CHILDHOOD ECZEMA & A SHORT LIST OF NATURAL REMEDIES

newnormeczema
ec·ze·ma
ˈeɡzəmə,ˈeksəmə,iɡˈzēmə/
noun
  1. a medical condition in which patches of skin become rough and inflamed, with blisters that cause itching and bleeding, sometimes resulting from a reaction to irritation (eczematous dermatitis) but more typically having no obvious external cause.

The diagnosis of eczema in children under 17 is becoming more prevalent in the United States. A portion of it to be blamed on genetics and a portion on environmental as well as dietary factors. It is a scary thing when you first see it on your child. At first you think WHAT IS THAT? Is it hives? I thought they were hives because my son’s nanny at the time decided to give him two eggs each morning for a week. Excessive right? We started eliminating eggs from his diet but that didn’t seem to help much. I rewinded back to late October and remembered that we had a lot of chemical and emotional stressors in our life. We were exposed to high levels of toxicity unfortunately and we as a family paid for it with our health. Coming from an alternative health care background as well as growing up in a family that always supported natural remedies prior to medication, we held back on the anti-inflammatory steroid drugs that most pediatricians prescribe.

We were fortunate to be able to change pediatricians and fall into the open arms of a one of a kind pediatrician. A pediatrician who supports alternative medicine and will try everything else before he over prescribes medications to a child. We got lucky, but many families don’t. Can you imagine having a child on prescription steroids for the rest of their life? I heard a story like that. A 30 year old man who was diagnosed with eczema when he was a toddler and ended up on prescription medications at an early age. He felt like an 80 year old. He had more illnesses than he could have imagined due to so much inflammation building up in his body from the medicine. He overwhelmed his body and now it was failing him. That story made me feel very afraid for my son and his future. I didn’t want my son to end up like that so I knew I had to be pro-active about it. I write this because I want other moms to know that there are other ways to help your infants, toddlers, and kids with eczema. I am happy to know that what helped my son, helps other kids and I will continue to spread the word. They say there is no cure for eczema but at least there is a way to become asymptomatic. For some kids this may work better than for others, but you try and you do what you think is best as a mom!

According to the “National Eczema Association” most kids who get eczema will continue to have it in adulthood.

“A substantial proportion of the US population has symptoms of eczema; 31.6 million with eczema, and at least 17.8 million with moderate to severe eczema or atopic dermatitis. The prevalence of childhood eczema/atopic dermatitis in the US is 10.7% overall and as high as 18.1% in individual states and 21% across various countries. Approximately one out of every three children with eczema/atopic dermatitis has moderate to severe disease. A recent study found that the prevalence of eczema in adults is 10.2%, which suggests that most children with eczema/atopic dermatitis continue to be affected even in adulthood. Three percent of US adults have moderate to severe eczema/atopic dermatitis requiring systemic therapy” (http://nationaleczema.org/research/eczema-prevalence/).

This is a growing problem. There is limited treatment and the steroids that are supposed to control the symptoms do more harm than good. One side affect listed of a topical hydrocortisone cream says, “If the cream/ointment is used for a long period, there is a risk that the skin will become thinner, there may be some scarring and small blood vessels may become visible on the skin and areas of the skin may become darker” (http://www.medicinesforchildren.org.uk/search-for-a-leaflet/hydrocortisone-topical-for-eczema/). Yes short-term use can help with the symptoms but what do you do after? What do you do if you have to use it long-term? You risk that your skin will become damaged and other unpleasant side effects. You need to search for the underlying cause, instead of masking the symptoms.

To investigate what those underlying causes are we started with an elimination diet. Everything in his diet for two weeks was gluten free, grain free, no eggs, and nothing red. We would start to re-introduce the foods slowly and monitor the rashes. For some reason we would see a spike in redness if he ate tomatoes or red apples. He loves apples so we switched him to green apples instead. You can also request blood work specifically to see what your little one is allergic to. The doctor also suggested daily vitamins and probiotics. Along with that we offered itchiness relief by applying a miracle lotion (at least I thought it was) called “SHIKIA BORAGE THERAPY CHILDREN’S LOTION.” I also used aveeno baby eczema lotion but found that Shikia’s was more effective in the beginning. My son’s pediatrician also prescribed him homeopathic droplets. During bath-time I would put in Aveeno baby eczema bath treatment for soothing. He was also constantly adjusted as needed. Chiropractic does help restore the nervous system and played a major role in helping his system detox from all the toxicity.

