News

My skin itches is it eczema? August 29, 2016 13:07

So you got the itch and you want to scratch but what can it be? It may just be on a small area or the whole body! Itchy skin, also known as pruritus is an irritating sensation and with a range of probable causes. It can be linked to skin diseases and infection but more commonly its a symptom of atopic dermatitis. There’s a wealth of information out there on the causes and treatments. Here are a few to get you started:

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/311473.php This recent article examines the causes of itchy skin. 

http://www.healthline.com/health/itching Lists 70 possible causes of itching (along with useful photo examples) including allergic eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis and more.   

http://www.dermnetnz.org/topics/itch-pruritus/ Gives a more closer look at some of the systemic disorders, occurrence and treatment for the itch. 

 

As with any medical concern it is best to seek help from your doctor or dermatologist first. Finding the cause of the itching and effective treatment of any underlying condition is the first step and can only be done by a medical practitioner.  If eczema is identified then have a look at our Eczacol product page for safe effective treatment and be on the road to an itch free life. 

 

*Please remember to always seek medical advice. This article is written generically about eczema and should not supersede any advice received by a medical professional about an individual condition. If you think you have eczema, atopic dermatitis or any other condition get the advice of your Family Doctor especially before beginning or changing any course of medication.


Does my baby have Eczema? August 24, 2016 16:40

There’s nothing like snuggling up with you’re beautiful new born or growing baby. Most babies are born with a variety of harmless imperfections (rashes, spots, acne and bumps). Your baby’s skin is a work in progress and goes through a number of changes in the early days and weeks of it’s life.  

Infant eczema is one of the most common baby skin conditions. Usually it appears in the first six months and only lasts up to their 5th birthday. There is not one single cause for eczema. It can be hereditary or a reaction to allergens or environmental irritants such as pollen or smoke.   

The main symptom to look for is:- 

Itchy rashes – usually from the face down through to any part the body. Look at the crooks of your baby’s body (elbows, knees), wrists and ankles. It may look like dry, thickened, scaly skin or tiny red bumps that ooze or look infected when scratched. 

A few things you can do? 

Seek medical advice. You’re family doctor is your first port of call to correctly diagnose eczema and advice on any treatment.  

Regulate your baby’s body temperature. Any rapid changes can dry out the delicate skin. Choose natural soft fabrics like cotton for clothing and bedding.  Dress your baby’s hands with mittens or socks and keep fingernails short.   

Keep baby’s skin moisturised and stay away from any harsh soaps and detergents.  Use mild, fragrance-free for laundry and no chemical fabric softeners. 

Get connected with other parents going through the same thing - it helps to share advice, experience and ideas in managing the condition.   

 And, don't forget: 

Grab plenty of rest where you can. A new baby is a challenging season of life and managing infant eczema on top of that can be exhausting.  Allow family and friends to help whenever they can and make use of any local support groups. 

 

Infant eczema usually clears up into that lovely soft, smooth skin parents adore.  Many children outgrow eczema by the time they turn two. Some by the time they’re adults. If only adult eczema could just disappear in the same way. 

 

*Please remember to always seek medical advice. This article is written generically about eczema and should not supersede any advice received by a medical professional about an individual condition. If you think you have eczema, atopic dermatitis or any other condition get the advice of you Family Doctor especially before beginning or changing any course of medication. 

 


Do I have eczema? May 04, 2016 00:00

‘This rash won’t go away.’ ‘My skin is very dry and sensitive.’ ‘I can’t stop scratching.’ 

These are very common complaints from sufferers of eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis.  Eczema can affect anyone, at any time in life, though mostly during infancy.  About 20% of babies have it and 1 in 10 adults have some type of eczema.  Often sufferers will have family members with the same condition or may suffer hay fever, asthma or other allergies.

What does it look like?

If you, or a loved one, have eczema it’s likely your skin will be red, dry and sensitive. Symptoms can range from very mild to severe.  You may suffer from the unpleasant and intense itching causing further inflammation on your skin.

Other signs to look out for are:
  • Recurring rash
  • Oozing and crusting of skin 
  • Scaly areas 
  • Rough leathery patches 
  • Dark coloured patches

Symptoms of eczema are different for each person and can affect any part of your skin. Commonly it’s found in the bends of the elbows and knees, face, buttocks, hands, wrists and feet. But really it can appear anywhere.

Getting help

If you suspect you have this condition it is important to see your medical practitioner straightaway.  They can best diagnose eczema by examining the skin and looking at any family history. They may then refer you to a dermatologist or allergist for confirmation or treatment. If you would like some advice on the many treatments available speak to your local pharmacist about what is available or head to our online store to check out Eczacol and find out if it could help you.

What about my kids?

Signs of eczema in children usually appear as early as nine to twelve months of age, with some as early as 4 months. In babies eczema tends to show up on the cheeks and scalp first.  It may spread to the arms, legs, chest or other parts of the body.  Rash’s also commonly appear on: -

  • Inside of elbows and backs of knees
  • Wrists, and the ankles

Thankfully most children grow out of the condition before school age or adulthood. Remember though only your doctor can diagnose eczema correctly so if you are in any doubt check any unusual skin appearance with them.

If you discover you are an eczema sufferer and interested in finding out about how ECZACOL can help you or your child head to this page. 

*Please remember to always seek medical advice. This article is written generically about eczema and should not supersede any advice received by a medical professional about an individual condition. If you think you have eczema, atopic dermatitis or any other condition get the advice of your Family Doctor especially before beginning or changing any course of medication.


How do I spell eczema April 27, 2016 00:00

I don’t know about you but whenever I type in an uncommon word I rely on my wonderful computer to know what I’m talking about and do its job auto-correcting my spelling.  In my mind eczema should be spelt xcema or exzma! Other miss-spellings I have come across include eczima, ezema, exama, eximina oh I could go on. As I type I can see those red underlined words shouting at me! Who needs to spell the word correctly anyway when it is enough trouble managing the Simpsons sorry I mean symptoms.

