So I’ve recently created a Support and Chat group as an offshoot to my Instagram and Facebook pages as I wanted to create a comfortable and safe place for parents or carers to discuss what they’re currently going through and share knowledge with others going through similar. I would love for you to join and for us to connect so we can share more of these stories.
Since creating this group I keep getting asked how I cleared Gracie’s eczema and I realised that I haven’t written a more clear and detailed outline on what we did and what worked for us. Obviously every child is different and I’m not a medical professional, I’m just a Mum who did her research out of desperation to help her daughter.
You can read more about the beginning of our story here
Eczema is a sign that there is inflammation within the body, once you get your head around this you can move forward in working out the causes and helping your child heal. Unfortunately creams just mask the problems and don’t get to the root cause (believe me I’ve been there!).
One of the main causes of Eczema is ‘Leaky Gut Syndrome‘ which Gracie was diagnosed as having. This is when the lining of the gut becomes thin and small food particles leak through the gut wall and cause inflammation and food sensitivities. Gluten and dairy are the biggest food causes for causing eczema, for us it was dairy. Gracie would consume milk and within hours break out in hives and then eczema all over her body.
Now I understand there can be other triggers for eczema such as environmental rather than food but either way it all comes down to inflammation and the gut plays a major factor.
So how did we tackle it?
- We worked out what her triggers were
- We eliminated the triggers for quite sometime to give her gut time to rest
- We introduced gut healing food
Working out the triggers
So how did we work out the triggers? At the beginning of our journey it was quite obvious that dairy was causing a lot of issues. Grace would have milk and with within hours be breaking out in hives and then eczema patches. She had IgE testing and it all came back negative for the common food allergies and nothing else showed up in other blood work testing.
I decided to get her tested for food intolerances, IgG testing. If you’re in Australia (Sydney) and interested in Food Intolerance testing I highly recommend Australian Biologics where I took Grace. Otherwise an Integrative Doctor or even a good Naturopath should be able to assist you with this.
Food Intolerance testing is done via a painless finger prick test and they have a finer paediatric needle for children – Grace didn’t even flinch when she had hers done, which was a relief! What I like about Australian biologics is that there testing seems to be way more comprehensive than any other tests I’ve seen on the market within Australia.
If you’re finding working out the triggers to be unclear, gluten and dairy are normally the two main food offenders for causing eczema and I would also recommend keeping a food diary to see if you work out a pattern.
Once we worked out the suspected triggers we eliminated them. I had suspected dairy all along, it wasn’t until we saw Gracie’s Integrative Paediatrician who used her IgG test results as a guide that she just advised us to just stop completely which was overwhelming at first. One of the main reasons I had sat on the fence for a bit, was my concern for her calcium intake and how I would make this up without her consuming any form of dairy.
As well as eliminating these foods I basically ditched anything that was from a packet or even remotely processed.
It took around a three months for Gracie’s eczema to clear completely, the early days are frustrating as you think nothing is happening but slowly and surely her skin cleared and it’s remained clear with no flare ups!
During this time we rested Gracie’s gut, along with her supplements we tried to introduce as many healing foods as we could.
Bone broth – if you’re going to make anything make this! It’s super easy to make and can be drunk as is, base of a soup and used for cooking casseroles etc
- As well as taking a good probiotic, I try and make sure Gracie has foods that have Prebiotic properties – so foods that help the existing good flora within the gut. So think banana flour, onions, leeks and garlic (she’s not keen yet on Sauerkraut ha!)
Using her IgG test results as a guide, I have very slowly over time tested and reintroduced some foods that showed a lesser reaction successfully. This is something that we continue to work on in conjunction with her chronic constipation issues (so far she’s never had an eczema flare up!) The idea being if the gut is healed then these foods should be ok to reintroduce, but this is a process that requires testing and we still have some foods that we have yet to reintroduce on the advice of her doctor because her other issue is yet to be resolved.
I would like to thank Dr Ana-Maria Temple of Family Wellness Tips for allowing me to share some of her wonderful and informative videos that I think you will find really helpful connected to this subject. Dr Temple is a Paediatrician currently practising in New Zealand, Wife and Mum to 3 beautiful children. Make sure you follow her on Instagram to watch her fantastic 1 minute Paediatric advice videos and wellness tips.