Gluten and Eczema

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! MSGR_PHOTO_FOR_UPLOAD_1522792350087.jpg_1522792352001

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.

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to the veggies!

 

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!

 

 

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Hope

I have a serious addiction. cowbelljr1 Not to cowbell but to podcasts.  Seriously.  I’m a bit obsessed with being productive to begin with.  I also love learning.  So if I can enhance daily activities like driving, cooking, cleaning with enriching my mind with podcasts- I am in my happy place!

I usually stick with health- both spiritual and physical.  My favorite is probably Walk in the Word with Pastor James MacDonald.  Seriously- check it out.  I’ve been listening to it for over a decade; first on the radio and now usually via podcast on my phone.

One of my other favorites is Bulletproof Radio with Dave Aprey.  I was listening to the latest podcast this morning and the topic of mortality came up.  Dave Asprey is a leader in the “bio-hacking” field of really smart guys trying to find ways to optimize health and lifespan through various “hacks”.  His guest was Jason Silva from the brain games show.  Both men are very successful by any measure.  But both are still on their quest to find the meaning of life.  Both are still grappling with (and attempting to postpone!) their own ultimate death.

It seems so sad to me.

This may sound morbid, but in many ways; I welcome death.  Of course I want to live a full lifespan and watch my kids grow up- but I want to go home, too.

“Instead, they were longing for a better country–a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.” Hebrews 11:6

This place isn’t my home.  It’s ok if I don’t have “my best life” now.  I’m waiting for something better.  When pain and trials hit, it reminds me that this place isn’t my home.  I’m ultimately not of this world because my citizenship is in Heaven.  Phillipians 3:20

“We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body….” 2 Cor. 4:10

As Christians we need to embrace death everyday.  The death of the part of our nature that is hostile to God; selfish, wicked, detestable… so that Jesus can live through us.  Death precedes rebirth.  “Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” John 12:24

As Easter approaches I’d invite to embrace the fact that death is not the end.  It’s the beginning.  1212

“Lord Jesus, I pray that you will work in us the will to obey you.  Help us to surrender to you and so live our lives as a living sacrifice- pleasing to you.  We know that in you we find purpose, meaning and eternal life.  We thank you that in you in we have nothing to fear- not even death.  Thank you for the sacrifice that bridged the impossible gap between sinful man and a holy God.  Amen” 

 

Healing Autism

Hey guys so I made this video to update you and how my son is doing with his detoxing program.

I’ll give a quick rundown on what supplements we are using and why and the improvements we’ve seen so far.  The video is about 18 minutes long (sorry!) but it’s really hours of research condensed down.

Here are some sources from where I’ve gotten my info…

https://www.naturalhealth365.com/aluminum-autism-2396.html

https://www.drperlmutter.com/vitamin-d-just-bones/

https://www.drweil.com/health-wellness/health-centers/children/fish-oil-for-adhd/

https://www.naturalnews.com/034756_silica_anti-aging_heavy_metals.html

http://thesupermandiet.com/detox/

View story at Medium.com

View story at Medium.com

View story at Medium.com

View story at Medium.com

 

 

Change

If you’ve read my blog over this past year you’ll know my son, Gabriel, went through a really awful withdrawal from topical steroids.  It was so bed he was basically on bedrest for months.  Basically he had gotten addicted to very strong steroids and it made “eczema” spread all over his body and affected his entire system.  I really don’t want to post pictures but google “topical steroid withdrawal” and you’ll get this gist of how horrific and debilitating this condition is.

But now 11 months in and he is so much better.  

gabebabe
My Little Goof

He’s not 100% yet but he’s come leaps and bounds from where he was.  So much so that we got a call from his school principal saying “Gabe’s looking great!  So… we really want him back in full school days.”  I told her it’d be a rough adjustment but we’d try.

Yesterday morning when I woke him up early it was so tough.  Because his adrenal glands were so messed up from the steroid usage, he has struggled horribly with insomnia.  We’ve (up till now) let him sleep in because he sleeps so poorly at night and for whatever reason slept better during morning hours.

