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My 4 Year Old Son, Possible Symptoms

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I feel like a crazy person that's grasping at straws!

I know I have a gluten issue myself - whether its an allergy or intolerance, whatever, I don't know. All I know is that I feel fantastic since starting this diet. Having been in a 'fog' for so long, its been hard to make my thoughts clear and come out clearly, lol. I've been on it almost 2 weeks now, and I'm starting to wean my son off gluten as well.

He's had allergy issues from birth. They first diagnosed him with acid reflux at 2 weeks old and put him on rice cereal 2x a day, and Zantac. It never helped. Then, I noticed when I ate peanut butter or eggs, he spit up more. So, I cut those out. Fast forward to when he was 7 months old, and I gave him a Cheerio. He vomited, big time. Took him to the doc, nurse practioner said to cut ALL wheat, oats, rye and barley (go gluten-free). I did, and he improved dramatically. The previous constant 'spitting up' (aka projectile vomiting) all but stopped. At 11 months he had an anaphylactic allergic reaction to dairy, and we thought we'd figured it all out. Allergist said no reaction to wheat, and we could reintroduce.

He has NEVER had an easy time with his BMs. He's either constipated, or he has diarrhea. But, its not really diarrhea, but loosely formed??

He's always had dark circles under his eyes (same as me). My younger son does not have this.

He has Autism. He's very high-functioning. Just little things here and there, and they gave him the diagnosis in January. He gets 'stuck' in repetitive tasks. Doors are a big one, lol. I know I've read a lot that kids with Autism have tummy troubles...

Now he's got a 'rash' on his back. I don't know what it is, its brand new. He's had pustules? before, now there's these pimple things all over his back. They get better, then get bad again. That was kinda of the last thing that hit me... I read a little about DH... I don't know.

Any thoughts?

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First, you are not crazy, you are a good mom, like me :D Your child has many of the same symptoms that my twin daughters have had. Long story short, I was the one, not a doctor, who found out they are at the least gluten intolerant, and at the most, Celiac. Their paternal grandmother is an officially diagnosed Celiac so that got me thinking. First, I did testing through Enterolab (just stool testing, risk and invasive free). Then we also started a gluten-free diet in June. Then, we finally got into the Pediatric Gastro who agreed their problems (anywhere from GERD in one to extreme stomach distress and diarrhea all the time for the other with many other symptoms) could very well be from gluten. They did the blood panel which came back negative but we expected this because they had been gluten-free for over 8 weeks by this time. Their Celiac gene test came back positive though and that with their positive dietary response and boom, I know for sure gluten is their problem. They are also casein and egg free.

So, I would say go with your gut instinct (no pun intended). Btw, their little brother also tested positive for gluten senstivity and his only issues I saw were dark purpley under eye circles and he was very skinny. He has been gluten-free since August and gained weight and looks healthier.

You could also do a gluten-free diet trial and see if that helps. Keep in mind though, then testing may be negative.

You will for sure know what's best for your son. Moms always do, sometimes with a little help from the doctors.

Good Luck!!!!!! :)

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Any thoughts?

well, yes. "where there's smoke there's fire."

Constipation, soft stools (esp if frequent) alone could be indicators. Autism, the dark circles, a rash... other possible signs.

You might try keeping a food diary, recording everything your son eats, as well as the symptoms experienced. Keep accurate observations, and look for trends. Are problems worse after eating meals with a high content of wheat and gluten? If you subtract wheat and gluten from his diet, do these things happen less frequently?

Bear in mind that if you going to pursue standard diagnostic testing for him, you do not want to start a long term gluten free diet as this could prevent some of the antibody test from being positive. Your body only produces these antibodies when you're on a regular diet of gluten!

You said you are starting to wean your son from gluten. If you begin to see documented improvements (thru the food diary) you might want to consider reviewing these with your physician.... If they agree to testing you will need to get your son back to eating all the gluten containing foods he ate before (You should also share your own positive response to the diet with the doctor.)

This is, of course, if an "official" diagnosis is important to you. There are some advantages to getting that. There are some who don't feel that is important or feel they need it, and simply are happy with the positive effects of a gluten free diet. then there are others that pursue a diagnosis, and don't get a definitive result, but still benefit from a gluten free diet. So it all depends on what you feel is right for your son.

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Thank you both!

I've always had a 6th sense with this kid. I told his ped the other day that something is off, and I just can't put my finger on it.

At some point, I've got to do a stool catch - but its hard to catch it, b/c he always goes when I'm at work, and DH won't do it... ;).

She put in the order for the stool testing, then I'm going to pursue a blood test.

Thanks again!

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