I have a question about milk allergy and allergic colitis in a 5wk old premie

Faith - posted on 12/12/2009 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My 5 wk old boy has been in the hospital for 2 weeks now. I nursed him for the first two weeks of his life, but then had to switch to formula. Not long after, he started to vomit. Since I already had a child that was lactose intolerant, I decided to try him on a lactose-free formula. He then started to have a lot of mucousy blood throughout his stool. He was admitted to the hospital on November 30th. They are thinking it's a milk allergy and said that possibly everything else is ruled out. He was NPO for two days and there was no blood. He was then on Alimentum and the bleeding started again. So the next step was to put him on Neocate mixed with Pedialyte (which for a few days there was no bleeding) until he was on the full Neocate. He's been on the full Neocate now for 3 days and now the bleeding has started again. My questions are...Has anyone else gone through this? How long did it take the bleeding to stop? Has there been any intestinal damage because of the bleeding? How old was the baby when he/she developed this? What kind of formula are they on? How long did the allergy last? (And any other kind of useful info that you may have for me!). At this point, I'm considering on taking him to a bigger center to find out if there is anything else they can do for him, but there are a number of factors we have to consider if we do take him out of the hospital he's in now. I'm just thinking that in a a bigger center, there are more specialists and more staff that may have run into this problem before and may have more experience with it......Thanks in advance for your responses. If anyone needs to know more info so they can answer me with more detail, I'll be happy to respond to their questions.



:-)

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Faith - posted on 12/13/2009

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thanks for your replies. i forgot to mention that i'm in canada, which has different rules and regulations than the states. as far as i know, breastmilk is not sold here. i'm trying to get my own supply back with the help of motilium, which is working a bit, but i'm still only gettin 4-8oz a day. as of right now, his bowel is still irritated and bleeding after 4 days of neocate, so they decided to put him back on half neocate and half pedialyte to give his bowel a rest to heal a bit. they said it's a severe allergy to the dairy protein and it seems like any amount (even the very digested stuff in the neocate) irritates him. lactose-free and soy formulas have dairy protien, so they are definately out. the neonatologist said something about checking for polyps. i'm going to speak with him tomorrow anyway, so i'll have to remember to ask about them again since he was never tested for them. we don't have any pediatric gastrointestinal specialists here that i know of because we are only a small community, hence trying to figure out about taking him to a bigger center, which is a 5-6 hour drive away, but if that's what it takes for a second opinion from more specialized people...
thank you for your well-wishes and replies, and i hope if anyone esle has anything to add to this, they will.
best regards!
:-)

Elizebeth - posted on 12/12/2009

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My son is only breastfed and at around 3 1/2 months, he had blood in his stools. We were really nervous about this and visited the doctor right away. They said that he most likely had a dairy allergy and was unable to digest the proteins in the dairy I was consuming. They put me on a strict no-dairy diet and were hopeful that would help. After 2 weeks, there was still blood in his stools and we were referred to the Children's Hospital. At this time, my son had no other symptoms, just the blood in his diaper. We went to Children's and without running any tests, although we were somewhat pushing for them, they said that it is very common for a baby to develop an allergy like this. I was consuming 2 gallons of milk a week alone, plus having yogurt or string cheese sometime throughout the day. I was concerned because I had consumed that my entire pregnancy and following and thought it was strange it took so long to develop.

My son is now 6 months old and I have started introducing dairy back into my diet, and things seem to be going fine. I am hoping that he has outgrown this allergy, but time will tell. Your case seems a bit more severe, but from what I have heard from friends at work, this is very common and that once you get the formula type figured out, the blood should disappear. Some have said that their child outgrew the allergy, others said that their child now only drinks soy milk or some take a lactose pill before consuming dairy.

Best of luck....I know it can be scary. Have they ruled out polyps? I would consider visiting a pediatric gastrointestinal specialist.

Iysha - posted on 12/12/2009

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Have the doctors tried putting him on breastmilk again? the hospital might have breastmilk on reserve... and there are women that can produce a whole lot of breastmilk that sell it to other peope. I have no idea what could be going on or if it has anything to do with prematurity. Have you joined the forum for Moms Of Preemies? Maybe someone on there might be of more help =] I am sorry you and your family are going through this. It must be so hard. Hope your little one gets better.

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