Whether you are on a TED, top 8 free or have only eliminated a couple of foods these points may be worth considering to help support you and your little one’s journey to a reaction free baseline.
If you know you can’t (or simply don’t want to) cut any more foods out, for your own nutritional, mental or financial health, here are some things you might want to consider:
• It can be important to see a lactation specialist (IBCLC) and/or tongue tie specialist and ensure there are no oral ties (or oversupply issues) at play, as they can cause a plethora of symptoms in infants as well as adults. If ties are an issue division can really help many, though body work like osteopathy, chiropractics or cranial sacral therapy can help to eliminate the possibility of tensions and transferred issues.
• If in doubt, swap it out! Swapping in/out some of the foods you’re eating can often help because sometimes one low risk TED contains another’s worst triggers. That being said try to give it at least a few weeks between any significant changes, unless there’s an obvious issue, so you have a better idea if it’s helped and what’s going on.
• Make sure you’re avoiding mum’s triggers too! Some babies react to mums reactions, and though they might not have the same triggers it can increase the overall load of inflammation. Inflammatory chemicals can be transferred through breastmilk much like foods. Sensitivities can also be genetic and linked to food aversions and food addictions, so if mum, dad or other members have specific foods they react to or love a bit too much they can be worth eliminating at least temporarily to identify if they’re an issue.
• “A tincture of time” as some infants’ gastro symptoms improve around 6-9months as their intestinal wall becomes less permeable. Reflux symptoms can also improve, for some, as they gain more muscular tone in their GI tract.
• Magnesium… and other trace minerals. Most people are deficient in magnesium because soil is so depleted, but it is essential to histamine breakdown and elimination in the body as well as supporting detox pathways and a huge number of other things.
• Adrenal support, magnesium helps this too, but other electrolytes like calcium/potassium/sodium in addition to magnesium are vital for our adrenal support. Without them we can be fatigues, twitchy – easily startled, or prone to cramping. Electrolytes can also have an antihistamine effect. So getting enough electrolytes can be really important to improve our stability and overall health.
• Zinc deficiency is common in children with allergies and reflux, it can also increase appetite. Zinc is also essential for immune health and resilience to illness, among other things.
• Trying a different approach like introducing antihistamine or mast cell stabilising herbs and foods? Sometimes we can’t cut more, but we can add more. Lots of foods, drinks and herbs have stomach settling and immune supporting properties, so much like gripe water and antihistamine they can be a lower risk without the buffering/stabilising ingredients.
• Seeing if low histamine food prep helps. (Short cooking times & freezing left overs)
• Trying to support your own liver and digestion through supplements (like: lecithin/phospholipids, milk thistle/bitters and even digestive enzymes).
• Focusing on gut healing. which aims to reduce intestinal permeability “leaky gut” and improving microbial “gut flora” diversity (See Gut Healing 101 for more info).
• Microbial analysis or treatment some benefit from parasite tests, others from stool microbe analysis, some have a imbalance with a dominance of strains like e.coli, h.pylori or c.diff etc. Which are known to have a detrimental effect on the digestive tract and/or digestion.
• Eczema can also be prolonged long after the removal of triggers if it is infected, a huge amount of chronic eczema involves chronic infection, even when it doesn’t have the typical infection inflamed appearance or warmth. It can also be caused by yeast over growth in the gut. These be addressed through addressing yeast in the gut, bathing with anti-microbial treatment (Medicated or natural like ACV/salts etc.) and there is new science on bacteriophages which treat specific microbial infections. Some professionals recommend bleach baths, though they have been around a long time these are not without risk as any bleach use in the home increases the risk of respiratory issues especially in children.
• Double checking environmental factors, like dust exposure, rubber toys (latex allergy), toiletries (for baby and family) and cleaning products that may contain detrimental or allergenic ingredients.
Sometimes these kinds of changes can cause adaptive, detox or “die off”, reactions which is pretty normal, so it can be very important to proceed cautiously starting low and slow with any changes or supplements. But it is important to support mum’s healing too because by mum supporting her health it helps the dyad as a whole.
These things aren’t a substitute for identifying issue foods, but they could help tremendously to minimise any long term effects from chronic inflammation if you struggle to reach a baseline. Some can also help a lot of people with long term health and healing.
It can also be worth noting that some things should be avoided until your lo is at a steady baseline, like vaccinations and people who are ill, etc. which can cause immune irritation that can exacerbate the situation.
Regarding vaccinations it could be worth looking into Dr Paul Thomas’s “the vaccine friendly plan” where he offers a lot of information on adapted schedules, it can also help to do one at a time, to be confident each is not a trigger and reduce the risk of over-sensitising the immune system, and in the case of a reaction to single out the specific trigger.
If you’re struggling with doctors trying to push formula on you, when you don’t want it or don’t think you need it you might find our “breastmilk vs formula” and “why it matters… to me at least” posts encouraging.
You might also find it helpful to seek the support of a IBCLC : International Board Certified Lactation Consultant for a second opinion on formula too. Unfortunately not all healthcare practitioners are informed on breastfeeding anatomy and sometimes issues like oversupply, oral ties etc. can cause issues or mean you need more help, sometimes supplementation may be necessary. Unfortunately practitioners who are familiar with both breastfeeding and food issues are even less common. IBCLC is a international standard for fact based breastfeeding knowledge and support practices, many claim training and experience as “lactation consultants” but IBCLC is the most trusted trained certification of breastfeed practitioner.
If you are struggling and want to try formula, or feel like you need to for your sanity or your family, or families quality of life. Or whatever reason. It is completely your decision. Our community is all about informed consent and supporting mamas in doing what is best for their little ones and their families. As amazing as breastmilk is sometimes situations mean formula is needed in supplementation or as an alternative. That is why formula was made. There is no shame in using something for its purpose.
I hope this helps and doesn’t add to the other stresses of TED motherhood!
As ever I’m sharing this as a mum, not any kind of professional, please see “The Disclaimer” for more on how this is just my opinion that I’m presenting as a potential consideration you might want to include in your decision making process. 😊
Tongue tie symptoms:
How to find an IBCLC:
How to find a TT proffered provider:
How to find a U.K. tongue tie practitioner:
How to find a functional medicine practitioner:
Electrolytes as an antihistamine:
Antihistamine rich foods
Bacteriophage for eczema:
Zinc and appetite
PPI’s zinc and reflux
Zinc and gastric reflux relief:
Zinc deficiency prevalence:
Bleach bath risks and alternatives:
Bleach reduces atopy, but increases respiratory symptoms: