Book Review – The Eczema Diet by Karen Fischer

This is by far the most comprehensive and useful book related to the eczema diet that i have read. And it’s has been a very good guide in my current eczema diet. The first page has a very powerful message – To appreciate the healing power of food, you must first have something to heal. And from that page onwards, I found it hard to stop flipping to the next page, and next page.

Chapter content and summary :

Karen organizes the contents of the book very systematically. It covers many topics related to eczema condition. Occassionally, she also provides very useful tips that any eczema caregiver or sufferer would be interested in. “Itch Busters” – she lists down several ways to alleviate itching, like cold compress and baking soda bath. I personally tried some of the methods, but some are new to me and now I have more ways to minimize itching. Maybe that’s why I do really feel much less itchy generally. Here is a high level summary of how her book flows :
  1. Getting to Know Eczema – How the skin works and skin basics are explained in very understandable terms, with some picture illustration.
  2. Six Step Anti Eczema Program – Basically 6 main steps on how you can change your lifestyle to eliminate the rash. Reduce our chemical load and blood histamine levels by tweaking our diet. Improve our gastrointestinal health with the correct food and supplement. Balance our fat ratios ie. the omegas, promote liver detoxification and restore our acid-alkaline balance. If you notice, these are all related to our food!! So it’s aligned with my current approach using diet to minimize itch and rash flareups.
  3. Eczema Healthy Food – Top 20 eczema healthy food and why they made it to this list. Some common food that made it to the list and easy for us to add more into our daily diet – banana, papaya, potato, oat, fish. One interesting finding is that rice bran oil was the recommended oil to use for frying/sauteing. Whenever I go to the supermarket, I am overwhelmed by the choices – canola, sunflower, peanut, soya bean, olive, corn oils. So now, it will be easier for me to narrow down – I will choose rice bran oil when my cooking oil runs out.
  4. Eczema Supplements – Top 15 eczema supplements. Sounds like a lot, but we don’t have to specifically take all in supplement form. We need to mantain a healthy diet and ensure we eat foods rich in these nutrients. These only need to be added as supplement in the beginning when rashes are still prominent. Here are some of the listed supplements : Vitamin C, vitamin B6, Magnesium, zinc, chromium, Vitamin D, E, quercetin, Essential fatty acid, probiotics, calcium. Do be cautious not to buy different standalone supplements as you may overdose. I am currently only taking quercetin with Vitamin C, flaxseed, fish oil and probiotic as standalone supplements. I am currently on the Skinfriend supplement which has been specially put together for eczema condition. I will taper this down to alternate days and to stop eventually when my eczema clears up.
  5. Healthy Skin Care Routine – This covers eczema-safe ingredients to use and also the daily regime.
  6. Children with Eczema – One plus point about this book is that it has a section dedicated to children to ensure that their growth and development are not affected with the restriction in diet.
  7. Planning the Eczema Diet – Karen recommends a 3-day alkaline diet to detoxify and subsequently choose Stage 1 diets which are mainly alkaline, with some low acid food. Stage 2 and Stage 3 food can be slowly introduced when when our eczema have cleared. She also crafts out menu plans and lists of food in the stages as a good guidance.
  8. Recipes – And lastly the recipes using the stage 1 food to help us have a variety when we embark on our eczema diet program.
For the detail chapter breakdown, you can check it here. My biggest take away or learning from this book is how to approach the acid-alkaline diet balance in a systematic way. The other good learning is that how diet can influence the histamine level in our body which leads to allergy and itchiness. I borrowed this book from the library and it’s currently available in most public libraries. Else, you could place a reservation for $1.55. It will also be a good investment to buy this book from stores if you are serious about tweaking your diet.   Read more about the adapted Asian version of the alkaline eczema diet    

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