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Tag: eczema

Probiotics Before and After Birth Can Decrease Later Allergies

Eczema Hands
Eczema (skin irritation) on my daughter’s hands when she was 5 years old.

Supplementing babies and pregnant mothers with probiotics was shown to decrease eczema by 77%, according to a  July 2014 study published in the official journal of the Japanese Society of Allergology (JSA).

After supplementing 130 pairs of mothers and newborns with probiotics in the final trimester of pregnancy and post-partum, the researchers concluded, “These data suggest that the prenatal and postnatal supplementation of bifidobacteria is effective in primary preventing [sic] allergic diseases.” There were 36 pairs in the control group who did not get supplemented.

The National Institutes of Health estimates that up to one-third of us have some sort of skin condition stemming from an allergic or hypersensitivity reaction, and it usually begins in infancy or childhood. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, one in five Americans (50 million people) suffer from allergies, and allergies have been increasing in prevalence since the 1980s.

It makes me wonder: if allergies and hypersensitivities can arise from a lack of good bacteria in the digestive tract at birth, and there has been an increase in the prevalence of allergies, what has changed in our dietary patterns and food supply that is making us deficient in good bacteria?

This was the topic of my TED talk that I presented at TEDx Colorado Springs this past weekend. While I didn’t talk about this particular study, I did discuss how our food supply is riddled with hidden toxins that can cause us to become inflamed, and how inflammation leads to disease symptoms. (I’ll post the link to the talk when it is available!)

I also wonder if there is there any correlation between babies born by c-section and later issues with digestion and allergies, but the summary of this study did not include this information.

Are Probiotics Helpful for Kids?

In a word: Yes.

Goodbelly nondairy probiotic fruit drink.
One of my preferred methods of delivering probiotics is Good Belly probiotic juice drink, and Parents Magazine concurs.

Yes, yes, yes.

Probiotics can help with many, many issues for kids as well as adults, and should be de rigueur for everyone after completing a round of antibiotics, for starters.

Probiotics, in case you don’t know, are the “good” bacteria that live in our guts and help us digest our food. Each person, indeed, each mammal, is host to a unique colony of micro-bacteria that begins to develop in the womb and continues to populate throughout your life as you live and eat. Each person’s microbial biome is a unique as a fingerprint.

Antibiotics can wipe out entire colonies of good bacteria along with the bad, and the good bugs must be replenished through ingestion. Sickness, fever, viral infections, acidosis (when the body is too acidic), food poisoning, parasites, and other issues can also cause a deficiency of good bacteria in the gut, leading to incomplete digestion.

Incomplete or inefficient digestion can play a role in everything from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and Crohn’s disease to eczema, fatigue, constipation, or headaches in children and adults. Studies have shown that probiotics can help by improving digestion.

At least 80% of our health status is directly related to the health of our digestive tract. Probiotics and plant-based digestive enzymes can help get yours back on track. An Enzyme Urinalysis is a scientific analysis of your urine to see what is happening –or not happening– in your digestive system.

Antibiotic Exposure in Infancy Linked to Food Allergies

A new study shows that children who were given antibiotics in babyhood are almost twice as likely to grow into kids with food allergies. The authors, from South Carolina College of Pharmacy in Columbia, theorize that the early disruption of normal flora and fauna in the digestive tract by antibiotics lead to a loss of oral tolerance levels and development of allergies as the child grows.antibiotics in babies linked to food allergies

I can’t say I was shocked to see this information, though it’s always good to see clinical results in a scientific study like this to convince people.

When we take antibiotics, the drugs kill all the bacteria in our body – the good along with the bad. Good bacteria assist us in normal digestive processes and are necessary for complete digestion and assimilation of nutrients into our bodies. We can replenish good bacteria by taking probiotics, but they are limited and unfortunately cannot precisely recreate the complex biome that should be inside our guts.

In Chinese medicine, it is taught that the digestive system in children is not fully developed until they reach six years of age. The Chinese realize that it takes time to build up the bacteria and other life forms in our guts that help keep us healthy.

