Overcoming Severe Eczema and Allergies in Children: Eddie’s Story

November 21, 2022

Dr. Steven Hotze and Kathryn Ritchie discuss her son’s severe eczema and how he also suffered from food allergies, low energy, slow growth and low body weight. Discover how the providers at the Hotze Health & Wellness Center were able to help him with his eczema, food allergies, and thyroid, so that he was able to become a thriving, healthy, happy young boy.

Podcast Highlights:

1:30: Well, when Eddie was born, I noticed right away that he just didn’t seem as strong as my other children, and we didn’t quite know why. He was just thinner, lower birth weight, and he just screamed. He literally just screamed all day.

2:57: Eventually, I started trying to give him foods. I just would puree foods because he seemed to react to any citric acid in a lot of the baby foods.

3:09: …everything I was giving him was causing more allergies.

3:26: Everything was giving him this rash, and this rash was just growing more and more throughout his body.

3:36: Before Photos of Eddie with Severe Eczema and Skin Rash

3:43: I really have never seen eczema that horrific in my life, anywhere. And we’ve seen a lot of people, a lot of children with eczema, but nothing like that.

4:41: And the more we used the steroids, it actually started covering even his stomach where it hadn’t been before. It was over everything except his nose.

5:23: So, we made an appointment and brought little Eddie into your clinic.

5:30:  And so, one of the first things we did is…started him on some thyroid.

5:56: …one key feature in low thyroid in children is a failure to thrive because they don’t…

6:54: I couldn’t even put him in the car just with normal pants because he’d pull his pants up and just start scratching until he’d just bleed.

7:04: So, we came in, we started him on some thyroid. I think he was about a year and a half when he came in.

7:27: And so it impacted his immune health. It started strengthening his overall body. He started to gain weight. He started to have energy. He spent so much of the first few years of his life, especially before he had thyroid, just laying on the sofa. All he wanted to do was just lay there and maybe watch cartoons or have someone read a book. He didn’t have the energy to get up and be a little normal boy.

7:58: He tested for huge amount, almost every food, actually, he seemed to have some sort of a reaction to. So, he started on these drops.

8:42: …we use sublingual drops for allergies under the tongue.

8:47: Two or three drops under the tongue on a daily basis to help people with airborne and food allergies.

10:25: He, at the time, was reacting to over 60 foods and we were really down to four foods left that he wasn’t reacting to from more eczema or having a hard time breathing, anaphylaxis, coughing, all those issues.

10:42: When he went on that, it was like his entire life changed. He started handling foods that he had never been able to handle before. Our ER visits significantly went down. He, now several years later, is to the point where he can eat almost every food.

11:12: After Photos of Eddie Healed

12:17: He acts like a normal seven year old now, after so many years of literally just moaning and groaning on the sofa, where he just wanted to be all the time.

13:01:  …you have answers and you help in a way that so many other clinics have not helped so many.

Podcast Transcription:

Dr. Steven Hotze: Hello, I’m Dr. Steve Hotze. Welcome to the program. It’s my pleasure today to interview a longtime guest here at the Hotze Health & Wellness Center, Kathryn Ritchie. As you know, I’ve recently done a podcast with her about her really amazing, remarkable story, and if you haven’t seen that, you really need to hear her story. It’s a remarkable story, how she got her life back and how she went from being menopausal at the age of 28. According to the Mayo Clinic, never expected to ever have a baby, and how now she’s expecting number seven. You need to hear her story. It is a tremendous story, and it will give you encouragement.

But today, I wanted to visit with Kathryn about her son, Edmund, little Eddie. And Eddie was born when? In what year?

Kathryn Ritchie: 2015.

Dr. Steven Hotze: In 2015. Now, he was the third of the clan that the Ritchies have now. As I mentioned, Kathryn’s expecting number seven, so that’s really remarkable. But Eddie’s number three, little Eddie. So, tell us about Eddie and his birth, and tell us about everything that happened and what kind of health problems he had, Kathryn.

Kathryn Ritchie: Okay. Well, when Eddie was born, I noticed right away that he just didn’t seem as strong as my other children, and we didn’t quite know why. He was just thinner, lower birth weight, and he just screamed. He literally just screamed all day. There was one day I timed it, he screamed 17 hours straight, besides falling asleep two times for 20 minutes, just as a little newborn. And we did not know what to do, but we figured it had to be something with allergies. We thought, “Could it be my breast milk? Does he need formula? What do we do?” We just had never quite encountered anything like this before. The pediatrician really didn’t know what to do, but he just seemed like he wasn’t thriving as a baby. And so…

Dr. Steven Hotze: What did the pediatrician tell you?

Kathryn Ritchie: It could be colic. Sometimes babies just cry.

Dr. Steven Hotze: But what’s causing it?

Kathryn Ritchie: I know. What does colic even mean?

Dr. Steven Hotze: What’s causing it?

Kathryn Ritchie: So, you could try to stop breastfeeding. So, we actually did, which I regret now in some ways, but I also, I know God allowed everything for His reasons and His glory. But I tried to find the best organic formula that I could find, just to try to help him. Even tried goat’s milk, but he seemed to just start getting a rash all over his body from goat’s milk. He wasn’t responding well to the formula.

