Food Intolerance - Smartblood Q&A

Getting under the skin of eczema. Common questions.

If you suffer with eczema, you’ll know all too well the frustration of flare ups. From identifying your triggers to managing the symptoms, living with skin complaints such as eczema can take a toll emotionally, as well as physically.

As we kick off National Eczema Week (13 – 19 September) we’re taking a look at some of the common question people ask about the condition.

What is eczema?

Eczema is the main name given to a group of conditions that cause sore, dry, and irritated skin. There are more than ten different types of eczema, some more severe than others. It’s believed that between 15-20% of children and around 38% of adults suffer with the condition.

Often difficult to treat, severe eczema can be very uncomfortable, even painful.  The cause of the condition is still relatively unknown but there are many factors that have been linked to eczema, including diet, stress, allergies and a family history of the condition.

What are the symptoms?

People who develop eczema are known as ‘atopic’. This means that they have an overactive immune system which, in the case of eczema, can lead to a range of symptoms, including:

  • Dry, itchy, and inflamed skin
  • Inflamed skin which can blister or weep
  • Inflamed skin which can become infected
  • Dark coloured patches of skin
  • Rough areas of skin

If you notice abnormal changes to your skin, it’s important to speak with your GP. Symptoms like these may lead you to suspect that you have eczema, but there are other conditions which have similar symptoms and may need different types of treatment. 

What triggers eczema?

There are a range of irritants and environmental factors that can cause flare ups of eczema. Some of the most commons triggers include

 

  • Metals and fabrics
  • Soaps, and cleaners
  • Antibiotic creams
  • Stress
  • Sweat
  • Long or hot baths or showers
  • Hot or cold, dry weather,
  • High or low humidity
  • Pet hair
  • Pollen or mould
  • Dust mites
  • Second-hand smoke.

How can you manage eczema?

During an eczema flare up, it can feel as though the condition is impossible to control.

It’s possible to manage eczema by making sure you keep your skin well hydrated using a good moisturiser.  Your pharmacist can recommend a range of over-the-counter treatments to help heal the skin and break the cycle of itching, and your GP may prescribe treatments such as steroid creams for more severe cases.

Being aware of the other triggers that cause your condition to get worse can help you to avoid particular

While these creams can help alleviate the surface level symptoms, it’s worth being aware of the things in your environment and diet that aggravate the condition so you can limit your exposure to those triggers.

Is there a link between eczema and diet?

While there is compelling evidence to support the link between diet and eczema, food intolerance testing is not currently offered by GPs for those suffering with skin complaints.

Food intolerances can occur when your body’s immune system mistakes a food protein as a threat, releasing antibodies to fight it. This reaction can result in a range of inflammatory symptoms in the body, such as IBS and bloating, headaches, brain fog, joint pain, or skin complaints, like eczema or acne. 

Can particular foods cause eczema?

There’s a lot of speculation about whether certain foods can cause eczema or make it worse.

It’s commonly believed that there can be a link between eczema and dairy. But everyone is different and what triggers inflammation for one person may be fine for another. While it might be tempting to cut out certain ingredients, you can do more harm than good by removing important nutrients from your diet unnecessarily.

Will eczema ever go away completely?

Eczema is a chronic condition, but often children tend to outgrow it as they get older. However, others may continue to have flares ups that continue into adulthood.  It’s also possible to develop eczema for the first time in adulthood. Currently, there is no cure for eczema, but it is a condition that can be treated and managed.

Take control of your diet

While there are lots of environmental factors that can trigger or worsen eczema, diet can have a big impact. If you’re suffering with recurring eczema flare ups, and perhaps other conditions you can’t explain, it could be worth taking a closer look at what you’re eating.

Getting to the bottom of a food intolerance can be frustrating. Removing one food at a time for a few weeks to see how you feel, known as an ‘elimination diet’, can take a long time. As many of us typically react to several ingredients in our diets, it can be a while before you are able to see the bigger picture.

