• Our Journey in Healing Eczema

We Welcome Our First...

In 2015, my husband and I welcomed our first son. We had a natural hospital birth and I was able to deliver without requiring any medication except IV antibiotics, as I had tested positive for Strep B in the weeks leading up to birth. It was important to me to have an unmedicated birth as I wanted to give our little boy the healthiest start to life. Our son was a healthy little boy, although he did develop moderate eczema at the age of 6 weeks. I was convinced that the IV antibiotics I took during birth was the culprit. In an attempt to figure out what was triggering his symptoms, I played around with our diets by eliminating dairy, eggs, nuts and all other common allergens. By then, I had been eating an organic whole foods “paleo” type diet for years and had minimized toxins in personal care products and around the house. I also continued to work with the Functional Medicine Physician on the root cause. Nothing seemed to relieve our son’s symptoms and thankfully his eczema went away by itself when he was 2 years, 4 months old and never returned.

We Welcome Our Second...

In 2018, we welcomed our second son. The pregnancy was not particularly enjoyable and I suffered from a more intense nausea and food aversions than my previous pregnancy, in addition to sinus issues. Determined to avoid any medication unless completely necessary, we gave birth to our son at home under the guidance of an experienced midwife. Everything went well and our son was a healthy, happy baby. I felt I had done everything I could to give him a healthy start to life and was confident that he would not have to deal with itchy skin, and yet, at 6 weeks of age, the eczema began to develop on his cheeks. My heart sank as I knew what was going to happen next. Then, as expected, over the coming weeks the eczema got progressively worse and spread all over his little body. It got worse and worse and was unlike anything I had ever seen before. I was in complete shock. How could this happen? I had spent years preparing my body for a healthy pregnancy and tried my best to do everything “right”, and now this? Once again, I got to work trying to figure out what was triggering his symptoms. I played around with our diets looking for changes and eventually went on the Auto Immune Protocol (AIP). I spent thousands of dollars doing allergy tests, sensitivity tests and working with Functional Medicine Physicians, Pediatricians and Homeopaths. Nothing seemed to work and in fact, things only continued to get worse. We already lived a low toxin lifestyle, but to be very sure, I went around our apartment with a box and packed up all personal care products and household cleaning products containing chemicals, and replaced them with safer alternatives. We also did a deep clean of our apartment to remove all traces of dust and mold, and upgraded our water filters. I even bathed our son in reverse osmosis water! Nothing helped. When our son started eating solids, I was able to figure out some of his allergens and sensitivities which included salmon, avocado, kiwi fruit, liver and fermented foods. I removed these foods from our AIP diet hoping for a change, but again nothing. I asked myself – what do I do differently from everyone else that could be triggering this? The only thing I could think of was that I ate very clean and healthy with lots of leafy green vegetables, herbs and spices. I was sure that couldn’t be the reason, so I did not pay heed to it.

I Asked for Help...

After about a year of this, I got to a point where I had exhausted all available resources. I felt confused and was starting to obsess over everything I ate, wondering whether it could be the cause or not. I started experiencing panic attacks and felt like I could no longer cope. I remember sitting in the kitchen by myself and calling out to “The Universe”, “God” or whoever was up there listening for help. “Please show me what I need to do to help heal my son”. I didn’t actually think it would work, but anything was worth a try.

 

The next day, an article came across my e-mail. It was an interview between Dr. Joseph Mercola and Dr. Paul Saladino on the Carnivore Diet. For whatever reason, I felt drawn to read the article and watch the 2 hour interview. They discussed phytoalexins, which are plant defense chemicals, and how Dr. Saladino was able to cure his persistent eczema by implementing a carnivore diet. Maybe our son was reacting to phytoalexins too? I did consume a lot of herbs, spices and vegetables, and was a regular juicer for years prior. I put him on a meat only diet for a couple of days just to see whether there was any change to his skin. Surely enough, his eczema started to improve. I introduced butternut squash and the improvement continued. I then started to reintroduce the other fruits and vegetables in no particular order as I didn’t know what to do next and by that stage our son wasn’t enjoying the lack of variety very much. At least now I knew there was something in the organic AIP compliant foods we were consuming that triggered his eczema.

We Found Our Cure...

Within days, I came across a nutritionist in Australia who specializes in healing eczema using a diet low in salicylates (a phytochemical), amines and glutamates, which are naturally occurring food chemicals. I started reading her blog and quickly managed to identify the foods I knew our son was reacting to - salmon, avocado, kiwi fruit, liver and fermented foods are high in these natural food chemicals and amongst the worst foods for a lot of people with eczema. I immediately made an appointment with her and started our son on their protocol to reduce the salicylate, amine and glutamate load in his diet. The idea was to give his little body a break from these triggers and allow him a chance to heal. Our son’s skin immediately started to improve, but the process was long and gradual. I then incorporated Energy Work and noticed an acceleration in his healing. Eventually, his itchy skin vanished completely. When our son was about 2 ½ years old, he was able to resume a normal diet (with the exception of allergens) and his eczema has not returned since. We will continue to test his allergens as he grows and hope that one day, he will be able to enjoy all foods.