Does ALIMENTUM (Ready to Feed) Help ECZEMA?

Updated on February 23, 2010
K.A. asks from Kirkland, WA
16 answers

My daughter has eczema, I breast feed and I know that the eczema is related to food allergies. I have been on a restricted diet able to eat only rice and meat with which she clears up. But with my restricted diet I'm afraid she is not getting enough vitamins.

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answers from Portland on

Breastmilk from a restricted diet is still much better than any formula. If you can eat rice, meat and veggies that's all a person needs for nutrition. Good luck!

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answers from Portland on

yOUR DAUGHTER will get plenty of vitamins from your milk regardless of your diet. They have a way of drawing what they need from you regardless of your intake. Taking a m=ultivitimin is a great idea. If your baby has excema she needs all the breast milk she can get. My daughter was allergic to everything under the sun for the first year and I lived on chicken and rice and greens. I know its hard but if she has a sensitive system nursing her is the best gift you can give her.

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answers from Anchorage on

I understand what you're dealing with. I nursed an allergic-to-everything baby until she was 16 months old.

First, have you had the allergy tests, both prick and patch done to make sure you know what she's allergic to?

Some other things to consider:

1. Unless you're buying organic meats it's very likely there is corn solution added to them when they are packaged.

2. Your child may be allergic to meat. Mine was - chicken, pork and beef.

3. Most things in this country have corn added to them. Check everything for hidden sources of corn - even your bag of rice. This site is amazingly helpful in finding hidden sources of corn:

My blog includes recipes that are all corn-free. Mine is not near as robust as others including the one above, but it's a start:

I tried to give my daughter Alimentum when I accidentally ate something with an allergen in it, but she flat out refused it. She would rather not eat at all than eat it.

Good luck and know that you and your daughter will be healthier at the end of this learning curve.

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answers from Seattle on

Your daughter is getting all the vitamins she needs from your milk. Not all eczema is allergy related, Especially food allergy related. Been there, done that when it comes to eczema. It could be your laundry detergent or an environmental issues (feathers, dustmites, molds, etc.) Stress also can cause eczema, and even though they are babies, they can be stressed.

Talk with your pediatrician. They can take a blood test and see if she's deficient in any area. Depending on old she is, an allergy test might be performed. Until you know for certain what allergies she has, there's no real knowing what she will be able to consume without aggrevating her condition. It will be trial and error. You don't say how old she is, so trial and error may be problematic.

I wish you well.

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answers from Seattle on

I would caution you before going on self-help diagnosis and treatment quests for the eczema of your baby. Speak to a pediatric dermatologist and get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. He may refer you to a nutritionist as well to help you set up an elimination diet plan that works.

Generally switching to formula is a bad idea if your baby has eczema. You may get a positive reaction initially, but there is no guarantee that it will last and that your baby won't become sensitized to the formula your using. Breast is best, especially for babies with eczema.

For most people allergies and sensitivities are cumulative. So if you have not done so yet, go on a quest to rid your household of common culprits: Laundry detergent, beauty products, cleaning agents, dust, mold...
And remember, even if you think you are limiting your child's exposure, just as something you eat may cause a reaction in her, something you wear (make-up, moisturizer, laundry detergent) will expose your child. If your child's eczema is mild to moderate, that may already eliminate most of the issues.

As for your worries about nutrition, a vitamin supplement is probably a better idea - for both of you.

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answers from Spokane on

Have you tried "California Baby" Calendula Cream? We had tried everything with our little guy who has really bad eczema that would bleed and crack. No kidding, 2-3 applications of the cream and he was better! I now use it once a day, and though it's a little expensive, the results are priceless! Good luck!!

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answers from Bellingham on

We used alimentum.. it helped with my daughters colic etc. Does asthma run in your family? If so you need to be careful and watch for asthma symptoms. Eczema is often related to asthma.

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answers from Seattle on

I tried it with my first daughter. Long story short it smells nasty and she wouldn't take it. You could try it and pump.

We just roughed it out. With my second daughter I drank soy milk and that cleared her up. I was still able to eat cheese. Also remember this is the time of year eczema flairs up. Use a really creamy/thick lotion (I use aquafor ointment) and don't use soap with baths. Also don't give baths often as this will dry out the skin.
Good luck.

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answers from Portland on

My son developed eczema at 3.5 months. At 6 months he was tested positive for allergies to wheat, dairy, egg, soy, peanuts, and dogs. However, the doctor said those could be false positives due to the eczema. We got a 2% steroid cream prescription from the doctor for the really tough times and switched to Nutramigen formula at 7.5 months (after I restricted my diet for six weeks, then had problems with plugged ducts). I don't know if he was growing out of it or the formula/cream helped, but he rarely has any issues with eczema anymore. We are coming up on his one year birthday and will get him retested for allergies. Good luck! I know how miserable it is to watch your little one itching and being so uncomfortable!

