At a Loss and Need Advice!!

Updated on May 05, 2008
K.O. asks from Anoka, MN
75 answers

I'm at a loss with my DS who's 8 1/2 months old and I'll try to make this brief yet descriptive. When he was about 4 months old he started to have signs of eczema - went to the doctor and got some prescriptions and also went to a dermatologist which again gave him a prescriptions - mainly to dry up the eczema (bloody/scabs) and to help the itching. He was given Derma-smoothe to help dry up eczema and Hydroxyzine to help the itching (this is an oral medication). Both seemed to help for a while...
We've started him on more solid foods and found that he may now have some allergies - noticed spots on him after eating baby applesauce and also broke out when he had some yogurt. We do give him lactose-free formula - suggestion from doctor which I believe is accurate. So we are assuming he has a milk allergy - no more yogurt! Again, everything cleared up and seemed fine (although we have to continue to give him the Hydroxzine for itching). Now after giving him cheerios, he has appeared to break out again but this time big red patches around his mouth/cheeks. At first I thought it was from teething - he did get his first tooth on his 8 month birthday but nothing since. So my daycare and I are now thinking that it may be a wheat allergy???
I'm not sure what to do anymore...I've asked the doctor to do allergy tests but she says he's too young. He has his 9 month appt in a few weeks so I may demand that they do these tests.
What can I do?? I'm wondering if he needs to go on a gluten-free diet but I don't know much about that...I'm scared to give him anything new to eat in fear that he'll break out. What can I give him? I've heard that these allergies may pass but at what point? I just feel so bad for the little guy because you can just tell he's miserable and itchy. Has anyone else had the same issues and if so, what have you done?
I know that I'm not but I almost feel like a 'bad' mom because I don't know what's wrong and I HATE when people come up and say 'Oh what happened to his face' - it is so annoying!

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

New update! Took DS to an Allergist and it turns out that he is allergic to Eggs (which I hadn't given him yet) and the only thing that I had given him that had eggs was Noodles and a Pancake! Dr said to strictly avoid foods with egg/egg products in them and since I have, his face has cleared up!! The other thing that he is allergic to is dog & dust mites - which we used to have a dog but had to put him to sleep early on when DS was born but not because of the allergy issue - dog got very sick. Maybe he was telling us something! Now that we know, DS has been doing much better and eczema is more under control - what a relief! Thanks for all the advice!

Thank you everyone for all the good advice! I didn't think that eczema or food allergies were as big of a problem as they seem to be! Well, I took the DS off dairy and have been using straight Soy formula and have also been only giving him rice cereal until I can better pinpoint what the issue is. Since I have been doing this, his face has totally cleared up! He does still have some spots/hives on his stomach, which I'm hoping just needs time to 'flush out' his system and will eventually go away, and still itch but not as much as he was. I'm hoping it was a dairy allergy and that maybe I can start gradually again entering more food into his diet. He does seem much happier though! Thanks again for all the advice!

More Answers

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N.P.

answers from Lincoln on

I study natural healing and nutrition. It definetely is an allergy. I would keep him on a gluten free diet and dairy free. Make sure he gets a whole food suppliment if you dont think he is getting what he needs. You get more calcium from broccoli and dark greens than any thing. Besides our bodies are not made to digest cows milk,so dont worry about the dairy,its a myth that its good for you. They are finding more and more now that it is not healthy. Stick to the whole foods,fruits,veggies and beans and lentils for protein. If he's sensitive now,I would start now to read labels and keep him away from all the chemical laden stuff and especially sugar and red meats. There are alternatives to every thing. If you like to bake,use amaryth and other grains that are gluten free. Use natural sugars,like stevia and xzylotal. A little aloe juice with some water or liquid would help to clean out his body and heal it. Probiotics are very helpful too,Get some at the health food store in powder form to mix in his drinks.You can read about allergy testing,by muscle testing,on line,there is a way to do it for little ones through your self. Good luck!

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A.R.

answers from Minneapolis on

K., my daughter had head to toe eczema when she was small, so believe me, this CAN be treated. Eczema is actually a yeast infection that is coming from the colon. Your son's colon is overgrown with yeast for many reasons (perhaps he was on formula as a baby and is allergic to some of its contents or he was given antibiotics once or twice already?). Regardless of the reason, you can help by doing the following:

~ Stop using Hydrocortizone Creme. It doesn't help and actually perpetuates the problem making it grow and spread each time it comes back (as you are experiencing).

~ Eliminate CORN SYRUP in all it's forms. Cheerios are made with High Fructose Corn Syrup or some other derivative of corn. Read the labels of all foods, many yoghurts have corn syrup in them.

~ Eggs, beef, fermented products (vinegar and soy sauce), and yeasted bread should also be eliminated for now... he will be able to eat these again later.

~ Never give him fruit juice of any kind. Fruit juice creates yeast in the body and/or makes it grow FAST. Fresh fruit can be given as long as he doesn't have a rash. Cut it out if a rash starts.

~ Acidophilus: give him chewable (or the powder form mixed with water) 3x/day. You can find chewable grape flavored tablets in the natural food markets or vitamin stores. If you don't have access to these, look on the web for Jarrow Formulas, Yum-Yum Dophilus and order it online.

~ Bathe his eczema rashes in a gentle soap (preferably PH neutral) and let it DRY OUT. Putting cremes on only makes the rash grow, both on the skin and inside his colon. Every rash that dries out on the surface is yeast leaving his body. If it itches him, wash it again.

~ If you have access to TEA TREE OIL (an essential oil available in all natural food stores), you can put a few drops in a bowl of warm water to bathe the rashes. Tea Tree Oil is anti-fungal and will kill the yeast spores on the skin that are making the rash itch. Tea Tree is also soothing and cooling to the rash, so it is inviting.

If you are willing to try something outside of the medical box, HOMEOPATHIC Calcera Carbonicum 30C given 3x/day for a month will help immensely.

He cannot digest dairy at this time because his colon is overgrown with yeast and cannot digest it. Once you get the yeast under control he will most likely be fine with dairy again.

Contact me directly if you need ongoing support. I have practiced homeopathy, natural food healing techniques and bodywork for over 20 years. My daughter has been eczema-free since she was 6 years old. Eczema will crop up now and then until it is completely eliminated. Acidophilus is a BIG key to this. She takes it every day 1x, and I expect she will take it for her life-time, it has no bad side effects... only good.

I hope this helps. Good luck, my heart goes out to you and your son! ~ A.

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P.K.

answers from Minneapolis on

K., try a chiropractor that does Applied Kinesiology. It is easy to test infants and it does not involve needle pokes. It is a way to test for sensitivities/allergies. It worked on my daughter and my son. Call around- I know there is one in Elk River, but I bet your area will have one too. It is amazing what a differencr it can make. It sounds like your son has major food sensitivities. I hope you give it a try! Good Luck!

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J.R.

answers from Minneapolis on

K.-
Find a Chiropractor or Nutritionist who does allergy testing with a technique called muscle testing. It is non-invasive, painless and, most importantly, really accurate! I brought my son to see Dr. Jodi Fidler at Davis Chiropractic in St. Louis Park, MN and she helped be figure out his allergies. He was having "Colicky" symptoms and when we figured out his allergies and avoided those foods, he was a WHOLE NEW BABY!!!! If you would like, I can get you a certificate for a free consultation with her. Of you can call the clinic at ###-###-####. It is totally worth a shot! Good Luck!

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M.P.

answers from Minneapolis on

When I read your opening comment..."I'm at a loss...", i immediately knew you were dealing with allergies. When i read your closing comment about being a bad mom, I knew i had to respond.

Your story sounds exactly like mine, 5 years ago! My daughter has multiple food allergies. She had all these "mysteries" her first year of life: lots of vomit/spit-up, strange rashes/flare-ups, and randomn bouts of "croup" in the middle of the summer. I suspected a few allergies, although she wasn't tested until 14 months. Their bodies change so much the first year, that testing during the first year can be unreliable. However, it can give some temporary answers, and a little piece of mind that YOU ARE NOT A BAD MOM!

I could write a book on this topic, actually i did! (8 Degrees of Ingredients), a hypoallergenic cookbook with over 250 recipes, all free of the Top 8 allergens (wheat, milk, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nut, fish and shellfish.) Diagnosing food allergies takes time, nothing that can be resolved in one email. But from my experience, I would offer the following advice.

#1 - Go with your gut instinct. You are definitely intuitive and probably already 90% there with figuring out his sensitivities. If you suspect wheat allergy, avoid it. Babies only need BM or formula the first year. The solid food is just to practice. (My 11 month old still takes 4 bottles a day, with very few solids at this point, and he is 29 pounds!)

#2 - AVOID Peanuts and all Tree Nuts like the plague. If your child is susecptible to food allergies, you don't want to expose him to ones that can potentially cause fatal reactions. Probably wise to avoid shellfish too.

