Elimination Diet, support, encouragement, help and ideas!!! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 35 Old 04-30-2004, 10:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I keep reading about other mommas doing the elimination diet, or have figured out allergies. I wanted to start a thread for a place of support and encouragement. I have heard that doctors don`t support the mom`s efforts, and instead say things like women will give up after 3 months. This is sad. But, truth be told it is HARD to adjust your diet in such a major way, and I do feel I need support and help.
My recent idea has been to start a notebook of menu ideas. I found I was either making the same meals a lot, or getting tired and overwhelmed of thinking of what to cook for dinner. The thing is I LOVE cooking, but recently it has been hard for me to feel the same joy.
How are other mommas coping? Please share your success stories, tips, ideas and frustrations.
Warmly,
Kathryn mom to Maya 10/28
allergic to eggs, dairy and wheat avoiding seafood, nuts and peanuts
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#2 of 35 Old 05-01-2004, 05:54 AM
 
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Thanks for starting this thread, Kathryn. It is really hard, and my allergist seems convinced that my DS will be on formula in no time.
I'm not terribly frustrated with the diet itself, but the lack of support I'm getting and people going "Oh well you're not going to last long on that."

Ashe, mom of Kolaiah 9-9-03 who is allergic to cow's milk, egg white, soy, peanuts, wheat, rye, pork and potatoes, also avoiding seafood and all nuts, and Gabriel 4-21-99 who is allergic to nothing.
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#3 of 35 Old 05-01-2004, 03:31 PM
 
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It is difficult to change a diet dramatically. My son had allergies that were so severe I had to give up foods that I loved & that was more than enough incentive although, that's not to say it was always easy....I got a lot of cravings for things & there were times I really struggled.

There are really alot of alternatives to some of the things you've mentioned that you may find it gets easier with time. Your tastes will change over time & you may really like some new foods you've found.

Good luck.
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#4 of 35 Old 05-01-2004, 05:26 PM
 
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Yeah but I don't think I'll ever stop missing caramel frappucinos and ice cream and cake and Oreo's.
He has to wean some day, right?
Right?
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#5 of 35 Old 05-02-2004, 03:07 AM
 
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I came to MDC in the fall of 2002, seeking support b/c our then-peds. insisted there was no way for me to continue breastfeeding. Our son was seriously ill from the effect of multiple food allergies and they were very insistent on switching him to formula. This board gave me the info and support I needed so desperately. My son, now 22-mos, is allergic to dairy, soy, egg, corn, bananas and avocados, peanuts, treenuts, wheat, buckwheat, quinoa, barley, coconut, sesame, and most fruit. Our allergist and new ped. have told me to nurse as long as I can take it, three years being the optimal minimum. So, for over a year now, I've followed his diet. And it is so worth it. He's healthy and happy. It's encouraged (um, forced?) my entire family to take a hard look at how we eat and to find alternative foods. We're learning how to find healthy, organic, unprocessed foods at affordable prices and we're learning how to cook some really interesting things. This is, after all, my son's life and, by eliminating his allergens from my diet now, we've learned how to read labels and cook and be aware of dangerous situations. I crave my old food all the time. I miss the convenience of just grabbing something while I'm out--everything takes so much preparation. I miss restaurants. For the last few weeks, I've been craving this particular black bean burrito from one of my favorite restaurants. But I still have at least another year, so it'll have to wait. I know moms who will "cheat", but, y'know, I've seen my son so incredibly sick that it just isn't worth the risk. Sometimes, though, I do have to vent and whine--and dh will listen to me complain--and then it passes.

Hang in there!!

