The Elimination Diet & Eczema
There is an old saying “you are what you eat” and this is somewhat true. Eczema sufferers are right to be concerned about how their diet affects their eczema condition. Some sufferers have had success with an eczema elimination diet that has not only helped with their eczema but also resulted in them feeling better as well.
Elimination Diet for Eczema
The concept of an elimination diet is simple. You will eliminate certain foods to see what affect this has on your eczema. Gradually you add back foods eliminated to your diet one at a time to determine which groups of foods are intolerable and which are suitable for you.
A number of people have used a diet to eliminate eczema as well as other conditions such as fibromyalgia, acne, food allergies, chronic fatigue and asthma to a degree of success. The reason for the success is that some food compounds can cause allergic reactions or inflammation in the gut. This can trigger allergic reactions to other parts of your body.
If you want to embark on an eczema elimination diet plan, always bear in mind that this is a temporary diet change. When you find a food or food group that triggers your eczema you can decide to remove it from your diet altogether or reduce your intake of that food which is what most people do.
There are some food groups that the medical world already know are the most likely to cause allergic reactions and it is a good idea to start eliminating these. These food groups include:
* Tree nuts
So we recommend that you start eliminating these food groups from your diet for a specific time period (e.g. 3 to 4 weeks) and then slowly incorporate them back into your diet to identify if any of them cause an allergic reaction.
The Eczema Elimination Diet Concept
Here is an example of how an elimination diet for eczema in adults could work:
Day 1 – Start to eliminate food groups e.g. eggs, gluten. Shellfish
Day 2 to Day 14 – If you have eliminated the right food groups then your eczema symptoms should diminish
Day 15 – Reintroduce one of the food groups back into your diet e.g. eggs
Day 16 and Day 17 – Stop eating eggs and look for symptoms
Day 18 – Reintroduce gluten
Day 19 and Day 20 – Stop eating gluten and look for symptoms
And so on…
As you can see this is a simple concept to follow but it can be one of the best natural eczema treatments around. The medical world believes that there is a link between eczema and food allergy and that eating certain foods or food groups can make eczema conditions worse.
How to Approach an Elimination Diet for Eczema
Talk To Your Doctor
Before you start your eczema elimination diet plan we recommend that you discuss the situation with your doctor. It is important that you get all of the nutrients and vitamins that you need on a daily basis. So your doctor can help with advice on a well balanced diet plan.
Make a Commitment
You need to be committed to an eczema elimination diet. Take the time to write down why you are going ahead with it and keep this visible at all times. If you use a journal, write a daily entry on how well you are progressing. Sometimes it might be tough for you to stay away from eliminated foods so you need a strong “why”.
Use Available Resources
There are plenty of food allergy resources online for you to research the kinds of foods that can possibly trigger allergies that affect eczema. You can visit forums and see what other eczema sufferers are doing and you will find a number of books on the subject.
Form a Support Group
Tell your family and others close to you that you are starting an eczema elimination diet plan. Explain why you are doing it and how important it is to have their support. There are plenty of recipes that you can find that will not include the foods that you want to eliminate. The more prepared you are the more likely you are to succeed.
Start Eliminating Recommended Foods
Ask your doctor which foods you should eliminate first. It is very likely that they will recommend some of the foods that we listed as the most likely to cause allergens. You also need to decide how long you will eliminate the food for – there is no hard and fast rule here but if you have suffered from eczema for a long time then go for a month at least.
Track Your Elimination Diet
Keep track of what you are doing and how you are feeling with regular journal entries. This is important for monitoring any changes when you eliminate a food and reintroduce it. You do not want to guess what is working and what isn’t.
Start Reintroducing Foods
Be sure to reintroduce eliminated foods into your diet and watch carefully for any reactions to particular foods. Discuss the best way to reintroduce the foods with your doctor. Reintroduce foods one at a time and then wait at least 4 days to see what happens. Then you can reintroduce the next one.
Determine Action Against Occasional Food Reactions
If you discover a food that causes a reaction discuss with your doctor how you should handle it. For example if you can consume the food once in a while without any reaction then you may want to include this on a rotational diet basis to prevent a full blown food allergy.
Think Long Term
Always treat an eczema elimination diet as a long term plan. It takes time to heal your body from within. Continue with other treatments to minimize dry skin, itching and redness and keep your doctor informed of your progress.
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