A cure for eczema? – Agelessonline


An eczema suf­ferer for six years says an alka­line diet is his solu­tion.

BY: Eleanor Yap

KK Tan, 67, swears by an alka­line diet, which is mostly veg­e­tar­ian. The the­ory behind such a diet is that by eat­ing cer­tain foods, it can help main­tain the body’s ideal pH bal­ance and can there­fore be used to treat or pre­vent dis­eases, and in his case, eczema. Though such a diet may be healthy, experts say that the body main­tains its pH bal­ance regard­less of the diet and what one eats does not deter­mine the blood’s pH level.

Experts weigh in

Dr Michael Mur­ray, a natur­o­pathic physi­cian and the author of “The Ency­clo­pe­dia of Nat­ural Med­i­cine”, has a dif­fer­ent take on the sub­ject. In an arti­cle in “Wel­come Times” last year, he wrote: “There is grow­ing evi­dence that the dietary acid-​alkaline bal­ance may influ­ence cer­tain dis­ease states like osteo­poro­sis, rheuma­toid arthri­tis, gout and many others.

[cap­tion id=“attachment_3541” align=“alignleft” width=“225” caption=“KK Tan now with­out eczema.”][/​caption]

For exam­ple, osteo­poro­sis may be the result of a chronic intake of acid-​forming foods con­sis­tently out­weigh­ing the intake of alka­line foods, lead­ing to deple­tion of alka­line min­er­als (cal­cium and mag­ne­sium) from the bone in order to buffer the excess acid. The dietary goal for good health is sim­ple – make sure that you have a higher intake of alkaline-​producing foods than acid-​producing foods.”

A fur­ther check with a der­ma­tol­o­gist here rec­om­mends cau­tion on such a diet. Said Dr Mark Tang, senior con­sul­tant der­ma­tol­o­gist and head of the Eczema Clinic at the National Skin Cen­tre (NSC), “There is no good sci­en­tific evi­dence that an alka­line diet can help improve or ‘cure’ eczema. How­ever, patients with eczema should focus on eat­ing a healthy, bal­anced diet and avoid foods that they them­selves know worsen their eczema. Dietary advice should be indi­vid­u­alised and planned together with their doc­tor or dieti­cian. What is more impor­tant is that alka­line soaps (usu­ally hard bar soaps) should be avoided in eczema patients as they can worsen the dry­ness and inflam­ma­tion of the skin.”

Per­sis­tence pays off

Despite all these opin­ions, the father of one is not swayed. Tan cred­its his diet, as well as daily mois­tur­is­ing and a reg­u­lar intake of fish oil, for help­ing him con­trol his eczema or what is also called der­mati­tis. (Accord­ing to NSC, eczema affects one out of 10 per­sons at some point in their lives, and it can be present in all age groups.) His con­di­tion started in 2007 while on hol­i­day in Yun­nan, China. He shared: “The weather there was dry and cold, and I got a red rash that I started scratch­ing.” When he returned to Sin­ga­pore, the rash as well as the scratch­ing got worse.

He is con­vinced that besides the weather con­di­tions in China, his unhealthy body from drink­ing reg­u­larly could be a con­tribut­ing fac­tor. With no fam­ily his­tory of aller­gies or asthma, the itchy red patches that appeared on his arms and legs con­tin­ued plagu­ing him. “When I scratched, pus would come out and the red patches were there all the time. My con­di­tion made me very uncom­fort­able,” said the man­ager of a trad­ing company.

[cap­tion id=“attachment_3542” align=“alignright” width=“300” caption=“Tan believes an alka­line diet, which is mostly veg­e­tar­ian, played a part in “cur­ing” his eczema.”][/​caption]

He decided to seek help and went to see some doc­tors, as well as a der­ma­tol­o­gist. They pre­scribed him anti­his­t­a­mines, top­i­cal steroid creams and mois­turis­ers, which he applied reg­u­larly but to no avail. “There was tem­po­rary relief but after a while, the itchy patches would return. The doc­tors kept telling me there was no cure.”

Tan wasn’t ready to give up just yet. He read up on books by Dr Mur­ray and Dr Robert Young, an author of alter­na­tive med­i­cine books pro­mot­ing an alka­line diet includ­ing “The pH Mir­a­cle”, and found there might be a cure for his eczema if he fol­lowed such a diet. In 2008, he did just that and sup­ple­mented it with fish oil and wheat­grass cap­sules every morn­ing, and after a bath, the use of moisturiser.

