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How an Elimination Diet Cured My Daughter’s Eczema and Gastrointestinal Tract {GUEST POST}

This is a guest post from Nikki at Christian Mommy Blogger and has been reviewed by Sheila Kilbane, MD.

Do you have a breastfed baby with eczema? There is hope! 

breastfed baby has eczema

Maybe “cured” is a strong word. She still has eczema. She still has gastrointestinal tract issues. She has “struggled” since day one, however, I finally found the cure for my baby’s eczema – through diet. Here is my story (the Reader’s Digest condensed version).

Karli was born on Christmas Eve last year. She was born at just over 6 pounds, but was a mere 5.6 pounds when I brought her home from the hospital. I stress “I” because my husband was deployed during her birth, another stressor during this early time.

Breastfed Baby With Eczema 

  1. Frail, fragile, gassy: For the first several weeks of her life I swore I was done with breastfeeding every day. “That’s it. No more for me. I am going to the bottle. I can’t handle this!” I won’t delve into the specifics here, but she didn’t latch well, she was too frail and fragile and she was extremely gassy.
  2. Irregular digestion: Would you believe she only went #2 once every 5 to 7 days? I found that was not uncommon with breastfed babies, but I later learned it should get more regular as they grow. Her “poop” schedule did not get more regular. In fact, at 11 months it was still not regular.
  3. Eczema and extremely dry skin: Karli had red splotchy spots on her skin. She had very dry skin. She would scream and cry at the mere thought of the bath tub (okay, maybe a newborn didn’t know she was going into the bath, but I did. And she hated it). NOTE: We have a new post here at KS about knocking back eczema without changing the diet, in case the other bullet points here don’t sound like you.
  4. Loss of weight/not gaining weight when growing: She was eating regularly by about 3 months old. I started to think we were in the clear with her digestive health and she was putting on weight (though she was still very little). It was short lived. Around 4 months she basically stopped gaining weight. By her 10 month check up she weighed in at 15 1/2 pounds. She was tall and scrawny.
  5. Dark circles/sunken eyes: To be honest, she had those bags under her eyes with dark circles since (almost) day one. I failed to notice this as a symptom. It is a clear sign that your child is fighting something.

Please note, aside from all of these “little baby” symptoms, cognitively she was spot on. Her growth points throughout these months were solid, except for her size. She didn’t let her size get her down. She was always quite a little firecracker and we usually refer to her as “wild!”

RELATED: Breastfeeding a Baby with Food Allergies.

eczema in breastfed baby on cheek

How We Tried to Find a Natural Remedy for Baby Eczema

The above symptoms were not “Food allergy symptoms” in my mind. They were simply “symptoms.” We went to 4 doctors before finding our current doctor (who is uh-mazing). Each doctor (pediatrician, dermatologist, pediatric dermatologist, and internist) prescribed a different cream and suggested to just “let her grow out of it.”

Clearly, none of these doctors had been woken up by their tiny little baby clawing at herself until she was bleeding. Screaming and crying simply because her gut was miserable.

But we tried the creams. We ended up finally finding a prescribed anti-histamine and a prescribed skin oil that helped keep her eczema under control. She had some relief (and so did we!). Problem solved? No. Problem covered up.

My husband and I dabble in natural remedies (and are learning more) but are somewhat quick to take prescriptions as needed to just “fix the problem NOW!” After six (or so) months of the medicine however, we felt as though she needed to have a break. We needed to stop patching and start curing the problem. Enter: our 4th (and final) doctor – the man with the plan!

Katie here, interrupting because I can’t tell you how many doctors have told me that a skin issue likely isn’t related to food, even eczema. Dr Shiela Kilbane is convinced otherwise. In this interview I talked to her about how she became convinced, and how eliminating one food can make a HUGE difference for eczema.

This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Sheila Kilbane, M.D. of Infinite Health in Charlotte, NC, and founder of Healthy Kids, Happy Moms.

Eczema in Babies Foods to Avoid

Our (new) doctor asked us a series of questions to get to know us. This was already a bit different for us. “Did he actually care about us? I mean really care?” We asked ourselves this question throughout the appointment and each time we shared this story with our friends and family.

Yes, yes he did care. He genuinely wanted (still wants) to fix Karli from the inside out.

Doc: “Nikki, in my opinion, Karli has some very clear, common symptoms of food allergies.”

 

Me: “Common? I have been to 3 other doctors, no mention at all of food allergies?”

Doc: “Well, I think that is the path we need to take right now. The creams haven’t been working and there is more going on here. Have you tried eliminating gluten and dairy from your diet?”

Me: “NO BUT I WILL DO ANYTHING I NEED TO DO.”

Doc: “Perfect. Let’s eliminate most everything and give you both a break.”

Me: “Me? I’m fine. I am worried about her.”

Doc: *smile/snicker* “Ok, here is a sheet of what you CAN eat, it is easier than following what you cannot eat.

Me: “Should I stop breastfeeding if I am giving her these allergen foods through me?”

Doc: “Not a chance, keep breastfeeding. Don’t stop. And you may want to consider going past a year.”

Done and done. Eliminate this, eat more of that. Breastfeed. Got it.

He also mentioned that the eczema is what I can see on the outside. Due to food intolerance and allergies, her gut on the inside was struggling. Her body wasn’t able to take in all of the nutrients of the food I was giving her because it was already becoming damaged. He said once her gut has a chance to rest through this diet, she would start “packing on the pounds.”

Eczema Elimination Diet

I started on my modified elimination diet on November 10. By Thanksgiving Karli had clear skin and had already gained half of a pound!

By December 1, we had discontinued the use of any medication. Her skin is free and clear and oh so cute and….squishy!

Yesterday, December 13, Karli weighed in at 17 pounds. Yes, she is little for an 11 1/2 month old, but she is really “packing on the pounds”! After one month of the elimination diet she has gained 2 pounds. That is progress people! That is a cure.

RELATED: Katie’s Elimination Diet Recipes.

