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Ollie's Mom

Considering Putting Baby On Gluten-Free Diet - Am I Paranoid?

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Hi all,

I would appreciate any advice you could give me.

I am on a gluten-free diet (self diagnosed, it has eliminated my constant D, migraines, vomiting, skin issues, etc). Doctors were of no use. I got the IBS "BS" and crazy strong pills for my migraines. Who knew that something as "simple" as changing my diet would fix all of my health issues???

Anyway, this thread it not about me. It's about my son.

He is turning 1 in a week, and till the age of 7 months he was exposed to no gluten (I BF'd him, but obviously there was no gluten in my milk; at 7 months we put him in daycare where he started eating "daycare food" that has gluten in it).

After he started daycare, I started noticing that he was getting very frequent (3 or 4+) BM's per day, and they varied quite a bit in colour / consistency / smell. Sometimes they'd be like what is BM's were like before daycare (light brown / brown, smelled like poop). But sometimes they'd be yellow and watery, or other times green and a strange consistency like grainy playdough, and sometimes it would be like an explosion of very dark poop. And these various coloured poops were all very stinky (some worse than others. the bad ones and we had to empty out the diaper genie even if it only had a couple of diapers in it.)

Last week, his poop got really bad, and he was going 6+ times a day, and it was very runny and very stinky. He also developed a terrible diaper rash, so bad we had to leave him without his diaper on in the evening (and we'd have to wipe up the liquidy poop that came out of him every 20 minutes or so.)

Over the long weekend, he ate no gluten (because I cooked everything for him), and by Monday he'd stopped pooping so much. And it wasn't as stinky. Now, it's Thursday, and he's been eating gluten since Tuesday, but his poops seem "OK" (brown, not liquidy, not too stinky).

We have asked the daycare to change his diet choice to gluten-free (they have a catering company that can accomodate gluten-free diets), and this change will be made this coming Monday.

My question is this: Am I over reacting by putting him on a gluten-free diet? Or would you all do the same?

He isn't dropping off the growth curves, he's still growing, he's still bright and active. There are no other "symptoms" than the poop issues. And even though he's been eating gluten since Tuesday, his poop still seems fine today (Thursday).

I am thinking of doing a gluten challenge with him a month after he starts the gluten-free diet to see if that does anything to him.

What's your advice? Does this sound reasonable, or paranoid?

I'd rather that my son not have an issue with gluten because I'd like for his life to be less complicated than mine, but more than anything I want him to be healthy!

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Of course you can put your baby on the gluten free diet. You have already seen improvements for him and you know how much relief you had. Some will tell you to pursue testing. Others will say he is not likely to test positive being so young. But as a mother I think you get to decide what your child eats. It is amazing that you have the opportunity for him to eat gluten free at daycare! It's great that you are taking advantage of it. If you do a gluten challenge in the future you will learn if he is reacting. The only problem is that some people used to believe that children outgrew Celiac because they could resume eating wheat without reaction, when in fact they were still being damaged. But it sounds like you have educated yourself thoroughly. My son had similar symptoms when he was a baby..for years and I wondered why..Dr.'s told me it was normal. It wasn't until I read here that I went gluten free and the fake fibromyalgia and IBS diagnoses and major migraine headaches all went away being gluten free. I didn't know to take myself or my son gluten free. Consequently he was 16 before we figured it out. You are doing the right thing. You know your child. I support your decision and you probably saved yourself from gluten so it follows that you should also save your son! Sorry if that sounds dramatic but I feel strongly about it and feel for the kids who don't have a mom like you...

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I don't think you're being paranoid in the least. I think it's the smartest thing you could possibly do. When there is any family connection to gluten sensitivity at all, or to wheat for that matter, I absolutely think that the gluten free diet should start in pregnancy even. It doesn't make any sense to me that doctors say nothing about staying away from gluten, yet they do for other foods, and gluten is one of the most dangerous ones.

It's great that you've recognized the issue so early & don't ever think you're being paranoid about something so serious. Even though he is still meeting all of his milestones, that doesn't guarantee that he would continue to down the road. As you know, gluten sensitivity causing degenerative issues, among others. It's starts with strange bowel issues, as it's slowing deteriorating the bowels. As more damage is done, less & less nutrients are able to be absorbed, more toxins are getting into the system and harmful neurological damage is being done.

