I've been doing lots of reading (so what else is new??). Recently finished "The Body Electric" which by the way, is an incredibly fascinating read, and am a little over 1/2 way thru "Your Health, Your Choice". Add those to all my holistic/natural health reference books, plus the articles/studies I find online.
I'm starting to learn about *why* my hunches have been correct. I didn't know why, call it mother's intuition, but felt I was right in the decisions I've made for Kaiden's health. Every time I've gone against my hunches, it spelled disaster for him.
Back in Nov of 2010, the pedi said Kaiden wasn't gaining weight fast enough, since he'd lost so much weight becoming active after the seizures stopped. She told me to double his meats. I was doing about a 1:1:1 ratio fruit/veggies/meats for lunch and supper, with breakfast being mostly fruit with a little sprinkle of nuts/seeds and a little coconut milk, about a 4:1 ratio. So, against my better judgement, my intuition telling me not to do it, I doubled his meats. And within 2 months he developed lymphedema and a nasty diaper rash. Reading up on the holistic solutions for lymphedema (there are none for western medicine), I gave him only fruit for 3 days, then slowly added back in veggies, then white meats. And it worked! Did some diet experimentation to find out the cause of the lymphedema: it was pork and beef. MEAT. And each time I tested this theory I got the same results. Why did this work? Meat produces an acid-ash residue when it's digested. Some is good of course, the body needs protein, but too much acid ash causes the body to use its alkaline reserves to buffer the extra acid ash. When too much of the alkaline reserve is used, health issues arise. Eating fruit/veggies replaces the alkaline reserve by way of natural sodium (and other good stuff in there). Not table salt - the sodium naturally found in fresh fruits & veggies. When the body runs out of natural sodium, it turns to calcium. Think osteoporosis, or any other calcium-deficient health issue.
It's recommended for general health to eat 75% alkaline-ash forming foods, and 25% acid-ash forming foods. Books specific to lymphedema recommend an 80/20 ratio. From all the research I've read, too much acid ash uses too much sodium and/or calcium, so the cells that need that to work no longer function as well as they should. This includes tissue/cell permeability, ability to move fluids thru the body. If fluids can't move thru like they should, they build up = lymphedema.
Interesting: nightshade foods are acid-ash forming foods. I already knew that Kaiden's body needed more calcium when I tried a calcium supplement and had overnight results in his cognitive activity. This was before I discovered that nightshades caused his seizures. So it should come as no suprise that the previously known knowledge that nightshades can strip calcium from the body - this is WHY. They are acid-ash forming foods. An overabundance of acid-ash forming foods run the body down on natural sodium, then goes for the calcium.
Just over a year since the lymphedema & diaper rash cropped up, we're still not 100% back to normal. The lymphedema is gone but the diaper rash issue remains. We began another elimination experiment - what was all causing the diaper rash. And the results: apples, plums, all citrus, all fruit juices, and all dried fruits. I had noticed that incorporating peaches back into Kaiden's diet - we had been doing frozen fruits for breakfast, but switched to all fresh, and peaches were not in season - calmed down the diaper rash. Apples are considered for the most part to be alkaline-forming foods, as well as citrus. The rest on his diaper rash list have an acidifying effect. So, I don't yet understand the apples and citrus part of the diaper rash. Books on lymphedema recommend specific food combining, and have recommendations for both sweet and sour apples.
Things like this make me very thankful that we cloth diaper, and for the diaper rash. If Kaiden were still in disposables we'd never have this particular diaper rash, and would never know there was a problem. Disposables trap the urine in gel, keeping it away from the skin. In fact, I read many accounts of people giving up on cloth diapers for a rash issue that won't go away. Rashes with cloth diapers can be caused by many things - diapers not getting clean enough, sensitivities to the laundry detergent, sensitivities to certain fabrics, etc. And of course, there are those kids who are sensitive to the chemicals used in disposable diapers. When the rash started I didn't suspect food. And he never had diaper rash, even in cloth, until I doubled his meats. I suspected my washing routine which is the usual culprit. I tried so many different things with the wash routine, but nothing helped. Then someone suggested removing apples from his diet, and things progressed from there.
If we had simply given up on cloth and gone back to disposables . . . he'd have gotten sick and we'd never have known why, and western medicine would blame it on Down Syndrome. The "we don't know why, but it's more common with Down Syndrome" crap I hear. Since this is all urine-related, part of me is really looking forward to toilet training so we don't have to deal with diaper rash anymore. But then, I won't have a trusty gauge of how is body is doing. When he's rash-free, I know I've done it right. When he's not, I know there's still an acid/alkaline imbalance. We're not 100% back to "normal" yet, but we're certainly a lot closer!!