Friday, December 4, 2015

How We Healed Our Child's Psoriasis

Last March Cort broke out in patches on his back.  They were itchy to him, keeping him up at night.  We went to his allergist, who initially thought it was a viral eczema.  But as time went on and the spots grew, she thought it might be something called guttate psoriasis, which is an autoimmune condition.

We went to his pediatrician, who pulled another doctor in who used to specialize in pediatric dermatology.  Together, they thought it was psoriasis.  They did a referral to a dermatologist, and in the meantime we continued trying various steroid creams.  The spots spread, and soon his scalp, back, genitals, stomach, arms, and legs all had these itchy plaques.  Some nights he would scratch them until they bled.  We don't have a picture of him when he was at his worst, but this is close:

The dermatologist wasn't sure if it was psoriasis or eczema.  We decided to do a biopsy, which was traumatic for Cort (and involved a big bribe).  It came back as psoriasis.  We had two creams for his hair, one for his face, another for his body.  We tried natural remedies as well.  I read books on autoimmune conditions and tried doing some elimination diets, based on the books.  We eliminated nightshades, and later all gluten.  We made sure he got sun therapy every day all summer.  It was heartbreaking to watch him suffer, yet not have anything that seemed to help. 

The rash grew worse.  The only thing it responded to was a steroid cream so potent that he had to be monitored every couple of days, and it wasn't safe to use all over his body.  His inner ears were covered in plaques, his scalp felt volcanic, and Cort started to feel sad that kids were asking him about it in school. 

I wanted to take him to a functional medicine doctor, but we couldn't afford it.  We received a referral to a specialist in North Carolina, but our appointment wasn't until December.  I begged the specialists we had seen to do a food sensitivity panel, but I was unable to get anyone to order one.  I started researching online, and I finally found a company in Europe that would do a food intolerance test using the DNA in the hair.

Our pediatrician told me he thought it was a snake oil scheme (in a kind way - he is a very good doctor but like other doctors in our region, isn't big on alternative medicine), but I felt like it was worth a try.  The test was around $100 and we were spending at least that on prescriptions every month, so the test wasn't much different.  I figured it would be worth it, and really, what could it hurt?  I cut a few strands of Cort's hair and shipped it off to Europe for $1.75.  Two weeks later, I was emailed the results (as well as information for how to contact their nutritionist with any questions - which I did twice.  This did not cost anything extra.).  They tested for 600 foods, plus a number of environmental allergens.  We immediately removed Cort from every food on the list.

 You can see here that the spots began to get a little whiter in the centers.  The difference was noticeable within a week off his intolerant foods.  The foods were not things I ever would have figured out with an elimination diet - many were so random (like lettuce, cucumbers, onions, guar gum).  Others were bigger (milk, strawberries, pumpkin, blueberries, chocolate). 

 The intolerance test also found that Cort had a build up of candida in his digestive system.  I was unsuccessful in getting his doctors to prescribe anything to treat this, so we did so more naturally.  I incorporated tons of probiotics, coconut water, aloe juice, oregano oil and capryllic acid into his routine. 

Here is Cort just two months after we got the results of his food intolerances.  Scroll back up and look at the first picture.  We couldn't have been more thrilled by his results.  You can see where the spots were, but now they are flat, smooth, and white.  They no longer bother him.  When his pediatrician saw his skin when Cort came in for his flu shot, his jaw dropped.  He was truly amazed by the difference, and asked for information on the company I used.  He thought maybe other parents would be interested in using them.
I'm not writing this post for the company who did his testing, nor am I receiving anything for linking to them.  I am doing so for others who may be struggling like we were to find something - anything - to help their child.  I suspect it may be helpful to have food intolerance testing done for a variety of health problems.  If you would like to look at their site, you can find it at Intolerance Testing.

Cort feels so much better now.  His energy is up, and he is in better spirits (all those steroids made him rageful at times).  He doesn't mind having to bring his own dairy-free cupcakes to birthday parties, because he feels so much better now.  He has a great attitude about the dietary changes, and never complains.  For Halloween, he traded me all his chocolate candy for a yo yo he wanted. 

Readers, have you ever looked for alternative health treatments?


Sunnybrook Farm said...

Thinking outside of the box!

Lin said...

Oh. My. God. That is INCREDIBLE! GOOD for YOU that you went the extra, extra miles that were needed to help your son.

I am a HUGE advocate of thinking beyond Western medicine--all we do here is give pills and run tests. And you meet road-blocks when you want to go beyond traditional thinking. Yes...I have used alternative treatments for a couple of health issues and I am sooo glad I did.

