Filaggrin Deficiencies – Manage filaggrin deficiencies and Strengthen your immune system to respond to filaggrin deficiencies
If you missed our previous post – Finally, Scientists Discover What Triggers Eczema – do give it a read so you could understand more about it.
Managing filaggrin deficiencies
As you know, filaggrin deficiencies are a genetic mutation, which means, our DNA has been altered and it’s not as simple as buying something off the shelves to replace the deficiencies. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t manage it.
Eczema is a chronic disease, which means, it comes and goes. When one is constantly exposed to the trigger point, or when one has a weak immune system, you would be suffering from eczema attacks.
Finding your trigger point
Individual ‘A’ is allergic to dairy and indivdual ‘B’ is allergic to dust. What will happen to A and B when they are served with a slice of cake?
Individual ‘A’ will be having an allergic reaction, which could be eczema, asthma, itch, etc whereas individual ‘B’ will be eating the cake happily without issue.
Without finding out what triggers your allergic reaction, you would, constantly fall into this cycle of eczema.
As much as we couldn’t and shouldn’t bubble wrap our child for life, but knowing the trigger point, would definitely help. For example, I’m allergic to dust and if I know I would be exposed to a dusty area, my first response to prevent an eczema breakout is that I would take anti-histamine beforehand.
I’m also a big believer of you’re what you eat, so read further about how I strengthen mine and my kid’s immune system.
5 Big Steps to Strengthen the Immune System
1| Build a healthy gut
I couldn’t stress this enough. Having a healthy gut is very important for an overall health. I realize my kids’ health improves when I incorporate food rich in probiotics and bone broth in their diet.
This is what I do – I substitute water with bone broth in dishes such as soups, stews, stir-fries, etc. So any water or liquid needed in cooking would be replaced with bone broth. Bone broth is rich in calcium and it’s the pillar for a healthy gut.
To make bone broth – boil bones with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and 5 liters of water for at least 24 hours. Normally during cough and flu season, I would also add in garlic to boil as it’s a good anti-inflammatory food. 24 hours may seem daunting but you could always use electric cooker or pressure cooker to speed up the cooking time.
Other food for guts that are rich in probiotics are yogurt, kombucha and kefir.
2| Eliminate, or at least, reduce sugar
Did you realize whenever your kids bring back party packs and after they consume those sugary snacks, they would start to cough within 2-3 hours? Bad bacteria and viruses feed on sugary food, especially refined sugar.
Some parents ask how did I manage to eliminate sugar from my kids diet. To be honest, I just explain to my kids. Yes, it is that simple.
My two older kids are 4 and 6 years old. As they’re at the age of exploring and learning, they absorb information like a sponge! I started by allowing them to eat the snacks. Then I told them, when the clock struck XX time, you’d realize that you’d be coughing or feeling itchy.
By allowing them to learn and experience it together, all you need is just that one time and you will realize the next time, the elder kid would explain to the younger siblings why they shouldn’t take it.
We attended a close friend’s birthday celebration a few nights ago and we bought an ice cream cake. As we’re traveling for holiday this coming week, my eldest kid told us that he’s not eating the ice cream cake because it’d make him cough and he wouldn’t be able to enjoy the holiday. Guess what? His two younger sisters followed suit because kids love to follow what their big brother does.
3| Eat whole food
Whole food sometimes are mistaken as being vegan. In this context, whole food means eating it as natural form as possible, which includes meats. Processed food such as nuggets, fish balls, sausages, etc are high in additives, flavoring, coloring, and preservatives and are commonly also trigger points.
Whole foods such as fruits and vegetables are packed full of phytochemicals and natural compounds can help reduce the risk of diseases. Fruits and vegetables also contain nutrients and fiber, and the best way to make sure you’re getting these beneficial elements is to eat them in their natural form.
4| Reduce use of chemicals
Sometimes we might not realize but actually, the usage of chemicals in today’s life is quite alarming.
When my eldest kid was 8 months old, he started crawling. As a first time panicky mom, I diligently mopped the floor on a daily basis with a very popular anti-bacterial household brand floor cleaner. I didn’t want my house to smell like a hospital and as my son didn’t sleep well, having a lavender scented anti-bacterial floor cleaner would be perfect!
My son has been having eczema since birth, which means his skin barrier (to learn more about it, do read our earlier article about it here) has already been compromised. With him crawling around and being exposed to more allergen, his skin got more and more inflamed. Later on I discovered that he’s allergic to most form of fragrances too, whereby sometimes, he would start whizzing and getting asthma attacks.
5| Let them sweat it out
Now, this might be kinda subjective because some parents tell me that their kid’s skin starts to turn red and inflamed when they sweat it out. I would like to address this separately.
What I meant by letting them sweat it out is to eliminate toxic. Our skin is the largest organ in our body and also the most efficient way to eliminate toxic. When we let them sweat out, especially if they play under the morning sun where they could get Vitamin D, it actually helps with eczema recovery.
However, when your kid’s skin starts to turn red and inflamed when they sweat it out, that’s because they’re soaked in the sweat for too long. Sweats contain salt, which means, staying on your skin barrier would only draw out moisturizer from the skin, leading to dehydration. When this happens, it breaks the skin barrier, which then allows allergen to penetrate the skin.
So what you need to do is, within a reasonable time frame after their body cools down, give them a good shower and moisturize them.