The word eczema (got it right this time) has its origins from the Greek word ekzein.  This dates back all the way to 1753 and literally means “something thrown out by heat” ek – meaning out, zein - meaning boil. A name given from ancient practitioners to “any fiery pustule on the skin.”  To them they are creating a word from the appearance of boiling skin. Sounds lovely eh? So it goes from ekzein to ekzema to eczema (pronounced EK-zeh-ma). 

So how about atopic dermatitis, it sounds a bit more clinical.  Atopy comes from the word allergy and dermatitis meaning skin inflammation. This could seem like another fancy word for dry skin.

If, like me, you were curious about other versions of the same word check out these beautiful translations; perhaps Thai: โรคเรื้อนกวาง or even in Hindi खुजली? I think it looks far more impressive or elegant than having the condition feels.


Whatever the spelling or term you give it, if you’re an eczema sufferer have a look at our tried and tested product ECZACOL for effective relief from the symptoms of eczema.

*Please remember to always seek medical advice. This article is written generically about eczema and should not supersede any advice received by a medical professional about an individual condition. If you think you have eczema, atopic dermatitis or any other condition get the advice of your Family Doctor especially before beginning or changing any course of medication.


How do I treat eczema on my face? April 20, 2016 00:00

Eczema on your face does pose a beauty challenge. Masking delicate areas with make-up can make the symptoms of eczema worse and potentially draw attention to problem areas. Did you know the skin on your face is the thinnest on the body so it can react more sensitively to any product you use especially around the eyes and mouth area.

No make-up or facial cleansers have a complete answer but there are some great products out there to make you feel very presentably "human again". There’s even some that claim to be so free from chemicals you could eat them. Have a chat with your doctor or dermatologist first before trying any new product, as they may be able recommend what’s best for your individual skin condition.



If you are looking for a way to treat the symptoms of eczema and find freedom for your skin check out ECZACOL today. Taking 2 capsules 3 times a day has been proven to reduce the appearance of eczema symptoms in as little as 6 weeks.

Make-up tips:

Prepare the skin first and foremost with an oil-based moisturiser. Eczema prone skin can feel more like sandpaper than satin so always start with a rich base. The oil content gives a better barrier between your skin and foundation and keeps your skin hydrated for longer. For an easy natural make-up look you may want to stick to a tinted moisturiser.

Avoid any crumbly concealer and blushers that might cake on your skin. Creamier foundations are the way to go for drier skin and can be combined with moisturisers. Do a 24-hour test of make up on a small area of clear skin (perhaps along your jawline) to check for any reaction.

Take care with any eye cosmetic. Try using a gel liner rather than pencil to avoid pulling the delicate skin area.

A couple of ingredients to avoid:

Fragrances – synthetic scents can cause flare-ups. Even items labelled as “unscented” can still contain a fragrance to mask out other chemical odours.

Lanolin – It’s a pore blocking substance and some people have a reaction around the eye area when using lanolin-based make-up.

So if you do use make up: keep it light, select carefully and only wear when you feel it’s necessary. Check out the ingredients that can set off any eczema reaction and when you find the right products for your skin – stick with it.

Oh and always remember to gently clean away any make up before bed and get your skin-replenishing moisturiser on.

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Some recommendations:

Exederm - Is recommended by National Excema Association

World Organic - A personal preference of mine for make-up, moisterisers etc. – world organic! They have a great range of products, and advice on chemicals you might want to avoid.

Clarins - Ideal if you want to buy from the high street or local mall 

Here is a site with some good product and make up tips for eczema sufferers - Get The Gloss

 


What is eczema herpectium? April 13, 2016 00:00

Eczema Herpeticum is an uncommon but serious viral infection of the skin. Caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV1 or 2).  It’s normally found with people who already suffer from eczema or other inflammatory skin conditions. This is the same virus that causes cold sores and genital herpes. Eczema sufferers who have skin-to-skin contact with a person carrying this type of virus can potentially develop this condition.  

The symptoms  

Eczema herpeticum begins as a rash with large clusters of small blisters. This can occur in normal skin or skin already affected by eczema. The virus can affect any part of the body but is most commonly found on the face and neck. These blisters will have a similar appearance to chickenpox with clear fluid eventually turning into yellow pus. Fever and flu-like symptoms may then occur along with swollen lymph nodes.  

Newly infected patches can appear over a period of 7 to 10 days. If left untreated the infection can become more serious so if unexpected blisters appear or your eczema symptoms have suddenly become worse you should consult your doctor straightaway. 

Remember: Eczema herpecticum is a rare condition and normal eczema or atopic dermatitis does not carry the same extreme risks to a person's health. If you have any concerns that you may have this condition contact your doctor immediately.

Avoiding the condition 

Cold Sores: Eczema suffers should gracefully avoid skin-to skin contact with people with cold sores. These sores usually appear around the mouth area. Cold sores are most contagious when blisters are present but can lie dormant in the body when unseen.  

Don’t share any food, utensils, drinks, lip balms – basically anything that’s been in contact with a cold sore sufferer’s mouth.  Also keep up the good hand washing practices.  

Herpes: With genital herpes acting as a carrier for this virus it is important to take precautions with any sexual intimacy. Having an open and honest discussion with your partner about the possibility of this condition is the first important step. Abstaining is of course the best preventative but if not possible – protection should be used to avoid transference of the virus. Remember this virus is transferred skin-to-skin so effective prevention is essential to prevent uncomfortable situation happening later on. 

Treatment 

If you’re an eczema sufferer with open rashes and have come into contact with a person who has a herpes cold sore seek medical attention. In the unlikely event eczema herpeticum being diagnosed or suspected your doctor will usually prescribe a course of anti-viral drugs to get the infection under control.   