Eventually, I started trying to give him foods. I just would puree foods because he seemed to react to any citric acid in a lot of the baby foods. And he just seemed that everything I was giving him was causing more allergies. I had dealt with some allergies with one of my other children and…

Dr. Steven Hotze: But this was a skin allergy.

Kathryn Ritchie: This was not normal. And I couldn’t kind of find,”oh, it’s bananas.” It wasn’t like this. Everything was making him scream. Everything was giving him this rash, and this rash was just growing more and more throughout his body.

Dr. Steven Hotze: You can see through these pictures here on the screen, you can see how bad he looked. He just had this terrible rash. Looked like he’d been burned all over his body, didn’t he?

Kathryn Ritchie: Right. Right.

Dr. Steven Hotze: I really have never seen eczema that horrific in my life, anywhere. And we’ve seen a lot of people, a lot of children with eczema, but nothing like that.

Kathryn Ritchie: And it just kept growing. So, I finally went on steroids because the pediatrician didn’t really know what else to do. So, we started steroids.

Dr. Steven Hotze: So, they put you on steroid creams?

Kathryn Ritchie: Right. For him. But the more we used them, at first, it seemed to help a little bit, but the more we used them, the more he needed. And we were just put globs of steroids all over. And his skin started thinning and almost seemed like it was detaching from his bones a little bit. I feel like when you cook a marshmallow over a fire, it gets that weird feel. That’s kind of how his body seemed to just detach somehow. And the skin actually started falling off in some places, his body was just weeping at times, just oozing, just oozing blood and yellow smell. And the more we used the steroids, it actually started covering even his stomach where it hadn’t been before. It was over everything except his nose.

Dr. Steven Hotze: And that went on for how long?

Kathryn Ritchie: Probably about a year. And honestly, my husband and I didn’t tell each other at the time, but there was a Christmas…I guess he was about a year and a half. Oh, he was also losing weight drastically. We both thought separately that he was going to die and we didn’t know what to do.

Dr. Steven Hotze: Mm-hmm. Then what happened?

Kathryn Ritchie: Then we thought of y’all, you would help me so much. And we thought, “I wonder if he sees children. I wonder if he could help us figure out what’s going on.” So, we made an appointment and brought little Eddie into your clinic.

Dr. Steven Hotze: That’s right. And so, one of the first things we did is…started him on some thyroid.

Kathryn Ritchie: Yes.

Dr. Steven Hotze: Now, most people think of middle-aged individuals, particularly women, as needing thyroid. Most women in midlife really do need thyroid. They really do. But most people don’t think of little children, in fact, little babies needing thyroid. But one key feature in low thyroid in children is a failure to thrive because they don’t… The thyroid gland produces the thyroid hormones which enable your cells to produce energy. It develops your metabolic rate. So, when you have good metabolism, good energy production, everything functions well, including the immune system.

But when the immune system doesn’t have the energy to work well, and you have problems with underlying allergic disorders, it just puts the whole system in a state of imbalance, and it manifests itself, in the case of Eddie, in just this diffuse eczema all over his body, which just looked horrible. In fact, you had to put gloves on his hands so he wouldn’t itch.

Kathryn Ritchie: Yes, he actually slept at night, and actually throughout the day, we used something called ScratchMeNot sleeves that he couldn’t get off. He wore footy pajamas for probably about the first three years of his life, every day. I couldn’t even put him in the car just with normal pants because he’d pull his pants up and just start scratching until he’d just bleed.

Dr. Steven Hotze: Bleed. Yes. So, we came in, we started him on some thyroid. I think he was about a year and a half when he came in.

Kathryn Ritchie: Yes.

Dr. Steven Hotze: And how did he respond on thyroid?

Kathryn Ritchie: That was amazing. Like you mentioned, immune, it impacts the immune system, and he had very poor immune health. Every time the kids would get sick, he would be on the sofa, struggling just to breathe. And all it was a cold. And yet for him, he looked like he was maybe dying. And so it impacted his immune health. It started strengthening his overall body. He started to gain weight. He started to have energy. He spent so much of the first few years of his life, especially before he had thyroid, just laying on the sofa. All he wanted to do was just lay there and maybe watch cartoons or have someone read a book. He didn’t have the energy to get up and be a little normal boy.

Dr. Steven Hotze: And so then we also tested him for allergies, right?

Kathryn Ritchie: Yes.

Dr. Steven Hotze: And started him on sublingual and drops.

Kathryn Ritchie: Right. He tested for huge amount, almost every food, actually, he seemed to have some sort of a reaction to. So, he started on these drops.

Dr. Steven Hotze: Started him on allergy drops. And how did that help with the eczema and…

Kathryn Ritchie: It did. It started to make a significant difference. At the same time, we had pulled him off of the steroids, and he was on the thyroid. He was doing the drops. We started to see him healing in a way that we really had kind of given up hope that that was possible. So, we are grateful.

