We've been dealing with Ethan's food allergies and things are improving. Ethan's symptoms were still present after eliminating all dairy and nearly all soy from my diet for two weeks. Studies show that most soy allergic individuals can safely tolerate soy oil and soy lecithin so I didn't completely eliminate those two soy products. When it seemed like he had a flare up two weeks into the elimination, I decided to eliminate soy oil and soy lecithin too. It has been difficult because soy lecithin REALLY is in almost everything. I was surprised to see it in my prenatal vitamin, cooking spray, and gum!
I called the pediatrician who stated that he could be allergic to one or both of those soy products OR it could be that it's taking longer for the dairy and soy to get out of his system. I eliminated the final two soy products from my diet and will mildly reintroduce them at some point in the future to see if he is allergic or not. The pedi also said that it could take three weeks to see symptoms improve.
The symptoms improved for a day or two then the orange juice poop, which I now know is diarrhea, came back. At that point the pedi asked for a stool sample. His sample tested mildly positive for blood, which leads us to believe that we're on the right track as far as his allergies and hopeful that because the results were only mildly positive, it means that he's improving. They sent another sample away to be tested for infection. We're praying that we don't have to worry about that.
I've been reading about the experiences of some other moms who are dealing with similar allergies. I've learned that it's not uncommon for symptoms to improve then return. I also read that it took a month or more for some babies' symptoms to clear.
After reading those experiences and evaluating Ethan's progress, I realize that I need to be more patient. In the past three weeks Ethan's congestion has cleared up, the rash on his chest is improving, he's not nearly as gassy or fussy, and his open sore diaper rash has cleared up. I have to say that the diaper rash has cleared thanks to Lillian for sending this. It's an all natural diaper rash salve and has done wonders! Bonus that it's safe to use with cloth diapers (I'll post about those another time).
So... the only symptom that we're left to be concerned with is in his diapers. I feel like I've spent so much of my maternity leave examining his bowel movements but also feel that we're getting this issue figured out!
I was feeling incredibly frustrated because I was making so many changes to my diet and wanted to see results ... my son feeling better. After stressing about it then taking time to reevaluate, I realized that he IS feeling better. He's not symptom free but we ARE seeing improvements. I need to be more patient. I've continued to learn that over the past two years and I'm sure my son will continue to teach me even more patience in the years to come :)