Eczema is a hereditary and chronic skin disorder that causes the skin to itch, turn red and flake. It mostly affects infants or very young
children and may last until the child reaches adolescence or adulthood. Triggers such as environmental and bacterial irritants, allergies and stress make the condition acute.
About ten percent of children with eczema have food sensitivities or allergies that make the symptoms worse. The most common foods that trigger eczema symptoms include soy, dairy products, yeast-based products, egg-based products, wheat-based products, fish, nuts, citrus and acidic foods, and artificial sweeteners or chemicals. Most of such food triggers come when the nursing mother has avoided such foods in her diet. Although most children outgrow such food sensitivities, allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish may be lifelong.
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Soy products rank at the top of the foods that cause eczema. The physic acids present in soybeans block the intake of essential minerals in the colon tract. This not only triggers allergic eczema, but can also contribute to thyroid dysfunction. People with a history of eczema therefore need to avoid most soy products such as soymilk, tofu, soy yogurt, baby formula, soy cheese, soy protein and soy flour used for baking.
Casein, a protein in milk cause allergy that contributes to eczema. Consumption of milk moreover leads to over stimulation and weakening of the lower stomach, destroying the functioning of body cells and causing hydrochloric acid deficiency which can lead to cell irritation, skin rashes, hives and many other allergies.
Dairy products that pose the maximum risk for eczema include cow’s milk and cheese. Products such as curd, yogurt and chocolate may also contain cow’s milk, and as such rank amongst the foods to avoid with eczema. Raw goat milk, raw goat cheese and milk from nuts or rice make good alternatives.
Yeast overgrowth causes chronic eczema in many people. The yeast in breads ferments in the human body and causes fungus and germs to thrive in the intestines, causing allergies. The alternatives include consumption of breads made from sprouted grains or millet.
A common cause of eczema is gluten found in wheat, rye, barley and oats. Gluten intolerance, or the inability of the body to break down gluten, causes skin irritations leading to eczema.
People suffering from eczema should avoid wheat-based products and cereals such as bread, bagels, crackers, donuts, pancakes, barley, oats and rye. The alternative is wheat-free foods found in most health stores.
Peanuts trigger eczema breakouts in some people. People with eczema should avoid not just direct consumption of peanuts, but also many packaged foods and some Asian recipes that contain peanuts. In addition to peanuts, walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts and pistachios can also cause the same reaction and rank among the foods to avoid with eczema.
Continue to page 2 for more foods to avoid with eczema.
Omega-3 fatty acid found in fish and fish oil cures eczema, and early introduction of fish may mitigate eczema symptoms in some people.
Seafood such as shellfish, salmon, tuna, lobster, mussels, calms, crabs however contain proteins that trigger eczema in some people causing their inclusion in foods to avoi with eczema for some people.
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The list of foods that cause eczema also include:
- Citrus and acidic fruits such as tomatoes, orange, lemon, strawberries, plumps, blueberries and prunes
- Saturated fats such as those found in meats, especially poultry, and dairy and refined foods
- Artificial sweeteners containing chemical additives such as amino acids, aspartic acid, phenylalanine and methanol, a deadly metabolic poison
- Food colorings and food additives such as tartrazine, sodium benzoate and glutamate
In some cases, symptoms of eczema such as acute itching or scratching, redness, swelling, irritation, or even abdominal pain, vomiting, wheezing, itchy eyes and sneezing may develop within two hours of consumption or contact with the food making identification easy. In other cases, symptoms of food sensitivity develop six to 24 hours after consumption of the trigger food. Commonly delayed symptoms include worsening of itching, abdominal pain and diarrhea.
The best way to identify a suspect food is through an elimination diet plan by maintaining a diary over four to six weeks to record all food and drink consumed and symptoms, and then following a stop-restart-stop pattern of the suspected food, with the help of a dietician. Other options include scratching the skin with the food source, and taking a blood test.
Identification of food sensitivity and stopping such food source rarely cure eczema and usually only contribute to lessening of the symptoms.
This article does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to treat. Please refer to a certified physician or dietician to treat, cure, or cope with eczema.
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- Patent UK. Eczema. Triggers and Irritants. https://www.patient.co.uk/health/Eczema-Triggers-and-Irritants.htm. Retrieved 14 October 2010.
- Eczema Guide. Eczema Trigger Factors to Avoid. https://www.eczemaguide.ca/eczema_care/triggers_to_avoid.html Retrieved 14 October 2010
- Which Foods Cause Eczema. https://www.foodintol.com/food_intolerance/cause_eczema.htm. retrieved 14 october 2010
- Oregon Health and Science University. Food Allergies in Children. https://www.ohsu.edu/xd/health/health-information/topic-by-id.cfm?ContentTypeId=90&ContentId=P01993. retrieved 14 October 2010.