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Trial Elimination Gluten/dairy - How/when Do I Know If It Helps?
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My 10yo dd has had stomachaches for yrs. She's had difficulty with bms for the past 1 1/2 to 2 yrs. She's had panic attacks/anxiety the past yr, often related to having to go to the bathroom.

The ped says constipation, although he did a xray that showed normal amts of stool in the colon. The ped GI says constipation. He checked for parasites and blood in stool- both negative. He did an xray abt 2mo after the ped and said med to large amts of stool. He had her do mega doses of Miralax for 3-5 days to clean her out, then 1 dose a day for maintenance. She did the maintenance dose for about 3 days then stopped, as I don't think it's good for her to live on laxatives. (That doesn't fix the problem-it's just a band-aid.) He also did bloodwork, including a celiac panel, which all came back normal. Her tummyaches and bathroom problems came right back, of course.

I took her to an allergist. They did a scratch test. No allergy to wheat or dairy. Some minor food allergies, but nothing she eats on a regular basis. He suggested we do a 2wk trial elimination of wheat and dairy anyway, as it could still be the problem.

So that's where we are. She's been off gluten and dairy for 2 weeks now. I thought maybe I was seeing a slight decrease in stomachaches, then Sunday morning she had a bad episode. I don't know whether I accidentally "glutened" her Sat., or the diet isn't helping, or what??? How do I know if this is helping? How long do I give it? If she did get some gluten on Sat., are we starting again from scratch?

Any advice would be appreciated. I feel like I'm shooting in the dark. Thank you!

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Hi AZmama,

I'm pretty new to this forum as well but I hope my post helps. I started lactose elimintation diet today. I've been having many symptoms lately and a lot of fatigue which is leading me to suspect something other than lactose intolerance. So about two hours ago I ate whole wheat tacos and my nose started running shortly after. Then the gas. Then the slight abdominal pain. Then the tiredness. Then the headache. Now I want to sleep. I'm writing all of it down for two weeks, the symptoms I feel, and see, to find a pattern. All of "this" is so unbelievable to me. I thought the tiredness was stress. I thought the headaches were stress. I thought everything added up to needing a vacation. Previously I could eat anything without problem (or so I thought), but it seems this is like a "silent" disease.

Trust yourself in what you know to be true. Perhaps it might be worthwhile to try a strict nongluten/nondairy diet again if you feel necessary. I know I am willing to try what will lead me to feeling better. Thanks for posting.

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My 10yo dd has had stomachaches for yrs. She's had difficulty with bms for the past 1 1/2 to 2 yrs. She's had panic attacks/anxiety the past yr, often related to having to go to the bathroom.

The ped says constipation, although he did a xray that showed normal amts of stool in the colon. The ped GI says constipation. He checked for parasites and blood in stool- both negative. He did an xray abt 2mo after the ped and said med to large amts of stool. He had her do mega doses of Miralax for 3-5 days to clean her out, then 1 dose a day for maintenance. She did the maintenance dose for about 3 days then stopped, as I don't think it's good for her to live on laxatives. (That doesn't fix the problem-it's just a band-aid.) He also did bloodwork, including a celiac panel, which all came back normal. Her tummyaches and bathroom problems came right back, of course.

I took her to an allergist. They did a scratch test. No allergy to wheat or dairy. Some minor food allergies, but nothing she eats on a regular basis. He suggested we do a 2wk trial elimination of wheat and dairy anyway, as it could still be the problem.

So that's where we are. She's been off gluten and dairy for 2 weeks now. I thought maybe I was seeing a slight decrease in stomachaches, then Sunday morning she had a bad episode. I don't know whether I accidentally "glutened" her Sat., or the diet isn't helping, or what??? How do I know if this is helping? How long do I give it? If she did get some gluten on Sat., are we starting again from scratch?

Any advice would be appreciated. I feel like I'm shooting in the dark. Thank you!

I would say (based on others' experiences) that you should give it at least 6-8 weeks. It sometimes takes that long to clear things up and also to get good enough that you don't accidentally "gluten" her, which in some people might set you back weeks.

The payoff would be good so I stay keep trying. Good luck to you.

~Laura

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I would agree with Laura-- give it several more weeks. It took six weeks for the pain my daughter had with wheat to go away.

This may sound silly, but also eliminate bananas. They really slow down digestion in some people. we had a holistic doctor suggest that after years of Miralax. You can also try dried plums to help her digestion. Exercise and a lot of walking help, too. Is she very active?

Good luck!

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Her tummyache on Sunday morning is normal. Even though you have her eating gluten free now, her body still has to dump all the gluten from previously. Going gluten free is not an instant cure. It takes time for you/her to feel better. If you had accidentally given her gluten on Sat night, the body still doesn't realize it's not eating gluten, it hasn't been long enough. Stick with whole foods too, nothing processed. Meaning, don't buy gluten free crackers, cookies, and such...they are too heavy, especially in the beginning. Try to give her things with as little ingredients as possible...if you want to make her french fries, try making them from scratch, or finding some with as few ingreds as possible. She doesn't have to give up everything she thinks is good. Lays Potato Chips regular, are gluten free, UTZ Potato Chips are good, I use Skippy Natural Peanut Butter...eat apples...maybe she would like ti on celery. Doles fruit cups are gluten free, she may like them.

She may not have celiac, but she may be gluten intolerant, which is just as harmful for her. I felt better right away, but I still had bad days. That was 9 years ago this month. It does get better.

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So that's where we are. She's been off gluten and dairy for 2 weeks now.

Any advice would be appreciated. I feel like I'm shooting in the dark. Thank you!

Hello AZmama,

Taking things out of the diet one at a time is the long way around. You should really read up on the elimination diet. You eliminate all but a few "safe foods" for a period of time. A week is recommended. If your DD is still not feeling better then you will have to rotate the "safe foods" to find out which one was the problem. I use to include carrots in my "safe foods" but found that I'm allergic to the whole celery plant family. After you are sure you have found some safe foods then you begin adding other foods, one a week. Bring it in to the diet, take it out, bring it back in. Watch for tummy aches, change in BM, rashes, nasal congestion, ect. The carrots gave me blisters on the back of my head in an area covered by my hair. So sometimes it's hard to see the reaction. But if you bring the foods in and out a few times you will notice things like that your DD itches her head or knees when she eats a certain food. I know this sounds like a pain in the a**. But it really is better than wandering and worrying about what to try next.

Hope this helps

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