January | 2015 | Wellness Healing Nutrition

January 2015

And so I have Eczema due to Leaky Gut?

I am finally back in my ‘writing’ persona, at last!

It is quite difficult when you find that you have written quite an epic article recently – it certainly gives you that high of accomplishment – but at the same time you kind of get stressed as to where to find the next ‘push’ to nail that next article, one-after-the-other. But here I am in from of my laptop typing away so hopefully I will have that spontaneous thinking and typing, at the same time.

So tonight I will talk more about my eczema but with huge reference to the precursor – Leaky Gut- as per my ever favourite reference book: The Food Intolerance Bible. But of course my blog or article will be interspersed with various information sourced from many different sources from my own research.

 

What is Food Intolerance? What is food allergy?

As per the book, it is defined as a reaction of the body’s immune system due to some foods that are not suitable for the person but the effect is not immediate as compared to that of Food Allergy where it can be immediate and life-threatening. If a person has food intolerance, this can greatly affect his daily lifestyle such as the stress of having to choose from a very limited food choices which can be very frustrating especially if one is used to going out once or twice a week to indulge in restaurants and also having to miss birthday invitations and other gatherings involving feasting on a  lot of dishes.

 

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In fact, a few days ago I was feeling confident that I will be fine with eating salmon so I went to the local supermarket and bought 3 fillets then cooked it in a simple way – just poached them in water, a squeeze of tiny lemon juice as I know it is not allowed but I needed it to taste good, a dash of Pink Himalayan Salts, a drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and tiny bit of  black pepper, along with chunks of celery. But as soon as I looked at myself in the mirror the following morning, my face was slightly swollen! I am not gifted with a chiseled face but this is what happens when I eat foods that are not good for me. At first my nostrils would tighten but not really going into the ‘runny’ nose episode, it just feels clogged a few minutes after eating some foods like a tin of tuna or  a few slices of squid like calamares. So my conclusion is that eating a canned tuna or a big fish is not really good for me. Why? Because I was told before, I probably mentioned this already in my previous articles, that the bigger the fish, the higher the toxins that are in them as they are more able predators in the ocean so the toxin probability that they ingest is high. So no fish for me at this time……

Another definition is from the Allergy UK Organisation that says, food intolerance or food hypersensitivity, usually the symptoms can go on for a long period  of time, in short, delayed. It also  mentioned that some symptoms are joint pains, diorrhea, dark circles under the eyes, eczema, among others.

Photos of My Eczema

(my skin condition as of 2 days ago, January 19, 2015)

 

Eczema photos and images

Eczema photos and images

photos and images of eczema

photos and images of eczema

photos and images of eczema

photos and images of eczema

My eczema is mainly on both arms although I have one small patch on my left thigh near the knee. Each day is a struggle especially before showering that is when I itch, I do not know why this happens, and mostly severe itching after I have showered so what I do is towel dry my skin and battle the urge to scratch my skin by rubbing the towel against it then close my eyes as I apply the Calendula cream on both arms in a very quick manner and then I sit on my chair and calm myself down…as the pricky and stingy feeling just is out of this world..

There are days where I find that the patches flatten but some days I also get frustrated because the red circles appear agressive or very much red and bumpy. In these moments I get really flustered at my efforts to topple this skin problem but here we go, human limitations — just have to keep on hoping that every day is a new day, a new day to heal such condition.

 

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What is Leaky Gut?

Leaky gut is when the intestinal tract lining are inflamed due to being ravaged by toxins from eating ‘unsuitable’ foods like wheat, gluten, and even sugar, most especially. As the person continues to eat foods that are high in sugar or cakes and pastries which are high in sugar too, plus loaded with wheat and gluten – which are obviously acidic foods – then the body gets too acidic which then creates inflammation in the digestive system. In addition, there is a good point stated by Livestrong.com, it says that two-thirds of our immune system is confined in the small intestine. Wow! This makes sense! This is why a damage of this part of our body can be really detrimental to our health as this is quite a big chunk of our defence system, two-thirds!

A leaky gut happens because the intestinal mucosa is now ‘permeable’ instead of it being ‘impermeable’ to food particles and toxins that can harm the system like the bloodstream. If food is not digested well by a weak digestive system, toxins can penetrate past the intestinal tract lining, then the body’s immune system gets alerted which then tends to release its ‘defence army’ to suppress the attack, by way of releasing histamines.

I was reading the other day about an article in one of the health blogs that talked about leaky gut.  It mentioned there that when you have a leaky gut you start to be ‘allergic’ all of a sudden to most foods like certain vegetables that you were never intolerant or reactive in the past. In this situation, you then get reactions like palpitations of the heart. I figured that this makes sense because a few days ago I had palpitations throughout the night after I had eaten particular salad leaves called: chards. It is quite baffling to me, makes me more paranoid too, why I was reacting to just a vegetable which to me is really healthy, and it is not as if I was eating prawns which, I am lethally allergic to. I can now understand why I get palpitations when I eat certain foods, this must be because the body system is under attack, in other words, inflammation is happening, therefore the body’s on alert and agressively sending out its natural coping mechanism to defend the body as a whole.

 

 

Why is Eczema linked to a Leaky Gut?

It is a known fact that eczema is a severe skin rash which is quite irritatingly itchy! (And this is what is happening to me these days). Eczema, therefore,  is a result of the body’s way of unloading or eliminating toxins that are harmful to the body as a whole. In fact, the proof of this is when the body has accumulated a lot of toxins, which makes the blood acidic, it gets rid of these toxins via our biggest organ – the skin – and this now shows up when one has skin rashes like psoriasis, and eczema, it is literally your body crying out in pain to let you know that it is overloaded with toxins which are poisoning your bloodstream if not eliminated.

In the book, The Food Intolerance Bible, it is really established that Leaky Gut is the cause of eczema. It also, again, emphasised that continued aggravation of attack of the mucosal lining by eating bad foods containing wheat, gluten, and other acidic foods, can put a ‘gap’ in this part of our body. And again because the gut is now damaged, it is now then in a state of ‘increased permeability’ which paves the way for an overgrowth of bad bacteria and parasites from the undigested food particles. This then creates imbalance or inflammation and a state of chaos where the body has to find a way to expel the toxins to restore the ‘equilibrium’ – hence it manifests in the skin, that is what we call as ECZEMA.

