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Weaning Toddler/Elimination Diet

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

My daughter is 20 months, and she has pretty severe eczema.  We have her (and me) on a strict elimination diet (no grains, legumes, nuts, eggs, dairy, refined sugar, nightshades, or chocolate), but we are really not seeing any improvement.  We've been on the diet for over 30 days.  I do think it may be candida related, so I'm cutting out dried fruit as well, but I'm really not comfortable cutting out fresh fruit or things like squash for her or for me because I feel we both need the carbs.

 

DD nurses three times a day, and I'm considering weaning, because I'm wondering if there's something in my milk, or even something that I'm now detoxing is preventing her eczema from clearing.  Anyone BTDT or have advice?  I'm worried about her losing the calories from my milk, but I also feel like this is the last thing I haven't tried cutting out if that makes sense.

post #2 of 8
You could post in breastfeeding also. Gosh I don't know so I am bumping your post. Hope you figure things out mama.
Bump
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the bump. She had a really bad reaction to ghee yesterday, and it made me realize how much better she is actually doing. I have been so focused on her eczema, I forgot that she used to be pretty wheezy, and how bad her sleep was. I think I just need to stick it out.
post #4 of 8

I'm trying to do some online research to understand eczema's connection to food allergies better (it is not always clearly connected).  One article suggested some cases of eczema might actually trigger sensitivities to some foods, not the other way around, because eczema is essentially a condition where the barrier function of the skin s inadequate and manifesting in various ways.

 

Hopefully this will bump it again to hear from mamas with more experience with eczema.

 

While I would definitely consider weaning, I do know that foods eaten directly have far more influence over these things than what is present in mother's milk.  So, if she is really attached to it, I would let it continue unless I was sure there was a connection and/or the problem was severe enough to break the bond.  

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

It's funny because DD actually got very sick on Tuesday night (fever of almost 105!) and I was so thankful that she is still nursing because I knew she was staying hydrated, and it helped to keep her calm.  We've been on the diet for nearly six weeks now, and I feel like whatever 'damage' may have happened from my detoxing has been done, you know?  

 

The eczema thing is SO frustrating, some people say it is autoimmune and food related, some studies say it is not and is a 'leaky' skin issue (as you pointed out).  I would love to read the article you found about eczema causing food sensitivities if you can link to it, I don't think I've come across that one.  

He skin is *looking* so much better, but she is still having some major scratching fits.  I re-introduced almonds and macadamias for myself, things got worse, cut them out again, and things got better.  Same with chocolate (sob), but she's still scratching.  At this point, I really don't think I can deal with weaning.  She only nurses 3x a day, and (except when she has been sick) she really doesn't ask for it more often than that, but she is definitely attached to nursing at those times.  

 

She has some other health issues (lymphedema) that I think are contributing to her eczema because her lymph system isn't as effective at moving toxins through the body as it should be, but that's a whole other post!

post #6 of 8

http://newsatjama.jama.com/2013/07/19/eczema-may-leave-infants-vulnerable-to-developing-food-allergies/

 

It's a short article, intriguing idea.  Though they used EBF infants and didn't seem to account for their exposure to food proteins via breastmilk.  I'd like more information about whether they kept track of a mother's diet and how.

 

Food sensitivities do cause eczema, just not in every case and that's what makes it frustrating.  How to determine if eczema isn't food related or is just stubborn?  In her case, it could be that the eczema is not caused by food, but is clearly exacerbated by it.  

post #7 of 8

I don't think that 30 days is necessarily enough time for something for the eczema to heal.  Many of those food sensitivities/allergies would likely be caused or exacerbated by a leaky gut, and 30 days wouldn't be enough time to repair the damage that is there.  If you are seeing improvement, I would try to keep up what you are doing to give your systems both a break from the triggers.  I'm not sure if you are familiar or not, but the eliminations you mentioned are actually part of the "autoimmune protocol".  (http://www.thepaleomom.com/autoimmunity/the-autoimmune-protocolhttp://autoimmune-paleo.com/).  I found these sites when, through trial and error our eliminations brought us here.  We don't have an autoimmune disorder, but I thought that it was interesting that both my kids have cradle cap, which can be caused by a defect in an enzyme that converts fatty acids (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8386433) .  There is also a factor with inheritance of this enzyme deficiency with eczema and diabetes, and is questioned in certain autoimmune diseases.   Cradle cap (and I think eczema) can also be a sign of candida, both systemically and on the skin...maybe try alternating coconut oil and a cream with probiotics to see if that helps.(?)  Anyway, I got on a google rampage trying to figure out how all of this is connected, but there is a ridiculous amount of info there and I don't know how it all fits together or what the best course of action is.  In terms of nursing, I think it's anyone's guess.  It's something that I battled with when I was having big issues with my son.  But like you, I figured that the damage had been done, and the benefits of giving breast milk to help with all of the issues out weighed the risks of potentially having to fill nutritional gaps with some other kinds of supplements.  When I got pregnant again I was terrified of what things would be like with my second....and so long as I stay away from my own major triggers, she does absolutely perfect.  So while some of the issues may be a little bit exacerbated by what you are eating/dumping into your breast milk, I think that what you are seeing is some condition or predisposition that your child has independent of nursing.  Also, I have found that taking bentonite clay helps tremendously when I have an exposure to something...it seems to absorb whatever toxins are causing my symptoms...I can't say for sure if it helps the kids, but I feel like it does.  It certainly helps me.  Oh, and upping your and her omega 3 intake should help, per that article.  

 

Anyway, good luck!  It's so hard trying to piece through this stuff.

 

ETA: I would eliminate corn (if you aren't already) and not worry about fresh fruit, so long as you aren't gorging on it.  I know more eliminations probably make you want to punch me in the face, lol, but corn is a very commonly an issue.

post #8 of 8
I have eczema. It gets worse if i use shampoo or "soap" with sodium laurel sulfate. I use dr. Bronners for shampoo and hand washing and its much better. Also are you moisturizing her skin a lot? I like coconut oil or "eczema calm" by Moon Valley Organics. Occasionally i use prescription steroid ointment when its really bad.
Scratching also makes it itch more. So that might be part of your LO's problem. Will/can she wear socks on her hands at night?
I have no idea about the diet stuff, though.
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