Baby gut health and eczema
For children suffering from baby eczema, having a healthy gut can help prevent flare-ups. The gastrointestinal system, or the gut makes up 70% of the body’s immune system. Having a good immune system is particularly important for children suffering from eczema as flare-ups often occur when children are stressed and run-down. The gastrointestinal system plays a key role in overall immune health, as it communicates messages to and from the brain to fight against diseases. When working well, the system acts as a barrier to allow nutrients to pass but still protect against foreign pathogens.
Does gut bacteria effect eczema?
It is commonly known that children with eczema have a more diverse set of bacteria in their guts than non-affected children. A recent study by the University of Turku in Finland, found that although the number of bacteria in the gut naturally falls with age, the early change towards adult-type bacteria is a risk factor for eczema. At six months all the infants had the same types of bacteria but by eighteen months old the children with eczema had more of a type of bacteria normally associated with adults (clostridium clusters IV and XIVa) while the healthy children had a greater number of Bacteroidetes (gut bacteria found in children). The composition of bacteria in a child’s gut depends on its environment and the food it eats. You would expect that as a child’s diet changes so will the bacteria present. Therefore, it is interesting that the study found that children with eczema had significantly different gut bacteria than children without eczema.
When to much bad bacteria enters the gut, inflammation happens. While this can be good to get rid of the harmful bacteria, frequent inflammation can weaken the walls of the gut lining, creating holes in which is commonly known as ‘leaky gut’. The bad bacteria can then enter the blood stream from these holes which causes infections. As the skin is the largest elimination organ, it means that when bacteria are being attacked by the body eczema flare-ups are more likely. This highlights that overall gut health is crucial to the management of eczema in children.
Helping a child with eczema get a health gut – tips and tricks
Keeping high levels of good bacteria in the gut can help with eczema flare-ups. Being mindful of your child’s is important as the gut inflammation may trigger a flareup. Certain foods such as sugary, junk food, processed foods, and medications such as antibiotics and topical steroid creams can have a negative effect on the balance of the gut bacteria. Eating foods that have natural anti-inflammatory properties can be useful for maintaining gut balance.
Grahams Natural Alternatives have developed a product to help protect the gut from inflammation. It was quickly figured out that to treat eczema effectively you can’t just treat it topically you need to nourish it from the ‘inside, out’ as well. The Mega Oil contains 100% natural oil ingredients including Omega 3, 6 and 9, our oil to treat gut issues that can contribute to skin disorders and overall health issues. While the oil was designed for adult use, children can also use the Mega Oil. We do recommend giving it to children younger than 6 months. The Mega Oil can begin to be introduced into the child’s diet as they start on solids.
Oil can be extremely useful for the managing gut bacteria. Particularly Omega 3, which the body cannot naturally make, therefore we must get it from somewhere. While high contents of omega 3 is found in walnuts, flax seed oil and a few different species of fish, it can be tough getting children to eat these foods. Having omega 3 in the oil, requires less thinking for a busy mum when mapping out an eczema child diet as the Mega Oil takes care of this aspect!
A gut healing and eczema fighting smoothie!
1 cup plain yogurt
2 cups frozen blueberries
½ cup of green tea
1 tablespoon of honey (optional)
3 teaspoons of Mega oil
Start by steeping your green tea. Preferably, use fresh matcha powder over the teabag variety, since green tea (much like omega-3 fish oil) is better in a fresh, less processed form.
- In a blender, combine the yogurt, blueberries, and green tea and blend until smooth. Add the honey if you prefer the extra sweetness.
- Pour the mixture into a tall glass.
- Now, with a spoon, stir in the Mega Oil until smooth.