant as fresh bread baking in the oven.
But there is a lot of confusion as to where bread fits into a healthy diet.
The Bible practically commands followers to eat it: “Give us this day our daily bread…” The government put it at the base of the food pyramid. And for centuries, it has been called “the staff of life.”
Of course, there are some who disagree…
Well-known cardiologist, Dr. William Davis, calls wheat “the perfect chronic poison.”
And for a poison, we sure eat lots of it…
The average American consumes 55 pounds of wheat flour every year, making refined flour the #1 source of calories in the American Diet – a situation that nutrition expert Chris Kresser describes as, “a public health catastrophe.”
So, what is the truth about bread and wheat?
- Is it the perfect poison… or an essential daily food?
- Is “gluten-free” bread better for you than regular bread?
- And can you still eat bread… while maintaining a lean body and optimal health?
The answers to these questions may surprise you!
Be sure to read #5 – the biggest surprise of all!
Recently, Doctor of Naturopathy, weight-loss expert and best-selling Amazon author Liz Swann Miller, creator of the Red Smoothie Detox Factor, revealed 2 of the secrets to easy, steady weight loss. Secrets the big food corporations do their best to hide from us.
Secret #1: Enjoy real food. Don’t fall for the lie that you have to deprive yourself to lose weight.
Secret #2: stop eating out. You will automatically eat less without even noticing.
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Because a single day of enjoying Liz’ smoothies demonstrated the radical power of her superfood-packed red smoothies to make me feel incredibly good.
Now prepare yourself for one of the biggest weight loss secrets there is. A secret that, when you use it properly, can transform your body and your health.
You probably know most of us eat too much processed food. What you may not know is that it’s full of toxic chemicals and substandard, dirt-cheap ingredients designed to make you eat more…and force you to gain weight.
Here’s how it works.
“That stuff is just a lot of calories your body can’t use,” Liz told me, “Some are poison. And all these foods are stripped of the anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories that help your body detox. The result? Your body expends huge amounts of calories to eliminate some toxins—the rest, it stores in your fat to protect you. This is why most people are hungry all the time. They’re not getting energy they need.”
“So… what’s going on with me? Why am I losing weight but not going hungry?”
Liz paused, then dropped the bombshell.
Your body is designed to burn fat. You just have to let it.
“What? I thought we were designed to store fat?!?” We were Skyping and I was practically shouting. Then I heard Liz say…
What good is a fat reserve if you can’t burn it?
Liz continued: “You’re drinking smoothies packed with phytonutrients, anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories that pull toxins out of you like a tractor beam. Allowing your body to burn those toxin-filled fat stores… and releasing tremendous amounts of stored energy.”
So that’s why I’m losing weight without going hungry.
Watch Liz’ free presentation. It’s packed with revolutionary weight loss information—information that works. Because it’s based on how nature.
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- Which calories help you lose weight…and which ones help you gain it…
- The “diet” foods…some of them vegetables…that lead to weight gain and diabetes…
- The “low-fat” foods that can dramatically increase your risk of cancer.
- And the superfoods that rescue your body from this assault by detoxing you…
Revitalizing your metabolism so you can Shed pounds as well as toxins, renew your body and reset your internal clock by up to 7 years.
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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.