ECZEMA, ITCHY SKIN, SKIN ALLERGIES

2010/03/12
Published

This is the first of many articles that will address key aspects of disorders affecting skin to cause eczema, hives, skin rashes, itchy skin, flaky skin, skin sensitivities and skin allergies in general. It is based upon the clinical findings of Immune Matrix and in sharing this information you will become empowered to take action, find answers and better care for you and your loved ones suffering with skin conditions.

From a clinical perspective, those suffering irritating skin conditions have a few things in common:

1)      their bodies are struggling to release toxins

2)      their immune system is in a state of heightened alert

3)      they have developed sensitivities to certain foods

4)      they have dysbiotic gut flora

5)      they have systemic and/or chronic candida in their gut

The body uses the skin as a means of excreting toxins that it cannot otherwise excrete through the bowels and through the kidneys in urine. When the detoxification pathways of the liver become inefficient, circulating extra-cellular toxins can be purged through the skin resulting in increased skin rashes, eruptions, skin patches anywhere on the body. They initially may not be itchy but can become itchy as the excretions from the skin begin to irritate the skin.

Some individuals will suffer sudden bouts of skin eruption that stay for a few weeks and disappear, never to return. Immune Matrix has seen such cases result from a toxic exposure. One case was accidental toxic exposure to ant insecticides the residue of which was not cleaned up sufficiently such that the cookware became contaminated. The most sensitive and toxic individual in the house started to have unexplained itchy skin rashes. Another case was traced to exposure to fumigants from imported spices. Another case involved one too many mercury amalgam fillings. Another case involved a flu shot that tipped him over the threshold of toxicity such that he began to suffer skin rashes.

The toxic exposure type rashes come on suddenly, may or may not be itchy, and can be located anywhere over the body. They can spread if scratched and will disappear gradually over time. If the person does not eliminate their toxic exposure or continues to accumulate toxicity, then the frequency of their skin eruptions will continue until they begin to regularly suffer from food sensitivities that provide constant immune “fuel” per se to allow these rashes to persist.

Many cases of unexplained skin rashes occur a few months after the first mercury amalgam filling is put into a child’s mouth. This also occurs after a baby or infant completes a certain amount of vaccinations. The heavy metal burden for that child reaches a certain level that the liver is unable to excrete the circulating heavy metals. As a result the immune system starts to recognize that which it is compelled to eliminate from the blood and lymphatic fluids. In previous articles we discussed the interplay between the immune system and detoxification. Once the immune system becomes overloaded with “antigens” that it must remember as a result of toxic overload, one begins the cascade of developing increasing sensitivity to food and topical products that were never previously a problem, and the rash becomes chronic.

More chronic and repetitive rashes such as eczema are those that come from food. Certain foods are more likely to promote skin rashes. Shellfish is to be avoided with those suffering from itchy skin conditions, such as hives and eczema. Hot natured spices such as cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, clove, chili powder, curry spice mixes, mustards, oregano, red peppers, lamb, and garlic are of such a nature that they add additional heat to the body causing the skin outbreaks to be hotter at night, itchier, and redder. However, this is not the cause for the skin condition.

Therefore, reducing one’s toxic load is essential. You start by eliminating the foods most likely to aggravate your skin eruptions, such as hot natured foods. You eliminate shellfish to reduce the itchiness of the rashes. Immune Matrix also tells its patients to eliminate temporarily all acidic foods, such as orange juice, grapefruits, tomato paste, oranges, lemons, and limes.

Immune Matrix also advises its patients to eliminate moldy foods, meaning those foods that harbor mold, yeast and fungus. These foods are: cantaloupe, grapes, raisins, strawberry, oats, peanuts, and cheese. Patients are often sensitive to the mycotoxins and food-borne molds. By eliminating hot spicy foods, acid, foods, shellfish and moldy foods, you greatly reduce the number of factors that trigger a heightened immune response that will prompt the body to react by heightened inflammation manifesting through the skin.

In many severe and chronic cases of eczema, the patient is sensitive to wheat smut, and gluten and gliadin, proteins found in wheat and white flour. Eliminating gluten from the diet is essential to allow the eczema to resolve. Immune Matrix has cases where the type of rash is more like a boil and can occur on the hands and feet and erupts within 24hr to 36hrs after eating gluten. These patients can be de-sensitized to gluten and gliadin but the de-sensitization is not complete in the sense that the presence of gluten, gliadin or one of its 32 protein metabolites can trigger an interleukin response to different tissues in the body, one of which is skin. Patients receive greater tolerance to the occasional treat of gluten product but soon learn their tolerance levels when their eruptions start to begin.

