Did you know that eczema and asthma are two very closely linked allergy related conditions? Doctors often call the progression from eczema, or atopic dermatitis, to breathing problems the atopic march.In theory it makes sense, as they are both allergic reactions much like hay fever or hives, yet in a lot of cases one appears months or even years before the other. The statistics show children who have eczema, particularly when occurring with hay fever, are nine times more likely to develop allergic asthma in their adult life.
Fifty-to-seventy percent of children with severe atopic dermatitis go on to develop asthma. By comparison, the rate of asthma incidence among the general population is only about 9 percent in children and 7 percent in adults.
Researchers have proven that skin damaged by eczema sends a message to the brain saying ‘your protective system is ineffective, find an alternative.’ In turn the brain tells the skin to secrete a molecular substance called thymic stromal lymphopoietin (abbreviated to TSLP) which causes an enhanced immune reaction to anything that could be a threat (i.e. allergens). TSLP is able to pass through the skin and into the blood stream very easily, and while it will get to all parts of the body, it is the lungs which are most susceptible to its effects. As a result, tissue in the lungs performs an enhanced immune response and the symptoms of asthma occur.
Since an allergy is ultimately an inflammatory condition, diet, lifestyle changes and supplementation can profoundly influence inflammation throughout the body. Here are some tips that will help with both eczema and asthma:
Supplement with gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). This unusual fatty acid is found in evening primrose oil, black currant oil and borage oil but is very hard to come by in the diet.
Decrease protein to 10 percent of daily caloric intake. Replace animal protein as much as possible with plant protein
Eliminate milk and milk products, substituting other calcium sources.
- Eat organically grown fruits and vegetables as much as possible.
- Eliminate polyunsaturated vegetable oils, margarine, vegetable shortening, all partially hydrogenated oils that might contain trans-fatty acids, and all foods that might contain trans-fatty acids (such as deep-fried foods).
- Use extra-virgin olive oil as main fat.
- Plenty of water to keep respiratory tract secretions more fluid.
- Experiment with eliminating (one at a time) wheat, corn, soy and sugar for six to eight weeks to see if the condition improves.
- Deep Tissue Massage Therapy on the chest can break up restrictive patterns in nerves and muscles that develop in chronic asthma.
- Minimize contact with respiratory irritants, such as smoke, dust, molds, and volatile chemicals. Remove sources of offending materials from the home, install a good air filtration system, or consider moving if the air is generally bad where you live.
- Magnesium can relieve muscle spasms, including the smooth muscle of the bronchi. There is considerable evidence that asthmatics are frequently magnesium deficient. Magnesium also reduces the histamine response (asthmatics typically show excessive histamine release, which leads to constriction of the bronchi).
Stop by or call us at The Healthy Choice Compounding Pharmacy for more information about adding important supplements that can help both adults and children suffering from eczema and asthma.