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Mother of Jibril

Intolerance(s) In My Son...

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My son is seven months old (almost eight). He has a severe intolerance to casein, but I eliminated dairy from my diet and all of his symptoms went away. I was worried that he might have more allergies/intolerances, so I waited until he was six months old to start introducing solid foods. I was looking forward to exploring new foods with him when the time was right! The only problem is... he gags on EVERYTHING and makes the most horrible faces. So far, the only two foods he willingly eats are rice cereal and "summer vegetables" (brown rice, potatoes, carrots, green beans, and zucchini).

Over the last few weeks, we've also started to notice some eczema on his face and legs. He continues to vomit (small amounts, nothing as bad as when I was still eating dairy) and today I noticed a bright pink rash around his anus (it's not just a diaper rash... he hasn't had any other problems in that area). In July he had meningitis and was given a massive course of IV antibiotics. You don't mess around with meningitis, but I know antibiotics are not good for the balance of gut flora.

I took gluten out of my diet at the end of August and I'm tapering off on soy. However, it seems like he's still being bothered by something! I'm planning to take him to the pediatrician to ask about the rash, but I'm not very hopeful that it will help. At his six-month appointment his doctor brushed off the vomiting as "normal" and suggested that I keep pushing solids because there's a "limited window of opportunity" to get him going on solid foods (which I'm not sure is true).

I found some information on the Internet about introducing solid foods to kids with food allergies, but I'm wondering if anyone can suggest some "best practices" or techniques that helped you in a similar situation.

Thanks in advance for any advice! :)

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Did you follow those antibiotics with probiotics to replenish his gut flora? If not, it isnt too late. He needs those. And since no dairy, yogurt is out of the question. Find a non-dairy probiotic with lots of Acidophilus.

Stick with the least allergenic foods and introduce one at a time at least 4 days apart so you can see any signs of intolerance.

No peanuts, corn, wheat, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish and soy for awhile. Everything else try.

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Your instincts are right...the ring and the eczema are signs of food intolerance, IMO. What you need is a crazy amount of patience to be able to detect the offending foods. Like the pp said, slow it down---way down--and watch for signs.

Any time you get a rash, drop back to safe foods until all symptoms clear. If you can do it, drop back now until you can get the eczema to clear. If you can't get it to clear, then the offending food may be in your diet, not his.

Our son's eczema started showing up at 4 months, while BF only and prior to introducing solids. I eliminated top 8 childhood allergens from my diet but failed to eliminate corn and barley malt (rice Krispies, corn flakes in my diet then). It drove me crazy that I couldn't get it to clear with top 8 eliminated.

When we introduced solids (oatmeal cereal), he started with the anus rash and more eczema. About the second week of small amounts of oatmeal, it escalated to vomiting.

We eventually figured out it was gluten (for the biggest patch of eczema), corn (for a smaller stubborn patch of eczema), and in the beginning we were iffy on rice, too. Oddly, he also had/has an intolerance to grapes. We did grain & grapes free for the better part of a year...I did, too, since I was nursing him. Once we were both free of the offending foods, his skin cleared up beautifully. I save the before & after pics as reminders.

Also, he was around 9 months old when we figured out the gluten intolerance part. That's also when I figured out that I had Celiac Disease and had likely had it for a number of years. I became concerned that my milk might not have all the nutrients it should have, so I supplemented my nursling with Neocate. Supplementing was not something I would have considered doing prior to the diagnosis...I nursed my two older children exclusively. But in the face of the evidence (and I was not doing well...weight loss, mouth sores, fatigue, etc.), Neocate was the best choice I could have made. I kept nursing him AND giving Neocate until 1 year, when I weaned him to Neocate. The Neocate provided a great buffer for introducing solids...whenever he reacted, we could back off to Neocate only until he stabilized.

He's 2-1/2 now, and still takes a few small servings of Neocate daily. It's his comfort drink when his stomach gets upset. Despite having multiple intolerances, he's doing really really well...he's 32 lbs. and has beautiful clear skin. The nurses at the GI's office say he should be in a commercial for Neocate.

