Monday, May 12, 2014

Contact Me If You Have Any Questions

Atopic Dermatitis is an awful condition and NO child should have to suffer from it. This blog was created with the intent to help as many parents as possible.

This is my last post on this blog, as I have now covered all the various changes we have made in our lives and as to what helped us completely resolve our son's health issue. 

I have no medical background and this should not be taken as such. I can only speak from our own experiences and what worked for our boy. 

Please feel free to share this blog. If there are any questions, I will try my best to answer it. You can leave a comment or reach me at:

sushma.aichmayr@gmail.com

Saturday, May 10, 2014

How We Dealt with the Allergy Trigger

It is said that allergy tests are not very accurate, especially when it comes to kids. So we got it done with two separate highly reputed dermatologists and the results were the same. We have been told that our son is highly sensitive to dust mites and tested negative to all else. Dust mites are also responsible for 80% of all asthma cases.   

Eliminating the trigger is the most important step and we work on that continuously at home. No one wants to be sleeping with mites anyway. Sadly though every home has mites, so one can only ensure it is contained. We have wooden flooring, so that was a non-issue. But floor rugs were put away. Changed the mattresses from foam to organic latex. The foam mattress was just 7 months old, but dust mites thrive in foam and obviously thriving in his! - so they were thrown out along with the pillows. And have medical covers over the organic latex mattress, pillow and cotton comforter. His duvet was down feathers and that was changed to cotton. Curtains in the house are sprayed with neem oil - just about 5 ml in about a liter of warm water - got it done everyday for the first three months. Now we get it done just once a week. Do note that the smell of the neem oil is rather unpleasant, but it goes away after an hour or so. If you really can't cope with it, then try eucalyptus oil. But research has shown that neem oil is extremely effective, so we bear with it. Even though the mattresses is organic latex, still wash his mattress covers, comforters + covers, pillow + covers, all fluffy toys every week in 140 degree fahrenheit/ 60 degrees celsius, as dust mites die at that temperature. And change his pillow and bed covers everyday religiously. What part of the mattress can't be washed is sprayed lightly with the neem solution and dried out. Also ensure that the room is all lit up with sunlight and aired out every day. We use a HEPA filter to vacuum everyday and steam clean the floor. Dust mites thrive in temperatures 68 - 77 degree fahrenheit/ 20 - 25 degree celsius.  So we ensured the temperature within the home is set at 66 degree fahrenheit/ 19 degree celsius - it is a system that also combines an air filter and de-humidifier, as dust mites need humidity to survive. Containing dust mites is something we seem to have successfully done, as he does not react to it at home.  

To contradict what was just said of taking away the trigger, we have started the exercise to re-introduce him to mites  - take him to places where they thrive - but will do it in a phased out manner over the coming years. So initially it will be once in 3 months for just half hour, then once a month for an hour or so, then every week. Example: let him join his older brother for horse riding, jumping on hay stacks etc.! He has had one such session and he hardly reacted - just a bit on the face, then it was gone within a day. Will keep you all informed, a year or two from now, if we do succeed and he can happily play in these environments on a regular basis, like the others in our family. We are hoping that in about a year or so, our boy is strong enough from the inside and is desensitized to dust mites; and that we don't have to worry about some of these new routines anymore. Yes, a future of a regular long leisurely soak in a bath tub without the rice starch; rolling around with the pets (which he still currently does - there is no stopping him, as he loves his cat and dog); horse riding; swimming; and finally just a regular cleaning of the home and not this fanatical cleaning I currently do on a day to day basis. All other changes are a keeper! 

