Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Eczema - some success

My brother and sister had bad eczema when they were growing up so I was used to it and not alarmed when my baby got a little. It was barely anything and didn't itch him so I just left it alone. Then it flared up and I made an appt with our ped who is also an ND and we went last week. That wasn't helpful at all as all she did was ask me a little bit about his diet and tell me to put on a cream like Eucerin.

What I knew from my brother and sister is that eczema:
* is related to food allergies
* can be hard to treat
* oil of primrose and vitamin E can help sometimes
* hydrocortisone is often prescribed (but didn't seem to be an answer in itself)

I went home and read up all my alternative medicine books and looked at some links as well, guided in part by a report from someone on my neighborhood parenting list (elsewhere) about probiotics helping her little one with eczema.

What I learned from reading was that eczema:
* has been linked with a reaction to an overgrowth of certain bacteria in the gut
* is often found in individuals who later go on to have allergies such as hay fever (nothing more serious than that)
* can be related to zinc deficiency sometimes
* is often related to common allergies -- peanuts, eggs, milk, orange juice, etc.
* can have some improvement from increasing omega-3 intake
* that promoting good bacteria (through injesting certain strains and helper strains) can help readjust the gut flora
* can improve when you eliminate simple carbs (refined wheat products, sugar, juices)
* can benefit from diet changes similar to what one does to try to heal from yeast infections (stay away from sugar, fermented foods, etc.)

I stumbled a little with the diet, so my sitter and I started keeping a log and I helped give her more direction on what to feed him so he wasn't just eating carbs with her. We also cut back on juice and dairy some. I also bought some fish oil, probiotic meant for children 0-5 years, and sunflower seeds.

I also tried putting a lotion on his rash that he was fine with previously on winter dry skin but on the eczema it made the rash get worse. Eczema is akin to broken skin so don't make that mistake. You can use Eucerin, Aquaphor, Vasoline, or even lanolin to help keep it covered.

After a week of treatment it is finally starting to heal up. I've been thinking about what caused it to flare and I think it was related to his love of gorgonzola cheese. He had some earlier in the month and it was a particularly bloomy one and I think it threw things off in his system a little.

I just wanted to share in case this helps anyone else.

Monday, September 29, 2008

19.5 months -- a little breakthrough

I wanted to give an update on our progress, or lack thereof, as we have been in an extended potty pause.

I've been continuing to offer with no pressure just things like:

"Let me know if you need to go potty"
"Here is where the potty is. If you need to go just let me know"
"We don't pee [whereever the miss was]. We pee in the potty"

I really can't thank my local diaper-free baby group enough for the knowledge that this is just how things can progress and we're not doing anything wrong. It has been so helpful to understand that he is reorganizing himself. In some ways I wonder if I would have been as tuned in to this big developmental reorganization stages (and others prior) without practicing E.C. -- it gives such a clear view into the complex changes our little ones are going through.

So anyway, last night when he was in his bath I reminded him not to pee in the bath, and he pointed to the potty to let me know that was where to go. After I got him dried off and dressed he was passing gas and I asked him if he had to go potty, if he had to have a poo and he answered "Dat." Which meant yes, I got it spot on. I said let's go and then he headed down the hall and went to the toilet.

I helped him get the seat reducer in place and he indicated that he wanted me to help him undress (and with some urgency). I helped him on the toilet and after a few minutes he went and announced "I-doot" which for Jonah means "I did it". I double-checked and he told me he was all done. He barely let me wipe him off, almost like he thought that if he hadn't soiled himself he didn't need to be cleaned off. It was all good though. I'm so pleased but I tried not to make too much of it. He seemed pleased with himself as well.

I was reminded of our early successes which started with #2 so I'm
feeling like maybe soon we will have a bit of a renaissance.