why so many breastfed babies w/eczema? - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-26-2002, 09:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey all! My son and I are dealing with eczema right now. I had food allergy testing, and as a result I have cut out dairy, soy, corn, peanuts, chocolate, cocoa, lemon, and orange. All this in the hopes that it will improve his eczema too, assuming that he probably has the same food sensitivities that I do. (He's 11mo, still nursing a LOT!)

My question is: breastfed babies are supposed to be much less likely to suffer from allergies and their consequences, such as eczema, asthma, etc., right? So why do I see so many postings on MDC about families dealing with these health issues? It seems to me that our babies should be largely allergy-free, but maybe this is naive. I know that allergies are a threshold issue, that the body gets stressed by many factors and any one of them can push the body into an allergic response. Maybe I should focus on eliminating environmental allergens. Anyway, does anybody have any wisdom to offer in this area?

Thanks!
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Old 07-26-2002, 10:03 PM
 
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My son had it, too, and I wondered the same question. I guess it's just statistics. Just as w/ear infections, bf babies will still get them but are just LESS likely to. For us, I think it's genetics.

But, we have pretty much gotten rid of it so it's no longer an issue for us. I tell myself it could have been much worse if he'd been formula fed.
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Old 07-26-2002, 10:20 PM
 
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My guess is that there is some genetic predispostion for it.
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Old 07-27-2002, 01:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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For us, I'm guessing it's genetics. Allergies run in my family. I just never thought I would be dealing with such an overt allergy problem in my ds at such a young age. I'm just thankful that I have an idea what's causing it, so we can address it now.
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Old 07-27-2002, 07:05 PM
 
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I understand that allergies have a direct link to eczema. There is an allergy elimination technique that gets rid of the allergy for good. It is called Nambudripad Allergy Elimination Technique (NAET).

My son was scheduled to have his tonsils and adnoids out as they were so enlarged that he was having apnea (stop breathing for more then 20 seconds). He is currently undergoing this treatment and has had great progress. Surgery is off. The procedure is non invasive and is normally done by DO's and DC'S.

A detailed book about the technique is "Winning the War against Immune Disorders & Allergies" by Ellen W. Cutler, D.C.
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Old 07-27-2002, 09:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for the info--i'll try to find the book!
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Old 07-28-2002, 07:53 PM
 
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Don't feel alone, I see a lot of FF babies in public with eczema all the time...and talked to one mom whose doc never even suggested it could have an allergy base! So they never even tried eliminating diary (the cause) until quite late. So pity all the FF babies who might have avoided it, and the poor BF babies who might have been SO much worse!
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Old 07-28-2002, 08:24 PM
 
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I was under the impression that eczema could be triggered by inoculations and that it is also a contraindication to receiving any shots... hth.
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Old 07-28-2002, 09:26 PM
 
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I am reading a book right now called "Is this your child" and while it really desn't give BF the credit it deserves it does go on at leangth about eczema and allergies and ways to help them. I think it is intresting how almost all the case studies start with "He atarted having trouble with his formula on day one. . . "

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Old 07-29-2002, 03:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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lailasarmite--

i think you're right, that vaccinations can trigger allergy symptoms. luckily, my ds hasn't had any vaccinations, so i like to think that we're better off than we could be!
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Old 07-29-2002, 03:18 AM
 
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My ds had full body eczema before he had any vaccinations.

Our ped said that while elimination diet can help infants with eczema, he doesn't usually reccommend it to parents because he doesn't think they will follow up with it or "see it through."

Huh?