In a majority of cases, those patients suffering from skin conditions do have some degree of leaky gut caused by dysbiotic flora in their digestive tract. Bacteria that should not be growing there consist of clostridium, Cryptococcus, echinococcus, enterococcus, pseudomonas, streptococcus, and staphylococcus, or bacteroides. The ill effects of these silent bacterial colonies is subtle and their numbers crowd out beneficial bacteria that make vitamin B12 in our system. These bad flora contribute to creating “holes” in the intestinal lining of our digestive tract allowing undigested food to “leak” into our blood stream where the white blood cell develops a memory for the undigested food, thus creating a food sensitivity to those foods we eat most often. The more our white blood cells feel the need to recognize particulate matter in our blood stream, whether that should be a circulating toxin or a circulating undigested food particle, the more our immune system will be triggered causing inflammation that can manifest as a skin rash, and develop into chronic eczema.

The immune system of the skin is different from the immune system in the blood, but there is cross-communication. For simplicity sake without going into the details of the mechanism here, the more reactive one’s immune system is in general, the worse the skin’s immune reaction can be to a food substance. This is why it is essential to calm down the immune system to allow the skin eruptions and chronic eczema to calm down. Eliminating hot spicy foods, moldy foods, acid foods and shellfish are essential.

Next is to eliminate foods that deplete the body of B vitamins. Coffee, chocolate and nuts should be avoided for this very reason. However, it is not enough to just eliminate these foods. People suffering skin disorders often are deficient in B12 and B complex vitamins as well. People suffering from skin disorders also tend to be more sensitive emotionally and may mask or hold in their emotional reactions to stressors around them, such as family stress and work stressors. Stress also depletes the body of B vitamins. To assist your body in handling stress in general, it is advised to take a B complex daily. Many patients begin to see a subtle resolution on B vitamins. A sublingual B12 is also recommended.

A favorite and highly effective sublingual B12 Immune Matrix uses in the clinic is called Beyond B12 which contains 5-tetra-hydroxy-folate also, essential for the liver detox pathway. It is like having two supplements in one and can be purchased at the online store at www.immunematrix.com ( Beyond B-12 – 40 tablets SKU: SKU16163).

Having one’s cortisol levels are essential to be checked because elevated cortisol directly increases inflammation and can be a key indirect cause for increasing the severity and frequency of eczema rashes and angry, itchy skin eruptions. It is a simple saliva test that can be done at home and mailed into the lab. It can be ordered online at www.immunematrix.com , online store under Labs (Cortisol/Saliva Test – Diagnos-Techs,Inc.
SKU: SKU16265 ). If cortisol is elevated at any of the four times of day tested then steps need to be taken to reduce the elevated cortisol to have any hope of resolving the skin disorder.

Checking one’s stool with Doctor’s Data Microbial Stool test kit is also essential to determine the identity and level of probiotics in the digestive tract, the identity and number of pathogenic bacteria, yeast and fungi and what they are resistant and sensitive to prescription and non-prescription wise. This kit is also available online (Microbiology Stool (Doctor’s Data) SKU: SKU16263) This information is essential to begin to get to the source of why your body is choosing to have skin eruptions.

If you did not know the contributing factors pushing your body towards chronic eczema and other skin disorders, then your only relief would be to take steroids which suppresses your immune system. However, we need an active vital immune system and suppressive therapy only works short term. Patients coming off of immune suppressive steroids have a rebound effect of skin eruptions, often worse than the initial eruptions.

Other patients on suppressive immune therapy develop asthma. It is well know in Chinese medicine that the lung and digestive tract systems are energetically linked. What affects one system impacts the other system. For example, those individuals who struggle to digest lactose, milk sugar, tend to have more mucous in their bowels and it manifests as more sinus conditions, sinusitis, chronic stuffy noses, ear infections, and lung and bronchial congestion from accumulated mucous. It is said in Chinese medicine that suppressing one organ can drive a disorder to the “paired” organ. Therefore the progression of skin rashes, hives, to eczema and then to asthma is not uncommon! If you or your child had eczema and you thought it was resolved and now only suffer from asthma, take heed….the condition was only driven deeper generally from a steroid.

You can take steps now to peel off the layers that contribute to having a body that manifests inflammatory skin conditions by taking the action steps outlined above. Future articles concerning sugar digestion, adrenal fatigue, chronic candida and yeast infections, food allergies, food sensitivities, heavy metal toxicity, and mold sensitivities will be of additional assistance to you in understanding the complex web that contributes to the development of any chronic inflammatory condition.

Please note:
Information on this site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

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Anna Manayan

Anna Manayan