This episode is all about overcoming eczema, tips for healthy skin, and the importance of liver wellness.
Christa Biegler is an award-winning dietitian nutritionist, host of the Less Stressed Life podcast, and author of The Eczema Relief Diet & Cookbook. She helps health-savvy women overcome food sensitivities and fatigue without restrictive dieting to beat bloat, burnout & eczema breakouts. She lives with her unicycling husband & kids in the Midwest. The Less Stressed Life Podcast & Nutrition mission is that everyone deserves a less stressed life without inflammation, food sensitivities and fatigue.
In this podcast, Eczema: What Is It, Types, Causes, Symptoms & How to Treat It, we cover:
Eczema: The Basics Behind Atopic Dermatitis
The Importance of Supporting the Topical Skin Barrier
Being Healthy Starts with the Nervous System
The Link Between Eczema and Food Allergies
Detoxing Your Liver with the Infrared Sauna
Eczema: The Basics Behind Atopic Dermatitis
When you go to the doctor and get an eczema diagnosis, you’re often told it’s genetic and there’s nothing you can do about it. However, there are always opportunities, and there is always something you can try. Unfortunately, the prescription and medical toolbox is not very deep for the prevalence of skin issues. Eczema is just the name of a group of conditions that causes the skin to become red, itchy, and inflamed; there are many types of eczema. Also, eczema is another name for atopic dermatitis. 10-20% of kids are affected by eczema, and maybe 5% of adults.
The Importance of Supporting the Topical Skin Barrier
Eczema is internal and external. It would help if you supported the topical skin barrier. We use so much alcohol and hand sanitizer that we have disrupted our skin microbiome. Our skin has this phospholipid layer; it has this naturally antimicrobial, fatty acid layer on top of it. When you continually strip that off, over and over and over, you screw with your body’s ability to combat things naturally. Then you allow things to come in, like setting up a new environment or microbiota on the skin. What will grow back first if you spray the grass and the weeds dead? Weeds! Overall, it would be best to heal the skin barrier as quickly as possible.
Being Healthy Starts with the Nervous System
Our health is as good as our nervous system. We cannot have health if we have nervous system dysfunction or stress. If you have hand eczema, most likely emotional stress can be part of the cause. Someone with hand eczema needs to know how critical it is to repair the skin barrier and work on the nervous system. Remember to listen to your body. If you feel a sensation where you used to have eczema, then it’s time to support yourself. Always be more supportive than aggravating to your system. The skin is a prominent place for the body to eliminate waste.
The Link Between Eczema and Food Allergies
Ultimately, you should digest well. You want to eat the things that are going to be the least stressful for your body. Histamines are almost always a problem in eczema, especially if you are someone with seasonal allergies. Genetically, you might also have genes that don’t break down histamine. Your gut and your liver are implicated in how you break down histamine. Histamine includes things like tomatoes, avocados, charcuterie boards, cheeses, wines, and beers. Also, food allergies could be flaring your eczema. Here are the top eight allergens:
Detoxing Your Liver with the Infrared Sauna
Everybody needs to work on their liver and remember that our anger emotion is attached to the liver. One health hack is to fast; it is so healing to the liver. You may find that you cannot access your anger when you fast. Remember to love on your liver! Anything that feels like chemical sensitivity to your skin is a considerable liver red flag. Our body wants to store toxins in fat tissue. You may see your emotions change as your fat tissues get burned. Christa’s favorite liver hack is the infrared sauna. The sauna will increase blood flow, improve circulation, and reduce toxic burden.
Dr. Mindy I’m so happy you’re here. And we’re going to talk about something that literally we have never talked about on this is our fourth season never talked about this. So and that’s eczema and really skin conditions in general is what I want to dive into. So just so everybody has a little bit of a love, I love people’s passions, like how the heck did you get, like passionate about eczema?
Christa Biegler Well, I didn’t, it came to me first. So. So let me give you I’ll try to make the version brief. And try to make it feel like you maybe have felt or someone who’s listening has maybe felt I remember in high school, going to the dermatologist, getting some creams using them intermittently and and saying, I have genetic eczema, right, because my sisters would have like this dry skin hairline thing. And it was worse in the winter. And this is the thing we’ll talk a little bit about how different eczema can present. Some of it’s worse in the summer. Some of it’s worse in the winter, probably your audience is a little bit like me, I bet more of us are worse in the winter, where it’s more of a dry skin presentation. And then I was taking my kids to swimming lessons for a week straight and in the pool every single day. And after like about the fifth straight day, I came out woke up with this horrific raging angry rash that I had not had before it was all around my eye, and oozing and swelling. I mean, it’s very painful. And on my neck, it was in these really cool places I could totally hide. Just kidding. So you know, we can hide things inside our gut inside our body, we can deal with our brain fog, our lack of energy, we cannot hide this thing on our skin and it often moves us to action. There’s a quote, I it’s not my quote, but I use it a lot that were moved to action from either inspiration or desperation. I see that all the time. Right. I’m just as you do right where we are. Usually it’s via desperation. And that was not unlike me. And if I look back on that, I was transitioning jobs starting a new business had two small kids. So the stressors were there, I just needed a straw to break the camel’s back. And I had the genetic predisposition. I did not I think like saying my eczema was related to or blaming it on genetics was so short sighted. But just my high school it was it was as far as I could see. Right. I didn’t know any different at that time. And then for it to kind of act a bit differently, was really interesting, right? So I needed the straw that broke the camel’s back. In hindsight, you know, I did a ton of gut, liver work, etc. In hindsight, there was definitely some halogens stuff there and thyroid stuff there, which later presented a few years later, even more, and I was able to see through that. But it just was not very fun. Right. So that was kind of my story. It sucked. I found