With or without a supplement, you can do it. Do not measure your progress by other parents & other kids. Some people can introduce 20 foods, peanut butter, honey, eggs, tree nuts, gluten, etc., and never have a problem. But some kids are special and need to take it slow. Trust your gut and your observations.

Hugs - April

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Did you follow those antibiotics with probiotics to replenish his gut flora? If not, it isnt too late. He needs those. And since no dairy, yogurt is out of the question. Find a non-dairy probiotic with lots of Acidophilus.

Stick with the least allergenic foods and introduce one at a time at least 4 days apart so you can see any signs of intolerance.

No peanuts, corn, wheat, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish and soy for awhile. Everything else try.

I did give him probiotics for a little while after the hospitalization... "BabyLife," which has bifidobacterium. I've read that's the primary bacteria in the intestines of healthy, breastfed infants. Do you know anything about the different strains? I'm open to trying a different brand. He hasn't had any of the common allergens (at least in his own solid food... who knows what has been getting through my breastmilk). I have been following the four day rule... "summer vegetables" is the first jar of food he's been able to finish in less than three days. (Before I had kids I had grand thoughts about making homemade baby food, but I used Earth's Best with my daughter and I was impressed at how normal it tasted... I tried it myself to make sure :P ).

April in KC -

Thanks for all the suggestions! Now that you mention it, I'm leaning towards corn being the eczema culprit. I started eating a lot more of it when I went off gluten... corn cakes, corn cereal... we had corn bread a couple of nights ago. My dad (who has always been a super picky eater) won't eat corn. He says it gives him gas and upsets his stomach. I used to wonder how corn could do that... now that I know about intolerances I realize he was smart to pay attention to the signals his body was giving him!

I'm off dairy and gluten. I assume the other "top allergens" include soy, eggs, nuts, corn, citrus... and tomatoes? What did you eat? :huh: I'm good with cooking, but I don't eat much meat (for religious and ethical reasons) so I get a lot of protein from eggs, peanut butter, and beans. Fish is great but so expensive in the Midwest!

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I didnt buy babyfood for my daughter unless traveling or something. I fed her whatever we were eating. I used this exact grinder:

http://www.mothernature.com/shop/detail.cf...&zmap=69999

It works great and is easy to clean up.

When my daughter was a baby, I was vegan and then vegetarian. She was vegan till she was around 10 months old. She breastfed until then. I started solid foods at around 6 months. Ground up brown rice with steamed veggies at first. Then I added oats and fruits. She was still getting breast milk so I didnt worry much about protein.

Vegan wasnt the best diet for me, so I added eggs, yogurt and fish back in. She LOVED yogurt. So called it "oh dirt" which still makes me smile. :) I know you cannot do dairy yogurt. You could try goats milk yogurt and see. They now make rice yogurt and coconut yogurt too. Scrambed eggs were a favorite of hers. I would grind up veggies to put in the eggs. Back then I juiced a lot. She loved fresh juice, but I diluted it with water so not too much sugar. Humus was another favorite of hers. She didnt have an issue with soy, so tofu and tempe were used often. Split pea soup was a hit with rice. I also made "nut butter" smoothies for her using soy milk (but almond milk would be good).

It didnt take long before I added chicken and turkey back in. And other seafoods. We eat a varied diet now and it works best for us.

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I'm off dairy and gluten. I assume the other "top allergens" include soy, eggs, nuts, corn, citrus... and tomatoes? What did you eat? :huh: I'm good with cooking, but I don't eat much meat (for religious and ethical reasons) so I get a lot of protein from eggs, peanut butter, and beans. Fish is great but so expensive in the Midwest!

The top 8 are:

Peanuts

Soybeans

Milk

Eggs

Fish

Crustacea (shellfish)

Tree nuts

Wheat

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Peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, wheat, milk, eggs... same as previous poster said.