What Baby Eczema Taught Me

  1. Find a doctor who cares for you from the inside out. Medicating, covering up, patching what is broken. These are good qualities in a doctor, and one’s that I appreciate, but they are not fixing the root problem, regardless of the severity of your condition.
  2. If breastfeeding, keep on keepin’ on. With all of these dietary restrictions, some have thought (and actually mentioned to me) it would be best and easiest to stop breastfeeding. After all, Karli is 11 1/2 months old. I personally decided that the benefits of breastfeeding outweighed the struggles of the elimination diet. Added perk? By sticking to the elimination diet, I have fixed my own health struggles. I would not have discovered my own food allergies (and years of build up due to intolerance) had I not given my body a break from gluten and dairy due to the elimination diet for my daughter.
  3. Keep a record of symptoms and time frames. Even if you think a symptom may not be directly related to a specific ailment, let the doctor make that decision (no offense). If the doctor really cares about fixing you from the inside out, he or she will need a lot of information.
  4. Don’t put this off! If you think there is any chance, any chance at all, that your child (or you!) could have a food allergy, go to the doctor – or try an elimination diet. Right away. Anytime before 2, your child’s gastrointestinal tract is so fragile. By removing foods with allergens, you allow your child’s gut to grow and get stronger. By 2, you can perhaps introduce these foods, properly prepared, and find that the allergy is no longer there. This information is directly from my doctor (a resource I thoroughly trust).

Dr. Lauren Jefferis Weighs In on Skin Issues and Eczema 

Katie had an opportunity to interview Dr. Lauren Jefferis and they talked about all sorts of things – you can watch the full interview here or this little snippet below is where we talked about eczema and other skin issues.

Resources
  • Dr. Cranton’s explanation of the benefits of an elimination diet plus a detailed list of all things to be eliminated and avoided.
  • Need to find a good doctor? My doctor (a D.O. – Ophthalmologist) recommends going to Osteopathic.org. Search terms to “live by” for a doctor: integrative, holistic, osteopathy (“D.O.”)
Have you experienced food allergies in your own life or your children’s lives? How have you identified these?
healing eczema in breastfed babies
Nikki from Christian Mommy Blogger with her breastfed babyNikki blogs at Christian Mommy Blogger, sharing about her life with 2 girls, a wonderful husband, and a strong faith. She shares recipes, encouragement for homemakers, gardening, home organization, and humorous family stories, all to help inspire you to keep a godly home.

Unless otherwise credited, photos are owned by the author or used with a license from Canva or Deposit Photos.

106 thoughts on “How an Elimination Diet Cured My Daughter’s Eczema and Gastrointestinal Tract {GUEST POST}”

  1. Rebecca Robinson

    I love your post. I had this happen with my fourth child. Nothing I had read or lived/experienced with my other three prepared me for my little one literally clawing himself to bleeding. No book or other mom’s advice ever prepares you for that!
    Mine was tested via blood draw and came back allergic to wheat, eggs, milk and oranges. They run on a scale from 0-9 and his are 1 & 2 so hopefully he will outgrow them. In the mean time I have taken the stance of cutting out 99% of allergens. If he has a food high in allergens he gets a dose of antihistamine. I do my best to cut out at least 2 of the three main ones (oranges are super easy to avoid) and then he can have to food. I’m of the belief that if I cut it out 100% it may cause the reaction to be worse in the long run. I have made most of the family turn to a modified vegan diet. My older boys eat a normal school lunch if they want to buy it and we still eat out just being more choosy about what we pick. You are doing an amazing job as a Mama and looking for what is best for your little. Keep it up!

    1. I too have talked to 3 different doctors and they all said stick to the cream which i think made my baby’s eczema worse.I was told by a family friend pediatrician might be caused by my diet so niw I am going to try a hypoallergenic diet.I hope this works.Just can’t stand looking at my baby with all her rashes.

  2. Oh boy, how I can relate! Food allergies ended up being the primary trigger for my son’s eczema as well. Thanks to an elimination diet, homeopathy, finding the right creams, and some changes to household products, he’s 99% better. We are thankful every day!

    1. I’m dealing with my 6 month old’s eczema and have been on a modified elimination diet for 3 months. Starting total elimination today because the flare ups are still awful. What creams worked for your son? We’ve tried every natural cream out there and none work – only cortisone gives him relief, which I don’t want to use. Any suggestions? How old was your son when an elimination diet was done and is his eczema still gone today?

  3. Erica Mersfleder

    Those who have done the elimination diet for their children, can you elaborate on how long the food is removed, how quickly symptoms (our case eczema and u der eye circles) improved, how long to wait to try a challenge with the food and how quickly symptoms returned? I am trying to ID triggers in my 7 yr old. She tested allergic to nuts on her skin prick test, but after 3 month off of nuts there was no improvement. I then looked at her RAST results (which the allergist dismissed as meaningless). Positive for wheat, eggs, milk, and soy. Eliminated wheat and soy and thought we were seeing improvement, but then we reintroduced wheat and it took 72 hours before a flare up. Removed wheat again and after a week she looked much better. 3 days later she had another flare up. desperate I decided we needed to remove all foods that came up on her skin test to see what would happen. This is extremely hard to eliminate wheat, eggs, dairy, soy, and nuts all at the same time (I even threw in corn free to be safe). After 3 days she was much better. 3 days after that she flared up again. I am left wondering is it the ketchup she eats tons of every day (but that is a steady dose in her diet so why the ups and downs)? Is it the chocolate in the enjoy life brand cookies I found for her that are free of everything else? Is it the hand full of potato chips my husband slipped up and gave her (24 hr before the most reent flare) that contain milk and soy ingredients? Is it something else in her environment unrelated to diet? Am I just not giving her body long enough off of these potential allergens to heal and i just need to be patient and wait? I really want to get eggs back in her diet so that I know she is getting protein and healthy fat on the morning (and thank goodness it is one food she doesnt put ketchup on). I feel like we have never gotten her stable during elimination of these foods so I cannot make any conclusions if she flares once they are added back. Please help!

    1. Shannon Brown

      An allergy often has an immediate response. An intolerance can take longer. You may be seeing the delay on wheat because it’s an intolerance. Either way, you may need to simplify her diet to see what’s wrong. I don’t want it to seem I’m promoting my blog on another blog but I interviewed an author and reviewed a book that might give you some help. Ignore the title. As I mention in the review, there’s a lot of good allergen info in it. http://enjoyingglutenfreelife.com/dana-laake-of-the-kid-friendly-adhd-autism-cookbook/

    2. Erica – It is best to remove foods for 3 to 4 weeks before adding them back in to note any reaction. Once a food is challenged it can take a few days to note any reaction. With an actual allergy you would see an immediate response.