*Please remember to always seek medical advice. This article is written generically about eczema and should not supersede any advice received by a medical professional about an individual condition. If you think you have eczema, atopic dermatitis or any other condition get the advice of your Family Doctor especially before beginning or changing any course of medication.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Can I make my eczema better with diet? April 06, 2016 00:00

Well it’s a good question! A healthy diet and good proper nutrition is important to our general wellbeing whether we have eczema or not. Some people report that they have been able to eliminate eczema by significantly changing food choices. So it is definitely worth considering what you eat to find out if certain foods are potential triggers for you.

Food Triggers

Linking the eating of certain foods with eczema symptoms is an individual thing. Common foods that can potentially cause a flare-up are dairy (especially cow’s milk and egg), soy, nuts, wheat and shellfish. These food groups alone cause 90% of all food allergies.
Some of the more acidic fruits – strawberries, tomatoes, oranges and lemons can also set off a skin reaction in eczema sufferers. If you think you may be allergic to a particular food its best to talk to your doctor. Testing may then be recommended to diagnose any specific allergies.

Food additives and preservatives found in pre-packaged and processed food can also trigger or worsen the eczema. Look on the labels for ingredients like tartrazine (E102), sodium benzoate, fruit preservatives and monosodium glutamate (MSG).

Elimination diets

Some people find it beneficial to avoid certain food types to relieve the eczema. Known as an “elimination diet’ or exclusion diet’. This does take some time - it’s a process of finding out what could be the trigger by removing specific foods or ingredients from your diet. Over time you can then start introducing the suspect food to see if there are any changes.

Treating and eating away the eczema!

Choosing a healthy diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy is certainly the right path. You may also want to include taking Eczacol as an effective and safe supplement.

Avoiding processed food, alcohol, refined carbohydrates and sugars will almost certainly make a difference. Foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and fish oil will help fight any inflammation. Vitamins A and B found in green leafy vegetables, carrots, squash and sweet potato’s is also recommended. Make sure you’re well hydrated too by drinking plenty of water, at least 1.5 litres – our bodies need it.

So there you have it – According to many it is very much possible to eat your way out of the eczema symptoms and improve your health and wellbeing at the same time. Win Win!

If you have tried diet changes but are still suffering from the uncomfortable symptoms of eczema why not try ECZACOL, a natural medical supplement that has been shown to relieve symptoms of eczema in just 6 weeks.

*Please remember to always seek medical advice. This article is written generically about eczema and should not supersede any advice received by a medical professional about an individual condition. If you think you have eczema, atopic dermatitis or any other condition get the advice of your Family Doctor especially before beginning or changing any course of medication.


How do I treat my dandruff when I have eczema? March 31, 2016 00:00

Are you noticing large slightly greasy white flakes on the dark clothing on your shoulders? Or have you recently tried turning your head upside and brushing your scalp with your fingers over black paper? You may have the common cosmetic problem of dandruff! It’s a harmless, non-contagious condition but can be unpleasant and embarrassing for the sufferer. If you also feel that intense itching and patches of flaky skin, then this is a form of eczema known as seborrheic eczema or seborrheic dermatitis.

Seborrheic dermatitis affects the scalp by targeting a specific fat found in sebum
(oil released in the scalp) known as oleic acid. This loss of sebum leads to the cells on the scalp losing their stickiness and flaking off. Additionally, it can affect the areas of the face and in and around the ears showing some mild pink patches or in some cases thick crusts of skin.

If you are looking for a convenient and effective treatment of seborrheic dermatitis than give Eczacol a go. This oral supplement (no messy creams to make your hair greasy) goes to the source of the problem and is proven to be an effective relief from these symptoms. For more information on Eczacol click here to head to the store.

Some general tips on managing your hair and scalp

  • Only wash your hair only when you need to. If it’s not greasy then leave it another day.
  • Avoid blow drying your hair – if your scalp is particularly irritated then leave it to dry out naturally. Hot air from hairdryers can really dry out your scalp and increase the problem.
  • Use gentle, natural shampoo or if you are prone to excess oil then wash your hair in products specifically formulated to treat dandruff and oily scalps. These pH neutral shampoos help restore your scalps acid-base balance. Shampoo your hair after sweating heavily as perspiration can be a trigger.
  • Stay away from sharp combs and brushes. Yes, the feeling of these brushes can be bliss for an itchy scalp but it does more damage in the long run. Use ones with smooth plastic and wide tines – it’s much kinder to the skin.

Also hats and headbands can make the scalp hot and sweaty and control the use of styling products as this can irritate the scalp on contact.

Dandruff itself usually clears with the correct hair and skin treatment but it can be a recurring problem. So be on the lookout for those flare-ups or pesky flakes re-appearing.

*Please remember to always seek medical advice. This article is written generically about eczema and should not supersede any advice received by a medical professional about an individual condition. If you think you have eczema, atopic dermatitis or any other condition get the advice of your Family Doctor especially before beginning or changing any course of medication.


Do I have eczema? February 29, 2016 12:34

‘This rash won’t go away.’ ‘My skin is very dry and sensitive.’ ‘I can’t stop scratching.’  These are very common complaints from sufferers of eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis.  Eczema can affect anyone, at any time in life, though mostly during infancy.  About 20% of babies have it and 1 in 10 adults have some type of eczema.  Often sufferers will have family members with the same condition or may suffer hay fever, asthma or other allergies.

What does it look like?

If you, or a loved one, have eczema it’s likely your skin will be red, dry and sensitive. Symptoms can range from very mild to severe.  You may suffer from the unpleasant and intense itching causing further inflammation on your skin. Other signs to look out for are:

  • Recurring rash
  • Scaly areas
  • Oozing and crusting of skin
  • Rough leathery patches
  • Dark coloured patches.

Symptoms of eczema are different for each person and can affect any part of your skin. Commonly it’s found in the bends of the elbows and knees, face, buttocks, hands, wrists and feet. But really it can appear anywhere.

