Typical atopic eczema behind the knees
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Typical atopic eczema behind the knees

It is estimated that 40%-50% of the population suffer from one or a combination of the above. The main factor that relates to these is the mucosal barrier, whether that be on the outer skin (in the case of eczema), the inner lining of the lungs (as with asthma) or the nasal passages (as with hayfever).

For many of these, this mucosal defence starts within the gut as part of defence between our digested food and our blood stream. What factors contribute:-

• Genetic background and the mother’s balance of gut flora and immunity coupled with exposure to food and inhalant allergens, antibiotics and insufficient nutrients whilst pregnant

• Reduction in immunity due to lack of gut flora

• Intestinal permeability (the defence system of the mucosal barrier)

• Certain foods

• External toxins found in the home and environment

The following may be helpful in conjunction with a Nutritional Therapist: –

• Firstly remove the offenders e.g. food, environmental toxins or inhaled allergens. These may need to be identified via IgG and IgE blood tests (see a Nutritionist)

• Create a hygienic home free from pesticides, chlorinated water, plastics and parabens (in body products)

• Increase the gut flora, stomach acid and digestive enzymes if needed

• Repair the mucosal barrier with healing foods, vitamins, fats and supplements

• Add anti-inflammatories such as herbs • Saline irrigation for hayfever • Use occlusive moisturisers and topical antibacterials for skin conditions (as well as working from the inside with immunity and diet)

• Check vitamin D levels which are usually compromised and improve allergies

• Rebalance stress which is proven to aggravate allergic symptoms. Meditation has been shown in studies to decrease gut permeability

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