But he has been making major strides so my husband and I agreed it might actually be helpful to try to force his body back into a more regular sleep schedule.  The first morning was rough but he actually did sleep a lot better last night and woke up much easier this morning.

It’s a huge step for him and milestone.  He still has a ways to go before he is 100% healed but we are so thankful for the progress he has made. 11825

A lot of times in life the path to healing is bumpy and hard.  There are times we need to push out of our comfort zones to reach the next level.  Change is hard but often necessary.

As Gabe’s loving parents there have been times where we comforted him and carried him (ha literally) but on this journey we’ve increasingly pushed him out of his comfort zone.  As he’s gotten better we’ve adjusted his treatment accordingly.  As he grew wings we’ve metaphorically pushed him out of the nest.  Times where we knew he was capable but it was his mind that was stuck.

How many of us are perfectly capable of making necessary changes but are still stuck in old patterns?  We were too sick at one point but we’re stronger now but still being held back purely in our minds? 

“Dear Jesus, you know our hurts, our pasts, our fears.  I pray that for all of us that you’d help us to break free from restrictive and sickly thought patterns.  Help us to embrace wholeness in every area.  Help us to find our wings and courage and fresh hope and get out of our comfort zones.  For your glory.  Amen.” 

Rest

I’m sitting here munching away on dark chocolate and it’s not yet 9am.  I just drank two cups of coffee plus a generous amount of cold brew.

Why?  Because I’m exhausted.

My husband has been gone on a business trip all week so I’ve been holding down the fort solo.  Which was going pretty well until last night.  Gabe had too much sugar (can’t blame him, a neighbor very thoughtfully brought over Christmas goodies) and was up just about all night long scratching.

I think he finally fell asleep but at 3 am my daughters bed-wetting alarm went off.  So I’m stumbling around in the dark trying to unhook this contraption from her soggy undies while it’s chirping loudly enough to wake the dead.  Gabe is awakened from his slumber and possibly the neighbors as well!

I finally just had to give him a dose of Benadryl so he could stop itching long enough to get back to sleep

I lay there for an hour afterwards and couldn’t fall back asleep until seemingly right before my alarm went off at 6:30.

So that’s why I’m drowning my tired sorrows in some lindt and starbucks.

I just realized all of this is very ironic because I’ve been meaning to write a follow up blog about rest.  My last blog was all about pushing through.  Grit and determination are important but no less important than finding rest.

In my TSW online support groups there is a lot of talk about PTSD, both for the kids who go through this nightmare and the parents who very much suffer along with their children.  I think we’ve been able to avoid it because we have really done everything we can to be there for Gabe, emotionally and physically.  If he was happy, we were happy.  When he cried, many times I held him and secretly cried too.  I’m a big believer in processing your emotions at the time.  Shoving them down leads to so many problems later.

But one lingering fear that still very much affects him is that he is afraid to sit and relax.  See, for months he would get brief energy bursts (where he could walk and function) and we’d be able to get out for an hour or two before he’d “crash” and it’d be back to sitting in the recliner for the rest of the day.  Because his adrenal glands were so shot from the long term steroid usage; sitting down would often mean he just couldn’t get back up again.  Which is terrible for anyone, but much more so when your a formerly very active 8 year old boy.

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He spent many hours here

Now he’s made tons of progress.  His skin looks so much better and he has loads more energy.  He can usually “go” from 9 am to 9 pm now.  A huge improvement where even an hour of being able to get up and walk around was a happy occasion.

20171221_093134

So he’s come so far but I think the fear of “crashing” is always with him and he is afraid to sit down.  Afraid that his energy will desert him if he takes a moment to rest.

I noticed this about a month ago.  I initially thought he always stood because maybe the dryness in his legs made it uncomfortable to bend into a sitting position.  But then I realized that wasn’t it.  He was afraid.  He would push himself all day and not sit at all except when in the car or on the bus.  It just couldn’t be good for him, especially since he is still recovering.

So in the evenings I started forcing him to come and sit with me.  He would resist it at first but pretty quickly he would curl his body close against mine and I would feel his tension melting away.  A deep sigh and a sense of peace would come over him.  What he was resisting was what he most needed.  He fought so hard all day to overcome but he also needed to embrace times of rest after all that valiant effort.