Dr. Steven Hotze: And then we developed another, besides using sublingual, rather than shots for allergies, we use sublingual drops for allergies under the tongue. And we use those on a daily basis. Two or three drops under the tongue on a daily basis to help people with airborne and food allergies.

But then we became aware of another treatment called low dose immunotherapy. And that’s where we have, it’s a treatment that’s been devised by a physician here in the country, that we had known about a similar treatment and it offered low dose allergy therapy. Now, this is low dose immunotherapy and it only requires the individual that has the allergy is being treated to take three drops under the tongue once every seven weeks, which you go, “How in the world can that work?”

It used to be when I started and this practice, started as an allergy practice, we gave people a shot once a week. They came in for shots. Then I learned about allergy sublingual drops. And in 1994, ’95, we began to use sublingual drops, which I’d always used in kids, but on all our adults. I had about 1,300 active allergy guests. We put them all on the sublingual drops and they did wonderful. They had to take them every day, but they didn’t have to come into the office.

And then we developed about two years ago, with our allergy specialist, Ron Parker, who’s a physician’s assistant, but he’s been in allergy for 30 years and I’ve known him for 30 years through the Pan American Allergy Society. He became a specialist in low dose immunotherapy. So, we started immunotherapy on Eddie about, what? Two or three years ago?

Kathryn Ritchie: Yes, I think so. Probably three. That was just life-altering for him. He, at the time, was reacting to over 60 foods and we were really down to four foods left that he wasn’t reacting to from more eczema or having a hard time breathing, anaphylaxis, coughing, all those issues. When he went on that, it was like his entire life changed. He started handling foods that he had never been able to handle before. Our ER visits significantly went down. He, now several years later, is to the point where he can eat almost every food. Some things are still harder for him, but even those things, he can have a little bit and feel kind of like a normal kid.

Dr. Steven Hotze: And look at him.

Kathryn Ritchie: Doesn’t impact him as much.

Dr. Steven Hotze: Look at him. Look at Eddie now. What a beautiful young boy he is. It just absolutely…so, you saw the pictures of him earlier with the eczema, and why don’t we put those side by side? Put one of the pictures with the eczema. There you go. Put it right side by side with the way he looks today. And so how has this changed Eddie’s life?

Kathryn Ritchie: Well, just want to mention those pictures. It was a really special day when I realized he had freckles. I think he was about four and I thought, “I didn’t know you had freckles because I’ve never seen your face clear.” So, I see those little freckles now, and I think just praise God, it’s really a miracle. And through everything you’ve done to give us back our little boy. He’s a normal little guy. He still comes here. We’re still working through it. It’s still a process of his whole body having to heal because so many of his organ systems were impacted by all of that. So, still a process. He still takes his drops, but he plays, he runs, he gets mad. All those things a little boy does. He’s very competitive. He acts like a normal seven year old now, after so many years of literally just moaning and groaning on the sofa, where he just wanted to be all the time.

Dr. Steven Hotze: Well, that is such a remarkable story. The Ritchie family is just full of miracles. God’s brought about remarkable miracles in life. One, saving your life, letting you live after that accident, and then coming here and letting us have the opportunity to help you have a family, and then having a son that has some health problems that we could help him with. And you’ve brought so many people here for us to serve.

Kathryn Ritchie: Well, you have answers and you help in a way that so many other clinics have not helped so many.

Dr. Steven Hotze: Well, we count it a privilege and an honor, and that’s our purpose. Our goal is to help each one of our guests that come here get on a path of health and wellness, naturally, so they have a more enjoyable life as they mature…so, they have energy, vitality, and enthusiasm for life.

And if that’s what you would like, if you have problems or your family has problems, health problems, whether they’re allergies or problems with fatigue or difficulty with weight or joint and muscle aches and pains, or asthma, lung problems, recurring chronic infections, whatever your chronic problems are, heart disease, diabetes, all these things can be treated naturally by getting on a program of health and wellness. And we count it a privilege to be able to serve you as we count it a privilege to be able to serve you and your family, Kathryn.

Kathryn Ritchie: Thank you.

Dr. Steven Hotze: Thank you, dear. Thank you for joining us today. I’m Dr. Hotze. God bless you.

Written By: Steven F. Hotze, M.D.

Steven F. Hotze, M.D., is the founder and CEO of the Hotze Health & Wellness Center, Hotze Vitamins and Physicians Preference Pharmacy International, LLC.

 

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Since 1989, Hotze Health & Wellness Center has helped over 33,000 patients get their lives back using bioidentical hormones that restore hormones to optimal levels, strengthen immune systems, and increase energy levels. Our treatment regimen addresses the root cause of hypothyroidism, adrenal fatigue, menopause, perimenopause, low testosterone, allergies, and candida.

Led by best-selling author, radio host and leading natural health expert, Steven F. Hotze, M.D., our medical team has over 100 years’ combined medical experience backed by a staff of nearly 100 caring professionals who provide an environment of hope and extraordinary hospitality for each of our patients, who we call our guests. It is our deepest desire to help you obtain and maintain health and wellness naturally so that you may enjoy a better quality of life, pure and simple.

 

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