#3 - If you are at a loss for what to feed, my advice is to go slow. Start with things you know he can tolerate, and then SLOWLY add new things. A GREAT source for hypoallergenic products is www.allergygrocer.com. They have hypoallergenic Cheerios called Perky-ohs, Bars and cookies, and Rice based pastas. It is pricy, but at the very least, it can give you ideas of what to eat.

OR, i assume you are local, the BEST store is Fresh & Natural Foods (4 Twin Cities locations.) They have an abundant supply of Gluten-free and Hypoallergenic products. They also carry my cookbook if you are interested.

My best advice is that like everything in life, figuring out Food ALlergies takes time. Go slow. You will figure it out...unfortunately, they are not Black & White. Even the testing can be unreliable. So go with what you think is right because YOU are the Best Mom for your child and don't let anyone else tell you otherwise. Please feel free to email me anytime....you can find my email at www.EightDegreesofIngredients.com

I hope that helps...hang in there. It does get easier and as I have hypothesized in my book, You are NOT ALONE! Kind regards, M.

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W.S.

answers from Minneapolis on

He is NOT too young to be tested for allergies! Try to find a doctor that practices kinisiology (chiropractor or naturopathic dr.). It is a simple muscle testing that can be done through you. Very easy and accurate. We have used this method on our children for years and it helped illiminate many unneccessary prescription drugs and find food allergies. It sounds like you're already aware of many possible causes! Also, use all toxin-free soaps and lotions.

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S.G.

answers from Madison on

Your son is NOT too young for allergy tests. My son had the same reaction to formula (big red blotches on his face, plus he spit it up almost immediately). He also was having serious problems with eczema. After months of trying various medicines to get rid of the eczema, we took him to a pediatric allergist and he was diagnosed with an allergy to dairy. Lactose-free stuff still contains dairy. The only formulas that don't contain dairy are soy or rice-based, or the extremely expensive hypoallergenic formulas. We ended up using a soy formula to supplement my breast milk. Because the dairy passes through breast milk, I also had to eliminate all dairy from my diet as well. I can't remember exactly how old my son was when I took him to the allergist, but I know he was younger than 8 months. They did a full panel of allergy prick tests (little pricks done on the back where each prick contains a different possible allergen.) Although the pricking part isn't pleasant, it only lasts for a second. My son didn't even cry. Then you wait about 15 minutes and see which spots of skin, if any, reacted. I would press your doctor for a referral to a pediatric allergist and get your son in right away. Allergies can be serious and the more exposure you have to an allergen, the worse the allergy gets and the less likely it is to go away. If you have Physician's Plus, there is a wonderful pediatric allergist named Dr. Healy at the U.W. Health Clinic downtown. I wish you the best of luck.

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N.S.

answers from Minneapolis on

You are NOT alone! My son, who is now nearly 5, had severe eczema as a baby. It was mostly on his face and also behind his knees. It would puss, scab and bleed. People would always ask me too, "what's wrong with his face". I just got used to it and decided to educated people about it instead of getting annoyed. It turns out some people I told realized that their kids had eczema as well. He has now outgrown the eczema and has nicer skin. He never was one of those babies with "baby soft skin". But things are better with that now! So hang in there!

As far as the food allergies, my son has allergies to peanuts and egg whites. He also has sensitivity to acidic foods like tomotoes, etc. This makes it very hard to feed him common things. But I learned a lot and educated myself on foods. It's much easier now! It sounds like your child may be suffering from some allergies/sensitivities as well. We had our son tested for allergies before he was a year old so I don't understand why you can't do the same. I would push the doctor to get you a referral. The testing was easy and gave us such clear answers as to what to avoid. We had our son re-tested at preschool age and will have him teseted again this summer before he starts Kindergarten. Sometimes they outgrow their allergies or have new ones. And this will give you help in understanding everything!

I hope this helps! If you have any questions or need to talk, just get in touch with me.

[email protected]____.com

Good luck!~ N.

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T.C.

answers from Des Moines on

K.,
I could scream at the thought that your doctor told you that he was too young to do allergy testing. All three of my children have food allergies. They were not diagnosed early, and we had a ton of allergy related health problems. My oldest daughter (now 11) missed so much school from headaches, earaches and sore throats. My son (9), also was ALWAYS sick. Then my youngest started to have issues(including eczema)...we had to do something. We found a clinic in Wisconsin...Allergy Associates of La Crosse. It is in another state from where we live, but I can not recommend it enough. We drive every 6 months. Treatment involves drops under the tongue instead of shots...which is great for the babies! Anyway, my friend is taking her BABY!!! and starting treatment. They say, the earlier you start, the shorter the course of treatment. We see DR. Mary Morris..she is wonderful. Please email me if you want more info. www.lacrosseallergy.com is their site. Good luck!
T.

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H.R.

answers from Rapid City on

I have found that eczema can be caused by anything. I suffer "winter eczema" which I believe is brought on by lack of vitamin D. I find that when I get a small amount of sunlight (either natural 15+ or artificial for about 1 month) it can help rid my arms of this seasonal dermatitis; be careful not to burn his already wounded skin and protect his eyes if you choose to try this method. Laying him out in front of a sunny window inside the house may work well enough too.

Also, eczema is often caused by food allergens, nuts, eggs, wheat and dairy in particular. Laundry detergents and body soaps can also be a culprit, try switching to hypoallergenic soaps; those that don't contain perfumes or colorants.

I would first of all pray for guidance, then contact a naturopathic doctor as they will be less likely to administer drugs to alleviate the symptoms, but rather find the root of the problem to treat it. Then I would recommend eliminating his environment and diet of possible culprits (you can find more complete lists online) and see if it clears up; then reintroducing them 1 by 1, 1 week at a time to see if you can find out what exactly is causing it (it may be more than one thing).

You may try bathing him in a bath of Activated/Medical Charcoal powder (found at healthfood stores or online at www.buyactivatedcharcoal.com-this site has MUCH more information if you wish to read it) and warm water (avoid overly warm water, it causes the skin to dry out more). The charcoal may temporarily stain his skin (particularly around the wounded areas), but it will not harm him and may remove any pathogens from his skin that may be contributing to the problem. Then be sure to keep his skin moist; try lotions and soaps like Aveeno (unless you think he's allergic to wheat) or Burt's Bees brands that are made with natural ingredients and are hypoallergenic. 100% pure coconut oil/butter are supposed to be excellent for dry skin and are not supposed to trigger allergies like other lotions/oils.
If all else fails, visit Mayo Clinic. I hope you find relief for him soon. God bless!
H. R.

Other great websites:
http://www.safeminds.org/mercury/
http://www.drlam.com/A3R_brief_in_doc_format/print/2003-N...
http://milk.elehost.com/html/why_does_calcuim_leave_the_b...
http://home.bluegrass.net/~jclark/calcium_foods.htm

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L.G.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hello K.,
You could put him on a elimination diet it would be so much less evasive then allergy testing - but if you don't have the patience for this I know my sist in law had allergy testing done on her son at 5 months - so I don't really think it's an age thing I think it has more to do with the severity of the allergy. I see you say that he may be allergic to lactose - has he ever had any raw dairy products - 9 out of 10 times when a person has a milk allergy it's only to pasturized products - see when the milk molecule is still in it's natural state it's molecule is 3D in shape, but once it's pasturized it change's the molecule into a completly flat shape foreign to our bodies - that's a big reason so manly people have milk allergies - maybe you could try him on a good quality raw cheese - avail at most stores. I could go on for hours with nutrional advice - but I must go best of luck & take care - heres a link that may be some help, http://www.foodintol.com/eliminationdiet.asp
Cheers, L.

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H.B.

answers from Milwaukee on

I have no idea if this will help you or not, because I have no medical evidence to back it up, but it works for me. Laying out in the sun makes my eczema go away. Try having him out in the sun with the infected area exposed for at least 20 minutes every day. It can't hurt, and at the very least, he will get more Vitamin D.

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T.M.

answers from Great Falls on

I know it is frustrating to see your little baby so uncomfortable, but he is to young for allergy test. Right now the best you can do for him is eliminate the specific foods that cause him to break out, and try new foods only one at a time. It might not be wheat, could possibly be a nut allergy, or what ever you served him could have milk in it. Check the ingredients, it will tell you right off if it is made with allergens (nuts-will even say manufactured in facility that processess- wheat, eggs, soy, milk) these are the common ones.

T.

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S.B.

answers from Milwaukee on

Hi K.,
I know something that can help and can put you in touch with other moms who have walked the same road as you. If you want more information, just give me a call. My phone number is ###-###-#### and my cell number is ###-###-####.
S.
A LITTLE ABOUT ME
I am a stay at home mom of 6 kids.

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A.V.

answers from Milwaukee on

My advice to you is that he is NOT too young for testing. My daugther had allergy testing done around 9 months.
The allergist also told me that a gluten allergy test is just a blood test if I wanted that done. ( didn't get it yet). I would insist on it.

Hope you get it worked out!!

