Are you experiencing eczema, or you know someone who is? Do you know how intimately connected the microbiome is to eczema and how you can begin to look at the root causes of eczema instead of just treating the symptoms?
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What is eczema?
If you have it, you know it all too well, but essentially, it’s atopic dermatitis. It can contribute to dry, itchy, red, bumpy, and scaly skin patches.
What causes eczema?
1. Altered microbiome
Research shows that there is a link with an altered microbiome in infancy that contributes to eczema. This can be dysbiosis, an imbalance of good and bad bacteria, as well as leaky gut, i.e., intestinal permeability, that can contribute to this inflammatory condition.
What are some things that could cause an altered microbiome early on? Were you born via C-section or vaginally, breastfed or bottle-fed? Now, of course, those things you can’t change, but you want to know if that contributed to an altered microbiome right from the beginning. How was your mother’s overall microbiome? Were you exposed to antibiotics early on? When you were introduced to complementary foods? Also, did you have any other illnesses, antibiotics, or medications that could have contributed to that early on in life?
2. Food allergies
About 30 percent of children with eczema have food allergies. This could be things like soy, eggs, cow’s milk, nuts, shellfish, or gluten — all of these things can potentially be food allergies. It’s worth testing for those to really understand if that could be a root cause.
3. Nutrient deficiencies
Another root cause is nutrient deficiencies or insufficiencies. Deficiencies in essential fatty acids, zinc, vitamins A, B, C, D, and E can contribute to eczema.
4. Other conditions
Other conditions, such as hyperthyroidism, celiac disease, and secondary infections, can be associated conditions. It’s worth exploring if there’s something else other than leaky gut and nutrient deficiencies that are contributing to this inflammatory condition.
What are the other triggers of dry skin?
We can think about things like low humidity, UV radiation, chlorine, detergents, and other skin products that might be irritants. There are a lot of other things that could contribute. Let’s not forget emotional stress, too!
Emotional stress is one of the biggest inflammatory drivers. In working with patients, although I’m still trying to get to the root cause of what might be happening in their gut and microbiome, I am also absolutely addressing the stress component, which tends to exacerbate symptoms.
In summary, if you or someone you know is experiencing eczema, instead of focusing on topical solutions, it is imperative that you really begin to dive into the root cause(s).
If this is you or it’s somebody you know and love, make sure that you share this information with them. Make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel, The Movement Paradigm, for weekly tips on mindset, nutrition, and movement.
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Other things that may interest you:
How Your Vagus Nerve Affects Your Gut Health
Leaky Gut: The Root of Chronic Disease