Additionally, the foods that you react to can often come as a surprise. It’s common to blame a few ‘usual suspects’, like gluten or dairy, but anything from peas to pork, could be the cause.

Get answers faster with Smartblood

At Smartblood, we make the process faster and clearer. Our comprehensive food intolerance tests helps you take control of your diet quickly and discover your own trigger foods. 

Our home-to-laboratory service gives you fast, accurate results that pinpoint exactly which foods you are reacting to. Tests are completed in our accredited laboratory by trained experts, with clear, easy to understand results sent to you via email within three days.

The test is supported by a 30-minute telephone consultation with our BANT registered Nutritional Therapist to help you understand your results and make safe, sustainable changes to your diet.

Smartblood Story - Julia's Intolerance to Dairy

Julia is a market trader, and also studying speech and language therapy. Julia has suffered with regular migraines for over 22 years, and has tried everything to get rid of them, even ice baths!

It wasn't until Julia had a Smartblood food intolerance test recommended to her by one of her friends that she found out that she had raised IgG antibody levels to many dairy products. Replacing these foods with others on the advice of a Smartblood nutritional therapist has made a big difference in Julia's life - her migraines have vanished, and she would recommend a Smartblood test to anybody.

It’s estimated that those with trigger foods actually react to between 4 and 6 ingredients and the results can be surprising. Anything from prawns to potatoes can present a problem.

If you think dairy is causing you discomfort, cut out the guesswork with a Smartblood test. With results available in as little as 3 days, you don’t have to wait long to take control of your diet and see the benefits.

The 1st-step indicator test is popular with those that have health problems that may be explained by a food intolerance but want to just check this before proceeding to a full test, which can be done on the same sample with no extra effort.

The full Smartblood test is a complete program that includes a 30 minute consultation with one of our BANT registered Nutritional Therapists and is a great way to discover all of your food sensitivities and take control over your own personal trigger foods.

Image

1st Step Test

  • A Simple Yes/No
  • Result in 3 Days
  • Our most popular pathway
  • Can Upgrade if Positive
£19.75Free p&p
Image

Smartblood Test

  • Reactions to 134 Foods
  • Results in 3 Days
  • £110 Refund if No Reactions
  • Nutritionist Consultation
£129.75Free p&p

If you think that a food intolerance may be responsible for your symptoms then we believe that our easy to complete tests could help you. SImply choose either a 1st-step indicator test for a positive/negative result overall or find out all of your food intolerances out at once with the full Smartblood test.

The 1st-step indicator test is popular with those that have health problems that may be explained by a food intolerance but want to just check this before proceeding to a full test, which can be done on the same sample with no extra effort.

The full Smartblood test is a complete program that includes a 30 minute consultation with one of our BANT registered Nutritional Therapists and is a great way to discover all of your food sensitivities and take control over your own personal trigger foods.

Image

1st Step Test

£19.75
  • A Simple Yes/No
  • Result in 3 Days
  • Our most popular pathway
  • Can Upgrade if Positive
Image

Smartblood Test

£129.75
  • Reactions to 134 Foods
  • Results in 3 Days
  • £110 Refund if No Reactions
  • Nutritionist Consultation

If you think that you may have a food intolerance then we believe that our easy to complete tests could help you. SImply choose either a 1st-step indicator test for a positive/negative result overall or find out all of your food intolerances out at once with the full Smartblood test.

The 1st-step indicator test is popular with those that have health problems that may be explained by a food intolerance but want to just check this before proceeding to a full test, which can be done on the same sample with no extra effort.

The full Smartblood test is a complete programme that includes a 30 minute consultation with one of our BANT registered Nutritional Therapists and is a great way to discover all of your food sensitivities and take control over your own personal trigger foods.

Image

1st Step Test

£19.75
  • A Simple Yes/No
  • Result in 3 Days
  • Our most popular pathway
  • Can Upgrade if Positive
Image

Smartblood Test

£129.75
  • Reactions to 134 Foods
  • Results in 3 Days
  • £110 Refund if No Reactions
  • Nutritionist Consultation