D.H. asks from Fort Lauderdale, FL on September 03, 2008
My daughter has had horrible eczema since she was two months old (she is now 5 1/2). Last week, we had her blood drawn for an allergy test. Today we find out she is allergic to peanuts, egg whites and very allergic to cats. I have a cat and my aunt, who babysits her all day while I'm at work has multiple cats. She does not seem to have respiratory problems but I understand that she could develop them. I'm still dealing with potentially having to get rid of my cat that I've had for 12 years, but in addition to that I'm wondering about breastfeeding. Do I have to avoid all foods with trace amounts of peanut or just the obvious nuts/peanut butter? Egg whites seem pretty hard to avoid. I've already cut back on dairy, certain vegetables, I don't garlic rolls anymore or have caffeine or alcohol. My mom seems to think I should now switch to formula. I'm going to call a pediatric allergist since I just got these results from the nurse or assistant at my pediatrician's office and other than telling me the results, she was pretty vague. Has anyone else had any experience with this? Thoughts on breastfeeding, keeping the cat?
S.C. answers from Miami on September 04, 2008
FOR THE ECZEMA: YOU NEED TO GET OFF MILK AND MILK PRODUCTS, SUGAR AND SUGAR LAIDEN JUICES, CHEMICALS, FOOD DYES AND COLORINGS IMMEDIATELY!!!!! Start EATING fresh fruits, vegetables, grain cereals and lots of water! After you have cleasned YOUR system, begin substituting your sugar with honey, raw sugar, Agate (catus) and Stevia. KEEP ALL PRE-PACKAGED AND PROCESSED FOODS OUT OF YOUR DIET PERIOD! This means a total change in how the family shops and eats! Trust me, it will do you all a world of good for your health. Your daughter's skin problem will clear up within several months if not sooner, if you are STRONG AND DEDICATED ENOUGH TO DO THIS! DO IT FOR YOUR DAUGHTER SO HER SELF ESTEEM IS NOT AFFECTED AS SHE GETS OLDER. Plus as she grows, she will venture out and eat things she should not. BUT, she will immediately see that her skin issues will quickly return and she will REMEMBER WHAT SHE WAS TAUGHT BY HER MOTHER! :-) She will love you for that! I've help several people get over Eczema!
FOR THE OTHER ALLERGIES: Please visit www.naet.com and then search for some practitioners of this in your area. I've done this and it works! I also worked for two doctors who practiced this! Good Luck!
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A.N. answers from Jacksonville on September 04, 2008
First of all, eczema is horrible, so sorry to say but you need to get rid of the cat ASAP. My little girl (22 months old)is allergic to peanuts, egg whites, soy, and dogs. We just found out officially a couple of weeks ago, but we knew all along, because she would react to all of those things since she was little. She had horrible eczema also. She was about 1 month old the first time we saw her with it. I felt so bad, but never knew what caused it. I knew I had to keep her away from dogs, because I couldn't stand for her to be so uncomfortable. The eczema would keep her out for hours each night that she had it . I have an aunt that has dogs, and she always wanted us to come over. I eventually just had to tell her that we could not come over anymore, because she was allergic to the dogs. Even just crawling around on her floor would cause her to break out. So, I know you must love your cat, but it has to go. Also, you may have to get a new babysitter for her until she is able to take some kind of allergy medicine, like claritin. As far as the food allergies, I myself am still in a pretty new world about those. The peanut allergy is what terrifies me, because my daughter is severely allergic to them. I breastfed my little girl and ate peanut butter and eggs ALL the time. Sometimes her eczema was really bad, but then other times it was pretty clear no matter what I was eating. It was mostly bad when she was young, because it was winter so we had the heater on all of the time. So, I may be very wrong, but I don't know if it matters, allergies wise, if you eat those things. Maybe it can help her. I'm curious to know. I would love to know what the pediatric allergist says about nursing and allergies. I wouldn't put her on formula just yet, because nursing may be the one hope she has of controlling her allergies until she is older. If you think of it, please let me know what the allergist says. Allergies can be so scary. I hope that the pediatric allergist has some good information for you.
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S.C. answers from Boca Raton on September 04, 2008
I just wanted to back Sharon C up with her suggestion of finding an NAET practitioner. My husband and I have been seeing Marlene Cobb in Coral Springs and she has worked wonders elliminating allergies. I know that she has also worked with many children and had great results. She might not be taking new patients so I would look on the website to see who else practices in the area. Along with the NAET, changing your diet to whole healthy foods, adding the probiotics and continuing to breastfeed, you should be able to help heal your daughter.
Good for you for reaching out and good luck. I can only imagine how hard this must be for you.
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K.W. answers from Jacksonville on September 04, 2008
I can't help you with the breast feeding due to allergies but I can suggest something for eczema. I use Renew lotion, which is 6 X more effective than Eucerine, and Renew bath oil. It cannot be purchased at your local stores but I can certainly tell you how to get it. A friend of mine started using it with her little boy and within 2 weeks the eczema was gone.