I have 3 boys who are all on 100% Gluten Free diet, as am I. If you would like to talk to me more about any of my experiences or would like suggestions to get his digestive system back to better health, please feel free to send me a message or let me know here. I have a lot of experience with this being very wheat & gluten sensitive my entire life (didn't always know what it was), other family members are pretty sensitive too, and my oldest son went through years of damage with his digestive system before we to it figured out & turned him around. You do not want to deal with any of that! I promise. Again, it's great that you are recognizing this now & making the change. Keep in mind that cross contamination may still be an issue in schools/ daycare, even with them sticking to a gluten-free diet. It took us a while to figure out what was causing issues with my two oldest at their preschool. They were constantly being cross contaminated by the other kids snacks (crunched up crackers on the floor being tracked all over, handling objects that other kids had touched after eating, etc).

Anyway, like I said, if you have any questions about kids & gluten-free diets, schooling/daycare or anything, feel free to let me know. And remember that you're doing the right thing! Testing often doesn't show anything & the only conclusive test for celiac when gluten sensitivity isn't showing, is an intestinal biopsy. And even then, that would only show celiac after all the damage has been done! Doctors are basically waiting until there is a completely destroyed small intestine, no intestinal villi left before saying that there is an issue. What a crock of crap! Why would anyone wait until they're in such bad health & need to be dependent on tons of supplements to make that conclusion? They wouldn't. Although that's what we're left with if we leave it up to doctors. Sad but true.

Don't be afraid to discuss gluten sensitivity and gluten-free diets with other moms when you hear of possible issues coming up with their kids. They may think it sounds strange at first, but that's because the actual truth behind gluten isn't so widely discussed / known yet. You will be doing them a favor by potentially saving them from having major issues with their children. Neurological & otherwise. There doesn't have to be a family history & there doesn't have to be any positive testing for anything. Even the smarter, more current doctors who actually care about their patients will admit to you that the only real way to know about a food sensitivity is by an elimination diet.

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I would not consider feeding him gluten ever again! :) I'm glad you have such an easy way to make him feel better!

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Considering that you already know there is a problem with this issue in the family, it seems logical to look to that problem first when there seems to be a lingering health issue involving the gut.

My friend ended up doing the same thing, with bathroom issues as the problem, and it took care of the issue. It's been hard, I'll be honest. Trying to make sure he gets enough carbs has been tricky, because the little guy decided he didn't like most gluten-free grains. And he has become more sensitive the longer he's off (He's now been off a year or so, and he's 2). When they were staying at house with cats, he started reacting every day. It was awful. Finally figured out that the cat litter was wheat based and the cat's were tracking that onto the carpets, which little toddler hands would then touch and put into his mouth (ick).

You may run into that problem in preschool, with supplies like playdough that may contaminate things, or if they have pasta crafts, etc.... might need a plan for how to take care of that. might also be a god idea to check what they clean hands with. if it's soap and water that's good, but hand sanitizer doesn't do so well getting gluten off.

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Thanks for your replies, everyone.

We have decided to go ahead with the gluten-free diet, but now we're confused.

By the end of the week last week, after four days of being at daycare and eating gluten-filled daycare food, our son's poop was not too bad looking. It was still fairly brown and not too smelly.

We started him on a gluten free diet Friday evening (easy because that's how I eat).

His bum got a bit red on Saturday (we were out and my mother was looking after him. I left food for him, so I know he didn't get glutened.) On Sunday, his poops weren't too bad looking, but his bum was still red. This morning (Monday), after two and a half days gluten free, his poop this morning was green and very watery. And he pooped (dribbled really) some while I was changing his diaper. About an hour later, I changed his diaper again and it was full of green watery poop and his bum is really really sore looking - lots of little red bumps (many are bleeding) that appeared within an hour. And he screamed while I changed his diaper.

We have an appointment to see a nurse practitioner today (couldn't get an appt with our doc) to have her look at his bum. It has been like this before (same kind of sores), and it takes such a long time for them to heal.

Does anyone have any insights into whether or not this sounds gluten related? Why would his poop get so bad 2.5 days after starting to eat gluten-free if the issue is with gluten? Has anyone else experienced this with their kids? Is it possible something else is going on with him? Maybe dairy issues? (He is on formula, we are using a cow's milk based formula.)

