Eden’s Story

My journey with essential oils all started with Eden,  my beautiful first baby girl.  We knew something wasn’t right almost immediately.  Plunket told me it was “just colic”, but from 2 weeks old she had also developed eczema all over her body and used to cry constantly and arch her back violently when we tried to comfort her.  It was hard as a brand new mum with no idea of what was normal, only able to trust what those around you said.  From 6 weeks we tried a chiropractor, as Eden had been born by c-section.  After another 6 weeks she said there was nothing else she could try and Eden hadn’t improved, but a nutritionist at the practice had mentioned dairy could be causing her discomfort, so maybe try cutting it out.  I was sleep deprived and would have tried anything! Little did I know that in 24 hours Eden would already have turned a corner.  I guess from there our journey began!  It hasn’t been an easy journey.  While Eden improved without the dairy in my diet she went downhill quickly when I introduced solids.  I couldn’t stand to see her in so much pain – in her abdomen, usually from wind or food reactions – still arching her back, clenching her fists and pushing away me and her daddy, hitting her head.  It was like she didn’t want either of us and that hurt.  We would spend hours and hours pacing with her in our arms, unable to soothe her.  She would pass mushy, smelly, green, mucousy, bloody stools. She slept only an hour at a time at her worst point and would spend 1-4 hours crying at a time.  An elimination diet revealed to us the root of her problems and support from Pediatrician Dr Leila Masson  finally when Eden was 1 revealed signs and symptoms of an abnormal gut flora, which can cause intestinal permeability and food sensitivities.

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Today Eden is well on the road to recovery.  She still eats a diet free of gluten, dairy and soy.  We were able to successfully reintroduce higher fructose fruits (not dried though) and higher fructan vegetables and very recently eggs, but after continuing issues we have recently discovered that refined sugar is a no go and she reacts to citrus fruits and sulphites.  Healing has centred around healing her gut, boosting her immunity and soothing the symptoms that kept her awake at night – probiotics, other remedies and of course essential oils that have all been natural. As hard as those early days were, Eden’s journey has changed my life.  I have always slanted towards a natural approach to health, but I never knew its real capacity to heal and I certainly didn’t understand the importance of gut health, the impact of diet or how many toxic ingredients there are in the things that we use every day – soap, toothpaste, creams, lotions, washing detergents, air fresheners, candles; I could go on!

As all mothers, I sought to do what was best for Eden. I assessed the things contributing to our “toxic load” as a family, and one by one I cut them out and replaced them with things I made myself, using essential oils.

This is where this blog was born!  I share what I know and what has worked for us.  If you have stumbled across this blog in search of a lifeline for your own personal challenge, I hope that you can see a light at the end of the tunnel!  Browse my Mummy Munchies, website pages and feel free to contact me to talk directly

Much love,

Clare x x

How I kicked bladder infections and UTIs naturally!

Since I was a teen up until quite recently, I suffered with constant bladder infections and UTIs.  To the point that I had to have investigative surgery (a cystoscopy under general anesthesia) to shed light on why they were so frequent.  They found I had interstitial cystitis where the inside walls of my bladder had become so red and inflamed from constant infections that I was suffering stabbing pain, serious discomfort while urinating, and sexual intercourse ignited pain that lasted for several days.

I was prescribed a tricyclic antidepressant called nortriptyline to treat the interstitial cystitis, but the bladder infections and UTIs still continued.  I also suffered some serious health complications from the medication, like black outs.  I finally came off the tablets in preference of some marked changes in my diet and life and natural tools to rebalance the bacteria in my gut and bladder.

How did I get to that point?

I learnt through my experience with Eden that we live in symbiosis with the bacteria that inhabit the Gastro-Intestinal tracts in our bodies.  There are more of these bacteria than cells in our body.  It is an extremely fine balance of friendly bacteria and unfriendly bacteria/fungi/yeast/parasites. If we allow the latter to overgrow we activate the immune system and impair barrier function, which can lead to chronic diseases.

The problems we suffered with Eden and moreover, how nobody seemed to know how to help us or what was wrong for a good while, made me go away do significant research and learned a lot.  For Eden her intestinal permeability led to many symptoms outside of her GI tract, like thrush and other skin rashes, headaches, congestion, abdominal pain, extreme bloating, constipation and diarrhea, that all led to disruption of her sleep and restlessness,  and ultimately…. a bladder infection.  This got me thinking!  I was already suspicious that my gut was out of balance, based on other problems I had suffered in the past. I had many predisposing factors that would prevent my body from working optimally and create an imbalance – early and frequent exposure to antibiotics as a child and teen, chronic use of chemical birth control, which dries out mucosal tissue from tip to tail, creating a breeding ground for bad bacteria; A LOT of stress, disordered eating (a diagnosed eating disorder as a teen). Then, because of how Eden was born with such an imbalance of her own I considered, if I recreated my own gut bacteria balance by removing the undesirable organisms and restoring the desirable bacteria, while I worked through this process with Eden would my bladder problems reduce?

The result was YES!

The first thing I did was identify all the things in our lives that were increasing our toxic load, (heavy metals such as chemicals, mercury, pesticides, and herbicides) and attempt to reduce them, in order to restore immune function (our bacteria are an integral part of our immune system, helping it to distinguish between ‘friend and foe’).

I hadn’t realised until I started reading labels how many toxic ingredients there are in the things that we use every day – soap, toothpaste, creams, lotions, washing detergents, air fresheners, candles.  Not to mention in the food we eat!  I began to opt for organic food and began to cut chemical products out one by one and replace them with things I made myself, using essential oils.