I suffered from a terrible bout of eczema in high school. I was miserable and the kids were horrible to me. It itched so bad....I know full well how your son felt. no wonder he was crabby--I would be too!

Yea, Mom! I am so impressed with the result!

Monkeywrangler said...

So glad you found a way to help Cort! You will have to watch him more for other auto immune disorders to potentially crop up.

Anonymous said...

Lisa, You are be to commended for your tenacity to find help for Cort despite no help from the local doctors. I am so glad Cort is so much better and not in agony or on strong steroids. I will fwd your post to couple of friends struggling with similar issues. A big thank you for sharing.

Harry Flashman said...

Poor little guy. I know all too well have sad and anxious a parent gets when a child has a problem and no one seems to be able to help. Our daughter has Ehlers Danlos and we sent her to every specialist in kingdom come. It wasn't til she was a young woman and went to the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville Florida that she was accurately diagnosed.

You did so well. Things like this are why parents get wrinkles on their faces and gray hair long before their time.

Chatty Crone said...

Lisa I have three friends I am sending this too - THANK YOU! So glad Cort is better no child should have to suffer like that. Merry Christmas.

Betsy Banks Adams said...

Oh Lisa, this just upsets me SO much... I am so sorry for Cort ---but SO glad you pursued the issues and found relief... What in the heck is wrong with the medical system in THIS great country? Why can't doctors listen to the patients and do what needs to be done to help? Why can't doctors in our country look at natural and holistic methods of healing? Why is the Government so involved and why are the Big HUGE Drug Companies and Insurance Companies calling the shots???? We are in SUCH a mess --and it just upsets me so much to read things like what you have been through over and over and over again... All doctors seem to know what to do these days is to stick an expensive prescription drug in our faces.....

Sorry for the 'rant' ---but this is TERRIBLE (what you had to do to get some relief for your son).. I am also proud of you for pursing it ---and doing what you needed to do to get relief for him.. God Bless You, Lisa --and that sweet little boy.


Joanzie777 said...

Lisa, I'm so glad you found someone that would listen to you and actually act! I'm flabbergasted that you had to turn to a European company to do the testing and your own Dr wouldn't at least try, as everything else was failing to give results. Poor Cort! I'm so glad he is better! God bless you and your family. :)


Unknown said...

Lisa: I felt so badly for Cort, and can only say how relieved I am that he is recovering. We know so much more today about foods and maladies than when we were Cort's age. My very best wishes! :)

Sally said...

So thankful that Cort has such wonderful parents who went the extra ten or 20 miles for him. What a shame he had to through all that; so very sad. I'm very glad he is much better now. It's a blessing also that you posted the website in case anyone who sees this can be helped also.


Out on the prairie said...

looks terrible, I am glad you found results to cure it.

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

Thank you so much. I am glad he is doing better and I'll do some more research into this.

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

This is amazing!! I have never heard of such a test. I am so glad he is doing so much better. Huge kudos to you and Paul for going outside the box for answers. That is troublesome that the docs would not do the food test or help with the probiotics.

My oldest brother has psoriasis and a doctor told me I had it because of almost constant ear problems. I have all kinds of skin issues. You have given me good info today. I know you were reaching out to help parents of children with problems, but you helped me too.

Texan said...

I had a similar test done six plus years ago, out of pocket expense to us as well, mine cost us 1000.00.... Insurance would not pay for it. Only one company in the US does the testing. Its a blood test. Its called a ALCAT test. My new to me at the time Dr. who is very good about such things suggested it. I was having three different types of migraines at that time. Very bad ones. I had spent the better part of my teenage and adult life with a headache. I just learned to live with them on a daily basis. I had other pain issues as well. Again you just learn to live with it and go on ya know...

I tested intolerant to over 200 foods and other substances. My Dr who uses this test a lot said she had never had anyones come back like that. I talked with the companies nutritionist it was free like yours to try to help me figure out how I was going to eat, given I am vegetarian and over 200 things were on the list it got tricky but I managed...

I have had only two migraines in the last six plus years and both were my own fault! I am thrilled this worked for Cort. I had no idea you could get it done by your hair and I think its super you posted this and told everyone about it! I am going to pass this onto a friend who cannot afford the Alcat test but has migraines and would love to have it done!

You know I am a runner, which I could only take up after this test. Before it when I ran my knees would swell so big I couldn't walk and the pain oh my. After no issues at all!

LOL in case anyone is wondering no I don't work for Alcat and I don't get anything from them for saying how much their test changed my life!

The test Lisa posted about is more cost friendly I will say that.

