What Eczema IS and what it is NOT
I’m going to start by telling you that eczema IS a blessing!
Yes, I can hear you shouting ‘What?’ at your screens! In fact, you should count your lucky stars that your body is communicating so well with you! Your skin, the largest organ in your body has become a feedback system and right now it is telling you something is wrong. Something is triggering an immune response inside your body. The red itchy (downright annoying) patches are letting you know that something that you are putting into or onto your body does not agree with it. Your body is experiencing something that is putting its systems under stress. This irritating response, causes you to take action to solve the problem. At this point, I must stress that ECZEMA SHOULD NOT BE IGNORED and it should not be something you are told to put up with. It is a sign that something is out of balance within your body. Imagine if you were not aware of the damage being done internally. So many people spend their whole lives damaging their bodies and only suffer very mild symptoms that are easy to ignore. By the time there is a serious problem it is often too late to reverse it. Unfortunately, too many eczema sufferers are encouraged to do just this by masking symptoms using steroids and creams rather than finding the root cause. So you see eczema IS a blessing!
Eczema IS an inflammatory condition:
Eczema is a sign that you body is inflamed, which can lead to you developing an autoimmune condition if these early warning signs are ignored. It is true that there is more chance of developing an autoimmune condition if a parent or sibling has one. It is passed on in your genetics. In fact asthma, hay fever and eczema tend to go hand in hand. If you have one or more then, genetically, you have a higher chance of developing the others and further down the line you could develop an even more debilitating autoimmune issue. The conventional view is that there is nothing you can do about your genes. Therefore, the belief is that autoimmune conditions like eczema cannot be prevented or cured. In fact genes only have 25% influence over whether you develop an autoimmune disease and the other 75% influence comes from environment. Eczema and other autoimmune conditions occur because the gene responsible is switched on by a trigger. If it can be switched on, then we have the power to switch them off again too. This power has been harnessed due to advances in understanding epigenetics. (Read more on epigenetics here) Creams and ointments cannot switch off these genes. Although they may help to ease symptoms, the search must go deeper. When I say deeper, I mean into your gut. Many professionals will tell you that the two systems are not connected. Surely it is common sense that an autoimmune or inflammatory condition would stem from the part of your body that holds the majority of your immune system- your gut IS responsible!
What happens when you ignore the warning signs?
When Eczema is ignored or the symptoms are simply masked by using creams and ointments, it can lead to many other health issues. Some of these conditions will commonly show you other symptoms like fatigue. Often we put these symptoms down to the busy lives that many of us lead. However, fatigue can be a sign that our immune system is under a great strain. Our body could be suffering the effects of raised cortisol levels which in turn can impact on our whole adrenal system. Many eczema sufferers experience broken sleep due to itching and often put fatigue down to that. Again your body is trying to communicate with you, but this time it is your adrenal glands. What you thought was just a bit of itchy skin can result in a number of health complications such as hormone imbalances, adrenal exhaustion, weight gain, depression, anxiety and further inflammatory or autoimmune issues.
The above is all true, but with the right support there is no reason why you can’t reverse the condition. Our group support and 1:1 options assist you in discovering the root cause of your eczema, thus improving your whole health and well being.
So don’t forget to dance around the room and celebrate those red, itchy patches! On the days when your symptoms get you down, remember this post and be glad to know your body is telling you it is out of sync and needs some attention. Take a deep breath and continue your journey to a symptom free life.
Fill out the contact form here to find out more about what we offer.
Doe,W.F. “The Intestinal Immune System.” Gut 30 (1989):1679-85
Myers, A. (M.D.) “The Autoimmune Solution.” Autoimmune and Inflammation Sympotoms: 3-43
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskelatal and Skin Diseases website. www.niams.nih.gov
The Institute for Functional Medicine website. https://www.functionalmedicine.org