Tag Archives: skin rash

Eczema and Food Allergies Often Go Hand and Hand

Eczema causes an itchy and sometimes painful rash, blisters, and dry, rough skin. It is typically a chronic problem with times of improvement followed by worsening. Typical parts of the body are involved (e.g. arms, legs, hands, face) and there is usually a family history of allergy. One of the most common triggers that is often neglected = food allergens.

There’s a selection from the National Eczema Association:

I have been an eczema sufferer since age 17, and I am now 44. The eczema started on the inner elbows of my arms. Then my hands were affected; I would get these very small blisters that intensely itched, and then my fingers would swell and weep. In a Scratch Pad letter, a gentleman suggested going on an elimination diet. This meant eating nothing but chicken, broccoli, and cauliflower for about a week, then adding certain foods back in to the diet to see what was causing the itch. This was a very difficult thing to do! But after three days I noticed the itching on my hands was gone. After thinking the problem was wheat for a while, I finally pinned it down to tomatoes/ tomato sauce, and soda pop/coffee. Pinpointing a food was  difficult since my itching usually started the morning after eating an offending agent. A food diary can be helpful. Good luck on your journeys.

Ann Lee

Food allergens can be identified via eliminating suspected foods and reintroducing foods to see if there are notable symptoms. Another option of identifying food allergens is food allergy blood test. Blood test can show if food allergens create an immediate or a delayed response. For more information on Food allergy testing, please contact Dr. Lee at 206-3195322 or info@seattlenaturopathiccenter.com, Seattle Naturopathic Center.

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Filed under Allergies, Eczema, Food allergy, Inflammation, Skin Conditions

Get You Daily Dose of Sunshine

Sunlight provides us with good levels of vitamin D, a vitamin and also a hormone with several functions. It is thought to help protect us from cancer, TB, osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, hypertension, and possible some as-yet unknown disease. Vitamin D is manufactured from cholesterol when skin is exposed to ultraviolet rays from the sun and it is difficult to get enough from diet alone.

The most well known result of severe vitamin D deficiency is rickets, a disease causing crippling bowlegs. That is because vitamin D is necessary for the proper absorption of calcium and magnesium, needed for good bone density. In adult, vitamin D deficiency can lead to osteomalacia and is caused by an inability to absorb both calcium and phosphorus, for which vitamin D is necessary.

Vitamin D has recently become known as an effective anticancer agent, and it has been known for decades that there is an inverse correlation between sun exposure and cancer mortality. Vitamin D is associated with lower colon, prostate, skin, and breast cancer. Women with breast cancer have been found to be twice as likely to have a fault in the gene that enables that body to use vitamin D. The anticancer activity of vitamin D may be due to its ability inactivate certain oncogenes, genes that instruct ordinary cells to become cancer cells.

Vitamin D can be obtained from the diet, but not very easily. Milk and some breakfast cereals are fortified with vitamin D. Eggs contain vitamin D but you would need to eat 10 eggs to get 200IU. The best source of vitamin D are fish oil and cod liver oil. Vitamin D is no use with a completely fat-free diet, since it is a fat soluble substance needing fat for transport.

Spending ten to twenty minutes outside two to three times a week in summer is thought to give us adequate vitamin D to help prevent and manage many health conditions. Those with dark skins may need more, and you may need to take supplements in if you live in a cloudy region. It is best to have your vitamin D level tested to determine if there is a vitamin D deficiency. To ensure proper assessment of vitamin D level, 25-hydroxyvitamin D should be tested. A level below 32ng/ml is considered deficient and requires therapies including diet and lifestyle changes and supplementation. Published cases of vitamin D toxicity all involve intakes of at least 40,000 IU/day.

Examples of conditions that benefit from vitamin D:

  • · Prevention and treatment of osteoporosis, osteomalacia, rickets
  • · Vitamin-D deficiency myopathy
  • · Psoriasis
  • · Polycystic Ovaries
  • · Seasonal mood disorder
  • · Scleraderma
  • · Prostate cancer
  • · Migraines

For more information about vitamin D testing or supplementation, please contact Dr. Lee via email info@seattlenaturopathiccenter.com or 206-319-5322.

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Filed under Vitamin D

Does your child have milk allergy?

Cow’s milk allergy is the most common food allergy in young children, affecting about two percent of children under four years of age. It is the third most common food, after peanut and tree nuts, responsible for food-induced anaphylaxis in pediatric population. This food allergy presents with a wide range of clinical syndromes due to immunologic responses to cow’s milk proteins that can be immunoglobulin (Ig)E- and/or non-IgE-mediated. IgE-mediated food-triggered reactions generally occur immediately, within minutes to two hours after ingestion. These reactions can present with skin, upper and lower respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract, and/or cardiovascular signs and symptoms.

All milk proteins are potential allergens. Cow’s milk contains casein and whey proteins that account for approximately 80 and 20 percent of total protein, respectively. Cooking diminishes the allergenicity of whey proteins, presumably by denaturation of heat-sensitive proteins. This may explain why extensively heated milk (eg, milk in baked goods) is better tolerated by many patients. Similarly, yogurt cultures, which ferment and acidify milk, diminish the amount of intact whey protein in milk and may result in tolerance of yogurt-based dairy products by individuals with cow’s milk allergy exclusively sensitized to whey proteins.

Sample conditions affected by milk allergy:

Atopic dermatitis (eczema) — Food allergy plays a pathogenic role in a subset of patients, primarily infants and children, with atopic dermatitis.

Allergic gastrointestinal disorders — Milk is also among the major allergens identified in allergic eosinophilic esophagitis. Patients with this disorder have symptoms suggestive of gastroesophageal reflux, but are unresponsive to conventional reflux therapies. Other presenting symptoms include feeding disorders, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Patients with allergic eosinophilic gastroenteritis may have symptoms of abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or weight loss.

Gastroesophageal reflux — Symptoms in gastroesophageal reflux may be associated with cow’s milk allergy.

Constipation — Cow’s milk allergy/intolerance has been suggested as a cause of constipation in infants and children, especially in those with chronic constipation.

The diagnosis of cow’s milk allergy is based upon the history and laboratory testing. The gold-standard diagnostic procedure may include elimination of the suspected food, challenge, and re-elimination. In breastfed infants, this includes a maternal exclusion diet avoiding cow’s milk protein. In formula-fed infants, the use of either extensively hydrolyzed or amino acid-based infant formulae is recommended. If minimal to no improvement is noted on a milk avoidance diet, the food in question is not responsible for symptoms, the diet has not been restricted enough, or the patient may have multiple food allergies and additional foods may be considered suspicious. Measurement of cow’s milk-specific IgE can aid in the diagnosis of IgE-mediated cow’s milk allergy and may eliminate the need for oral food challenges.

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Filed under Digestion, Eczema, Food allergy, IBS