In January 2011, I (wife & mom) decided I needed to really try something with Doctor to get my weight under control. I was pregnant at the time so Doctor suggested we wait until about 6 months after the baby was born to start an elimination diet. He explained this was a good way to determine if a food allergy was making it difficult for my body to shed the weight.
Our son (infant) was born 3 weeks earlier than planned. He spent 4 days in NICU due to a lung issue. That resolved. He took a little while to gain weight. By 2 months old he was on track. Then when he was 4 months old he developed a mild, strange rash on his cheeks.
This rash spread to his whole body (scalp, face, back, stomach, diaper area, arms and legs). Doctor suggested I eliminate all dairy (our son is strictly breastfed) to see if it helps clear the rash. I was very careful and did not have ANY dairy. Unfortunately our son’s rash got worse rather than better.
I maintained no dairy, then proceeded with the true elimination diet in January 2012. My husband joined me in the elimination diet at this point. He was quite skeptical and frankly, pretty grumpy about it all. I held a secret hope that we’d discover a tiny, tiny relief to my husband’s lifelong depression and anger (which had intensified recently). I didn’t focus much on that hope though, because I didn’t think it would really work like that.
As a family, we did well with the Elimination Diet. We went through the normal process (hunger, “What do I eat!?,” “I’m tired of eating this,”) that everyone goes through. We both felt tired and low energy and grumpy for 10 or so days. I started losing weight quickly (to the tune of 10-15 lbs the first month). We stuck with it. I even unwittingly challenged my husband to maintain strict adherence by accusing him of trying to cheat. Our son got really bad. His rash was very red, inflamed, bleeding, oozing fluid, really uncomfortable, and gross looking. We spent days putting a wet cloth over his head to try to provide relief so he’d stop scratching. We tried different oils for his skin. We tried gentle soap, no soap, special soap. It felt like we were trying everything and looking for other possibilities. Doctor kept us on track.
Doctor started looking into other possibilities for our son’s rash. He started asking other professionals for any advise, similar cases, etc. We moved on to the Elimination Diet coupled with a Histamine Diet. I continue to drop weight easily. After another adjustment to the new diet, I was able to maintain workouts again at the gym.
One day Doctor sent us information on Nickel Sensitivity. The symptoms seemed to fit. We found some other personal blogs online from individuals suffering with this. The stories and symptoms seemed to fit. Doctor found a Low Nickel Diet and study from the Indian Journal of Medicine. So at this point I am on the Elimination Diet, Histimine Diet, and Low Nickel Diet. Our son is now 7 months old and his rash is bad. We performed a contact allergy test, and our son reacted to a nickel strapped to his skin. This gave some indication that Doctor was on the right track. We bought ceramic knives, wooden utensils, porcelain and nickel free pots & pans to cook with. We are beginning to realize the ramification of this possible diagnosis.
Then we stumbled upon amazing breakthroughs! My husband has realized he’s allergic to Cashews, which, Doctor informs us is a legume. So my husband cuts out all legumes. After only a week we noticed he was happier. Neither of us said anything to each other, thinking it was too good to be true and not wanting to jinx it. After another week, we started talking about it. My husband’s depression and anger are gone! After 1-2 weeks of the Low Nickel Diet, our son’s rash is improving. He looks better and he’s less itchy! Suddenly our lives are happier and easier (except frequent and complicated grocery shopping trips). We are really happy and excited. Doctor is cautiously optimistic at this point. He has done a great job at maintaining an open mind for other possibilities.
I continue the Low Nickel Diet, our son is now 9 months. Our son started looking really good after 28 days of the Low Nickel Diet. By 45 days was pretty much clear! About that same time we tried an antifungal for a rash on my chest that looked similar to a lingering redness on our son’s face. Doctor prescribed Dyflucan and we both cleared up. Our son looks fantastic!
Today is the 67th day of the Low Nickel Diet. He’s clear. We’ve been able to test about 5 foods so far. We are slowly developing a list of “safe” food and foods we have to avoid. He’s been eating safe, pureed foods for about a month now. Doctor says we will be moving forward with different kinds of testing now. This week we will strap a nickel to his skin again and watch for a reaction.
We are a little overwhelmed with what a systemic Nickel allergy means. We are taking it slow. Mostly we are very, very relieved and happy to have answers. This process has produced everything we ever dared hope for, for our health and more! Our son’s skin is better. My husband’s depression and anger are gone. I’ve lost 52lbs. Our daughter (2 ½) has stopped having temper tantrums. My husband’s seasonal allergies are gone! My seasonal allergies are barely noticeable anymore. We are so pleased. Thank you Doctor!
We have fallen into a nice pattern for shopping, eating, cooking, etc. Our son has remained clear as long as we maintain strict adherence to the low nickel diet. At the doctor’s orders we provoked a reaction by trying oats.This has confirmed the diagnosis in our minds (husband and I). The doctor is still keeping his mind open for other possibilities though has admitted that systemic nickel allergy seems more likely now.
I lost a total of 65lbs. My husband and daughter’s moods are under control. We are a healthy and happy family! Our daughter (3) even drew a picture at school of the family. We’re all holding hands and we’re all smiling!
It is amazing what God uses in our lives to focus us, refocus us, and bring contentment and happiness.