My son’s eczema was between mild and severe. It was getting to the severe stage before we finally hit a downward spiral and all the inflammation decreased. After everything we followed through this regime day by day religiously and it was gone. Sometimes it may still pop out once in a while when he eats something he’s not supposed to, but it goes away. It never hits the severe stage.

You need to find an underlying cause to disease and fix that, not only treat the symptoms! 

-NOTE: In no way am I connected to selling any of these products. This is what we used and what worked for my son.

SHORT REMEDY LIST OF WHAT TO TRY:

1. Elimination diet

2. Probiotics

3. Daily vitamins (we did Vitamin D and C)

4. Best lotions that worked for us: Shikai borage therapy for children & Aveeno baby eczema

5. Bath time with Aveeno baby eczema treatment (avoid over–bathing)

6. Keep your toddlers nails short! I learned that the hard way. He would scratch until he bled!

7. If possible see a pediatrician with an alternative health care background.

8. See a Chiropractor who specializes in pediatrics (check out ICPA or click here for one in your area!)

It’s difficult to see your child in pain or covered in rashes. It takes time to clear. Be patient. Be consistent. And follow through. 

aveenoalotion

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My personal trainer…

I have a personal trainer.
He runs me up and down the stairs
I know he does it because he cares
He made me work out at the park today
And when I wanted to leave he made me stay
We ran around the park happy as can be
He is always the one challenging me
We did tons of squats that made me want to cry
But he kept pushing me and I asked him why
“Fun Mama” he yelled out at me
I guess I really didn’t see
That I have a mini personal trainer taking care of me!

Big thank you to my son who is filled with so much energy for pushing me to ride the seesaw with him. My quads were on fire and when I wanted to stop he made me keep going. Who knew that toddlers can make you workout!

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Quick & Healthy lunch after the playground : Pasta & Chicken & Veggie Bowl

I already had chicken strips that I made in the oven (see beach day blog for recipe) and I cut them into small pieces

Kids pasta (or you can use any pasta)

Steamed broccoli

Mix everything in a bowl and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

GREEN SMOOTHIE

Handful of kale, spinach greens (I buy the huge organic power mix from costco)

1 cup of frozen berry mix (also from Costco)-my little one likes to toss in the berries

1 banana

2 cups of Almond milk

You can use any blender to mix it and serve. My little one loves to help out making the smoothies and then drinking them. Good way to get in those veggies!

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HAPPY WEEKEND everyone! 🙂

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POSTPARTUM TALK #6: BODY CHANGES & THE THINGS I WISH I KNEW BEFORE

Body Image. Such a hard topic for so many women. I didn’t realize how much my body would change with pregnancy and how afterwards it wouldn’t just jump back to what it used to be. I mean yes there are women who are blessed with getting back their pre-pregnancy body right away but most of us aren’t so lucky. I was ignorant to think that I would jump back into shape by breastfeeding. I gained a lot of weight during my pregnancy. I was pretty fit before I got pregnant. I went to the gym all the time. When I got pregnant I was gifted with “morning sickness” except I had it throughout the whole day. Thank you hormones! Thankfully it was my 5th term in school (that’s when we were done with all of the tremendously hard science classes where the teachers tried drowning the weak-I made it!), and the easier term (kinda). I slept for 14 hours each day. I think I did my homework in my sleep. Anyways I did not have anytime what-so-ever to exercise. BIG MISTAKE! You know the images of celebrities popping a baby and then looking amazing? You see it doesn’t work that way for everyone.

Many claim that breastfeeding helps you loose weight and I applaud the women that are able to loose all their weight with breastfeeding, but honestly it does not work for everyone. I found out that the hard way. I know I’m not the only one like that because I heard other moms say they gained weight instead. True story.  It’s a great way to get women to breastfeed but women should not count on it. There are things that have to happen postpartum that will help guide you to loose the weight. I wish someone took my hand and helped me.

