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Breastfeeding mama's on elimination diets thread

1334 Views 24 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  robnh
Hoping we can offer one another support while doing Total Elimination Diets or Elimination Diets. Anyone up for it??
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YES! I need support too! I'm subscribing....

Since January dd and I are not eating: dairy, wheat, corn, quinoa, rice, cinnamon, sesame, peas, spinach, blueberries, salmon, anchovies (well all fish now), apples, broccoli, nuts, treenuts.... She's also not eating tomatoes, but I think I can get away with them.

I'm most likely to be able to post at night when/if dd goes to bed.
I'm with you guys in spririt!!
might do a TED again if ds can ever tolerate breastmilk again.....
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i'm avoiding dairy, tomatoes (and related plant products - peppers, eggplant), and added sugar (trying to beat the yeasties) - not a complete sugar elimination. I only rarely eat bread. I'm eating oatmeal, but only after soaking it for 24 hours in water+lemon juice.

I recently took the lactulose/mannitol test for leaky gut/malabsorption and learned that I have leaky gut. So.... I'm now supplementing with IntestiNew and MSM, in addition to probiotics.

Ds only gets probiotics as a supplement and is also dairy-free.

I am a very intuition-based eater. I get certain cravings (the last one was for coconut anything) that indicate to me something about my body physiology. I guess the coconut craving was a sign of infection.

I'm losing weight even though I had no intention of losing weight when I started this new way of eating. I've become fanatical about what goes into my mouth.

The biggest problem is daycare - I don't have 100% control over ds' menu there, so he may be getting stuff that I wouldn't normally give him (the note on the menu about "steamed veggies" just is not informative).

babygrant: did you post a note on curezone about LGS and breastfeeding?
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Count me in! And I could sure use the support.

I've been off dairy for 6 weeks, eggs for 4 weeks, and now off of wheat and gluten for the past 2 weeks as well. It sucks!!!!! I know it could be worse, but this is already bad enough for me. Just these past two weeks I've been completely fanatical about what enters my mouth.

I am loosing weight rapidly too, which is a bonus! I've never stuck to any "diet" before, so this is so new and strange for me. It takes an enourmous amount of willpower, but it's for the sake of my baby, so I'm doing it.
super treat i discovered over the weekend....

1 avocado
1 banana
3-4 Tbsps coconut milk
2-3 Tbsps mango (or mango juice)
optional 1 tsp honey (or some other non-sugar sweetener like agave nectar)


chill in freezer (but not too long or it turns into a brick)

enjoy, and revel in the fatty dessert!

in my first attempt, i didn't have avocado, just some frozen mango (that initially came from a can). it worked nicely as well but i think the avocado adds extra good stuff.


and my variation of mac and cheese (not good for those on wheat-free or gluten free, sorry)

cooked pasta (i had a box of aunt annie's but we can't use the cheese packet)
1-2 Tbsps of coconut milk
1 mashed avocado

mix together.

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birthjunkie, have you checked to see if you have leaky gut? one of my other posts somewhere, i posted the name of the test and a link to the company that does it. if you have a helpful MD, he/she might be able to get it for you. otherwise, you may need to find a naturopath. the idea is that if you have leaky gut, you could be leaking large proteins (and other nasties) into your bloodstream and into your lymph system, and ultimately into your breastmilk. my naturopath has suggested initially just continuing on dairy-free, tomato-free, and using gentle supplements (IntestiNew and MSM). i didn't ask about other diets, though - mostly because i haven't actually sat down in a formal office visit with him! i did notice a difference in my own symptoms after just 3-4 days on the IntestiNew - less sinus congestion, less itchiness (hives lurking under the surface) and so on.
Hi - I'll join. I've been on an elimination diet since January.

All the things I'm avoiding:

1) dairy
2) eggs
3) tree nuts
4) peanuts
5) shellfish
6) citrus
7) chocolate
8) wheat
9) soy
10) tomatoes
11) peppers

Are there any other major allergens I'm missing? I still have the occasional piece of fish - haven't noticed any reaction in dd (who is 7 months, exclusively breastfed and has been battling eczema since 3 months).

It's hard - dd's face gets better, then gets worse again - and I can't seem to link it to anything I'm eating (my diet is pretty restricted at the moment).

I've read the 'healing the gut' stuff, but it doesn't ring any bells for me. My health is great (my own allergies and eczema haven't bothered me in years) and neither dd or I have had any kind of OTC medication or antibiotics and dd is completely unvaxed - so I'm not sure where all the bad beasties would be coming from (or why they wouldn't be causing any symptoms in me).

Still - I'm getting desperate, and I'm considering trying some of the recommendations over there, although I just get scared at the idea of adding milk/yoghurt, eggs and nuts into my diet if I have an atopic child, you know?

