What does Breastfeeding have to do with Eczema?
I’d like to talk a little bit about breastfeeding and eczema and what it has to do with Integrative Dermatology. The whole idea of eczema is to try to reduce the allergies that are coming to the infant that would be coming if you fed all different kinds of foods that come from the table. And the idea being that the infant is adapted to having breast milk as a much gentler much healthier, much less allergy containing food than saying giving cow’s milk or soy milk or something like that.
So what you really want to do is have a less allergenic product to feed the baby with. Now here is the problem, if you have allergies coming out into your breast milk, then that could aggravate the baby. And how would that happen? That could happen if you have a problem known as “leaky gut”, which means there is a defective barrier between your intestines and your bloodstream. So that food substances that aren’t completely broken down get out into the blood and get into the breast milk and cause allergies in the baby.
And this problem, this leaky gut seems to be more and more common. Why is it more common? Because lots of people are eating huge amounts of sugar. The American public eats 150 pounds of sugar per person per year. So that’s a lot, it creeps into all of our different foods, and of course it’s tasty. And the problem is we have a lot of yeasty food, bread, wine, beer and fungal related foods are cheese and mushrooms.
All of those convince the immune system in the gut to allow more yeast to grow, more yeast causes more inflammation, more inflammation causes more leakage across the membrane disruption of the barrier. And all of these substances get in that shouldn’t get in. Now if they were completely broken down to amino acids, that wouldn’t be a problem.
But also we have problems with digestion, so the combination of digestive problems, inflammation from overgrowth of the wrong organisms like yeast And the foods that may also be allergens; potent allergens like milk and gluten, all these things together can lead to leakage across the gut. And by the way gluten itself can cause leakage. So all that combined allows things to leak across and get into the blood stream. And into the milk, and therefore a lot of the babies breastfeeding are getting the allergens you are trying to avoid in the first place.
So it’s really important to fix leaky gut before you get pregnant. Because you don’t want to correct your digestive system when you got a baby growing in there. So we have a big problem in the world today of too many pregnant women with leaky gut leading to too many allergens getting across to the babies even in breast milk, and too many allergies, so that babies are born with eczema in higher and higher numbers.