After writing my post about the yogic diet, I thought it would be a good idea to share a story about how much diet can really affect health. This is the story of how I healed my son’s full body eczema by changing his diet. The old adage that we are what we eat really stands true and this narrative will demonstrate how the foods we eat can really hurt or heal. I am not an expert on the topic, but I am speaking through my own personal experiences and let me tell you, food is akin to magic. For my son and his eczema, it really was bippity boppity boo!
Some Background Discussion
In this world we are constantly bombarded by chemicals in our household cleaners, our cosmetics, on items in our homes from carpet to paint to mattresses. The worst part is that chemicals are also in our food. Even fruits and vegetables have pesticides, herbicides, insecticides and more. There are so many genetically modified foods, synthetic additives and food dyes in what we eat too. The truth of the matter is that our bodies can only take so much of this constant insult. When it comes to young children, their bodies are still developing and are even less well equipped to handle it.
There is something I have read about called bioaccumulation. This is when there is a higher amount of toxins coming into the body than what can be metabolized or they are materials that the body cannot metabolize at all. A well known example of this is mercury in fish. When fish higher on the food chain eat fish that have eaten mercury contaminated phytoplankton, they accumulate mercury in their bodies. They are not able to metabolize it. When these fish are consumed by us, that mercury then builds up in the human body. There are some types of salmon and tuna which are not recommended to be consumed frequently (among others) for this very reason. So you can imagine that there are all sorts of foods that carry toxic burdens of different kinds, even plant based foods. A good example is soy. It has been farmed so heavily, seeds have been genetically modified, the plants have been sprayed with numerous chemicals and then they are consumed by us. Soy is a product found in so many packaged foods that it is very difficult to avoid unless you select whole foods instead. I have experienced this personally and have had to become more “chef-fy” in the process.
I am barely scratching the surface on this topic and could go on, but I just wanted to give some background as to how eczema may come about in the first place. If you go to a doctor, they will give you a steroid cream and tell you to apply it to the affected areas. I am not in a place to judge what anyone else thinks is right for their child, but I didn’t want to put a steroid cream on him. Topical creams only treat the symptoms of something much deeper. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that there are genetic and environmental factors that may affect the susceptibility of a child to develop eczema. However, in the experience I have had with my little guy, there is far more going on diet-wise that can be done to make a difference.
What do naturopaths say about eczema?
Naturopathic doctors say that eczema is associated with inflammation in the gut tissues. This inflammation permits spaces to develop between cells in the intestines and this allows proteins and bacteria to pass through which causes immune inflammatory responses in the body. This is known as leaky gut. The immune response can cause autoimmune problems which manifest as things like food intolerances and eczema. Eating trigger foods which a person already has some sensitivity to, but doesn’t necessarily know about, can contribute to the problem. This was the case for my son.
I do my very best to buy organic foods, and whole foods are my first choice. My children started out their lives eating only whole foods and were actually vegetarian at the beginning. But my daughter at around the age of 2 yrs and my son after her, at 2 yrs both developed eczema. My son’s case was far worse and he basically woke up one morning with a full body eczema rash which was itchy and patchy. He was very uncomfortable. I cried when I looked at his soft skin with this horrible itchy red rash on his little body. He didn’t sleep well and seemed irritated. Right away I cut wheat and the small amount of dairy he was eating. I put him on a dairy-free probiotic and began giving him kombucha to drink exclusively everyday. These tips I got from a family member who experienced something similar.
What is kombucha?
Kombucha is a fermented drink. It utilizes a microbial organism called a scoby (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). The bacteria found in kombucha is healthy in colonizing the gut and maintaining healthy tissue.
I got calendula oil from the health food store and applied it to his skin. It really helped to moisturize and reduce the inflammation. I had a food sensitivities test done for him to find out why after 3 weeks of taking these foods out of his diet and making these changes, there wasn’t too much improvement. Turns out that he has high level sensitivities to peanuts, soy, rice, oats, pea, wheat, dairy and cashews. My little vegetarian became a meat-etarian shortly after finding this out because these very foods were what I gave him in his diet. It’s no surprise that soy, rice, oats and wheat are known allergenic foods because of the chemical sprays and genetically modified strains used even in some organic farming. Within 2 weeks of cutting all these foods, my son’s skin had a drastic improvement.
~Bippity Boppity Boo!!~
I couldn’t believe my eyes. Now his skin is back to its beautiful and soft texture. He is healed. It will still take up to 1 year for his gut to heal completely, but I can see that we are well on our way.
It is no easy task to watch out for things like soy- which seems to be in everything from meatballs to protein bars. We went away to a cottage for a week and when he accidentally ate some foods on his sensitivity list it showed up right away on his skin. Now that I see how having his diet strictly watched can make him eczema-free, I will continue to do my best to provide the foods that help him be healthy and well.
I hope that for anyone out there who may be experiencing something similar or know someone who is, you find this helpful. Please share it with whoever you feel can benefit from this story. Perhaps it may help another and that would be fulfilling my purpose. If you have a story similar, I would like to hear about it in the comments😊
Much Love To All and Thank You for reading!!