I think that’s all of us.

We think rest is zoning out or maybe shopping or eating or whatever.  And those things can be good and much needed but we need a deeper rest.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-29

When we’re stressed, hurting, tired…. we don’t need to numb ourselves we need to seek this genuine rest.  I know it’s something I need, every day.  Not to check my Facebook for the 56th time.  Not to overdo it on the wine.  But to find this place of true rest that will restore my soul.

We need this time of rest built in to our lives because we live in a pretty harsh world.  Our default mode is to seek bandaids and self-medicate when we really need to get our bruised souls in the healing presence of God.

This is really a challenge to me but hopefully an encouragement to others to seek His rest throughout the day.  He isn’t going to force us (he isn’t a pushy, bossy mom like me) to lay down next to those still waters, but the invitation is there. 790ff8ab4f67275d6ed6d2cd987f1335

“Lord, you know our burdens and our heavy cares.  Heavenly father we pray that we would surrender and relax into your rest.  Help us to have a childlike faith and open our eyes to the wonder of your intimate care for us.  Thank you for loving us so, even when we resist and struggle against what we need the most. Amen”

Pushing Through

Right now my hands and forearms are fried into oblivion.  I shelled out $20 (so well spent) for a month of unlimited Cathe Friedrich workouts.  Having access to the entire collection is like being a kid in a candy store for this workout junkie.  I’ve been doing new workouts every day and my body is currently begging for mercy.

I just love a tough challenge and I love feeling like I’ve done my best.  I even like having sore muscles.

But at 31 there’s more aches and pains than I used to have and I had to go the chiropractor last month when my neck felt out of whack and all my stretching couldn’t fix it.  I found a new chiro and was hoping to get in and out of there asap but he insisted on doing X-rays.

Well, turns out, I have curves in all the wrong places.  My back has twists and turns like a nightmarish rollercoaster.  My neck isn’t much better.

Well, that would explain the back pain that I’ve had for years.  I often have to pause a workout and stretch my back or pop it back into place.  It just is what it is.  I don’t know if it was the stress of gymnastics as a kid, malnutrition as an eating-disordered teen, bad posture or a combo of all three but my back is whack (please forgive the awful pun!).

But I won’t give up on doing what I love and I won’t let it limit me.  I’m going to keep pushing through like I always have.

I’ve run into a lot of obstacles but I haven’t given up.  I figured out a diet that worked.  I found supplements to help with my auto-immune issues.  I found a foam roller to help with my back pain.

I wonder sometimes if that grit and determination is why God has allowed me to face the extreme challenges I have in my son’s health issues.  There’s been a lot of times that it felt hopeless but I wasn’t about to give up.  Ever.

“A large crowd followed and pressed around him.  And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years.  She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse.” Mark 5:24-26

This is my son’s story too. 25354063_10159835464640074_9156951997104848909_n He saw many doctors and the medicine just made him worse.  We were at wits end and we brought him up to the altar to be prayed over.  The next week God revealed to us that the steroid creams were the cause of his deteriorating condition.  We didn’t get the instant healing we were hoping for but we set off on a healing journey.

I think in life we all run up against obstacles that would try to beat us into submission.  Giants that screams at us to give up.  Times we seek healing in every natural avenue we can and get worse.  Those times we need to push through.  Like that woman who pushed through not just the crowd but what must have been a crippling social stigma as an unclean person for so long; to get through to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment.

She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.” Matthew 9:21 

I want to encourage you to keep seeking, keep pushing because you have a God in Heaven that loves you.

We can push through hard times because our God is for us.

This Christmas season I hope you take some quiet moments to ponder at the wonder that the God of the Universe came to earth as a baby in the most humble way possible.  He did it for me, he did it for you. untousachildisborn6.jpg

 

Going Mental

I read an article this morning about the decline of mental health in America. jn

All joking aside, there’s an epidemic of depression amongst teens.  This article is from the U.K. but I’m guessing we’d have similar number over here in North America. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3752222/Depression-anxiety-strikes-one-three-teenage-girls-Number-mental-health-issue-rises-10-past-decade.html The article sites a 10% increase in depression in the last decade and that 1 in 3 teen girls will deal with depression.

