My Baby Has Eczema


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Our visit to the doctor yesterday confirmed our suspicions: Ralfie has eczema too. This makes two out of three of my children with eczema.

However, contrary to what one might imagine, I am not devastated. I had enough clues over the last 2-3 weeks to guess that he might have it–”acne” that didn’t quite look like acne anymore; redness around the anus; dry skin patches; yeast in the folds of the neck and behind the ears (Manny had it too). So when the doctor said, “You are right: he does have eczema,” I was not really surprised. In a way, it was kind of a relief; the suspense of wondering if he would have it or not was not fun.

I asked him about doing an IgE test, but he said it would not be accurate. Babies get antibodies through colostrum and milk, and it can take 6 months or more for them to die out. If he still has problems later, we could do it later.

Then I asked him about the stool test. He said we could try one. He would he interested to see the results, because he had never done a stool test on someone so young. Because I have been doing a relaxed infant potty training, I know I’ll be able to get the samples I need, uncontaminated by pee, pretty much whenever I am ready for them. I’m not ready yet, because we need to figure out where the money to pay for them is going to come from (it needs to be prepaid). We’ll probably dip into our savings for this.

In the mean time, I’m going to take InfaSkin for a week or two (about all we can afford right now) and also give Ralfie the probiotics the doctor sold us. And I’m going on a very strict diet this week. I would do it longer, but we will be attending a half-week conference, and I won’t have time to cook whole meals for myself. I will maintain a gluten-free diet, however. My son’s naturopath told me that redness around the anus indicates irritation in the gut, and gluten exacerbates an irritated gut, even if the person does not have Celiac disease. And gluten isn’t as hard to avoid as one might think.

Now why is it that my daughter has no allergies at all, and both my sons have them, one severely? There are several things I could guess. First, the yeast is suspicious. Sure, yeast likes warm, moist places, like the folds of a chubby baby’s neck. So why doesn’t every baby get yeast overgrowth there? I have wondered for some time if I might have an overgrowth of it myself. It’s something I might look into soon.

I have another theory, too. While I was pregnant with my second, I got some dental work done, and although I was told that there was no mercury in the fillings, I think there is. So I need to replace those fillings. More money, of course, so it’s not happening right now, but it’s something I definitely am going to do before I even think about getting pregnant. In the mean time, I’m going to experiment with eating lots of cilantro. Cilantro is able to chelate heavy metals out of the body. It can’t hurt, anyhow. I bought 2 bunches of organic cilantro yesterday. I would have bought more, but $2 a bunch was rather prohibitive. I’ll probably make some kind of cilantro pesto, only without the garlic. I’m not sure how he will react to that much garlic.

[*UPDATE* After getting the first comment on this post, I decided to do more research about chelation, and have realized that there is a lot more to it than just upping one's intake of cilantro. It could be a problem since I am breastfeeding, and the body tends to dump detoxing toxins into the milk supply, which is why it is not good to detox while nursing. I need to do more research and talk to a health care professional (probably my son's naturopath for starters) before I do anything like I mentioned.]

In doing research for cilantro pesto, I found a site that mentions that food allergies as as a side effect of heavy metal toxicity. It also discusses the link between heavy metals and candida, not in depth, but still, the fact that there seems to be a connection is intriguing.

I’m suspecting that he is not allergic to nearly as many things as his brother is. I had fried egg sandwiches yesterday, yet his red, swollen eyelid was less swollen and not red this morning. Eggs are one of Manny’s most allergic foods, but they didn’t seem to make Ralfie worse. I will, however, avoid them for the next couple of weeks, along with a bunch of other things.

So basically I’m eating my son’s diet for a while. I never thought I could. But I guess we can do what we have to do. For sure, I won’t be cutting calories and will be eating plenty of fat; I want to make sure my milk supply stays strong. Ralfie is doing anything but failing to thrive–he gained 3 lb 3 oz in his first 6 weeks, not counting the ounces he lost before my milk came in. He’s nice an chunky. I can’t even touch thumb and forefinger around his thigh anymore!

So this will be an interesting experience. I’ll keep you all posted.

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