Anyway - I hope you all will keep posting - I just saw this, but I could defintiely use the support.

I'm losing weight as well, and I really don't need to (I'm 5'2" and 110 lbs at the moment)...(sigh)
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mommiska, what about yeast? has your dc had yeasty diaper rash or thrush?
Bluets - that's the thing...she's not had diaper rash at all, much less a yeasty one. No thrush, nothing to indicate that she has a yeast problem.

It all makes sense when I read about the yeast-eczema connection, but I don't see any evidence in either dd or myself (other than her eczema) I don't really know what to think.

Just to be on the safe side, though, (kind of) I am pretty much avoiding sugar as well...
mommiska, you could start with an infant probiotic to see if that helps. for that matter, you probably should start probiotics yourself (highly potent ones, at that). although, i did read that one should heal a leaky gut before starting probiotics (else the critters will go to places besides the gut)... the healing the gut tribe/cheat sheet has some links for non-dairy probiotics.

if you have a helpful MD or have access to an ND, perhaps you (not your dd) should try the leaky gut test (the lactulose/mannitol test). it cost $65 when i did it.
We finally made it to an ND today to get some help! It looks like dd and I both have digestion problems and we're looking at the root of the allergies and working through it finally. We're now adding eggs to our elimination, he thinks that eggs might be the main food we need to avoid before we can start adding our other foods back in. We're trying that along with a few homeopathic remedies and some herbs and enzymes for me. I'm feeling hopeful but I wish I could just fast foward get us all fixed up and eat some ice cream! Okay I'd be satisfied with a yogurt at this point or even a sprinkle of parmesan!
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onandon, how did you determine the digestion problems? just through a consultation?

i haven't actually had an extended conversation with my ND (nor have i seen a bill for services). we exchanged a few emails, and then had a short conversation when i picked up the test kit for leaky gut - that was when we decided that i should do the test, not ds. so i have really no idea what to expect for a "real" visit, how much it will cost, how to follow up, nor when to follow up with him. he gave me the impression that i should call back in a month to evaluate where things stand, though he wasn't even quite that clear... i'd like to hear about other experiences with NDs.
Bluets- We did an extensive 1st appointment with lots of questions. He asked about her physical manifiestions of allergies (hives, etc.), and very specific questions about her behavior, sleep, attitude, temperature, etc. I had an extensive food diary/reaction sheet that describes every reaction since November. Most of her reactions are behavior (aggressive, dangerous, out of control, yelling, pulling 3 year old off chairs by their hair, etc.) but some are hives and rashes. We did an extensive family history. She is burdened with genes from food allergic, intollerant, and celaic parents/grandparents so this has a lot to do with what we're seeing. The ND thought that eggs were the root of her problems partly because I had an egg allergy growing up, my mom is severely allergic, and dd's problems did increase when we added eggs to my diet first and then hers (only after a negative skin prick test). Hopefully that will work! He looked into our eyes to look for something (can't remember the word) that would indicate a leaky gut. He looked at hers and they were okay and then at mine which were terrible.
It took us an hour and a half. It was supposed to be an hour but dd decided to fake me out about the potty about 11 times, needed a drink of water from the fountain, needed better toys, ran out the door, etc. enough times to cost me the extra half hour ($225 for 90 minutes, yikes). We're going to take the remedies he suggested and go back in 3 weeks. It looks like I should see him for myself but I can only do one thing at a time, YK? We may do food intollerance testing/bloodwork in a few weeks if eggs aren't the answer.
He's hopeful that removing the root problem will allow us both to eat a lot more and maybe only need to worry about a few ingredients instead of our crazy long list.

I hope this helps. I'd be happy to report back in a few weeks! I really needed outside help because I didn't know if what we were doing was right, where the problem really is, if we were ever going to go out to eat again....We didn't talk much about breastfeeding an almost 2 year old and the effects it had on my life, it seemed like it was a given that she is still nursing and that I'd be willing to make these compromises.....
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I'm in the UK, so I'm not sure what is available over here. If there was a test for leaky gut, I'd be willing to take it - I'll have to look into that.

I do supplement myself with probiotics, as well as cod liver oil and evening primrose oil (I also take a mineral supplement - mostly for the calcium, since I'm off dairy, although I do eat lots of green leafy veggies, so I'm probably OK).

I've ordered some baby probiotics for dd, and I'm hoping those will arrive soon (I got an e-mail 2 days ago saying they'd been shipped, so maybe today or tomorrow).