Not only that but the CDC says that 1 in 6 children have a developmental disorder https://www.disabilityscoop.com/2011/05/23/cdc-1-in-6/13146/ and that there was at least a 17% increase between 1997 and 2008.  Who knows what the figure is at now.

All the experts can tell us is that kids are depressed because of their smart phones.  Kids are disconnected.  While I believe that is true and a contributing factor I also believe the high aluminum loads in our collective brains has an awful lot to do with it.

This study showed than exposure to environmental aluminum posed a major risk to neurological health and can lead to Alzheimer’s https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140212093300.html  “While aluminum is a known neurotoxin and occupational exposure to aluminum has been implicated in neurological disease…” quote  Now this study is focused on Alzheimer’s, a specific condition, but maybe environmental aluminum (cough*vaccines*cough) is behind the explosion in depression, anxiety, OCD, ADD and possibly even behind the increase in tragic school shootings.

This article from 2007 illustrates the prevalence of aluminum in modern society and the neuro-toxic affects “Trace amounts of aluminum applied to the brain surface of animals resulted in seizures and fits. Other studies demonstrated that aluminum salts injected into the fluid surrounding the brain produced changes that are similar to those occurring in senile dementia. In further animal studies, cats given aluminum became slow learners at experimental tasks. The level of aluminum in the cats’ brains was equivalent to the amount in the brains of persons who have a type of senility called Alzheimer’s disease.”  http://proliberty.com/observer/20071207.htm

But what’s the link between Alzheimer’s and learning disabled kids, depressed teens and 20 somethings still living at home?  Maybe it’s all aluminum.  Just check out some of these common symptoms of dementia-

Difficulty concentrating and planning things
Memory loss and confusion
Short attention span
Lack of motivation
Depression
Personality, mood and behavioral changes
Delusions or hallucinations
Incontinence
Muscle weakness, stiffness, or paralysis
Slow and unsteady movements
Trembling in arms and legs
Sleeping difficulties
Aggression and frustration

Difficulty concentrating, short attention span, depression, aggression…sound familiar? Sounds pretty similar to what is being seen in the mental health epidemic we are seeing.

All of this because of an aggressive (ahem, profitable) vaccine schedule.  Why aluminum?  It’s in virtually all vaccines to trigger as strong as possible immune response to gain immunity to the disease they are vaccinating against.  The major problem being, this powerfully immune-stimulating, potent neuro-toxin is in nano particle and tends to stick around the body.  It isn’t coming back out.  It is getting stored in white blood cells and worse, the brain.

Pumping babies full of this junk could easily explain not just the neurological decline but also the explosion of auto-immune problems.  Again, all the experts can say is that we are causing asthma and allergies by being “too clean”.  Really?  Or could it be the powerful immune system antagonist being injected into our bodies throwing our immune systems in a tailspin???

Really I could go on and on but I’m going to exercise a bit of restraint and get to the good part- what do we do now?  How can we rescue ourselves and our kids from this man made crisis of poor physical and mental health?

We need to start with avoiding further environmental aluminum.  It’s been an experiment.  It’s failed.  We need to make major changes.  For those of us who feel like we developed an auto-immune condition and/or mental health issue as the result of aluminum, we need to detox it out of our bodies.

This is the daily regiment I have my 12 year old son on. 20171213_113059.jpg

I’m personally experimenting with taking diatomaceous earth.  It’s really cool in that it’s the crushed up fossils of diatoms.  It’s a rich source of silica- the single best thing in detoxing aluminum.  I just mix a heaping tablespoon with filtered water and drink it.  It isn’t too bad and doesn’t have much of a taste.  It’s an incredible natural and safe detox aid.  The silica is also great for hair, nails and skin- added bonus.  I just started but I’ll definitely update my blog on how and if I feel it’s helping.  Here’s some additional info https://draxe.com/diatomaceous-earth/

I’d like to do more posts on mental health, because really, it’s is just such a complex topic.  But I really believe that our bodies and brains are going to have issues as long as they are laboring under this toxic burden.  Getting the aluminum out is the first step.