I am having similar problems with a "rash" on my daugthers butt she's had for months, they thought was ringworm but now they think it might be allergy? ugh!

A.

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K.F.

answers from Janesville-Beloit on

As the parent of 4 kids with food allergies, I can offer a little advice. If your child is allergic to milk, a "lactose-free" formula will not solve the problem because it still contains milk protein which is the allergen. There are a couple hypoallergenic formulas out there such as Neocate and Elecare. They are very expensive but your insurance may cover it if it is medically necessary. They can be ordered through a pharmacy or directly from the company, but usually require a prescription. Basically all the food proteins in these formulas are "pre-digested" so to speak so it is broken down into the basic nutrients that the body needs so that the body doesn't have to do this. After figuring out the formula issue, I would back off of all foods for a while and then slowly reintroduce single ingredient foods, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and hold off on all grains for last. You will need to read labels on all processed foods, because you won't believe what is actually in there and where food additives come from! When you child shows a reaction to a food, obviously take that out of the diet and don't introduce anything else new until they have recovered from that reaction. Some kids grow out of food allergies in a couple years...others don't. Untreated food allergies can lead to all kinds of health/developmental issues, so it is important to get this figured out early rather than later. Your child can have a blood test to determine some allergies. They will send it to a lab and determine whether it reacts to certain foods and send the results back. I will caution that even if a child tests negative on all allergy tests (blood or skin prick) that doesn't mean they aren't allergic if they are reacting to the foods. The tests are more of a guage to help you pinpoint the offenders and sometimes how offending these substances are and it also gives you credibility with the doctors. If you can see with your eyes that your child reacts to a food, don't give it to them!

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J.W.

answers from Minneapolis on

hey there K.! Infant allergies can be soo frustrating. I use to nanny for a child who had eczema soooo badly that whenever I took him in public people would stare at him. He looked like a leper, it also affected his behavior tremendously. After three years of them diagnosing him with add/adhd, giving him every creme available and phototherapy for his skin, they finally had him tested for allergies. They found out he was severely allergic to peanuts, dairy and wheat. After a change in diet (which was alot of work)His skin cleared up completely, and his behavior completely changed. I've found that whenever you go to a pediatrician or dermatologist, they will prescribe you something to treat the symptoms and not help eliminate the cause. I am not sure how early you can test them for allergies. I would call an allergist to find out, but before then you will probably have to do an elimination diet ( eliminate all possible allergen inducing foods, then reintroduce them slowly to find the culprits) Also you have to read the packages closely alot of thing may not have nuts in them, but might be made in a factory that has nuts, whoch can be enough to set off some allergies. Good Luck!

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A.R.

answers from Minneapolis on

I have two friends who have kids with many food allergies. One of them went through excactly what you are describing. I will have to ask her when she had him tested, but I am sure it was before he was one. He has been milk, wheat, soy, peanut and any other dairy that you can think of free. He has grown out of a few of them - they were just able to start adding wheat back into his diet and I think eggs. I'll see if I can get more information for you and send it along.

A. R

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K.B.

answers from Minneapolis on

Nobody knows your baby better than you do - go with your gut. It sounds to me like your little one does have some food allergies or sensitivities. They can do blood tests (the most accurate) for food allergies even on small babies. I would recommend taking your child to an immunology specialist to have an allergy and immunology workup done. Testing can be done on newborns, especially if you have an immunologist (not a pediatrician - they don't have the training to deal in depth with this) and the earlier the better. My own dd has some food sensitivities, severe food allergies and a genetic immune deficiency. Your description of your son sounds a lot like my daughter's infancy. Unfortunately, she was not fully tested (they did some limited food allergy tests only) and diagnosed until she was five years old. Any other children we have will be tested at birth by our immunologist. Early diagnosis means less suffering and damage. Sometimes they will "grow out of" allergies, but if their system is constantly fighting and you don't know what the problem is, they have no chance of that happening.

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N.C.

answers from Minneapolis on

hi,

I have a 9 month old son too who had bad eczema. He just went through rotavirus about a month ago and during that time we just had him on pedialite for a few days. During that time i noticed that his eczema COMPLETELY went away. When i mentioned it to the Dr. he said my son had a milk protien allergy. This is different then just a milk allergy because even with the lactose free formula the milk protiens are not removed. We now have my son on enfamil Nutramigen. It is pretty expensive, $25 for a small can, but I figure it is only for a few more months till he is one. It has made all of the difference his eczema is gone. He also used to have a bumpy rash on his tummy too and it is gone. I know that my Dr. said that he will grow out of this milk protien allergy by the time he is three.

I hope this helps. It sounds like he may have other allergys also though so it is good that you are checking them out.

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H.H.

answers from Wausau on

Try the LaCrosse allergy clinic they are really good. Some alternative doctors can do muscle testing to determine what allergies the child has one of them is called a NAET treatment if you look it up online you can learn if their is a doctor practicing it in your area. Their are other methods and people such as in Wausau a relexologist can determine the problems and "cure" the allergy.

My boys and I have done the NAET treatments they worked really well for us, but for other people not so well. It totally depends on the allergies severity.

H.

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A.T.

answers from Wausau on

You are your child's best advocate for everything, and your child is too young to fight for himself. If this doctor is not helping you figure out these health issues, do not be afraid to change doctors, even if it means driving at little bit out of your way to satisfy the insurance company. I know gas is expensive, but it is unexcusable for your child to keep suffering like this. The test for the gluten allergy is a simple blood test to test for Celiac-Sprue test diease, which I had done (negative), but at least you will know. Also, when people ask what happened to his face, either fake shock, "WHAT DO MEAN? WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN TO MY BABY?" or ignore them. You do not owe a stranger an explanation. It's their issue, not yours. Love your baby and keep fighting for him. I'll keep you in my prayers.

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R.P.

answers from Milwaukee on

My daughter who is 5 now, had a lot of the same problems. She had a rash that was very stubborn on her face and bottom area, she would also develop "fluffy" poop that smelled really bad, she was very irritable, etc. They would give us stuff for eczema that did not work. Finally I took her to a naturapath or a doctor that deals with homeopathic medicines. After numerous tests and multiple doctors, she was the only one to diagnose stella with Candida. She gave her acidpholis(sp?) and some stomach calming remidies, all natural all easy to give. She was totally cleared up in three weeks. I have seen some of the sympotoms return from time to time, and then I just give her another dose of the acidipholis that I get at a health food store and it clears right up.

Background: I nursed her for 2 years, she was always getting thrush that would not go away. She had bumps, rashes, and tummy aches, etc. It is worth a try to see a natural doctor.

Hope this helps. You are not being a bad mom. You have to be your child's advocate. If you are not getting the response from you doctor, switch doctors. Ask around and talk to other mom's that you know. It is worth it to have a doctor that listens. It will be more beneficial to your son, and you if you are "partnering" with your doctor. Good luck!

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N.W.

answers from Lincoln on

K.

I can help you out with the eczema. With my boys eczema the first one we did the same thing with two prescriptions between a dermantologist and the doctors. A gal introduced me to Arbonne's Baby products. I used them for a couple weeks and the spots went away. I switched back to my Johnson and Johnsons and theycame back immediately. I have used the Arbonne products since and have not had a problem.

You can check out the Arbonne products on my website.

http://www.nicolesnaturalbeauty.myarbonne.com

Every product is botanically based. There is a 45 day guarantee if for some reason you don't like the products.

As for around the mouth I just kept track and didn't give the boys those foods. I have introduced them to them later on as they got older and have not seemed to have the problem like when they are younger.

Hope this helps. N.

Let me know if you have any questions

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J.K.

answers from Des Moines on

I take care of a baby that has the same thing but not as bad. Every time I change her diaper I slather her with the Walgreens brand that is comperable to the perscription and I get it in cream form, easier to put on. And I mean EVERY time I chage her. That seems to help the most when I do it often. There is a stubborn spot on her cheek that I do in between changes. Go ahead and demand the tests. Sometimes they don't want to do them because they change allergies about every 6 months to a year. But it sounds like you need to know all of the allergies NOW! And you may need to do the tests again in 6 months. Whats more important the doing the tests over and over or the baby's health? If you still get a refusal you may need to call a few places, ask questions to see if they will do the tests and change doctors. Even if you make all of the baby food yourself you need to know what not to put in it.

Good luck and love to you both.

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S.L.

answers from San Diego on

We've had the same history with all 3 of our boys. 1.) you need a new dr., one that believes in allergies. 2. you need a prescription for a topical lotion that is made with prescription strength hydrocortisone and eucerin. 3. you need to see an allergist. eczema can be serious and with breaks in skin, can result in a skin infection and months of antibiotics. also,if ongoing , can result in scarring and skin discoloration long after the eczema hs cleared up. our sons had this issue, and by 9 mos., i was sick of our dr. saying "too young for food alelrgies." I took him to our childlren's hospital in the area, and he was tested and resulted in 18 different allergens. Big ones lilke milk, OJ, bananas, soy, dairy, egg, peanut butter, beef, fish. So, make the move, and get the appt with an allergy clinic at your local children's hosptial. the lotion works immediately, and the diet change results in a new baby. don't walk around ashamed of your child, it's not your fault. don't wait for a skin infection to show up.