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answers from Eugene on

Your breast milk will contain anything she needs. It is you who will end up with deficiencies on such a restricted diet, especially since your daughter is pulling nutrients from your system that you may be low on--such as calcium from your bones and teeth.

You might want to work with a naturopath or nutritionist who works with herbs and food based supplements and may be able to help you with her excema but also with addressing any potential nutritional issues.

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answers from Seattle on

unfortunaly there is not a cure for exzema, some things may make better or worse but no guarentees.
Switching my son to soy forumula helped, and at 2 he drinks lactose free milk which seems to make it better. Did not have to eliminate all dairy just limit his dairy intake.
Using dye free soaps and Free derergent helps to.

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answers from Portland on

I just wanted to give you a hug. I KNOW WHAT YOU'RE GOING THROUGH! My son is 11 months and he's had eczema since about 6 weeks old. Still does. I'm assuming the doctor prescribed the diet... though I don't see why once she's cleared up you couldn't experiment with foods one at a time, and see how they react, thus adding things back in. And take a multivitamin, for sure!

I haven't gone on such a strict diet. It's especially hard, because I have to cook everything from scratch for my family, and being vegetarian, it would be hard to just pick two foods... Maybe beans? But seasoned with what? Seasonings are foods too. Anyhow, my son is a year old, and eating some foods--enough, I hope, that I can soon wean him. You didn't say how old your daughter is. If she's still tiny, then I think I agree with the other mothers: weaning isn't a good idea. She could become sensitized to the formula.

But... you can't stay on a meat and rice diet for months, either.

Seriously, I would talk to your daughter's pediatrician. I'm going to talk to ours before I actually wean. I need to be sure I'm on the right track.

And good luck! I know it's not easy. Sometimes it's hell. But I hold out hope for a better tomorrow--especially the hope that my son will outgrow his allergies eventually. Your daughter probably will too.

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answers from Portland on

I've never used it, but my son was allergic to tons & I had ot do your diet. Ultimately, after about he was about a year old his allergies went away alittle at a time & I was able to eat more & he didn't break out. But it just takes time.

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answers from Portland on

I just posted this a few days ago on a different thread about eczema but I will post it again for your benefit:

For her eczema, I would recommend you look into 2 things: first would be constitutional homeopathic treatment which I have heard can really do wonders at helping eczema (and its underpinnings) long-term. We are looking at eventually doing that for our daughter who has pretty severe eczema as well. It is a bit expensive so we have been putting it off until we can afford it (a few hundred dollars for a session and it may require several sessions depending on how well the first chosen remedy works). -----this part is not as relevant to your case but still true---- Because even though his eczema may be caused by food allergies, the fact that his body is reacting to everyday foods usually indicates that it's off kilter a little bit. His body is on overdrive and hyper alert and causing reactions to things that it should not normally react to. So the homeopathic treatment helps the body come back into balance so it doesn't react unnecessarily to substances like food.-----

In the meantime, we have been using a hazelwood necklace for our daughter's eczema. It sounds really weird, I know, but it really works. So much so that we built an online business around them because we have seen them help so many people. The wood is alkaline and naturally absorbs acidity from the skin as it's touching it. It is worn as a necklace or if you are uncomfortable with that around your baby's neck, it can be looped around his ankle twice and covered by a sock so he doesn't play with it. In our 2 years experience with the hazelwood necklaces, we have found that they significantly help people's eczema in about 70% of cases. Acidity is a common root factor to eczema and though you do need to keep replacing the necklace (every 4-6 months usually if the eczema is more severe) meaning it's not a permanent fix of the problem, it completely keeps our daughter's skin breakout free and therefore we can avoid having to use any detrimental steroids ointments and petroleum products just to keep her skin clear. We have no doubt the hazelwood necklaces are what's working because if we take it off her for even a few hours (recently we had to take it off for 6 hours) her eczema comes back very quickly! It usually takes a day or 2 for it to go away again after we put the necklace back on (and we also use a hazelwood zinc ointment that speeds the process along).

When we originally discovered these necklaces she was 3 months old and just covered with eczema. Within 2 weeks of her wearing it, it was virtually gone. We couldn't believe it which is why we built our online business so more people could have access to them as they were virtually unknown and not commonly available in the US (in Canada however (especially Quebec where they are made), they are commonly sold in drugstores!). She is over 2 now and no one would know she has eczema unless we tell them! Her skin is almost always clear.