 

Leaky Gut and Eczema Diet

Safe to Eat:

My daily diet is not much really in terms of choices. I have started to buy mostly salad leaves for my meals like watercress, ideally organic, from the local supermarket. With the salad leaves, I sprinkle Extra Virgin Olive Oil on it to make it appetising. I also squeeze a tiny bit of lemon juice and sprinkle some Himalayan Pink salts and I also add some stir fried celery cuts, about an inch.

Every day I am loading Extra Virgin Coconut Oil in stir frying my vegetables along with rice noodles which I also cook with this oil. I know rice flour is not ideal but to be honest, I still eat it and mix with my salad leaves, so far it is doing me good. This compensates my craving for the meat which I used to eat with my rice and vegetables.

I am really convinced that incorporating Virgin Coconut Oil in my diet is very beneficial. Why? Coconut oil is loaded with lauric acid which is claimed to kill off some viruses and bacteria, this according to one great article from the site Organic Facts.net. It is also claimed to be good for the immune system and helps with the digestive system due to its saturated fats content which has anti-microbial properties.

I just got this superior brand of  Extra Virgin Coconut oil by Lucy Bee, a few hours ago (January 19, 2015, to be exact). This brand has lots of positives about it. It has a very good website which is very pleasing to the eye.  The product is ethically sourced as it is Fairtrade certified so that shows that this brand cares about the lowly people behind the harvesting and making of it. Plus this brand boasts of a raw and organic variety of coconut oil, non-GMO, and no additives. I also want to add that they are prompt in communicating or answering emails. To add to that, this brand has garnered an impressive 641 reviews by customers on Amazon.co.uk so that really says it all.

You must try it as when I used it, this is the only virgin coconut oil that I have used that emitted a nutty and almost the same smell or aroma from the coconut milk that I used to have back in Asia, smelled divine. So far the recent one I used before this did not have this surprising and distinctive ‘coconutty’ kind of aroma. You can bank on this claim. Trust me.

extra virgin coconut oil

extra virgin coconut oil

extra virgin coconut oil

extra virgin coconut oil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unsafe to Eat:

I firmly believe that one must AVOID the ‘Nightshade Family’ vegetables and fruits like tomatoes, cucumber, potatoes, egggplant, berries (strawberries, to be exact). I truly agree with this as this has been pointed by my homeopath that I was seeing back in the year 2011, it helped a lot. I must also add that everytime I eat spaghetti bolognese, I get really ‘warm’ all over my body especially around my face area.

I have also been avoiding eating lentils as this was, I believe, one of the biggest culprit why my skin erupted very seriously a few weeks ago. I was eating it most days as part of my vegetarian diet as I was trying to get off eating too much meat which was acidic, but then it was too late to find out that lentils has high uric acid content. What a sad decision as I really liked it, the aroma it gave my meals, it was super appetising for a usually bland vegetable-based dishes.

These days I have eliminated eating chunky chips or french fries from McDonalds or KFC, burgers and onion rings which are loaded with wheat (bun, batter) and plus the fact that it is best to avoid starchy food when you have skin allergies. In addition, I have stopped dipping into mayonnaise which is quite bad due to egg content. No more butter, no cakes or pastries for me, for this time, but I do not know how long I can hold on to this diet. No soy sauce for cooking, or even soy as a whole, needs to be avoided. No MSG related food items from sauces and condiments. No eggs and dairy and cow’s milk products as I believe with all my firmness – eggs are bad for eczema! I have also stopped consuming rice, pasta, tuna – canned or whole fish, pork, chicken (although you can eat fish like salmon, it should preferably be ‘wild’ not farmed due to chemicals or hormones).

 

donuts-268388      fried-chicken-690039

 

I also have to mention that before my skin erupted with weeping eczema skin condition, I was eating constantly, every single day, 2 or 3 apples (basic ones) which are treated with chemicals or pesticides for these to be presentable to the consumers. In fact, according to a report by the Huffington Post, apples again, topped the Top 12 Most Pesticide-Heavy Fruits and Vegetables of 2014! Apples are also deemed high in naturally occuring plant chemicals too called salicylates, which according to Allergy UK Organisation, one can develop salicylate sensitivity if this is being consumed in huge amounts but it varies with an individual’s tolerance level, some react even with low consumption while others react if the consumption is high. This could be one of the biggest triggers that led to my skin breakouts.

Equally bad are potatoes, which a few years ago, I stumbled on an article that exposed how potatoes are treated with chemicals so they look presentable and pleasing to the eye – the consumers. Plus it is also said that it is best not to consume vegetables that are starchy in nature.

I also believe that there is a truth to some claims that one must never eat fruits after a meal as this will just sit on top of the consumed meal which will then ferment in our stomach which can cause a lot problems due to poor digestion that ensues.

Other foods to avoid:

Top 12 Fruits and Vegetables that are heavily loaded with pesticides according to Huffington Post:

You have apples, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, snap peas, nectarines, peaches, potatoes, sweet bell peppers, celery, grapes, strawberries

pineapple, prunes and kiwi – high in sugar, very acidic

lemons

chocolates – very acidic nature and also high in sugar

curry-based dishes – they are loaded with butter and unhealthy oils

Takeaway foods — they are high in MSG and soy sauce especially if it is Chinese dishes

Ready-meals – they are microwave foods (this can make the food more acidic due to the heat techhnology used) aside from the fact that they have preservatives to prolong the shelf-life

beans (it is a personal opinon of mine to avoid this)

beer – full of yeast

fizzy drinks and carbonated drinks — basically all fruit juices as they are high in  sugar

peanuts – big time irritant – precursor to allergies

almonds

mushrooms

crab meat, oysters, mussels

Processed foods like ham, hotdogs, bacon, sausages. These contain a lot of artificial ingredients that are loaded with preservatives and additives.

 

 

How to repair a Leaky Gut and Eczema?

The biggest question is How to Repair a Leaky Gut. This is quite extensive but I will try and write as much and put together the facts I have read from various sources.

