So glad to hear that removing dairy has resulted in some improvement! Other things to consider eliminating are the other "Big 8" allergens: peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, eggs, shellfish and fish.
(6), (4.5), (2) and IT'S A !!!! ~9/24/12~
THank you for your encouragement, I am constantly hungry as all I ate was cheese and dairy products really but I am trying to be creative. I have noticed a lot of improvement when it comes to eating, he no longer screams when I offer but I still have to do all those things like distract him or use a quiet room and shush while he nurses am not sure if that is because he is used to nursing on the move now or what. As for the eczema not much improvement there, does that mean I should eliminate other things as well? It breaks my heart to think of how much discomfort he must have been in to refuse to eat to the extent that he would allow himself to become dehydrated!!! And it drives me crazy to see how poor guidance the doctors and consultants i saw gave me and not one said I should eliminate dairy and I asked and was told it is not related, can you imagine how much trouble I would have saved myself and how much worry not to mention how much suffering for my little one?
I am very glad to hear that your little one is nursing so much better! Seems like there are a lot of problems coming together for you, and you are only now finally getting to the bottom of it. I think your doctors have a lot to answer for.
I have horrible dairy cravings when I am nursing, particularly when i am nursing all night - I basically eat dairy all morning. When my oldest had bad reflux, I tried to eliminate dairy but was unable to; however merely cutting down seemed to help in our case. I second those posters who suggested meat, and would add a suggestion for a calcium supplement. I hear it helps people with allergies and excema as well.
Now could be the easiest time to track triggers because of limited food exposure. It's much harder to track once they are toddlers and eating all sorts of food. It then becomes really hard to find the balance between physical health and emotional well being. I had delayed ds2's going to school partly because of this. He also meets and knows of other children on dietary restrictions for allergies and I am constantly looking for new food that he can have or home made treats.
I suggest focusing on two things:
First, make a list of all that you are eating, and see what is in the top 8 allergens. You have already pinpointed dairy which is great. Stick to the dairy restrictions strictly for one month and see if there are further improvements. If not, consider anything else that you are eating often, or shows up as a pattern with your son's skin or reactions. Take that out as well for at least one to two weeks.
Second, make a list of everything else that you CAN eat. This list is just as important. You don't want to be crying because you are hungry and there's nothing to eat. Been there done that. Now search through the internet for recipes that you feel are doable. Print a stack - this is your go- to recipes. Now go to the supermarket and stock up. Make sure you have enough carbs and protein on that list because fruits will not be enough, and some kids react badly to acidic fruits. If you are cutting out butter, consider using olive oil, flax seed oil, and nuttelex - a soy, dairy, nut free spread. Your grocery list should have a fair amount of ready food. For us, it was rice cake, preservative free ham, bananas, almond milk, selection of biscuits that fit our dietary needs. Look into other ethnic cuisines as well. They tend not to use dairy.
Dry skin - the skin will take a while to follow any improvements, but the scratching itself can stop within a week if you find the right trigger.
You may also want to ask your mum and in laws to find out if anyone else in the extended family has allergies. This can help narrow down the triggers.
You may find these two links useful
This is a template for elimination diet. I did not follow this, but it may be a useful reference point for you.
This is very useful to start determining the kind of allergens you may be dealing with.
Thank you so much deminc. I had eliminated all dairy and cow products including meat and wheat, i don't do shellfish so that's ok, don't really do nuts either. so i stopped eggs as well but then noticed with the almond milk he got another flare up so i have switched to rice milk which i don't like either but his skin is better. I have been very strictly adhering to this but still don't know enough and still am famished. Thanks for the advice on the grocery and all that, i am going to see if i can see a nutritionist and am meeting with our doctor on the 9th and wait till you see what i have for him. what i wonder though is does this mean that he will in fact be allergic to all thsee things later? i have checked with the family and it seems dust mites is an allergen for sister in law but no other members of the family seem to have any allergies. will check out those links thank you.
To help with feeling full, you need to replace with the type of food that you had before. Looks like you haven't cut out chicken or turkey; you could cook a whole chicken and a whole turkey, and then chill them and chop or shred them up into pieces to have in the fridge. Since cheese is protein AND fat, you also need to add more fat to your diet; coconut oil sounds like a good option since you like the coconut milk... Some people eat it right off the spoon. Or you could stirfry raw chicken chunks in coconut oil until cooked and have those on-hand to eat cold or heat in microwave. Coconut oil is very mild but coconutty. Some people can eat it plain or like butter, I do better cooking with it. It is also very nutritious.
I didn't ever have to cut out nuts completely; that was a good replacement. Here's one idea--one little boy I know who has multiple allergies, like all nightshades, strawberries, dairy, wheat, eggs, soy, peanuts, and tree nuts (I'm sure there's more on that list) CAN eat sunflower seeds. So his mom uses sunflower seed oil and sunflower seed butter in his diet. She had to take him down to turkey, rice, and like 3 kinds of vegetables to figure out what he was allergic to.
Hang in there! It can be really hard to figure out what makes our littles' bodies happy.
Maybe taking a protein supplement will help a little with nutrition? I used those supplements a long while ago, and recently had to start again. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that hemp protein, rice protein, green pea protein supplements are available - and they are organic too. (I also like organic goat milk protein, I don't have a reaction to it like I would to cow's milk, but I see you exclude dairy.)
I haven't scrolled through all the responses to this thread so forgive me if this is at all redundant, but your comment that he is crying and screaming when you try to nurse during the day sounded familiar. my son was a pretty good nurser, but i had a very fast let-down that, instead of getting overwhelmed by it, he would just refuse to nurse. he would start to latch, and then just pop off, screaming bloody murder but did not seem overwhelmed at all, just angry. could this be part of the problem? i solved it by pumping a little bit before nursing to slow down the flow. although his frequency was pretty good, my son didn't consume as much quantity as i wanted him to, but things improved once i started the pre-nursing pumping.