Getting help

If you suspect you have this condition it is important to see your medical practitioner straightaway.  They can best diagnose eczema by examining the skin and looking at any family history. They may then refer you to a dermatologist or allergist for confirmation or treatment. If you would like some advice on the many treatments available speak to your local pharmacist about what is available or head to our online store to check out Eczacol and find out if it could help you.

What about my kids?

Signs of eczema in children usually appear as early as nine to twelve months of age, with some as early as 4 months. In babies eczema tends to show up on the cheeks and scalp first.  It may spread to the arms, legs, chest or other parts of the body.  Rash’s also commonly appear on: -

  • Inside of elbows and backs of knees
  • Wrists, and the ankles

Thankfully most children grow out of the condition before school age or adulthood. Remember though only your doctor can diagnose eczema correctly so if you are in any doubt check any unusual skin appearance with them.

 

*Please remember to always seek medical advice. This article is written generically about eczema and should not supersede any advice received by a medical professional about an individual condition. If you think you have eczema, atopic dermatitis or any other condition get the advice of your Family Doctor especially before beginning or changing any course of medication.


How do I spell Eczema? February 23, 2016 16:18

I don’t know about you but whenever I type in an uncommon word I rely on my wonderful computer to know what I’m talking about and do its job auto-correcting my spelling.  In my mind eczema should be spelt xcema or exzma! Other miss-spellings I have come across include eczima, ezema, exama, eximina oh I could go on. As I type I can see those red underlined words shouting at me! Who needs to spell the word correctly anyway when it is enough trouble managing the Simpsons sorry I mean symptoms.

The word eczema (got it right this time) has its origins from the Greek word ekzein.  This dates back all the way to 1753 and literally means “something thrown out by heat” ek – meaning out, zein - meaning boil. A name given from ancient practitioners to “any fiery pustule on the skin.”  To them they are creating a word from the appearance of boiling skin. Sounds lovely eh? So it goes from ekzein to ekzema to eczema (pronounced EK-zeh-ma). 

So how about atopic dermatitis, it sounds a bit more clinical.  Atopy comes from the word allergy and dermatitis meaning skin inflammation. This could seem like another fancy word for dry skin.

If, like me, you were curious about other versions of the same word check out these beautiful translations; perhaps Thai: โรคเรื้อนกวาง or even in hindi खुजली? I think it looks far more impressive or elegant than having the condition feels.

Whatever the spelling or term you give it, if you’re an eczema sufferer have a look at our tried and tested product Eczacol for effective relief from the symptoms of eczema.

 

*Please remember to always seek medical advice. This article is written generically about eczema and should not supersede any advice received by a medical professional about an individual condition. If you think you have eczema, atopic dermatitis or any other condition get the advice of your Family Doctor especially before beginning or changing any course of medication.


Why might IBS cause nausea January 12, 2016 10:30

Nausea is a common symptom for sufferers of IBS but why does it happen and what can you do about it? Nausea relating to IBS can be caused by a number of the issues associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and has been shown to affect 3 or 4 in 10 IBS sufferers.

Causes include:

Bloating – the increased gasses and full feeling can leave a sufferer feeling pressure in their stomach that can trigger nausea.

Constipation – Sufferers of constipation related to IBS may feel nausea because of a similar feeling of pressure in the stomach that bloating can cause. Dehydration related to constipation may also cause a feeling of nausea.

Heartburn –Activities in the stomach may cause a sufferer to feel nausea triggered by the reflux action.

Diet changes – The addition of a ‘trigger food’* to the diet may cause the stomach to react and this irritation may cause a sufferer to experience a feeling of nausea.

Nausea Relief:

Treatment of nausea in these cases is a combination of symptomatic relief and identifying and treating the causes.

IBSACOL is designed to relieve the symptoms of IBS by naturally modulating the intestines inflammatory response. If you would like to try IBSACOL and see how it can relieve your symptoms, including nausea, why don’t you try our two month starter option?

Speak to your doctor about finding relief and treatment specific to your own case. Some common ways to relieve the nausea include:

  • Peppermint oil
  • Wheat bags or heat/ cool compress (depending on presence of chill or fever)
  • Hydration
  • Eating small amounts of ginger
  • Acupressure and acupuncture
  • If you suffer from prolonged nausea your doctor may prescribe an anti-nausea medication although this is only in extreme cases where natural solutions are not effective.

 *To find out more about Trigger Food’s check out our article on them here.

**Please remember to always seek medical advice. This article is written generically about IBS and should not supersede any advice received by a medical professional about an individual condition. If you think you have IBS or any other condition get the advice of your Family Doctor especially before beginning or changing any course of medication.


Why might IBS cause tiredness and fatigue? January 06, 2016 14:30

In addition to pain and bowel changes there are many symptoms associated with IBS that sufferers experience with varying intensity. Many sufferers of IBS report fatigue, there are a number of causes of this tiredness.

It is important to remember that although there is a lot of information available about IBS much of this condition is not fully understood. Until the specific cause of IBS is known and a cure found solutions will be focused on reliving these symptoms.

Dehydration and Nutrient Loss: Anyone suffering from diarrhoea loses vital water and nutrients, to combat this ensure you are replacing those lost fluids and eating foods that will replace any lost nutrients to the body. Those suffering from constipation can also feel a lethargy, again ensure that you are taking in enough fluids.

Stress Related: Also known as Brain Fog. Stress is known to have a direct link to IBS, you may have reached mental exhaustion and are wondering why? When a body experiences stress it is responding to its natural ‘fight or flight’ mechanism where adrenaline releases and has a knock on effect physically on your heart rate, muscle tension and blood flow. Unless this stress cycle is countered your body will continue to ‘fight’ until it is exhausted. Try focusing on stress relief techniques and introducing more gentle exercise to help break the cycle.