1. Elimination Diet – this simply entails trying to avoid certain foods that you feel makes you ill after eating it, and in avoiding these foods you then can gauge if there is a difference in your allergies or skin conditions i.e., symptoms worsen or improve. This might be best done along with a professional consultation from a nutritionist or dietitian so you can make sure that you are not overdoing the process and you end up with minimal nutrition which can then give rise to other health issues.

 

This is what I am currently doing as far as myself is concerned. I have given up on my addiction with doughnuts and sweet things. I also stopped consuming red meat like pork and beef. I also think that it is a wise move for me to stop eating processed foods as they are loaded with additives and preservatives which are utterly lethal for my already compromised digestive system. In addition, starchy vegetables or root crops like sweet potatoes and the regular white potatoes in the supermarket is a big no for me (at least for now) due to high salicylates content.

You may wish to view a couple of books on elimination diets or solving food allergies through diet planning:

Solve your food intolerance: a practical dietary programme to eliminate food intolerance

Elimination Diet Workbook by Maggie Moon

The Elimination Diet: Discover the Foods that are making You Sick  and Tired – and Feel Better Fast by Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre MS CN 

 

2. De-stress

Tackling stress  can seem complicated but it in the long run it will pay off in many aspects. I believe that stress is the number one trigger for many of our ailments, in the premise that once you are constantly stressed out, you then go into physical imbalance, that is, physical symptoms manifest as your immune system gets challenged. In this connection, de-stressing will really help you bring back that focus of self-calm amidst all the chaos going in your body and in your mind.

The good news is that there are many ways to bring your stress levels down. You can definitely do the free route like walking in the forests or parks while listening to a Zen spa kind of tune or something like the Mozart as opposed to playing a fast and rowdy music that will just add up to your already stirred mental and physical condition. You can also try to do some deep inhale and exhale breathing activity in order to collect yourself and also satiate your body’s need for oxygen. One can also do some yoga or group exercise activities where you will be able to socialise and divert your mind from the ‘itchy’ skin affliction.

You can always look on Youtube for some relaxation clips or videos to soothe your mind and body. Feel free to explore this video below:

 

This video is by VYANAH from Youtube (not created by me)

 

3. Supplements

Right now I hav a few supplements that I am trying out to see how it can help me bring out the best in my HEALING. I have decided not to seek to use the mainstream medicines as I don’t want to get involved with steroids and other nasty ingredients that can cause more havoc than help.  Again, just a personal choice of mine considering the fact that I am an avid fan of herbal remedies and the like.

 

L-Glutamine Powder

 

L-Glutamine powder

L-Glutamine powder

L-Glutamine powder

L-Glutamine powder

 

According to Livestrong.com’s article, Glutamine is an amino acid that is heavily consumed by the cells to manufacture proteins. In the case of leaky gut syndrome, the structure named as ‘tight junctions’ (they seal the series of cells that keep the cells together and prevent toxins from going into the bloodstream) are disturbed due to inflammation. So without this amino acid, the body will struggle to heal the gut. This is why L-Glutamine is really essential for gut healing as the cells in the intestinal lining burn this for fuel to make possible the repair process of the gut.

If you want to grab a good quality L-Glutamine powder that helps to support digestive tract tissue integrity and helps to protect against Leaky Gut syndrome, do not delay  – get yourself one!! Click Here!!

 

Milk Thistle (Non Alcoholic)

I have chosen this variety from Mountain Fresh as it is non-alcoholic so I guess it is a better option for me. The brand seems to evoke a good feeling about it and when I asked them questions, they were very prompt and helpful – and that helps one to decide to give it a try. The good points: 100% natural – herbs, barks – nothing added, wild crafted, non GMO.

According to Liver Support.com, milk thistle as a powerhouse of antioxidants, may protect the liver cells from damage wrought by free radicals by blocking the entry of harmful toxins into the liver cells and at the same time it can dislodge these toxins out of the liver cells too.

 

Probiotics

This I have been taking since year 2011 but it is quite on and off. The last time I was on it consistently was May 2014 and then because of my eczema comeback, I now take this every day, after meal.

This ever important supplement is quite beneficial as it repopulate the disrupted gut flora which is now in a state of imbalance as with reference to eczema and leaky gut conditions. This is commonly termed as ‘friendly’ bacteria. If you were to consume this via natural source then the best way is to go for Yogurt with probio in it. And this one I strongly believe is crucial to healing the gut and eczema, as recommended by my homeopath.

You can buy from one of the highest quality kind of Probiotics from Higher Nature as they are known for their Best Quality ingredients (I have been told by at least two therapists that I have met so far as compared to a national brand that I would rather not mention out of respect).

 

4. Go for Alkaline Drinking Water

From my skimming and browsing online, I have read that we need to bring our water intake to a certain ph in order for it to be alkaline. Alkaline ph is said to benefit our body from being too acidic, and a body which is too acidic can be a start of different health issues. Plus our drinking water from the tap can be a source of different contaminants that are resistant to the filtration and treatment before the water is made available to the general public for consumption, but of course the water is safe for human consumption, just a matter of personal choice if you want to be sure that you are drinking the best and the safest water quality for your drinking needs and the whole family.

Have a look at this article by The Daily Mail UK about how tap water can be unsafe for pregnant women as it doubles the risk of birth defects. Click here….

In case you want to get yourself a water jug that filters the water and gives you that amazing and healthy alkaline drinking water, please browse below…

BUY  an Alkaline water Jug and start being healthy:

Jumbo 3.5L Water Cleaning and Alkaline Jug by Optimised Energetics – this one says that it is BPA free, takes only 10 minutes to produce alkaline water, with 3 filters which is a good 6 months filtration. This product has  an excellent rating of almost 5 stars! So why not go for this? Top choice, if  you want my opinion……..

PureAire Alkaline Water Jug – claims to filter out chlorine and other contaminants, permanently absorbs metals such as lead and copper and reduces limescale. This jug has 39 customer reviews as of this writing and rated with 4 stars.

