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I have talked a bit about my youngest son’s eczema, and I believe about my other two sons having hives and rashes recently. I could not seem to target the main source of the irritation, but I did research what harsh chemicals that I could be using in our home. There are an enormous array of toxins and irritants, not only in our cleaning products but in just about everything that we use on a daily basis.
When you brush your teeth, wash your hair, even change your baby’s diaper you are coming into contact with formaldehyde. It is found in shampoo, toothpaste, makeup and even baby wipes. It is a small amount in each product, but when you are daily coming into contact with it in multiple ways it can cause more than just skin irritation. It can cause minor headaches, asthma, vomiting and has been linked to cancer. If you run into your bathroom to check your products you might want to look for these different names as well, because yes, it has different names, or what I like to call aliases: urea, methanal, methylene oxide.
Another chemical found in the home is Triclosan. It is considered a PHC. Other PHC’s are DDT and Agent Orange, which are poisons. Triclosan is approved by the FDA, who claims that it isn’t harmful in small doses. It can be found in laundry detergent, deoderant, body wash, and antibacterial wipes.
Ammonia is incredibly harmful to asthmatics. My Grandmother would mop her floor with ammonia and I remember that I had to stay outside until the fumes died down. It would give me an instant asthma attack. This chemical is also found in glass cleaner. Both myself and my youngest son, also an asthmatic, would have strong reactions whenever I used Windex.
Hydrochloric acid is found in bathroom cleaners like toilet boil cleaner, lime scale remover, and tile cleaner. Most of these products will have a warning label that tells you to only use them in a ventilated area. Well, I don’t know about you, but my bathroom is the smallest room in my house and there is absolutely no way to ventilate it well enough to not get sick when using those cleaners. Hydrochloric Acid can cause severe respiratory problems, and excessive inhalation can cause the person to cough up blood.
I am sure that we have all heard about BPA. It has been all over the media, and everyone knows to buy the plastic bottles that are BPA free. But BPA, or Bisphenol A, is not only in plastic, it is also present in canned goods. It can leak and cause illness. Studies have recently connected high levels of BPA in children to allergic reactions to food. In other words it is causing an immune reaction in babies and children and causing them to develop food allergies.
Bleach is also a chemical that is dangerous for your family. Up until very recently, I used bleach all over my house. But I noticed that it bothered my asthmatic son. I didn’t realize at first that he would leave the room when I used it. But he told me that it is hard for him to breath when I use it.
I have recently rid my home of all of these cleaners and chemicals. I switched from harmful products that were making my family miserable to chemical free Melaleuca products. They are free of bleach, ammonia, phosphates, phthalates (which I didn’t cover here but is equally as harmful), Triclosan, formaldehyde, BPA, and hydrochloric acid. Their products are biodegradable, use citric acid to remove hard water stains, use enzymes to clean dishes and so much more. They are also concentrated up to 12 times for some products. The best part about them is that they work! Sometimes better than anything with chemicals.
I am so happy to be able to clean my house without running my children outside! That is the most important change, but also, knowing that I am doing right by my family as a whole.
Link to the study on BPA and food allergies: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4626318/
Food is a constant source of stress in my home. Our grocery bill can sometimes be more than even I can comprehend, much less my husband. It’s difficult for a lot of families to get their children to eat healthy and to be able to afford said healthy food, but when you add food allergies and Autism to the mix it can get downright overwhelming. That is what I struggle with not just week to week, but day to day. My youngest son is allergic to a very long list of foods, including but not limited to, gluten, dairy and soy. My oldest son is on the spectrum and will not eat certain foods like steak, ribs, hamburger meat. It’s a sensory problem. However my middle son will eat just about anything. So, I sometimes end up making three different dinners. It’s tiring, to say the least.
The biggest problem is, of course, being able to afford to buy the most nutritious food across the board for all of my children. It would be easy to serve french fries and hot dogs for every meal. I mean the kids would love that, but it just isn’t the right thing to do, is it? So, I make lists, I budget, clip coupons, shop at discount grocery stores, and sometimes it just isn’t enough. But, I keep trying because I desperately want them to be healthy, not just have food in their bellies.
Another hardship for me is my youngest son’s food allergies. You see, he isn’t just allergic to gluten, he is also allergic to soy, eggs, dairy, chocolate, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, shellfish, and white fish. Finding anything in a normal store that he can eat is a nightmare. Most of the time I am cooking for him from scratch to make sure that there are no allergens in his food. I would love to just be able to buy him something simple to heat up, but anything that is pre-cooked, pre-packaged or processed contains at least one ingredient that he is allergic too. I was in the store yesterday and I saw a package that said ‘Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets’. I was so excited! (I know, my life is pretty boring if I’m getting excited about chicken nuggets) But, lo and behold, I turn it over and it contains soy. Which is a common problem with Vegan foods, they tend to contain soy. So, I am back to cooking most of his food. Please, if you have recipes, I would love to try them!
The biggest help that I have found with both of these problems, has been Aldi’s. It is a discount grocery store, and they have a huge selection of organic, and vegetarian and vegan products. Also their meat and produce section is pretty good as well. Grass fed beef, and cage free eggs also. The other help has been Melaleuca.com, their cleaning products and bath and body products are all-natural, which saves us from his eczema break outs and they have a whole line of vegan snack foods and protein shakes.