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S.K.

answers from St. Cloud on

Hello K.,
Poor little guy!! I highly recommend EDS-(Electro Dermal Screening) it is non invasive and very effective in finding out what is causing this. I breastfeed and my son was VERY uncomfortable about two weeks after he was born. A friend of mine suggested this. We had it done and found out that everything I was eating, was affecting him negatively. I quit eating those foods and within 1-2 weeks he was completely fine. I have gone back twice since then (he is now 6 months) and each time his body reacted less to those foods. I believe we actually kept him form having allergies. But it's not too late I have heard that you can actually reverse allergies. It is so amazing. The person that I have gone to in Sartell, MN also has an office in the MSP/St.Paul area(not exactly sure where) I will send you a message with her info and can do with it what you would like.

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T.L.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi K.
I would demand that he be tested for allergies and if your doctor still tells you he is to young find a new doctor. I have allerigs myself and went to a new allergist and found out my eczema was do to a unknown allergi which ended up being my laundry soap. so anyway what I am trying to say is once you have him tested most of his problems will go away if you would like to talk further please feel free to send me a message Good Luck in this dufficult time as a parent ;)T.

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N.W.

answers from Minneapolis on

K., you are NOT a bad mom! I really feel for you and your son. I don't have much experience with these things, but I'm wondering if you would feel comfortable taking him to a chiropractor. I know several moms whose children have been help through chiropractic care, and infants can be treated (with a more gentle method than the "back cracking" that many people think of when they hear the word chiropractic). Many chiropractors specialize in treating infants and children. I know it might sound odd, but chiropractic care has been shown to strengthen the immune system and even help improve allergies. When you think of it, it makes sense because if your spinal cord is blocked, your brain and body can't communicate. Chiropractors detect and treat spinal blockages (technical term is subluxation).

I'm not a chiropractor, not married to one either, so this is not a commercial! Just a suggestion since you've explored the traditional medical route without much success.

I hope this helps. God bless,

N.

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G.

answers from Minneapolis on

More and more grocery stores are selling gluten free foods as this is becoming more noticed that people are allergic to wheat. I work with a gal who has allergic reaction to wheat. She got some fruit flavored cereal (like cheerios)
I tried them & they are good. You can check the whole foods stores or co ops. Good luk!

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H.J.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi K.!

My son, who is now 14 months, has had ezcema since he was 4 months old. (Doc said his case is "severe") We went through the SAME thing you did...3 different doc and 2 dermatologists later, i finally found someone who would treat him with more then steriod cream. We use dermasoothe and a different hydrocortizone cream for his face (i can't remember the name, but it is a level 5 steriod). We also do not use ANY fragerences of any kind...Vanicream lotion works wonders, Tide Free detergent, no fabric softener, and dove or cetafil bar soap.

My son used to get the more horrible ezcema breakouts on his face, where is almost looked like burns. All the docs said that there wasn't anything i could do but put steriod cream when it breaks out...he got lots of infections in it also. WHen he was about 9 months old, he got the flu pretty bad...throwing up and diarhea..would eat anything but infant cereal and formula....then his face COMPLETELY cleared up!! So, i figured out it was from food..or at least food was irrating it. SO i cut out all fruit for awhile...then gradually introduced it again BUT i put vaseline all over his face so food couldn't touch it. That REALLY helped! He still did get breakouts of Ezcema on his face, but they wern't nearly as bad. Now at 14 months, and having just gone to a specialist in Ezcema in the Twin Cities, he hasn't had a breakout in 2 weeks!!! Its truely amazing!
I know what it is like...all the time when i went out, people would ask me "what's wrong with his face" It amazes me how rude people can be. He also scratched himself so bad that he always had lots of scabbed over scratches on his hands, arms and feet. The specialist i just saw said that he may have, or develop food alergies later on...but did say that he is still too young to be tested.

I don't know if any of this helps, but at least you know your baby isn't the only one :)

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S.C.

answers from Milwaukee on

my daughter is also 8.5 months and started with her ecezma around 4 months also. we found that she is allergic to baby oil and strawberries for sure. I have found that aveeno ecezama care lotion found at walgreens by the neosporin asile helps...best part not a steroid cream :) i have also noticed her face getting all red when she self feeds, i think that her skin is just really sensitive and the attempted aiming and rubbing to get the food in irritates her skin.

as for allergist, my pediatrician recommended that we take her in to be tested around 6 months. I have not gone due to pending insurance, but here is the number and name my pediatrician recommended

mark norteness ###-###-####

good luck!

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A.K.

answers from Milwaukee on

I would call childrens hospitals allergy and asthma clinic and find out how young children can be seen and then take him there. My daughter has milk, wheat, and seseme seed allergy and if I had not just gone with my gut and gone there we would have continued on a very frustrating path. As soon as she was diagnosed I sent my girlfriends son there because he had eczma since he was born and also milk issues, in spite of his pediatricians thoughts she brought him and found out he had milk, egg, peanuts, almonds etc... allergies. Dr. Lustig at childrens is awesome. Outpost has many options for wheat free and dairy free diets also there is a gluten free store in bayview I can't remember the name some trading post I think. It is overwhelming at first and then you just get the hang of all the ingredients. Good luck with this journey.

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A.B.

answers from Omaha on

Hi K.,

I have a friend who's daughter had severe food allergies when she was born - she was allergic to even breast milk. So my friend took her to an acupunturist who specialized in allergies. The results were absolutely amazing. By the time her daughter was a year old she was eating everything except nuts.

I will admit that it took a lot of time for her because the only acupunturist that speciallized in allergies was in a city 50 miles from where she lived but for her it was worth it. I have seen first hand the progress that was made. Looking at her daughter now - you would never know she had food allergies.

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D.E.

answers from Cedar Rapids on

I really think you just need to push the doctors to look into it. Don't give up and if you need a 2nd, 3rd or so on opinion, get it!!! He may grow out of it, but for now, you need to know how to make him comfortable. I'd make a list of every reaction he has and when you visit the doctor, you can show him. Plus, if he is with a caregiver, they will know what not to give him. I hope everything is solved for him soon. Please keep us updated...I feel bad for the little guy and for you. It's hard to see a child go through something like that and feel helpless because you aren't sure what you can do. Good luck and hang in there with those doctors!

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E.F.

answers from Wausau on

HI K.!

What type of cleaners are you using? The conventional cleaners in our homes cause all kinds of irritability and rashes. I strongly urge you to seek out non-toxic cleaners for your entire home.

It seems that there is a common link between all the foods that he is eating, so perhaps once you use a non-toxic cleaner, his rashes will subside.

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J.T.

answers from Minneapolis on

K.,
I think you are on target with the Gluten Free, and may want to look into his being Casein Free as well (See the TACA website, or the GFCF Kids website. . .great network of info for all kids!)
I have 4 kids. . .one with extreme eczema. He is 4 years old and at times would not be able to sleep from having to itch his skin uncontrollably. We recently took him to LaCrosse~Allergy Associates where you get the best of the best in Allergy testing.
There could be a number of problems/solutions, so be sure to check into as many as you can. It's not as simple a solution as some may think. There are some creams, some ointments, some meds that seem to work for a while, but there is nothing like solving the problem itself. That is the process we are in right now.

I know how you feel when you say you feel like a bad parent, or frustrated when people come up to you with comments. With my little man, his head was one of the worst areas. .I'd have to keep it lubed up with oils etc. . so when people would come up to him~they would kind of put their hands on his head, but then you could see the looks on thier faces (ie. . ."Eeeewwww"). I'd have to explain to them that he is clean. . I do bathe him. . .he just needs to be greased up.
One more thing, I have found that many doctors just guess at what would work for the child. They really have no idea. Often they recommend "Aquaphore" (sp?) which is actually terrible for skin. It is my experience that no one should be putting mineral oil/petroleum jelly products on your skin because it acts like a plastic wrap on your body, allowing no toxins to escape, and no beneficial elements to go in (moisture/vitamin D).
Also, changing to Soy is not the solution. Soy contributes to problems down the road, as it acts like a 'mock hormone' in our body. Other alternatives I've found for milk products are my favorite, Hemp, or Rice, Almond (if they don't have allergies to these items). Even Goats Milk can help. Coconut Milk is one favored among people looking for an alternative as well.

Good luck! I know how frustrating it can be!
Feel free to email me/contact me if you want to discuss more.

J.

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J.G.

answers from Milwaukee on

I have a lot of moms that have tried with great success using our Provex Plus. It is a natural antihistemine.

It is in capsule form so they break the capsule and mix it in their food.

You never know. It might be for him too.

