[Traditional Chinese medicine goes beyond the line]Itchy skin, don’t blindly quit food elimination method to find the culprit of allergies
Text: Li Chuer, “Ming Pao”
(Hong Kong News) Food also contains histamine. Can avoiding foods with high histamine content solve skin itching? And how is itchy skin caused? Histamine is one of the chemicals that triggers itching.
Nutritionist Wan Kan pointed out that histamine is produced by the human body. When the immune system defends against invaders such as pollen, mold and other allergens, white blood cells will release histamine into the blood, resulting in allergic reactions such as itchy skin.
Fermented processed products contain high histamine
Dr. Lin Jiawen, a specialist in dermatology and venereal diseases, further explained that when the skin is irritated, the mast cells in the immune system activate a protective mechanism, secrete more histamine into the blood, promote inflammation and repair tissues. When histamine binds to histamine receptors on microvascular endothelial cells, itching and erythema will occur, leading to skin diseases such as eczema and urticaria.
“And histamine is only one of the substances in the itching mechanism, and other substances such as IL-31, IL-4 and IL-13 can induce itching.”
It is not difficult to find traces of histamine in the daily diet. Generally speaking, compared with fresh foods, fermented or processed foods such as cheese, cheese, soy sauce, kimchi, and canned food contain higher histamine; in addition, mackerel, tuna, mature meat, coffee, and wine are all high histamine amine food.
Wan Kan said that most people can tolerate high histamine foods,
Only about 1% of people have histamine intolerance,
They are due to the lack of an enzyme called diamine oxidase in the body
(diamine oxidase, DAO) digestive enzyme,
Make the histamine in the food accumulate in the body and cannot be decomposed normally,
cause rashes, hives,
Difficulty breathing, itchy skin and other symptoms.
“Having gastrointestinal or liver disease, stress, and an imbalanced gut microbiome all increase the risk of developing histamine intolerance.”
Lin Jiawen added that “histamine intolerance” first appeared in medical literature in the 1980s, but there is not enough medical evidence to prove the mechanism and treatment of this disease. Afterwards, symptoms such as rash, headache, stomachache, and nausea appeared.
Dietitian-guided serving size
Itchy skin is bothersome and difficult to sleep and eat. Some people will choose to quit, hoping to alleviate the itching problem. Lin Jiawen said bluntly: “If there is no obvious food that causes itchy skin, there is no need to quit blindly.”
Wan Kan also believes that there is no need to quit blindly. “If necessary, patients can receive an elimination diet under the guidance of a nutritionist, which helps to understand which foods and intake may cause related symptoms. Quit completely.”
If you suspect that a certain type of food may cause an allergy or food intolerance, do not eat the suspected food at all for at least two weeks. If symptoms improve, reintroduce the “suspect” foods one by one to see which foods are causing symptoms.
Conversely, the absence of improvement after excluding the food suggested that the food was not the most suspected culprit. If it is confirmed that a certain food causes allergy, the nutritionist will adjust the food portion to find out the threshold of symptoms. For example, the test results show that eating a slice of cheese will cause skin itching, but eating half a slice is no problem, so the patient does not need to give up cheese completely.
Special attention should be paid to the fact that the food elimination method should be implemented under the supervision of a nutritionist. Do not abstain randomly or try to exclude certain types of food on your own, so as not to cause malnutrition and weight loss. If you experience symptoms such as itchy skin and rashes after eating certain foods, it may be a food sensitivity or food intolerance, and you should seek medical advice as soon as possible.
Reckless abstinence leads to malnutrition
Although healthy people can metabolize histamine in food, they should not eat it recklessly. Wan Kan reminded that processed and pickled foods not only contain high histamine, but also have high salt content. Excessive sodium intake will increase the risk of high blood pressure and increase the burden on the kidneys. Daily sodium intake should be paid attention to (recommended less than 2000 mg of sodium per day) , that is, less than a level teaspoon of salt).
Itchy skin makes people unable to resist scratching, but the scratching gets more itchy. Lin Jiawen explained that scratching will irritate the skin, which will make the already sensitive immune system more active, the itching will become more intense, and the scratching will be more severe, forming a vicious circle.