PioneerPreppy said...

Ya know I don't know a thing about the medicinal side of skin issues and other than saying "good job" and I am glad it is working and he is feeling better I have no constructive input.


I make it a point to take note if something unusual pops up in my day twice. I take it as a sign for something and until today I had never heard of Coconut water but I had a lady go on and on about it today to me. Must be an important sign I should take note of!!!

Of course she was going on about it in some alcoholic drink she found but hey we won't quibble :)

Sonya @ Under the Desert Sky said...

Wow! Poor guy. So glad you got to the bottom of it.

Becca said...

I wish more American doctors would embrace alternative medicine. I always say it on your blog and to everyone, but I think we need all types of medicine to heal sometimes. No one kind always works on it's own. I try to use natural remedies first if they will work, and then I try American style fixes if I need to.

Anonymous said...

Lisa, I have a new email and blog. This link should take you to the blog. Thx.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Kudos for you to find a way to help your kid! I've had eczema and I cannot imagine how painful and awful poor Cort felt. What a strange, but noninvasive and effective way to treat him. Good work, Lisa!

Tweedles -- that's me said...

We are so happy for Cort- that you kept on- until you found some help!
Were glad he is better

mail4rosey said...

How smart of you to listen to your heart and do what you felt was worth doing. I'm so glad you had a big fat happy ending. His skin looks great!

Eat To Live said...

I just had a company from New Zealand send me something to try, I am amazed at how well it is working

Busy Bee Suz said...

I'm so happy you were able to find the help you needed for Cort. Those first photos were heartbreaking; I can only imagine how uncomfortable he was! Great post, thanks for sharing!!

Starry Dawn said...

Hi Lisa, sweet friend,
I am so glad to read that your beautiful boy, Cort
is doing much better after finding out the cure for his health issue.
You are a special mom, and have tried different
alternatives in health treatments to help your boy.
I agree with Betsy from TN. Physicians have strong bonds with
Drug Companies. They always prescribe expensive medications,
not always leading to straight solutions to the problems.
Yes! I am a huge advocate for alternative health natural treatments.
You see I was born with severe Allergies, and I was a very sick child.
My mom didn't know what to do with my health issues as a kid.
One day, I was about 10, she met a Dermatologist and Allergy Specialist.
Then, my mom took me to his medical office 3 times a week for Vaccines,
which boosted my Immune System, so that my body would be more resistent
to environmental allergens. Sadly, this doctor died, and I run out of luck.
I was under Vaccine Treatments for many years. But, when I stopped taking
those Vaccines, My Allergies returned...I also got severe Asthma Reactions
due to Allergen triggers, and they can get really bad.
These allergies hurt my normal breathing, then I get an asthma attack.
My companion, Doctor Paul, is a Medical Doctor, Retired Physician Surgeon.
I asked him about Psoriasis. He told me that he had encountered several
patients during his medical practice, and he did not know what to do
with the patients and psoriasis sufferers. He is just like most doctors,
tied to prescriptions and drug companies. I surely believe in natural healings, much prayers, bathing in the sun at the beach by the Ocean,
and getting some salty water from the Ocean into the skin too.
It's very interesting what you have found out about the European Company,
and the alternative health treatment with a special diet for your boy.
Maybe, Cort is allergic to certain food. Have you searched into that?
Anyway, I am very glad you found the answer to your prayers,
and were able to help your child. You are a great mom, Lisa.
It is not good to scratch one's skin at all, because germs, bacterie
could go into the skin, and then into the blood system as well.
I take this opportunity to wish you all
Greetings from Poet Starry.

Shine Kids Crafts said...

My son had similar skin problem when he was about 2 years old. The spots covered about 80% of his body. The situation was so serious. Finally, the doctor checked his blood and found that it was caused by Dust Mites (tiny insect on carpet, pillow, blanket...). We changed all related things and he recovered. Hope your son be healthy and will not get sick anymore.

Karen said...

WOW! Amazing.. and congrats on being persistent and finding what would heal your child. POor thing, that had to be really really uncomfortable. I have suffered on and off with IBS over the years, I wonder if that testing would help me sort it out. Thanks for sharing.

Karen said...

Hey Lisa - I've tried ordering their basic kit and the form does not take any credit card info and then says there was an error. Do you know how to contact the company successfully? I'd like to order a kit.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I can't believe how badly he broke out. It hurt my heart looking at his sores. Poor thing. Unbelievable what you/he went through and OMG how awesome that he is now getting relief!!! Who would have thought.....

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Karen, I just emailed you!

An Apel a Day said...

