About 6 months ago, I decided to try the anti-candida diet after being paleo for 8 months. I heard it was normal to suffer from the die-off symptoms, and that it would go away. The dizziness subsided, so I thought it was true. It was going well until about 11 days in, when I started getting a rash on my stomache. It got worse after a couple of days where I had a huge rash formed into an "m" on my abdomen and what looked like bad acne all over my back. What's weird is my really bad face acne I had prior cleared up. My family told me I really needed to see a doctor, but I kept assuring them it's just die-off. It got so bad that I couldn't sleep, and I went to see my doctor who thought it was shingles and made an appointment with a dermatologist. The dermatologist took a look and told me it was contact dermatitis (eczema), told me to not wear my brand new undergarments, and gave me a prescription for a steroid cream and prednisone tablets for two weeks. The dermatologist said it's impossible for a reaction to occur because of taking out a certain food out of my diet. So, there is no link with going on the anti-candida diet (eating basically no sugar int the form of fruit) and getting my eczema is what I was told. Much of the eczema went down, but it never completely disappeared. Spots even appeared on my chest that weren't there before. The eczema would calm down a bit and come back again. I never went back, because I feel like the doctors are missing something. I got rid of my undergarments. I'm already doing paleo. I went back to eating fruit. I've never ever suffered with eczema before. I don't know why I got it so suddenly and why I still have it. I still have a rash above my stomache. It calms down and gets worse. (Fluctuates) It's more frustrating than ever.
I'm sorry this is so long. My question is: Has anyone gotten eczema AFTER going on paleo or the anti-candida diet? If so, is it normal?
(2/11/13) EDIT: So, I cut out eggs 2 weeks ago and I haven't had any problems with my eczema. It's completely gone. I did read eggs can be a cause of eczema, but I never thought it would be for me. I have eaten eggs my whole life, so why now? Realistically, I don't even know if it IS the eggs. All I know is I thought, "what the heck?" And I decided to give up eggs for a while to see if anything changed. Within a few days, my eczema was clear. So, I'm going to go with what I noticed and just avoid eggs for now. Hahaha.. and my family thought it was the almonds. Thank you all for your input! It did help me rethink and back-track. My theory is when I went on the anti-candida diet for 19 days, my body was in sudden distress and just became much more sensitive to what I was eating (eggs). I don't even know if this is possible or makes sense. I'm just really happy! Thanks again!
(2/19/13) It's back with a vengeance! I haven't even eaten any eggs. :( Back to square one.
No, but I had some over my eyes that got worse when I was eating a lot of coconut based products. It took me an extremely long time to realize I was allergic to coconut- in fact it was someone else's question asked here on Paleohacks that made me connect the dots between my symptoms and coconut. I took coconut out of my diet and very seldom see a flare up- the latest cause for a flare up was liposomal glutathione- not the glutathione itself, but the soy lethicin used to make the liposomes.
So, I was relying heavily on something that I was allergic to, and I did not realize it, because I had not eaten coconut in such quantities previously. Are you relying on something, especially plant based (the offenders are often plant proteins of some kind or other)?
Also, I've noticed my diet continues to shift over time. I never was much for seafood, but now I find myself eating fish more and more. Part of this is likely in answer to the question, "What is the cleanest and most paleo thing I can buy in this grocery store?", but I like to think part of it is also the biological system starting to function again. I believe, before industrial food chemistry started short circuiting everything, we would crave the things we needed, what was good for us. So, it is probably natural to shift diets, not only because of seasons, and limitations, but even in times of abundance- because of biochemistry.
So, changing things up may also help you.
Actually yes. After going paleo for about a year, I have developed an eczema rash on my back. IT started out small than progressively got bigger and more irritated. I did not know what it was until the dermatologist tested it.
He also advised a steroid cream, but I went the natural route and put some coconut oil on it daily instead. It is working great and the rash has significantly improved over the past 2 weeks.
I am still unsure as to why it developed. My only conclusion at this point in time is that it starts to itch when I eat eggs or anything with milk (and sometimes high-gluten products)... which I know I have an allergy to all 3. I have consumed huge quantities of eggs and grass fed butter over the past 8 months so this makes sense.
Hope this helps!
Yes, after going paleo to rid myself of acne I developed dermatitis on my face. I believe it is gut related as my acne has subsided ive become more sensitive to foods. Before I would be on the SAD and not feel a thing down their, whereas now I would introduce say sweet potato and feel uncomfortable(starch). I have no idea why this happens but maybe my body masked the pain when I was on the SAD OR I developed food intolorences due to a shift in gut bacteria? I'm not too sure, but what really sets my eczema off is strong anti-fungals, for instance i'm fine with coconut oil, onions, garlic... But if I take grape-seed extract+garlic both in a pill form i'm pretty much screwed.
Last time i've been this clear was 7 years ago, I have been on a 100% paleo + no starch(GAPS) diet for 3.5 months now. I notice that my body is constantly changing, I can now tolerate egg whites and sweet potatoes(in small amounts) which i'm pleased about.