Missy
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#6 of 35 Old 05-02-2004, 05:17 PM
 
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hugs to all on this path.

my 1st daughter was allergic to dairy for her first 7 years. it was not a dramatic allergy like some, instead the symptoms were not so obvious to me at first. she had multiple ear infections which began soon after her first year. this was when i started introducing new proteins, and she loved cheese and yogurt. she had 6 infections in a row, and the ped started talking about tubes. i did not want them, as i had seen them fail miserably for some other kids. luckily, some heath food store folks talked me into eliminating dairy from her diet. i tried it half heartedly, desperate. she was a whole new person for the two weeks! i fed her yogurt for a week after that and she got an instant ear infection! so we avoided all dairy, a big change for us, but of course well worth it. she is fine with it now. they do sometimes grow out of these things.

and i am and have always been allergic to..... are you ready? CHOCOLATE. oh yes, the horror. it gives me hives and makes me feel panicky. but i have discovered other goodies in its place. so it is worth it to clean up the diet, other family members may benefit in unexpected ways too....
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#7 of 35 Old 05-06-2004, 04:51 AM
 
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Bumping this from page 3...
Just wanted to stop in and update you on Kolaiah's weight gain.
Over the past week he gained 1 lb. 3 oz.
Our ped. was SO happy and so am I! This reaffirms for me why I am going through the misery of an elimination diet. I can actually see the results myself. And I feel so good about it!!!!
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#8 of 35 Old 05-06-2004, 08:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the bump.
Dreams,
Koliah looks soooo much better in the recent pictures. It is nice to see some tangible rewards for your hard work.

Any of the mums who have been traveling on this road for a longer time have any tips or advice to share?

I recently got in a rut with cooking. I started to make a list of all the things I could make for dinner. It will be a work in progress. It really helped me to focus on all the things I COULD eat. DH also looked up some recipes for Japaese food on the net. He cooked dinner the other night, pot stickers (gyoza). I realized I could make dumplings out of the same dough, mashed potatoes and starch and serve them with tomato sauce.

My sweet tooth has not gotten any smaller, but my choices have. I made a very yummy desser the other day. 1 can of coconut milk, 1 can of pumpkin (small can 15 oz) and some sugar. I just mixed the coconut milk up with the mixer, added the pumpkin and sugar to taste, and my taste run pretty sweet. I put some in the freezer to make ice cream, ate some directly from the mixing bowl and put some in the fridge.

I am looking forward to my trip to the states this summer/fall to try out some of the interesting products I read about. BUT also a bit nervous as to how my mother will deal with all of the menu changes. Too far in the future to worry about, but I have started to pre her when we chat on the phone.

Kathryn mum to Maya allergic to eggs, dairy, wheat and avoiding nuts and seafood
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#9 of 35 Old 05-06-2004, 02:14 PM
 
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I know it is so hard, and people should be supporting you and telling you what a great thing you are doing for your baby instead of being so negative! I have seen so many babies who were put on soy formula because they were allergic to things in the moms' diet, only to emerge as toddler who are allergic to *everything* throughout childhood. Otoh, the few moms I know who stuck it out have children who are able to eat normally and are virtually allergy free. You can put in the time now, or you can put it in later for much longer, but it's a myth that formula is the easy way out. You mamas are doing a great job and you will be rewarded with healthier, happier children! Just keep telling yourself that infancy doesn't last forever. One day you will drink that frappacino, I promise!
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#10 of 35 Old 05-06-2004, 09:09 PM
 
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I updated my web page again with pictures taken within the last week. Everyone, check it out! You'll see such a huge difference in Kolaiah's skin!
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#11 of 35 Old 05-09-2004, 05:24 PM
 
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this is a wonderful thread

my sister -- for her bfing boy -- has givn up totally: dairy, eggs, glutton, penauts....and is avoiding corn. Baby is allergic to D, E, G and P and might be to C. ..............................it is really tough on her; but he is doing sooo much better that is very rewarding.

AImee

Aimee + Scott = Theodore Roosevelt (11/05) and 23 months later Charles Abraham (10/07)....praying for a little sister; the search starts May 2014
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#12 of 35 Old 05-10-2004, 01:43 AM
 
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I just wanted to send my support to all of you as well.