Far fetched?? Maybe not :) 

One more thing - we all know that the clothing material matters. We always ensured that it is organic cotton even prior. But now the first layer of garment that make direct contact with the skin for my little one are made of derma silk. We got even his night jumpsuit in dermasilk. We are now convinced that it is far superior to even organic cotton and it truly helps with this condition.


http://www.dermasilk.co.uk/clinical-trials.htm

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Rice Starch Baths for Atopic Dermatitis

The benefits of rice starch is something Japanese have known for centuries. Yes, the amazing skin healing benefits of rice! Recent research has shown that using a rice starch soak is effective in improving the dry skin lesions of eczema. A study in Belgium stated that rice starch added to bath water has beneficial effects on impaired barrier function, as evaluated by transepidermal water loss measurements. 'The forearm skin of volunteers was irritated by sodium lauryl sulphate. Exposure to rice starch containing bath water – twice daily for 15min – led to a 20% improvement on the healing capacity of damaged skin. Skin barrier function in patients with atopic dermatitis also improved the same after the addition of starch powder to bath water'.

Water is said to be not good for atopic dermatitis sufferers, as water dries out the skin. But we also found that the water in our home was harsh on the skin. So we installed a solid carbon block water filtration system for the house, so that chlorine etc are removed. All of us at home found it made a significant difference. Do ensure to purchase an environmentally friendly system. Example: salt water softener systems are known to be toxic to nature. One can also opt for a much simpler system, a system just for the shower head which is inexpensive. Here is a review...

http://www.prowatersoftenerreviews.com/shower-head-filter-reviews/


We brought down his baths in his first week of recovery. The first three days were just turmeric applications - no oils, no baths. After that, we added two tablespoons of turmeric powder to his baby bath tub water and got him to soak in it for about 10 minutes. And immediately sealed him off with coconut oil right after the bath. We did this every alternate day. His recovery was rapid. All his inflammations calmed down and his rashes had dried out and healed by the first week.  

The second week onwards, we concentrated on getting the texture of his skin back to normal. We got him to soak in rice starch water everyday, twice a day for about 15 minutes each. And immediately sealed him with avocado oil right after his bath. 

It is easy to make rice starch. Just took a small cup of bio full grain brown rice, boiled it in two liters of water. Then added that water after straining out the rice to his baby bath tub water and let him soak in it. It really worked with him and he was back to his baby skin! 

The past months, since his recovery, we continue to keep his bath time short and immediately seal him off with avocado oil. If he insists on longer bath times, then we add rice starch to it. 


Also, in one of the studies, it was observed that children who were regularly massaged had far fewer illnesses including atopic dermatitis attacks. So every night he is massaged with avocado oil, just before he goes to sleep. There are many different massage techniques. We follow the pediatric tuna massage - spend about 10-15 minutes and he falls fast asleep right after. More than the techniques, it is the love we are told that is most medicinal! Now even my husband and older son line up for massages!:) 

Do note that we commenced the massages, only when the skin was no longer inflammed.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Follow an Anti-Inflammatory Diet for Atopic Dermatitis

As Atopic Dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin, our family decided to follow an anti-inflammatory diet and a pesticide/ chemical free diet! Basically this is for excellent health and will apply to all of us.

There is so much conflicting information on the internet, that we decided to follow the guide from Dr.Weil, a Harvard educated medical doctor AND biologist - it is an excellent reference point to build a diet chart that suits you.  

http://www.drweil.com/drw/ecs/pyramid/press-foodpyramid.html  

http://www.whfoods.com

Our little boy isn't allergic to any foods, so that was one less worry. He loves eating - so making him clear out all the veges, fruits etc. on his plate has never been an issue. Maybe what we gave him played a part. 


The major change is that all food we eat is now organic/ bio. Even with bio/ organic foods, closely look at the labels, that it contains none of the preservatives. We have also drastically cut down and in some cases eliminated inflammatory foods like REFINED SUGAR,  VEGETABLE OILS, PROCESSED FOODS, artificially added fructose, refined flour, junk food - chips, artificial juices/sodas, fast food.... The focus is on the anti-inflammatory foods which include immune modulating foods i.e foods rich in vit D3 and magnesium; and foods that are especially good for the skin, to ensure a rich variety of foods in any given week. Basically, we have now gone back to the traditional ways. No, we did not find that we were short on choices - just takes more time and discipline.


