Awhile back I started my three kids on a gluten free diet. For two main reasons- my 23 and Me test showed that my celiac disease is definitely genetic. Plus, two of my kids struggle with A.D.D. issues and the other has horrible eczema/TSW. There is a very strong link between gluten sensitivity and both conditions.
There was a lot of complaining for sure! Especially my eldest, who said he’d rather deal with potential effects of eating gluten than cut out his favorite foods. He’s slowly coming around. He’s big on science and I took time to explain how gluten causes inflammation in virtually everyone, but that some people are genetically more susceptible. Because celiac runs in our family, that would definitely include him. Plus the gluten free offerings have gotten so much better and varied in the last few years. When I first went gluten free the gluten free pasta was disgusting. Now there are brands so good you can hardly tell or miss the gluten!
I definitely got part of my answer when I let my kids “cheat” about 10 days ago. My middle son, Gabe, had a huge piece of pizza and some regular cookies. The next day almost his entire body was covered in a rash that lasted for four days.
I’ve noticed my oldest is much more calmer and focused. Now if I could just find a way to treat surly-teenager-itis!!
I think my youngest is having less meltdowns. I say I “think” because it’s really hard to measure objectively. I did notice on Easter, after eating way more sugar than usual, she was crying and emotional all night long. *sigh* What you feed your kids really does have a huge impact on emotional and mental (as well as physical, of course) well-being.
Another thing I realized is that when I switched my son’s laundry detergent it lead to a huge backslide in his healing. I didn’t even think much of it at the time. He was getting so much better so when his natural powdered detergent ran out, I just ran out and got some standard free and clear detergent. He’s been getting worse ever since. I bought some more of his old detergent and washed all his clothes and bedding. Hopefully that will help!
When you’re battling eczema it’s almost always a sign that your immune system is malfunctioning. It’s not uncommon for you to have random allergic reactions. A couple days ago I had taken Gabe and his friend to a movie. We were all having a lot of fun but she playfully rubbed a stuffed bear toy she had gotten from a claw machine on his face. On the way home his eyes started swelling up. They turned bright red and rash-ey. Much Benadryl and a bath later and he was still miserable. The bear was probably “cheap, china junk” and covered in flame retardants, dust, and formaldehyde.
With eczema it’s not just a skin disorder. It’s internal before it is ever external. It’s so important to look after your gut health and avoid inflammatory foods that would make leaky gut worse. Vitamin D is probably the best single thing to treat eczema and any auto-immune condition. We take a form that also has vitamin K2 to improve absorbability. We also use Now brand vitamin D cream on Gabe. It doesn’t irritate his skin and it helps keeps his levels up.
Fish is also great too. Because our guy is so little he reacts quickly to food and treatments. For instance, yesterday he was “crashing” (getting itchy all over and tired) when I gave him some fish oil and he ate some baked tilapia. He perked right up and had a few more good hours in the day (as opposed to spending the rest of the day immobile). Our western diets are way too high in inflammatory omega 6 fatty acids. Think cheap vegetables oils. We need some omega 6, but it needs to be balanced with omega 3s to keep our inflammatory responses healthy and appropriate. The standard American diet has 16 times more omega 6’s than omega 3’s. Omega 6 and Inflammation
To combat his you should throw out all your vegetable oils. Corn, soy, peanut, canola, rapeseed….it’s all terrible. Cook with butter, coconut oil, and at low temps with olive oil. Try to eat fish at least once a week- especially wild-caught salmon, which is great because it is very high in inflammation-crushing omega 3s and it gets it’s pink color from astaxanthin- a potent antioxidant.
Of course fruits and veggies are so important too. We try to buy organic in bulk, at least for the most heavily sprayed produce.
Just making these changes, and taking our son off of all steroids, eliminated his asthma/chronic pneumonia. He still has a way to go but we aren’t going to quit until he is 100% healed!