Eczema may be related to food intolerance or digestive issues.

Eczema refers to inflammation of skin and the presentation varies from mild dry skin to generalized itchy, red scaly plaques. It can be debilitating condition as it can be hard to treat and may severely affect the quality of life of a patient.

Many belief eczema is the manifestation of unhealthy gut and changes on gut function could be reflected upon the skin. Food is what goes into the gut. Thus, commonly, inflammation of the gut relates to certain food intake which the bowels could not tolerate. The most common food that are associated with eczema are dairies, wheat or eggs. Often, the food that you are intolerant to are the food that you crave for. In my experience, sometimes, by just eliminating these food, eczema may resolve.

Most patients with eczema may also have underlying digestive issues. They may have complains of bloatedness, abdominal pain, constipation or loose stools. Apart from food intolerance causing inflammation, there may also be infections such as yeast or parasites or imbalance of gut flora. These need to be address in order to restore gut health. Very often, with poor gut health, there may be some nutrients deficiency as the digestion and absorption are not good. Deficiencies in some nutrients would affect the skin and lead to inflammation. Thus, nutritional support, changes in diet and lifestyle are often necessary to manage these conditions.

Keeping a food diary can be helpful in identifying food intolerance. Tests can be run to assess the underlying bowel conditions and can be helpful in identifying food intolerance. Approaching a practitioner with nutritional medicine background may also be of help.

Dr Hui Voon Loo
General Practitioner
Complete Healthcare International Pte Ltd

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