We recently found out our youngest son (1 year old) is highly allergic to casein (a protein in milk). It started with the poops. This poor little man would have constant acidic diarrhea 6-8 times a time. My first thought was “oh, he must be teething, babies get loose stools that cause diaper rash due to this”. So a month passed and he did pop through a few molders. Following came the running nose and cough, again, I thought “must be a cold or the extra mucus produced when teething”. Waiting another month, loose stools are still continuing. Than came the hives, on his cheeks and occasionally the belly. Having a background of reacting to foods I knew this was a sign that his immune system wasn’t handling something well. At this point it had been two months of pooping 6-8 times a day, a month of a cough we cannot break, no fever and now hives. I knew something needs to change. This poor guy must just be miserable all the time. He isn’t much of a whiny kid. He plays with his sibling and during occasion gets cracky when tired or hungry. Kid LOVES to eat. But he as just irritable when the hives hit, wasn’t sleeping through the night anymore. So we decided it was time to cut out the most common food issues in my family dairy and gluten. This did help but we weren’t doing it fully. We really just cut back but didn’t fully rid of it, so his hives would flare up and he would get a solid poop maybe once every other day. Now he is starting to get eczema on the back of his neck. Which is telling me his body isn’t getting better still, its only getting worse. We cant half way do it. His rash started spreading and the hives were continuing so we brought him in to get tested. Turns out his eczema ended up getting a bacterial infection (very common with eczema and small kids). So this kids immures system is already strugggling and now they want him on antibiotics. I couldn’t do it. After talking with my husband we decided to do it naturally, if it doesn’t clear up with serious cut outs and herbal remedies we will do the antibiotics. Keep in mind we don’t have the food allergy results back yet so we are still guessing if its dairy, gluten maybe egg. With cutting those three out (occasional mess ups because our cast iron still had some cross contamination), putting him on our garlic tincture orally and topically 2-3 times a day and using our eczema cream on his rash as healing within 36-48 hours! 5 days later the rash is healed! PRAISE GOD, one thing dealt with. Through this he would still get hives occasionally and poops were better but not yet normal. With how bad his body is reacting I don’t except it to go away immediately, it takes time to heal.

Upon getting his results we found he is highly allergic to casein (protein in all milk). GREAT!!! Now we know where to keep going with this. We have a target to stay away from and heal his body up. Because of this and his immune system reacting so terribly from it we decided to stay away from gluten still because its possible to cause extra inflammation in his body which we just don’t want. Now begins the research, its not just diary, its casein. We live in a complex food world. So they are able to take bits of milk and use it in all sorts of foods. So now we need to figure out what can and cant he eat. Until we get a better understanding we are sticking to the basics, meat veggies and fruit. Now this isn’t just for him, this is for everyone in the house. It’s easiest to do it together than it is to separate one and make a special meal just for one when there are 4 others that need to eat. If we go out and there’s an option for everyone to get something they want , yes, the others can get some sour cream or cheese on their Chipotle bowl. But with him he cannot got casein, if his body is progressively getting worse we cant risk it getting to the point of his throat closing. He is only 14 months old, he cant communicate that his throat is itchy or its hard to breathe. Any hives or cough we are giving a small dosage of Benadryl to be on the safe side.

The plan so far: this is type of allergy is still new to me. It’s a certain protein in milk that is used in many other foods. it differs from whey and lactose yet still a protein that is in animal milk. You give me corn, great I dealt with that for three years. I know all the safe foods and know the weird names they use on the ingredient list. So first is to figure out those weird names of casein and figure out what we have in the house that contains that making sure our son doesn’t eat it anymore.

Now comes the extra fun part (serious, this is very interesting to me). Coming up with a plan to heal his gut. Now we don’t have a huge amount to be able to do a ton of premade probiotics and supplements. It’s time to get crafty and find how what we can do. Probiotics are essential for good gut floral: fermented foods. You can get simple veggies and ferment them, eating these regularly will give you a good amount of probiotics in your diet. Next what I would like to add with collagens: bone broth and grass fed gelatin. Easy, use broth instead of water while cooking rice or soups. Now comes the tricky part. We want to add iron, vitamin C & D than just an over all multivitamin. Just go to the store and pick these things up… Well it’s expensive with three kids. But great news HERBS HAVE ALL THESE VITAMINS!!! Nettle and Alfalfa are great multivitamin herb. Nettle is also very high in iron. Iron we will also be getting from our ground beef because we had the butcher ground all the organ meat into the beef. But we will also be purchasing grass fed liver and adding it to soups. Vitamin C you can get from berries (elder, mulberry and Goji berries) or red bell peppers. Acerola powder is from red bell pepper and you can get a bulk amount for a good price. Now the vitamin D, Cod liver oil. Now this one I will buy. I do not want to make my own cod liver oil….. we typically spend around $30 a month on this guy. I am sure there is a herb or other food that is high in vit D, I personally just haven’t gotten that far yet.

There is many many many things I am learning through this process and will be sure to share what we find as we continue down this road! Just wanted to share and document what I am learning as of now. If you have any tips, comments or questions PLEASE comment below !! But this sums up my story of our new adventure with baby #3 Joesph. God is faithful and has a plan and purpose through it all, will we will continue to rest in Him and seek out what He has for our family!

Through ALL things who Christ who gives me strength!

Mariah McDowell