One doctor actually told me that food allergies couldn't be the culprit to exacerbated eczema. I nicknamed her "Dr. H--- with the Harvard degree." "Oh yeah, we had a visit with Dr. H with the Harvard degree. She told us to shut up and use cortisone, with a script for 18 refills of 60g hydrocortisone"

That's why I rely on my own investigation and research.
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Old 07-29-2002, 03:31 AM
 
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Ds had eczema too and got much much better with homeopathy and calendula cream until it was gone
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Old 07-29-2002, 01:39 PM
 
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I am still nursing my 3.5 y.o. who had mild eczema at 6 mos. old, then developed environmental allergies, and finally asthma last fall. I was shocked Neither my dh or I have allergies or asthma, we eat REALLY well and so does my daughter, and once we found out about the allergies, we were extremely proactive in reducing her exposure. We removed all the food items from both her and my diet, we ripped out carpeting and replaced it with wood, got rid of the cat, etc., etc., That was before we developed the asthma too.:

I have read everything there is out there including stuff written in Europe. What I have concluded is that there is an exploding epidemic of allergies/asthma/eczema everywhere esp. in developed countries among breastfed babies and non breastfed babies. There is a slightly lower incidence in breastfed babies. However, what they are discovering is that nursing moms are contributing to passing the allergic proteins thru the breastmilk (i.e. peanut products, milk, wheat, corn, etc.) thinking we aren't doing any harm. Formula fed babies don't get exposure to these except from the the soy or dairy in the formula until they start to eat solids. Then they also think that during pregnancy what we were eating was being passed thru to the baby during development.

Now, and finally now, doctors are just starting to advice pregnant moms to avoid common food allergens in their diets if there has been any history of allergies, eczema or asthma in your family. BTW, my father-in-law has bad seasonal allergies, asthma and some food allergies. I never knew any of this until AFTER my dd was diagnosed with all of it too. If only I had known...

Not much we can do about it now, but for any of you pregnant now or planning on it, this is the best thing you can do to prevent it: Don't eat peanut butter, milk products, corn, soy or eggs as much as possible while pregnant and really avoid these while nursing. I know it sounds impossible to have a balanced diet for both you and your babe, but I've been doing it for over one year now and it has been a challenge but workable and has made a great improvement in my dd.
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Old 07-29-2002, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Luma--what homeopathic remedy did you use?

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Old 07-29-2002, 09:14 PM
 
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Apparently if there are any allergies, eczema, asthma or nightblindness anywhere in the family, you shouldn't "vaccinate" according to one of the "pro-vaccine" sites I've studied. For all that's worth ~

Laila.

PS quite an interesting thread. I am also curious what homeopathic remedies may have worked for some of you'se. Maybe just understanding that there is an answer to these common woes intrigues me as I am pretty ignorant beyond the Marcus Welby MD Mentality I was raised by.
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Old 07-30-2002, 12:36 AM
 
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Hi! Let me see if I can put this right, the homeopahic remedy has to match your childs symptoms, there is not a h. remedy for ezcema, because each child will have different symptoms. For example one child will have a very dry and itching ezcema and be lets say restless at night while another one wont be itchy but will be red and could be having loose stools... and there is one remedy that will match all your childs symptoms! the homeopath will prescribe the remedy for the person, this is why (among many other things) homeopathy is very different from allopathic med. The classical homeopath will prescribe a single dose of one remedy and that should be enough. Its amazing medicine!!
Besides it doesnt suppress, but helps the body in its own process to get rid or to work with whatever the body is doing.
I hope i made myself clear!
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Old 07-30-2002, 12:43 AM
 
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Check Janet Zand's book "Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child" or words to that effect. She's pretty thorough about each med or remedy.

Also, you may want to ask a ND about nutritional supplements. That's how ds got over his.

AND, last but not least, don't forget some sun exposure is good.
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Old 07-31-2002, 03:41 PM
 
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However, what they are discovering is that nursing moms are contributing to passing the allergic proteins thru the breastmilk (i.e. peanut products, milk, wheat, corn, etc.) thinking we aren't doing any harm. Formula fed babies don't get exposure to these except from the the soy or dairy in the formula until they start to eat solids. Then they also think that during pregnancy what we were eating was being passed thru to the baby during development.