I tried to find a lot of practitioners to help me and there is kind of a generic toolbox for eczema, a fatty acids, probiotics, whatever, sometimes you see it cool. And you’re like, oh, yeah, that’s kind of the generic I use in my toolbox. But there’s a lot more that can be done. And so unfortunately, to your point, there’s actually not a lot of people who do like focus on skin issues. And so like I said, it didn’t I mean, I didn’t I really wanted to hide that piece of me, right? I don’t even have a ton of pictures at that time in my life, because you hate how you look when you’re going through something like that. And so And really what happened was I was doing a presentation for someone, maybe a year later about the difference between allergies, sensitivities and tolerances. And there was a couple parents and they wanted some help with their kids. And the rest was history. Right? So I started, what happens when you have an intimate experience is something as you understand a little bit differently, right than someone else. Yeah,
Dr. Mindy well, you know, I was actually talking to a friend the other day, and I was like, what, what is it about when you discover something, this is my personality, then this was hers as well. Like, when you discovered an interesting tool that helps you that makes you want to tell everybody you’re like, Oh my God, this could help you. And there’s an end something like eczema, you know, there’s, it’s a dead end. And even like rosacea, and a lot of people with menopausal skin changes, like there just seems to be a dead end. For inflammation, we don’t know what to do. And so I love when somebody has a passion and sort of a niche II kind of little spot like eczema because we need a bigger perspective on this. And to your point, one of the things that I want to want to really emphasize to people listening is how many people are given diagnoses that are like, yeah, it’s genetic, not much you can do about it. And whenever that’s the diagnosis, honestly, I call bullshit on that. It’s like, no, that’s the doctor saying it. This is what I know. Here’s the medication. Here’s the diagnosis. This is the way I know it to be. But then someone like you stumbles into our lives, and you’re like, But wait, there’s actually 20 million things you could do for this one condition.
Christa Biegler So there’s never I feel like there’s a lot of opportunity, right? Always you always have an option. So don’t feel like you you don’t and that’s probably one of the frustrating things that people learn pretty quickly when they’re dealing with a skin issue is that the toolbox? Unfortunately, our prescription and medical toolbox is really not very deep for the prevalence of
Dr. Mindy crazy. Yeah, that’s a lot. That’s a lot of conditions there. It’s just like, where’s the depth of the toolbox is really well said. So just so we’re all on the same page. Explain to me what Eczema is like, how would you know you have it and what does it look like?
Christa Biegler Yeah, Eczema is just the name of a group of conditions that causes skin to become red, itchy and inflamed. There’s a lot of types of eczema. There’s, it’s really another name for atopic dermatitis as well, you’ll use those terms pretty interchangeably. Contact dermatitis, which can mean some things dyshidrotic, eczema, nummular, eczema, these are just different presentations of borate seborrhea, dermatitis, stasis dermatitis. So these are all kind of presenting on a little different angle or a different form or shape or whatever. But in general, we’re giving them all the same treatment. And so we’re kind of setting the stage for eczema. And I know we’re not necessarily if you’ve got people who are in their 20s 30s 40s, whatever, we could all have kids. So if you’ve had children, you may have had kids, right? 10 to 20% of kids are affected, maybe 5% of adults. I mean, it could be less than that, right? Where we’re getting kind of our data. And what will happen is sometimes you’ll have it as a kid, it’ll go away, and that will represent it as adult, which I think has some, it has some meaning. So what do we agree about universally is that there is a staph infection usually come present not on every single, every single time, but this is why I was asked for a picture. If the skin looks red, inflamed, angry, in, in skin, darker skin, melanated skin, this can look more kind of pink, and maybe even gray. So it’s good to think about that. Because sometimes we get misdiagnosed with with darker skin or melanated skins always try to reference that it’s not always as bright pink, red. But if it’s a bright, bright red, and kind of, like oozing would be like the final straw, there’s probably a staph infection present. So just one comment, it’s kind of frustrating. Sometimes people sometimes the provider will not culture for staff. So there can be a staph overgrowth, or there can be fungal overgrowth, the staff cultures are supposedly a little bit better according to integrative germs that I’ve interviewed. So that’s one thing. And, and also, a lot of times it comes back accurate, but no test is perfect. So sometimes it’ll come back negative, and people still respond to things that would work on on topical staff. So What’s that telling you, you got a topical staff issue. So just like to put that out there. That’s one thing we do kind of agree on universally that eczema does have a stop topical staff component. But what you got to think about then is okay, where does that come from? It grows from the inside out. So you’ll see like illnesses and things really cause relapse, I would say people do not make progress when they’re sick, right, they’ve got overgrowth of things, and then that’ll show up up to three weeks later. So that’s a little fun in Perl that you can not have an issue and then you can have an illness and three weeks to a month later, you’ll have a little bit of skin presentation. Why do I know that? Because it’s happened to me. Right? Right. Clients commonly. So just throwing that in there, that was more of a answer than you were asking. But I just want to set the stage, like what we kind of agree about or the big picture on eczema.
Dr. Mindy So know that one of the things that I really talk about in my reset Academy with the members over there is that when we hear information like this, if we put it into an old paradigm, the paradigm of give me the quick fix, give me the diagnosis, and everything’s gonna go away. We’re only setting ourselves up for failure. And what I love about the context you just gave is that, and what I’m hearing is that there’s a new paradigm in which we need to look at this. And if staff is is the source of it, then my brain goes to well, what are the other symptoms like if we have eczema? That is the outward expression of it is, are there other symptoms that we would see in our body that the staph infection is affecting?
