Did you know there’s a strong link between eczema and food allergies? Studies have found that children with eczema are 6 times as likely to develop food allergies as children without eczema. Some studies show that as many as 2 out of 3 people with eczema also have food allergies.
Children with eczema are also more likely to go on to develop seasonal allergies or asthma. In medical terms, these are all called ‘atopic’ conditions, and doctors call the progression from one to the next the #atopicmarch.
We aren’t completely certain why this happens, but here are some ideas from top experts on allergies from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). They say…
- Having family members with allergies increases the risk for the atopic march.
- The dry and broken skin of eczema may allow entry of allergens across the skin barrier, increasing the risk of developing food allergies or respiratory allergies.
- Changes in the microbiome of the skin, airway, and gut may contribute to the atopic march.
The good news is that only a small number of children with eczema go on to follow the complete course of the atopic march. The other good news is that we have excellent success using natural therapies in people of all ages struggling with allergic conditions.
I start by identifying any triggers and minimizing exposure to those. We then use food, herbs, probiotics, and other supplements to support gut health, skin health, and respiratory health. All of these things help to decrease inflammation in the body and calm down the overactive immune response. Many times people can experience complete relief from their symptoms without any medication!
Here are some of my favorite supplements for allergies:
- Quercetin found in apples, red onions, broccoli and even green tea, has been shown to significantly reduce the amount of histamine released by immune cells in the body, which is the chemical responsible for the majority of your allergic reactions.
- Stinging nettle can inhibit the inflammatory pathways associated with allergic rhinitis by reducing histamine release.
- Omega-3 fatty acids can provide a wide range of benefits to your health, and has been shown to help reduce the histamine release associated with the bulk of allergy symptoms, such as rhinitis and rashes.
- Coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant that is found naturally throughout the body and is an essential co-factor in energy production. CoQ10 not only supports cardiovascular health, endurance exercise performance and overall energy levels, it also can significantly reduce the inflammatory chemicals present in allergy sufferers.
If you have any questions about eczema, allergies, or the atopic march, reach out!
Davidson WF, Leung DYM, Beck LA et al. Report from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases workshop on “Atopic dermatitis and the atopic march: Mechanisms and interventions”. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2019; 143: 894-913.