I also have read studies saying these things. The ones I'm familiar with were done by formula companies. I feel this is another way they are trying to undermine our natural abilities to breastfeed our children.

I really think the stats concerning exploding epidemic of allergies/asthma/eczema everywhere esp. in developed countries among breastfed babies and non breastfed babies don't always take into consideration that some of these babes have been supplemented with formula, or breastfed only briefly, and possibly exposed to potential allergens before their gut was ready.

my opinion,
Laila.
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Old 07-31-2002, 06:59 PM
 
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Laila,

I don't remember reading any specific articles by formula companies, but you may have something there.

I have obsessed extensively over this issue and can't come up with anything conclusive about this "epidemic." I certainly don't understand how it happened to my baby. I did, however, get all the stupid vaccinations though. It would be interesting to take a poll among the members regarding those who vaccinated and those who didn't and whose baby developed asthma/allergies/eczema and whose did not.

All I know is that I have nursed my dd for 3+ years now and she developed all of these things without any formula introduced to her body I am always looking, thinking and reading about answers to this. I would love to discuss this topic more as it is so dear to my confused heart.

Sonia
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Old 07-31-2002, 07:03 PM
 
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I forgot about an interesting article I read about in Switzerland. They found that children raised in farming communities in the Alps somewhere who were actively involved in caring for the dairy cows had some of the lowest most non-existent scores for developing these problems. I believe it had something to do with a type of bacteria that lives on the cows that sets the immune system "for life" in these children so that they did not go on to have "hyper-sensitive" immune systems and lungs.

Has anyone heard any more on that study?
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Old 07-31-2002, 08:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by sonia24
Laila,

I don't remember reading any specific articles by formula companies, but you may have something there.
Sonia

Dear Sonia,

In a lot of interesting articles you can usually find the name of a doctor, university or something else somewhere in the article that you can cut and paste into a search engine to find out more information about who "sponsored" the said studies. I've been surprised a few times.

Laila.
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Old 08-01-2002, 06:55 PM
 
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Hi guys.
I have been told by Dr.'s that my daughter has Atopic Dermititis which basically means that it's inherited.
Eczema and dermititis are used interchangeably when I have been told that they are different. I have no idea which to believe since I find conflicting info about both conditions? Anyone have any thoughts?

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Old 08-01-2002, 09:13 PM
 
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My son developed eczema around 7 months. He was still primarily bf, but we had introduced solids as well... IMO we probably should have waited longer to introduce foods. Also, it went away when I began taking DHA and giving my son a tsp. of flax oil each day. There seems to be a lot of evidance showing that introducing or increasing essential fatty acid intake has a significant effect on resolving eczema.
EFA deficiencies in adults often appear as eczema or other skin disorders.
Many people believe that introducing solids too early can possibly cause allergies.
I also read a book where the author (a doctor of Chinese medicine) believes that feeding a baby too often or too big of feedings can cause allergies and eczema (by weakening the delicate digestive system).
I found a homeopathic topical treatment that worked wonders when my son had eczema. I sell it on my site (http://www.mamasfavorites.com). It's called Florasone.
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Old 08-02-2002, 01:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all your thoughtful replies and discussion! It's really helping me as we deal with our son's eczema. I'm happy to report that since I got the allergy testing (EAV testing, to be exact) and cut out all the foods I'm sensitive to, plus added flaxseed oil and acidophilus to my son's diet, his eczema has gotten MUCH better. We have also been applying shea butter to the eczema once or twice a day to keep it hydrated. I'm not so happy to report that MY eczema has gotten much worse. It itches like crazy and looks awful, but fortunately it's only on my elbows. I have not been taking the flaxseed oil myself, even though I know I should. (It's expensive stuff!) I'm also not religious about the shea butter either. Mama, heal thyself!
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Old 08-02-2002, 01:35 PM
 
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Escema can be from Wheat (gluten) allergies primarily. Gluten is hidden in many many foods. The NEAT Diet is a good suggestion also look for information on a gfcf diet at www.gfcfdiet.com. They give lots of information on diet elimination and places gluten is hidden in every day foods.