Cold compress with wet towel for 5 minutes to relieve itching
“Pain and freezing will make the nerves that produce itching in the brain less active, so patting and cold compresses can temporarily relieve the itching; but patting may cause injury, so it is not recommended, you can wrap ice particles in a towel or use ice cold Apply a wet washcloth to the itchy area for about 5 minutes to relieve the itching.”
Antihistamine drugs can improve the discomfort of allergies. You can also choose more flavonoids known as natural “antihistamines” in your diet. Apples, onions, olive oil, cherries, blackberries, and cranberries are all flavonoids. rich sources.
Wan Kan said that flavonoids have anti-oxidation and anti-inflammation capabilities, and can help inhibit the release of histamine and relieve allergic symptoms such as skin itching. Of course, don’t think that eating an apple or a few cherries will stop the scars immediately. The most important thing is to have a varied and balanced diet, drink enough water and get enough sleep to keep your skin healthy.
Rheumatic fever invades itchy skin
Eat less raw, cold, fatty and sweet food
When wind evil invades, the skin bears the brunt.
Traditional Chinese medicine believes that skin itching is caused by “wind”, “dampness” and “heat”, which belongs to the category of “wind pruritus” in traditional Chinese medicine, and can be divided into excess syndrome and deficiency syndrome.
Pan Ziya, a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine, pointed out that itching is usually caused by external wind evils, such as “wind heat” and “rheumatism”, and wind is the root of all diseases, that is, “wind” is the main pathogenic factor, and it is mixed with cold, dampness, Heat evil invades the human body, especially when the seasons change. When wind evil invades the human body, it is easy to make the interstitial tissues open, and the skin, as the body’s first line of defense against the outside world, bears the brunt of the blow.
Due to the frequent changes of wind-type good deeds, the itching caused by wind-evil has no fixed location and has the characteristics of wandering and erratic.
Blood deficiency causes dryness and itching
As for pruritus due to deficiency, it mostly belongs to blood deficiency and wind. Blood can nourish and nourish the viscera and tissues of the whole body; blood deficiency cannot nourish the skin, which can easily lead to dryness and itching. Women who lose menstrual blood during menstruation may experience skin itching due to blood deficiency.
Most patients with pruritus have eczema, urticaria, rosacea, and herpes zoster.
◆Urticaria is a red, swollen rash with an acute onset and rapid change in condition; itching is variable and does not occur at the same place or time, and usually subsides within 24 hours
◆Eczema usually worsens when the season changes, the skin lesions are red and itchy, and there may be exudate or yellow scabs
The main manifestation of rosacea is erythema on the nose or around the nose, accompanied by papules and pustules
◆Herpes zoster is commonly known as “raw snake” and is called “snake sore” in traditional Chinese medicine. In the early stage, there may be only unilateral local itching or pain, and no typical rash will appear
Spring is hot, humid and windy, and at the same time it is the season when the liver is vigorous, and the liver is prone to wind. When the external environment is humid, external dampness will induce internal dampness, which will affect the body’s function of transporting and transforming moisture. Moisture “internal and external pinching” may cause skin itching.
Hair burning aggravates the condition
She reminded that fatty, raw and cold foods can easily damage the spleen and stomach, causing the spleen to lose its ability to transport moisture to the whole body; too much sweet food will make the spleen too moist, and also weaken the spleen’s ability to transport water and damp, resulting in moisture in the body Stressed.
For itchy skin, it is advisable to eat less cold, sweet and fatty foods, as well as the so-called “fat” in traditional Chinese medicine, that is, foods that are easy to cause irritation, allergies, induce old diseases, and aggravate the disease. The examples are not exhaustive, mainly including:
◆crustaceous seafood, such as shrimp, crab, etc.
◆Duck, goose, cow, sheep
◆Hot fruits, such as mango, durian, etc.
◆Mushrooms, such as straw mushrooms, winter mushrooms, mushrooms, etc.
◆Nuts, such as peanuts, cashews, etc.