I was one of those babies - allergic to wheat, eggs, dairy, fish, nuts, tomato, soy, and zuchinni - there wasn't any formula I could have. I was a horribly sick baby with disgusting eczema and when my mother weaned me, she discovered my allergies. So she got donated milk from friends and LLL while she relactated, only eating things that I wasn't allergic to. Thus I went from a horribly sad and sick scrawny thing to a fat, smiling creature.

Most of my allergies diminished enormously at purberty although I'm still extremely allergic to nuts (except I can have almonds?!!?) and get anaphylaxis from sheep's milk/cheese. I'm still a bit allergic to wheat, eggs, and dairy but I'm vegan so the only one there is the wheat, which I try to substitute when possible. As long as I get my proper amounts of Omega oils, particularly the GLA in Borage/evening primrose/black current oils, I'm ok with no eczema.

Keep up the diet - it's really important to your children!~

EMily

Early intervention specialist and parent consultant since 2002.
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#13 of 35 Old 05-19-2004, 02:47 AM
 
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Hello

My DS started having eczema at 5 months, although maybe he had it before, but we just thought it was sensitive skin (DH is a redhead) and moisturizing took care of it.
I've been dairy free pretty much since then, but now just started a strict Elim. Diet.

Does anyone know how long I should stay on it until I can add foods back in to test them? My naturopath says now (after 2 1/2 weeks) and I did with wheat and tomatoes but now I'm regretting it. It's so hard to test foods because DS wasn't totally clear (it's under his neck and his feet creases that are effected). Should I wait until he's completely clear? Won't that be a good day... but so hard. I'm eating very strict.

Someone allergic to avocado? ugh, that's my lifesaver right now! You think if DS never gets fully clear it could be something really obscure that I'm eating a lot of b/c it's thought to be safe, like zucchini.

This is super hard.

Quote:
Ashe, mom of Kolaiah 9-9-03 who is allergic to cow's milk, egg white, soy, peanuts, wheat, rye, pork and potatoes
Dreams, how exactly did you find out that these specific foods were the culprits? Kolaiah looks *beautiful* now, what a terrific difference.

What do people think about skin testing? Such as putting a small dab of peanut butter on a bandaid for 12 hrs and then seeing if the skin reacts. (I wouldn't do peanuts though now that I think about it, b/c of potential for a serious reaction, so a dab of yogurt or something...?)
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#14 of 35 Old 05-19-2004, 02:52 AM
 
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Just wanted to post some support! You are all AWESOME mommas for doing this for your child!!!!
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#15 of 35 Old 05-19-2004, 11:21 AM
 
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HEY GIRLS

Remember I am not dealing with this -- and Pray to God I don't have to -- but I am here to support you as you do whatever it takes for your babies.

My sister is dealing with this -- very restrcited diet, sever exzma in DS.

She said is any of you want to e-mail her ---- she will jion MDC when life is slower, maybe soon as I keep telling her about topics she is intrested in ---- she has support and lots of reserch and suggestions to share.

[email protected].

JaneS ----------------- Sorry things are so tough. The reward is seeing DC's skin and helath improve. Suggestion -- you may not have "rested" from offending foods long enough. Pam has been off most of them almost a year now (yeast milk eggs) and just started adding foods in. She is working with a per allergist that speicalizes in working with BF mom's and he said min of 12 weeks off the foods -- or untill ds skin is better. that is cut everything and keep it cut and keep cutting more untill the kids skin is clear -- then start adding foods in. Do whatever your health care provider suggests -- but maybe your body and DC's body ned more of a rest?? you might look for a ped allergist that works with BF mom's. Pam's tested her -- cause anything she isn't processing fully and corectly is not going to BM and DC in the correct broken down form. that is part of it -- the mom's body as well as the baby. Just a suggesting

Aimee

Aimee + Scott = Theodore Roosevelt (11/05) and 23 months later Charles Abraham (10/07)....praying for a little sister; the search starts May 2014
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#16 of 35 Old 05-19-2004, 01:17 PM
 
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Thank you Aimee,
Yes, this is what my gut (ha, ha) is telling me...that his skin should be clear first... we need more time on the Elim. Diet. I did mean to say I've been on it for 3 1/2 weeks and started wheat and tomatoes at 2 1/2 weeks.
Wow, an allergist that works with bf'ing moms, what a great rare find. I'll have to do some digging since now I know there actually is such a thing.
I'm sure my system has something to do with it. Before I got pg, I was on several rounds of antibiotics (long painful story) and I don't think I've been the same since.
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#17 of 35 Old 05-19-2004, 01:54 PM
 
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I have another question...