      It is really important to focus on a few things while doing an elimination diet with children: focus on nutrient dense foods which will address nutrient deficiencies and focus on detoxifying foods (cruciferous veggies), while keeping out chemicals from the home (use natural cleaners and body care products) and food (always use 100% organic, GMO-free food).

      You can use the this link on our website as a guide to the elimination diet: http://www.nourishingmeals.com/2010/01/elimination-and-detoxification-diet-its.html

      We don’t recommend doing the 2-day green smoothie cleanse for children of course, but rather adding these in daily to support the liver and gut. It is best to add in organic turkey, lamb, chicken, and wild salmon daily during all phases, especially for a child who is experiencing many allergies.

      Here are a few meal ideas:
      Breakfast ~ leftover wild salmon, baked yams, and a green smoothie
      Lunch ~ soaked and slow cooked sticky brown rice, Indian spiced mung beans, roasted cauliflower
      Dinner ~ Organic chicken and vegetable soup
      Snacks ~ cinnamon sunflower truffles (recipe on our site), carrot sticks, apple slices

      There are so many foods that will work on an elimination diet while promoting healing….and keeping your child satiated! Hope this helps! -Ali 🙂

    3. Hi Erica,

      I am doing elimination diet on my 4 month old son who has eczema.. Eliminated milk, soy, egg, nuts and wheat(also corn).

      But he still had eczema, please help me how to find the triggers

      1. Carolyn @ Kitchen Stewardship

        Hi Kasi, My son has eczema triggered by dairy. If he gets some dairy and it causes a flare it takes weeks for it to actually go away even if he only had one small exposure to dairy. Is your son having active and continually flaring eczema or is it getting better as you eliminate foods, but not entirely going away? It could be an environmental trigger instead of food. Have you tried changing soaps/detergents/lotions? I would give the dietary changes at least 2 months of no improvement before assuming that those foods aren’t the trigger and bringing them back in. I know it can take a little while to find all the hidden sources of some of those foods as well, so you’ll want to count the 2 months from once you’ve completely eliminated the foods. Good luck to you! Working with baby sensitivities is so hard, keep up the good work!

        1. Hi Carolyn,

          Thanks for your reply. I have changed all the detergents, non-soap and also no irritants in his lotion. It’s been 4 weeks that he was on elimination diet but we could notice only a slight difference. On a scale of 1 to 10, Normally if he’s in India his eczema flareups are on 3 but in Melbourne, Australia it’s 9. So, it could be environment related too. If your son has diary, how long will it take to show flareups on his skin??

          1. Carolyn @ Kitchen Stewardship

            That’s interesting and does sound like there’s an environmental component or something significant dietary is changing with location. My son starts getting itchy spots about 24-36 hours after eating dairy and within 48 hours has red patches which continue to get worse for about another day. It usually stays flared for a few days before calming down a little bit, but then like I said it doesn’t go away completely for weeks.

    4. Look up High histamine foods. My daughter also struggles and we have found a link with her struggles. It’s hard but tomatoes (ketchup), bananas, strawberries etc.. It’s like their bodies can only handle so much of a high histamine food and then it reacts.

    1. Nikki @ Christian Mommy Blogger

      Here is a newer one: http://www.functionalmedicine.org/content_management/files/ifm_Comp_Elim_Diet_091503.pdf

  4. I bought the Made from Earth Pure Aloe Skin Treatment for my 19 months old baby girl, her dry skin became history after just ONE application ….. yes just after 1 time use. Now I applied it daily and she has the most softest skin imaginable …. I even use it on my face which is very sensitive and prone to redness …. and again after just ONE application in the night, the next morning it feels so supple and hydrated and less redness ….. I LOVE THIS PRODUCT ….

  5. Pingback: To the breastfeeding mom of a fussy, gassy baby… « Table Reading

  6. I was wondering if you could send me the list of foods that you were allowed to eat. My son is also suffering from these same problems

    1. Nikki @ Christian Mommy Blogger

      Here is a list of foods to eat and a grocery list to boot! http://www.functionalmedicine.org/content_management/files/ifm_Comp_Elim_Diet_091503.pdf

  7. sounds so familiar to my life 27.5 yrs ago. I wish I knew then what I know now. I’m so happy for Nikki and her baby. Keep up the good work!

  8. Brandi via Facebook

    My daughter’s story is similar to Karli’s, though she never had the dark eye circles. Her twin brother had those without the eczema. When I became pregnant with my third child, our pediatrician put me on an elimination daughter during the pregnancy AND nursing because he feels strongly that there is a genetic component to this. My third and fourth children have never had any problem with eczema or weight gain.

    1. Nikki @ Christian Mommy Blogger

      Wow. That is crazy. They weren’t exposed to it during pregnancy so they don’t have allergies? Wow. My doc said if she stays off until 2 she *may* grow out of the allergy. Letting her gut grow nice and strong before reintroducing. I have my fingers crossed. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Julie @ Seeking The Old Paths

    Nikki~

    Sounds like you are starting a great path, but as a Mom who has had kids with food allergies, I am thinking that a little more research might serve you well. This summer I discovered the GAPS diet that is actually designed to heal the gut lining completely. Through doing just the introductory diet for one single month, we were able to actually reverse several food allergies in myself and my children. I’m now a believer.

    You can google different websites that have info about the GAPS diet and read about different families who are following that plan. I bet you’ll be as amazed as I have been. I do recommend checking out the sites first, as the book seems expensive if you’re not sold on the idea first. In truth, I would have paid $100 for it easy, knowing what I know now.

    It so blesses me to see such a diligent Momma who is willing to do *whatever it takes* to restore her child’s health. You are to be commended, Sweet Girl. Keep up the good work!

    1. Nikki @ Christian Mommy Blogger

      Julie you are too sweet! I have to say I have “thought” about GAPS and quickly run the other way! What we are doing seems to be working for us and I feel as though I can’t put something else on our plate (no pun intended!) right now! Isn’t it more expensive as well?