Then I attacked the food intolerances I suspected Eden had head on!  Eden and I did a full elimination diet to identify problem foods and then we removed them.

I also made other dietary changes.  I began eating some fermented foods like kefir, kombucha and sauerkraut to help re-colonize my bodywith helpful bacteria. We cut out refined sugar completely because it feeds the bad bacteria and we cut down on grains that are high in carbohydrates, so break down into sugar and also feed yeast and bad bacteria growth.

As I realised the bacterial imbalance was not only in my gut, but in my bladder, I started taking D-mannose (500mg 4x daily) to prevent bacterial buildup in my bladder directly.

I used a course of Oregano Essential Oil (5 drops 3x daily in 250ml water for 3 days) because it is antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral.

I then started on quality Probiotics.  I visited Nicola John’s Pharmacy in Glen Innes, Auckland, upon the advice of my awesome midwife with Jade and talked to her about how I could increase the good bacteria in my bladder and gut and reduce the growth of the infection-causing bacteria.

And I took Cranberry tablets (400-500mg 2x daily) to prevent bacteria from sticking to my bladder walls.

Vitamin C (1,000mg 3x daily) was also introduced to make my wee more acidic, so that the growth of E.coli was inhibited, my immune function enhanced.  Eden’s bladder infection was identified as caused by E.coli, so this was important for both of us.

In making these changes I have changed my life.  And I thank Eden for that, for leading me to a better way.  Although what we went through with her was awful and horrific for everyone it has opened my eyes to so many different things that were impacting my own health and as a family we are now so much healthier!

If you are suffering with frequent bladder infections and UTIs I obviously advise seeing a doctor as I am not one of those!  However, investigate some of the things that helped me and if you think they might be able to help you, give them a try because living with the pain and discomfort of frequent infections is awful and as I found can be seriously damaging to your bladder.

To get hold of quality Oregano Essential Oil that you can take internally, visit my doTERRA retail store and feel free to contact me with any questions!

Much Love x x

 

The Long Hard Road with Eden Continues

For the last 2 weeks my husband and I have had very little sleep. The days have almost been as hard as the nights. Eden has been constantly waking, screaming in her sleep, inexplicably distraught. This impacts her days and she has walked around a little shadow of herself with dark circles under her eyes, irritable, highly sensitive, with little appetite and so so tired. You question your qualities/abilities as a parent as you start to struggle to cope. With Eden’s background, you also start to question ‘what’s changed?’

Well, a few things have in truth. She’s a brand new owner of a little sister and still not over the moon about it (especially having to share her daddy).  We challenged eggs a couple of months ago and thought we’d had a positive result, in that they didn’t go straight through her. She is very constipated, which I think may be down to letting her eat too much fruit (this does block her up) and failing to get her to eat enough vegetables. She also had a terrible reaction to soy a few weeks ago, which she did take almost a week to recover from and it was awful.

As usual we have used the essential oils to manage her symptoms. I made up a rollerball with doTERRA’s blends digestzen and on guard, plus bergamot to help rebalance the gut flora. I have also used the doTERRA blend serenity at night and we are trying a homeopathic recipe for the constipation. Of course they help manage the symptoms, but they aren’t removing the root of the problem, which I hadn’t identified… Until this morning.

I had a lightbulb moment. When we had Eden’s hair tested last year she demonstrated an intolerance to sulphites, which kind of made sense because I had seen her react to naturally occurring sulphites, but we don’t eat the processed and refined foods that sulphites are generally added to, like sugar, dessicated coconut and canned foods.

However, the earth has sulfur in it naturally, and therefore, so do many food products that come from the earth. For example, grapes, oranges and eggs that come from chickens. Some otherwise healthy vegetables, including broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, garlic, onions, chives and leeks contain sulphites naturally. Rapeseed, which is used in canola oil, is another culprit. Strawberries, blackberries, plums, coconut and other fruits also contain varying amounts of natural sulfites. Eden has reacted to all of these things in the past.  Another thing she consistently eats is peanut butter; every day. I had cut these things out after the hair test and her sleep improved massively, but as her grandma was still giving her the odd bit of peanut butter and because it is so difficult to get her to eat anything I had gradually let the naturally occurring sulphites back in and peanut butter particularly she has been having daily. Is this at the root of all our troubles?

The worst thing about when Eden is reacting is that she is horrible. She shouts, she hits and she says hurtful things. Some people might say that this is a normal part of being 3 years old, but having seen the difference in Eden when she isn’t reacting I disagree.

I guess the other thing is that because reactions, especially intolerances aren’t talked about or understood as much as allergies or something like coeliacs disease, it sometimes isn’t taken seriously. If I hear the words, a little bit won’t hurt one more time…

Either way, I think I am onto something. From today I will cut the sulphites back out and see if we start to get some sleep. I will keep you posted.  If this story resonates with you, please stop by my facebook page, Mummy Munchies, for recipes and link shares for advice.

To any other mums (and dads!) that are struggling right now, in whatever way, Kia Kaha ❤

Much love x x

For information, Eden shows reaction to foods in her behaviour, sleep, tummy troubles and thrush, congestion and on her skin. Reactions can be very individual. Reactions to sulphites can be extremely varied, but can worsen asthma and adhd, cause night terrors, insomnia, sleep walking and other sleep disturbance as well as other symptoms. Fedup.com.au is a great resource for information if you suspect food intolerance/allergies. However, always seek assistance from a doctor if you are worried and before you consider an elimination diet.