Food intolerance and managing eczema.
If you or a loved one suffer from eczema, have you explored the link between your eczema and potential food intolerance?
There is evidence that there is a link between food intolerance and eczema. A change in diet can provide complete or partial relief to eczema sufferers. Allergy tests can give a clear indication of which foods to avoid due to severe reactions, but the more subtle problem of food intolerance, which is harder to pinpoint is often sidelined. This may be because allergic reactions create an immunological response which can be measured whereas there is no testing method for food intolerance.
Food intolerance in brief.
If your body cannot tolerate a particular food, or one of its ingredients, then you will experience a reaction, which may take the form of eczema. Foods that have been found to cause eczema in some individuals include; wheat, eggs, cow’s milk, peanuts, additives such as tyramine, and naturally occurring food chemicals such as salicylate.
It is not possible to say which of these foods may be responsible for your condition as you are unique with a different biological make-up to other people with perhaps exactly the same condition. Any of the below foods could trigger your intolerance, and the resulting symptoms. For example;
- Complete foods; milk, soya, carrot, egg, pork, wheat, mushroom, chicken, apple.
- Naturally occurring chemicals such as: salicylate (in many herbs, fruit and vegetables), Tyramine (in aged meat, cheeses and wine), Purines (in protein foods).
- An artificial ingredient which doesn’t naturally occur in foods e.g. preservatives, colourings, flavours or artificial sweetener.
- Complex food / processed foods where a particular ingredient is a problem. For example, in bread wheat, preservatives, yeast, or bleaching agents can cause a reaction.
Recognising food as a possible problem.
If you have lived with your condition for years, is usual not to be able to see a clear link between the food you eat and your eczema or dermatitis. Often the reaction is slow and insidious which makes it hard for you or your doctor to recognise. Consider this. If you have a food allergy, the reaction is often severe, sometimes life threatening and a clear causal link is more obvious.
There are several ways to establish whether or not you have a food intolerance, for example; using a food diary, making use of applied Kinesiology, or medical procedures such as ALCAT, Vega or IgG ELISA tests.
Read here for the ‘science bit’ linking eczema and certain foods.
It’s helpful to understand what’s causing your eczema. It may be hereditary or it may be something in your environment.