I would advise:
Keep a food log, then when your eczema flairs out maybe you can trace a pattern and eliminate the problem
Try and go on a low fodmap diet for a while and see if you notice anything different. I never had any problems with my gut until I went paleo, anyone would say its the paleo diet causing these symptoms, if that's the case why is my face clear now? and why are my symptoms fading away slowly? if anything they would be getting worse.
check out chris kresser's blog and podcast they are very informative
Be carefull with the statement 'Listen to your body', sometimes you may be reacting to a certain food and not be experiencing any noticeable symptoms (i'm an example to this).
After copious amounts of research I found that eczema is caused by M.Furfur a bacteria that lives on the surface of the skin(everyone's skin) and in your gut. I have also found a few studies that claim saturated fat FEEDS M.Furfur but Im not sure what to say about that other than my sat fat is through the roof and havn't experienced eczema since I was on the 'Candea Bio Kult' pills.
I remember using topical apple cider vinegar in the morning and before bed, it worked really well. If that doesn't work or it's hard to find maybe try eucaliptus oil(I read it kills the m.furfur strain), tea tree oil is a powerful anti-fungal and is also anti-inflammatory.
This is nothing else but experience from a 21yo male.
Excuse the spelling,grammar mistakes I am coming home from work and in a bit of a rush!
I got eczema on my stomach shortly after starting to eat paleo 3 years ago. Sadly it's never fully gone away, the itchy rash comes and goes and the skin underneath is a bit discoloured now. I don't know if I can blame paleo though, it could have been just a coincidence. I have hayfever and occasionally allergic asthma that has gotten worse as I've gotten older and eczema tends to be related to that.
There's a few things I believe will cause or worsen a flare-up for me:
I think I've tried every sort of diet hack in the last 3 years, and nothing has caused the eczema to go away completely. It does get a lot better in the summer though. I think the causes of eczema are pretty multi-dimensional so switching out foods, detergents, cosmetics may or may not work for you.
Yah.. that is the curse of cleaning up the diet. Depending on where you were prior to going Paleo something happens when you remove a lot of toxins. Like another poster mentioned some hormonal and immunity things shift causing your body to react differently. I find that it is common for people to unearth health problems when adopting a Paleo lifestyle. On the one hand its good that they come to the surface instead of staying masked and eventually evolving into something more serious, but on the other hand it is a massive pain in the ass.
I have been Paleo-ish (I follow PHD) for about 2 years, but for the first year I wasn't as committed and still was partying (drinking) a lot. So, in the past year as I've continued to hone in on my diet things have popped up. I think something happens in us when we switch to a new diet we are becoming more aware of how we feel, symptoms, foods etc. Whereas we may have ignored something in our previous lives, this new lifestyle makes us more astute observers of our own bodies. So.. for me.. cleaning up and tweaking the diet has led me to gut issues that have been there forever and that often manifest in skin rashes, itching, tingling, vitamin deficiencies,etc.
I would recommend to continue fighting the good fight and maybe looking to the gut for clues.
Hmmm. I have had eczema off & on for years, luckily mild. I find that it is affected by all sorts of different inflammatory processes -- food, hormones, etc.
Mine totally went away after I had been eating paleo/primal for about a year. It came back briefly this year when I was having other hormonal issues, but I got it under control pretty quickly.
On the one hand, I do understand your dermatologist's thinking. On the other, a radical change in diet can cause changes in thyroid & hormone functions, and skin is sometimes an early indicator of inflammation and/or immunity issues. So not sure he is right in the end.
But also odd that your rash is only on your torso. I am far from an expert on eczema, mind you, but it almost sounds like pityriasis rosea (which I've also had), but it would be rare for it to last this long. If that is the case, it would probably respond to tanning bed treatments. I would try looking at some google images to see if that fits, and for that matter, there are LOTs of great google images of all sorts of skin rashes. So maybe try some detective work.
But also, if it were me, I'd try another dermatologist.
I can only think of one thing: you have some other undiagnosed food intolerance.
I was on an anti-candida diet for months and felt like shit all the time. No starch, no fruit. It was absolutely horrible and I was depressed as hell. I finally saw a naturopathic doc after self-medicating with all sorts of anti-candida crap. I went on an emulsified form of oil of oregano tablets for about two months, and I'm pretty sure that's all taken care of. You should also know this very important fact: adrenal fatigue symptoms are IDENTICAL to candida, and in fact...it can cause candida! Hello! It's a vicious cycle, but I found treating the root of the issue is the most important thing. Liquorice root powder in some water a few times a day has helped me.
I've recently seriously upped my starch content in the form of sweet potatoes, and I'm feeling MUCH better and have much more energy.
Are you taking cod liver oil? If not, start asap.
I'd highly recommend supplementing with l-glutamine in powder form on an empty stomach. Start with 5 grams a day, and slowly work your way up. This is an amino acid that helps with sugar cravings, but more importantly heals your intestinal lining. I had perorial dermatitis on my chin, around my nose for over a year, and I got rid of it completely in a month by using l-glutamine and getting up to 20 grams a day. Any more than that and I was in serious abdominal pain, so your mileage may vary!
Report back ;)
Oh yes. Canadian winters suck. My skin itches like mad.
Paleo and Eczema 1 Answer