Friday, April 17, 2009

Milk. The enemy?

I mentioned in a post last Friday that Grace has been having a bad flare-up of her eczema.  We have dealt with this since birth.  I have tried every possible cream, ointment, lotion…both prescription and over-the-counter.  Many times something will help for a time, but inevitably she will have more problems and whatever I’m using at the time will stop “working.”

Last week we were in crisis mode.  When I got her out of bed last Friday after a restless night of fussing and crying, I noticed smears of blood on the sheets.  She had scratched behind her knees so much during the night that it drew blood.  I had to do something.

I spent more time researching various eczema websites and most of them mentioned one recurring theme:  food allergies.  The most common offender?  Milk.  It was not a stretch to consider that milk could be the underlying cause of her skin problems.  I myself was taken off dairy products at 10 months old, which my mom says resulted in much better health.  We know already that she is allergic to eggs, which makes her more likely to have other food sensitivities.

Long story short…I stopped all dairy products last Friday and her eczema is at least 75% better than this time last week.  No milk,  ice cream, yogurt, or cheese.  I realize that dairy products provide needed nutrients for kids to grow, so I bought a couple of substitution products. 

For her morning cereal, I used soy milk with extra calcium.  She didn’t even notice.  I also bought soy-based yogurt, which she loved.  I even bought Cool Whip as a treat in place of ice cream.  I haven’t bought any cheese substitute yet since I’m still looking at my options.  I also purchased some almond milk to try, but I’ll wait until we finish the soy milk.

I know we’re still in the early stages…it’s only been a week.  But, I cut out all additional treatments, oil, and lotions (other than the Cetaphil cream for moisture) to try to get a more accurate picture of what an elimination of dairy might do for her.  I really can’t attribute her improvement to anything else.

So we’re starting a new journey…no more pizza, mac & cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, chocolate milk, pudding, yogurt, ice cream, Goldfish, string cheese, butter, etc.  I’ll do my best to find alternate products so she will not feel deprived and get the nutrition she needs.

There’s a lot of buzz on the internet about coconut milk products, and they look yummy!  I had to call a bunch of places before I found a store that keeps them in stock, so we’ll try them out, too.  I also found a great recipe for coconut milk ice cream that looks super-easy and delicious.

I’m really hoping this is “the answer.”  Only time will tell.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just a suggestion - if there's a Trader Joe's in your area, you might check there for new and different snacks!

It sounds like this is really helping, though! Good job, Mom!