Eczema. It's the worst. I'll be the first to admit that it's just plain old not fun. I've had it most of my life. Sometimes it's been super difficult and others it's been mild, but never gone. Doctors appointments, cream, salves, and lots and lots of advice from specialists saying that there's nothing that will ever really help me has been the general song. By now, I've accepted that there isn't much I could do to fix it. When I got pregnant with my baby boy, I was really hoping that he wouldn't have to deal with eczema and then he came into the world and within a few short months he developed symptoms on his cheeks, back and chest. Really??
Little by little as we began to introduce solid foods to him we could see a trend in his reaction to grains, dairy and eggs. I would go a few days without giving him those foods, notice improvement and then try to reintroduce them and the symptoms would come back almost immediately. Because I was still nursing him, we struggled to completely eradicate his eczema. I was so focused on the solid foods we were feeding him that it never dawned on me to really step back and evaluate my diet and the effects it has on mine and his eczema. At the beginning of this year I decided to be vigilant in figuring out the triggers.
We are one month into eating strict Paleo, which is basically dairy free (we drink homemade almond milk), grain free and sugar free foods. I am being totally honest when I say that my sons eczema has completely disappeared within the last 4 weeks! And to top it all off, mine is gone! For the first time in my life I have no more symptoms of eczema and the most interesting part is whenever I have foods that aren't in my daily routine, the symptoms show up again. It was so encouraging to begin to know what the triggers are so that we can avoid those foods and then on occasion enjoy them.
Eating the way we are isn't always easy. There is a lot of prep that goes into even the simplest meals and snacks, but it's so worth it. It's worth it to watch the red, itchy patches fade away on my sweet baby's body and to not have to worry about running out of creams, salves or medications. Sure, there are things that cause flare ups, as nothing is 100% fool proof, but for the most part in our day to day, we are in control. We still have much to learn and I'm sure there will continue to be lots of trial and error along the journey, but for now we celebrate the little milestones and the freedom we find in what works for us.
I hope that by sharing our story we encourage others to feel empowered, taking aspects of their health and wellness into their own hands.
If you're looking into possibly trying a 30 day (or more) Paleo cleanse, I highly recommend Danielle Walker's Against All Grain cookbooks and old faithful, Pinterest for meal plans, recipes and find the practical application of eating sugar, dairy and grain free. I'll also share the cream and body wash I use on Ren along with the probiotics he's been on since birth just for fun.