When my youngest son was nine months old, I gave him a bite of eggs and he broke out in hives. Even as a quiet, ultra-chilled out baby, my gut told me something was off with his system. He was always breaking out in welts, eczema had covered his body since he was three months old, and he had asthma that would flare up when he got a cold. He also had the nastiest, stinkiest poop you’ve ever seen or smelled.
Then came the ear infections. While there were a couple of months in between each one, at every ear re-check, I would get the same report … Infection is gone, but the fluid is still there.” During this time, antibiotic after antibiotic flowed freely into his little body and I used the Benzocaine ear drops as often as I wanted at the advice of my pediatrician. The doctor did not think his ears were severe enough to have tubes put in them.
When he turned two years old, the age when professionals say allergy tests become reliable, I made an appointment with the allergist’s office. That day I found out he was severely allergic to eggs and moderately allergic to peanuts. In addition, I left the allergist’s office with a handful of prescriptions for asthma and eczema.
But, I wasn’t satisfied. I felt like there was more … something we were missing. Medicating my 24-month-old child with multiple prescriptions was not the answer for me. I wanted to know why this was happening. After all, wouldn’t eliminating an allergy trigger be easier and better for him than putting steroid cream on him twice a day, taking Singulair, antibiotics, and doing daily breathing treatments?
It was during that desperate time in my life when I was at a crossroads. I could continue on our current path, which I felt was leading to nowhere, or I could take a different direction. I chose the later and made my first appointment with a naturopath.
Over the next couple of years, I was on a healing mission. During that time, we definitely took a few steps back, but we also finally started taking a few steps forward. At three, my son was diagnosed with a neurological speech disorder called apraxia and at four years of age, his food allergies peaked … seven things could now cause my child to go into anaphylactic shock.
Between two and four years old, the eczema and asthma slowly disappeared and his bowel movements also became normal. I tackled each problem one at a time. When one issue resolved, I’d move on to the next, and I went into each with the same amount of research, fight, and determination.
My little boy is now six and is remarkably better. He had no asthma, eczema, or seasonal allergies in 2014 and his food allergies decreased from seven to two. Although he still tested positive to peanut, it is now considered a mild/moderate allergy instead of severe. Also, after 3.5 years of speech therapy, he is now speaking on an age-appropriate level and thriving in kindergarten.
Now that the dust has settled, I have been able to really think about why I believe my son began his life with so many challenges … why he was an accomplice to the rising statistics that threaten today’s children.
Although rather simple, I love the concept that Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride presents in her book “Gut and Psychology Syndrome” … “The tree cannot be healthy if the roots are not.”
Those words became my mission statement and they stayed in the back of my mind continuously. Ultimately, it is why I did what I did, and continue to do today.
But, how and why did the roots become unhealthy?
Based on years worth of research and experience, I have come to believe my son was born with a sensitive system that stemmed from a combination of genetics and our evolving toxic environment. And although he is closer to wellness than ever, I still think there are things present in our environment today that need to be cautiously avoided.
I also believe the vaccines, steroid creams, breathing treatments, and antibiotics that he had before the age of two, worsened his condition and caused his gut issues to become even deeper rooted.
Tune in next week for Part 1- Diet – The first piece of my son’s puzzle.