A long time eczema sufferer, in the past I always took a ‘topical’ approach to fighting the issue, which is part of the allergic triad – along with asthma and allergies - that plagues so many people, many of which tend to rotate through the three at various stages in their life.
I’ve tried all sorts of creams – both professionally prescribed and natural – and use some great oils like Sans’ Activator 7 Body Oil to keep the itches at bay. In light of the recent drop in temperature (and turning on of my heat pump) I asked
Debora-Dale Young, pharmacist and one of the natural health experts at Clinician’s for some advice about how supplements can help protect my skin further, and got some great advice.
I’d heard that probiotics can make a huge impact on eczema, and Debbie pointed me in the direction of Clinicians MultiFlora Digest (pictured) - taking 1 capsule twice daily for 4 - 6 weeks, then going to 1 capsule daily to support the balance of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract. Approximately 70 per cent of the immune system is in the digestive tract, in an attempt to protect us from what we eat, drink and breathe. There is a constant interaction between the gut flora, the lining of the digestive tract and the immune system, and as any naturopath will tell you: it all starts in the gut.
Next up she recommends adding some EPO into my life, which can be easily done with Clinicians Evening Primrose Oil (take 3 capsules daily for at least 3 months). Depending on how much oily fish you eat, you may like to pop 2 capsules daily or Clinicians Krill Oil with NZ Salmon 500mg at a dose of 1 capsule daily. EPO contains GLA, which helps to down-regulate inflammation in the body and is especially good for moisturising skin. It is also a form of Omega-6 and works hand in hand with Omega-3, but both need to be balanced in the body for best effects. You could say that having the right balance of Omega's 3 and 6 effectively moisturises us from the inside out as the are both critical for the healthy cell membrane function. Most of our biological processes occur either in, on or near a cell membrane, and healthy cell membranes mean healthy cells which helps support organ health, and correspondingly every day health.
Lastly, she says “if the eczema has flared up recently, consider checking if any of the following has changed recently: stress levels, sleep patterns, cleaning products, washing products, use of chemicals at work or during recreational time, skincare and personal products.”
She also says to consider food intolerances – “what have you been eating more of recently, that you were not before, do you feel tired after eating certain foods, get stomach pains, diarrhoea or constipation? Do you have half moon shapes on all your finger nails and not just your thumbs?” If the answer is no you need to support stomach acid production, as this is key for optimal digestive and immune health.
For further information on the products mentioned above go to the clinicians website www.clinicians.co.nz - it is seriously a mine of information!Tweet