Christa Biegler Yeah. Well, absolutely. And this kind of makes me want to stand back, I want to answer that question. But I kind of want to stand back and talk about all the ways that can present or what you should prioritize a little bit as well. We started with staff, I mean, that could look like what are some other common things that you’ll see could be anything, right? This is where I really recommend as a starting place, because what we see is like, Oh, I have terrible eczema. But I may not be thinking about these other things that are not a diagnosis, right. And so I always ask people to Google multiple symptom questionnaire or symptom survey online, and just filled out really honestly, because you might notice that you have a bit of congestion, you might actually have some throat clearing after a meal, which can be kind of like a little more fungal in my opinion, you might notice that you’re, hey, maybe I’m not having a bowel movement every single day consistently, which by the way, the skin is one really easy way your body detoxes. We can talk about mechanisms of detox, which is important. So this is why I think I think the bottom line with eczema is that we want it to be simple. We want it to be topical, and it’s actually twice as hard. It’s internal and external. That’s the main piece that you need to know is that internal and external. So you’ve got it to port the topical skin barrier, so I was telling you kind of offline, sometimes I look at any condition, I’m like, Okay, what what? How can we address this from different angles? And so there’s this health triad, right? And so you can do if you imagine a triangle, you can pretty much put any condition into the triangle and say, what are the angles I can fill in. So there’s the structural or external. And so with the eczema, it’s like, I’ve got to support the skin barrier, if it’s broken, fix it, like it is not, you’re gonna have more stuff coming in. And so something that happened in the last couple of years that might be of note or interest is that we use so much alcohol hand sanitizer, we disrupted our skin microbiome. Thank you. Yeah, we create you, we created a structural issue, right, so what’s supposed to happen is our skin has this phospholipid layer, right? It’s got this naturally antimicrobial, fatty acid layer on the top of it. And so when you continually strip that off, over and over and over, you screw with your body’s ability to combat things naturally. And so then you allow things to come in, and like set up a new environment or microbiota on the skin. And then it can get like kind of out of hand, right. So if the skin barrier is broken, whether you got acne, or eczema or whatever, you’ve got to try to heal the skin barrier as quickly as you can. There’s a bunch of nourishing nutrients and things I like to do is there’s a bath salt that’s got silica in it, and MSM, and those things like help heal the skin a little faster. There’s there’s different topicals that help heal the skin faster. If you can do this, there’s actually there’s actually so many angles, we could talk about this from because when you’re dealing imagine that you do have a topical staph infection. What are some of the issues? Well, I’ve got to control the staff, I’ve got to support the skin barrier from breaking down, you know, and I’ve got to clean my skin, right? So there’s three different angles that you can do just from a topical perspective to support that area, depending on what it’s kind of looking like, right. So,
Dr. Mindy yeah, can I ask you one question on the barrier, because I think the skin barrier is a really interesting concept. From from many angles. I was at a skin seminar years ago. And one of the doctors got up to talk about how the microbiome on the skin actually they found has a connection to the microbiome and the gut like there is a neural neurological connection. So when we look at something like hand sanitizers, when we look at something like toxic soaps, like when I travel, I bring my own soap, what we don’t realize is we’re destroying that microbiome, which is a part of the protective barrier. And that is also having going the other way where it’s affecting the gut. So talk to us, just so everybody understands. Because I’ve been saying for the last three years, like all this hand sanitizer, is going to have a massively negative effect, because people are lathering themselves in it. Why is that? Bad?
Christa Biegler Okay, so if you kill all it’s kind of like an antibiotic topically, right, you’re killing all good and bad. It’s just like, if you spray the lawn, I was used love using grass for an exam for an example with the microbiome, if you and it really lends itself to a lot of great analogies. So if you spray the grass and the weeds dead, what grows back first, weeds, they’re opportunistic. And that is exactly that. It’s so funny how we are so much like nature, we are a direct era. So the best way to understand ourselves is to look at what’s going on around you.
Dr. Mindy And I and on that topic, I just want to say as women, we there’s a reason we have a 28 to 30 day cycle. There’s another part of nature that has that same cycle and it’s waxing and waning. You know, it’s like we have lost that connection you are spot on.
Christa Biegler It’s so cool how so many things happen with the moon, like any ER nurse will tell you. That’s like when shit happens, or that’s when babies are boring. The doula will say I’ve only scheduled three families a month, but they all have the baby the same time during the full race.
Dr. Mindy So we are so connected to nature,
Christa Biegler so connected. So if you kill everything, the opportunistic stuff will grow back on the note of like antibiotics, for example, when you kill all the bacteria, the fungus will have a party, right? When you kill everything on the skin, the alcohols kind of killing everything to our knowledge, you know, either one of those can grow back. And so what we do have positive and not as good bacteria no matter what, it’s just that we want to have more good bacteria than bad, right? Because otherwise the weeds overpower the grass. And so what happens if I’m gonna use Danny Lyons, you know, we can, we can have all of our feelings about your feelings, but we understand them. So what happens with weeds, they steal the nutrients, so they make it hard for people to heal, they slow down healing time, so relevant to your skin, right? Because you’ll notice like, oh, I, I break my skin and it’s like it takes forever to heal. That is like really poor nutrient status. So the weeds will steal the nutrients, they give off their own toxins. So those endotoxins they gotta go some they gotta go somewhere. It’s like increasing the trash output, right? And so if you have a bunch of people over and you’re increasing all the trash, you’re not taking out the trash as much, it’s got to go somewhere and the skins are real safe place for it to show up. So back to the weeds, they steal the nutrients and then they also impair digestion. And so this does not always look like oh, I have Are these digestive symptoms. But when you have things on the skin, let’s say let’s, let’s say someone eats something and they see some symptom or they see their skin color, that’s a symptom of poor digestion. That’s what that is. So you’re not digesting that particular food, food or protein. And that undigested matter is being fed to the dandelions. They love that kind of food. They the weeds love that the dysbiotic bacteria love that. And then they thrive. And then it’s like a self replicating process or, like, it’s like a hamster wheel that just continues to feed itself. So it’s so tricky for people when they eat a food and they see a reaction. And I, I would boil that down to poor digestion, which is I think, an A, that’s a real epidemic. Because our all of our digestive adequacy or our stomach acid, or bile, or digestive enzymes are all suppressed under stressful things, right? So what happens is stress, we don’t minerals, all of those things are pieces of how we digest. So I want to find a bit of a tangent. No,
Dr. Mindy no, but let’s. So what I’m hearing on the barrier is it’s a two way street. It’s like, you know, the gut barrier and the skin barrier, like you got to protect the gut barrier, you got to protect the skin barrier. So, but I love that where you’re going with this, with eczema also being an internal challenge and an external challenge. So is there something What have you found in all of your research, have you found anything that we can do to protect that external skin barrier, so we don’t get a staph infection leading to eczema?
