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Thread: many diet restrictions due to eczema - should I switch to formula?

  1. #1

    Default many diet restrictions due to eczema - should I switch to formula?

    My baby was born on 1/1/08 and she has been breast fed exclusively. She was diagnosed with a moderate case of eczema when she was 2 months old. The eczema has spread to almost all her body. The pediatrician believes that it's triggered by my diet. I have experimented with diet restriction since end of April and still have to use steroid to control the rash.

    As of this week my food restriction has extended to diary, nuts, fish, shell fish, egg, soy, and wheat. I don't eat any processed food any more to avoid hidden ingredient. My current diet consists of oatmeal, rice, chicken, pork, beef, vegetable (excludes tomato, mushroom, asparagus), and fruit(excludes any berry).

    Although I take DHA supplement (a kind of omega 3 oil) and prenatal vitamin, I am concerned that the extend of the food restriction is hurting the quality of the breast milk and my baby is not getting enough nutrient for proper development (fish and egg are vital for brain development, right?). I am wondering if it's better for the baby to switch to a hypo-allergic formula? Please advise!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Not around here as much :(

    Default Re: many diet restrictions due to eczema - should I switch to formula?

    I wonder what type of detergent you're using on babys clothes bedding etc...
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Durham, NC

    Default Re: many diet restrictions due to eczema - should I switch to formula?

    how about fabrics? Mine can't wear anything other than cotton.

    Have you already been through all of these things to no end?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Surprise, AZ

    Default Re: many diet restrictions due to eczema - should I switch to formula?

    I agree with the above posts. DS & DF both have eczema & it's due to detergent & time of year.
    Steff, proud mom to:
    Ian (6) born naturally
    breastfed from 7/3/06 to 6/16/08
    Erin (4) born naturally (with Hypnobirthing)
    breastfed from 5/18/08 to around 5/18/10
    Seamus (3), my allergy baby, born naturally (with slacker Hypnobirthing) breastfed from 12/28/09 to 8/20/11
    Connor (1) breastfed from 12/28/11 to current

    Ian's age ticker Erin's age ticker Seamus' age ticker
    Connor's age ticker

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Default Re: many diet restrictions due to eczema - should I switch to formula?

    A close friend of mine has a baby with severe exzema (detergents were not to blame), he was diagnosed at 3-4 months. She did allergy tests on him and it showed a few allergies to certain foods but mostly hyper sensitivities to many foods, dust and pet dander. It started as a small patch on his cheek on his face and then spread all over his body (he lost all his hair too). It seems to come in waves (not seasonal), but is very slowly working itself out of his system (he is now 16 months and it is nearly gone). Desperate, she has tried everything- elimination diet on herself as she exclusively BFed the first 6 months), formula (goat milk hypo-allergenic but he was allergic to that too, along with other formulas), non-conventional treatments, conventional cortisone therapy as a last resort (this only helped temporarily when it was in his system and then got worse when it left his system) and nothing seemed to work. What did seem to help though, with the itching at least, was homeopathic threatment through her breast milk- she took the remedies and passed it on to him through BF. But in the end, in her case at least, is that it appears to be something that has a life of its own and dies down in its own time, getting worse before it got better. I know this isn't very encouraging to hear because I saw what she went through and it is hard to sit and wait for it to pass, especially if the baby is uncomfortable and scratching at himself as hers does.
    Whatever you do, do not blame yourself, or think that you are responsible for it or that your breast milk is to blame. My friend found that BFing her lo would help him when he went through itching fits and soothed him when he was uncomfortable. I read, I think it was in the DR Sears Baby Book, that omega-3 is very helpful to reduce excema, so if you must give up eating say, eggs or fish, you can eat avocados. I would also get an allergy test (I think it is a blood test) done on your LO to isolate exactly what foods she is reacting to and to what degree she is allergic and/or sensitive- you might be pleasantly surprised that your own diet can be broader. Your health and well-being are equally important.
    I really, really feel for you and hope it passes quickly. I would be happy to ask my friend any specific questions you have.
    Last edited by @llli*mimis-mum; June 27th, 2008 at 04:04 AM.
    Mimi's mum DS #1(19/2/07) DS #2 (21/11/08)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: many diet restrictions due to eczema - should I switch to formula?

    are you doing shots?
    I know a little gals whos eczema would flare with all her shots!
    And her skin was just raw all over bleeding! Poor little thing.
    They didn't figure it out untill she was over 2. and she was not breastfeed but on formula from day 1

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Default Re: many diet restrictions due to eczema - should I switch to formula?

    I think your diet sounds fine. Even mothers in impoverished countries with VERY poor nutrition make good breast milk.
    So, I sure that your diet is more than adequate to make wonderful food for your baby. And believe me, "hypoallergenic" formula is NOT a guarantee that the excema will get better. In fact your baby could not tolerate it well. So, if baby is growing and gaining weight, I'd stick with what's working. Sounds like your doing an awesome job, mama!
    And excema often gets better as baby gets older. My friend's baby had SEVERE excema in infancy, and by preschool, it's almost totally gone.
    Mom to Laura (3/1/06)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Default Re: many diet restrictions due to eczema - should I switch to formula?

    No way!!!! Breastmilk is more hypoallergenic and easier to digest than formula anyday!!!!! I would never switch to formula. If your diet changes aren't helping her at all then I would ask the doc if you can go back to a regular diet. Some experts claim that mothers diet has no effect on baby...
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Default Re: many diet restrictions due to eczema - should I switch to formula?

    Eczema can be cause by many thing and sometimes just show up.. My two girls and I are proof of that... The seasons changing my animals shedding, clothing, detergents.. I have to wash our clothes with special detergent and then rinse twice... We use steroids sometimes to treat but mostly we control it by certian types of lotion like cetaphol and not bathing with soap very often.. Diet is a huge part too.. but both of my girls out grew that part.. I wouldn't give up breast milk as long as you are getting the nutriants that you need and the vitamins you milk should be fine...
    Wife to T
    Mother to 4 crazy ones

  10. #10

    Default Re: many diet restrictions due to eczema - should I switch to formula?

    Thanks for the replies!

    We use Dreft detergent, and will be switching to Seven Generations just to be sure. Anyone know someone having reaction to Dreft? Oh yes I do rinse twice. We don't use soap for bath at all. We use Aveeno bath treatment per Ped's recommendation, and use a lotion specifically for eczema called Hydrolatum. I am afraid of using Cetaphil because it contains nut oil. I only bath her once a week, at most twice a week.

    The pediatrician said that any allergy test before 1 yr old are not reliable. So I didn't ask him about seeing an allergist, but I have an appt with a dermatologist who specialize in eczema in Sept (and I have been calling frequently to see if there is any cancellations).

    We do have a dog and recently there has been a lot of pollen, but the pediatrician said that infants under 1 yr old do not have eczema because of external environmental factors.

    If anyone knows these two pieces of information is incorrect, please let me know. Anything else I should be doing?

    I can't help blaming myself for eating too much ice cream, cheese, and eggs during the 3rd trimester and after birth. I have read that they are linked to higher risk of infant eczema, especially when mom had similar problems (I had asthma when younger). I had no idea...

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