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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 5 month old son has had eczema for a couple of months now and our doctor is sure it's because he's allergic to his formula. (Yes I feed him formula, I was unable to breastfeed and prefer to not get into that right now.)<br><br>
Long story short, the eczema appeared when he was about 2.5 months old. In the last 2 months, we've tried soy and then goat's milk, and finally when neither of those have helped, (eczema and lots of spit up and fussiness continued), the doctor switched him to Enfamil Nutramigen (which is nasty tasting stuff and I have my reservations about it, but I don't know what else to do.) My son has been on the Nutramigen for about 3 days now and the eczema shows no sign of improvement. I know it's still early and the doctor said to give it 2 weeks, but honestly, I am not very confident it will work.<br>
The doctor said there is one other formula after this we can try and if that doesn't work, we have to see a specialist.<br><br>
My little guy is gaining weight (born at 10 lb 7 oz and is not 19 lb 3 oz at 5 months) and is doing well developmentally, but the eczema is still there (chest, abdomen, shoulders, arms, scalp) and showing no signs of improvement. I know it bothers him - he is always trying to scratch his head, not to mention it looks horrible. I haven't used any creams or RX's because I know we need to fix the root of the problem and then the eczema will improve. My little guy spits up a lot - even a couple hours after he eats. The doctor says he has acid reflux and that's why he's so fussy at times. She's pretty confident it's because of the formula issues and once we find a formula that works, the reflux will improve as well.<br><br>
I should add that our doctor is a DO and I really like & trust her. She likes to try natural methods (ie goat's milk) first and isn't quick to just pull out the RX pad like so many other doctors.<br><br>
Also, I've been giving him a powdered probiotic in his bottle daily since he was born and he has not received any vaccinations. No solid food either, just formula.<br><br>
I am so discouraged. I don't know what else to do. I am not as "crunchy" as a lot of you on here, but I do try to do natural/homeopathic means first and that's why I'm posting here. Please don't bash me for formula feeding (again I have my reasons.) I am just asking you as a mom to other moms if any of you have had any experience with this kind of thing and can offer any kind advice.<br><br>
I feel like I'm at my wit's end. I don't know what to do. I just want my poor little boy to be happy & healthy. And he's clearly not right now. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
ETA: I should add that I'm not looking to treat the eczema itself, but the <i>cause</i> of the eczema. I am very sure that there is a root problem - allergies - and if we can figure out something that he's not allergic to, his eczema will improve and he'll feel better & be my happy baby again.<br><br>
The health food store clerk mentioned potato powder/formula - he said a lot of people with babies who couldn't even do goat's milk powder do wonderful on it. My doctor wasn't so sure about it though. Although I have never been one to always follow the doctor. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> Has anyone heard of this/used it?<br><br><br>
ETA: More info: (so sorry, but this is relevent):<br>
I did have antibiotics when I was pregnant. I had an unexplained fever and my doctor freaked and ordered me on antiobiotics. I should have said no, but I took it. I had a planned c-section at 40 weeks (3rd c-section for me) and they gave me antiobiotics before hand. I know that messed up my little guy's gut - he developed thrush when he was just 2 weeks old. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> I so regret that.<br><br>
I am thinking we have some major gut issues here. What can I do to fix it?
 

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1. What is in the probiotic you've been giving him? If it's dairy based, then that could be the culprit right there.<br>
2. Neocate is probably the next formula they'll try (my DS couldn't do Nutramigen, he was milk/soy intolerant).<br>
3. Have you/they looked at environmental things? pets? detergents? bath products? etc?
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"> and subbing.<br>
Kathy has good questions.<br>
Also be aware that there is a rice milk formula floating around but it's hard to find. I'd never heard of the potato one.
 

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Make sure your probiotics are dairy and soy free. Klaire labs are good ones.<br>
This <a href="http://www.totaldiscountvitamins.com/product/32036?r=df-GoogleBase" target="_blank">http://www.totaldiscountvitamins.com...=df-GoogleBase</a> is a source.<br>
This is the ingredients. No allergens.<br><a href="http://www.klaire.com/K-TIF_proddetail.htm" target="_blank">http://www.klaire.com/K-TIF_proddetail.htm</a><br><br>
If you don't see improvement soon do the Neocate.<br><br>
Consider adding vitamin D3. Add enough to get to 1000 IU with the amount in the formula included in the total.<br><br>
Do check your detergents and the like. The free clears are the only things that didn't set my son off back then. We use California baby sensitive wash only. Some kids with eczema need baths daily and others do worse with them. Either way immediately after the bath add something (lotion) to lock in the moisture. You want something with no fragrance or irritating ingredients. California baby makes a sensitive lotion and one kid did really well on the calendula lotion of theirs but the other reacted to it. That said, for severe eczema you need something that works well and is heavy. And for that I've not found anything natural. Think Vanicream (our favorite and many allergists recommend it first..it is behind the counter in pharmacies usually but available without prescription in pharmacies or online). You put it on over slightly damp skin to hold in the moisture. I would use pat dry after that. You don't want water evaporating off the skin.<br><br>
As far as your underlying issue it almost has to be food allergies at his age. So I'd be doing the Neocate as you do the healing stuff (probiotics that are allergen free at his age). I'd stick with formula for a long time...get him healed entirely before you carefully and slowly introduce the lowest allergen foods one at a time for solids.
 