Christa Biegler So, it I mean, I think it depends on where you’re on your healing journey. My friend who works with cancer, she’s like, Well, are you in middle of treating it are you post you know, so? So like your
Dr. Mindy throat, like I don’t have eczema, but I always want to just protect my skin better. Okay.
Christa Biegler Perfect. That’s great. So, some integrative dermatologist His name is Robbie. I think it’s Raja Raja Sabha money. I love what he says he says, don’t oversell hope, wash the pits, right? And so wash the areas that need to be washed and don’t soak up everything else. So kind of to your point earlier, when you use dis, microbiota, disrupting soaps, so this stuff with like, Anna, essentially, the antimicrobial soaps, not that you should be really using this in the shower, but if you use those everywhere, you’re disrupting your microbiome, and you could be creating a problem that you would not otherwise have. That’s one thing, right? The next thing is I think we should step back and say, Am I really dry skin profile? Am I using a lot of lotions, etc. I like to hydrate from the inside. I like to make sure my like that’s a real nerdy thing to say like, Oh, I’ve got dry skin, I should go work on my fatty acids. slathering motion.
Unknown Speaker I’m geeking out on what you’re saying. So no, yes.
Christa Biegler So, um, I think that there are times like, and I’m, I’m not I preface this by saying like, I’m not an esthetician. But when the seasons change, it’s okay to change your topical care products too. So right now we’re in the winter at the time of this recording. So I would say lean more into the oils, right? Like topical oils. I do not mean Coconut Oil Coconut oil has. And we could we could go to bad about this. This comes from a microbiologist that I respect, where if you put coconut oil on your skin really consistently, you’re also disrupting the topical microbiome because it’s got really awesome antifungal properties. So it may have helped your kids cradle cap, which is a fungal origin, typically, right, it’s got some antifungal properties, but it’s not the oil that you typically want to use. Topically, I like things that I’ve seen work really nicely, or hobo oil is really a nice one. If you can get something that’s got some, I’m thinking of a I don’t feel like it’s chamomile. But there’s there are some things that are mixed up and kind of like you like we we try things are like, Oh, that I really liked how that works on my skin. So we use like, I always say start with the most basic of things, right, like the lesser or the simpler products and expand from there. One thing that one mistake I would say that happens when people have eczema is and this happens to all of us and it happens and other conditions is we end up with a graveyard of stuff, right? Because we’re like, oh, I’m itching in the middle of the night I get up and put like anything on. And one thing I would encourage when you’re working on topical standard stuff, is to use something for a bit of a prescribed time maybe want like anywhere from three days to two weeks, and then switch it up. Because what can happen with this. To your point you talked about the skin and gut connection and there’s a lot we can say about that right. So if it if it heals this the tissue heals the tissue, it helps heal the skin tissue helps heal the gut lining tissue. In general, if you’ve got eczema, if you’re changing things, yes, if you look with kids, you use lotions with oatmeal. And so sometimes people start reacting to that because they’ve got leaky skin. And so they’ve got they’ve got tight gap junctions in the skin as well. And so it gets in there and then the body when you start using something all the time you’ve got permeability, you can start to have a reaction to it. So this is just a thought or a Originally, you might want to change things up.
Dr. Mindy Yeah, that’s what I heard is that you got to get to know your skin type, you got to look at the seasons. And you got to find something natural that works for you. So and that now Okay, go. So that’s the skin barrier. So you talked about the, the, I think you said it was a triad. Go to the other,
Christa Biegler you want to think about, you know, that external structural stuff, you can use a skin barrier, whether it’s antimicrobial healing, or cleansing. Right? So there’s three angles there. The next one, well, let me go to the let me go to the other angle, then we’ll come back to nutritional, so it’s emotional, and then nutritional. So stress is a huge piece of things. We already talked about how stress suppresses all digestive enzyme status, if we’re not digesting things, we’re going to have essentially more trash, right? That it’s not going to be used properly by the body, we’re not going to have nutrients. It’s like kind of a whole thing, right? So one thing I would say, and I haven’t talked about this too much, but just how things present. When people and this might resonate with this audience, we’ve already talked a little bit about the disruption of topical microbiome hands. One thing I’ll see is in babies, it’ll usually present behind the knees and inside the elbows in these traditional places, then if that goes away, we quote unquote, grow out of it. And by the way, is there’s this atopic March where you may have eczema, you may have allergies, you may have asthma later in life, it may grow into some other version of this immune exacerbation. And so we’ve got that and I think that in kiddos, when it’s presenting that way, or if it’s presenting kind of this round, circular pattern, it’s very gut mediated, that’s going to be kind of a priority. But you’ve heard me talk about detoxification, and we’ll get we’ll get back to that because the skin is a place for things to be eliminated. So I think that’s a little bit more of a drier presentation, I’ll come let’s come back to that when we get to the nutritional corner. But as far as the emotional corner goes, the frosting on this building of the cake of like, what interventions do I need to do? Stress seems to be implicated in hand eczema, so much without much out. So people will be doing fine. And they’ll they’ll give me this whole history. And maybe they’ve even they’ve never even had eczema before. So maybe they just disrupted their hand microbiota accidentally, or maybe there are some stressful components. So under stress, we dumped like B five can be a big deal for handbags. And my for some reason, we’ve dumped that under stress. And sometimes I’ll do like, it’s kind of one of the last things I’ll do because I’ll do all kinds of other foundational things. But sometimes I’ll bring in high dose of that and see how that will change things. But that’s the interesting piece about stress. And one mantra with healing is that our health is as good as our nervous system. If we have nervous system dysfunction, or stress, it’s really not very controlled. And I’m not trying to be a broken record, but it’s just there’s so many different ways to look at it. Right? It can be emotional stress, it could be physical stressors. So I’ve had women who had speaking of skin conditions. There’s, there’s one and you might you might get the name correct. liken something where it’s in the vagina, right. So it’s like, the thickening of skin in the vagina feels like being stabbed there. That pain is a stressor, right? So like, you may be like, I’m doing well, I’ve got this business. But that that message of pain all day to your brain.
