The Eczema Connection

Celiac disease is what is known as a multisymptomatic disorder, which means that it can damage multiple parts of your body in addition to your digestive system. According to the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Program, there are 256 symptoms and health conditions associated with celiac disease. My goal for my articles this year is to introduce you to some of these symptoms and health conditions which you may not even realize are related to celiac disease or gluten intolerance. I have already addressed one such condition this year; migraines. Today I would like to talk about dermatitis herpetiformis (DH). DH is a hereditary autoimmune disease linked with gluten intolerance. Dermatitis herpetiformis is a form of gluten intolerance that manifests itself in the skin. It causes severe itchiness around the elbows, knees, back, shoulders, face, scalp and buttocks. Dermatitis herpetiformis is often misdiagnosed as eczema or psoriasis. It is usually bilateral and affects men 60% of the time and the age of onset is usually between the ages of 15 and 40 years old. About 15% to 25% of celiac disease patients have dermatitis herpetiformis. The only known treatment for dermatitis herpetiformis is a gluten free diet. The ingestion of gluten triggers an immune system response that deposits IgA antibodies under the top layer of skin. Researchers have compared the prevalence of eczema in people who also suffer from celiac disease to eczema prevalence in control subjects, and they’ve found that eczema occurs about three times more frequently in celiac disease patients and about two times more frequently in relatives of celiac disease patients, potentially indicating a genetic link between the two conditions. In addition, many research studies indicate a relief in eczema and its symptoms by adhering to a strict gluten free diet.
If you are new to my articles this year, please feel free to review any previous articles at or I feel that a gluten free diet is critical to healthy living, especially if you have any unusual symptoms or unexplained diseases or conditions (see my article from January 19, 2010). I hope to present many cases this year for underlying conditions that may be treated with a gluten free diet. I also hope to entice you with yummy gluten free recipes both from my kitchen and the kitchen of other amazing gluten free chefs. Lastly, I hope to make you feel better, lighter, clearer, more focused and full of energy. I have said it before, but I will say it again, “Just because you don’t have a stomach ache, does not mean that you don’t have a gluten intolerance.”

Lazy Pizza

3 ½ cups Gluten Free Bob’s Red Mill Flour
2 tsp salt
1 ½ cup lukewarm water
2 ¼ tsp yeast
1 tsp sugar
¼ cup olive oil
More olive oil
Add water, sugar and yeast in small bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes.
In large bowl, combine flour and salt. Add half the water mixture to the flour. Blend at a low speed with a mixer or a kitchen aide.
Add remaining water mixture and oil to mixing bowl and let mix at medium speed for 5 minutes.
Pour ¼ cup olive oil into pan with sides. Rub hands in the oil and scoop dough into pan.
Press dough into bottom of the pan.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Top pizza with toppings of your choice.
Bake pizza with toppings for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

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2 Responses to The Eczema Connection

  1. Lisa Barnes says:

    I wasn’t aware of this connection. Thanks Lisa. My daughter has always had eczema and asthma issues, but I didn’t realize a gluten issue could be linked as well. I will pass along to my cooking clients as well. We’ve been buying and making more gluten free products – can never hurt, only help.

    • Lisa, I finally happened upon the button that allowed me to ‘reply’ to your comment. I am a little new at all this. Thanks for reading my articles. I hope to be needing YOUR cook books soon as I enter into the baby food stage of Charli’s life. Probably not til 10 months due to all our allergies. Hope you are enjoying your summer.

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