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Staceyshoe

Will The Diarrhea Ever End?

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There are more details in my siggy, but my oldest son (age 6) has significant risk factors for celiac disease. He has never been prone to diarrhea. However, we put him on a gluten-free diet for 10 weeks this summer. He had one accidental exposure to a trace amount of gluten without issue, and then started back on oats a week before gluten without problems. The day after we re-introduced gluten, he had horrific violent diarrhea. This continued for the 2 1/2 weeks that he stayed on gluten. We took him back OFF gluten a week ago (keeping him on oats since he didn't react to it before), and he is still having horrible diarrhea. This is a kid who rarely had diarrhea before going gluten-free. Shouldn't it be out of his system after a week? Do I need to try taking him off oats? I have trouble believing it's total coincidence since he's rarely had diarrhea before in his life, and this has now been continual for almost 4 weeks. I'm so puzzled! Thoughts?

ETA: When we re-introduced oats, we used regular oats--not certified gluten-free oats. My other son, who has a severe IgE reaction to wheat in trace trace amounts, seems to do OK with these oats so I assumed they would be alright.

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There are more details in my siggy, but my oldest son (age 6) has significant risk factors for celiac disease. He has never been prone to diarrhea. However, we put him on a gluten-free diet for 10 weeks this summer. He had one accidental exposure to a trace amount of gluten without issue, and then started back on oats a week before gluten without problems. The day after we re-introduced gluten, he had horrific violent diarrhea. This continued for the 2 1/2 weeks that he stayed on gluten. We took him back OFF gluten a week ago (keeping him on oats since he didn't react to it before), and he is still having horrible diarrhea. This is a kid who rarely had diarrhea before going gluten-free. Shouldn't it be out of his system after a week? Do I need to try taking him off oats? I have trouble believing it's total coincidence since he's rarely had diarrhea before in his life, and this has now been continual for almost 4 weeks. I'm so puzzled! Thoughts?

Four weeks is a looong time for a six year old to have diarrhea . I would take him off oats and revisit everything. Diary might be an issues as well.

Make certain that he is hydrated. Is he under a doctors care at this time?

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Oats are contaminated with gluten due to growing, processing, and transportation. Additionally, some people are cross reactive to oats (even certified gluten-free ones) It could be he seemed ok with them at first or it took a while for his reaction to build.

He could also be showing increased sensitivity to gluten cross contamination. Do you still have gluten in the house? Have you deep cleaned and taken precautions like not sharing pans, sponges, mixers, toasters, knives, cutting boards or condiments? I have a post on the blog linked from my profile on what it takes to be truly gluten free that might help.

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Thank you both! My youngest is sensitive to even a crumb of bread. He often reacts to modified food starch in a seasoning blend. I guess I assumed that if he can eat the oats, then my oldest certainly could. I know the allergy tests are different, but I'm realizing that the proteins must be different too. (Otherwise my son with the IgE wheat allergy wouldn't be able to have barley and rye.) I think we do pretty well with cross-contamination. We have 50 washcloths in our kitchen to wipe up allergens and anything that touches an allergen immediately goes in a pail. We always use clean knives or colanders if it's touched an allergen. We don't use the toaster for "gluten free" items since we use wheat in it. Hands are always washed with soap if we touch an allergen. Maybe we have more to learn though. I really thought that the over-the-top reactions of my youngest had prepared us for "gluten free." (My youngest doesn't eat anything that's not "gluten free.")

I think we will try both gluten-free and dairy free for a while and then challenge them one at a time. I truly hope that solves the problem. I must admit the fact that it bothers me that he seemed to be fine before I started all this gluten-free business. I know it was a path we needed to go down though.

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I think we will try both gluten-free and dairy free for a while and then challenge them one at a time. I truly hope that solves the problem. I must admit the fact that it bothers me that he seemed to be fine before I started all this gluten-free business. I know it was a path we needed to go down though.

He might have had an issue with oats all along. Since you eliminated the gluten, the oat spoke up....know what I mean? ;)

You might find that dairy is the issue. Often time, dairy can be introduced with no issue. I would give it a month or two, though.

Consider turning our entire house hold gluten free. It will be much easier on you in the long run.

You sound like you're an informed mom...good luck to you and your babies.

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A week off gluten seems short to me. I wasn't 100% well after only a week of gluten. As others have said, you must use certified gluten-free oats and even then he may not tolerate them. He also needs fluids, electrolytes and other standard care for long-term diarrhea. Poor kid!

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I've been thinking about this some more. We will remove oats and dairy from his diet, and obviously keep him gluten-free. Is there any reason to remove corn? I realized that's one grain that he's been eating a lot of. If oats and dairy are far more likely, we'll just stick with that. TIA!

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I think he needs to get to a Dr. If diarrhea wasn't a major symptom before he went gluten-free it's hard to be 100% sure it's a food reaction. He may have been food poisoned right around when you introduced the wheat again and need an antibiotic.

If your Dr. thinks it could be food, dairy is definitely worth checking as many celiacs are sensitive to it. With the secondary sensitivities, around here more folks are soy-sensitive than corn. If he's still sick, corn is worth looking at, along with other major allergens like tree nuts, peanuts, fish, and shellfish.

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I agree a dr visit might be in order to rule out issues other than food allergies or intolerances.

A wheat allergy really is different than gluten intolerance or celiac, so while you have the allergen thing down there's a new learning curve at play. It sounds like you are well on your way to having that figured out.

I tried elimination diets for my son when he was younger without any success. Taking one thing out was just too much of a muddle. There were so many other things that could be at play that I just couldn't isolate the causes of his issues.

If you are suspecting other foods, it might be easiest to go down to a very basic diet until he normalizes his digestion and then very slowly add things back in. Our family did the GAPS Intro diet for a few months and are now still introducing the full diet. It has been really good to both experience healing *and* learn more about what foods are actually problematic all on their own. The diet starts out with bone and meat broths with certain veggies, then adds homemade probiotic foods as well as more veggies. Slowly you add in yogurt, eggs, nuts, fruit, some legumes, aged cheeses, etc.

Another thing about this diet is that it has healing properties. When the gut is in better shape, it may be that some foods that he reacts to now will not be an issue in the future. (ie, some actually cause the damage, others are just getting a reaction because of the damage).

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