Wednesday, May 28, 2014

little skin bumps : finding the source

For at least the past six months Emerson has had tiny little bumps on his arms and legs. Sometimes the bumps would be a little red and occasionally a few of the bumps would be white. When I first noticed the bumps I asked the doctor what she thought it might be, and if it could possibly be an allergic reaction to a food we had introduced into his diet. She assured me that it was not a food allergy, it was just dry skin.

I always thought dry skin was scaly and cracked and broken if really dry. His skin was bumpy. I first suspected a food allergy because we were introducing so many different foods into his diet at the time. But after the doctor made me feel like an idiot for even thinking it was an allergy I let it go. But not really, because the bumps would not go away.

Over the next few months I tried numerous types of soaps, lotions, creams, oatmeal baths, eczema creams, hydrocortisone cream, pretty much anything I thought might help. We had been using a cheap soap and lotion for him and stopped because I thought maybe that was doing it to him, even though we had been using that soap since he came home from the hospital.

At every doctor's appointment I asked the doctor what they thought about his bumpy skin and they all said, "it's just dry skin."So, finally I decided to have him tested for allergies. I knew they could test little ones and I wanted to do anything to help them go away. There had to be a source for the bumps -they weren't always there, he used to have the softest baby smooth skin, I wanted him to have that smooth baby softness back. And since nothing was helping I wanted to try and treat the source.

So, at his 15 month appointment I asked the doctor again about the bumps, when he said it was just dry skin [which it was obviously not], I asked if he could be tested for allergies, just to make sure. He wasn't too keen on the idea and told me that in children so young a lot of the time nothing will show up, but thankfully he indulged me and my crazy mama thoughts and ordered the allergy test.

Let me tell you, I felt like a horrible mama while they were drawing blood. It was my fault they were taking his blood. For some reason I had thought it would be a finger prick, like all the other times they had taken blood, and the doctor seemed to confirm that suspicion of mine. It was not a prick. Poor Emerson screamed and fought and I just had to hold him tight on the table while they drew blood from his arm. All I could do was whisper in his ear and tell him he was okay and so brave and he was loved... But I knew that I wanted to find out what was causing his bumps and this was a good way to do that.

Thankfully he is a forgiving little boy and just held tight to my neck as we walked out of the hospital that day. Oh, my sweet boy.

Three weeks later they called and said nothing showed up in the results. Eh, at least I tried, right? I was talking to one of my sisters about it and she suggested that it could be because of a dairy allergy. Her little boy was allergic to milk, as well as a few other little ones she knew. I figured it couldn't hurt to try so I did the unthinkable and cut dairy out of his diet completely.

Poor boy loves his diary: cottage cheese, cheese, and his favorite -yogurt. He never really cared to just drink milk so that wasn't a big thing to cut out. I also cut out any and all products with diary in it: Goldfish, many brands of bread, and a plethora of other things. I didn't know what he would eat if I cut it out; but I did it anyway.

And you know what? The bumps are clearing up. Significantly. We're in the middle of the full second week of being dairy free and you can see and feel such a difference. It takes at least three weeks to clear the system completely, so I'm just praying that this next week his skin continues to clear up and the bumps go away completely. Why did I not try eliminating dairy from his diet a long time ago? And why did the doctors keep saying it was dry skin and not even suggest a food allergy?

In addition to his skin clearing up he hasn't had any little daily throw ups like he used to. After cutting it out of his diet for a little bit and reading a bit about milk/dairy allergies it occurred to me that Emerson had also thrown up, just a little bit, numerous times a week -maybe even daily. I thought nothing of his throw up at the time apart from wondering what was wrong or why he might be throwing up. He would just stop playing or reading, look at me, then have a little bit of throw up and go on his merry way. There was never a fever or anything, and it was such a small amount. But it was odd. Since taking him off dairy, he hasn't thrown up at all [apart from the big sickness... which happened again last night... poor baby] which makes me think he really might had an allergy or sensitivity to dairy as that is one of the side affects.

*yes, I'm well aware that these pictures are kind of random and don't show his bumps -they are just so tiny is difficult to see in pictures ... and my computer is still being difficult and not loading my pictures, thus today's selection* 

I'll let you know how his bumps are looking after a week or so... hopefully it will be all clear and baby smooth again. In the mean time, I'm trying to think of different dairy free foods to give him -which is proving to be a little tricky as he is suddenly becoming a more picky eater. Ideas are most welcome! Have any of you or your babies ever had any food allergy issues? Allergies to milk? Experience with little unknown bumps?


Christina McGuire said...

I could not express how happy this post made me. (Not that Emerson probably has a dairy allergy but that you took action yourself and followed your gut instinct. The problem is, many doctors do not learn very much about real nutrition during medical school. Few of them relate problems back to food (and the types of it. I can go on all day about this but I won't haha...)

First of all, Emerson is not alone. In fact, all mammals quit drinking milk after their mother's milk. Humans are the only ones that think this is acceptable drink another animal's lactation at that! Being lactose intolerant is actually the norm! Dairy tolerance by so many has happened over time by our evolving bodies. I cut my dairy intake about 1 year ago and could not be happier about it. My skin cleared and I feel better overall. Also, a lot of bad things have been introduced to our cow's that have made these allergies VERY common within the last 20 years. I encourage you to watch one of my favorite mom - food activists. She shares her story on how she got to where she is today... her child's food allergy. She shares a ton of great info and because of her, I changed my diet (and my family's diet) and am in school to become a holistic health coach now - hopping to help others learn about real nutrition.
Hope you enjoy and feel empowered like I did.

The youtube link is:

You can like her on Facebook too if you'd like.


The McGuire Family

Amy said...

Way to go, Mama! Sticking to your guns & fighting for your little guy. I'm sorry that he has a dairy allergy. :(

Cash got little bumps on his back & neck when he was teething. It was the craziest thing!