We shall see. My mom says I was just like this as a baby (only my eczema was worse) - and all of my problems cleared up when she stopped breastfeeding me and switched me to soy formula (although I remained extremely allergic to dairy products until I was 2 years old, when it seems I outgrew the allergy). Amazing the pressure you get to switch to formula when this happens (although that makes no sense to me - take an ATOPIC baby and give her formula? Not going to happen!).
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I'm just wondering what you ladies think. I had been avoiding dairy and soy for the past 5 months. I started trialing soy about a week ago. My son has been gassy....but not grumpy and his eczema flared up a little bit. Yesterday I ate 2 tbsp of dairy yogurt and he was really gassy and very grumpy and his eczema flared up a LOT. So I'm guessing dairy is still a no-no. Would you stop with the soy as well or keep using that? If I can have soy it would open up a whole lot more foods. The two foods I miss the most are ice cream and I could eat Soy yogurt and soy ice cream.
Mothers, I feel like such a bad mummy. My six-month-old has what seems to be a scaly form of eczema. It progressively goes from rough patches to a peeling away of dry skin, as though he is shredding skin. After the peeling away the skin is fine - at least until it returns again. It usual shows up on his shoulders, down some of his back and mildly at the sides of his forehead.

I started Dr. Sears elimination diet and my weakness is fish and wheat. I am a bread head! I eliminated eggs, soy, diary and peanuts successful, eliminating wheat and fish. I am desperately in need of just encouraging words and other peoples experiences...thanks for this thread.

your doing better than I did. I only lasted about 6 hours on the Dr Sears Elimination diet. It's tough hey? My son has eczema as thing I feel very guilty about is that I thought he was just squirmy....but when he wriggles like a little worm when he's on his back, I think he's trying to scratch his eczema
You can do it mama!
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Originally Posted by Mommiska
My mom says I was just like this as a baby (only my eczema was worse) - and all of my problems cleared up when she stopped breastfeeding me and switched me to soy formula (although I remained extremely allergic to dairy products until I was 2 years old, when it seems I outgrew the allergy). Amazing the pressure you get to switch to formula when this happens (although that makes no sense to me - take an ATOPIC baby and give her formula? Not going to happen!).
My mom is also pressuring me to give my Dd soy formula. I do have to admit, at times it is tempting. Give her the formula, and her skin will clear up and she'll be out of this misery.
It's so unfair to her that she's the guinea pig while I'm trying to figure out what the heck is wrong with her. Not only does she clear up, but I get to eat again! As tempting as it sounds, my heart tells me this is the wrong thing to do.

bluets, no, I don't believe I have a leaky gut. I haven't really looked into it, but I suspect the root of our problem is that Dd was hospitalized and on antibiotics at just 10 days old and therefore her intestinal flora are imbalanced. I'm waiting on the book, The Vicious Cycle to arrive, and I will most likely switch from the elim diet to the SCD.

I do know that she has a systemic yeast infection. I just keep reading so much conflicting advice. "Use probiotics" "Don't use probiotics" "Use only THIS type of probiotic" "Use grapefruit seed extract" "Don't use grapefruit seed extract" My head is spinning with all of the advice I've read and I just feel helpless.
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babygrant: i'd stay away from both dairy and soy for a little longer. i would suggest using 24-hour cultured kefir or yogurt if you decide to reintroduce dairy. use a good milk source - raw is better but we can't get raw here so i personally will likely use a good organic source. soy in general is hard to digest unless it has been fermented (miso, tempeh, soy sauce). soy is also another huge allergen. i don't understand why it is recommended as a substitute.

and you can make ice cream at home just by doing fruit smoothies, using coconut milk (or rice milk) and then freezing things. yummier and no additives. avocados should become your friends.

ymoja: you might try reading the Healing your gut threads and should probably consider the SCD diet. the SCD diet uses nuts and nut flours, and i think unless you (and your dp) have a family history of serious anaphylactic nut allergies, you should probably be ok with that as a substitute. while they don't have bread recipes, they do have muffin recipes using nut flours. i would definitely add coconut oil to your diet - i use it exclusively for cooking. i also use it occasionally on ds' skin.

birthjunkie: run away from internal use of grapefruit seed extract. i've seen several scientific studies now claiming contamination with synthetic microbiocides that are endocrine disruptors. grapefruit seeds themselves DO have microbiocide activity, but you would need to take 5-6 seeds (crunch them up in your mouth, swallow) every 8 hours for 2 weeks. one study used that regimen to successfully eliminate a urinary tract infection. besides, GSE will also kill the probiotics that you're also supplementing.

from what i've read about the SCD, it sounds promising but i don't think it would work practically for us because of daycare issues and a stubborn picky eater of a dh i have! we are for now stable with (a) dairy elimination, (b) seriously reduced tomato/pepper/eggplant exposure, (c) reduction in wheat (ds gets 95% of it at daycare now), (d) heavy use of coconut oil, coconut milk, (e) supplementation in me with glutamine and other gut healing supplements. ds has a few sandpapery patches that are hard to see but not so hard to feel and i think it is clearing up as my gut is improving.
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