If I were you, I would take him to another doctor who listens. I was misdiagnosed twice for health issues! The first one was for 10 years, the second one was for 15 years.
Listen to your heart! Keep asking questions! Don't ever give up. What I found is that there are doctors out their that can help. Either that or judt do your own research.

Best wishes! I know how frustrating it can be to share with a doctor your symptoms, concerns, and questions only to make you feel alone.

Best wishes,

J.

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C.O.

answers from Minneapolis on

My youngest also has eczema and was given a concentrated prescription of hydro-cortisone. His skin is very sensitive and broke out easily. We just had to keep his face as clean and dry as possible, wash off food immediately, and regularly apply moisturizing cream and hydro-cortisone.
Now that he is 16 months old, it has gotten a lot better. It seems to flare up, though, when he's teething. The extra saliva can irritate sensitive skin.
Another way to sooth the itchiness is to put him in an oatmeal bath. Put about a cup of raw oatmeal in a sock or the foot of a pantyhose, tie it off, and toss it in a warm bath. You can squeeze it over his skin or just let him play with it.
Cheerios are mostly made out of oats. I'm not sure if there's any wheat (I didn't check the box).
Lactose-free formula is still made of milk proteins, so if your son had a milk allergy, the formula would most likely aggravate it.
It is possible to have allergy tests that young (my son had 2, both negative) BUT it is incredibly hard to get the needle in their tiny veins. It took a long time, several phlebotomists, and lots of screaming from my sweet little baby. I highly recommend putting off the testing until his veins are bigger.
Good luck!

K.C.

answers from Davenport on

Find another doctor and keep looking until you find one that will do the allergy testing. Allergies aren't something to mess with and it shouldn't matter what age a child is, they can be tested. Testing through bloodwork is quite common now and less disruptive to the child.

My son, who is now 16, has asthma. It runs in my family and I grew up with a brother who has severe asthma. I spent two years going to numerous doctors to be told again and again that my son couldn't have asthma, he was too young. (this was at a time when dr's were realizing that children under the age of 3 COULD have asthma, but most weren't accepting of this and continued on with old beliefs) At age 2 1/2, a doctor walked into the room and listened to his chest and asked me if asthma ran in our family. I cried I was so relieved! Finally someone would help me take proper care of my son. A year later, along comes my daughter, who was diagnosed with asthma at 6 months of age...the diagnosis was a direct contributor to saving her life at 14 months of age when she had a major asthma attack. (she spent 5 days in an oxygen tent) Whatever you do, don't give up!! Keep trying different doctors and doing what you can at home until you find a dr. who will listen to you! You are your sons advocate and there are doctors out there who are willing to listen and do something to help. Good luck to you hun! :)

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M.A.

answers from Des Moines on

With the possible food allergies maybe you could try talking to an allergist and see what they say. Someone who specializes in the field may be able to give you a better idea of your options. A phone call might be all it takes to either start you down the right road or just give you peace of mind.

My son has eczema as well and when I changed laundry detergent it all but went away! I didn't think it could possibly be the detergent because we always used all free and clear or dreft. Well if you read more about detergents those still can cause problems. Check out http://pinstripesandpolkadots.com/detergentchoices.htm This website is specific to cloth diapers but it is a great resource for those with skin issues too. The all free and clear (unless you are military) has brighteners, the dreft has enzymes, brighteners, and scent. Enzymes are particularly bad for babies. When the fabric is wet the enzymes are activated and start breaking down proteins. Hmmm... babies are most always wet because of diaper explosions, drooling, spit up, etc. I had only found one type of detergent that worked for my son and it was expensive but totally worth every penny! I make soap so now I just make my own laundry soap which has been nice. Also, fabric softener can cause problems and vinegar in your rinse cycle works beautifully. (You can even put it in a downy ball.) I swear your clothes won't come out smelling like vinegar.

Also, the baby soaps and shampoos are usually full of scents and such. So my recommendation would be to find a 100% pure Olive Oil soap. As far as something you should be able to find local look for Kiss My Face. Just make sure it's all olive oil and no fragrance. You have to read the label for this though. "Unscented" in relation to skincare products can be misleading. Something can still have fragrance and be called unscented because the product does not have a "scent" per say but rather fragrance added to cover any bad odor that may be present in the product otherwise.

Some people who have eczema are allergic to lanolin. My son doesn't have this problem but in researching I have ran across several people who have this issue. Most every single medication or ointment that is prescribed for eczema has lanolin. A lot of people have used just straight coconut oil and had a lot of success with that. You can get this at a natural food store or even at wal-mart in the cooking oil section. Also, if you look online there are lots of people who make wonderful baby balms that are lanolin free for those who have problems with lanolin. Even though my son didn't react to lanolin, I still avoid it whenever possible just to be on the safe side.

Just changing what you use on your laundry and his skin is super easy and relatively inexpensive. It was just a fluke that I happened to change what I used and it made all the difference! This doesn't address the issues with the food but it may at least diminish his flare ups some and give you a better idea of what exactly is causing the problem.

Good luck I really hope that you are able to find something that helps at least a little bit. There is nothing worse than seeing your baby suffering and not know what to do to make it stop.

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M.M.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi K.,

My son, too, had excema pretty bad when he was a baby. We had to switch to diapers that had no scent (Target brand work best), use unscented wipes, use Aveeno soap with no scent added, wash clothing in Dreft and double rinse so nothing was left behind. He also had a prescription - protopic. It often is worse with the changing seasons, so keep that in mind because that's when we notice flare ups. We now use vaseline when his skin starts to get dry - right before bedtime, we'll salve him up and put his pj's on so it helps to seal in the moisture and he wakes up with skin that is not so dry.

I'm not so sure about the food allergies, but this is what I can offer about the eczema.

Good luck!
M.

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M.F.

answers from Bismarck on

Well, I'm no expert as am just finally getting my daughter in for food allergy testing (she's 7, & obviously not as sensitive as your son), but my family does have an extensive history of food & environmental allergies. The best doctors that they have found currently are in LaCrosse, WI, called the Allergy institute or something like that--Dr. M. Morris is the best there: ###-###-####. I'd give them a call & see what they say about if he is too young to test, or possibly they could refer you to a pediatric allergist. They might also give you suggestions about where to get more (accurate) info & what to do for him.

Otherwise, I guess you can just continue trying different foods & see what he does & doesn't react to. Stick with simple, nonprocessed foods without additives as much as possible, so it'll be easier to identify what he's reacting to--fruits, veggies, & meats by themselves without sauces, etc. (make your own so you're sure they don't have additives & grind them up if needed). Make rice, barley, wheat cereals & serve them without anything else. My sister that is allergic to cow's milk can drink rice or soy milk. My mom that is allergic to wheat can still eat things made with barley (even though she is allergic to barley dust), kamut, oats, or other flours (find a good health food store that will carry the less common grains). I have 1 sister who is allergic to cane sugar but not beet sugar, another who is allergic to beet sugar but not cane, & my mom is allergic to all sugars but natural fructose! So you really have to know what is in foods that you serve him.

His reaction to Cheerios might be an allergy to oats (the first ingredient in them), sugar, corn starch, etc., not wheat. So I wouldn't put him on a gluten-free diet without some more experimenting.

With him being so young, you'll need to watch closely for reactions as he can't tell you how he is feeling, especially any respiratory difficulty. But again, since he is so young, there IS hope that he will outgrow some or all of his difficulties. Good luck!

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S.M.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi K.,

A good associate of mine, Dr. Adam Burke of Wilson Chiropractic, is an allergy specialist (and he didn't take blood test to do his testing).

I am not sure if he is still servicing the allergy testing, but he would be a great resource to provide a good referral.

He works with infants to adults in his chiropractic practice. ###-###-####.

Let him know I referred you and he should be able to provide you with a referral if he is not longer handling the allergy testing.

Good luck
S.

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A.D.

answers from Eau Claire on

Both my babies had allergies to different things that gave them eczema breakouts. It turned out my kids were allergic to certain brands of disposable diapers but were also allergic to soaps. They are 18 & 16 now and still break out if I change soaps plus my daughter is allergic to feminine products! My son was diagnosed at 8 weeks as having a dairy allergy and was finally diagnosed with a gluten allergy at 16. Amazing discovery when we found out that when he leaves the gluten alone he can tolerate dairy. The celiac specialist told us to try dairy again after DS had been off gluten for 6 weeks. If your baby does have celiac, good for you for catching it early, the average length of time for misdiagnoses is like 15 years! We also found out that there is gluten in virtually everything. DS tells people if it has a label he probably can't eat it! I understand exactly how you feel, but you can't beat yourself up over this. Allergies are so tough and sometimes the reaction time is delayed so that the thing they are truly allergic to isn't what they ate for lunch 30 mins ago but actually what they had for supper the night before! My son spent the first year of his life in trial and error mode before we figured out most of his allergies.(He even has a sun allergy) And most of those allergies have improved and disappeared with the gluten free diet and along with that all the pain as well. I wish you well with your son.