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Have you considered structural work, maybe cranial-sacral, and something like homeopathy or acupuncture? I don't know at what age most acupuncturists would start with a baby, my son was about 16 mos old and it was only a couple visits, but I like it as a healing modality. I mean this in conjunction with the other things you're considering and that other posters have responded with, not instead of. Sometimes coming at a problem from a couple different perspectives is helpful.<br><br>
Also, maybe more long-term, look into your health, what are you prone to, what is your family prone to, and baby's dad as well? C-sections do interrupt the normal gut colonization process, there's no way around that, and maybe that's it, but not every baby born by c-section has eczema, so maybe you'll find something your family is prone to as well, that was the extra factor beyond the c-sec.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you all for your responses. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Kathy, in answer to your questions:<br>
1) I've been giving him Nature's Way Primodolphilus. I just looked at the ingredients tonight and it said "may contain a minimal amount of residual milk or soy protein." I'm not going to give him anymore for now - at this point, any amount may be irritating him.<br><br>
2) I will ask my doctor about the Neocate. What is different about it that sensitive babies are able to tolerate it better? Honestly if he hasn't shown any improvement by Monday (almost a week on the Nutramigen) I'm going to be calling the doctor and asking to try the Neocate.<br><br>
3) I'm not sure about those things. We do have pets - a pug, birds, a guinea pig. I use Tide detergent, but I have Allen's for my cloth diapers. I might try that for a week or so and see if that makes a difference. As for bath products, I did notice that Aveeno seemed to make his eczema worse so I now only use Cetaphil. I use that for bath & lotion.<br><br><br>
I shouldn't say I don't use any creams - I do, just not steriod/hydrocortisone type things. (My daughter had some eczema from 2-4 months of age - I was nursing her - and I have some experience from treating her. Her's cleared up without any diet/environmental changes, so I'm not really sure what went on there.) I mainly use Cetaphil lotion for moisturizing and calendula cream for worse outbreaks. His eczema isn't terrible except for an occasional flare-up and the cetaphil/calendula combo seems to help. My main concern is trying to find him something that he doesn't react to food-wise and I think we'll see the eczema clearing up soon after...<br><br><br>
Rachelle:<br>
I have been adding extra vitamin D (1000 IUI daily via Carlson drops) for the past month or two. I will look into that probiotic - thanks. I will also try a different detergent - like I told Kathy, I have Allen's. So you think doing a non-irritating probiotic along with Neocate will help heal him? I am really hoping so. Do you think I should try giving him enzymes? I was reading a few posts on here about it, but it was a little confusing... And yes, I definitely plan on avoiding solid foods for quite a while...<br>
Thank you very much!<br><br>
Tanya: We don't have any acupuncture places around here (we live way up in the country) and even homeopathic doctors are hard to find. I found one and I would LOVE to go see her, but she is super expensive and we just can't afford it now. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
I am definitely looking into my health as well. I definitely think the c-sections/antiobiotics had a negative effect on me. I was always very healthy up until then (no allergies, dietary issues, etc) and after my first c-section (emergency and I was very very ill afterwards - almost lost my uterus), I learned I had a bleeding disorder (von willebrands) and also started having a few minor issues with eczema myself (which has since cleared up as I've been watching my health a little better.) After my 2nd c-section with my daughter, I realized I had developed a dairy intolerance as well.<br><br>
As a baby, my mom said I was highly allergic to dairy - she had to avoid all dairy when she was nursing me as I would get terrible hives. I outgrew it by the time I was a year or two. I think my husband also had minor milk issues as his mom fed him some formula and said he could only do soy (she primarily nursed him and didn't have any issues there though.) My FIL was highly allergic to milk and his mom fed him goat's milk.<br><br>
So there is definitely a family history there.<br><br>
I am taking a probiotic and have started taking a "Candida gone" product and am looking into yeast elimination diet to get myself healthier. I mean I feel healthy, but I think I would feel better if I tried some "gut-healing" means.<br><br><br>
Sorry for the book - I really appreciate all the support and suggestions.
 

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Probiotics can build sIGa levels which should give a shot at reducing allergens and healing the gut. Can you fix allergies? I've not found it possible to eliminate the tendency to have allergies (at least in vitamin D sufficient people). But you can heal him up so he's not reacting to so many things. When he's reactive he's more likely to react to new stuff. So you're going to do all you can to calm his system (you can do more after a year supplement wise) and heal him up and, hopefully, prevent the march of allergies. Most likely your son will outgrow many if not most of the food allergies he has now. It takes time of course. But most kids will outgrow things like dairy allergies (my son did, you did, etc.)<br><br>
We do enzymes. I like them. But I wouldn't give them to him now. They can be a little irritating (as well as healing) and can be sources of allergens themselves (pineapple sources for example, or a rice base, etc.). If he weren't already reacting to allergens this might be a good idea but it's not in your situation in my opinion. I think I'd stick with non-allergenic formula and let him heal up. However, I'd think seriously about enzymes when you're considering solid foods in the future. FWIW, my son has had new allergic reactions (including serious ones) with enzymes. They will not stop a child from reacting to an allergen. His formula is not hard to break down/digest like some solids anyway. So while I like them I don't think they are the right choice for him now and it won't stop what's happening.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks so much, Rachelle. I will definitely wait on the enzymes for now. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 
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