Below are websites which shares what are the no-no additives list; and how all these various artificially introduced products in todays food is effecting us in different profoundly negative ways…  


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iL4SD5f2toQ  


http://unblindmymind.org/wpsystem/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Various_Ways_Free_Glutamate.pdf  


The other thing we pay attention to is the cooking oils. Vegetable oils when heated are said to turn into toxic compounds including trans fat. As we all use different different oils for flavor for the different foods, it is advised to look at the smoke points of oils, the kind of fats they contain and how they are extracted. Saturated fats in coconut, butter, ghee, red palm oil for cooking; followed by monounsaturated oils like olive (don't heat olive oil) are most recommended as they are anti inflammatory. Yes, this sort of steps away from what we have believed about oils so far.


http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA400919/Rethinking-Saturated-Fat.html    

http://wellnessmama.com/2193/why-you-should-never-eat-vegetable-oil-or-margarine/

We now skip any microwave cooking… 


http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/05/18/microwave-hazards.aspx


Also there is NO plastic in the kitchen - nothing that we store, drink and eat out of!


http://ecowatch.com/2014/03/04/research-warns-bpa-free-plastic-bottles-still-toxic-to-infants-and-toddlers/


Also he never drank water, so now ensure he has half a liter of mineral water with a bit of lemon everyday. Lemon is a great source of Vitamin C, it is a blood purifier, has strong immune boosting properties and the list goes on. We chose Gerolsteiner mineral water as it has an exceptionally balanced amount of calcium, bicarbonate and magnesium. Also it comes in glass bottles! But getting him to drink water is a challenge - so now have a 30 ml medical syringe filled with the water (without the needle of course!) and chase after him - he happily drinks from that! LOL. I space it out over the day. Hopefully soon he starts picking up that glass and happily drinks it on his own. When it comes to juices, we chose Rabenhorst - a wide range of totally natural juices from a company that is more than 200 years old.

A strong immune system depends on a healthy digestive tract. So we give him probiotic home made yogurt everyday; raw milk - we alternate between cow, goat, sheep and horse milk; a teaspoon of turmeric & coconut oil everyday; quarter teaspoon of active manuka honey; a half glass of fresh wheat grass juice twice a week; bone broth, again about twice a week; and just a little bit of just one naturally fermented food everyday - one can either make it at home, or if buying from the shops, ensure that it has live culture - an example is the Bubbies brand. We make sure that he eats a variety over the week, as different foods contain different strains of healthy bacteria. Some examples of fermented foods: live cultured pickles, sauerkraut, vegetables, kimchi, unpasteurized miso, tempeh etc..  

http://www.ozy.com/fast-forward/autisms-gut-brain-connection/4712.article?utm_source=outbrain&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=socialwins&utm_content=26072026


http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/2011/12/saywards-seven-favorite-fermented-foods/

If he has a craving for chocolates, then he gets just one piece of dark chocolate which has about 70% cacao. He loves them!  

The only supplements that we give him are the below:  

Fermented cod liver oil to balance the Omega 6 and Omega 3. So far the brand that comes most recommended is Green Pastures, which is what we use. We give both the boys each,  just 1 ml of the oil per day - just got our second bottle recently after 4 months. So 1 bottle  should easily last more than half a year, if it's one kid! We also bought the Butter Oil from Green Patures, something they highly recommend and say works extremely well along with the cod liver oil - we give the boys just a quarter teaspoon of that everyday. Getting him to take cod liver oil and butter oil was a real challenge in the beginning, but now he does not seem to mind it that much. We adults at home ended up having the Green Pastures Blue Ice Infused, as the boys absolutely refused to have it.  


http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA400149/balancing-omega-3-and-omega-6.html

Manuka honey is something he loves. We give him a quarter teaspoon everyday and we bribed him with that to get him to have the cod liver oil. We give him the 250+ MGO. Do note that Manuka goes upto 550+ MGO, if someone has a severe issue. 