  10. I glanced over this article yesterday but came back to reread it today. One thing caught my attention. Your baby’s eyes (they are beautiful!) but the bags.
    My daughter gets bags under her eyes and she’s little. She was born weighting almost 9 lbs. Now at 16 months she weighs just 18 lbs. She’s fine otherwise. Talks, has regular poops, no eczema or other skin issues, not gassy, nothing. I call her small but mighty! But she has bags and she’s little. She weighed the same at her 9 and 12 month check up. Her dr has been checking her weight every 6 weeks since then and she’s been on a slow gain. Her diet is very good. She eats lots of butter, pastured lard, coconut oil, veggies covered in butter, fresh eggs, raw milk, kefir, nitrate free bacon, pastured sausage and chicken (we try pastured red meats as much as possible, but it’s spendy. Only the ground beef is pastured.) I’ve just now started giving her some coconut or almond flour baked goods I make for my son. She is still breastfeeding.
    I know you’re not a dr (like the dr is any help) but what do you think? I’m thinking maybe a deficiency or something, but I’m not sure how to find out what.
    Thanks!

    1. Nikki @ Christian Mommy Blogger

      Sorry it took so long for me to get back to you! I am just now seeing this. I can’t really say exactly, but I would generally say she isn’t THRIVING. Does she eat gluten? I am asking because, though she may not have apparent skin issues, if her gut is inflamed from the gluten (an intolerance perhaps, rather than an allergy) she won’t be absorbing all of the nutrients (even the nutrients from your breastmilk). It sounds like what you are feeding her is really great, and you didn’t mention gluten so perhaps she isn’t eating any right now. IF that is the case, you may want to eliminate her most common foods, perhaps she is allergic (though signs are different for different people) to something that she eats on a regular basis. My doc said the swollen eyes were a tell-tale sign of a food allergy. But that is just one opinion 🙂

  11. I just wanted to mention that the non-homogenized milk is actually not raw milk. We have a great farm here is Texas that provides Low-temperature Pasteurized – Non-Homogenized – Certified Organic – Pastured Jersey Cows milk and delivers to the DFW area. I pick up my order each week around the corner at a co-op location. It is wonderful!

    1. Just wanted to say that we drank their milk for over a year before we switched to raw and loved it. And you must be close-ish to me. LOL Hi!

  12. Good luck to you! My daughter developed eczema when we moved from Boston to NJ. The pediatrician told me that ALMOST ALL KIDS IN NJ HAVE ECZEMA!!! My asthma got much worse there and I had bronchitis every 3 months. NJ is a very toxic place. Have you considered environmental toxins, too? You should get a Reverse Osmosis unit installed in your kitchen and then remineralize your water with ConcenTrace. (NO, Brittas do not work!) You would not believe the amounts of toxins and pharmaceuticals that are in most water; steroids, hormones, etc. You may also want to buy a good quality air purifier for your daughter’s bedroom.

    Good Luck! Joyce

    1. Hi Joyce – will you please give documentation about the Britas “not working”? Also, even though my husband has been in the drinking water business for all his life, I no longer use our reverse osmosis water, opting for Brita filtered well water instead because I have heard that RO water actually leaches minerals from the body. I spent most of last year trying to confirm/disprove this and came up confused mostly. Some sites would agree but then they were selling something else. It was hard to find a site not selling something to find the truth.

      1. Hi, Sorry it took so long to respond-http://www.your-nutrition-guide.com/brita-water-filters.html
        Please read above info–just a thumbnail, but you get what you pay for…As for RO water, just it does leach minerals from you body; thus you can add ConcenTrace: http://www.amazon.com/Liqumins-ConcenTrace-Trace-Mineral-8-Ounce/dp/B000AMUWLK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1325602448&sr=8-1
        I personally use a Nikken Pi Mag filtration system: however, they purify, remineralize and magnetize water for better absorbtion. Their newest system just came out–I can send the info if you want; their website is not up right now–being revamped right now for new year. However, it is only available through network marketing. Their water filtration units are fabulous and they have all their products registered with, I believe, the FDA or whatever govt agency monitors water. I was out of town, so couldn’t answer sooner; however do email me back and I will provide more info. Take care, Joyce

  13. I wish I had read your article two years ago. My story was very similar, only my little one was 4.8 pounds at birth and weighed 4 pounds at her lowest point. We struggled with intestinal issues, ear infections, secondary infections of all kinds, eczema, RSV, asthma, sunken eyes and constant vomiting. She was hospitalized twice and I was told it was just because she was born early and had siblings who brought things home (not sure from where, they are homeschooled). I felt so alone and crazy at times because I didn’t want to accept that my child was just going to be sick all the time. All the elimination of foods was at the encouragement of my chiropractor.

    It wasn’t until she turned 1 and I stopped breastfeeding and we went to the chiropractor that things began to turn around. I discovered a correlation between eggs and her vomiting. Once we eliminated eggs she got much better (later an allergist confirmed my diagnosis), then I found out her upper respiratory issues were an allergy to homogenized milk. Now at almost 2 she has been healthy for 6 months. I wish I had known this the first year of her life. It would have saved us a lot of pain and money. Thanks for writing this!

    1. Nikki @ Christian Mommy Blogger

      Melissa – wow, you had a rough time! I believe raw milk would be ok down the road since she is allergic to dairy now, but I am waiting for her to get stronger first! Thanks for sharing your story!

      1. We have a great farm that delivers low temp milk, that is non-homogenized. So its now raw, just as close as legally possible. All 3 of my kids are lactose intolerant, but can drink this milk.

  14. You are so fortunate to have found all this out. My daughter is eight and we couldn’t find a doctor who would help us. She only improved when we changed my husband’s diet and she ate what he did. That was this year! It has been a long road. Sometimes I thought she would never survive.
    Hang in there. All the hard work is worth it.

