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Updates on Bekah’s Allergies

admin November 20, 2009

It’s been a couple months now since we started working hard on Bekah’s treatment. We got the prescriptions for B-12 injections and glutathione cream in October. Unfortunately, within a few days, Bekah’s eczema flared up horribly and she began waking up every night, angry and itchy. She also wasn’t napping well or at all, so she was spending most days and nights throwing tantrums constantly. We continued to give her sublingual B-12 everyday, in hopes that would make some difference. We stopped the injections and the cream, and within a few days her eczema was clearing up, and is now basically gone. At its worst, the eczema totally covered her chest and belly and was bright red, and there were patches on her arms and legs too.

Moving In The Right Direction

Bekah was able to try several new foods after her eczema subsided, including almonds (allergic), lima beans (allergic), raisins (fine — yay!), and others I can’t remember. We now know that she cannot tolerate any legumes, nuts, tropical fruit, gluten, or dairy. We won’t even try anything else in those families for awhile. So, she is down to apples (she’ll now eat them raw), pears, bananas, carrots, celery, potatoes, chicken, beef, turkey, ham, eggs, coconut. Ham was new too, also fine.

Last weekend we realized that maybe we should stop bathing her so often, and stop allowing her to drink city water. Although she was napping again, the eczema was gone, we were making sure she was eating enough during the day, and her behavior was somewhat better, she was still waking at night. When we were out of town and she was drinking only filtered water, her behavior improved dramatically. We have gone to bathing her only 1 – 2 times per week and allowing her to drink only filtered or spring water. She’s slept — soundly — through the night this week and has been napping better and much happier and less fussy during the day. We think that she has chemical sensitivities and our ultimate solution will be to buy a reverse osmosis system for the entire house, so that ALL the taps, including showers, will be safe.

Bekah’s also talking more. She’s repeating many words, trying to communicate constantly. This really started to explode after we removed city water. Could be a coincidence, but we don’t think so.

Back To The Doctor

On Thursday, 11/19 we went back to the doctor. She advised starting B12 injections again, and getting an alternative base for the glutathione cream and beginning that again as well. She also took a look at Bekah’s diaper rash and said it looks like strep bacteria, and prescribed an antibiotic cream for her. She also recommended putting her in disposables for awhile until the rash clears and treating all her diapers. So, we bought Seventh Generation diapers for her (she thinks they are funny, she pulls at the paper and pokes at them when wet and says “Skee-see” which means “squishy”).

We’ve only applied the antibiotic cream two or three times, and the rash is clearing (it always does; and to my knowledge strep bacteria lives harmlessly in many peoples’ guts and is caused by an acidic system. We also know for sure that the reason it’s causing a rash is because she eats an allergenic food and this causes diarrhea, which is acidic, and that feeds the rash). However, the eczema on her chest is beginning to flare again. She definitely has chemical sensitivities.

Doctors Are Puzzled

The truth is, doctors understand very little about what’s going on right now. It puzzles them why kids are so allergic, even to their mothers’ breastmilk in some cases. I have the answer: leaky gut syndrome. Doctors have theorized that when babies’ guts don’t develop properly, they remain “open” and larger than normal proteins can get through, directly to the bloodstream, and can cause the body to form antibodies against them and become allergic. When the mothers suffer from leaky gut syndrome, these proteins pass into their milk, and then into their babies’ bloodstreams, causing allergic reactions (babies’ guts are born open and are protected by IgA in the breastmilk, and close sometime around 18 weeks of age, later in formula fed babies). Gut development is KEY. When babies are born via c-section, their initial gut flora isn’t colonized properly. Formula feeding makes it worse (the proteins get into their systems, and there is no protective IgA). Vaccinations and antibiotics make it worse. Early solids make it worse. And so on. In breastfed babies, their mother’s health matters completely. Doctors are aware that most of the immune system is in the gut, and do know about how it develops normally, but somehow can’t seem to put the pieces together to figure this out.

So, I have to decide what to do next with Bekah. She’s almost 22 months and still breastfeeding, which is definitely a point in our favor. Unfortunately she was supplemented early and started solids early. Her first 6 weeks, she received formula sometimes, so her gut flora didn’t colonize properly then. It might have been okay, but I started her on solids early too. I probably wasn’t in the best health then and was eating dairy and junk food, passing this to her, creating allergies. It was a cascade of bad decisions. Now we have to fix it.

I’ll post more updates on Bekah as we decide what to do next.

For what it’s worth, Daniel was born at home, had no drugs in his system while I was pregnant, during labor/ birth, or after. He’s over 18 weeks now and has had no supplements of any kind, nor any solids (Bekah was on solids at his age). He shows no signs of allergies and has even been able to tolerate small amounts of dairy through me (I think — we’ll try in a few more weeks). I believe he will outgrow his early sensitivities entirely and be normal. Which is very exciting to me! At 4 months he is 25″ and just over 13 lbs. and a very happy boy. 🙂

Have You Dealt With Sensitivities Like Bekah’s?

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3 Comments

  1. What exactly is the "gut"? Which organ is leaking?

    Reply

  2. I second that. Can you please explain or give me a source so I can learn more about the "gut"?

    Reply

  3. Hi,

    The "gut" refers primarily to the intestines, but really to your entire digestive system. Most of the immune system is in the digestive system. When babies are born and their systems are immature, the "gut" is open and particles of food can pass through (that is, the walls of intestines are permeable, as I understand it). It is supposed to close so that food must be completely digested before entering the bloodstream. But if it isn't closed for whatever reason, then partially digested food can get out of the gut and into the bloodstream, and the body will attack it. This is the "leaky gut" theory of allergies. If there is more interest, I will post my sources or write a further post on the subject.

    Reply

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I’m Kate, mama to 5 and wife to Ben.  I love meeting new people and hearing their stories.  I’m also a big fan of “fancy” drinks (anything but plain water counts as ‘fancy’ in my world!) and I can’t stop myself from DIY-ing everything.  I sure hope you’ll stick around so I can get to know you better!

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