Said Tan: “I started eat­ing more fruits and veg­eta­bles dur­ing meals such as dur­ing break­fast, I would eat a papaya and toma­toes from Mon­day to Fri­day. It just became a way of liv­ing and not really a strict diet. Now and then, I eat ice cream and cake, and I still drink.”

Today, he is still fol­low­ing this régime, and he has had pos­i­tive results – “There has been no eczema recur­rence. I have since thrown out the steroid creams and I have stopped tak­ing anti­his­t­a­mine pills. I am happy to be on an alka­line diet. Not only did it cure my eczema, but it has kept me healthy.”

(** The quote in “Wel­come Times” has been approved for use by Doc​tor​Mu​ray​.com.)

(** PHOTO CREDIT: Fruit and veg­eta­bles, tony­pow­ell, stock.xchng)


An eczema sufferer for six years says an alkaline diet is his solution.

 

BY: Eleanor Yap

 

KK Tan, 67, swears by an alkaline diet, which is mostly vegetarian. The theory behind such a diet is that by eating certain foods, it can help maintain the body’s ideal pH balance and can therefore be used to treat or prevent diseases, and in his case, eczema. Though such a diet may be healthy, experts say that the body maintains its pH balance regardless of the diet and what one eats does not determine the blood’s pH level.

 

Experts weigh in

Dr Michael Murray, a naturopathic physician and the author of “The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine”, has a different take on the subject. In an article in “Welcome Times” last year, he wrote: “There is growing evidence that the dietary acid-alkaline balance may influence certain disease states like osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout and many others.

KK Tan now without eczema.

“For example, osteoporosis may be the result of a chronic intake of acid-forming foods consistently outweighing the intake of alkaline foods, leading to depletion of alkaline minerals (calcium and magnesium) from the bone in order to buffer the excess acid. The dietary goal for good health is simple – make sure that you have a higher intake of alkaline-producing foods than acid-producing foods.”

A further check with a dermatologist here recommends caution on such a diet. Said Dr Mark Tang, senior consultant dermatologist and head of the Eczema Clinic at the National Skin Centre (NSC), “There is no good scientific evidence that an alkaline diet can help improve or ‘cure’ eczema. However, patients with eczema should focus on eating a healthy, balanced diet and avoid foods that they themselves know worsen their eczema. Dietary advice should be individualised and planned together with their doctor or dietician. What is more important is that alkaline soaps (usually hard bar soaps) should be avoided in eczema patients as they can worsen the dryness and inflammation of the skin.”

 

Persistence pays off

Despite all these opinions, the father of one is not swayed. Tan credits his diet, as well as daily moisturising and a regular intake of fish oil, for helping him control his eczema or what is also called dermatitis. (According to NSC, eczema affects one out of 10 persons at some point in their lives, and it can be present in all age groups.) His condition started in 2007 while on holiday in Yunnan, China. He shared: “The weather there was dry and cold, and I got a red rash that I started scratching.” When he returned to Singapore, the rash as well as the scratching got worse.

He is convinced that besides the weather conditions in China, his unhealthy body from drinking regularly could be a contributing factor. With no family history of allergies or asthma, the itchy red patches that appeared on his arms and legs continued plaguing him. “When I scratched, pus would come out and the red patches were there all the time. My condition made me very uncomfortable,” said the manager of a trading company.

Tan believes an alkaline diet, which is mostly vegetarian, played a part in “curing” his eczema.

He decided to seek help and went to see some doctors, as well as a dermatologist. They prescribed him antihistamines, topical steroid creams and moisturisers, which he applied regularly but to no avail. “There was temporary relief but after a while, the itchy patches would return. The doctors kept telling me there was no cure.”

Tan wasn’t ready to give up just yet. He read up on books by Dr Murray and Dr Robert Young, an author of alternative medicine books promoting an alkaline diet including “The pH Miracle”, and found there might be a cure for his eczema if he followed such a diet. In 2008, he did just that and supplemented it with fish oil and wheatgrass capsules every morning, and after a bath, the use of moisturiser.

Said Tan: “I started eating more fruits and vegetables during meals such as during breakfast, I would eat a papaya and tomatoes from Monday to Friday. It just became a way of living and not really a strict diet. Now and then, I eat ice cream and cake, and I still drink.”

Today, he is still following this regime, and he has had positive results – “There has been no eczema recurrence. I have since thrown out the steroid creams and I have stopped taking antihistamine pills. I am happy to be on an alkaline diet. Not only did it cure my eczema, but it has kept me healthy.”

 

(** The quote in “Welcome Times” has been approved for use by DoctorMuray.com.)

(** PHOTO CREDIT: Fruit and vegetables, tonypowell, stock.xchng)


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