  15. Nikki,
    All of this info is very overwhelming to think about. We have a 7 yo who has itchy spots (on her rump) that seem to only slightly be relieved by creams. She also has skin issues on her elbows. We’ve gone the dermatologist route and aren’t sure where to go next. She’s one of 6 kiddos, so I think it would be easier to go see a doctor to find out what she is allergic to, we just didn’t know who to try next. What kind of Dr. would you suggest? Allergist? Osteopath? Thanks!! She’s pretty miserable from all of the itching in such an awkward place.

    1. Polly,
      Look up dermatitis herpetiformis. It sounds like what you’re describing and the cure is a gluten-free diet.

      1. Shannon,

        You were 100% right. After the positive celiac screen, we did the endoscopy and damage to her intestine was found, confirming the celiac disease. She is now gluten free and feels amazing. The rash has taken forever to clear, but is almost completely gone. We recently tested her siblings and two of them came up with positive findings on the celiac screen. They will be getting endoscopies next week. Thanks for the comment to my comment so I could have a name for this “unknown” rash to me at the time! We need to keep getting the word out since the medical community seems to have a hard time diagnosing it still.

    2. Nikki @ Christian Mommy Blogger

      I personally recommend an osteopath as your go to all around dr. If they can’t fix you, they WILL refer you to the right person rather than just put a patch on it! I have a link to finding a doctor at the end of this post under resources.Please check it out and let me know how it goes!

      1. Nikki,

        I had missed this last reply of yours to go to an osteopath. We ended up going to the allergist and he ran a celiac test on her (blood draw). Turns out she is gluten sensitive. We just found out two days ago. Needless to say, I’m a little overwhelmed with the news of it all. Thank you so much for writing your article, it really pushed me to keep getting her tested.

  16. These are great success stories and I realize it’s Christmas, so y’all are very busy, but I’d like to challenge each of you to bookmark this website and take some time in the new year to read as much of it as you can.

    It is called “Healing Naturally” by Bee Wilder.

    She debunks allergies; she debunks blood tests.

    She DOES care and she takes our ‘wellness care’ to the next level.

    The baby with constipation needs more good fats in her diet.

    “Allergies” to eggs are not really allergies, either. Eggs are amazing foods that your body needs. Whatever symptoms you have experienced from them are -healing- symptoms. You can decrease the amount of egg you have each time, but do not totally eliminate them. Rather, slowly increase your intake (from 1 Tbsp at a time -yes, waste- until you’re able to eat a whole egg then increase from there).

    She totally challenges our mind set and thinking. I appreciate the blogger sharing that we are from a culture who wants to use drugs to fix our problems -right now-. And, as she has learned, it is totally our diet that has us screwed up so only cleaning it up will help us…

    Blessings, dear women…

    1. Nikki @ Christian Mommy Blogger

      I am always open to other ideas. I must say, in regards to my babies constipation – she gets PLENTY of good fats (almonds, coconut oil, palm shortening, etc). I truly believe her gut is in such a busy state of healing that it is a bit confused!

  17. If you can find a doctor that does applied kinesiology (muscle testing) I bet a lot or all of these problems would disappear. I go to Dr. Barry Sunshine in Knoxville, TN (who incidentally is a very strong Christian) and he can eliminate almost every allergy except gluten. He had a six month baby come in the other day that had been crying his whole life. He did the muscle testing on him (which honestly, seems like he is doing nothing but poking but it works!) and the baby quit crying. The next week at the follow-up visit the grandmother said he slept in the car on the way home the previous week for the first time in his life and had been a completely different baby since then. Dr. Sunshine (his real name!) has cured my own daughters of dog/cat allergies, leaf mold allergies, poison ivy, etc. I know of someone he cured of egg allergies and this baby of milk allergies. It seems like hocus-pocus but works. Try it. For one co-pay of $35, it is worth the “chance” that it just might work. People come from all over the south to him but there are other doctors that do muscle testing – you just have to find them (he is also a chiropractor).

    1. Traci, What a touching story! It may look like hocus pocus, but if it works…that’s just cool. TU! Katie

  18. THANK YOU!!!!!!! We had similar issues with our second child and it took a very long time and numerous doctors to discover what was wrong with him. We’re still working on it, but gluten and dairy were his major triggers as well. Since we knew what to look for this time, we discovered #3 has the same issues, but we discovered it much earlier. I wish more doctors treated from the “inside out” like you said. Thanks!

  19. Excellent news! My guess is that it will just continue to get better. And I hope that she outgrows the gluten/dairy sensitivities like my son did. We had the same issues with our second and eliminating gluten from his diet solved the problem.

  20. Wow, I can really relate! It’s been quite a journey to heal my son’s eczema. Every doctor kept telling me it’s common, and he’ll just outgrow it. Common doesn’t mean normal! I was so desperate for help, we saw everyone from MD’s to chiropractors, dermatologists, and naturopaths. In the end, I feel like the GAPS diet (which I’ve done with my son- 16 months old, still nursing) and our dietitians supplement protocol is what has finally gave us some relief. The supplements we use are probiotics, digestive enzymes, Nordic naturals fish oil, Barleans flax oil, and Juice Plus. The dietician also explained how important hormones are for digestion and has me using a progesterone cream. Finally, my son’s skin is almost completely clear and he sleeps so much better! We did do allergy testing but nothing showed up. In the end, I feel we are much healthier with the dietary changes and are leaning towards a Paleo diet once we feel ready to fully transition off GAPS.

  21. This is such a great post, Nikki! I feel like we are in this together–although my girls haven’t had eczema (which their pediatrician says is always a tell-tale sign for food allergy), my oldest has had chronic diarrhea and my baby (13 months) has suffered with respiratory problems since birth. We changed pediatricians in June, and she immediately started my oldest on an elimination diet (then we pushed for the blood work because we were getting impatient!). She hasn’t been on eggs, gluten or dairy in about 5 months, and we have seen a difference in her bowel movements (sorry for tmi!) and behavior. Our youngest was OK this fall up until the past 5 weeks. We have had a terrible time with what started as a random virus turning into bronchitis then an ear infection and, finally, this week, finding out she has pneumonia. Her doc and chiro (who actually work together) finally told me the two of us (since I am still breastfeeding) need to go 100% off dairy. I am like you–I can eat a whole block of cheese on my own, but I know it’s worth it for my girl to get better! You are an inspiration, Nikki!! Thanks for sharing!!