 

5. Skin Creams and Lotions

I have only been using calendula cream so far as I have not got the time to really go around the shops and explore what else to have for my skin condition so I guess the best way for me now is to look at Amazon for different products which according to my browsing has some reliable potential to them as per reviews and ratings and ingredients. So allow me to enumerate some below:

Number one on my list is the Enhanced Colloidal Silver 80% Amber Balm (100 ml)

This product has an impressive 76 customers reviews on Amazon UK as of this writing, that says a lot in terms of buying confidence. Ingredients wise, it has the ever-popular coconut oil that is soothing and natural and bergamot oil and contains true 80% colloidal silver.  It is recommended for various skin conditions affected by bacteria and fungi including psoriasis which is related to eczema.

Centella Psoriasis treatment cream – has herbal extracts and is suitable for eczema

British Naturally Anti-Bacterial, Anti-Microbial Hemp Oil Face & Body Wash Soap for Sensitive, Allergy and Trouble-Prone Skin –  claims to be calming to red, itchy and irritated skin and skin prone to eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis. Non-drying as it has hemp oil as an ingredient. 100% British, 100% biodegradable

All Natural Shampoo 250ml from Sensitive Skincare Co – a shampoo with 5-star ratings so this must be really good.  This product contains no irritating Sodium Lauryl/laureth Sulphate.

Green People Neutral Scent Free Shampoo & Conditioner Set –  I would say this is my best choice and I wish I could try this out as the positive points are quite convincing: good for people who may be prone to eczema and psoriasis and it also claims that it is ultra-gentle, fragrance free natural shampoo & conditioner for sensitive scalp. This garnered 5 solid reviews from customers, if you might want to know.

 

 

(Will add more choices later after I research more)

 

6. Change your Shower Filter System

This for me is a practical and helpful step for a myriad of benefits.

Using a shower filter can reduce contaminants in the water; it is also reported that fluoride in the  water is not a good thing. Plus this equipment will surely remove chlorine in the water which I think is harmful to us let alone those suffering with skin sensitivities like eczema and psoriasis, it is considered an irritant anyway (chlorine).

Aquatiere Deluxe In line  Re-fillable shower filter

– this products says it uses Ceramet ceramics and can  remove an impressive rate of 99% chlorine and impurities and inhibits bacterial presence plus it reduces heavy metals and scale. Replacement media lasts for up to 1 year. It is on sale now with a savings of £3 and is free UK delivery.

 

7. Commune with Nature

The best thing about this is it is free! A good walk around the parks or lush forests is always refreshing to both the body and mind. A walk can give you a new sense of direction and gives you grounding that can make you feel less spaced out or too focused about life’s  daily problems. Who needs problems? No one likes, neither do I. Walking can also allow our bodies to take a breather from the high-stressed situations that we innundate ourselves on a daily basis. And we need that renewed energy to take a closer look at our lives and the fine details  and hopefully learn to welcome our skin afflictions with more understanding  instead of fight or flight attitude. Again, this is all about lowering our stress levels in order to permit healing both in the mind and hopefully in the body, as a result.

 

8. Express Your Thoughts Through Writing

This suggestion is just my own alternative so far.

I believe that writing or keeping a journal where you can write your thoughts is therapeutic in many ways. It loosens up that uptight feeling that you have when you are beset with a skin illness that flares up in all sorts of situations plus compounded by the foods we eat let alone at home and in public places. Writing can also unload the burden of thinking that you have no control over the situation and with this you tend to bottle up all the feelings and negative thoughts that you can associate with suffering from all these skin conditions associated and brought on by a Leaky Gut and eczema, along with all the ‘itching’ and troubled diet choices  that one has to face on a daily basis.

So try keeping a journal whether it makes a difference or not, it is a good move. It also is one form of distraction to keep you from dwelling on the skin ailment every minute of the day. In fact, sometimes I tend to create the ‘itchy’ episodes myself when I gaze at my eczema patches for no reason. I look at it  and all of a sudden I start to peel one dry skin after another and the next time I know I have aggravated that part and it is all red and I go  ballistic with scratching and and looking for one dry skin after another until  the time that I reach for my cream and sit in silence and feel sorry and big time frustrated about the whole situation.

This is all for today but will enrich and add more to this article as I feel there are more to add

Thank you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Full Blown Eczema

It is 12.20 am now but I am still quite not sleepy so finally have the motivation to pen my second article, no more procrastination, hopefully. Plus my book about Food Intolerances has been lying around for about a week now, but I have been skimming over it on and off.  I find this book very, very full of eye-opening facts about my condition: eczema.

Eczema, Leaky Gut Syndrome and Food Intolerance

Eczema, Leaky Gut Syndrome and Food Intolerance

If ever you want to get a copy of this as it is quite full of facts plus there are actual places or clinics based in the UK where you can have the recommended tests. This is the first book I have come across that really gives you real facts and recommendations and case studies or findings about the conditions. It is also worth mentioning that the tests and recipes are very comprehensive. Thank you to Antony Haynes, top level nutritionist from Britain, and Antoinette Savill is an award-winning cookery writer and author especially about gluten-free cookbooks. But I will talk more about some information fragments I have managed to digest from the book in the latter part  of this writing as I have not really read it from start to finish.

 

What is Eczema anyway?

According to the National Eczema Society (www.eczema.org), it is a skin condition where you have dry skin, other terminology also would be dermatitis.  There are a lot of  eczema symptoms ranging from the mild ones where you have red and scaly, itchy skin, and on the other hand, a severe form it can give you weeping, crusting and bleeding skin, which consequently gives you more risk of infection.

PRO NATURAL PROBIOTICS

 

 

Why did I get Eczema?

As I have detailed in my first article, my diet was really bad.

The tipping point came as a shock to me on June 2011 when we were living in Pound Hill, Crawley. I was working in central London for almost a year that time as a dental receptionist for a very busy dental practice. The nature of my job was very demanding, patients would constantly be in and out in the practice, and the phone was nonstop, plus the dentists and dental nurses – it was very mentally stressful. This situation was obviously compounded by my daily journey on the train where I was up at 530 am for breakfast and by 630 am I was running on the road to catch my 6.56 train to London. And I would be home by 8 pm, sometimes 830 pm. So there is the picture of that daily grind.