Dr. Mindy It’s like a lot. Yeah,
Christa Biegler it’s a lot for us kind of it has. And you’ll start to see other symptoms of stress present, like tension headaches and all kinds of like restless leg and other stuff. So that’s the emotional piece, I just don’t think we can ever go like leave that piece. But if I see someone come in the door with hand eczema, it’s one of the first pieces we talked about it because really, we’re we’re baking a cake here and as a baby, and if the eczema looks a certain way, I’m going to work on the gut, and hope that I don’t have to do a ton of other things. And then the next layer is going to be like I’ve got to add liver, we’ll talk about the next then the next layer is going to be stressed and so good. So Han Eczema is such a just like that pain of being stabbed in the vagina, hand eczema, because it’s painful. And it’s you use your hands all the time and they’re broken open, they just kind of it’s like a self feeding cycle loop also where it can be painful. So my priority with hand eczema, or that emotional version, I would call it that’s a piece of it is trying to repair that skin barrier again, and start working on the nervous system. And then I’ll get into detox and gut stuff. So
Dr. Mindy that’s okay, so let’s, so let me just sort of sum it up to make sure because there was a lot, it was really dense, there was a lot in that. So I want to make sure that people can know how to apply what you just said. So when we look at the triad, it’s the gut, it’s the barrier. And that’s no, yeah.
Christa Biegler It’s structural and external. I’ll get to that in a second when we do nutritional, so honors.
Dr. Mindy So it’s structural, its nutritional, it’s emotional. Yes, those are the three. I just want to that way when you guys are listening. You might when you’re when you’re hearing what she’s saying, there’s like a thread of like, oh, that’s me. But I want to make sure that they put it in some kind of context. So if you have eczema, and you’re like, oh my god, it’s on my hands. What I just heard is okay, that’s an emotional that could be a very, there’s a large chance that’s an emotional part of eczema that kind of died. diagnose it.
Christa Biegler Yep. So that’s a place that you have to start, I would say. And I can also, like, make sure we go back and summarize this all at the end because I just fat talk fast, and I move around a lot. And if we don’t,
Dr. Mindy I just want to make sure people, I want people to walk away from this and go, Okay, I know what to do. Because you’re giving so much great information. I want to know how to put it together for peace.
Christa Biegler Totally, totally. And we can Yeah, again, summarize that a little bit. But you’re exactly right. If it’s on my hands, I need to look at the stressors in my life as the first step, so I would say there’s like three big areas, right? So aside from everyone’s got to worry about their structural or external or topical layer, right? Like no matter what, and then there’s layers of like, where do I start? First, I start with my stress, my priority is my liver, my priority is my gut my priority. So in the emotional angle, or if you are having a presentation of hand eczema, your emotions are a huge part of the priority. Yes, you need to heal your skin barrier, because everyone does, right. If it’s broken open, if the hands are broken open if the skin is broken up, and everyone’s got to do that. But stress is like the very top layer. And so I see that more on adults than anyone else. Like if it’s a kiddo, it’s maybe not going to be that. But it’s interesting how things mirror right, we are mirrors of our children as well. So there’s a lot that could be said about that. So triad, we’ve got our structural external, meta emotional, now we got the nutritional, so it kind of like went backwards to kind of get there, right. But we’ve talked a few pieces, we’ve already talked a little bit about that nutritional angle, that can be a lot of things. But let’s make sure we put good stuff. Let’s make sure we put liver stuff, let’s make sure we put adrenal stuff, all of all of the things thyroid so.
Dr. Mindy So if we had to create a checklist right now we have the structure, we have outside barrier, we have stress. Now we have gut, let’s talk a little bit about what destroys the gut that would actually give the manifestation of eczema.
Christa Biegler Yeah, so I’m going to start at the beginning of life and move through life a little bit as quickly as possible. If I’m talking to someone, a newer parent, or someone with less than a five year old, I’m getting that birth history and find out was they be vaginally delivered or C section delivered, right? Because we’re gonna have a disruption of the innate microbiome right there, we’re gonna find out if they’re a C section, if there’s a vaginal swab, if there was Group B strep, if there was antibiotics throughout birth, and then what happened post birth, right. So like, what was going on post birth, the first year 234 of life, how many ear infections were there, etc. It’s really with kiddos, you’re going to see a lot of antibiotic use. I had one really cool parent that did something that no one else has done. And she said, I would have had they lived in the same town their whole their 11 year olds whole life. And she said, I just called the pharmacy and asked them to give me a list for how many times my kid had been on antibiotics. And I was really surprised. I didn’t remember that. Right? So we don’t remember things that are not an issue, right? But when we’re trying to build a case, we look for evidence. And so I always say to people, I just want things to make sense, right? And I’ve only had one time in the last many years of practice where someone was like, Nope, that didn’t and anyway, it didn’t like it that just things make sense, right? Many like things you can build
Dr. Mindy antibiotic use and eczema makes sense. That’s what I just heard, especially childhood antibiotics and eczema are a thing.
