Monday, January 18, 2010

Elimination Diet: An Update

We are just beginning our eighth week on the Elimination Diet. Has it really been that long? In some ways it's flown by and in others it's been forever.

I think it's safe to say that everyone is fairing better in the morale department now that corn, soy, tomatoes, potatoes are back in the rotation. These just open up so many more options for us.

Since I last wrote we have trialed sugar and eggs. Ideally, eggs would have come along much earlier, but with the eczema not looking optimal, we wanted to wait until things were clearer so that a reaction would be evident. We had eggs for breakfast and lunch yesterday and no noticeable skin changes thus far. The verdict is still out, though. However, to my surprise there were some stomach aches and diarrhea last night and this morning. I've learned that some people have difficulty with the protein of whole eggs and not so much when they are in added into baked goods. So today we made some muffins with eggs and trialed those to see if anything happens.

Sugar was...well, exciting. You would have thought these kids had won a prize or something! We had brown sugar at breakfast, 7-up at lunch and allergy free sugar cookies. They. were. bouncing. off. the. walls. I literally had to hole myself up in the corner of the house and wear earplugs to take my Sunday afternoon nap. They were crazy.

Apart from the initial shock to the system, everyone fared well but Miriam and me. We were both dragging through the first part of last week. I could hardly put one foot in front of the other or get anything accomplished. I also noticed an increase in cravings, not just for sugar, but for anything and everything. I'm willing to stay away from sugar if this is what it does to me. Not worth it.

Many people are asking what we are going to do at the end of this process. I'm still thinking through a plan that will most beneficial and the least restrictive. With nine people finding a balance is going to require some planning and fortitude until we get into the swing of things.

It's likely that we will reintroduce the suspect foods only to certain individuals to confirm a response and then head off to an allergist to just get confirmation. But for now, we'll be moving forward. Dairy is next. Then it's red meat, caffeine and peanuts.

I've been documenting the eczema via pictures. If you don't like scaly, scabby arms you might want to skip this part. Here's a look at the progress:

Beginning of the Elimination Diet 11/30/09

After 3-weeks of allergy free foods. It got worse, I'm assuming because the body was getting rid of toxins. 12/21/09

End of week seven 1/16/10 The seeping has stopped as well as the intense itching. It's still very dry. In pictures it's hard to capture the true color and texture, but trust me, it's improving.


Monica said...

My husband says that perhaps they were not bouncing off the walls as much as I was coming off of my sugar high. They were just having a good time playing.

Tisha said...

No, I believe you. My kids are insane when they get sugar. We try to do as little as possible. Her poor arms looks really painful... I am so glad that they are starting to clear up. You are doing well and you look great. I forgot to mention that when I saw you last!

Andrea said...

I see the same response when we all get sugar. It leaves me with BIG cravings and so tired! I've come to the conclusion that the way to have sweets in life is to use the natural ones that God gave us. They tend to have a lower glycemic impact while alos containing other nutrients (something white sugar and corn syrup can't do!). Honey and real maple syrup are our faves!
Boy - from those photos I can sure see why you're doing this! That stuff is sooooo uncomfortable and I hate to see my kids suffer from it either as well as the poor behavior or attention spans.
Hoping God gives you the wisdom to be a great steward of your precious 7!