Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Rise and Rise of Allergies

Today, I'm climbing on to the soapbox to have my say about allergies. It may get a bit long-winded - sorry!- because I have a whole lot of stuff to say...

I did not know one kid with an allergy when I was growing up. We ate whatever we pleased, and never worried over whether little Johnny would inhale our peanut-butter breath, or if Little Sally was allowed to eat the cupcakes at the end-of-year party.

How the world has changed!

There's no escaping allergies now. They're everywhere.

I must admit I was quite blase about the whole allergy epidemic, because it was something that happened to other people, but not me.

And then, 10 months ago, my youngest son was born...

In his short life, the Baby Cherub has suffered from colic symptoms, exzema, chronic yeast infections, food intolerances, and constant sniffles and puffy eyes.

I have been to so many different doctors that I've lost count.

Call me a pest, but I am just not satisified with modern medicine's approach of prescribing medication, and creams, to treat the symptoms, and make no effort, whatsoever, to search for the cause.

(One can imagine the pharmaceautical giants are rubbing their hands together in glee, over the current status quo. Far be it from me, to sprout conspiracy theories. One does wonder, though...It's not exactly in their interests to make us healthy, is it?)

Basically you go home, and resign yourself to a life of  managing the symptoms as best you can.

I'm sorry, but that's just not good enough!!

We may as well banish peanuts, eggs, and seafood from off the face of the earth, now...

And while we're at it, maybe we should get rid of trees and their pesky pollens, too!!

My son was born a perfectly healthy little boy. The trouble began when he had his first immunisations at 8 weeks.

Within 10 days, his skin was breaking out in scaly red circles. And so began our trips to the doctor...

The Hall of Shame reads like this:

 - The first doctor said "Ringworms" and prescribed an antifungal cream.

- One month later with the "ringworms" multiplying by the day, all over his little body. Back to (a different!) doctor. No, not ringworms!! Excema. Prescribed cortisone cream. I never filled the prescription because I didn't believe babies and cortisone had any business with each other. I chose to use natural creams, and washes, which improved his skin, but didn't clear the excema.

- Another trip, to the child health clinic this time, for sleep issues and general miserableness. Difficult baby! Go back home and get used to it...

- Countless trips, just about every other week, for respiratory infections, and coughs and colds. Panadol, panadol, panadol. Oh, and one prescription for croup medicine.

- Another trip to doctors, for aforementioned sleep issues and miserableness. Prescribed something for silent reflux, which cost $60.

The $60 bottle of magic did absolutely nothing. Probably because he didn't have silent reflux...

After that, I threw my hands up in disgust, and turned to alternative medicine.

I started to ask questions, about why this was happening to our kids.

Why are allergies almost unheard of, in (so called) primitive cultures? Are we too clean? Are our immune systems, which are designed to fight germs, turning on ourselves because there aren't enough germs to fight?

Is it because we are deficient in essential minerals, due to our diet of convenience food and simple carbs?

Maybe it's yeast infections? Yeast infections are reaching epidemic proportions, due to aforesaid diets, and yeast infections don't allow our bodies to break down food properly, so bits of undigested food enters our blood streams, and our immune systems see it as a threat, so start to attack it.

The other day I stumbled across an old book in the back of the op shop, which gives some very interesting information on successful treatment of allergies. I will blog more about this when I have finished reading the book.

Our health system is not doing enough to find the cause. Funds and resources need to be thrown into finding out why this is happening, before it gets truly out of hand. The band-aid approach is only going to work for so long.

Meanwhile, Little Johnny's mother is worrying herself sick every day he's at school, wondering if he'll touch the same equipment as some other kid who had peanut butter sandwiches for breakfast...

Now, I'm no expert, so you can take all this with a grain of salt.

But I am a mother.

And sometimes, mothers just know things.

PS. For those who are interested - homeopathy cleared his eczema within 4 days, and by adjusting our diet to eliminate sugars, white flour and food additives, he began to sleep through the night within a month. He continues to be happy, healthy and eczema-free today...


Erin said...

I totally hear you! I went through a lot of similar things with my son. He's 15 months old now, and these started around the 1 1/2 month mark. I was told reflux and excema. He still doesn't sleep through the night. Still has problems with wind and excema. The family health nurse pretty much just told me he was difficult and I should just try other settling techniques.

Mothers do just know things, especially if it's something wrong with their child. We get brushed off as worry warts too often.

katiegirl said...

I feel your pain. Mine is nowhere near sleeping all night, either. We are currently using probiotics to treat his yeast infection. It gives him pains in the tummy, and an itchy bottom, which aren't conducive for sleeping :-(

I refuse to accept the "difficult baby" prognosis. I'm sure our babies were not meant to be miserable and unhappy all the time. There's a reason for it, and I'm not going to give up, until I found what it is...

The Bush League Cook said...

Hang in there! I had food issues a couple of years ago, and I cut out sugar and wheat from my diet. The allergist said there was no way that was causing my symptoms, but all I know was that when I did not eat them, I felt 100% better. After a few months of that, was able to reintroduce it to my diet...maybe yeast infection? Hope it gets better soon!

Amy xxoo said...

I also wonder why the incidence of allergies is so high now. 'm only 26 but 20 year ago when i was in kindy nobody had allergies - we could bring peanut butter and egg sandwiches to school, no worries.
So what exactly has changed in 20 years so that now every second kid is allergic to something? said...

argh,just lost a huge comment about getting up on the soapbox with you. Short version, ahving 2 kids with allergies there has to be something more to it and don't believe medical profession is getting anywhere just prescribing more and moe medication. Thanks for the post - love it.

Mrs Rev said...

Ever wonder what effect the introduction of Alcohol based hand-gels have had on our immune systems - killing off every bit of bacteria (both good and bad) that finds itself on our skins??

All I know is my kids play in the dirt and they don't get sick.

Here, you can have your box back now :)

Toni said...

Yeah, good soapbox topic! there must be something we're doing as a society (or a bunch of somethings) that is affecting our kids, cos like you, I never knew anyone with allergies when I was a kid.