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Can A Plant-Based Diet Help With Eczema?

If you’ve become a member of our family at Urban Athlete in Mt. Airy, you know we approach good health by promoting a healthy lifestyle that includes a nutritional information and regular exercise. Both of these make a big difference in your overall health. Some clients have requested help with eczema and wondered if a plant-based diet could be the solution. Every person is different. There’s no one cure-all or benefit that helps eczema across the board, which is why we suggest you always talk with your health care professional. However, there is some evidence that your diet can play a major role in eczema flare-ups.

What is eczema?

There are a number of different types of eczema. Some cause a rash, some just cause dry or itchy skin. The eczema may be atopic dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, nummular eczema, stasis dermatitis and dyshidrotic eczema. Some common causes of the problem include food sensitivities, leaky gut, nutritional deficiencies, gut microbiome imbalance, stress and environmental and chemical toxins.

If food sensitivities are a problems, wheat and dairy are often the cause.

Some people have problems with both gluten and dairy that cause digestive issues that include gas, bloating and diarrhea. Others show their sensitivity to food with eczema and other symptoms. Food sensitivities may take up to 72 hours to show symptoms and those symptoms may be mild, so they aren’t normally noticed. They continue to build up, causing inflammation until eczema is finally triggered. In addition to dairy and wheat, peanuts, soy, shellfish and seafood can create a problem.

A plant-based diet can address several potential causes.

Not all people get relief from a plant-based diet, but many do. It may be dairy or seafood was the offender in some cases. The plant-based diet may also address nutritional deficiencies that can cause the problem. Disruptions in the gut microbiome can be improved with a plant-based diet. If you have an overgrowth of yeast or lack of beneficial microbes, that can cause inflammation, which can lead to gut infections and leaky gut, both of which have been identified as causes of eczema. A plant-based diet can also help reduce stress, another trigger for eczema.

  • The National Eczema Association recommends focusing on gut and immune health, which means including foods high in vitamins A, C and D, food high in fiber and foods high in zinc. Fiber and vitamin C are found primarily in plant based diets.
  • Keeping a food journal may help you identify any food that is causing the problem. Since it may take a day for the reaction, it could cause several months to see the connection. Always take your food diary with you to your health care professional.
  • While dairy may cause a problem and be the source of many food allergies, one study showed that children who drank more fresh milk tended to have fewer outbreaks with less severe symptoms. Not only does that show how different each individual is, it also may show how age may play a role.
  • A strict vegetarian diet may actually cause nutritional deficiencies, so it needs to be well planned or use a less stringent regimen that is primarily plant-based, but also allows some animal products.

For more information, contact us today at Urban Athlete


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