DOES FOOD EFFECT ECZEMA
You know its funny, when we mentioned to the Doctor's and our Allergist that we were going to put Lakyn on an elimination diet they told us not to avoid any foods and that "It was a bit silly to deprive him of such foods." I remember one Doctor saying "If Lakyn did react to food, eczema wouldn't kill him.
WHAT... ok, well that's not what I was implying. But the fact that food could possibly be the reason for his suffering, an elimination diet was a simple enough way to find out. We had to at least try it right?.
For about three months Lakyn had a clear runny nose, coughing and puffy eyes.
I had been taking him to the doctor on and off and was told he was fine.
Then he started wheezing at night. I took him back to the Doctor and was informed he had asthma. I didn't want to believe it and I most definitely did not want to give him Ventolin which we were prescribed. I took him to another doctor who confirmed he had asthma and that should put him on a preventer, even though he wasn't even old enough. I was so upset. Doctors had always told us that eczema and asthma went hand in hand and it was common for kids to have both but was hoping it wouldn't.
When researching the preventer I found it had horrible side effects. There was no way I was giving that to my son.
It was around the time these photo were taken that I took Lakyn to the royal children's hospital. I was hoping to get a referral to see a specialist. I mentioned all of his symptoms and also mentioned that maybe it could be a seasonal allergy. I was so desperate and just wanted to help him. The doctor at the hospital told me no it was just eczema and to use more steroids and more of it, to get Lakyn's eczema under control and sent us on our way. I was so angry and upset and felt so helpless. How could they not see that something was wrong, that something was making him worse. I remember I cried nearly all the way home. I didn't want to keep using steroids.
Our families told us we should listen to the doctors, that they were the professionals, but I couldn't fight my instinct. So the same day I called my friend, a naturopath and she came around in the next few days.
My friend told me to eliminate dairy for about 3 weeks and then reintroduce to see a reaction, then try no wheat (grains) and do the same thing. There was no big change with diary but left it out of Lakyn's diet as we had read dairy was no good for inflammation. Wheat on the other hand was absolutely amazing, within two days of stopping wheat Lakyn's asthma was gone, no more wheezing or coughing and his runny nose was gone. I could not believe it. I never did go and get the Ventolin or the steroids.
I have now learnt that our skin is our largest organ, so when something is not right with our skin, there is a deeper problem, something not going right on the inside. Using steroids to cover suppresses the symptoms but in turn places pressure on our other organs, such as the lungs then resulting in asthma. Crazy right.
We saw a Dietician who put Lakyn on a very strict low chemical diet. We decided to keep him off wheat dairy and soy for that time also. We could name on two hands the food he could eat. It was hard, but we got through. Lakyn is the healthiest little boy we know and we have now all changed the way we look at food and have changed our lifestyle dramatically.
The Elimination diet is also great for anyone who thinks they may have food intolerances or behaviour problems. As stated in RPAH Elimination Diet Handbook. Food intolerance can vary from person to person. It can include hives and swellings, stomach and bowel irritation, headaches, feeling unwell, flu like aches and pains, tiredness, feeling run down or moody. Children can be irritable, restless, aggressive, have behaviour problems such as ADHD. Babies can be colicky, have reflux, loose stools, eczema and nappy rash. Food intolerances can effect the skin, airways, gastro intestinal and also the nervous system.
You can find the book along with other great information here at allergy down under. http://allergy.net.au
This is also around the time we found itsan ( https://itsan.org )and knew we had to stop steroids and never use them again. Itsan support people with Red Skin Syndrome, aka Topical Steroid Addiction & Withdrawal. Red Skin Syndrome is a debilitating condition that can arise from the use of topical steroid creams to treat a skin problem such as eczema.
We saw our allergist this same week to see if he would test Lakyn for more allergies. He snickered when we mentioned naturopaths and the fact that after stopping wheat his asthma had stopped. He said that wheat would not have stopped his asthma. He also wouldn't test for anything else but was happy to charge us a large sum, give us a stronger steroid and refer us to the royal children's eczema clinic. When I looked this clinic up I soon decided we would never go there, they use steroids and bleach baths to combat eczema.
No matter how great the testimonials where we were not going.
Because Lakyn was withdrawing from steroids his skin was worse before it got better. When his skin started to improve we would introduce foods back into his diet. Lakyn would react to foods within minutes so we knew which foods to avoid. He is allergic to egg and at the moment reacts to soy, tomatoes, coconut, sausages (preservative) and banana. We are still avoiding wheat, gluten, dairy, any preservatives and additives. We avoid processed, packaged food and also any foods that are GM ( genetically modified ) or have GM ingredients. We also use spring water. Lakyn was reacting to a few other foods but since having him on his gut healing diet he can now tolerate them.
Yes I do believe food plays a huge part in the triggers for eczema. I also believe something compromises the gut resulting in this problem. I have also lost hope in doctors and specialists who only know how to cover up symptoms, not healing the actual problem.
I hope this can help you decide if you need to look at food to help yourself or your child suffering from eczema, allergies, or suffering from any food intolerance symptoms.