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Does everyone with eczema and psoriasis need to avoid dairy?

July 15, 2022

I’d like to start by saying that I’m not a doctor or a nutritionist or a scientist. I’m just a person who’s passionate about health, nutrition, and healing. I’m a lifelong learner. Please speak to your doctor if you’re interested in changing your eczema or psoriasis treatment.

When I see the same questions pop up with my family and friends and Miller’s customers, I just need to learn more. This week, I’m exploring eczema and psoriasis and their connection to diet.

In the US, about 10% of people have eczema and 3% have psoriasis. I mean, gee, that’s a good amount of the population.

For those who may not know, eczema and psoriasis are both skin conditions caused by an underlying autoimmune disorder. Severity varies, but both conditions result in a red, itchy, uncomfortable rash.

When someone is diagnosed with eczema or psoriasis, they of course want a solution ASAP. Mainstream medicine often treats the symptom and not the root cause.

On the one hand, this is a good thing. If someone is in discomfort or pain from a rash and is at their personal breaking point, I’m happy that there are options to treat the symptoms. 

The most common mainstream option is topical steroid creams, but this should not be used long term. In the natural world, sun, apple cider vinegar, epsom salt baths, turmeric, tea tree oil, oats, aloe, calendula, Manuka honey, the list goes on and on... are all options for symptomatic relief.

But let’s not forget how important it is to get to the root cause. That’s the only real way to heal.

More often than not, a doctor will tell their new eczema or psoriasis patient to immediately remove dairy from their diet. Is this medical advice founded in science?

The idea here is that dairy is the root cause. It’s assumed that the patient has an intolerance or allergy to dairy. When dairy is consumed, their body has a flare-up, an immune reaction that causes inflammation.

Let’s break it down. On a large scale, about 10% of people in the US have a food allergy, and 1.9% of people in the US have an allergy to milk specifically. 

About 30% of people with eczema have a food allergy. If eczema patients follow the same trend as above, then about 6% of eczema patients would be allergic to dairy. I couldn’t find stats for psoriasis and food allergies.

Given the stats, it seems overzealous to recommend removing dairy, an entire food group, as a first course of action. 

A better course of action would be to test for dairy or other food allergies before altering your diet. We have the technology to test for intolerances or allergies to lactose, casein proteins, or whey proteins, so let’s use it!

If you find out that your body does have trouble with dairy, it makes sense to remove it for immediate relief. Then, you can work on figuring out the root cause, healing, and then reintroducing dairy.

No matter the illness, nourishing your body with food is paramount to healing. And dairy is a delicious and nutritious staple food.

Especially for children, let’s not take dairy away without good reason. 

Eating regeneratively farmed, natural foods provide you with optimal nutrition that your body can use with ease. It’s so different from vitamins and supplements. You can learn more about regenerative healthcare here

It’s also important to note that BIG diet changes can put unneeded stress on your body. If you’re already ill, we want to reduce stress and not create more.

The lesson learned? Obsessing over your diet isn’t going to heal your eczema or psoriasis. 

Learn to let it go. Learn to listen to your body. Be patient. Your body is complex and finding the root cause can take time.

How have you dealt with health struggles in your life? What has helped you heal? Do you view food as medicine?

I’d love to hear from you. Comment below (no account required, start typing for the guest option) or contact us.

Marie Reedell

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