Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Why we eat the free life

Many of you might be wondering why we've decided to to cut so many types of food out of our diet.  The reason being:  Eczema.  More specifically, atopic dermatitis.

My daughter has struggled with this her whole life.  I believe we can see signs as far back as her being a month old.  She suffered from fairly severe colic as a baby and also had baby acne.  Most people who I have talked to who also have children suffering from eczema have had similar experiences.  At the age of 1 we had her allergy tested.  The results - negative.  At 1.5 years old we were back at the doctor again for her itching.  She hadn't developed all of the skin patches yet, but itched like crazy.  We were sent to a dermatologist then, who suggested we had scabies.  I remember thinking - really, scabies?!?!  If that would have been the case my husband and I would also have had it.  Plus we keep a clean house.

Around age 2 she started to develop the skin outbreaks.  We also started using steroid creams and she took a LOT of rounds of antibiotics.  At 2.5 years old things got really bad.  We had a lot of change in our life right then - moving, me staying home, leaving daycare, etc., and her skin was the worst I have ever seen it.  Her whole back was broken out, her ankles bloody and she we couldn't sleep at night because of the constant itching.  We would put socks on her before bed so she wouldn't scratch her ankles, but they would be bloody in the morning.  We would have to wet them before pulling them off.  Basically - we were all miserable.  Before moving we had tried some chiropractic care and decided to continue that here.  The chiropractor suggested a gluten and dairy free diet, but I wasn't 100% convinced yet.  We also saw an allergist over here who ran tests on her and found allergies for mold and possibly eggs.  Again, removing just the egg from her diet didn't make a difference.  At the recommendation of our pediatrician we were sent to a dermatologist.  I was hopeful he would have some suggestions.  By this time we had tried EVERYTHING!  Oatmeal baths, every kind of lotion imaginable, bleach baths, bathing every day, bathing every other day, lotion twice a day, lotion not at all, multiple steroid creams, different types of clothing, etc.  I was beginning to feel like I was running in circles.  He finally prescribed an oral steroid and lots of antihistamines to give her body the break it needed to heal itself.  We had been on antihistamines already, but he increased the dosage.

After that trip to the dermatologist, things got better, but I felt as though we were just controlling the situation, not fixing it. I also didn't like the fact that she was taking SO MUCH medicine.  With all that in mind, we headed to Allergy Associate of LaCrosse.  After a long drive, more testing, blood draws and tears, we discovered the root of our problem.  Mold, Dust Mites, Eggs, Dairy, Gluten, Peas, Corn and Nuts.  This was determined through testing and I could see the results.  I was much more convinced this was causing the issues.  Eliminate all those from your diet I was told and dust and vacuum more to get rid of the dust mites.  We were also given antigen drops.  These are suppose to help her immune system become more tolerant to the food and environmental allergens she is allergic too.  So far, I think they are helping.  We also have a daily skin routine that seems to be working.  I'll post that another time!  We go back in September for another check up!

And that's how EatingTheFreeLife was born.  I decided if I was having trouble coming up with recipes we could eat - others might be too.  Plus all of the recipes I found had lots of strange ingredients in them.  I just want to eat normal food that tastes good and doesn't make anyone itchy!  So far - so good! 

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