Published on December 4th, 2017 | by Dr. Doug Pucci0
Beyond Eczema Management to a Cure
The symptoms of an autoimmune disease come in many forms. We might experience anxiety, muscle pain, fatigue, allergies, headaches, frequent colds and myriad other sufferings that many people brush off as just being part of life. While everyone experiences an occasional bout with something unpleasant, the frequency of occurrences can tell us if something more is going on.
Different forms of dermatitis, including acne, psoriasis, rashes and eczema can also be signs of an autoimmune disease, which affects almost one in six people. Any of the more than 30 million Americans—from infants and children to adults of all ages—that have experienced eczema (atopic dermatitis) knows the discomfort and embarrassment of flare-ups: itchy rashes; dry, scaly, leathery or dark patches; inflamed red skin and more. These symptoms can worsen if left untreated. If after going to a dermatologist for eczema we’ve been given a topical medication, over-the-counter recommendation, biologic drug or immunosuppressant steroid to help keep the itching and redness at bay, know that these medications just manage eczema, they don’t cure it, and those flare-ups can and will return when triggered.
Conventional medicine has long accepted that environmental triggers like stress, chemicals on clothing, some foods and allergens can cause flare-ups. Although many in the medical community still stick to the theory that there is no cure for eczema, and that sufferers will face a lifelong cycle of outbreaks, followed by symptom management, the opposite is being proven. Important medical journals including the International Journal of Gastroenterology, the British Medical Journal, the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and others, as well as the National Eczema Association, are now reporting that eczema is an autoimmune disease, something functional medicine doctors have known for years. Some of these journals also finally recognize that leaky gut is at the root of autoimmune disease. This means that we can heal the problem from the inside.
In many people with autoimmune problems, the gut microbiome is out of balance and may be missing key anti-inflammatory good bacteria and/or have an overgrowth of bad bacteria or yeast. Ironically, a yeast overgrowth can be caused by steroids, which are among the treatments commonly prescribed for eczema.
The medical community is touting new topical and systemic drugs that suppress either the entire immune system or specific immune proteins. U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval is being fast-tracked and long-term health risks such as cancer will be determined only in the aftermarket phase. These new medications are not cures, merely more means of symptom suppression. Because medications like these can cause other health problems, whether recognized as associated or not, the safer and more permanent alternative is to heal the condition naturally.
Leaky gut can be healed naturally by following an anti-inflammatory diet, getting our microbiome back in balance and healing gut lining perforations with nutrients. Achieving the right balance that will restore the microbiome to a healthy level is an individual proposition that depends upon many different factors that are specific to the individual. Not only will we avoid additional risky health issues, we’ll be strengthening our immune system and creating a healthy gut microbiome, which yields a wide range of both physical and mental health benefits.
For questions or appointments, call 201-261-5430. Hear Dr. Pucci’s interview podcast at PlanetNJ.com or visit GetWell-Now.com and request an information packet.