Sunday, July 19, 2009

Info overload

{I adore this pic of E & his soft Sweet Dreams book. I hope he will be an avid reader.}

I spent much of Ethan's naps yesterday reading the food allergies section in Baby Matters (thanks S-Anon for the suggestion). Today I've been reading even more online. I've been sorting through tons of info. It has been very interesting but too much info for one sitting (probiotics, enzymes, leaky gut, sensitization, ELISA testing, immediate-reaction allergy, delayed-reaction allergy, ETC). I need to bookmark and return when I'm not so overwhelmed.

I knew that Ethan's allergies contributed to his trouble sleeping but found it interesting to read that several wakings can be a 'symptom' of allergies.

Allergies are complex and difficult to determine. A person can be allergic to/intolerant of ANYTHING!

I've been looking back at what I have eaten and the timing of Ethan's symptoms. It could be anything but one common connection MAY be tomatoes.

I'm considering eliminating strawberries, tomatoes, Sunbutter Crunch bars, and possibly beef for a while then add them back in one at a time.


  1. my allergist told me that as long as my baby isnt having an anaphylactic reaction to the food, keep eating.... now, i dont think he's correct. my instincts mirror the author of baby matters...

    i got really upset at my husband the other day for giving vitasol - i'm convinced it caused a green diaper. a baby can get enuf vit d from sun exposure. still to appease my husband, i ordered baby d-drops from carlson labs.

    i keep the a.d. in check via diet and freq baths more than anything else. breakfast is brown rice cereal, with raisins, sugar, and today, I poured infant formula over it. I was using rice milk, but today, I poured Similac Alimentum Ready to Feed (no corn in it, but I think it has soy oil in it which might be a problem) over it instead of Rice Milk. Why? because I'm worried about the quality of my breast milk w/this elimination diet. For lunch, I had rice noodles with hamburger meat, seasoned w/salt and pepper and a cucumber salad. For dinner, turkey burger w/rice noodles and a cucumber salad. Dessert was cantaloupe and watermelon. His a.d. got dramatically better these last few days via diet alone, but today, he had a set-back, and I feel it could be related to the hamburger (beef) I ate for lunch or the formula I poured over my cereal. Don't know. It is HARD. Sometimes, I think the rice milk might not be good for him...

    You are an AMAZING mother, especially for someone so young. Your husband and son are very, very lucky to have you as mother/wife. When all this is a memory, maybe we'll meet for a CHOCOLATE CAKE lunch :)

    well, It's really tough, but I really hope it's temporary. The allergist seems to think so, and he is supposedly one of the top allergists in N.J. for what that's worth... Imagine that, I have a family history of atopic dermatitis, and the allergist thinks my son will grow out of it soon enough. So, if your son doesn't even have relatives w/severe atopic dermatitis, he's got a great chance of outgrowing all of these problems! :)

  2. SAnon, The tri-vi-sol gave Ethan tiny blood specks in his diapers. I thought it might be the caramel coloring that caused the reaction. He's had no reaction to the Just D vitamin that we give to him but we don't give it consistently. I figure we're out taking walks much more often now and it's one less thing to give to him.

    My weekend reading found several sources that suggested the nursing mother with limited diet drink the hypoallergenic formula. What did it taste like? Bare able? I read the ingredients of Alimentum and wonder if Ethan could even tolerate that b/c it's derived from milk. I know it's broken down but I'm still hesitant. The soy oil concerns me too.

    I feel your pain on the limited diet. It's so hard to cut out all of these things and not know what is continuing to cause symptoms. It's especially frustrating b/c it seems something I've been consuming for so long w/o reactions can suddenly start causing reactions.

    I bought Hemp Milk to try but I need to wait until his diapers clear again before introducing anything.

    Thank you so much for the compliments & support. It's nice to talk to someone else who is going through this. Your son is also very lucky to have a mother willing to give up so much for him. Sounds like you're working VERY hard!

    Chocolate cake lunch sounds PERFECT!! Hopefully they'll both outgrow these issues soon.