Pain Related: If you have been suffering pain because of IBS or any other cause your body will have a similar response to stress where it will begin to ‘fight’. Pain itself can lead to stress or depression which can further magnify this response. Seeking out effective pain relieving solutions and practicing stress relieving techniques should eliminate the cause of this fatigue.

Medication Related: In order to treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome you will probably be advised to take certain medications or supplements to relieve your symptoms. Some of these medications may have fatigue or tiredness as a side effect. It is important that you speak with your family doctor if these side effects become severe or unusual.

Sleep Disruption: During flare ups of symptoms diarrhoea may cause sufferers to make several trips to the bathroom day and night. Constipation may keep a person awake with both pain and discomfort. Where possible try to find extra time to sleep or rest knowing that you are going to be unsettled. Remember that once the bowel related symptoms are back under control this will finish as well.

If you are interested in finding out how IBSACOL could bring you relief from your IBS symptoms check out or products here. Or go to our testimonials page to hear what other customers have said about us. Fatigue is not a known side effect of taking IBSACOL.

*Please remember to always seek medical advice. This article is written generically about IBS and should not supersede any advice received by a medical professional about an individual condition. If you think you have IBS or any other condition get the advice of your Family Doctor especially before beginning or changing any course of medication.


 


Why might IBS cause back pain January 01, 2016 10:00

Pain is one of the most troubling symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. It is identified as a key factor in the reduction of quality of life in IBS sufferers. In addition to pain from abdominal cramps, constipation and diarrhoea some people with IBS report back pain as a symptom associated with their condition.

Back pain can be alarming for some people as they might worry about what is causing this pain. Don’t panic, most of the time this is a normal symptom of IBS.

We have found that there are two primary causes of this pain; one relating to muscle cramping and spasm and the other relating to posture.

Cramps, spasms and pain

Did you know that some of your abdominal muscles and your diaphragm connect to your spine? Often we focus on the pain that those muscles cause the stomach area but when certain muscles spasm or cramp that pain can radiate to the back. There is every chance that if you are experiencing stomach cramps at the same time as the back pain that these muscles are the cause of the pain. 

The good news is that when these cramps or spasms subside so will your back pain.
Treating this type of pain is the same as cramps. Check out this article on Cramps and Spasms to find out more.

Posture

For some sufferers, back pain is not solely related to muscle spasms and cramps. The pain is likened to a continuous ache, often felt more in the evenings or at night. Often the cause of this pain is incorrect posture (for example; from spending long periods of time bent over during cramps). 

The good news about posture related back pain is that it can be prevented by an increased awareness of posture and by strengthening the muscles of the back.
Treatment for this type of pain focusses on the muscles that have been affected. For minor injury rest and the application of heat will help, for more severe or long-term damage you may wish to look into seeing an expert (such as a physiotherapist) to work with you to repair and strengthen any damaged muscles.

Other causes for back pain can include referred pain or something entirely unrelated to IBS, if you are experiencing any different pain to what your family doctor and you have already discussed you may want to return to your doctor and get their advice.

*Please remember to always seek medical advice. This article is written generically about IBS and should not supersede any advice received by a medical professional about an individual condition. If you think you have IBS or any other condition get the advice of your Family Doctor especially before beginning or changing any course of medication.


How do I treat eczema? December 28, 2015 11:30

Taking good care of your skin has to be best treatment for anyone suffering from eczema or atopic dermatitis. Having warm (not hot) baths/showers regularly, using very mild or no soap at all and bath oils that won’t irritate the skin should all help. Avoiding aggravation of the skin will help so after contact with water gently pat skin dry and apply emollient or suitable moisturiser immediately to help keep your skin moist.

Anything that is effectively putting water back in to your skin will help. You may want to consider also applying moisturiser at night as your skin can further dry out while you sleep.

There are lots of factors that play a part in eczema – environmental, irritants, food, stress and hormones and more so it is important to work out what your triggers are for each case and finding a way to manage it. Changing the products you use that touch your skin, wearing cotton clothing and bed linen to using humidifiers in dry weather can be a way to alleviate it.

In short it’s really learning what triggers your eczema symptoms and where possible avoiding them while managing those symptoms diligently to keep them from escalating.

If you are interested in finding out how ECZACOL could help you manage your, or your child’s, eczema in a safe and easy way head to our ECZACOL page to read more or to buy head to our store here.

*Please remember to always seek medical advice. This article is written generically about eczema and should not supersede any advice received by a medical professional about an individual condition. If you think you have eczema, atopic dermatitis or any other condition get the advice of your Family Doctor especially before beginning or changing any course of medication.

 


Who can treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome? December 21, 2015 08:00

To have arrived at this page we will assume that you are currently researching Irritable Bowel Syndrome to ensure that you are as informed as you can be to either help yourself or a loved one with this condition. Since 1978 it has been possible to make an accurate medical diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. These days your local family doctor will have been trained in identifying IBS and distinguishing it from other gastrointestinal conditions.

If you think you may suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome and have not had a diagnosis please speak to your doctor right away.

At the moment no cure has been discovered for IBS but once a diagnosis has been made your doctor can offer a variety of solutions in the treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. They may also refer to you a gastroenterologist or another medical specialist. You may wish to speak to your local pharmacist for advice on the many non-prescription medications available. When considering what medications and supplements you should be taking make sure to check out IBSACOL, a product we have created to provide symptomatic relief from Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is chronic (long-lasting) condition and it is important that you look to manage symptoms that may otherwise negatively impact on your quality of life. Some of the changes you will make will not include medication and you may wish to speak to a nutritionist or a personal trainer to help you make lifestyle adjustments.

As I mentioned at the start you are also able to inform yourself using resources from local medical facilities or online resources. Perhaps it will be helpful to take some time to read through some of the other articles on this site to inform yourself about different aspects of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. We have nearly 2 decades of experience with developing a solution for IBS so we thought we would share some of what we have learned with you.

