Lactose intolerant or dairy allergy???

Michelle - posted on 10/15/2009 ( 6 moms have responded )

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5wks ago my 1yr old had rotavirus(gastro). She can no longer drink any milks or milk powders without having bad diarrhoea or vomiting. I have tried to give her rice milk, soy formula, soy milk, whole milk, formula for lactose intolerant babies & none of these seem to work. I have taken her off all dairy foods as i am too scared to try her with them. I cant mash her vegies with milk but with butter & vegie juice seem fine although her bowel movements are still very sloppy & soak through her clothes but this only happens once or twice a day. She also has eczema, runny nose & a wheezy chest. I am not sure if any of these are related though. Does anyone have an idea on what is causing this? I am waiting for an appointment at the hospital.

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Shall I start at the beginning?
My ds was born with a rare complication- our blood types are incompatible and as a result he spent his first week under 3 banks of phototherapy lights in the SCN. because of the heat output of the lights the paed insisted on putting him on formula- and whatever I could express (I wasn't allowed to get him out of the incubator for more than 20 mins a day). He had trouble tollerating it right from the beginning- they would put my ebm down the nasogastric feeding tube and he'd be fine, add the formula (a special prescription one for babies with allergies because of family history) and he would bring up his stomach contents.
When we took him home he had explosive, watery diarrohea which progressively turned green and then mucusy (he was being exclusively bf). He would literally empty his stomach contents after every feed. He gained weight slowly and dropped significantly on the growth charts- from the 70th% to the 15th%. He was incredibly difficult to settle and always seemed to have stomach pain- we were told he was colicky and refluxy and that it was normal. He was covered head to toe in eczema- we were told he had sensative skin and to use sorbolene on him and not use any baby wash products.

At 3 months we removed all dairy (milk, cheese, yoghurt etc) from my diet and he transformed into a very different child in the space of about a week. After that we removed every food with even traces of dairy (think chips, baked goods, rice crackers (it's in the flavouring), sauces, processed meats etc) and I went onto a diet of basically fruit, veg, rice and plain cooked meat. He went from good to unbelievably well and his severe eczema cleared up.
We have seen a doctor who specialises in nutritional medicine (you should look for one of them, a lot of mainstream paediatricians don't really believe that diet and food can have as serious an impact on health as is the case). My doctor was a fellow of the Royal Australian College of Nutritional Medicine (FRACNM is on the nameplate at the surgery).

She was wonderful, she went through everything with us and explained that there are 3 different types of allery that you can have to dairy- some you can grow out of and some you can't. Apparently rotavirus is a common trigger. She gave us a form for blood tests which can tell what kind of allergy our ds has. We haven't had the tests done yet because she suggested waiting until he had to have blood taken for another reason rather than just for that- he is afraid of needles and vaccinations/blood collection are very traumatic for us all.

He remains sensative at 14mths. I am still bf (there is no substitute that is safe and we had planned on extended bf anyway). Recently I took tablets that were prescribed for me, he got sick- severe gut symptoms- there was lactose in the tablets. It's not an easy road but once you get used to leaving the dairy out and substituting something "safe" it gets easier. My advice is to find a doctor who knows about nutritional medicine and if the paediatrician at the hospital tries to brush you off then try to see someone else.

Elena - posted on 10/15/2009

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my son has 12 straight days of really bad explosive diahorrea following a tummy bug (and this happened 2 weeks after we had just started introducing dairy at 8 months because he had previously been on lactose free milk following surgery when he bacame sensitive) I was at desperation point about to have to collect samples for labs to see if bugs were still in his system or if it was just lactose intollerence returning (he also had a runny nose but not eczema or wheezy chest) someone suggested to me to try BRAT foods banana's, rice, apple sauce toast. He had toast and mashed banana for breakkie, lunch based on rice and apple puree for his dessert at dinner (we were able to keep him drinking dairy formula throughout although we did cut back on other dairy for a couple of days) within a day and a half he was having normal poo's. I suppose there could be a bit of coincidence that maybe the bug was finally clearing his system anyway but I swear it was the food, prticularly the toast and bananas :0)

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Kerry - posted on 02/27/2010

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try taking her of gluten and wheat that may help so any form of wheat ,rye, barly and oaks it is diffacult at first but once you get your head around it it may help if this dose work then she may be a ceoliac!

LyRanda - posted on 02/24/2010

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Mirriam I had the same thing happen with one of my boys we went for 4 months of him screaming and tooting (very stinky). My dr was also saying it was just collic so I took him to a pedi. dr and she tested right away for dairy and like you said it was like night and day when I cut that out of my diet. I just recomend if you have any more babies start them from the begining with no dairy it will cause a lot less heart ache. I have 3 boys and all of them have the dairy thing. my oldest has grown out of all dairy issues but my other 2 have not.

Ariel - posted on 01/07/2010

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try some good probiotics. A gastro infection of that sort can wreak havoc on a baby's underdeveloped digestive system and a little yogurt with active cultures can help to get things back to normal. Also the BRAT diet (as mentioned above) can help with digestion problems. The eczema and wheezing are signs of allergy tho. Not intolerance. Intolerance is an inability to digest the milk proteins or sugars (lactose). Allergy is an immune reaction to the milk proteins. Allergy signs can be hives, eczema, irritability, vomiting, diarrhea, runny nose, wheezing, asthma... some that I just read about are restless legs, and bedwetting. Intolerance will generally show up as digestion issues, bloating, gassiness, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting. The symptoms overlap some but the wheezing and runny nose are immune responses not associated with the digestive tract at all and are therefore indicative of allergy. Unless she just has a cold :)

Jessica - posted on 01/02/2010

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If your little one can't tolerate lactose free stuff than it sounds like it is an allergy. My son is lactose intolerant and does great with lactose free stuff.

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