If you are wondering what is Manuka honey, it is a medical grade honey from Newzealand. Clinical trials have found that Manuka honey can effectively eradicate more than 250 clinical strains of bacteria, including resistant varieties such as: MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), MSSA (methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus); VRE (vancomycin-resistant enterococci); Helicobacter Pylori (which can cause stomach ulcers). It is said to be extremely effective, especially when applied topically. But we chose turmeric for applying topically on our son, as we found Manuka did not take away the itch; instead he has a quarter teaspoon of the honey everyday - he loves it! 


A serious issue with Manuka honey is authenticity. Apparently there are so many counterfeit/ adulterated products in the market, same issue as the 'virgin' olive oils. So one has to ensure that it is a reputed brand and vendor. Also it is said no honey of any kind for babies - they should be at least a year old before honey can be introduced to them.

Golden Milk has never been an issue with him, as he actually likes it. It is a simple recipe - add half teaspoon of turmeric powder to quarter cup of boiling water and boil it further together for just a minute OR add a teaspoon of virgin coconut oil to turmeric and heat it together. You can transfer that to a glass of milk or skip the milk. We prefer it with milk. We now source fresh grass fed raw, cow, goat, sheep and horse (frozen) milk from a farm. According to the Journal of American Medicine, "Goat's milk is the most complete food known." It contains vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, trace elements, enzymes, protein, and fatty acids that are utilized by your body with ease. In fact, your body can digest goat's milk in just 20 minutes. It takes 2-3 hours to digest cow's milk.


If you need to search for raw milk in your area, go to www.realmilk.com


When all the family members follow the above at home, when outside we deviate. If we follow it most of the time, like 90% of the time, the body should be able to balance out the rest. Atleast that is our thought. So over Easter, he went on that egg hunt and also devoured the chocolates! 

                                  
                             ---------------------------------------------------

Another topic of toxicity - the one that we inject into our babies - Yes, VACCINES - a hot debated topic. Both my boys have followed the whole vaccine schedule - I can't help but wonder if vaccine did indeed play a part with my little one. But the good news is that , the steps we took since he fell ill, seems to have worked extremely well for him.


Here is a very informative video regarding vaccines...


http://www.libertariannews.org/2014/03/28/silent-epidemic-the-untold-story-of-vaccines/


What becomes clear from the video, is that as parents we need to choose which vaccine and we need to space it out. A bit late for us though, as my boys have followed the whole schedule. These are our thoughts on this...


1. Chickenpox, Rubella, Mums, Flu are just mild, normal childhood diseases - vaccines are not required. Chickenpox is known to be more dangerous for adults - you can think of getting it done then, if you haven't had it as a child. Hep B which is a sexually transmitted disease, vaccines are not required for young ones - teenagers maybe. Only if the mother has Hep B, then there is a possibility that it can transfer to the child - if the mother is clear, there is absolutely no need for this vaccine.


2. Tetanus, Smallpox, Measles as a stand alone like it is done in Japan (not MMR), Polio (IPV and NOT OPV) if in India and other countries known to have it -  diseases that are known to have serious implications and very contagious, vaccines can be considered. 


3. Get the vaccines done at a later stage, if at all - prior to starting kindergarten/ school should be just fine, as chances of catching diseases in group environments are higher. Also it gives the little ones bodies enough time to develop and mature.


4. Ensure the vaccines are tried & tested and your child is not a test monkey. 


5. If the rest of your life is non toxic with food etc., and you have given the body enough time to mature, the child's system should be able to handle the vaccines??


We have decided against any further vaccines.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Castor Oil Detox Packs and How it Enhances the Immune System

What does an abdominal Castor oil detox pack do??  