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M.A.

answers from Minneapolis on

I read this post and felt like I was reading about myself! I also have a 8 1/2 mo DS who has had a rash since 4 mo. We have now been to 2 dermatologists, had 8+ prescriptions plus countless OTCs and he still looks like a burn victim! Every time it seems like we almost have it under control it flares up again.
Here is what we have tried....
I am not even going to go into environmental irritants because I am sure that was the first thing you tried.
After the first dermatologist told me I would just have to wait until summer and it would clear up on its own (this was the first week of march by the way) we went to have nutritional response testing done. They told us that he had a gluten intolerance and the gluten I was eating was getting to him through my breastmilk. So I am on a *mostly* gluten free diet. It seems to help some but still hasn't cleared up completely. I also noticed that any time I had dairy he reacted. The NRT specialist said that he didn't have an issue with lactose, but the with the gluten issue is intestines were probably inflamed so the lactose couldn't be digested.
I also noticed that sugars cause an issue - we were told that rashes are usually cased by a yeast imbalance and yeast loves sugar so be wary of that.
Gluten free for them is pretty easy, stick to rice or corn based starches and stay away from things that have a gravy or "natural flavorings" - usually flour based.
I just googled how to start a gluten free diet and got a bunch of sites.

If you are in the Twin Cities area I can get you the number of our NRT place. It is by Ridgedale and is very kid friendly.

I understand that feeling of being a bad mom! I have been really down recently because I feel like I should be able to fix it after so long - and for me I am the one causing some of the issues! Just remember that we are good moms... if we weren't we wouldn't care!

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K.C.

answers from Madison on

Find a new doctor. It is not too early for allergy test. I had my second son tested at 6 months because his older brother has some serious food allergies. Turn out he is allergic to eggs, which I was so glad to know, before I started giving him lots of new foods. I know it's hard to question you doc., but just call another and pay cash if you have to. Doctor Jain at Dean East is very good and is on several boards and committees dealing with childhood allergies. E-mail me directly if you have further questions. I have lots of experience with food allergies and severe eczema in children.

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M.E.

answers from Madison on

I would start right away making a log of what he eats everyday. Then when he has these problems write in the log so you can see if there is anything in common. Also add in what else might have been different. Did you change soaps, was he around anything else that was different. This will help when you go to the doctor. Your doctor will be able to see on paper everything that is going on. It helps the doctor see that you really are checking everything and you want answers. It also makes sure you do not forget and leave something out that may help diagnose your son. Doctors tend to rush in and out of appointments so fast that we do not even get time to remember everything we want to say. I always bring in a list of what I want to talk about so something does not get left out. Your poor son, that must be very hard for you. Good Luck.

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A.V.

answers from Minneapolis on

I am sorry about what is happening with your son. But I hope what I offer can be of a help to him. My daughter has eczema as well. She started when she was an infant. Dont use baby soaps. I use oatmeal soaps you can buy at just foods or at Trader Joe's. They work great and use Bert's Bee's baby shampoo. Or you can use Aveeno products. They work just great. Be careful with the laundry soaps--my girl breaks out big time if she touches sheets washed with Tide. I use ALL (no perfume or dyes) Arm and Hammer is another good laundry soap to use. I use aveeno Hydrocortisone anti itch cream. This works very good. The first few years the back of her neck was very bloody. It was just awful. But I have noticed that since she has gotten older, it seems come back less and less. Soo that is good news. She is now 8, and she has a few spots on her arm that don't even bother her. It may be because we are not using anything that is affecting her.

As for the outbreaks on your son's mouth/cheeks, my sister's boy has exactly the same problem and she does not give him any dairy products at all. He breaks out if dairy touches him--even if his sister who was eating cereal and gave him a kiss on the cheek..you can see the outline of her lips! Gosh! She gives him soy milk--Continent 8. I know your boy is too young to drink soy milk but try soy baby formula-not the lactose free one. My sister says he is not allergy to the lactose, its the other thing in milk that is causing this. Sorry I dont know the name...As for the cheerios...I dont know what to say about this, but maybe he is allergy to wheat too. Better just stay with food that doesn't affect him and after the allergy test you will be able to know what he can eat. Trader Joe's, Just Food, Cub at the organic aisle offer many gluten free products. People who work at Trader Joe's and Just Food may help you with more ideas. Good Luck!!

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D.G.

answers from Minneapolis on

Take charge, Mommy!!!
Get a new doctor, don't accept this guy's diagnosis b/c he's a nice guy.

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T.Z.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi K. -
I'm so sorry about what you're going thru! When my oldest was a baby he had eczema and colic - our ped. told us he would just out grow it - well at age 4 years old, we decided to try a Chiropractor due to his on-going eczema and some behavior issues. The Chiropractor did the applied kinselogy (although I was very skeptical) - well to my disbelieve it turns out he is intolerant of dairy and eggs. We removed them from his diet and his eczema is gone and his behavior has improved tremendously! We have also done some other dietary changes that has helped him as well. Definately log everything your child eats and try doing an elimination diet. The difficult thing with food intolerances/insensitivities is that they can take hours to days to appear. It can be so difficult to understand food lables and you will need to educate yourself on all the different types of 'words' that are actually milk. I started searching web-sites and subscribing to nutritional type magazines. Alot of times Dr.'s will just treat the symptoms and don't look any farther than that, so as a mom you need to be diligent and insisting on testing or change Dr.'s. Best of luck!

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J.B.

answers from Madison on

Hi K. :)

My daughter had allergy tests done at 5 months old. These tests didn't involve any needles but instead they put drops of liquid on her back, each containing a highly concentrated dose of whatever it was they wanted to test for (in her case it was dairy, gluten and eggs). I would ask your doctor for a referral to a pedeatric allergist...they might be able to do an allergy test that doesn't involve needles. My daughter's tests came back negative for any allergies but that does not mean that she's not intolerant to something. Our allergist explained that when they test for allergies, they only check to see if there is a reaction to the sugars in that food...yet an intolerance means there is a reaction to the protein in that food. We also had a celiac disease test done on her since I noticed her reactions are connected to gluten. This came back negative but that does not mean that she's not gluten intolerant. There is celiac disease AND gluten intolerant (non celiac), so maybe read up on both of those to see if your son has symptoms of one or the other. The suggestion to keep a food diary is excellent (as well as keeping track of detergents, soaps, etc). Doing this should really help you see a pattern if there is one. Last but not least, don't feel like a bad mom!! Good for you for catching this early on and for trying to get this resolved for your son! Good luck and hang in there :)

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D.H.

answers from Minneapolis on

Are you Breast or bottle feeding? Or a mix of both? I've been through this twice. My 3 yr old had VERY bad eczema. She ended up having an allergy to dairy, nuts, eggs. I but all of that out of my diet, and from hers when she started table foods.
They didn't do an allergy test on her until she was 18 months old. But that was my choice. I think a year is the soonest most Drs. will do the testing, but if you want it done, then push the issue.

You know your not a bad mom, and I know you can't help feeling that way. I felt the exact same way. So with dd2 I was prepared, and once the eczema break outs started I knew what to do.
Dairy can stay in the system for up to 6 weeks.
You might also want to try changing your detergent, anything free of perfumes and dyes should work nicely.
You could try switching to Dove soap too, it's very gentle on the skin.
Limit baths to 10 mins in lukewarm water. Apply Aquaphor after his bath. Blot him dry, and slather him in the Aquaphor.
I love Aquaphor because it's thick, and it actually helps to heal the skin, while keeping it very moisturized. I still apply it on my 11 mo old with every diaper change.
You could mix the Aquaphor with the creams for his face, that will help too.
All of this should help to cut down on his itching.

He could have a gluten and wheat or soy allergy.
I hope you get everything resolved soon.

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L.S.

answers from Minneapolis on

Have you seen the book Is this your child? by Doris Rapp. It can help pinpiont alleriges . I also went to an alternative Dr. a chiropractor that helped a lot in finding out what to avoid. My boy avoids wheat, dairy, citrus,potato, chocolate, nuts and caffeine-- he's much happier when off these. L.

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A.D.

answers from Omaha on

You should talk with your doctor about Celiac's disease. It is when your body is allergic to gluten. There are great website out with great recipes for gluten free meals. My son was about the same age when he started showing signs of Celiac's. They do a blood test that checks for it.

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S.G.

answers from Rapid City on

My youngest son was only 11 months old when we found he had a milk, wheat, corn, bean, peanut, chocolate and banana allergies. He did out grow them by the time he was 5. He still doesn't get peanuts and chocolate since we figured it didn't matter if he outgrew them, they aren't nessessary anyway. I was told to give him rice crispies or rice cereal, to use bleached flour and make sure the bread is bleached on the wheat. Cherrios is a whole grain I believe so it could cause trouble. Back when he was small there wasn't the choices of lactose free milk in our area so he only had a little bit on his cereal. I don't know if he was really lactose sensitive or not, seemed that cheese and ice cream never bothered him.

