So I've battled eczema my whole life, and in the last 5 years it's just gotten progressively worse. I'm chronically itchy at least 70% of the day.
I had allergy tests done by drawing blood and the results came back that I was allergic to just about everything. The doctor said it was the worst case she'd ever seen. Two things on which I only scored a 2/5 (moderately allergic) are potatos and beef.
So here's the bulk of my diet: sweet potatos beef
I eat sweet potatos and ground beef for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Every couple of days I will steam collard greens or kale or something similar to try to get some greens in my diet.
I cook the beef in olive oil (I'm highly allergic to coconut oil - I cooked with it for years and was miserable the whole time). I take Allegra and zinc, magnesium, and B12 at night.
I drink coffee at work and occasionally drink tea.
I've been paleo for years. Pretty sure I posted here under the name cavemanbob years ago, young and hopeful. Well, the hope hasn't panned out. However, my skin is doing much better (though I'm still itchy) on my extremely limited diet.
Things that I'm pretty sure screw me up that are supposed to be good for me: a multivitamin with great reviews I bought on amazon, fishoil (really tried to make this work for me), flaxseed, honey, eggs, coconut oil, etc.
Obviously my O3:6 ratios are out of whack (can't afford grass-fed when it's the bulk of my diet) but IDK how to balance it because fish oil seems to make me worse. This probably adds to the inflammation and itchiness.
What I'm wondering is what am I definitely missing from my diet? What key nutrients am I missing out on? I'm not trying to throw myself a pity party here, just trying to state the facts and get some good advice. I truly appreciate it if you've read this far.
asked bycavemanbob_senior (30)
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on June 13, 2012
at 12:17 AM
I can only imagine that anything that you could do to help heal your gut would help your skin and your allergies. There is a theory that when the gut is badly damaged that we will test positive to allergies for many many things.
Have you considered the GAPS diet? Can you tolerate bone broth? How about fermented foods?
on June 13, 2012
at 12:03 AM
If I were you, I'd add 5000 IU D3 if you are not out in the sun much. Regarding B vitamins, I'd go for a B-complex one, not just B12.
Also, try krill or fish oil, if you're not allergic to them. If you can take it without a major allergic reaction, I think it'd be very beneficial.
Other things to get (not necessarily daily): K2 Mk4, Mg, Dr Best's E-tocotrienols, and Ca if you are not doing any dairy at all (have you tried home-made goat kefir? Fermented for over 24 hours leaves little lactose, and it builds up tolerance to dairy as time goes by).
Finally, since you can do beef, I'm pretty sure you can do sheep and goat meat. Definitely try these animals out, and not only that, but since you can do red meat, you should try some offal too, especially liver, hearts, kidneys. They're very cheap too and more nutritious than muscle meat!
And if you can indeed manage to eat greens, go for more than just a bit of kale!
on August 07, 2012
at 12:30 AM
Take this with a grain of salt - I'm not a doctor nor an expert, but have suffered eczema in various severity (often chronic requiring hospital stays) for the last ~20 years. Have tried every remedy imaginable, as well as various oral steroids to combat the inflammation.
I'm at a point now where 95% of the time my eczema does not affect me at all, this is a very good place to be because if you're anything like I was this condition can end up defining you. I found paleo reeeally late in the game (been on it for about 2 months now), and although it is not a cure - it does help.
From what I've experienced every case is individual, but for me the number one cause of flare-ups (and subsequent infections) was stress. Even now whenever I start getting stressed the natural instinct is to itch. This ties in very closely with sleep levels, I had chronically bad sleeping patterns from scratching all night which in turns made me stressed and the cycle continues.
I'm assuming you've already done this but if not - see a dermatologist. While I would never recommend oral drugs, things like an antihistamine before bed can help a lot with sleeping. Also no matter how dialled in you are in terms of lifestyle, environmental factors and allergens means your skin will flare up at times, I find this about once every 2-3 months, when this happens I find a corticosteroid ointment (diprosone in Australia, not sure what its called elsewhere) helps me get it under control pretty quickly.
You will probably always have eczema - but you need to get it to a point where it doesnt interefere too much with your life. This is a multifaceted condition, and although on a paleo site you will naturally get answers regarding food, there certainly environmental factors at play. Dust mites, pets, working conditions, soaps, detergents etc can all play a large part.
On the dietary front I would do the obvious - no dairy, grains, legumes. At least 2 litres of water per day, perhaps try a ketogenic diet if you haven't before. If I was as desperate as you seem to be I would cut out coffee (as hard as it is!) Stick with a large variety of meats and vegies, with lots of fat from whatever suits you.
I'll say again I think stress/cortisol management is a huge deal and often overlooked. Keep experimenting with different things, I sincerely hope you find something that works for you.