As for the allergies, you need to find to what degree your little girl is allergic to peanuts, egg whites and cats, if you didn't already get that information. Some children with food allergies have life threatening side effects if they are near the food or touch by someone who has eaten/touched the food. It sounds like your baby doesn't have anything like that. I have a friend that is seeing an allergist in Jacksonville and can find out the name for you if you'd like. Her son is deathly allergic to milk and milk bi-products.
Best of luck to you in finding a solution. Getting rid of family pets is always a hard thing to do. I can't imagine having to part with mine.
Work at Home United
W.C. answers from Miami on September 04, 2008
If the baby is allergic to anything food-wise and she is breastfeeding then yes you have to cut it out too as she is getting her nutrients from you. Common food allergies are dairy and gluten, and i cut some of it out of my DD diet as she would get eczema patches on her elbow creases. I've come to realize (well at least for now) that her eczema was caused by two things... regular soap that i was using on her and yogurt. SOmething in the yogurt made it worse and then we took her off of it accidently for a week and it was all gone. When we got back she had some yogurt and started itching. so we've stopped that. Also we switched from using johnson's products to Burts Bees or Aveeno. You may want to try natural stuff soaps and fragrances. I can use johnsons lotion on her legs but not her arms (go figure), but immediately after she gets out of the tub i put either cetaphil lotion or aquaphor/eucerin lotion on her as it helps with her dry skin.
You can check out food allergy sites and groups like ____@____.com have all types of information that you wouldn't relate to food allergies or intolerances. Good luck
M.V. answers from St. Louis on September 04, 2008
D., I'm really sorry you've been going through this. It sounds like my daughter's eczema (3 months at the time, now 8 months) She never had an allergy test done, the doctor just told me it was something she'll grow out of and to just bathe her less frequently with oatmeal baths, apply cortisone and aquaphor daily. Her skin never got better. It ended up covering her whole body except for her head. Eucerin burned her skin, maybe due to chemicals. I'd stay away from that.
But it turned out she was allergic to the wheat/gluten I was eating. (I breastfeed) I found this out by researching myself (no thanks to the dr) and eliminating wheat first. (I thought that was the easiest) After about a week or two her skin cleared up. She was almost 6 months. Before that I found Baby's Bliss Baby Dermacream which worked great for calming her skin down.
If I were you I'd keep breastfeeding and research elimination diets for infant allergies. Keep the cat away until you find out what is triggering your baby's eczema. Do a major house cleaning.
Try not to use cortisone creams, even if prescribed. Prolonged use, even short-term use can cause asthma in later years. What it does is suppress the inflammation but it comes right back as soon as you stop using it and you're not supposed to keep using it. Coconut oil does great things for skin, I used that to keep her moist throughout the day and night. Just apply it to her whole body about every diaper change. It gets tiring dealing with this, I know but its definitely worth the effort to know you are doing everything you can do to help your baby and make her healthy again.
Also I would do the test again to make sure and then stop eating those things if you are to continue breastfeeding (don't let this stop you!) If she can't have peanuts that means food that was prepared in the same factory or on the same product line as peanuts. If it were wheat, no soy sauce, etc... you have to be really careful with elimination diets.
I used the aveno oatmeal baths and then when her skin was all cleared up, California Baby. No chemicals. Sunlight is supposed to be really good for clearing up eczema. It was just too hot down here and she'd start sweating which would make it flare up. I really and truly hope this helps. No good luck here, you're a mom and mom's can do anything =)
A.S. answers from Jacksonville on September 04, 2008
If you can start to see an allergy speciallist that would be great. My son has asthma and some allergies. I put him on soy formula at about 6 months because of the congestion. It really did make a difference, he wasn't as congested. He's 2 1/2yr now and his asthma has improved and the allergies are not as bad but at times.
As for the food allergies. Just be careful. You might be able to let her have a very small portion of egg whites but the nut thing might be different.
I'm connected with a mom's networking website that has a forum for asthma and allergies. These moms have been there and are doing just what you are too. Send me a message if you'd like to check out the website and I'll send it too you.
J.K. answers from Gainesville on September 04, 2008
I think that breastfeeding will help with her antibodies, but definitely consult with a pediatric allergist. For yourself, don't eat anything with obvious nuts in it, but I don't think you have to go so far as to avoid everything that might have some point been manufactured in the same plant that processes nuts. And you can probably still eat almonds and walnuts and stuff. Why do you have to cut back on dairy? You didn't mention she was allergic to milk. As far as the cat goes, vacuum the heck out of her room and then shut the door to keep the cat out. If she still sleeps in your room, do the same to your room. See if that helps. Talk to your vet about that; they might have ideas. Also talk to a lactation consultant; she can give you ideas about how your diet can affect your poor allergic daughter.