It makes sense that people living with a condition, whatever that might be, will hopefully have sought advice from an appropriate professional or at least undertaken their own research online. As there are some potential links between nutrition and the management of rosacea then the chances are that someone might have come across dietary advice of a draconian variety. For example, the National Rosacea Society in the US has a list of 23 foods and drinks including any hot drink and all alcohol that might trigger a flare up. The catalogue is extensive and lists familiar foods such as avocado, figs, raisins, liver, spinach and tomato. It also mentions spicy foods and foods that contain histamine.
That’s a hefty list to follow and would require vigilance and dedication. So what can you do that’s more realistic?
Make changes systematically so you can assess what works
In practice we often make several changes simultaneously and if an improvement is noticed, then it makes sense to carry on doing whatever we were doing. But it is quite possible that one or two of the changes are providing the lions share of any improvements, and so identifying them would allow one to manage the condition without a complete change of lifestyle.
Pay attention to levels of bacteria in the gut
Before undertaking any drastic plans you may want to consider some initial nutritionally based steps. Rosacea is an inflammatory response and in theory, anything than causes the immune system to respond with specific immune cells could be a potential trigger.
In my clinical experience I found that tweaking the levels of bacteria in the gut had a positive effect on the typical rosacea inflammation. The first step is to get some good bacteria in the diet via fermented foods, including sauerkraut, miso soup and yogurt. (And if you’re off on holiday, it could pay to make them part of your body prep too.)
You could also try boosting the benefits with some fermented skincare?
Eliminate trigger foods like dairy products
Perversely dairy products can be a trigger for some people as can drinking hot liquids, including soups, and so the foods aren’t for everyone.
Invest in a high quality probiotics supplement
In truth, the numbers of beneficial bacteria in foods are limited compared to that in supplements and so I often advise clients with rosacea to make no other nutritional changes initially other than take a course of probiotics for at least 30 days. A decent quality supplement should contain various strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium so do check the list of ingredients.
Reduce your consumption of carbohydrates
The other steps involve reducing the intake of simple carbohydrates and replacing them with more fibrous alternatives. Simple carbs, sugars and juices are broken down in the digestive system with relative ease and are likely to trigger excess levels of insulin, a hormone that encourages cells to absorb glucose for use as fuel for energy. Higher levels of insulin in the blood can exacerbate inflammation and so eating complex carbs with a little protein and vegetables should help stabilise glucose levels and thus reduce the requirement for insulin.
This is reasonably easy to do but avoiding simple sugars altogether is much harder especially given that some artificial sweeteners, the sort that are often found in a sachet alongside lumps of sugar, can also trigger a flare up for some sufferers. The easy step is to avoid all obvious sources of sugar, for at least 30 days perhaps after the initial course of probiotics.
…and that includes alcohol
Another factor is alcohol where the advice ranges from none to avoiding specific drinks such beer and sweet wine. In practice I find that avoiding alcohol altogether isn’t that popular but if such a step were to greatly reduce flare ups then of course the exclusion would be worthwhile.
When I was in full time practice I worked with many clients with rosacea, and not every step worked for everyone. I should stress that I have seen these steps work in practice and, so there are no guarantees.
The original article is at: telegraph.co.uk