The study noticed that many of the study participants where given multiple rounds of antibiotics as babies to treat infected eczema. Eczema can usually be controlled with dietary changes in either the breast-feeding mother or the type of infant formula. Babies battling eczema should be tested for food allergies and food sensitivities before they get to a point of multiple infections and repeated rounds of antibiotics that set them up for more food allergies and sensitivities.

The reason I was not surprised to see the results of this study is that I believe a pre-natal course of inter venous antibiotics administered during the ninth month of my pregnancy to address an infection of listeria resulted in my baby’s 41 food and chemical sensitivities. I know it was a necessary action because listeria likes to take up residence in the placenta and cause stillbirth, but none of my medical caregivers ever mentioned how it might affect my baby’s life once he was born. The entire focus was on getting him born alive, and as a result of the infection and treatment he suffered terribly in constant pain and discomfort for the first six years of his life.

If your baby is suffering, it may be due to what he is eating. There are things we can do to help ease his pain and heal his body even if he is still breastfeeding. Feel free to contact me for a free consultation about what can be done.

Calendula Oil Heals Skin Naturally

One of my favorite remedies for healing damaged skin is calendula oil. Calendula is another name for Marigold — the same ones we see commonly in gardens– and when the flowers are infused into an oil base the healing effects can be astonishing.calendula oil for healing skin

Calendula oil has anti-oxidents and offers antiseptic and antibacterial properties as well as being anti-inflammatory when applied topically. It helps heal cuts and scrapes and is effective on rashes, eczema, burns, and dry, chapped, or cracked skin.

One of the best uses for calendula oil is for diaper rash, where it works miracles for healing tiny tushes.calendula oil for diaper rash

Bed sores, rug burns, and even broken or varicose veins will respond to the healing power of calendula. Try applying calendula oil after cosmetic waxing or laser procedures to calm the skin and reduce the inflammation and redness quickly while bringing a sense of relief to the site. As a bonus, it will reduce scarring.

Researchers at the Amala Cancer Research Centre in Amala Nagar, India, published in the Journal of Basic and Clinical Physiology and Pharmacology, Volume 20 2009, that they saw a dramatic increase in the healing speed of skin wounds, concluding: “The data indicate potent wound healing activity of Calendula officinalis extract.”

Calendula oil is a good ingredient in regular skin care formulas for its anti-aging properties and to promote healthy skin.

Personally, I keep a bottle of calendula oil as part of my standard first aid kit and use it instead of Neosporin or other antibacterial cream on minor wounds or burns.

Natural remedies for Eczema

I recently told you about a friend who returned from a trip to Mexico complaining about itchy, scaly skin on her palms. It quickly progressed to painful, bubbly sores with peeling skin. A visit to the dermatologist diagnosed eczema.

My friend was quite surprised as she hadn’t ever had any eczema patches before on her body, so she knew she wasn’t prone to it. But during her vacation, she was so concerned with keeping her preschooler healthy that she may have overused sanitizer during the week. The drying effect of the alcohol combined with the disinfecting chemicals in the product had severely irritated her skin.

Here’s a natural hand sanitizer she might want to try next time to avoid this problem. But in the meantime, she still had to do something to heal her hands.

The doctor prescribed an anti-inflammatory cortisone cream and vasoline to hold moisture into the skin. Of course, I immediately suggested less toxic alternatives for her.

Instead of a steroidal cortisone cream, I like to use Florasone, a homeopathic anti-inflammatory cream that helps reduce inflammation, provide soothing and healing, and help rebalance the imbalance that is causing the problem in the first place.  I’ve successfully used Florasone for reducing the itching from hives and other skin irritations, including bug bites and cold sores. Because it is homeopathic, you can feel safe about using it as frequently as needed and even on infants.

It only takes a knowledge of the full title of Vasoline Petroleum Jelly to know where it comes from and that I don’t want it anywhere near my body. I certainly don’t want it to absorb through my skin. Instead, for adding moisture into the skin, we have not found anything better for providing immediate relief than Weleda Skin Food. Love this stuff; it’s very powerful.

To promote healing of cracked skin, try mixing a drop or two of antibacterial Tea Tree oil with a carrier oil, such as pure Almond oil, on the affected skin. I like NOW almond oil because it doesn’t contain any vitamin E, which can be an allergen for some people with eczema.