  3. I love this pic too - he is really advanced! Our babies are 2 days apart in age (mine was born on the 26th), but yours seems to be way ahead. Mine loves books too, but he doesn't hold them up like that. He will "read" them only w/me holding the book.

    I wish I had done the father's day photographs for my husband - you captured these precious times perfectly for your husband's 1st father's day w/your son's happy/dynamo personality all over the gift.

    Well, back to the bumps in life - I tried hemp milk. Didn't work for me. I couldn't drink it. I think I was allergic to it myself! And, the Similac Alimentum RTF - ugh. Tastes foul. Tolerable, but i have to add sugar to my cereal. I can't imagine a baby wanting to drink that..... My son's a.d. seems to be "stable" - i.e. not bloody and not too oozy. It was doing great until I ate the beef and started drinking the formula. And still it might be that tiny, tiny slice of cake I ate... It was such a tiny, tiny slice, and I gobbled it down, thinking that tiny amt couldn't do any harm. This is what is so hard. I can't figure out what is causing the "healing" to slow down - was it that tiny amt of cake (it was soooo tiny), was it the beef? or, is it the formula? Sheeesh!

    I, too, think the caramel coloring in the vitasol could be a problem. That's how I stumbled onto your web site. I googled that, and your website came up. I'm wondering if my baby has a corn intolerance/allergy since caramel coloring could be a corn derivative. I've also eliminated potato/corn chips from my diet. It is hard to figure out....

    I am considering trying those tests that enterolabs offers, but not sure about accuracy or reliability at this age. I'm going to call them today and will get back to you w/what they say. It IS overwhelming.

    The allergist I went to had a daughter who had such severe milk allergy that when she got milk on her chin, hives would immediately appear... he said she outgrew that or rather developed an intolerance. i'm wondering if he's right about that approach due to the reality that it's causing internal damage too - ie blood in stools, green poop, which means the baby is not getting much needed nutrients, etc (baby matters, p285) Is it possible that this doctor doesn't understand that internal damage could also be happening and that such an approach could have pre-disposed her daughter to other auto-immune diseases that are more serious? Maybe, he doesn't see things in a broader sense - i.e. his focus is only on the allergy? And not on nutrition? i.e. a baby that is having green poop isn't absorbing much of anything. It all gets tossed out w/the bath water sort of thing?

    I'm overwhelmed too - so it's AWESOME to have stumbled upon a blog where you obviously have a great perspective. You are totally enjoying this wonderful time w/your son, capturing some great photos and obviously your son is HAPPY and bringing a lot of joy to your family, friends, and to strangers. I smile everytime I look at his photos. What a fun looking baby! He is a riot! We got sunglasses for our son too!

    Time for my dull lunch....

  4. just got off the phone w/enterolabs. testing is inconclusive until much later - 18 -24 months & after 6m of weaning.

  5. LOL, I think the book was on it's way into his mouth when I took the pic. That's the only one he's held like that b/c it's fabric & so light.

    And oh my goodness, I feel your pain with trying to figure out WHAT causes a set back. I'm trying to decide if it's Rice Krispies. I've been eating them every day since April but apparently he could possibly be reacting to the malt barley in them? Or due to his soy intolerance he could be reacting to all legumes, including the lima beans, refried beans, and green beans I ate last week. He's tolerated all of those well before but maybe all in one week was too much. OR it could even be beef or chicken. Who knows. A part of me still wonders if it's tomatoes too. So... I'm cutting Rice Krispies, all legumes, and tomatoes. I'm on the fence about cutting chicken or beef. Hopefully we'll see improvement w/o cutting the meats out. It's really frustrating, isn't it?! I hope you get your diet figured out soon too. I also hope it's not a corn intolerance b/c corn is in EVERYTHING! Even more so than soy!

    I was wondering what led you to my blog. I wanted to share some other sites that I've been reading too...

    If that doesn't work, I found it from this site:

    Others are:

    Hopefully those will be clickable.