I used to put Olive Oil on my child's escema. I would message it in and it really seemed to help.
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Old 08-02-2002, 06:26 PM
 
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I don't know about you guys -- some of you sound like you've had success -- but I am about ready to give up on trying to find the trigger to ds's eczema. Fortunately for ds, he has it only on his cheeks and behind his ears, but it is tenacious stuff!!! I bought the whole breastmilk theory, but after 5 LOOOOOONG months on an elimination diet (no wheat, dairy, gluten, soy, citrus, corn, tomatoes, chocolate, eggs, or nuts), we have made no progress (except I've lost all pg weight and ten lbs more!). We have tried homeopathic and herbal remedies, EFA's, vitamins, creams, bathing, no bathing, heat, cold, and anything else anyone ever suggested, but the condition just seems to come and go on its own. He is not vaccinated (thank GOD, or I know I would blame it on that) and he has never had a DROP of formula or even a taste of any of the things I listed above. We are definitely an "atopic" family -- allergies, skin senstivities, asthma, and even a couple of immune disorders (MS, lupus, arthritis), so it may just be genes.

And of course I too thought I could avoid all this by BFing. (I posted a few weeks ago saying I was starting to think I was defective bc he has this problem anyway. One naturopath even sugg'd I wean him, "since it's obviouly something in my milk"!!!!!)

I'm a science-type, so I just knew I could find a pattern if I searched hard and long enough, but this may be a battle I lose. I think we're now just waiting for him to outgrow it. :

I'm sorry virgomama, I don't think I helped you at all! (This is especially hard for Virgo mamas, huh?!?!)

Keep the suggestions coming, mamas. I'll try anything!
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Old 08-02-2002, 07:15 PM
 
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Breathe,

You sound as exasperated and frustrated as I have been too--always looking for a trend, a connection, ruling things out, etc: and researching, researching.

Well, here's a couple of things I did that could have helped my dd, but I'll never know since I tried everything almost at the same time :

1. We went crazy with reducing dust mite poop--mattress covers, ripping out carpeting, etc.

2. Also put to sleep my 18 y.o. kitty (which she did test + to on the skin tests.

3. We bathed her every night in plain water. Just made sure she was well rinsed off and lubed up with whichever cream we were using at that time

4. Kept her from playing in the grass.

Every now and then, my dd will start scratching the insides of her elbows causing it to redden but not really getting worse than that. It usually happens if we've been inside of someone's house who has a pet (which is very seldomly and very time-restricted), or she was "sort of" playing near or on grass.

I know it sounds like putting your baby in a bubble, but it does give me relief to be neurotic about it so I don't have to deal with a flare up and wrack my brains trying to figure out what it was time time-kwim?
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Old 08-02-2002, 08:41 PM
 
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~okay - a long shot. Clothes soap? Clothes softener? Your underarm deoderant or dhs? DHs aftershave? Mmmmmh.

Editted to add: Have you tried putting breastmilk on it? <not kidding>
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Old 08-02-2002, 09:48 PM
 
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Yep, we are in the same boat. I find that plain old petroleum jelly after a bath to keep the moisture sealed in goes a long way toward healing broken down skin as well as warding off outbreaks. On especially bad spots I have even used those moisture sealing bandages and in a day or two those have closed up too.
I point out the above as we were told that dd skin just can't retain moisture on it's own. It helps us, so I thought I would share. (we also have to bathe her only every other day and not use soap all over, just top and bottom and then out of the tub)

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Old 08-02-2002, 10:28 PM
 
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I'm NOT criticizing your choice greenluv but, I heard that petroleum jelly is not all that good for your skin. Something to do with what it's made of. Petroleum....? I also saw somewhere jelly of some sort without that word in it. Anyone here know anything about this?
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