Do food intolerances cause eczema?

“Frustrated parents, along with irritated children, presenting with itchy, red, bleeding, and puss-filled skin sores are cases we see all too often at The Liosbaun Clinic,” according to Yvonne O' Shaughnessy, nutritionist and leading food intolerance specialist at the clinic. “The occurrence of eczema in children is far more prevalent nowadays, and I see it being related mainly to diet but also other environmental factors a lot of the time.”

Food intolerances trigger inflammation in specific areas of the body, ie, the joints causing rheumatoid arthritis, the lungs causing asthma, and the nasal and sinus passages causing sinusitis. The same principle applies to acne and eczema and many of the other common skin conditions. Food intolerance causes irritation and inflammation of the skin and this manifests in a range of conditions including acne, eczema, psoriasis, etc.

How do I know if a food is making eczema worse?

• Immediate food intolerances occurs in some cases. Symptoms develop within two hours of eating the trigger food. Itching and scratching may worsen shortly after eating the trigger food. A common sign is redness, swelling, and irritation around the mouth. Another skin symptom that may develop is urticaria (itchy, fluid-filled lumps on the skin, similar to nettle stings ). Other symptoms may occur such as abdominal pain, vomiting, wheezing, itchy eyes, and sneezing.

• Delayed food allergy occurs in some cases. Symptoms develop six to 24 hours after eating the trigger food. Symptoms include worsening of itching, inflamed, and very irritated eczema. Sometimes abdominal pain and diarrhoea also occur.

• Doing an elimination diet is not always the best advice, as it is extremely difficult to identify the trigger foods. Food intolerances tend to incubate for up to 72 hours, giving you the impression you can tolerate that particular food, only to see the symptoms of it many days later. Also, eliminating large food groups from the diet can leave your diet inadequate, especially for children. The only sure way to identify this is to have the IgG antibody tested using blood analysis. This is a pin prick test, usually done on the heel in children, finger in adults, and is a scientific test used to identify food intolerances in the body. Consultations take approximately one hour.

At the Liosbaun Clinic Yvonne O’Shaughnessy specialises in food intolerance testing and she has had much success to date with same. See www.facebook.come/therawfoodcoach for testimonials, or call Lisa on 087 0573098 for booking. Cost is €120 per test.

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