    I ordered some probiotics yesterday that are supposed to be dairy free. I didn't think of it until after I ordered them but I hope they're soy free too. I emailed to ask and am waiting on a reply. This is what I ordered:

    Does your baby do well with the probiotics?

    Too bad about the entrolabs tests. I wish there were a standard and conclusive test to tell us what we need to know.

    My thoughts are exactly in line with what you wrote about questioning your allergist's view. I have great worries about possible internal damage. When people see Ethan and hear about his allergies the first comments that I usually hear (even from the 3 pediatricians that we've seen) are about how healthy he looks since he's a big boy. I know he's gaining weight and I'm incredibly thankful for that, but does that mean that his digestive system is healthy? Not necessarily. Although, I know it's common for babies with food allergies to be smaller and some even suffer with failure to thrive.

    I'm so glad that you enjoy the photos of E. He really is the light of my life (well, besides my husband). Can you believe our babies will be 6 months old already?!

  6. We have similar diets - i used to eat rice krispy treats every day too after deciding to eliminate wheat products. Before the rice krispy treats, it was graham crackers. I eliminated the rice krispy treats for some reason - can't remember, but I think it was because I had a hunch that mine was sensitive to corn. I once over-dosed on beans too. I was eating potato chips (the utz brand), but I stopped that on a hunch that maybe the potato chips were a problem. It's hard. When I was a child, I would have contact dermatitis after handling raw potatoes. So, I thought maybe I should eliminate them, but potato chips are cooked so don't know why it would be a problem.

    When I had atopic dermatitis, I wasn't even focused on food. I was focused on environmental allergens - like my dog, etc. This food problem has me overwhelmed too. Thank you for the links. Very Helpful!

    Have you tried adding okra to your diet? I did this week, and I love it! It's supposed to be very good for the stomach/intestines, etc. And, lots of nutrients. i just read it is supposed to be good with probiotics too. It's hard to take care of my son AND feed myself. I cook during his naps and race to finish eating before he wakes up. YES! I do recommend probiotics. I give it to my baby when he has bad diapers - if he has a series of green diapers, I'll give him the probiotics (I use the one from ethical nutrients, but it's "non-dairy" and not "dairy free" so if you're son is ultra sensitive to dairy, I don't think you should try that one). The probiotics clear up the green and give him better looking B.M.s I don't know if I'm imagining it or not, but the last 2 days his diapers are not as mucousy. Here's why I really wonder about these doctors. My pediatrician told me that mucousy diapers are normal. I asked him again and again if mucousy diapers were really okay, and he said, that's how all infant B.M. are.... Sheeeesh.

    Your son looks GREAT. He looks very healthy and BIG! No problem there. He must be getting the nutrients he needs to grow. 6 months! It goes by fast. My allergist said that 6 months from now, we won't even remember these food allergies/sensitivities because most likely there will be other challenges. Still, I sure envy those parents out there that have zippo problems with dairy. Would love to indulge in ice cream now and then. Have you tried coconut milk in lieu of rice milk? I'm going to research that and see what others have tried with coconut milk and try that. Seems benign.

    Yeah, the photos are adorable. His personality shines through!

  7. I've been MIA. This detective work is another full time job. I've been searching that mothering/allergy website link for recipes. Once I pick up some ingredients I'm going to try a few recipes. I've never had okra. I'll have to give that a try too. You're absolutely right, it is hard to take care of baby and feed myself. I try to make enough allergen free dinner so that I can have leftovers for lunch. It's especially tough on the days where I have to work at my job. I run to the daycare to nurse him, run home to pump since I'll be away for a few hours, then try to eat.

    Interesting that your pediatrician said that about mucousy diapers. The way our pedi explained it was that there has to be some mucous in the digestive tract or else it would be difficult to have a bm ... we'd have more bloody bm's. It made a little more sense. I try not to worry about a tiny but of mucous but panic when it's full of mucous.

    I am going to try coconut milk as I've seen it listed on a lot of the recipes I've been looking at. I'm going to wait until Ethan has a steady week of 'normal' diapers though.

    I also envy those moms who haven't had to eliminate anything but if it weren't this issue then it would be another.