Dr. Denny Tang
FHKCFP, DPD (Cardiff)
Last time, I mentioned the common approaches to deal with eczema and the relationship between eczema flares and gut health. This episode I will share with you, starting with intestinal health eczema treatment.
We can start from the 4R approach, namely ‘Remove’, ‘Replenish’, ‘Replace’ and ‘Reinnopolate’.
‘Remove’ means eliminating intestinal ‘evil’ bacteria; ‘Replenish’ means adding probiotic back to the gut, restoring normal function; ‘Replace’ means replacing enzyme, for which the reason is that after the intestinal inflammation occurs, pancreatic enzyme secretion function is decreased and gastroenterological problems like stagnation and stomach gas may occur. So enzyme replacement is needed. ‘Reinnopolate’ means repairing intestinal health by ingestion of amino acids, omega-3, vitamins and so on.
To find out what foods or substances exactly is causing leaky gut, you can do a food allergy test. By ferreting out the source and following strict food elimination diet based on the test results, the toxins accumulated in the body can be discharged and the bowel function can be restructured. Desirable effects can be seen after a period of time.
In conclusion, you don’t need to worry about the occurrences of eczema flare persisting less than three months. There was a case of a male patient in his 30s, who never suffered from eczema before. He has developed eczema after he ate scallop. There are two reasons: firstly, he was born with scallop allergy; secondly, the scallop he ate contained heavy metals. If the heavy metals in the body have accumulated to a certain level (possibly the threshold level), at which he ate two to three scallops, allergies will immediately appear. In fact, to a certain extent, our body is able to excrete toxins by themselves. Perhaps, after a couple weeks when he drinks more water or goes to saunas, his problem may then disappear. But because he accumulated a certain amount of toxins in the body, the same condition may appear again in three months or a year later. It is unnecessary to worry too much in the beginning, but you should face it up in the long run because too many toxins in the body could cause cancer. When a little problem shows up, it means a health warning lights up. Eczema is a problem of moment, but what will happen 30 years later? We should look a little further. The most important thing is to remember to identify the ‘bottleneck’, finding out the real cause of the disease. Three main reasons in my view: Firstly, leaky gut; secondly, imbalance of immune system; thirdly, toxin overload - having excessive toxins in our body.
Shortly after the baby of Mrs. Wong was born, eczema appeared on the baby. At few months old, the baby’s situation had been very serious and no improvement was seen, even Mrs. Wong brought her baby to several doctors. At one years of age, eczematous skin spread all over the body of the baby, especially the joints positions. The baby often scratched itchy skin until bleeding wounds were resulted, which was difficult to heal. Then, the baby took an allergy test which found that the baby was allergic to fish, yet prawns and crabs were all fine. People of the last generation eliminate foods based on their experience, usually including shrimp and crab. However, due to the current pollution, the situation of immune system disturbance is more severe than the previous generation. So if your blindly empirical dieting is not helpful, you should find out where the bottlenecks is before the appropriate remedy can help.