Finally, a problem shared is a problem halved. Make sure you don’t suffer alone, perhaps check out some excellent forums and sites where people going through similar things can share their stories and ask questions. We particularly recommend: www.ibsgroup.org

*Please remember to always seek medical advice. This article is written generically about IBS and should not supersede any advice received by a medical professional about an individual condition. If you think you have IBS or any other condition get the advice of your Family Doctor especially before beginning or changing any course of medication.


What are the symptoms of eczema? December 16, 2015 12:00

Eczema is inflammation of the skin also known as Atopic dermatitis - a very common condition. It comes from the Greek word for bubbling and can be found in children as early 2 or 3 months old though to adults. There are many ways eczema can show itself such as; itching & redness and more severe cases that can cause skin to blister, weep or peel.

Symptoms

Generally people with eczema suffer from dry sensitive skin. Symptoms vary with each case from a mild rash that can disappear quickly, dry skin to red intense itchiness, which can be so bad that you scratch your skin until it bleeds. This of course makes the rash worse - known as the itch-scratch cycle or as medical professionals call it “the itch that rashes”

Itching – one of the most unpleasant things! - The urge to scratch, which causes more rawness and sometimes infections to the skin. The medical term for this is Pruritus (proo-RYE-tuss) these are itching sensations carried by peripheral sensory nerves. You can find more information on this from WebMD here Itching can feel worse at night and can be especially upsetting for children who suffer. Anything that dry’s the skin out can lead to this irritation.

Rashes – inflamed skin usually appears after scratching and can look red and bumpy. On children this commonly appears in the creases of the elbows or knees. Other places are neck, wrists, ankles and/or between the buttocks and legs. With adults the rash can be located just about anywhere.

Unusual skin appearance - Skin can develop a grainy look caused by tiny fluid blisters just under the skin called “vesicles”. Crusts or scabs can form when the fluid of the skin dries out. Lots of rubbing and overuse of steroid creams can produce leathery thicker plaques of skin.

If you are looking for effective relief from these symptoms try ECZACOL today and in as little as 6 weeks you can experience a dramatic reduction in these symptoms. Head to our online store to order now.

*Please remember to always seek medical advice. This article is written generically about eczema and should not supersede any advice received by a medical professional about an individual condition. If you think you have eczema, atopic dermatitis or any other condition get the advice of your Family Doctor especially before beginning or changing any course of medication.

 


Who is at risk of developing Irritable Bowel Syndrome? December 14, 2015 10:30

Firstly it is important to state that anyone could have IBS. It affects a wide variety of people and demographics. Unfortunately the exact cause is unknown.

Having said that there are groups of people where Irritable Bowel Syndrome is more commonly found. By looking at population statistics it is possible to see what we will call “risk factors” that make a person more likely to have Irritable Bowel Syndrome*

“Irritable bowel syndrome is frequent but fluctuating in the general population.”
Kay L et al 1994

Age: IBS appears at its peak between the ages of 20 and 30 although it is still commonly found in those in their teens and right through to early 40s. IBS is less common in those aged either younger or older than stated here.

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Gender: The American College of Gastroenterology states that nearly twice as many women as men suffer from IBS. They do not currently have a reason for this although some suggest it may be because of a differing in the severity of symptoms or because of different hormonal influences.

 

Geography: Although there is some fluctuation on average globally 11% of the population suffers from Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Countries such as New Zealand, The United States of America and The United Kingdom have significantly higher numbers reaching 20%, or greater, of their population. This may be due to more proactive diagnostic practices but the exact reason is not yet known. Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria display some of the highest prevalence with as much as 30% of their populations identified as suffering from some form of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

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Socioeconomic Status: There is limited research at this stage to identify if the status of a person within their society has an impact on the chances of developing Irritable Bowel Syndrome. There are theories being considered about the impact of both poverty and wealth but at this stage studies conclude that either there is no statistically significant difference or that the size of study is not large enough to give an accurate explanation.

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Family History: The question is often asked, if my family member has IBS am I more likely to develop IBS as well? What is known for certain is that Irritable Bowel Syndrome “aggregates around family groupings” (and in plain English, it is common for relatives of a sufferer of IBS to have or develop IBS). What is unknown is why? Some are looking for a genetic link, while others question if similar environments are the cause of this phenomenon.
Those that think that the shared conditions are caused by growing up in a similar environment make a strong argument that these people are exposed to similar risk factors. No single genetic marker has been identified as a predisposition for IBS but geneticists are still looking into combinations of genes that are common in sufferers of IBS.

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Food Intolerances: Some foods are known to irritate the bowel and trigger episodes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Those suffering from an intolerance to certain foods may find that these have the same effect. There is no proof currently that a food intolerance or allergy causes IBS but it is known to be a factor in triggering symptoms.

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Stress or Psychological Illness: Irritable bowel syndrome is a physiological (physical) illness although there is strong evidence linking stress and other psychological conditions to the development of IBS. Some researchers have proven that stress can have a damaging effect on the intestines. Other psychological conditions that have been linked to IBS include anxiety disorders and depression although for the most part these conditions, including stress, are known to act as a trigger to IBS symptoms and further research is being carried out about their role in the development of the condition.

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Related Medical Conditions: Some studies have shown links to conditions such as severe gastroenteritis (infectious diarrhea) or certain bacteria in the intestines. There have also been links made between certain medications including blood pressure drugs and some anti-acids and the development of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

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To find out more about epidemiology of Irritable Bowel Syndrome we recommend you read this publication from Dove Press. They have some helpful tables and pictures of varieties in the prevalence of IBS globally.

*More likely because a higher proportion of people sharing that risk factor also suffer from IBS than the average population.

**Please remember to always seek medical advice. This article is written generically about IBS and should not supersede any advice received by a medical professional about an individual condition. If you think you have IBS or any other condition get the advice of your Family Doctor especially before beginning or changing any course of medication.