Good luck, keep a journal to see what gives him problems and what doesn't. Good chance that he will outgrow the allergies by the time he is 5.

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K.B.

answers from Minneapolis on

My son has mild eczema, nowhere near as bad as yours though, I don't think. He had an oat allergy, which we found out the first time he ate oatmeal cereal and got a rash over his whole body. The doctor told us to avoid any more oats until he was a year old. We did that, and he now eats cheerios by the boxful with no ill effects. However, at that one year mark we gave my son eggs for the first time and he got the big red patches around his mouth and cheeks that your son got with cheerios. So now he's off eggs until he turns two, then we'll try again.
AS far as the eczema goes, we just try to keep him really lotioned up, use all fragrance-free, dye-free detergents, soaps, lotions, etc.

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B.B.

answers from Minneapolis on

I have a friend with the same issues with her baby, they have switched to gluten-dairy free diet and it has worked great! It's a big commitment, but worth it.

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G.E.

answers from La Crosse on

I'm so sorry K.. I know how you feel. I went through the same thing with my daughter. I don't know if my experience will help in your case but I believe that my daughter was allergic to the Burt's Bees babywash we were using. We stopped using it and she was fine. Then one day my MIL unknowingly put a little Burt's Bees baby lotion on her and the eczema came back. Anyway, it might be something topical or a laundry detergent or something other than food that is causing the outbreak.

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S.J.

answers from Minneapolis on

There are expensive tests that you can take - at any age. But the easiest way is to do an elimination test with his food. At no other time in his life will you have the complete control to be able to do this. The most common cause of your son's symptoms are gluten and dairy. Many mainstream doctors are not yet aware of this, but you don't need to wait for them to catch up. I would start by eliminating all sources of dairy and gluten. This is complicated at first - most grains have gluten (including wheat, barley, amaranth, spelt, oats is debated right now so best to avoid, ...) . Stick with rice and a little corn. There are lots of choices out there - many stores now have a gluten free area.

It sounds daunting at first, but you can adapt and then it's easy. My 3 year old knows he can't have gluten, and will ask "does this have gluten?" when someone tries to give him a cookie. He accepts it as a fact of life, and gets plenty of gluten free fun food. It is worth it. (By the way, the pediatricians we consulted told us my son has no gluten problem, but his symptoms show up each time we test it - and only then.

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K.S.

answers from Madison on

I truly sympathize with your situation as you feel so helpless watching your child have these issues. Sounds very similar to what my son experienced. We visited Dermatology regularly without any sign of improvement...just kept getting prescriptions for topical lotions. Finally, at the age of 2 when the itching was just unbearable for my son, our pediatrician got us into an allergist. I cannot say enough how thankful I am for that allergist coming into our lives! The allergist immediately did a blood test for the various categories of food allergies. As a result, we found out our son was allergic to eggs, which had been in so many things he was regularly eating. We put him on an egg-free diet which worked wonders. We were told at that time, it was too early to test for environmental allergies. The doctor prescribed the antihistamines Zyrtec and Singulair as well as Hydroxyzine - all oral medications - which were meant to cover all possible allergies. The eczema did remain, but to a much more manageable extent. For that, the allergist prescribed creams such as Halobetasol(steroid cream), Elidel, and a Hydrocortisone/Aquafor combination lotion. My son is now 5, and I am still amazed at how much all of his symptoms have improved. He did grow out of the egg allergy, but received confirmation through tests that he does still have environmental ones (i.e., fresh cut grass). At least now we have the proper medication on hand to help him. He also still has some eczema, but is very limited. After this happened to us, I have come across so many other families dealing with similar issues, including a neighbor whose children are allergic to what seems like everything. I truly wish all of the best to you and your son.

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L.P.

answers from Appleton on

Hi there,
My son is 20 months and we had trouble with eczema too. I have a friend whose son and daughter went through something similar to your son and they were tested before a year. We have met with an allergist recently b/c he had a peanut reaction. While my son is older than yours, I think you would benefit talking to an allergist rather than just your pediatrician. My friends children went through a food challenge and his daughter has outgrown many of the allergies. You are definitely not a bad mom! I felt the same way b/c my son was so miserable and itchy...it's just hard b/c they cannot communicate. I hope a pediatric allergist will help your son the way mine helped mine. Hope that helps

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H.C.

answers from Omaha on

K.,
I have an aunt that had her skin break out for years (25+) and now she has tried a gluten free diet and her skin is clear for the first time. She was on many medications to clear them up and nothing worked until she went gluten free. My father in-law, sister in-law and husband are all gluten intolerant and all have various symptoms. The grocery stores are getting a lot of gluten free product. My mother in-law would suggest celiac sprue for dummies; she has read a lot of books on this and says this is the clearest and most accurate. Please email with any questions.

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G.H.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi K.,

You are a GOOD MOM!!! :)

Here's my experience. My son had the same issues... we went to the nutritionist. We did the "elimination diet"- anything with dairy, caesin (part of dairy), wheat, and anything else with gluten (wheat, rye, barley, oats).
Both my kids and myself are now on the GLUTEN FREE and CAESIN/ DAIRY FREE DIET. We are changed people. Way better.
My son went through everything with itching. It was horrible!!!

Both of our kids were also ALLERGY TESTED. (Dr. William Walsh in St. Paul will test kids who are very young- no one else I have found would test kids under 5 y.o. I also saw Dr. William Walsh as a teenager- great Dr- unique and eccentric- but VERY GOOD.) They both tested positive for wheat/ gluten- exceptionally high levels of reaction, and moderate level of reaction for dairy (and our son moderate for eggs as well). It was good info for us to have so that we could help them.

Our NUTRITIONIST is Mark Norman, he is located in Baldwin, WI and is in Shoreview, MN once a week, or will do phone appointments as well.

If you are in the area, a good store for starting out is FRESH AND NATURAL (they have four Twin Cities locations). ALL of the GLUTEN FREE foods are labeled with a RED arrow on the tag. All of the CAESIN/ DAIRY FREE foods are labeled with a YELLOW arrow on the tag. It makes life so much easier. What I have found is that a good majority of the foods that are gluten free are also caesin free.

I hope this helps.....

PLEASE feel free to email me if you have ANY questions. I know that this is a very difficult and exhausting road to travel.

Here's my offer of hope... my kids are now 3 and 5 and know what they can and cannot eat.
Here's my warning through experience... they told me to test my kids for celiac sprue which entailed ingesting MASSIVE amounts of wheat/ gluten. I did this, and the tests were inconclusive because they would need to eat more and for a longer period of time. The bad part is that their physical and emotional reactions to the foods became excerbated exponentially- far worse than I would have imagined. and now their sensitivity to even a minute tiny bit of anything accidental is huge. If I knew then what I know now, I personally would NEVER have them tested because of the reactions and results.

An alternative idea to allergy testing (traditional) is that of "MUSCLE TESTING" or "APPLIED KINESIOLOGY". This is also highly accutate for lots of things, has virtually no side effects and is not invasive or painful. It's usually done by chiropractors, naturopaths, nutritionists or herbalists. I also did this and it was very insightful for me.

Again, I hope this helps and doesn't overwhelm you. Please take what you would like and leave the rest. Again, if you have any questions or would like more info, please feel free to contact me.

Blessings,

G.

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M.M.

answers from Minneapolis on

Okay, first of all, I feel your pain. I have a daughter who is allergic to everything under the sun... First know that you can get an allergy test done on your son. My daughter's first one was done at 6 months old and thank goodness, we found out she was anaphalatically allergic to some foods. Thank goodness we found out prior to her ingesting the food itself. They take blood and test it against the antigen. They then can tell you what he is allegic to. Eczema is very much related to wheat, and many of the kids out grow allergies by age 2. My daughter who is now 6 has outgrown a lot of hers, but the ones that are still on board are very serious to her and she probably will not out grow them. So I would start with asking your doctor for a serum test and go from there. Just know there is a huge support group of us FAAN (food allergy anaphalatic network) of parents out there who feel your fustration. The good thing is, once you find out, some of the uneasy feelings go away and you just adopt a new life style. You can drop me a note off forum if you want.

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C.K.

answers from Des Moines on

Hi K.,

I daycare a 1 1/2 year old that has had allergies from day one. She started out with milk and soy allergies, so we kept these from her as much as possible hoping she would outgrow them. Her older brother had the same allergies and outgrew them by age 2. When she was a little over a year old her mom took her back to the doctor for some more allergy tests and discovered that she was allergic to corn, but that her allergy to soy and milk had almost diminished. We were so excited until we realized how many things corn was in...corn starch, corn syrup, etc. It is awful. What I wanted to tell you is that they did allergy tests on her children at a young age and that I think you should push it. The sooner you find out what allergies your son has the sooner you can keep him off those food and maybe he will outgrow them, too. The little girl I daycare may have outgrown her allergy to corn by now if we would have known about it and kept it out of her diet. I'm not sure what we would have fed her knowing everything she was allergic to, but I do know that there is an organic aisle at Hy-Vee where we have gotten several things she can eat...from ketchup to cereal. What really caught my eye was that your little guys breaks out when he eats applesauce and we have to buy a special applesauce for this little girl, too. There is corn syrup in regular applesauce, so we have to buy the unsweetened, natural kind.

