Are we really what we eat? Nutritional Therapist Sandra Greenbank (www.sandragreenbank.co.uk) seems to think so.
She says "There is increasing evidence that some types of eczema is triggered by food reactions".
What shall I do to find if my eczema is food related?
Consulting a nutritional therapist, nutritionist or dietician is a good first step. They will help identify and eliminate suspect foods by changing your diet ten days at a time and keeping track of any changes. The key? Keeping an accurate food diary and checking up on your eczema before reintroducing the suspect ingredient into your diet.
Are any foods eczema triggers in particular?
Greenbank confirms "Dairy, egg and peanuts are the three main suspects when it comes to childhood eczema. And, although eczema is often outgrown, these ingredients remain some of the main suspects for adults too".
Other common guilty foods are gluten, fish, soy, citrus fruits and food additives.
How else can we find out if our eczema is food related?
Tests such as food sensitivity tests are able to narrow down which foods can be your trigger foods, and thus can help to give some indication to which foods to avoid. Another option is a stool test to get a good picture of your digestive system and find out if there are any bacterial issues in the gut. Finally, Greenbank also recommends taking the "omega fatty acids test" to monitor the fatty acid ratio.
What else should I avoid?
Refined sugar, alcohol, caffeine and trans-fats are also often problematic. Gluten and dairy are also on top of the hit list. To start at home, try a food diary and monitor your skin's progress as you go along.
What about "good" foods?
It's recommended you up your vitamin C intake, the body's natural 'antihistamine' found in citrus fruit, and red and green peppers, as well as kale, brussels sprouts and broccoli. Fermented foods supplements are also a good option, and probiotics for friendly bacteria.