To cope with the pressure, I was always eating yum yums pastry during lunch times. There were also times, around twice a week I would have lunch at the local Indian vegetarian restaurant for a buffet. Although it was mostly veggies, the dishes were really oily and spicy.. Then come rush hour after 6 pm I would be so tired by the time I arrive in London Victoria station, and the easy fix – was Mcdonalds. You see, my diet was really bad. In this situation, I had no discipline whatsoever about my food intake. I really did not care. But in June of that year, I reached the ‘tipping point’.

 

PRO NATURAL PROBIOTICS

 

Bad Food and the many causes of my eczema

Sugar Overload and pastries

I have mentioned before that I love eating cakes, and I love baking too. That makes it double the trouble. Maybe one of the reasons is that baking tends to give me that comfort that I am looking for when the weather is really bad and it is a rainy or cold night or it could be that I am just plain bored and homesick or my partner was away working and my being not able to drive does not help really, so food is my saviour and my distraction. But who does not love food?

On that one unfortunate Friday, I bought a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts. On that Friday night, I had 3 donuts. By Saturday, I had 3 donuts. By Sunday, I had more. By Monday, I had full skin breakout, itching, and reddish inflamed arms. Then the ‘oozing’ of overly scratched skin started to flare up. This was the point of no return.

I would like to share as much of my knowledge on here especially about what I have read about sugar as to how bad this element is. Why is it bad? Sugar is a ‘killer’ as labelled by media, the healthy side of media experts. The reason for this is that it promotes inflammation because your body’s blood sugar spikes up if you have too much of this in your food. When your blood sugar is high, your insulin production is also high, which then can have negatives health effects. Sugar is a high glycemic index kind of food, what this means is the rate at which it increases or decreases your blood sugar level. Needless to say, high sugar intake also leads to risk of developing Diabetes, as we all know.

What sugar does to your intestinal tract is damaging, what we call inflammation. According to an article on the Huffington Post, too much sugar sends the body to activate its immunity guards called cytokines, which are basically loose proteins (as defined by Wikipedia) that is very important on sending signals to the cells, and in this case, the body is under attack for inflammation, at least in my own interpretation. Then obviously when your body is under threat to inflammation, your adrenals get affected by the heavy stress it is subjected to. And this was pointed by my homeopath practitioner because she said I was under a lot of stress, my adrenals were in bad shape, so was my liver. In fact she gave me homeopathic pills to address my adrenal glands. (If you want to know more about homeopathy and finding a practitioner, you can go to this site and  explore it, British Homeopathic Association)

But this topic is worth talking about in my future writing assignments as it is worth expounding for and quite relevant to talk about as what really is related or precursor to eczema.

 

 

Fried Foods and Soy Sauce

We all know too well that eating fried foods is a big no no according to the health authorities so this is nothing new if I talk about it here but I just really want to show how devastating my affair with fried foods and especially soy sauce.

For me, anything not ‘fried’ is totally bland – and not worth my time. During shopping time I would pick the most attractive piece of belly of pork I can find – one with not too much lean part – otherwise it would be too dry for me when I cook it, there has to be a great deal of juiciness, so to speak. And what is the price to pay for this? Bad Health, that means high cholesterol and increases my body’s risk of inflammation from within be it high blood pressure or really endangering my arteries being clogged with fatty components. This also gets exaggerated by the fact that I am a visual person in reference to my appetite. And it does not take long for me to get interested in overeating especially if  I see something golden, crispy, and juicy. So much trouble for things that are forbidden.

I also would like to share how bad soy sauce is. Soy sauce is very typical of Oriental diet. We use it to marinate chicken, pork or beef,  before frying our main dishes that we eat at home, or at birthday parties and events. Plus my fondness for Chinese buffet deals during my time off from work is not helping at all as we all know that this sauce is a big part of the cuisine. Do you notice that after eating a lot of Chinese dishes in the restaurant, you get slight headaches or dizziness? For me it always happens, I get all a bit warm and with a slight headache. Why? According to Web MD, this is because of the high MSG content of the dishes. What is MSG? MSG is defined as monosodium glutamate, it is a food additive that gives so  much flavour to the dishes in Chinese foods and it is also a big part of soy sauce.

 

Natural Cure for Eczema

For a few days I tried to research online and tried to cure myself. I did buy some Epsom salts and ran warm baths. I also tried once or twice doing oatmeal baths, but no success. I can still remember I also put some herbs in the warm bath sessions, but it wasn’t working, I even put some olive oil in the water. There were times I tried putting some apple cider vinegar on my skin, but no luck. I also bought an alove vera cooling gel, but again, no luck with it.

Do I think having salt baths can help? I am not entirely sure about this as I had not given it enough time really in a sense that I can really say or feel and explore if it was of any help or not. It might be worth doing if you have a good week to give it a try but for me it made my skin even more dry when in fact I should be preserving more body oil in my skin as eczema is literally drying out my skin of its natural oil supply.

I also bought Flaxseed oil as when I was reading online it was mentioned as good for eczema in order to replenish your body’s lost oils. Well, I did use it for a few days, on and off. But then I abandoned it as, again, when I was rummaging the online world for eczema information I stumbled on an article that said Omega 6 promotes inflammation especially to your cardiovascular system, the heart. This was enough to turn me off. Oh yes, flaxseed oil is rich in Omega 3s but it also has Omega 6, which is a big turn off for me. What works for others might not work for me, simple. But my choice? I don’t want anything that has Omega 6 in it, just my personal health choice. In short, I binned my big bottle of Flaxseed oil.

What is weird too is that I tried exploring taking fish oil capsules but every time I do it,  I get funny with my breathing – I get all chesty and uncomfortable. I do not know the reason but it gives me panic so up to now I have not really gone back to give it another chance. It sounds similar to what happens to me if I eat a can of tune with sunflower oil in it. According to my knowledge, this kind of oil is bad as it promotes inflammation to your cardiovascular system, as per me online reading.

I almost forgot to mention that for a time I did use Sudocrem after shower but I stopped it as I was not getting anywhere with it. This is not to say it won’t work for others but in my case it was too artificial, aside from the fact that it was really cheap.