Does anyone have any learning on digestive enzymes? Such as: http://www.drugstore.com/products/pr...PLST-0-SRCH-HV

Jack Newman recommends them for bf'ing moms with food allergic babes.

But at the Candex website, I've read that large amounts of protease (which digests protein) also kills beneficial bacteria.

Any thoughts?
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#18 of 35 Old 05-20-2004, 11:39 PM
 
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JaneS ------ i knwo the allergist that works with BF moms is tough to find. Pam really had to search. BUT he has been the biggest help. A God send for us. He tested Pam and cut out all food right away she reached to -- point being if her body couldn't handle them, it was not processing them right or enogh for the BM and that was an issue for DC. Then they started working on food that DC reacted to. Doc totally encouraged her to continue to BF DC is 16 months now and doc is still supportive of BF. ---- also Pam has been off some of the offending foods alomst a year now; so there is no quick fix. DC looks 100X better. Also a baby introduced to a food they might be allergice to via BM is a lot safer than a child just given the food -- they will react but maybe not as bad,

Pam has been though a lot and researched a lot lot lo. Contact her. If you want. She might be able to help more than me.


One thing I can tell you is give it time -- you are in this for the long halu. Results will come.

Aimee

Aimee + Scott = Theodore Roosevelt (11/05) and 23 months later Charles Abraham (10/07)....praying for a little sister; the search starts May 2014
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#19 of 35 Old 06-14-2004, 09:27 AM
 
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Bumping this to the front page to give you guys a little update.
Kolaiah caught RSV and ended up in the hospital last month. He is doing well now and isn't sick anymore but I'm wondering if he hasn't become sensitized to some new food. I've been on the same diet for 2 months now and all of a sudden his poor little face is all broken out in eczema again! He's crabby and itchy and the Elidel doesn't really help anymore because we've been using it for so long. I'm so torn on what to do. We see the ped. again this week so maybe we can talk about what to do but he is such a formula pushing that I know he's going to try to blame the breastfeeding somehow.
Also my boyfriend and I are breaking up and I'm moving 150 miles to live with my mom and dad again and I'm so sad/pissed/hurt/dreading the thought of living with my parents again. This sucks big time.

Sigh. I need a hug.

Anyone tried the rotation diet to avoid sensitization? I'm considering it, but I really want to know what's making my little guy break out so bad. He's miserable right now.
Hope you all are well.
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#20 of 35 Old 06-14-2004, 12:36 PM
 
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dreams~ just want to send some much needed

s s s s s s s s s s ss
s s s s s s
s s s s
s s s s s
s sss s

you are in my thoughts..
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#21 of 35 Old 06-14-2004, 01:11 PM
 
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Hi....thanks for a place for us to find support. I am new to this. We are just beginning elimination today. I have a question though. One food should be eliminated at a time, right? How else will I know what is causing this? I feel strongly that we should start with wheat or dairy. If I start with both I won't know which it might be.
Please help me figure out how to start.
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#22 of 35 Old 06-14-2004, 01:15 PM
 
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Dreams -- HUGS! Find a ped allergist to work with. Most general peds no NOTHING about Food allergies, the good one will admit it, like mine PM if you want help finding one.

Anna -- I would Eliminate the basic 8 or the VERY least milk and eggs, to start with. Remember it can take 2-4 weeks for the allergins to get out of your system and the babes.