Earlier I was discussing my youngest son (out of three). My oldest son is allergic to peanuts (and later became allergic to soy and pork and oranges). He had eczema while nursing...and reacted to PB the very first time he was fed PB...there's no doubt in my mind that he was sensitized to peanut through my breast milk.

Since peanut allergy is soooo serious and generally a lifelong allergy, I do suggest you cut out the peanut butter for a week or two to see if it is a trigger for your child's eczema. If it's not, then enjoy!

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I would say forget the solids for now. If he still has a gag reflex like that it is a sign that he isn't ready. It is a heck of a lot easier to pinpoint the allergens when it is just one diet you are tracking. I would focus on nailing down the allergens/intolerances first. You do not have to introduce solids now, I trust their bodies to tell them when they are ready. When Luke was 15 months I went back to exclusively nursing him as I was having too much difficulty tracking down what was bothering him and it seemed everything bothered him. I exclusively nursed him from 15 to 17 months and until 2 I was 95% of his nutrition. He eats well, even better off of gluten and dairy. He also has a lot more varied palate than any other kid I know and is not like a lot of kids who will only eat certain kiddie foods. I never bought baby foods, just gave him our own. I believe int he principles of self-feeding though. I am staunchly against baby foods. So, that is another point of view. Peds are given little training in nutrition, you are his mom, it is your choice. You do the research and decide what is best for your family.

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I do feel OK about being the expert :D I figured out the casein intolerance and took him to the ER when the nurses kept saying, "Oh... I'm sure [the high fever and vomiting] is nothing to worry about..." That's when a spinal tap revealed meningitis.

When I was buying a couple more jars of "summer vegetables" I was surprised at how many baby foods have gluten. Even the spinach and potatoes (barley), which was my daughter's absolute favorite! Backing off on the solids makes sense. I went off gluten and started eating a lot more corn right after he started solid foods, so it seems reasonable to give that idea a trial run and slowly reintroduce other foods again to his diet. Assuming this idea is correct, how long do you think it will take to see a difference in the eczema and rash?

I'm not sure the gagging is just a reflex. He doesn't gag on the rice cereal and summer vegetables. Yesterday I fed him some vegetables (no problem) and then switched to "apple and plum"... which made him gag. I do agree about giving a varied diet and not "kiddie" foods! SOoooo many of the those foods have little nutritional value. I send my daughter to school with hard boiled eggs, fruits and vegetables, cheese, leftovers... I had to work so hard to overcome my own addictions to junk food :( I don't want my kids to go through that. My son is getting old enough now that he's just about ready for some self-feeding.

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You are doing well with your son. You are reading the cues he is giving you and trying to figure it out.

I have triplets (they will be 13 on Wednesday). Two of them have always been fine with all food. One has always had difficulty with lots of foods (she is the one who has a positive ttg and is scheduled for a biopsy). She would eat rice cereal but had diarrhea with all other types of cereal, so I just gave her rice cereal. She need to nurse longer than the other two, they just decided at 13 months and 14 months that they didn't want it anymore (Mastitis was a problem at this time, coldturkeying me when I was making that much milk was a killer on my breasts). She refused all sorts of food, and still does (unfortunately wheat wasn't one of them).

Now that I have Celiac Disease I recognize alot of signs that I missed when she was a baby (she has always had a problem with eczema as did I until I went gluten free).

Hang in there.

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He may be bothered by the sugar in the fruits and veggies. My son has some intolerance to sugar. Juices, to much koolaide and fruit give him awful runny, smelly poops. They also give him awful diaper rash - especially around his anus.

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Ahh... that might explain why he didn't even like sweet potatoes. The only way I could get him to eat fruit was by mixing tiny bits with his rice cereal.

Getting rid of the corn was a good move for both of us! The eczema and rash are gone. Wow. I've only been giving him rice cereal and summer vegetables... I think I'll try this fruit experiment next. ;)

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