    1. Nikki @ Christian Mommy Blogger

      Erin my heart aches for your babies! I hope your “panel of experts” can fix you!

  22. I’d love to see that list of “what you can eat”, I’m overwhelmed at the thought of trying to be gluten and dairy free. Is there a link to a list like that anywhere? Thanks for sharing your story!

    1. Christy – I do have this with both the cans and can’ts: http://www.nourishingmeals.com/2009/05/nourishing-new-mom.html

      Each baby is unique in what they can handle in those early weeks, at least it has been that way for me with my 5. 🙂

    2. Christy,
      It is overwhelming at first. Everyone goes through that. I had to stop eating gluten and dairy this summer and felt the same way. But then I realized that out of all of the foods in the world, these were only two. That made it easier.
      Ali, I posted a link to this post on my Facebook. I’ve been doing 30 days of celiac/gluten intolerant symptoms and you’re a perfect example of what it can do. Thank you for posting this!

  23. Katie via Facebook

    I discovered that I was sensitive to specific foods through a nutrition response testing practitioner (NRT). They can tell you very specifically what foods may be bothering you without having to do the tedious elimination diet, as well as lots of other things that can be keeping your body from being able to heal itself using non-invasive procedures. I’ve cured many many things using my NRT doc and he is really the only person I see for any health issue that comes up. I’ve also seen many babies with lots of issues that he has helped that conventional medicine can’t even touch. To find a practitioner near you go to: http://www.unsinc.info/locate-clinician.html If anyone is interested in hearing more, I’m always happy to share the information as I have experienced healing miracles in my own life.

  24. Katie via Facebook

    I discovered that I was sensitive to specific foods through a nutrition response testing practitioner (NRT). They can tell you very specifically what foods may be bothering you without having to do the tedious elimination diet, as well as lots of other things that can be keeping your body from being able to heal itself using non-invasive procedures. I’ve cured many many things using my NRT doc and he is really the only person I see for any health issue that comes up. I’ve also seen many babies with lots of issues that he has helped that conventional medicine can’t even touch. To find a practitioner near you go to: http://www.unsinc.info/locate-clinician.html If anyone is interested in hearing more, I’m always happy to share the information as I have experienced healing miracles in my own life.

  25. thank you for this! I have a 6 week old and he is very gassy! The doctor has assumed that it is food allergies and suggested that I remove dairy, eggs, wheat, coffee and nuts from my diet. And I have, but my little boy is still very gassy. I really believe that God meant that I see and read this blog post to give me a guide on what to do! Wish me luck! Buy buy chicken, beef and bacon! Hello sweet potatoes for breakfast!

    1. Nikki @ Christian Mommy Blogger

      Ha ha you are funny! Also keep in mind, babies are just gassy at that little age because their digestion is so new! But any help would be greatly appreciated 🙂

  26. Great post Nikki! I just saw a link to this on Facebook via Shirley @ gfe.

    I love how much weight she gained after you cut out gluten and dairy, 2 pounds in a month for an older baby is a lot! 🙂

    I have a 3 month old (my 5th baby) right now. You can read my story here on simply going on a breast-feeding elimination diet before baby is born to prevent any gut/skin issues and make breastfeeding go smoothly: http://www.nourishingmeals.com/2011/09/rice-breakfast-porridge.html

    So glad you wrote about your experience. More of this info needs to get out to new moms because so much of this can be prevented if there was more education during pregnancy.

    Happy Holidays! -Ali 😉

    1. Nikki @ Christian Mommy Blogger

      Ali, I am going to hop over and read this right now….what great news to be able to PREVENT this before it starts. Great information!

  27. Rhonda via Facebook

    Great log post! Thanks for sharing! We also had similar issue with my son with MSPI (milk soy protein intolerance + many other foods). I also did a very strict elimination diet to figure out what he was not tolerating and found my own intolerances. It was tough doing the elimination diet, but I felt so much better after removing things I didn’t tolerate and my son dramatically improved. At 2 he still has several intolerances (non-IgE allergies) but has outgrown so much!

    1. Nikki @ Christian Mommy Blogger

      I am hoping that by sticking with this until she is 2 (at least) we can start re introducing some of the foods and perhaps she will be able to tolerate them once her immune system is stronger!

  28. This strikes a strong chord with me! My 2nd daughter had a rough first year, terrible sleeping, terrible diaper rash, cranky. By terrible diaper rash I mean sores with rivulets of running blood from them every time we changed her diapers. I started to suspect a milk allergy, but three doctors, including an allergist, said it wasn’t possible that a milk allergy would cause those symptoms. She did not register an allergy for milk on a skin test (but those tests are highly unreliable… many things on’t show up).

    Finally I went with my gut and did a milk elimination diet. WHAT a difference! Almost all cleared up… and the final bit cleared up when I also eliminated eggs. A few weeks later I tracked down a more natural doctor in functional medicine who specializes in dietary and environmental causes for health troubles. He confirmed my findings, strongly backed my ‘mama’s instinct’, and helped me with sorting out the best solutions for dairy and egg free nutrition going forward.

    Always do your own research. Go with your gut, it is worth it. Doctors know a lot, but you know more about your baby. When this doctor told me that, it nearly blew me off my seat.

    Allergies present in so, so many ways. It’s worth pursuing possibilities to see what the problems may be! As it turns out, my ‘cranky’ baby is one of the sunniest, happiest people I know. I shudder to think of the pain she was in for the first year of her life!

  29. Janet via Facebook

    My daughter ended up being diagnosed by prick and blood tests as being highly allergic to molds, mildews, dust mites and other insects, as well as dairy, soy, peanuts, chocolate, ALL grains, all meats, fats, and a host of other, more mild food and environmental allergens. Thank God none are deadly anaphylactic reactions, just miserable. Her diet is pretty limited, though.

    1. Nikki @ Christian Mommy Blogger

      We are planning on getting Karli tested, but my doctor recommended waiting until she is 2. Just give her this next year to fully heal!

  30. Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama

    My oldest had these same issues. Here’s her story: http://www.modernalternativemama.com/blog/2009/10/11/rebekahs-story.html To summarize, she had terrible diaper rash, diarrhea, screaming, itchy palms, itchy rash around her mouth, terrible eczema, speech delay, and she self-limited her diet to only a few foods (most of which she was allergic to).