Here is a link to the most common allergins.
Food Allergy Network

HTH
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#23 of 35 Old 06-14-2004, 01:34 PM
 
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I was so happy to see a post dedicated to and elimination diet! When I started reading all the posts I realized I could have it a lot tougher. My dd Anna (almost 10 mos) has/had eczema and my health nurse suggested a dairy elimination diet to see if it helped. I was also referred to a nutritionist who said to stick with the dairy free diet for at least 6-8 weeks before determining if it made a difference. If it didn't she said we would move on to the next allergen. Anna had always had dry skin but it turned into red blotchy itchy eczema around 6 mos (hmmm....right after she had her first solids). I am happy to say that after a month of a dairy free diet for her and myself she is almost eczema free!

It was hard at first, especially since all breads and margarines I could find contained milk products or whey or milk powder etc. Now I've found myself a dairy free margarine and am making all my bread myself (in my bread maker, lol) and I've found it's getting easier to skip over the cheese when I am making a sandwhich. I do miss having an ice cream treat with my kids though, lol. On the other hand, I've lost 5 pounds, lmao!

What I don't know is how long is it typical for my dd to continue to have a reaction to cow's milk protein? Is it something she will grow out of? I plan to be nursing Anna for a long time yet so I am in this for however long it takes obviously.
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#24 of 35 Old 06-14-2004, 01:37 PM
 
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I guess I should give a little background.....DD had perfectly smooth beautiful skin until about 10 months. She started feeling sandpaper-y and about a month later developed the red patches that where noticable and alarming. She started solids at the same time...I remember I originally suspected oatmeal because that is what she had that first day I noticed the first bumps. My diet hasn't changed at all (except that I gave up meat about a month ago...unrelated to eczema) so I always associated it with beginning solids. Is it possible that she didn't react to my milk but could react to the same thing when she eats it? She would be getting a much higher concentration of whatever the allergen is by eating it herself. I look back and it seems that she was eating a lot of wheat....she still nursed ALL THE TIME so when I say she had solids it was "snacks". Crackers or bread off my plate...organic "cheerios", stuff like that....that is why I suspect wheat. She never had dairy until a few months ago (she is now 18 months) and only gets the occasional piece of cheese. No cows milk...and I hardly ever have it either. So I haven't suspected dairy yet...but will give it a try...it will be soooooo hard to give up yogurt!!
I will do whatever needs done to get her better but I have questions and concerns.
Thanks.
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#25 of 35 Old 06-14-2004, 01:39 PM
 
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DreamsInDigital--It's very possible that Kolaiah has developed either a new allergy or is more sensitive to an allergen you weren't yet aware of. It's also possible that one of the meds. in the hospital over-exposed him to an allergen that he wasn't previously reacting to through breastmilk. What exactly is in your diet now? Maybe we can track it down--I've been to a formula-happy ped myself and, if we had followed his advice, my ds probably wouldn't be here now. In addition to the foods you've mentioned, we've had to eliminate fruit (except blueberries) and many veggies. Any trace of corn or apple in bm causes horrible eczema. Many meds. have hidden corn derrivatives--as soon as ds' face starts glowing, we know there's corn. Also, I've learned that many meds. contain soy that isn't listed. We've started getting most of his meds. compounded. Fortunately, with his allergens controlled, he doesn't need a lot anyway. I love Elidel, but I did find it to be less effective with continued daily use.

Have you switched any brands recently? Is it possible that something--like your meat--has been processed with soy? Did the hospital send you home with any med?

Missy
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#26 of 35 Old 06-14-2004, 02:23 PM
 
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Anna--proteins do not always pass through breastmilk. It's very possible that she was tolerating the same thing in your milk that she reacts to when she ingests it directly--which could, in turn, sensitize her to the allergen so that she starts to react to it in breastmilk as well. What kind of oatmeal did you give her? Gerber products frequently contain soy. Plain oats are frequently x-contaminated with wheat.

