Motherhood and the importance of staying healthy

ImageAs of yesterday, Elroy is 4 months old.  Since my last update at 7 weeks, he’s grown so much.  One thing that we have struggled with over the last 2 months is his eczema.  It started with a red fungus of sort behind his ear and quickly spread to red flaky patches over his face and body.  Poor little guy was constantly scratching his face because eczema is dry and itchy.

The funny thing is that my own eczema also started to flare up at the same time.  I haven’t had a flare up in a long time but it started on my neck and jawline and over my eyelids.  So as with anything, we went to the Doctor.  She prescribed a concoction of creams and lotions and told me to complete an elimination diet as baby eczema is often caused by a food allergy.

I did as the Doctor said and embarked on a 3 week elimination diet taking out wheat/gluten, nuts, and dairy.  After 3 weeks, I am to add one of the eliminated food groups back.  I grumbled and complained but completed it for 3 weeks and saw some improvement in his eczema.  What I wasn’t expecting was my own digestion to improve.  The constant bloating disappeared as well as the feeling of heaviness after meals.

At the end of the 3 weeks, I added back gluten and wheat.  This led to an instant flare up of eczema on Elroy as well as some digestive discomfort for me.  I found the whole experiment to be fascinating in that it was a mini science experiment that helped me to tune into my body.  I’m still amazed that taking out wheat/gluten has alleviated symptoms that I have been trying to fix with so many creams, lotions, and oils.  I’m also amazed at how much better I feel personally by removing wheat and gluten from my diet.

It’s hard to tell for sure if Elroy’s eczema is caused purely by wheat/gluten allergy as we also made environmental changes by switching our laundry detergent and getting a new air filter for the home ventilation system.  I’ll keep experimenting by adding in wheat/gluten again to see if it results in more symptoms.

I always considered myself a health conscious individual.  But becoming a mother has highlighted this even more.  You hear stories of mothers who overhaul their family’s diet for the sake of health.  I always thought this kind of eating and living was a bit obsessive, but now I understand.

In a way, I have really enjoyed the 3 week elimination diet.  It has sparked up my passion for cooking again through careful meal planning and trying out different recipes.  Yes it’s harder to eat out but I haven’t felt like I’m missing out in any way.  Gluten free is so trendy these days that there is always an alternative.  And Elroy’s smile is well worth the sacrifice.

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