    We saw doctor after doctor and did various tests. Some thought she was “fine.” Some thought she’d grow out of it. Some thought antibiotic creams and injections were the answer. These things did nothing to help and flared her eczema terribly.

    When she was 2 (and still breastfeeding — YES, keep at it!), we struck out on our own with GAPS. Within a few months she was speaking in full sentences, the eczema was gone, she was sleeping mostly through the night, etc. If you met her today (she’s almost 4), you wouldn’t even know she’d ever had these issues.

    I know more than I ever wanted to know about allergies, gut damage, fixing gut health, etc. than I ever wanted to. But I hope it is helpful to others!!

    Breastfeeding is so important. Fermented foods too. And proper preparation of grains! Which should not be introduced until age 2, when ALL their teeth are in.

    But…I’m writing a book on this, so I’ll stop now, lol.

  31. Janet via Facebook

    My daughter had similar problems, including hours of colic screaming, eczema till her face was like raw meat, asthma, etc.. She was not diagnosed with food allergies until the age of 18, however. This mother is very fortunate to have found a smart doctor so quickly.

  32. Nikki @ Christian Mommy Blogger

    Katie, thank you so much for this opportunity. I am so thrilled to get the word out. Even if just one little baby gets to be itchy sooner than later I will be happy 🙂

  33. Stacy Makes Cents

    Great post Nikki. 🙂 I’m so glad your baby girl is getting better. As a mama, I know what a weight it is to carry around when you know something is wrong with your little one.
    I need to find a DO. You’ve given me the push to do so.

    1. Nikki @ Christian Mommy Blogger

      Thanks Stacy! A family practice DO is great. Your whole family can go. You will kick yourself for not making the switch sooner!

  34. Breastfeed infants (not newborns) often poop less because they use so much of the nutrients from the breastmilk. Once a week is not uncommon. Constipation refers to consistency (i.e., hard), not frequency.

  35. Anna via Facebook

    AMEN! Our MDs have been no help but to cover up problems as you indicate. Both my sons had issues (eczema for one and breathing problems for the other) related to dairy consumption and my husband resolved years of back issues by removing wheat from his diet. We have an awesome ND who helps us get to the root of our problems (and I had a long list of them). I have probably seen 20 MDs for various issues in my life and they have really never been helpful so we pay cash OOP fora good ND with real answers and better health. I requires us to take responsibility for our own health and not reach immediately for prescriptions and surgeries as the MDs have insisted.

    1. It is interesting your child had the breathing problems. That’s where we are with my 1 year old right now. She is currently recovering from pneumonia and has had breathing problems since she was a newborn. Her integrative ped & chiro have put me (still nursing) & her on a strict dairy-free diet. It’s interesting because my 3 year old’s symptoms are completely different–digestive & behavior. But we have seen success in her with a gluten/dairy/egg-free diet the past 5 moths.

  36. Nikki @ Christian Mommy Blogger

    My doctor and also my lactation consultant had said at the early newborn stage that is ok. They utilize nearly 100% of the food when breastfeeding so there simply isn’t as much waste. For adults, they is much more waste and that would be HORRIBLE to go so long in between!

    1. Nikki @ Christian Mommy Blogger

      sorry, this response was intended to be for Kathleen K (pressed the wrong reply comment!)

  37. Lisa via Facebook

    My friend was advised to stop bf after her son had what might be a milk allergy. She stopped before a 2nd opinion. My sister also is going through the elimination diet to try to figure out what’s causing the rash and tummy pain. Maybe she’ll figure out what causes her own eczema! I hope hers is soy and not dairy or eggs. Getting rid of soy is difficult if you’re not eating real food, though.

    1. Nikki @ Christian Mommy Blogger

      Soy is in everything! I actually am finding that being dairy and gluten free isn’t quite as hard as I thought. But being egg free on top of that would be a challenge. You really need eggs to make the dairy free/gluten free recipes work!

  38. Clare via Facebook

    I am so glad that elimination diet worked for you!! Unfortunatly, removing dairy and gluten/grains didn’t help my son’s eczema and we are still trying to figure his out 🙁

    1. Keep trying!! I have 3 kids, all 3 of them have different allergies! My youngest has a nightshade allergy, my middle has a corn allergy – that is sooo hard! If you eliminate lots of things and can’t find it, search on that. If you are not deliberately eating corn-free you are consuming lots of corn.

      Good Luck! It is so worth it in the end!
      KristinaD

    2. Nikki @ Christian Mommy Blogger

      There are other ways….have you asked a doctor about other allergy tests?

  39. Leslie via Facebook

    i am totally going through this for myself. (not my son). i have had eczema the worst for this past year. the diet route is definitely a hard one to travel.. but my eczema gets so bad i wish my hands could be cut off.. and now with the christmas season, its probably the hardest to control what you eat. but i dont think i have much choice otherwise. one thing that did work for me for a few months was increasing my vit d to 4000 units, but then i guess my body built a tolerance to it cause it no longer works for me.

    1. Nikki @ Christian Mommy Blogger

      I’m so sorry you are having so many struggles. I hope you find some easy ways to stick with a diet to keep fixing your issue. I was struggling at first, but now i don’t mind one bit. Check out Bob’s Red Mill – he has lots of gluten free mixes that make it much better 🙂

  40. Great post. I wish I’d found something like this when my son was a baby. By the time he was three I thought if I heard another dr. Say don’t worry he’ll grow out of it I might punch them. 🙂 it’s very frustrating. And the creams oh, the creams. I remember many nights rubbing my son down with these creams crying and thinking about how they were harming his body from long term use. Fortunately I came across the elimination diet around his 3rd birthday. We had him tested for every allergy (negative), candida (negative) and many other skin type disorders all came back negative. By this time he was 90% covered with eczema, head to toe. Within 24 hrs of removing gluten from his diet his skin was clearer than I had ever seen next we removed dairy. We have since added dairy back in but we get it raw straight fr the farm (A2 guernsey cows, look up difference between a1 & a2).
    So I learned that even though tests come back negative for allergies you can still have sensitivities. Again great article.