It’s just been a real hit and miss game over the years to get into a routine that would somehow feed my family in a healthy, allergen-free way. I may have to do more work in the kitchen than I would like, but it is worth it when I see my kids thriving.
I am a huge fan of these amazing people! I feel like a groupie getting to “follow” their expeditions online! I just cannot get enough. Maybe I am living vicariously through them a little. Especially since I am so scared of heights that I wouldn’t be able to stand on top of my own one story house. 😉
Fredrik Sträng and team member Ali Musa wait for a weather window on K2 after depositing ropes under C-3 and predictions of clear skies.
DISPATCH # 8 Fredrik Sträng K2 2017
Through Dispatches, you’ve had an inside look into the Sigma K2 2017 Expedition that is underway with climbers Fredrik Sträng from Sweden, Ali Musa from Pakistan and their third team member, Abass, their Chef Cook at K2 Base Camp. We’ve witnessed Sträng’s long road to Skardu, his traverse into Paju and finally his arrival at K2 Base Camp on 27, June. We’ve also enjoyed his stories from the mountain together and gotten to know this exceptional climber a little bit better. Now, the weeks that follow will be the most challenging and exciting, and together, we are supporting this journey and watching as the expedition team waits for a weather window to attempt a first summit push.
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I want to tackle the subject of eczema. My family has been struggling to stay on top of this disease for quite a long time. It all started with my second son. He developed it on his legs right about the time he started crawling. The doctor said that he was probably allergic to dust mites, and prescribed a topical steroid. Even with the steroid, we couldn’t seem to keep his legs moisturized enough to compensate for the breakouts. Not to mention the screaming that would ensue when the lotion was applied. We did not understand at the time that it was actually burning him. Not actually burning his skin, but that’s what it felt like to him. I had no idea that there was an alternative. The Dr says to use Eucerin and so I do. But he just screams. And his skin is still breaking out and feels like sandpaper. And then, like an answer to my prayers, he grows out of it. The eczema was gone and we were rejoicing. But wait, here comes baby boy number 3.
My baby, my last and final boy. He is the light of our lives and the best little birthday present I have ever received, (he was born two days after my birthday). He was breech and premature. The c-section lasted forever. And then he was here and perfectly healthy. I breastfed him and took every precaution. But around 4 months he stopped wanting to feed. He wanted the bottle, and I had to give it to him. I couldn’t afford a pump, so formula it was. And it was right around that time that the illnesses started to pop up. Eczema was the first, and it was head to toe. The dermatologist said that he had never seen it that bad on a baby. Yeah, that made me feel better. He prescribed, yeah, you guessed it, a topical steroid. Once again we tried every lotion and every one made him scream. Bath time was horrible. My baby scratched so much that even the water hurt.
Then I heard about an online company that my parents used to order from in the 90’s. It claimed that it was a health and wellness company and that all of their products were free of harsh chemicals and organic and biodegradable. And they had a lotion. Also, free of harsh chemicals and organic. The best part about this lotion is that it contained tea tree oil. Amazing for your skin. I climbed on board that day. My husband was not pleased. It was the business side of it that he was wary of, I was just wanting to get my hands on that lotion. It definitely did not let me down. After a couple of weeks using it, my baby’s skin was clear. He was so happy and so were we! And, no more screaming.
We had to suspend our membership to the company when my husband was laid off that year. But I had always wanted to go back. It’s the only thing that ever really worked for him consistently. We are using Aquaphor now instead of lotions but it is so greasy and he absolutely hates it. He can’t stand to not be wearing clothes that cover his arms and legs when he has that greasy stuff on his skin. Texas summers are not conducive to long sleeve shirts and pants. I have made my first order for that lotion. I seriously can’t wait to get it and start using on it him. I know he will get his happy back!
This is my very first blog post, ever. I am only a little nervous. Well, maybe more than a little. I am starting this blog because I have children with a whole range of illnesses and allergies. I have done an unknown amount of research and have tried so many different things to help my children be happy and healthy. I wanted to write to you all, just in case some of the things that I have discovered and tried and the things that I will try in the future might be of some help to you. Because we Mom’s and Dad’s can definitely benefit from each other!
A little about myself, My name is Misty, and I am a stay at home Mom and wife to a wonderful Cajun husband. I have 3 boys at home, 12, 14, 16. We also homeschool our boys. We pulled them from Public School about 3 years ago. It’s a long story that I might tell you sometime. 😉 I also have a home business that I am completely in love with. We started this business because the company sells so many chemical free, non toxic household products that we desperately needed due to our boys eczema and allergies. But anyone would benefit from getting those harsh chemicals out of their home. Of course I would love to tell all about this company, just ask! I seriously love sharing it with people.
We hail from the great state of Texas, in the DFW area. I was raised here and my husband is from New Orleans. We love to visit his home town and his lovely family!
I am very excited to be starting this blog and to be able to share everything that I know and will know about keeping my family happy and healthy! Oh and I am sure that there will be some fun little tid bits about my crazy children! Thanks for starting this journey with me!