I don't think I've blogged about this before, but my baby has eczema. He's had it since he was 4 months old. He's now 9 months old and it hasn't gotten any better. It's all over his back, but no where else. It looks like a chemical burn or something. It's bright red, and alternately either really flaky or really raised and rough. Oh, and it's REALLY itchy. I feel so bad. We have taken him to the doctor many times and they really don't have much to offer that has helped. The advice we've been given is to remove fragranced detergents, synthetic clothing, moisturize often, bathe less often and with mild non-soap "soaps" like Dove. And then when it gets really bad, they prescribe steroid creams and put him on antibiotics when it gets infected.
They console me by saying that most kids will grow out of it by the time they are three or four. But three or four is years away and my baby is suffering now.
So I decided to see the advice of a naturopathic doctor. Because medical insurance typically doesn't cover NDs, we are paying out of pocket and let me tell you, it is frickin expensive.
I've had two visits with her so far. She says that eczema is linked to food allergies and that once the food allergy is identified, eliminating that food will clear up the eczema. She says that we will be tackling the root cause of the eczema and that Western medical treatments just treat the symptoms.
Because the baby was exclusively breastfed when he developed eczema for the first time, she thinks that it is my own food allergies that are causing his eczema. I found that surprising for two reasons: 1) I never had reason to think I have food allergies and 2) I didn't know that my own allergies could cause the baby's eczema.
But I am putting my trust in her and I'm willing to try anything. So, on Friday she gave me an allergy test using an electro acupuncture machine. Unfortunately for me, she found out that I am allergic to like EVERYTHING. OK, not everything, but might as well be everything - tomatoes, wheat, dairy (not eggs), and potatoes. I was shocked because I've never noticed allergies to these foods but she explained that many people have allergic symptoms but they just don't realize that's what they are (e.g., constipation, headaches, mood swings, etc.)
So now, I have to eliminate this stuff from my diet to see if his eczema clears up. I am only two days in and it is so hard! There is wheat and dairy in SO much. I'm pretty much stuck eating rice, beans, fruits and vegetables. And I can eat meat, fish and soy - though I really don't like to eat meat and with all the contaminated fish out there, there really aren't that many options for eating fish anymore.
However, I'm going for it. My task is to eliminate all of my allergenic foods from my diet and see if there is any change in 2 weeks.
Today we went to a b-day barbecue today and there was SO much great food. There were hamburgers, potato salad, couscous salad, pasta salad, watermelon, cake, chips and dip, etc. Of all the food there was to eat, the only things I could eat on my diet were a plain hamburger patti and a slice of watermelon (oh and some raw carrots, mushrooms and celery sticks they had out). When I saw the couscous salad, I was jumping for joy because I thought it was something I could eat, but then I found out there was some yogurt in it. Crap.
I think this diet is going to kill me! But I am willing to do it for the baby to see if it works.
Cross your fingers for me.
p.s. I need a "screen name" for the baby. On this blog, my toddler is known as "Little Guy". Littler guy just doesn't sound right. I will keep thinking.