    1. Nikki @ Christian Mommy Blogger

      Annette, thank you. What a great compliment! I agree, the doctors tend to say “have patience with it, they’ll grow out of it” simply because they can’t fix it. Don’t you wish they would just say “Sorry, maybe I can refer you to someone who can” But no. Our stories are very similar. I am happy we found out about this information sooner rather than later. This is exactly why I wanted to share it here at KS, I figured…what a great way to get the word out!

  41. Heather :) :) :)

    I’m visiting from the Christiam Mommy Blogger site. Thanks, Nikki, for sharing your story. I’m in my 30s and have basically been eating gluten free/dairy free since September 1st. it’s essentially an elimination diet and soon I’ll be starting to reintroduce certain foods back into my diet.
    When I read about your precious little baby, so many things rang true for me. I have a wonderful naturopathic physician who cares about my health and asks lots of questions and thinks everything I say is important. One of the things she talked about with me, is how many of our health issues as adults can stem from what we were fed as kids.
    My mom breastfed me until I was about 7 months old. Then, for whatever reason, I refused to breastfeed anymore..so she started bottlefeeding me because I needed to eat. Now in my case, #2 was coming way to often and runny. My mother said she gave me raw milk and that cured it right away…but that when she stopped, it started happening again.
    Needless to say I’m doing well and so much better now….but it’s interesting..and my naturopath thinks that kids should be breastfed for two years…but that’s just her recommendation and I don’t have kids..so if I ever have kids, that’ll be something to thinkg about.
    Thanks again for sharing your story with us 🙂 🙂 Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather 🙂

    1. Nikki @ Christian Mommy Blogger

      Thanks for sharing YOUR story Heather! I will definitely continue breastfeeding as her system is very fragile and she can use all the help she can get! I am happy youre doing better…and raw milk rocks!

  42. Melissa @ Dyno-mom

    After eight fat, happy 18# at three months babies number nine had constant loose stools, cried without end and her weight stalled. She was irritable and clingy. We found the source of her troubles (nightshades) with help from the book “What’s Eating Your Child”. Our doc tried blood tests and stool samples but was elimination diet that found the source. Those who can’t find a doctor to help should get this book!

      1. Nikki,
        How funny that Melissa mentioned this one, because that’s the interview I thought I might post the same week as your post (but now won’t be till January). It’s a fascinating book…. 🙂 Katie

  43. Great timing on the post! I will be discussing all of this with my doctor in just a few hours at my daughter’s 6 mo check-up. I love how God works… Thanks for the info, Nikki! 🙂

  44. My son had numerous allergies at birth that I was not aware of as well. He was gaining but had terrible reflux, and excema and slept horribly. He also HATED being on his back. It was clear he was uncomfortable much of the time. I tried a form of the elimination diet without much success. Finally had a blood test and found out he was allergic to eggs, nuts, wheat and dairy. I eliminated these 4 things from my diet and the results were AMAZING! I continuted to breastfeed for a year. The sacrifice I made is nothing to what others deal with. I thank God everyday that food allergies are all we have to cope with. It was tough but totally worth it. He is now 3 and eating wheat and dairy again, but we still have random unidentified outbreaks of rash, soft stool, etc. Find a good allergist that you trust and also trust your gut. Don’t let others make you feel crazy when you request get-togethers be allergen free. You need to stick up for yourself and protect your child. So many people don’t understand the severity of food allergies. It’s up to us to educate!

    1. Nikki @ Christian Mommy Blogger

      You are right Carrie! So happy you found your allergies! Blood work was our next step if we didn’t have success with the diet. Neither tests (diet or blood) are 100% reliable so you have to go with what ends up working for you! Yes, stick up for yourself! My family has seen the improvement and there is no question that the allergy exists so they are very supportive. And many friends and family now ask themselves: “I wonder if I have an intolerance as well?”

  45. #2 only every 5-7 days and that isn’t uncommon? Really? I’d rather not dwell on the subject, but years ago #2 only once a day was considered constipated for children and adults. Now some doctors say its okay to go 1-2 days between. That doesn’t make sense. Food in, waste out. If it putrefies in the gut, illness happens.

    1. I think a lot of times doctors will start saying something is common only because it happens to many people, not because they have learned through research that it’s acceptable. Through my reading of “natural” pregnancy books, I’ve learned that many of America’s “common” pregnancy symptoms are indicators of problems. For example, the dark spots that some get, especially on the face, are signs of a lack of one of the B vitamins (can’t remember which one). But in America, it’s just considered a normal pregnancy symptom.

      1. Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama

        Yes. Just like babies not walking until 15 – 18 months, breastmilk being low in vit D, etc. Doctors often confuse “common” with “normal” and it takes a lot of extra research to make sure your concerns aren’t being written off when they are valid!

        That said, it *is* normal for exclusively breast-fed babies to poop only every 5 – 7 days, because the breast milk is so well and completely digested.

        1. Nikki @ Christian Mommy Blogger

          Yes…but as we started adding new foods, it didn’t change. RED flag! Now I am dealing with constipation (well, Karli is, not me personally…lol)

          1. Stacy Makes Cents

            LOL Okay sorry but this made me laugh out loud. 🙂 I’m so glad you’re not dealing with that Nikki. *Snicker*

        2. Really? Not walking till 15 months isn’t normal? My friend’s breastfed, real-food-eating, healthy son didn’t walk until 16 months. I think he was probably capable of it long before, but he was a fast crawler and very cautious about trying new things … like most late walkers. I tend to think walking anywhere from 10-15 months is pretty normal. Mine walked at 11 months and wasn’t fazed by multiple falls — because that’s his personality.

          I just don’t think anyone needs to worry about walking a little later as long as there are no other concerning signs — though I’m curious if you’ve heard something different.

          1. I think 18 mos is the age after which not yet walking is a sign of possible developmental/academic problem – many kids who walk later then that have learning disabilities (this is from my work as a teacher). 🙂 Katie

  46. Pingback: How an Elimination Diet cured my daughter’s eczema and gastrointestinal tract | Christian Mommy Blogger

  47. The “O” is for osteopath, not opthalmologist (an eye doctor), just to avoid any confusion…

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