It significantly increases the production of lymphocytes. 
You probably noticed swollen lymph nodes on the neck, even after a common cold/ flu, especially in kids. Lymph nodes are small, bean-shaped glands throughout the body and may be found singly or in groups. And they may be as small as the head of a pin or as large as an olive. They are part of the lymph system, which carries the lymph fluid, nutrients, and waste material between the body tissues and the bloodstream.The lymph system is an important part of the immune system, the body's defense system against disease. The lymph nodes filter lymph fluid as it flows through them, trapping bacteria, viruses, and other foreign substances, which are then destroyed by special white blood cells called lymphocytes.

As to how castor oil packs help us, is very beautifully explained by Dr. David G. Williams, where he also explains how the castor oil pack needs to be done.
http://www.electroherbalism.com/Naturopathy/Therapies/Diet/FatsandOils/CastorOil.htm

I have written down some of the highlights from an article regarding castor oil packs…  

''Studies have found that when done right, using abdominal castor oil packs had significant increases in the production of lymphocytes. The lymphatic system is said to be an amazingly complex structure, which works hand in hand with both the blood circulatory system and the digestive system. Castor oil is an anti-toxin, which impacts the lymphatic system, enhancing immunological function. Studies found that castor oil pack therapy of a minimal two-hour duration produced an increase in the number of T-11 cells within a 24-hour period following treatment. 


Make an effort to improve the function of the lymphatic system in the case of every health problem. The bottom line is that the removal of cellular waste products is essential for the health of the entire body. There is no drug that can improve lymphatic flow. That job can be handled through the topical application of castor oil with the help of exercise and massage. Clinical evidence now confirms that castor oil packs improve eliminations, assimilations, lymphatic circulation, and even the production of certain T-cells. If your body absorbs nutrients, eliminates wastes, filters toxins, and bolsters the immune system more effectively; you are going to be a healthier person overall. Think about it. You may even be preventing chronic disease.''


We did it for a hour every night for four days continuously, just before my son went to sleep. He had very swollen lymph nodes on his neck and even on the side of his right waist. We did in a very simple manner - just applied castor oil directly on the skin on the right side of his tummy, placed a thin flannel cloth over it and then a warm water bottle on top of the cloth. All his swollen lymph nodes disappeared after the application!


It is advised that a castor oil pack needs to be done for a minimum of a hour a day, for four days continuously over a week, for upto three weeks, to derive the maximum benefits. 


NOTE: ALL/ ANY oil needs to be cold pressed and bio/organic.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Why We Chose Coconut Oil and Avocado Oil

From all our reading, one thing became clear to us. The products that we pick to apply on our son, had to ensure that it could protect him from any infections that may set in. Atopic dermatitis sufferers are particularly prone to skin infections, more due in part to the breaks in the skin from very dry, split skin and from scratching the itchy areas. The infections set in from the common bacteria on the skin which is on all of us. We all carry thousands of bacteria, most of these organisms work to keep us healthy. But all of us also harbor low levels of some harmful types of bacteria, pathogens that are known for causing infections.
Hence our decision to go with Turmeric, a nature product that has antiviral, antifungal, antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Turmeric did that and very effectively; and it also dried out the rashes and magically also killed the itch!!! 
Next we had to pick the oils to lubricate the skin. After studying all the oils, zeroed in on Coconut oil.
Coconut oil has healing properties, as it has antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial properties, which makes it a potent remedy for a variety of illnesses. Coconut oil has lauric acid, a substance found in nature. The body converts lauric acid into another compound called monolaurin, which is responsible for the antiviral and antibacterial powers of coconut oil. So in the first week of healing, we used coconut oil.

We also used a dressing called 'Tubifast' with a 2 way stretch technology, to protect him further. 