You asked about eliminating one thing at a time. That's actually not as effective as eliminating all suspected foods b/c she could be reacting to more than one thing and you'd never know. Eliminate all foods--for you the big eight and maybe corn and I would probably take her off solids--for several weeks, maybe as long as a month, until her skin has cleared. Then add one food at a time back in, at two week intervals, and watch for reactions. That way you'll have a better picture of which foods are a problem. Read all labels so that, when you do introduce a new food, there's no chance of another allergen sneaking in. It sounds hard, but once you get the hang of it, it's not so bad.

HTH!
Missy
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#27 of 35 Old 06-14-2004, 02:26 PM
 
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Dreams,
Did your DS get antibiotics?

AnnaLaughs,
My DS's eczema didn't start until we introduced solids either. I suspect his gut and its lining just got overloaded by them. Probiotics has been very helpful for us in addition to an Elim Diet.

Dairy (followed by fish, eggs, soy, wheat and nuts) are the most common allergens to cause problems b/c usually it's proteins that get though your milk, as I understand it. It might be best if you can eliminate all of these and then gradually add back in one at a time to test. I'm on an even stricter Elim. Diet, where I'm taking out corn and nightshade and certain other veggies and pork as well).
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#28 of 35 Old 06-14-2004, 02:45 PM
 
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Thanks for the replys....I am sitting here very overwhelmed though. I don't know what I'll eat. It's very daunting. All and all this morning is stressing me....we are also trying to find a new ped for DD and that is soooooo difficult. We need someone who supports delayed vaxing and I found a wonderful place in Manhattan but they don't take our insurance....first visit would be $350 and that is very steep for us. How do people find supportive doctors? I posted on the New York thread but it doesn't get much traffic. Can anyone help? We live on Staten Island....any ideas on how to go about getting supportive doc for DD?
I'm so glad this thread was started....
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#29 of 35 Old 06-14-2004, 03:29 PM
 
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We finally found a supportive ped. through our ped. allergist. Our former peds. (the ones who had pushed formula) had no idea how to help us, even said they had never seen a baby as sensitive as ds, but they didn't want us to see anyone else. Said they could help us more than any specialist. And, when we did see specialists on our own, those same peds. reported us to CPS. Nasty people. (The peds, not CPS--CPS was actually pretty nice. Said the reporting ped. seemed to have a god-complex and a personal issue with us) Anyway, do you need a referral to see a ped. allergist? I'd start there--although allergies are not an exact science and sometimes you have to be careful with allergists, too. Our current ped. doesn't fully understand multiple food allergies, but she's smart enough to know she doesn't have all the answers. She's supportive of our decision not to vax and is encouraging me to nurse until ds is at least 3 yrs. old.

I didn't know about probiotics when ds was tiny, but, from what I've heard, they are definitely worth looking into. I'm a little wary, only because so many of them are cultured on dairy and I'd have to be very careful, but I know there are safe ones available.

It does seem daunting at first, but if you start with basic whole foods, it's much easier. I didn't think my ds would ever have soft, smooth baby skin--he was covered head-to-toe, literally. He scratched out his hair. You'd never know now by looking at him how sick he'd been so it's been worth every effort.

Missy
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#30 of 35 Old 06-14-2004, 09:58 PM
 
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Lisa - Thanks for the hugs.
Jessica - We have been seeing an allergist, and in fact he is even more of an anti-breastfeeding a-hole than my regular ped. is. He won't work with me on the elimination diet at all.
Missy - Kolaiah didn't have any meds in the hospital except Albuterol, which he's had before and is now off of it but the eczema popped up a couple weeks after stopping it, so I know that's not it. My diet right now pretty much consists of homemade-from-scratch foods because all packaged food has the dreaded "natural flavors" and you never know what those flavors are from. I am an avid label reader and I know what to look for as far as his particular allergies are concerned. I can't think of anything in my diet lately that is new that wasn't ruled out by the blood tests. I just hope he's not sensitized to rice or corn.
I did switch grocery stores recently, but that can't be helped and actually I'm going to have to do it again in a week when I move.

Jane - No, he didn't get any antibiotics but I was on amoxicillin recently for bronchitis and bilateral otitis media. I've been off of them for 2 days now. I wonder if he isn't allergic to that...
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