Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Eczema, not just skin deep

I am sure I have blogged about eczema and our family before. My husband, mother in law and daughter all struggle with this issue. At the last DAN! conference it became more clear to me that eczema is a sign of leaky gut and needs to be addressed just as my son's issues with leaky gut did. For my daughter that meant tackling food issues like wheat. As I found out at the DAN! conference, many, many, many people have problems with wheat and may not even know it (I dare say, including us). So we got with the program and our house is now completely GF. Viola, my daughter's eczema on her feet was gone. It started as a small patch on the bottom of her foot would eventually wrap around her whole foot and on to her toes and would itch to the point where she would scratch them until they bled. Yeah, I know, I NEEDED to get this under control. It killed me to see her little tiny feet looking like those of a 90 year old man, seriously! This meant sending in her snacks at school since school became her only exposure. Once we did that, poof, they were completely healed.

I was hoping for the same response with my husband's hands. His hands are horrible, seriously. They are cracked, bleeding, it hurts to do just about anything with them and even water burns them. The removal of wheat just wasn't cutting it. He has seen dermatologists, he has seen his naturopath (who eventually said "see a dermatologist") and all the dermatologist wants to do is write a prescription for a steroid cream. There has to be a CAUSE, lets not just bandaid this! I finally broke down and emailed Dr. Woeller for help with this. We have a consult today. But, in the week since I made that appointment I told my husband to start taking a probiotic (duh, one of the cornerstone supplements we ALL should be taking) and wouldn't you know it, they are getting better. We have run an IgG food panel on my husband and wouldn't you know, very similar intolerances as my son but nothing really standing out in the way of unaddressed food issues (especially with the removal of wheat). My husband remarked the other night "It looks like they are healing from the inside out". Yes honey, that is what is supposed to happen.

What we take into (or onto) our bodies either helps us or hurts us. We cannot simply look at a chronic skin condition as just being skin deep. We have to understand that it is a manifestation of something deeper, probably in the gut. And did you know that the gut is referred to as the 2nd brain? Our gut, and what we feed it, is extremely important. It has a big impact on our brain functioning and all of the other processes in the body. When I told my 11 year old step-daughter that the purpose of food is to fuel the body she looked at me like I was crazy. And yet even she gets it that when you eat junk you are still hungry. Your body is looking for nourishment and when you feed it empty calories it is still hungry because it still needs the right kid of fuel.

So I think we are on the right track to healing my husband's hands and I will pass on what we learn from our call with Dr. Woeller today. But, I wanted to take a moment to highlight a very essential supplement EVERYONE should be on, a probiotic. A probiotic helps replenish you gut with the GOOD bacteria and GOOD yeast (in the case of Saccharomyces Boulardii) that your body needs to fight off the bad bugs. It helps support your immune system, which is primarily located in the gut, by that mechanism. You need good soldiers to fight off the invaders, think of it that way. New Beginnings has some great probiotics. And each variety can help with different things. Culturelle is great for clostridia, VSL #3 is good for high oxalates, like I said before certain yeast strains can help fight the pathogenic yeasts like candida, both of the kids are on Ther-biotic which does need a doctor's referral. You want to look for a good quality, multi-strain variety unless you are targeting something specific. So if you are looking to be healthier in 2010 and start adding in some vitamins and supplements to support health, look to a quality probiotic as something to add right away!


sue balmforth UK said...

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Mark D. MacLachlan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark D. MacLachlan said...

Hi Terri, I am wondering if you can recommend a probiotic. Maybe that is not what I need, I don't know, I am looking for something that would help reduce nasal mucus. Following my throat surgery, I struggle with constantly choking because of mucus in the back of my throat.

I hope Eric's hands are getting better, I admit they freaked me out when I last saw them.

Terri Burges Hirning said...

Mark, here is a probiotic I would recommend:


I think everyone would benefit from a probiotic for general health.

In regards to mucous, do you eat a lot of dairy? That is a prime contributor to mucous production(along with any food you are intolerant of). A great mucous thinner if you will is N-Acetyl Cysteine. A great (natural) and effective antihistimine and anti-inflammatory is called A & I (Allergy and immune support). It has NAC which will thin that mucous and provide general respiratory relief. It can be found here:


I hope that helps and let me know if you have any other questions!

Anonymous said...

Probiotics have been a mainstay for me for years! I recently started using a topical probiotic as well and can tell you that my skin looks and feels better than it ever has. There are a lot skin care products on the market today that use probiotics but I am in love with SK1N Probiotics. www.sk1nprobiotics.com

Mark D. MacLachlan said...

Thanks for the reply Terri, I will check those products out. Next question of course is do you still take them while doing HCG? I've discontinued all supplement usage while on HCG.