My story starts 4 years ago when my third baby was born. I had twins 6 years before who I also breastfed, so I was very familiar with many challenges in this area, and to being creative with coping… how to juggle babies, but it was a different story with this baby, she was a massive challenge!
She was so sensitive to foods that me eating a couple of strawberries could have her projectile vomiting for hours, and the lingering affects for weeks.
I have actually noted the start to my story on my blog… but this entry is the next step.
I had gone through various specialists and testing, she had been given a diagnosis of likely eosinophilic oesophagitis (EoE), multiple food protein intolerances and possibly FPIES. Much of this by 6 months old.
She and I were on about 15 foods from somewhere around 4-5 months old until 18 months, so as many will understand, she was super sensitive!!
I started to realise that there must be SOMETHING that we can do to help her gain foods. I started to read on the ‘beyond failsafe’ and how to improve. Minerals really resonated with me too as I have an animal science biology qualification and keen interest in biology and science in general.
At around this time – when she was about 8 months old, a pharmacist asked me what we were doing for her magnesium levels – then going on to me that the adult dose of reflux medication she was on would be causing a magnesium deficiency….many doctors across three severely refluxy children and NONE told me this! It’s a known function of the medications 😳
Once I started to switch on to magnesium deficiency, researching more and more, I ended up in the Magnesium Advocacy Group care of a friend, and started to add mag ever so slowly to my regular routine.
It all began when she was around 10 months old, with just 4 sprays of magnesium oil at first per day. Then a week in, I went up to 6, and then to 8 another week later.
At this point the most mag I gave directly her was to give her some Epsom salt (ES) baths. She had been a baby who preferred to be showered so she rarely had a way to give her ES baths anyway before we made the effort to swap it in.
When I was on 8 sprays/day, she started sleeping through at night and longer in the day too. She used to wake hourly or more anywhere starting from 10pm to 1am – depending on what I had eaten!
I couldn’t believe it! Is it the mag? No couldn’t be!!
By the time she had her first birthday, I had introduced egg directly to her (yet at 6 months old, indirect exposure via me caused screaming for days)…! I couldn’t believe it.
I continued to raise the number of sprays, and she became more and more stable just with that extra mag indirectly via me.
A couple of months in, I traveled and got out of routine. I didn’t think it would matter that much to stop the mag. She turned right back where she was! Screaming, feeding throughout the night obviously due to pain. Sooo much worse.
It took me a few days at home again to connect the dots, so a few days after we got home, I started again. Within 24h she was sleeping again and settled!!
After 6 months of adding magnesium slowly, I had introduced oral mag plus the topical, and I felt so much better in me too! I could get away with trying other foods at work events, and she wouldn’t react as badly or for as long.
I booked in for a consult with Morley Robbins (from gotmag.org) about this time, and suddenly what we were seeing plus what I had been experiencing throughout my life in my own food reactions (migraines!), made sense.
My Mum and Nan both showed signs of magnesium deficiency throughout their lives….plus what I’ve since learned to be further mineral imbalances as the mag is really a symptom of bigger things….so by the time I was born as the third child, then had twins myself, an ectopic pregnancy that nearly killed me and less than a year later, I was pregnant again with my super reactive child….it’s not really a surprise I didn’t have a lot minerals-wise to give her!!
At that point I set to start implementing Morley’s recommendations.
I added extra salts to support my tanked out adrenal system….that’s what takes care if you during flight or fight responses – I had tanked it after yeaaaars of being under perpetual stress.
I used digestive enzymes to help add lemon juice to make the recommended adrenal cocktail drink (oranges were a trigger of migraines in me, had been for years!)….the fear of something so naturally high in chemicals was petrifying! But I felt the challenge was needed.
Step by step I added things. Step by step we felt better and saw changes in development and health.
I had another consult and Morley recommended again adding whole food vitamin c – it was a huge thing to contemplate to me at that point still, soooo much chance for big reactions from all the unknown natural chemicals in a pill! It took until later to realise that metabolically, reactive kids like her NEED to have these foods in order to recover.
I was so terrified of the implications of adding things like whole food vitamin c, yet when we did it, it was a non event reactions wise, and turned into the best way for us to get another step in improvements!
Along the way we had her tested – we had started with my (older) son and me and just implemented across the board where it seemed we could.
When my littlest one was 24 months old, she just barely weighed 11kg.
We built up to her doing everything Morley recommended by her second birthday….at 25 months old, she was 11.5kg!!
It has continued for us and now at just over 4, she has well over 50 safe foods, we can talk about what foods she can’t have easier than what she can (!!)….she’s developing normally and is on no drugs. So many kids with her diagnosis (“eosinophilic oesophagitis”) end up on elemental formula, steroids, ending up also with other autoimmune conditions including eczema, asthma, chronic sickness….
Her reactions when she has them now are nothing like what they were, and it’s such a different path to where we were!
Her siblings are now 10 and have seen similar results – no asthma (it was severe!), eczema, constant colds in winter.
They eat pretty much anything except gluten without issue, though we all avoid eating additives. We eat tomatoes, watermelons, mangoes, herbs, spices.
Something else to consider – we were basically on one income throughout this period of discovery. I was made redundant from my job during 2013…so the cost of testing and supplements was something that I feared terribly.
Instead of $1000’s on Drs visits, eczema, asthma and reflux medication for just the kids, we now eat whole food, use limited supplements and see Drs to get blood test checks only…we don’t get sick like we all did (& we weren’t super sickly in the scheme of things!). We have saved thousands by having taken a leap of faith to go down this path.
This is a snippet of the changes for us…most of it since January 2014, but mag started ~August or September 2013.