 

 

My Treatment with Homeopathy

Distress Signal

This was the time when I asked for the help of a homeopath practitioner as my two arms were now full of ‘scabs’, crusty and dried fluid from the broken skin.  According to NHS UK, homeopathy is a an alternative way of treating by the use of highly diluted substances, as claimed by the homeopath therapists.

 

I never really expected that homeopathy was the way forward for me, but I gave it a try. When you are desperate to be cured , or as I was crying out for my natural remedies  my eczema given the fact that I have tried almost a lot of things – I was really desperate.

What the sessions were like with homeopathy was after the first meeting I would see the therapist after one week then after that session would be two weeks, and then a month after, then a month, as needed. The sessions were mostly incorporated with one-on-one talk about my personal life, relationship, emotions, my childhood,  my job, among other things, of course the skin condition itself. She would give me some tiny pills or white seedlike remedies, maybe lozenges but they were so tiny as a dot, that I took about 3x a day. I was told  the aim of the remedies was curing from the inside, your emotions. This really I was very open to as I believed my disturbed emotions was the big root of my stress which showed on my skin and were triggered by my need to feel comforted through eating – binge eating, to be honest. Apart from these tiny pills, I was also given a tincture to support my liver, I think  it was Milk Thistle. But I guess the biggest catalyst that healed me exponentially was, Probiotic Capsules (vegetarian variety). I was given the vegetarian variety, maybe it was a better option to the other variety which some contains lactose. More importantly, two therapists from the past really endorsed the brand Higher Nature for its reputation in terms of the ingredients in their products compared to big commercial brands that I would rather not mention on here. I myself can personally vouch for my belief in this brand, just my personal experience and opinion.

My homeopath also advised me to avoid tuna as the bigger the fish the more toxins they have in them, fair enough, although tin of tuna in Olive oil or sunflower oil – my biggest favourite especially with mashed chilli peppers with a big bowl of  rice and fried eggs. She also sent me to a nutritionist friend of hers for a professional advice on my diet. I did see her once but after that I sort of drifted as I got busy or was tight with money. She put me on a supplement to help me with deficiency in nutrients due to my restricted diet. At that time too, I was only snacking on rice cakes, which was not very fun.

 

New Diet

As a big part of my ongoing homeopathic treatment that time, I was on a very strict diet overhaul or basically an eczema diet, so to speak. I was not allowed to eat meat for 3 months except fish about twice a week. I was not eating any fruit at all due to sugar content. I was not allowed bread or anything with flour and wheat, nor any fizzy drinks or cakes or desserts. My diet was basically more on chopped cucumber, celery, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with  Himalayan Pink Salt. Then some days I would boil Quinoa grains mixed with kale, or pak choi leaves with loads of extra virgin olive oil (I drizzle it on the food before I eat it) and use extra virgin coconut oil for cooking although there are times I had to use ordinary vegetable oil when I  do not have access to virgin coconut oil. I also would like to point out that my diet was loaded with chopped ginger especially into the Quinoa cooking. If you alien to Quinoa , it is a very popular and quite pricey superfood loaded with proteins. And you can find this now at health shops like Grape Tree (cheapest retailer and my favourite) or Holland and Barrett or  even at the local supermarkets now.

As a meat lover person, it was really painful for me to let go of eating pork ribs or my favourite oxtail slow cooked in soy sauce or the fatty belly of pork that I used to rub salt into then blast with oven cooking to get that crackling effect that I like. But my main motivation was I wanted to let go of the ‘agony’ when I just lay in bed and keep my whole body still and calm so I would not be tempted to scratch my arms. It is not a joke to watch myself with all the ‘scabs’ oozing as a result of my abusive diet all throughout the years with ‘me’ thinking that I can eat anything and I am super cool like a typical teenager who can just grab anything they want like a quarterpounder burger with a coke in can on the other hand. To be honest, this kind of thinking gives me that confidence that hey “Look at me, I am eating junk and I am not worried about it, what about you?” It sounds weird but that was the way how I felt about it, and sometimes, up to now, I still get those deluded moments, but it is time I should wake up to the reality that I am already 37 years old and things are not quite the same as when I was a teenager.

 

Cured from Eczema

On my 3rd month, to be exact, September that 2011, my skin was fully healed. This was my target for my zero bad food diet — to heal my skin as I was set to fly back home in Asia for my 1 month long holiday. i was very skinny that I was wearing size 28 trousers from a size 32, can you imagine? That was the only the good thing with it, I was not fat anymore. I was very proud of it. What a double bang, cured skin and then so slim which was an envy to some, or most of my friends, although typical people don’t really tell you their support and I could sense the sarcasm. Sometimes it is funny how people label you cruelly as fat when you gain weight then when you succeed at losing weight you still get criticisms like you are too skinny; it does not look good on you. It was getting irritating when I was home because my friends were so over the top about my weight loss to the point that you could sense they were trying to imply that I am sick with that nasty disease, try to guess what. So I had to constantly defend and explain what my condition was.

 

Eczema Cream

I must share on here that my biggest HERO up to now, with this I can’t survive a day without this cream by my side, I literally go in a very uncomfortable  mood. It is nothing else than my personal discovery, no one recommended it but I guess I just stumbled to it in one of my heavy researching online about my skin condition or maybe I was exploring that certain health shop and came across this. This cream I easily reach onto for help every time I sense that my skin is about to flare up with this world-wrecking itch that is very typical of eczema. Although there were times I tried making us of virgin coconut oil so I can save rather than keep on buying this tube of calendula cream which is about £4.39 but it did not work out as I found it too warm and it blocks the pores of my skin which to me made it more uncomfortable – there was no chance of drying up. I use about 1 tube a week during those days when my my skin was really ‘weeping’ and ‘oozing’ but now I sort of  use 1 to 2 tubes for a month.

But you are free to explore your choices of what brand of calendula cream to use and see how you get on with it. I did try Nelsons calendula cream but I only bought it once as I found it too watery in texture compared to this one I keep using up to now, it is more ‘buttery’ inconsistency, I prefer it that way on my skin. Feel free to explore some creams (I have not tried the creams below except for Nelsons and the one I am using is actually from Holland and Barrett but I think you can do better as for me it might not be that natural of a product and organic in terms of ingredients as what you can expect from mass production) available online so you have choices and ideas as to what is best for you in terms of reviews from users and of course, the price, ingredients, among other things. Here they are – Goat’s Milk Moisturising Cream, Flexitol Naturals Eczema and Psoriasis Cream, Xanderm Advanced Moisturising Cream, Nelsons Calendula cream.

 

 

My Thoughts on Eczema

I hope you have read a lot about my own journey with my skin condition. After all, that is my goal, that somehow someone out there who is suffering from this condition will not feel alone and can take one or two of an information straight from someone who is really been through it before.

But I have a surprise, a month ago, December 2014, my eczema came BACK. Now, I am dealing with it back to square one but with few new tricks to see if this will work. This is interesting as I did take some photos, this time, while before I did not. But anyone is free to contact me about it, if in doubt, and I am free to meet for tea or coffee if you are near me in Surrey). But then this news will give me an opportunity to write more about my journey with eczema, part two!

 

 

 

“Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.”

 

 

 

 

My Life with my Skin Rashes and Allergies

 

 

This might not be a good first article for my blog, but I have decided it will bring great awareness to other people  who are suffering with this condition, and that – to me – is  a strong reason that is enough to write about it in a personal level. I also hope that with this writing I can help those people searching for natural eczema products as a way on how to treat eczema naturally.

 

A child suffering from skin problems

Eversince I can remember, my resistance to skin problems has always been an issue. I can clearly remember that when I was in primary school I had this skin condition at the back of my knee, and I want to be blunt about it rather than be embarrassed, but I will use the medical term for it because if I write the common term for it on here – it gives me shivers and I cringe – it is called Tinea. And bless me, the only person that has initiated to give me relief from it, was my teacher. She powdered a penicillin capsule and mixed it with baby oil, gave it to me. Although after that I can still remember that the doctor prescribed anti-fungal creams, then from that time on I lived understanding that these creams were my ‘bestfriends’ that until today I still have one tube with me in case I get panicky about itchy things on my skin. I also want to add that I  easily develop ‘boils’. Again, I grew up wondering why but the past few years I learnt that it has something to do with my diet and my resistance, but this topic I want to reserve for my next writing task as I strongly feel that I can write with extensive regard about these things considering that it is based on a not-so-good personal experience.

PRO NATURAL PROBIOTICS

 

I also would like to stress my inborn skin problem which my mother and my aunt have got too,  Keratosis pilaris, or my doctor would give it a layman’s term: skin asthma. For those who don’t know a thing or two about this skin condition, you can read more about this through this link but bear in mind I have never used Magnesium for this condition which the article is all about the condition in relation to that mineral.

I never really gave this problem much attention compared to my severe dry skin problem. Maybe because my skin doctor told me way back then that it is not curable – nothing much she can do about it. She did try to let me apply sort of like a orangey peachy colour kind of liquid that resembled like Caladryl lotion that kids back home used to get when they have itchy skin. Had I known that there are online options for eczema cream uk products that I can choose, my healing would have been much easier.

Relocation and my bouts with dry and sensitive skin

So you might wonder why I have talked so much about the above introduction, let me explain.

I moved to the UK almost six years ago, June 2008, to be exact.  I came here to start a new life with my partner ( but sad to say things did not work out for over a year now) who is English while I am originally from the Far East. So from the time when I arrived here I was in a state of  ‘awe’ to how cheap and readily availabe pastries are in the supermarket whereas back home in Asia you only indulge in these sweet things if you are in a coffee shop, which doesn’t happen a lot, or you are in a birthday party. In short, my newfound addiction to pastries and dairy came about here in the UK. And there was no stopping me.

I then developed a routine of going to Greggs bakeshop on a daily basis to get my dose of caramel doughnut. Quite shocking, isn’t it? But that is how it unfolded. And when food shopping comes, we would pick a caramel ice cream or croissant with pecans. What I am trying to point here, is my change of diet – pastries and dairy. Not good.

From what I can remember, after a month of moving here, I developed a rather strange light black patch but scattered although confined in one area at the top of my buttocks area, in the middle sort of where the spine ends or above the coccyx — sort of like a mouldy look. With this panic scenario again, I went to buy a teatree antibacterial cream which I kept on putting daily but to no avail. It did disappear after about six months but  I can’t really say why or what I did to make it disappear. There were times I used epsom bath salts and soaked in it 3 or 4 times a week.

I also developed severe dry skin the moment I arrived, on my first shower. The conclusion was the water in the UK is full of calcium salts compared to back home. With this I started to use moisturisers or lotions which I used to hate back home, never did use it there.

PRO NATURAL PROBIOTICS

 

 

My Diet

I never really cared about what I eat anyway. I would, on a daily basis, eat white rice and mostly eat it with fried eggs – two, not one! It is fair to say that my daily meals will never be complete without eating meat like fried bacon, canned meat like Spam and corned beef.  And the worst part is, being an Oriental like me, we love soy sauce. I also loved prawns – heaven! I am generally mostly into ‘oily’ foods. While most English people shun fatty parts of pork or lamb meat, I don’t. I literally make sure I buy the fatty parts or else my braised pork dish is bland to my taste. In short, I was stubborn about avoiding fats for health reasons, plus maybe it is this illusion that my body back then was good as a teenager, deluded, I was.

What is frightening to recall was my fondness for prawns, and until about 4 months from the time I moved here, I became allergic. What happened?

I discovered this when I was at a Chinese buffet restaurant where I started to experience ‘palpitations’ and I could feel hot blotches on my cheeks — swollen small areas of my skin, quite bumpy when you touch it. So from that day on I became dependent on antihistamines. And up to this day, I panic at the thought of forgetting to bring my anti-allergy tablets with me, literally hidden inside my wallet. I forgot to say, I stopped eating prawns from that day, as far as I can remember, but let me say, I am quite in denial why I can’t enjoy prawns – they are the best thing for me; had to say bye bye to t-empura prawns and those crunchy coating – thanks to Japanese cuisine.