I was too busy trying to finish Chiropractic school, breastfeed in the middle of classes (and argue with teachers not to count me absent because I needed to pump), and too busy being harassed by some of my teachers verbally. Looking back I can definitely say that it was a tough postpartum journey for me! The stress of leaving my newborn child with strangers who we thought were good nannies, but weren’t, also added incredible hardship (but that’s a story for another day). Looking back I really wish I could have put all the stress to the side and just had a calm, relaxing postpartum experience. Sometimes I wish I could rewind and re-live it all again just so I could stand up to those teachers that made my life hell, fire those nannies right away that neglected my newborn son, and just scream/cry for help. I obviously didn’t. The cry comes two years later when I finally have time for myself.

I am finally where I want to be. Specializing in what I love to do. Nothing is perfect of course and there is room for many changes of course but my husband gave me a wake up call the other day. My sweet husband looked at me while I was stressing over nonsense and said, “you have the time to take care of yourself, and only yourself now.” It was true. These past two years I put myself last. I forgot about myself and put everyone else first. I have finally reached the time where it can be all about me and I can start my self-healing journey. As a mom you need to remember to concentrate not only on your family, but on yourself as well. It is important for you to grow as an individual and then grow as a family. Now I understand my psychology teacher when he asked us in class one day back in Chiropractic school term 8 (when my little one was 4 months), who should be valued first in the family. The options were family as a whole, the baby, the relationship of the parents, or the parents as individuals? I chose baby. I was a new mom. What do you expect? Baby was my number one. Everything revolved around him and it still does but differently. I don’t have to worry that I have to rush home on a 5 minute break to breastfeed him. He is growing up so fast and doing a lot of things on his own. I realize that YOU as a MOM have to take care of yourself first. A happy Mom is a healthy Mom, and a happy/healthy Mom makes a happy/healthy family. There are so many things that I would have done during postpartum that no one told me about but now is my chance to inform other moms.

10 POSTPARTUM TIPS THAT I WISH I KNEW BACK THEN:

1. Breastfeeding MAY OR MAY NOT help you loose weight. Do it but don’t count on it. (I did….ergghhhh WRONG!)

2. You get super hungry when breastfeeding, at least I did. They say you need more calories when breastfeeding, BUT HEALTHY Calories!

3. I don’t care if you are a stay-at-home mom or a busy working (or going to school full time mom)- you will NOT have time to make healthy food throughout the day. Prep it the night before or over the weekend when your significant other can help. Cut veggies, fruits up so they can be easily accessible throughout the day. Other great snacks are granola bars, yogurt (there are non-dairy options as well), nuts, and dried fruit.

4. For quick dinners: invest in a steamer for veggies (can be used for baby later) because it only takes 2 minutes to wash the veggies and turn it on, the rest is all up to the steamer and they are ready in 20 minutes! Crockpots and pressure cookers are awesome as well. I loved using a table top grill to make some chicken.

5. Stock up on some frozen meals like ravioli from Costco or steamed rice from Trader Joes. They also have orange chicken to go with the rice which is one of my favorite fast dinners when there’s no time for cooking. This is better than stopping by fast food places! TRUST me I know. I ate at Corner Bakery and Panera Bread for most of my pregnancy and then postpartum (they were close to school and fast). Not a good idea.

6. Deny those cravings! It’s okay to satisfy them during pregnancy, not so much during postpartum.

7. EXERCISE. Find that time. Do it! And if you are breastfeeding it is a myth not to exercise. As long as you are cleared by the doctor then you are solid to start. I was told not to do it because either my milk will taste sour or I will loose all of my supply. Take it easy and do it. Dedicate at least half an hour to yourself a day. You can also go for nice, long walks with the baby in the stroller. Fresh air is good for the baby and you!

8. Stay hydrated and drink lots of water!

9. Get adjusted by a Chiropractor. My back was killing me when I was breastfeeding. I went to get massages but relief came and then went. Getting regular adjustments is the only thing that helped. If you are not breastfeeding, still get adjusted! Did you know that babies can get super heavy? I am still carrying my 31 pounds of joy and I really feel it in my back!

10. Love your body. It just made a baby. Take care of it. Realize it may not ever look the same again, but it is perfect in every way.

I am heading out on my new journey of changes. Starting with juicing and working out. Taking small steps but in the right direction! I will keep you updated my readers.

Happy Wednesday! 🙂

Pre-pregnancy/ the old me…I bought this dress that day. It’s in my big bin of  clothes from “pre-pregnancy days”

Post-pregnancy 2 years

Post-pregnancy 2 years

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