Christa Biegler Yeah. And then the other thing I look for is genetic predisposition. So does either parent have a history or in kind of that immediate family of the atopic March eczema allergies, asthma, if you do, you may struggle to there are some genes like Dao and each and empty that might be a little slower. It doesn’t mean that’s the blame. So genes are the cards you’re dealt, how you play the cards with what happens in a lifestyle is what brings the manifestation. So for example, my genetics aren’t like real primed for eczema. I’ve had I’ve had eczema a zillion times after that flare, I listened to my body. And this funny many I can go on. For years after I had that flare, I could go on a trip and be very indulgent and drink like crappy coffee, which can be very toxic leaving like my I need to support my liver. It’s a it’s a thing, right? So I can and we can talk about all the ways I would know that like the outward symptoms you could look at too. And I think that’s a really big thing for your audience, honestly, because this is where most people are going to fall I think, okay. Next, yeah, we’ll cover that so. So I can go drink really crappy coffee, which can be very toxic League, and it’s not something I have at home all the time. And I’ll feel a sensation around my eye where I used to have eczema. It isn’t like clear, I just feel a sensation. And I say, Whoa, Nelly, I’ve gotta go give myself a little support. Right, quit, quit, like dumping toxic burden down my throat, like, my bucket is getting too full from that. Much better. Now, I don’t seem to have that. But like for a long time afterwards, you’re still you always want to be more supportive than aggravating to your system. So you listen. And so if you have eczema, let’s just talk about what what is like dusts, right? So we talked about skin barrier, if that’s broken, you must fix it. And the skin is an obvious place for the body to get rid of waste.
Dr. Mindy Right. So but go back, go back to the show. So we know that the guts involved we know that childhood antibiotics I would think antibiotics any other time, even in your life has an issue. Are there foods just before we leave that and go to the liver are there are foods that we know are absolutely going to flare, eczema up.
Christa Biegler So if you’re working on eczema and you have that kind of bright pink excetera exacerbation, and it’s worse in the summer, histamine is almost always implicated. Is that a real root? Cause problem? No, it’s just a stepping stone. So another huge mistake is over restricting for so long to where your life sucks, right? Because ultimately, you should digest well, that is my opinion, after many years of my business starting and food sensitivity work, and it working until it didn’t work, right. You want to do the thing that’s going to be the least stressful. So a lot of people come to me they’ve already reached and they’ve already removed a lot of things. And so that could be good or bad, right? It just kind of depends. But I would say the top eight allergens. And histamines are almost always a problem in eczema. But they’re especially a problem if you are someone with seasonal allergies, or your eczema gets worse in the heat with hot water in the summer, etc. That’s all drivers of histamine. And so genetically, you’re going to have these genes that don’t break down histamine as well. And then it’s going to look like food sensitivities right and it is but it’s fixable because your gut and your liver are implicated in how you break down histamine. So this is important. And what’s histamine, tomatoes, the avocado, anything? It’s basically our shirt Cooter. eboard. Wine, beer cheese.
Dr. Mindy Don’t say that. I love my charcuterie board.
Christa Biegler I do too. So my point is I
Dr. Mindy really good charcuterie board.
Christa Biegler My point is not oh, you should like that’s off limits for you. If you have eczema. My point is, this could be adding a little insult to injury because your systems aren’t breaking down histamine and eliminating it properly. Almost always, like
Dr. Mindy most so time. So okay, go to the top. Can you just give us the top eight because I think there’s something really can. Can you like, tell us just what are the top eight allergies that we?
Christa Biegler Yeah. Let’s try. I’ll try my best to remember them off the top of my brain. Dare dairy, wheat? Eggs? Fish? Certain fish? Sorry, I don’t know. I think it might be shellfish and that way fish. It’s really cute that you asked me this question because I have a book on this topic.
Dr. Mindy These are I mean, if people are listening, that was already a lot to take out.
Christa Biegler It was it was exactly. And I will tell you, I don’t think that this is very important if you have liver drive dogs, and so let’s actually recap. Let’s read cat well, maybe I should not jump around
Dr. Mindy the liver next. If you don’t, it’s okay. If you don’t remember, I just wanted to get our action items. Okay. So
Christa Biegler that’s only important. I think if your eczema presents a certain way, I want to be very clear about that. Yeah. And it’s only a stepping stone. And if you get stuck there, it’s because you didn’t do the rest of the rest of the things, you got to support the gut. And that’s how this immune really gets out. It’s broken down in the gut via enzymes. If your gut has too many dandelions in it, it impairs enzyme function, okay. And then if you’ve got too many dandelions, it’s jammed up the detox and then the histamine cannot be eliminated one more detail that might be really useful. This is 100%. Your case of your skin gets worse during your ovulation or right before your menstrual cycle. Because histamine and estrogen essentially follow the same pathway. They’re like, Oh, broken down on the gut and eliminated via the liver. So if it’s all jammed up with dandelions, like it’s kind of a mess, right? Why?
Dr. Mindy Would you see it more in the back half of your cycle? You might see a flare up because that’s when you’re detoxifying estrogen.
Christa Biegler Exactly. Yeah, exactly. So what you want to do there, it’s just track does this seem cyclical in the month? That’s it, right? And then you kind of time it where it’s at in your cycle? And you look this up and say, Oh, that does seem to follow that, right. So that’s kind of what you’re doing is you’re being a sleuth of your body, right? You’re like tracking because people like oh, I don’t know, it seems to come and go every two weeks and like, sounds like it’s coming and going.