Why does my eczema get worse in winter? December 08, 2015 16:44

Don’t you just love winter! It’s the season for warm clothing, roaring fires/heat pumps, comfort food and unfortunately for some people the return of dry itchy skin. If you suffer from eczema it is likely you associate the change in weather with having a harder time with scratching and rashes.

What causes it?

During wintertime the outside air is typically cold and dry and we usually try to keep our homes warm and cosy, did you know that the harsh temperature changes from outside icy winds to the shock of indoor instant heat on your skin can draw away valuable moisture from your skin. Dry skin is more likely to itch and crack making the eczema worse.

Along with the cold drying out your skin other changes in what you wear and activities you take part in can also affect the winter eczema sufferers. Thankfully though, some simple daily changes can help you in preventing skin flare-ups.

So what can help?

Treatment - There are many creams and corticosteroids out there that you can try to keep on top of your symptoms. If you are looking for a capsule that is safe for adults and children that can help you check out ECZACOL here.

Moisturising – continue regularly applying moisturising cream especially after bathing to lock in the moisture back into your skin.

Clothing choice – obviously you want to keep your skin warm but don’t overdress. Sweaty skin can trigger flare-ups. Layering your clothes is a great way to regulate your warmth. Stay away from those woolly knits and always choose soft fabrics. Make sure you take off any wet gloves, socks, hats or other clothing. As always with eczema make sure you avoid washing clothes in harsh detergents and keep your clothes away from dyes and perfumes. Also make sure any softeners you use are chemical free.

Keeping the air normal - Consider using a humidifier – keeping the humidity between 45 and 55% prevents your skin from drying out. You want your indoor environment not too warm or cold.

Sunscreen – Continue to protect your skin from the suns UV rays through winter. Use at least 30 SPF and remember to check the label for ingredients your skin may be sensitive to.

Smoke – being near a fireplace with wood smoke is quickly going to dry out the skin so stay away. Cigarette smoke also can worsen eczema symptoms – a great reason to give up if you are a smoker.

Extra vitamin D – less sunlight means less vitamin D. This is essential for your immune system and a lack of it can make your eczema worse if you’re feeling ill or rundown.

Food choice – Acidic foods such as some dairy, oats and meats have been linked to eczema flare ups by Ragnar Berg (Nobel-prize winner back in the 1930’s). Not great news for the winter porridge fans. Instead try to include the good fats in your diet such as nuts, seeds, fish oil and dark green veggies.

Allergens – if you know what triggers the skin to itch and flare-up continue to avoid them. Perhaps consider if certain plants, fabrics or animal hair has an effect on your eczema?

This winter give your skin some extra bit of care. Don’t let it stop you going out and enjoying the winter fun. Paying attention to the changes in the winter environment and avoiding the triggers will make it easier to cope through the chilly season.

*Please remember to always seek medical advice. This article is written generically about eczema and should not supersede any advice received by a medical professional about an individual condition. If you think you have eczema, atopic dermatitis or any other condition get the advice of your Family Doctor especially before beginning or changing any course of medication. For more information about how ECZACOL could help you head to www.lyproxea.com/eczacol

What does IBS mean? December 07, 2015 09:30

“Abdominal pain and changes in the bowel that last for at least 3 days a month for a period of 3 months or more.”

Irritable Bowel Syndrome affects the bowels, specifically the large intestine. The exact cause of IBS is currently unknown although research is underway into genetic and environmental factors that may be contributing factors.

IBS is a chronic condition (long-term) that currently has no cure. There are a wide range of medications, supplements and techniques to help treat the symptoms of IBS.

Symptoms can vary between sufferers, some identify as having mild symptoms and discomfort while others suffer from a significantly reduced quality of life. Some people experience constipation and others diarrhoea or a combination of both.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is different to Inflammatory Bowel Disorders such as Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative colitis and it is important to seek the correct medical diagnosis as treatment will vary based on your results.

IBS affects roughly 10% of the global population and can affect any one although it is found to be more prevalent in different ages, genders, countries and other factors.

To find out more about IBS check out our other articles. Or if you have IBS and are looking for relief from your symptoms check out IBSACOL in our shop. By taking IBSACOL you could be completely symptom free in as little as 6 weeks.

*Please remember to always seek medical advice. This article is written generically about IBS and should not supersede any advice received by a medical professional about an individual condition. If you think you have IBS or any other condition get the advice of your Family Doctor especially before beginning or changing any course of medication.


What does IBS feel like? December 02, 2015 10:00

Sometimes it can be hard to know if the pain or discomfort you are feeling is IBS related or something else. Anxiety itself can often worsen symptoms so if you are concerned make sure you visit a medical professional for advice.

Although each person’s experience may vary, here is an example of what a sufferer of IBS may experience:

Abdominal Pain: Typically IBS abdominal pain is relieved once a person has evacuated their bowels. This pain is usually caused by cramps or spasms in the intestines and will feel tight and often like a stabbing pain. The pain is usually located in the abdomen or lower stomach area. A key diagnostic measure of IBS is if that pain stops following a bowel movement.

Bloating: After an IBS episode is triggered (perhaps by food or environment) you may experience a bloated feeling. This is usually uncomfortable rather than painful and can feel as though there is pressure. The stomach may become visibly swollen although sometimes the symptoms are felt rather than seen. Bloating may be accompanied by an increased urgency or frequency in urinating.

To find out more about Irritable Bowel Syndrome have a look at some of our other blogs on symptoms, cramps, flare ups and more. 

To try IBSACOL and see what it can do to help alleviate your IBS symptoms check out our 2 month supply on our IBSACOL products page.

*Please remember to always seek medical advice. This article is written generically about IBS and should not supersede any advice received by a medical professional about an individual condition. If you think you have IBS or any other condition get the advice of your Family Doctor especially before beginning or changing any course of medication.