Once his skin no longer looked inflammed or broken, we stopped with the dressings. Also now wanted to use a richer oil that could penetrate and do what his skin required, as we found Coconut oil did not moisturize deeply enough. And the answer was Avocado Oil!
Avocados are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A, D and E, and provides skin with deep moisture. It also has a high sterolin content which are anti-inflammatory and immune modulating. Studies have also shown that it increases the amount of soluble collagen in the skin and improves wound healing. This translates to better skin repair, as well as better elasticity and thicker, more resilient skin. And it truly proved itself with my son. The avocado oil has a thin consistency, but also thick enough to serve as a protective barrier on the skin, much like a lotion. We were extremely happy in how wonderfully it helped his skin recover completely. To us, avocado oil completed the task at hand!! Yes, he was back to his baby skin. Even after his complete recovery, we ensure that we always oil him. Typically twice a day - immediately after his bath, seal him off with oil; and oil massage him before he goes to sleep. Also he eats avocados on a regular basis!

Please note that coconut oil was only applied, but did NOT massage while he was inflamed; and commenced the massages only after the skin was no longer inflamed.
Any new inflamed spots that may come up during the process of healing, has to be dried out first with turmeric and AVOID applying avocado oil on inflamed areas, as avocado oil has no antibacterial, antiviral or antibacterial properties. The steps being: 1) Turmeric first, let it dry out. 2) Follow up with Coconut oil 3) Final step with Avocado oil

And if you find the dermatitis erupting over and over again in any spot, then just apply Castor oil over that spot overnight… http://www.castoroilhome.com/castor-oil-for-skin
NOTE: ALL/ ANY oil needs to be cold pressed and bio/organic.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Why Turmeric?? It is a Miracle Cure!!!

Turmeric Took Away the ITCH!!!

Turmeric is considered as the world's healthiest food! 

Turmeric is a natural botanical product and a member of the ginger family. 


Research has shown that turmeric's 'curcumin' has anti-inflammatory effects to be comparable to the potent drugs Hydrocortisone and Phenylbutazone; as well as over-the-counter anti-inflammatory agents such as Motrin. Unlike the drugs, which are associated with significant toxic effects (ulcer formation, decreased white blood cell count, intestinal bleeding and the list goes on), turmeric's curcumin produces no toxicity and known to be extremely beneficial for health. 


Turmeric has magnificent wound healing activity. Turmeric not only has antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, but also acts as a natural antihistamine. It is used and quoted widely for its use in treating eczema, but little data is available to verify this. A recent study showed that turmeric increased detoxification systems, aided digestion, helped fight infection and the list goes on, in addition to its anti-oxidant properties. Taken internally in capsules or mixed with food or drink, it is very effective for all inflammations; an excellent source of both iron and manganese and a good source of vitamin B6, dietary fiber, and potassium.


When consumed, turmeric is said NOT to be easily absorbed by the body. Turmeric is fat-soluble, that means it dissolves in fat. Without fat, the active component in turmeric, curcumin, has a difficult time making it past the stomach, into the small intestine, and into the blood where it can offer the greatest benefits. So in order to make the most of turmeric, you must take it with a bit of fat. The way that is advised is to take quarter cup hot water (not room temperature water), add a teaspoon of turmeric and boil it together. Or add a teaspoon of coconut oil to turmeric and warm it together. You can add it to a glass of milk or skip the milk.

We also found turmeric extremely effective when applied topically, in aiding in my son's rapid recovery from his atopic dermatitis attack. Just made a paste out of it by mixing the powder with some water and applied it. Initially had to apply it over his entire body, as he was consumed by the rashes. I applied only turmeric for the first three days, no oils. It dried out all the rashes and not just that, it totally relieved him of his itch, after it was applied!!! Pure Miracle!!! 


Do note that turmeric stains clothes, skin etc.. But it goes away after a few days as far as the skin is concerned. With clothes, learnt it the hard way that it was best to use old clothes and old bed linen. When it came to the bath tub, it came off with ease with baking soda.


One can get turmeric powder at any Asian store or the local Indian restaurant can guide as to where one can source it from. Also it can be purchased via www.amazon.com