Dr. Mindy Yeah. Well, my mission is to get women to start looking at everything that comes and goes and mapping it to their cycle. So I didn’t want that to go go by. Okay, talk to us about the liver because the liver I mean, I could probably do a whole year of podcasting on the liver and its influence on every aspect of our health. So go ahead and talk about where it intertwines for eczema.
Christa Biegler So we already talked about how if you have hand eczema, you really got to prioritize the stress piece. That’s gonna be the top layer. We already talked about. If it’s presenting like bright red patchy, circular gut my bigger priority. Now let’s talk about liver priority because I would say for the people you told me that are listening to this podcast, we’re the people that this impacts right. So it might we may have had some eczema as a kid, but now it’s represented. Usually we add a layer and it’s the liver, right? Like we don’t get less toxic burden as we get older, we get more right. Yeah. What are some signs and symptoms that the liver is so the eczema is going to look like this? It’s going to be dry and flaky. So usually worse in the wintertime. It might present around the Chinese face mapping is like liver is eyes. That’s just a tiny detail. It was a dream like is the big thing. Why is that the liver, the liver is one of its primary jobs is produced bile, the bile breaks down fatty acids, the fatty acids go and get get used in every little cell. And so if you don’t have a nice little fatty acid layers or on every little cell, then you have like this dry flaky skin appearance. This is simple way to talk about it. So I would say dry flaky is kind of in worst in the winter is definitely liver stuff. What are some other liver signs of symptoms because unfortunately, our lab work for liver is like not the amazing. Well said, it’s not, it’s not amazing, and you’re probably a hot mess. If things are showing up, maybe your lipids are gonna look a little funny. The other only other like lab thing that comes to mind is like if your liver enzymes are elevated, but if they’re elevated, like that’s not good. It might be a fluke, or it could be an infection that
Dr. Mindy two options I find when liver enzymes are, there’s just too many scenarios.
Christa Biegler So let’s use your symptoms because that’s
Dr. Mindy exactly that’s exactly what I was.
Christa Biegler There. Um, what are some liver ones that like the really sneaky interesting ones are like sensitivity to smell? If you say I’ve got sensitive skin? Yeah, you are like, that’s a contact dermatitis. Right? Like, I’m sensitive to chemicals and touch and like fragrances and those types of things. That is like a good liver sign and symptom for sure. That might be that might like encapsulate a ton of it right there. Right?
Dr. Mindy Well, I think every everybody needs to work on their liver. So their livers. The other thing I would say is the emotion attached to the liver is anger.
Christa Biegler I love that topic. I love that topic. I love thinking about how our emotions get stored in our body. And I think that’s where we bridge the gap sometimes between these between, we really want to be like tangible and have this lab result in this answer and trying to make sense of our nervous system impacting what our health is. It’s such a cool topic. So yeah.
Dr. Mindy One thing that I’ve said to my audience a lot is that when I started fasting, it’s so healing to the liver, that I noticed a lot of anger that I had just went away, like all of a sudden, I just didn’t, I couldn’t access that emotion very much. But when I was fasting, and going through the first couple of years of building myself a fasting lifestyle, in the longer fasts, the anger came like pouring out. And it would be like on day two of a fast and I’d be like what is going on, I am just so angry, but then it went away. And as I loved on my liver and I worked on healing my liver, I saw that that emotion really go away.
Christa Biegler I think the most important thing you just said is loving and on your liver, I think that’s the best way to think about like an area that really needs support. So I’m gonna love them and liver, my love and my thyroid, I’m gonna love on XYZ thing. I think that’s the nicest way to think about it. And, and so we just talked about, like anything that feels like chemical sensitivity or fragrance or topical scent, like context sensitivity is all like huge liver red flags. And I would say to your point when you’re working on something that’s supportive of the liver, so you’re not putting toxic burden in so fasting is a version of that, of course, right? You can release our body wants to store toxins and fat tissue. And so as that stuff is released, you may see these emotions change you can have like anxiety, kind of these headaches, etc. Right? You see all that kind of stuff and fast. Yeah.
Dr. Mindy And what what do you what are some of you know, we’re always looking for new ways to support the liver. But I love what you bring up like I had never really thought of the liver as being you know, and I don’t know why I’d never made this connection about it’s how it’s showing up in skin conditions. So do you have any like your favorite liver hacks like castor oil packs, coffee enemas, like, do you have anything that you’ve seen specifically for eczema? That, you know, when you do the more bitters when you do these things? With your liver, we see a change in the eczema.
Christa Biegler Yeah, anything you said there is fine, but I will pick one. And so this goes back to the very beginning of the conversation where it’s like, man, the opportunities are great here, you got a lot of options. And so when you split this up into pieces of how you could do this, because people are gonna try all these things. We even take things orally and you can do things exogenous ly. So you just brought up some exogenous things, which I like to do, because how can we reduce this pill and supplement burden in the midst of like our hearing, and so I really love infrared sauna Monday, because infrared sauna does couple things with like passive exercise, so you feel like you did after you exercise in the sauna. It’s increasing blood flow. So it’s improving that circulation to something that’s maybe not healing as fast. So it helps it helps get mycotoxins out heavy metals out, etc. So like our toxic burden is is building up and causing stress to our liver and excess iron. As a side note, you know, all of these things can add burden to the liver. So if we can clear these out, rarely, but occasionally people use infrared sauna, and they’re like, Well, I’m a little bit worse at the moment. I don’t like the concept of it gets worse before it gets better. Just that the toxic burden may be great. I will say that my own in my own healing story. The reason I probably probably one of the reasons I love sauna so much, is because I got maybe 90% Better, no one could see the eczema, but I had this rough skin. And until I use a sauna regularly that rough skin did not go away, because it’s just an efficient way for us to clear toxic burden, which is always something stirring up on our skin.