Did you put the companies info in there? I couldn't find it. I know you mentioned that you are not in this to make a sale for them. I have a ton of environmental allergies. I know I have food ones to, but no one has tested me on them. I'm sure the boys are the same with their skin issues they get at times. Now I know someone besides me that is allergic to pumpkin. We've tried other remedies. Mica got done with that Dermaroot, and his chin looks exactly the same as when he started it. I'm not saying I don't believe in it. It could work for some skin issues. Just not his orange peel skin under his chin. We don't have issues as bad as Cort, but I know they are there. If they did get worse I'd for sure pay $100 to figure things out.

Lexie Loo, Lily, Liam & Dylan Too said...

Your poor little dude! Glad you found something that worked!!!

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Alissa, the next to laugh paragraph is a link to them where it says 'intolerance testing'. I am emailing you the link too, though.

Michaele said...

Amazing story Lisa! This could have gone another way so quickly! Hopefully he will grow out of some of the allergies. I bet he will. Bless you!

Anne Payne said...

Yes! Praise the Lord you found an alternative! I'm so happy Cort is feeling better. Way to go, Moma! We have been through this with other health issues in our family and sought alternative treatments, finding two that combined with cutting out certain foods, work for gout and kidney stones, and high blood pressure.

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Dear Lord...bless his heart! I cannot imagine the pain he endured and am over the moon happy you've found relief for him. I'm all about alternative health treatments, herbs, vitamins and 'all that jazz'. My attitude about a in the last 150 is they call it "practicing medicine" for a very good reason.
I gave a friend hand/home made soap...lye, water, use and their psoriasis healed but another friend won't touch my soap because she *wants* prescription pills.
My GP diagnosed Dave's cancer and that was good but the doc is a pill pusher. He believes there's a pill for everything and then a pill for whatever problem the first pill causes. About 6 months after Dave died, the doc wanted to put me on anti-depressants and I said no, I wanted to know what I was feeling and deal with the grief head-on. He pushed me to take them saying, "It's all right, I'm on the same thing" which did NOTHING to reassure me! No, I didn't take them nor take any meds other than aspirin, ibuprofren and aleve. Yet, if someone else wants them, go for it; it's just not for me.
I'll take steroids again at gun point; sorry for being long winded.

Marie said...

Poor Baby! I look at those pictures and feel so bad for him, but now look at him. It'a amazing!! I'm having a challenge here with doctors and I will just keep going until I find the ones who actually care. I have an autoimmune disorder. I would love to have this companies info if you don't mind sharing. I will use it for myself and my grandmother.
I've been MIA in blogland and miss everyone! Time to get back! :)
Happy and safe holidays to you and yours!

Eat To Live said...

Oh man.... that looked so bad. Glad you have it all figured out now.

Unknown said...

I know this article is a little old but I just found it as I was searching Google. My 7 year old son had severe psoriasis all last year and it was terrible seeing him not be able to sleep due to the itching....covered 80% of his body and stressful. We eliminated the usual gluten and dairy and found it helped prevent more outbreaks, but it did nothing to heal what was already there, and it did not help lessen the itching. Of course all docs knew was to give meds, which wasn't happening! It wasn't until I learned about autoimmune diseases and gut health that we saw a functional medicine dr and found out through allergy testing that he was highly allergic to eggs. From day one, no more itching, and the spots are literally disappearing more every day. I am collecting stories to present to our new dermatologist who is very interested in learning more about this. He is at the Cleveland Clinic and maybe one day will start to educate other docs that there is something to this diet/psoriasis thing after all. AWESOME JOB!!

friday at the center of the sun said...

can you email me the link please?

Unknown said...

Hi Lisa read ur story on ur son and wish my parents had been so kind and loving to have those tests done think ur amazing. Hope ur boy is out of the woods properly now. Am considering this hair test and if u think it's trustworthy I will give it a try? Long time sufferer now of 33+yrs have a lot of faith in what goes into ur body may be triggering the psoriasis so am eager to try xx best wishes Tracie in the UK

Unknown said...

Hi Lisa read ur story on ur son and wish my parents had been so kind and loving to have those tests done think ur amazing. Hope ur boy is out of the woods properly now. Am considering this hair test and if u think it's trustworthy I will give it a try ? Long time sufferer now of 33+yrs have a lot of faith in what goes into ur body may be triggering the psoriasis so am eager to try xx would love to know your thoughts best wishes Tracie in the UK

leeah said...

hi Lisa, could you please share the contact of food intolerance test from Europe? I have psoriasis and would like to find out my food sensitivity.
please email to