I wish you good luck...and please feel free to ask me any other questions.

C.

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T.S.

answers from Fargo on

I don't have a lot of advice for you.

First off, I am so sorry your family is going through this! My daughter @ 3.5 yrs has started showing more symptoms of eczema. Yes, she was put on a topical ointment from a dermatologist.

On the side, I had heard of Arbonne products for babies and for many and most, they work fantastically! A gal dropped off some samples for me and they are working on her. They have a body oil, hair & body wash, herbal diaper cream, body lotion, and a lotion w/ sunscreen.

I haven't yet bought the full size products as the samples are lasting quite awhile as they are really concentrated.

From my understanding, you can get these products from someone, or just sign yourself up to get the same percentage off. No contracts saying you have to buy monthly...just when you need it and no money to sign up. Maybe a rep will see my post and let you know more.

I had heard from other women with children suffering from Eczema and used these products and it healed them up.

However, if this is all allergy related, there will be more to the "fix". I was a severely allergic child, but didn't start showing signs until I was over a year old and ended up on subcontaneous (sp?) shots by the time I was 3. I did grow out of all but a couple.

I was allergic to milk and I grew up on a dairy farm...go figure! Milk man's kid and cannot consume the product! I was ok on soy, rice and goats milk.

Also, I had just heard at my MOPS group of a little guy that is allergic to milk and EVERYTHING that grows on a vine....wheat, oats, barley, soy products, and the list is HUGE!

Good luck!

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B.S.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi there K.,

I have been through the same exact things with my oldest (now 9) and we went through the entire process a very long time ago. My Daughter had her allergies tested at 10 months old via her blood. They draw blood from the most inconvenient spot (the soft spot on the head) and send it in for testing. It's not as accurate as the test on the skin but it'll give enough information to get you on the right path.
The Dr. is right about some things like exzema being aggrevated by certain foods or allergies but no where have I heard you need to dry out the skin. Exzema is extremely dry already and since your skin is an organ it needs moisture. There are great lotions you can buy over the counter that are not harmful to infants. It's not OK to use topical steriods for a long period of time as it will thin your sons skin but in worst case scenerio's it's better than having open sores. The most important thing to remember is bathing! However, the bath must not be longer than 10 minutes and no soaps. Use luke warm water as the hotter the water the more you increase the likelyhood of washing away his on natural skin oils which he needs.

We also controlled my daughter's itching with antihistamines and we started using them at a much earlier age than your son is. We got the direction from the only pediatric dermatologist in the twin cities...he's very well known but not very nice. His name is Dr. Bloom and works downtown out of the 910 medical bldg by Childrens Hospital.

I hope this helps! and as far as drastically changing his diet, I would wait unless you have a family history.

p.s. People never stop asking about my daughter and her skin....she's learned to respond herself to inquiries by simply telling them its eczema and she's fine :-)

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P.H.

answers from Green Bay on

We have the same problem. My son was a little older when we discovered that he has allergies. He is allergic to wheat, milk, soy, etc... Our doctor did do allergy tests. He drew blood and tested for as much as he was able to. We recently went to an allergist and they did do tests, also. My son is not quite a year old. We have been using the Nutramigen formula recently. We did get some samples of another type of formula that is made for children with allergies to milk and soy. It's called EleCare. We've also been reading all baby food labels to determine what he can and cannot eat. I would definitely suggest that you have your doctor perform some type of allergy tests at your next appointment. We also just recently started giving him Zyrtec to help with the itchiness and we've been using an eczema cream to help clear it up.

We get that same question about his face and I know exactly how you feel. Hang in there.

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K.S.

answers from Minneapolis on

Sounds very similar to my son, who in now 3yrs. He had excema as a baby, was very itchy, sometimes very red patches on face. At 9 months he touched peanut butter and had a reaction and had to go the hospital. He was tested, a blood test, showed that he was allergic to peanuts, cat, dog, mold and dust mites. Your baby is not too young for testing. Once we removed these allergens as best we could his skin cleared up, he is on zyrtec and hyroxzine as needed. Vanicream is a must for excema. You can find it at Walgreens, Target. After a bath use it immediately after drying off, it really helps. Elidel and Cutivate have worked for excema patches. A pediatric allergist can really help and we also have seen a pediatric dermatologist. I wish had done so earlier, his skin was so irritated and itchy as a baby, miserable for him. And us, he did not sleep well. FAAN, Food allergy and anaphalaxis network has a great website if you want some info.

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E.B.

answers from Duluth on

Dear K., Have your thought of taking your son to a holistic health professional? they can test for allergies (with out the painful scratch testing regular doctors do). I go to one in Duluth perhaps they can recommend one is your area ###-###-#### is the number for the Institute for Whole Health. They hae helped me to diagnose a milk sensititiy in my son when he was 6 months old. They will test for all types of food allergies/sensistivities and it is totally non evasive. They ate also very helpful in getting people started on the right type of diets if a food allergy is detected. You canalso check them out online at www.northlandwellness.net. They are wonderful people and would be more than happy to help you even if you decided to go to someone in your area. Good luck & God Bless

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H.D.

answers from Minneapolis on

K.,
Don't ignore these symptoms, and get your child to an allergy specialist (Allergist) right away! Food allergies can be LIFE THREATENING and can only be "treated" by strict avoidance of problem foods. Your child is not too young to be tested. Request a capRAST test. This is the only way to test an infant to determine which foods he is allergic to. For some more information visit http://www.foodallergy.org/.

I know this might sound alarmist, but it sounds like you are dealing with multiple food allergies. I have a 14month old who is allergic to dairy, and peanuts. I also have a 12 year old nephew with food allergies. I know first hand how serious a matter you are dealing with. Remember, your pediatrician may not have all the answers. Find a specialist and educate yourself. There are also support groups to help - you're not alone.

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J.P.

answers from Appleton on

Good morning K.,
First you are not a bad mom. My son, now 2 1/2 had this problem. He started with eczema right away. Than it grew into a milk allergy detected by a reaction to yogurt at 3 months. He ended up on soy formula and than soy milk. He never did end up with the wheat allergy. But he did react to things that made me wonder. So I started reading labels. A lot of times with a milk allergy, not a lactose allergy-keep in mind there is a difference, many products have milk in them. Or they are produced in a place that may contain milk products. That was enough to send him into a full reaction throughout his face down into his neck. I pulled anything that may have a hint of milk in it... i can say that he grew out of this allergy and now has no food allergies at all. He still has an occasional breakout of eczema but not on his face. It appears in the joints on his arms and legs. Mainly happens with cold dry weather. By watching his milk allergy you will find that the eczema will also clear up. I did a bunch of looking into it myself in the beginning and milk allergies can trigger eczema breakouts. Also keep in mind that each child is unique. I hope this helps you out. But it was the little things that I missed that led to an outbreak. Best of luck

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B.N.

answers from Wausau on

I only know about allergies a little bit but it definetly sounds like this is what is happening to your son. keep asking your doctor to do allergy testing my friends daughter just had it done and they only needed a prick of blood. Other than that to check out gluten-free diets go to a naturopath or some doctor of natural medicine, even in your local heatlth food store someone may have a contact or information, and you can always look up loads of info or doctors of natural health online.
best of luck.

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Y.E.

answers from Minneapolis on

I am a mother of two daughters, almost 4 and almost 2 years old, who both have food allergies. Wheat and corn are on the top of the food allergy list (with cows milk being a secondary). There is still a lot these little ones can eat ...my girls miss out on very little as far as food/variety/special treats go. Most MD's will not do blood allergy testing (Also known as IgG and IgE blood testing) for reactive foods until a child is at least 2. But if you have suspicions then eliminate that food. We saw a kinesilogist/chiropractor who does muscle testing and is also a nutritionist to get an appropriate list of what to avoid for our daughters (find one near you by looking up the Applied Kinesiology Association) and it has been right on. Now that my youngest is almost 2 and the 4 year old is still having mild troubles (also diagnosed with Sensory Integration Dsyfuntion/Sensory Processing Disorder) our MD is going to test both extensively in July. I have many recipes and a long list of safe foods for wheat and dairy allergies that I just shared with another mamasource subscriber and I would be happy to do the same for you. I have enjoyed the challenge of finding new/safe foods (I have celiacs disease -- allergic to wheat which was not diagnosed until I was 31--I didn't know what it felt like to feel good), and also my husband and I have created several recipes for cookies and pancakes that taste like the regular kind. The best advice is to only introduce one new food to your son every 4-5 days and keep a food diary for him. This way you will know what caused a reaction and can avoid it until he is older. We have done this with our girls and myself and have now been able to add a few things back into our diets. A good resource is celiacnetwork.com

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