Dr. Mindy Do you use any binders after you get out of the sauna? Because if you’re releasing, like, Should you throw in some activated charcoal in your mouth,
Christa Biegler or I am like cautious about how much I recommend binders. I think that they’re essential if you’ve got mycotoxin issues, I’m pretty passionate about people not really realizing they’ve got mild to moderate mycotoxin or mold issues. That’s kind of my area of like mild to moderate, not severe. Like let’s pick up on this little stuff. So I’m just throwing these like caveats in there. Is there really a problem? No. Binders do bind to nutrients and other supplements. So it’s best to take them one plus two plus even hours away from other foods and things. So I try not to bring in binders if not needed some natural good binders that might be a little bit more useful would be like some awesome fiber thing not psyllium husk unless you got loose. Yeah, like takes all the liquid out. Right. It’s terrible. Like flax or there’s some different products of the void. The ones with psyllium is short, make sure they’re really low on the list and or some other good things in there. But like a good fiber might be like really nice. Something was like chlorella or, or something. And they like, yeah, that’s not like so I feel like the charcoal is like it’s not really a problem. It’s funny that you asked me that because one of my clients asked me that yesterday says like, it’s not really an issue. I just my brain is like, Yeah, you’re a little more aggressive. So I don’t think everyone needs such an aggressive binder. I do not use a binder or Prasanna and I’m totally fine. What’s really important is the US towel off that sweat. Like I don’t know if that’s like commonplace or cheap. Yeah. Best practices for asana and like totally not what is most important.
Dr. Mindy And you know what, I, couple years ago, I had a sauna, infrared sauna expert on the show. And I, one of the things that she enlightened me to was the fact that when you come out of an infrared sauna, your skin is really open. So whatever you put on your skin at that moment, is going to be absorbed in. So like we have some probiotic lotions that we recommend. So I don’t know what you think of like using that moment after an infrared sauna for Okay, well now what can I get into my skin? Because everything’s so open?
Christa Biegler You know, that’s a cool idea. And I’m gonna flip it upside down and tell you a story that’s interesting. And kind of sort of answers that question from before. I think that people will listen to our, our podcasts and then near like health savvy people that you may, they may not have this issue. But I’ve got to tell you this story that I think is kind of interesting. One time I had run this toxic burden panel, which was like not really that insightful on a client. In I remember talking to the rep, who I was a colleague and a friend I said, I said, Mary Beth, tell me about one of the worst one of these you’ve ever seen. Like I want to hear a story and like where this fits on the Richter scale of like severity. And she said the worst test I’ve ever seen of this toxic burden. And like all of these chemicals, was a teenage influencer, who got all kinds of personal care products from the internet for free. And she was using them all. And I was like, What a cool story. Please tell that more often. So here I am telling that story. And my point is, I think this just goes back to like, keep it keep it clean, quote unquote, right? Like keep it simple. Take a shower. don’t soak your body all up, like just wash that sweat off, tell the sweat off, shower it off.
Dr. Mindy Afterwards, after you get out of the shop after you get out of the sauna.
Christa Biegler And then throw away the crap in your closet. That sucks.
Dr. Mindy Yeah, that actually was to your health influencer point that was actually one of the things that this sauna company told me is they’re like, what people do is they get in the sauna, they shower, and then they put their toxic beauty products right on top. And what they don’t realize is that everything’s so open that all of those endocrine disruptors are going into the body. So this is beyond just eczema. So but I keep in there’s been a very interesting thread throughout our podcast of a lot of people using infrared sauna as as a tool for healing. And so I just it’s becoming more popular and I just want to make sure people are after it is important. Yeah,
Christa Biegler no, that’s it’s all the sneaky things right? Monday.
Dr. Mindy So okay, with this every year, we have a different theme for our podcast and this year, I wanted to do something on self love. And I wanted to do something on us all highlighting our superpowers because I feel like you know, especially as women we have a tendency to Tanima you know, we just kind of put our put what we’re really good at we don’t really emphasize it. So here am I questions to you? One? Do you have a self love practice like a nurturing things you do on a daily basis to nurture yourself and to what do you think some of your superpowers are that you bring to the world?
Christa Biegler Yeah, this question. I think there’s a lot of things we could say here. One, one answer I’d like to give. That’s the same answer I would give us. Someone says, How do you know if you’re successful, I go to bed and get up early, right. And I also drink electrodes every single morning. And I never skip that. So I always have electrolytes, because we always need more minerals. So those are, those are practices for me that I’m like, are really nourishing and grounding. And if I can give myself five minutes, three minutes, one hour is awesome. In the morning, by myself, I always feel better. Like to be more proactive, they’re almost superpowers. I love to collect and connect the dots. So I love common denominators. And that’s really where like, a lot of this conversation even came out of today is like this person saying, you know, let me tell you like a weird thing. I have people that have like an itch at the bottom of their hairline or scalp right here. This seems like all of the people that are like it’s really irritating right there. They’ll have like mild to moderate mycotoxin. So far. It’s just right. I could I could go off on some other like random weird ones. But like, I love that I love to look at like, what is a common denominator? And how are we all so much more similar than we are?
Dr. Mindy Yeah, you know, health is so fascinating. You know, there I always call it a puzzle. Like it’s just, there’s so much to learn about your body. There’s so many different ways now to look at symptoms and, and the world is really starting to open up to that. So Kristin, this was awesome. Thank you so much information. So we’re just if somebody wants to follow you or find you, what’s the best place for them to go to
Christa Biegler if you’re listening to this podcast, and my podcast is called the less stressful life which is a really funny thing. I was just trying to use a synonym for inflammation, but it didn’t really matter. We talk about actually the the crux is that we go over health from all of those three angles, whether it’s structural or external, emotional and nutritional. All of those things are fair game. So that’s where you can find me. And then you’ll have a link and if I’ve got anything that’s at my website, Krista bigler.com, and then forward slash links