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We started my youngest on a gluten free diet when she was 15 months old and she didn't fully stop with the bad poop (it had gotten worse also) until we took out dairy and soy, plus a few others but dairy and soy were the worse. Good luck...I really hope that you can get everything resolved for your son.

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You may want to make sure that your child does not have an anal strep or staph infection. These are surprisingly common in infants and toddlers and usually start to resolve with a few days of antibiotics. Another cause of smelly, green loose stools would be a giardia infection, which is common in some areas of the U.S. and can spread through daycare centers like wild.

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If I were you I'd eliminate dairy for a while then slowly reintroduce to see if there is a reaction. For diaper rash air dry then apply a thin layer of miconozole, (most diaper rashes are yeast based as I found out with my kids) let it soak in then apply ur regular diaper rash cream leave diaper off as much as possible.

As well as trying gluten-free, Write down everything he eats/drinks & how much (daycare should already be doing this)& see if can connect the dots. Maybe you should get a stool test as well.

You are an awesome mom. Best of Luck to you & ur liitle boy!

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A bit of an update.

My son has been on the gluten-free diet for one week now, and his poops are back to normal. They smell like poop, the look like poop, and they don't give him a nasty rash - even if we don't change the diaper immediately. (He was in the car the other day when he pooped. We got him home about 15 minutes later and cleaned him up, and he was fine. Last week, he'd have been a bleeding, screaming mess by then.)

Fingers crossed - I hope that this resolves everything. My husband wants to try giving him something with gluten in it in about a month (if everything keeps going this well) just so we're sure that that's what the problem is.

I would much rather my child NOT have an issue with gluten... I think I've said that before but I'm going to say it again! And it's not because he won't be able to eat what he wants if he has a gluten issue (I personally think that a gluten-free diet is way healthier than the typical diet), it's going to be my fear that he will get CC from somewhere, or slip up, and get violently ill. I know how sick I get, and I wouldn't wish that on anyone, let alone my son! :(

Thanks again for everyone's advice, and I'll keep you all posted.

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It sounds like this may be your answer, and I hope his health keeps improving.

I agree with the gluten challenge, but sometimes the response isn't immediate. Consider doing something like giving him a small amount of gluten in a month, and take careful notes. If he gets sick immediately, you have your answer. Keep careful notes of any symptoms; he may react differently later. if you don't see a reaction, consider keeping him gluten free a while longer, and then maybe challenge with a large dose.

Sometimes your first gluten exposure after being gluten-free is huge, and sometimes it takes a lot of gluten to cause a reaction. Start small. :)

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Don't be confused by the fact that your son did not react immediately to the gluten. Everyone has different reaction times - he is apparently a late reactor. The fact that he eventually did react to it, and then stopped reacting when the gluten was withdrawn, albeit not immediately, is what is important. So if/when you do the challenge, it may take longer than for someone else for him to react. Be prepared for that.

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Another update.

My son is still doing well on the gluten free diet.

We had some gluten free cake this weekend (it was my b-day) and we gave him some. And he had a stinky, not so nice poop after that, but no bleeding rash, no gas, and it was just one poop. After that, it went back to normal.

I think he's sensitive to carbs in general (he doesn't really have many carbs), much like me. And I still think he's got a real issue with gluten. No gluten, no bleeding rash on his bottom, no D!

We took him for his 12 month check-up, and the doctor seemed to pooh pooh the idea of a gluten free diet. He also ignored me when I told him a few years ago that I had eliminated my D and migraines by avoiding gluten. Ah well. He may not know, but I do!

I've also (finally) convinced my mother to try a gluten free diet. I hope it helps her fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism, fatigue, skin rashes, gas, etc etc. She's going to start in a week and a half - after she gets a blood test for anitbodies.

I'm so glad that things are going well for my son, and thank you to everyone who replied!

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Another update.

My son is still doing well on the gluten free diet.

I'm so glad that things are going well for my son, and thank you to everyone who replied!

:) :) :) :)

I'm glad you've figured it out. Moms are so much smarter than doctors.

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You absolutely should do with your son what you think best. But let's not forget that kids don't always have perfect looking, perfect smelling BMs. They're kids. And they get stomach bugs and they eat food that disagrees for reasons other than gluten. Neither one of my kids has celiac that we can tell, but they went through periods of not so normal.

richard

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