Anyway, I don't tell you this to make a sale but truly because of how much we have benefited from them ourselves. Until we can get some more permanent healing for our daughter through homeopathy, these necklaces are our God-send! Our website where you can read a lot more about how they work and testimonials of many people whom they have helped with various conditions (including eczema)is

I'm also happy to answer any other questions you might have...

I really do hope you find so help and some solutions to what you are dealing with. I know it's so hard to see our little ones suffering!

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answers from Portland on

I'm not familiar with alimentum. I also don't think that, if your daughter has food allergies that switching to a formula is necessarily going to help. She may be allergic to the many other ingredients. Formula usually contains artificial ingredients as well as a dairy or non-dairy protein source. Your breast milk contains many more, higher quality vitamins and minerals than any formula could supply.

Your body provides for your daughter's vitamin, mineral, and other nutritional needs before it provides for yours. I suggest that you take as high a quality supplement that you can. This will provide for both you and your daughter.

I can sympathize with your limited diet. And, if I were you, want to get her on a formula so that I could eat more normally. However, I have a lot of food allergies myself and have been on a diet consisting of rice and lamb or chicken. It's difficult. I ended up with a chronic headache each time I tried it and had to modify it more quickly than is recommended. I suspect that the headaches were the result of tension rather than the diet. I rely a great deal on food for comfort. And I was on the diet because I was not feeling well and was already stressed.

Has the doctor told you about the elimination diet. This sounds like what you're on. You do eat just the 2 foods for a set period of time and then you add other foods one at a time, again waiting a period of time before adding the next one. Instead of watching for reactions from your body, you're watching for reactions in your baby.

You don't say how old your baby is. Has she been tested for allergies? You can start adding foods by not adding the foods and their "relatives" to which she has tested allergic.

My granddaughter was bottle fed after the first 3 months and she was allergic to milk. My daughter used the formula, Nutrimigen, for her after trying 1-2 others that were also not dairy based. This worked.

Most formulas come in both "ready to feed" and powder form. I'm wondering why you're interested in the "ready to feed" which is more expensive and more difficult in some ways to use for everyday. It is handy at times. There are storage issues. We tried "ready to feed" and my daughter decided she preferred the powder.

If the reason that you want to change to formula is to provide her with more vitamins then do not switch. Your breast milk, even when you're on a limited diet, is more nutritious.

If you want to change to formula because of your limited diet, I urge you to try adding foods to your diet, one at a time, to find the variety of foods that she can tolerate.

A note on eczema. My granddaughter also has eczema. Hers does not seem to be affected by diet. It improves and nearly goes away when her mother and she religiously apply an emollient cream twice a day. She also takes an anti-histamine. Your daughter may be too young for an anti-histamine. And you may already be doing the keeping her skin hydrated routine. I'm suggesting that if you've not talked with an allergist there may be other things that you can do to keep your daughter's eczema under control which would take some of the pressure off of diet.

I learned that the baby who has eczema has a different skin make up (this is my granddaughter's diagnosis); therefore it cannot be cured, only managed.
However, baby onset food allergies are often outgrown. My daughter is no longer allergic to milk and dairy products. I hadn't thought of it before but perhaps eczema caused by food allergies will eventually go away too.



answers from Washington DC on

Hello, My son has multiple food allergies/intolerances. I supplemented him with alimentum (powder kind) like 5 times and each time he broke out in a mild rash which disappeared after a couple of days. When i weaned him at 10 months, i tried using alimentum powder and again he broke out in a rash, only this time worse than before. I switched to alimentum ready to feed and the rash completely dissappeard. It seems like that is the only formula he can tolerate. I hate the smell and really hate how it makes his bowel movements really really dark almost black and smelly. But his eczema is flaring up again now that im introducing new food into his diet.

Im not sure why you are switching to alimentum, but I hated HATED breastfeeding, and I only did it for as long as I did because my son had so much food allergies. If your restricted diet isnt making you feel miserable, I think it would be best to keep breastfeeding and supplement your diet with high grade vitamins and minerals.

It seems like your daughter is really sensitive like my son. Is she allergic to corn? How is she doing now? I tried my son on Neocate and he broke out in a terrible rash which led me to believe that he must be allergic to corn (corn syrup). Because he broke out in a horrible rash on Nutramigen and that contains corn syrup as well. My doctor tells me that its impossible to be allergic to corn syrup. Isnt that so funny?

Let us know how your daughter is doing. I know how tough and frustrating this is for you. Hang in there.

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