What are the Rome Criteria? November 30, 2015 10:00

A Family Doctor or IBS specialist will diagnose a patient’s symptoms based on standard criteria for distinguishing between different gastrointestinal disorders. In some countries this is referred to as the Rome Criteria**.

Here is what the Rome Criteria define Irritable Bowel Syndrome as:

“Recurrent abdominal pain or discomfort at least 3 days/month in the last 3 months associated with two or more of the following:

  1. Improvement with defecation
  2. Onset associated with a change in frequency of stool
  3. Onset associated with a change in form (appearance) of stool

Criterion fulfilled for the last 3 months with symptom onset at least 6 months prior to diagnosis “Discomfort” means an uncomfortable sensation not described as pain.”

If you have been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and are looking for a solution to provide relief for your symptoms try IBSACOL you can find out more about IBSACOL and our products here.

*Please remember to always seek medical advice. This article is written generically about IBS and should not supersede any advice received by a medical professional about an individual condition. If you think you have IBS or any other condition get the advice of your Family Doctor especially before beginning or changing any course of medication.

**To find out more about a scale of severity for Irritable Bowel Syndrome please check out our other article on the topic.


What are IBS spasms and cramps? November 25, 2015 10:00

Sufferers have described irritable bowel syndrome spasms and cramps as:

  • Discomfort
  • Abdominal pain
  • A sharp stabbing
  • A ‘migraine’ in the stomach

Unfortunately one of the most unpleasant symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome is pain. This pain can be caused by intestinal spasms or cramps that can lead to decreased or increased movement in the bowels and a feeling of constipation, gassiness or bloating.

“A cramp or spasm is a sudden or prolonged involuntary muscular contraction or convulsive movement” – as defined in the Oxford dictionary.

When the pain is new
Spasms and cramps can be painful and alarming. When diagnosing IBS your doctor will ask you about the types of pain you have experienced. If you are experiencing a different pain to your typical symptoms and you have concerns we recommend that you speak to your doctor immediately.

Ongoing effects
IBS flare ups can be linked to stress and anxiety. Help yourself break the pain-stress-symptom cycle by making sure you manage your pain with a plan outlined with an IBS specialist or your GP so that this doesn’t lead to increased stress and flare up’s of your condition.

There are many methods considered helpful for alleviating pain, if you would like to try IBSACOL and see how it could relieve your symptoms check out our 2 month supply option.

Your doctor may also suggest:

  • Hot water bottles or wheat bags
  • Peppermint oil
  • Medications and pain relief prescribed by your doctor
  • Exercise
  • Stress relieving practices
  • Hydration

*If you have IBS and are experiencing unusual pain unlike pain you have already described to your doctor please seek medical advice immediately. This article is written generically about IBS and should not supersede any advice received by a medical professional about an individual condition. If you think you have IBS or any other condition get the advice of your Family Doctor especially before beginning or changing any course of medication.


Understanding levels of severity in Irritable Bowel Syndrome? November 23, 2015 11:00

Is there a scale of symptoms?

Many studies have identified a range, or scale, within IBS to distinguish appropriate treatment paths. Some refer to these levels as;

Mild – Moderate – Severe

Others have gone into further detail. One of the most helpful ones we have come across considers the impact on quality of life:

1-none: no symptoms
2-mild: can be ignored if you do not think about it
3-moderate: cannot be ignored but does not affect your lifestyle
4-severe: affects your lifestyle
5-very severe: markedly affects your lifestyle

*This 5 point scale comes from research by Joel Sach

In any case of Irritable Bowel Syndrome a variety of symptoms can occur. Beyond the key criteria causes have been identified as environmental, genetic, functional, psychological and more. It is important to be aware of these causes and symptoms but not all sufferers will show the same symptoms or have exactly the same cause.

Here are the Key Criteria:

Recurrent abdominal pain or discomfort at least 3 days/month in the last 3 months associated with two or more of the following:

  1. Improvement with defecation
  2. Onset associated with a change in frequency of stool
  3. Onset associated with a change in form (appearance) of stool

Here is a very helpful table outlining what some researchers advise should signify a mild, moderate or severe level of the condition:

Taken from “Severity in Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Rome Foundation Working Team Report – Drossman et al

*If you suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome and you are wondering what to do with any new information you are gathering, we recommend the first thing you do is to speak to your doctor. The information on this site is designed to help inform you and bring reassurance. If you would like to know more keep reading our information and research pages otherwise if you would like to find out how we can help you find relief from the symptoms of IBS why don’t you check out our IBSACOL products.


What are IBS flare ups? November 18, 2015 10:00

For some Irritable Bowel Sufferers symptoms can come and go. A ‘flare up’ is when symptoms are aggravated. You may have found that you can experience symptom free weeks followed by one of these flare ups, sometimes it will be obvious what has triggered this and sometimes it can be harder to tell. Below is some information on flare ups that we hope will be helpful to you.

Causes

Flare up’s can be caused by many factors, some include; diet, stress, anxiety, a lack of exercise, incorrect digestion from eating too quickly and chewing gum.

Treating

As with all treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome you may be advised to consider

  • Medication and supplements
  • Dietary changes
  • Lifestyle changes and stress management

Moving forward

After a flare up the digestive tract may continue to be sensitive for a time. It is important to keep that in mind to avoid returning to a flared up state. Try to keep up your techniques for treating a flare up for a time and not make any dramatic changes, remember also that if you are making a change in your diet in response to a flare up you may need to give it some time to be fully effective.

Would you like to find out about how IBSACOL could help you prevent flare ups? It can bring you symptomatic relief by modulating the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 found naturally in the body to improve the immune system response to inflammation? Try it today from our IBSACOL products page.

*Please remember to always seek medical advice. This article is written generically about IBS and should not supersede any advice received by a medical professional about an individual condition. If you think you have IBS or any other condition get the advice of your Family Doctor especially before beginning or changing any course of medication.