Does anyone have experience with doing Dr. Sears' Total Elimination Diet to try to pinpoint food sensitivities in a breastfed baby? DD2 has very bad eczema on her face and neck, and it has been steadily spreading. Her pedi said to just keep putting lotion on her and to use hydrocortisone cream, but not on her face. Well, that's where the worst of it is.
I have been faithfully following the diet for two weeks, and she has not improved. I've had nothing but turkey, rice, zucchini, yellow squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pears, safflower/sunflower/canola oil, and salt and pepper. I know it can take a long time for foods to clear your system, but I expected to see SOME improvement after two weeks. Am I being impatient? I'm concerned that her problem either isn't food-related, or that she might be intolerant of potatoes or something else on the diet. I would love some insight.
Post by towerclimberswife on Mar 2, 2015 7:45:12 GMT -5
I would swap the oils for coconut oil. Refined or unrefined virgin. Also, sweet potato and white potato are, as you said sometimes cause for allergy reactions. I haven't done this - but dealt with sensitivities myself and did something similar a few years back.
Thank you for your response! I have been thinking I need to cut the potatoes, and thanks for the tip about the oils. I hate to do it because it kills rice milk and the potato chips I've been eating. Boo. But if it helps her, it's worth it.
I think I will take a week or two off to recharge before trying this out. I'm a little worried about my nutrition and milk supply, especially if I cut the rice milk, which had vitamins and calcium added. I can't take my prenatal while doing the diet because it contains allergens.
How old is your baby? I did the TED twice, but both of my DDs had blood in their stool, not skin issues. It did work, though.
Is there anything that you might be using externally on her or yourself that could be causing it? Laundry detergent, dryer sheets, hand sanitizer, baby wash, moisturizer? My oldest had really sensitive skin, so we had to wash all of our clothes in free and clear detergent and avoid dryer sheets. Anything with a fragrance bothered her skin, so did soap, and lots of different lotions.
She is six months old. Her diapers are basically normal; it's just the skin problems that I'm dealing with. DH has food allergies, which is why I started wondering if she does, too. He also has asthma and had bad eczema as an infant/toddler.
I use All Free and Clear for everything in the house. I don't use fabric softener for the kids' clothes, but I do use it for mine. I guess it's possible that that is enough to bother her, but she doesn't spend a lot of time with her face pressed up to my clothes or anything. We just switched from baby wash to Dove soap at her pedi's recommendation, and other than that, I use Aveeno Baby Eczema lotion and Aquaphor on her. She only gets bathed every four days.
We do have two cats. I'm not sure how to figure out if they are the problem, though, since they live in the house with us.
When my DD1 had eczema flare ups we had to bathe her every day, but we only used soap about once a week. Then we would apply moisturizer/cortisone as soon as she got out of the bath. Bathing infrequently actually made DD1 worse.
I have 3 DDs. DD1 had eczema. She also has a severe peanut/tree nut allergy, but her eczema was triggered by environmental irritants. We switched to formula when she was 6 months old, and her eczema didn't improve significantly until she was around 2. DD2 and DD3 both had multiple food protein sensitivities, so I did the TED with them. Neither of them had skin issues.
Is your DD teething? If she's drooling more that might exacerbate the eczema. Or if she's in daycare the cleaners they use could bother her. Maybe applying aquafor as a barrier a couple of times a day would help?
The TED sucks so much. I think I would probably try eliminating the top 8 allergens and then cycle other foods out of your diet for a week at a time. I wouldn't restrict more.
I didn't do the TED to figure out my son's (EBF 4 month old) eczema. I followed the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP). The resource I used was thepaleomom.com. I was already following a Primal diet (no grains, legumes, soy), but I still allowed raw, organic dairy. Two weeks after completely cutting dairy out of my diet, DS's skin was all but cleared of one patch. I also cut out nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, potatoes (not sweet potatoes), egg plant, peppers), but I've since been able to reintroduce those foods without any issues.
Things other than my diet that helped my son's skin: running a humidifier all day and night (we're in MN, so the air is very dry and cold right now), bathing everyday in water with 1/2 teaspoon of bleach (yes, regular Clorox), diligent schedule of vanicream lotion immediately following his bath when his skin was still damp along with a slathering of it if he was going to be in the elements at all. Increasing my consumption of raw fermented foods (Kombucha, sauerkraut, pickles), and adding a probiotic for myself and son.
I second the advice about getting the industrial seed oils (Safflower, Sunflower, and Canola) out of your diet. Also, look at what the Turkey is eating. I have a friend who can't eat fowl of any sort that has been fed a soy feed maybe you or he has a reaction to that. I'd probably try adding some gut healing foods to your diet such as bone broth and gelatin.
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