 

My Life as an allergy sufferer

Living a life with allergies is never easy. And I am very sure that there are a lot of people that are like me out there, here in the UK.

Speaking from personal experience, this is never easy. I could not go out without bringing a small canister with me filled with skin lotion. To be honest, I find it frustrating. Why can’t I just go out without so much fuss like the regular person next to me? Why do I have to panic at the thought of eating something in the restaurant that has got prawns in it? I realised, life will never be the same again, but it will have to be more of trying to adapt and being ‘friends’ with hypoallergenic lotions and the works. Welcome to the modern world!

To tell you more, this is one of the most frustrating part of my daily routine. My after shower moments. I can’t describe the intensity of that urge to scream due to the ‘itching’ to rub that itchy skin that you get after using the shower. Sometimes, I get bouts of an itchy scalp! But I am the type that I rarely get dandruff so I would not attribute it to that condition.

Sometimes I wonder why this is happening. I have many things on my mind about the reasons why people develop allergies but I won’t discuss it on here. (Reserve for my next writing piece)

There is no denying that my skin condition started me experiencing getting very short tempered and moody. Now, I can finally vouch that mood swings do happen. They are real, afterall.

Maybe, it has something to do with the state of being ‘irritable’ about the frustrating skin condition. You try hard to understand why this is such and such. You try to convince yourself that after a few days, you will get better, you will get back to that normal skin that you used to have. No complications whatsoever.

But with time you learn to accept, to the point that, you start to label yourself as someone with ‘sensitive’ skin. With this, you categorise yourself with the products you use like when you go to Boots to  buy cosmetics or bath products. And there is a certain degree of jealousy that I feel when I see other people use products that are mainstream and for the general public. I am also jealous of the fact that some people can literally pick up these fancy skin products that are so full of fragrance in them while for myself I have to make do with products like Simple with just 100% bland translucency in it. Exciting, not!

 

Skin Problems and Products

Throughout those years and up to now, I have used all sorts of products, some with good and bad results.

I recall when I was in my University days, my last year to be exact (1997 up to 1998), I was seeing a dermatologist regularly for a common problem: best acne treatment. Why? Mixed reasons, actually, For one, vanity. But it was more of how to get rid of pimples, to be fair. But back then my skin was overwhelmingly classed as ‘oily’. What a contradiction if you compare it what is happening with my skin today.

So those were the days where I started to use a facial cleanser recommended by my dermatologist because I was told I needed a ‘mild’ product for my skin, but all throughout I really liked it as it sounded like a status symbol to me, or that yearning to be different  from my peers. With this product I was able to wallow in my so-called ‘different’ sensitive skin connotation.

Are you wondering what this product is? It is called Cetaphil. Whether this product will work for you or not, the surest thing is, it is a mild cleanser, no irritants at all. It is best to consult with your skin doctor first as to what works best for you. This product worked for me and it might not work for you, it is a case to case basis, really. The bonus is, you get to hear it based on my personal experience with it.

As I was approaching my post-student years, my dermatologist changed my facial cleanser. This time she switched me to Vitamin E soap. I liked it so much that I used until about less than two years ago but I stopped it as I could not find a brand that I could replace the one I used to buy loads whever I go to Asia for holidays then bring it back with me to last me for a few months. If it helps, have a go at these selection and read through it and see if you like it. You can always ask my opinion about it but I am not an expert, I just like anything about Beauty products to keep the ‘reins’ in check as I am approaching 40 (oh no, age). Here is a Vitamin E soap for the face (click the bold link) and one more alternative, a serum which is originally for fine lines but this targets scars and blemishes so it is worth a try, Hope Skin Repair and Intensive Anti-ageing face oil serum with Vitamin E (the good news is it has no parabens and 100% natural).

Keeping back on track, let me talk about what I used and has been using, in reference to my very, very dry skin rashes from year 2008 up to now.

For body wash, I have been using shea butter enriched products. It is a very affordable product that I us when I take a shower. You must be familiar with it as it is all over the shelves in the supermarkets. Drum roll, pause, pause, it is called Simple Body Wash with Shea Butter. This one is more pricey than the regular ones like the vitamin enriched one or the clear or transparent bottle with Aloe Vera. In terms of what I have been using or used, I tried a lot. But I sort of becoming very loyal to anything with shea butter, to be honest. Why? As far as my personal research or reading reviews, she butter is very esteemed to be effective as it is a very rich material and it nourishes the skin like no another, at least to what I can personally vouch. But there are times I also  use coconut oil based body lotion, maybe on the days when I have no budget, no money, to be exact. These products are very affordable and you can look all over the shops and online. Pick your choice!

On a serious note, If I have the extra budget to really prioritise the after-shower condition of my skin – my whole body – I would choose better moisturiser or moisturizer (American spelling) products. By better, I mean more quality ingredients, not just generic and not just relying on eczema cream prescription and eczema cream over the counter options. You might say, ‘Oh I don’t want to be buying these over the top labels  that says ‘natural,’ or ‘paraben free,’ or the very overused word ‘organic’. I can’t blame you either. But here is the deal, people tend to splurge on gadgets like the new phone, Iphones. But when it comes to personal care, we tend to scrimp! In a biological point of view, our skin is our most important posession. Why? Without our skin our body will be exposed to different health problems. Our  skin is our greatest ‘wall’ againts the outside irritants and free radicals and even more serious terms like ‘sepsis’ – basically means a whole body infection when our body is infected with bacteria, according to Wikipedia.

 

My Goal

I have this feeling that my site’s predominant articles will be about allergies, skin condition, especially Eczema. But I will try hard to talk about many things that I can relate to so as not to make this as blog about allergies, otherwise I might as well get a new name for my site.

With this writing I am really hoping I can reach out to other people with their stories about suffering from skin allergies and bad diets. I have finally found a writing haven where I can share my stories although there were times that it  really held me back thinking that my experiences with this is not valid enough or not a big impact to merit an attention, but hey, why should I worry about that now? As long as I try my best to be genuine about my journey with this skin conditions, it might be a relief to some if they can identify with me and corroborate some daily encounters with having a very sensitive and dry skin.

 

Do you suffer from allergies?

Please share your experiences via the comment box below………

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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