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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 11:31 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 11:15 am
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I haven't been able to reach the doctor's office yet (I suspect they're not in due to the weather we're having), but I'm looking for some feedback so I know whether I'm just leaping to conclusions...

I have a three year old and a four month old. The baby has had eczema on her chest and lingering cradle cap since she was born, so I decided to cut dairy from my own diet and see if that would help clear it up. I bought rice milk, soy milk and almond milk to try and find something I liked. Settled on the vanilla almond milk as my preference.

Anyway, as I've been trying these out, it has caught the attention of my 3yo. Sunday she wanted to try the almond milk on her oatmeal like I was having. Okay, no problem. She didn't really care for it, but she did eat some.

Monday she wanted some of the strawberry soy milk I was having with my lunch. Sure, soy is healthy, go ahead.

Through the day Monday I noticed she was pretty gassy, but she didn't seem to be in pain or anything. (Actually she finds it terribly amusing when she can make a big stinker.) Sometime in the afternoon she had a loose bm, but I didn't draw a connection to anything. She'd been a little constipated so I was just glad things had let go. Monday at supper she had a bit more of the soy milk.

Monday night DH and I were talking and realized that both he and our 3yo had developed the same stinky gas since I bought the almond and soy milks. So we concluded maybe she has a little bit of an intolerance to it, and we wouldn't give her anymore of it. She woke up a couple of times through the night complaining of a sore tummy, and each time it was followed by passing gas.

Well Tuesday she had a very sore bottom (lingering from the loose bm on Monday). So I gave her a long bath with baking soda and made sure she was good and clean through the day. She was fine other than that soreness. Went to a birthday party at McDonald's, ate well, went shopping with me, totally normal.

Tuesday night she went to bed without any real problems. But then around midnight she woke us up crying in the hall, she had pooped in her pants (thankfully wearing a pull-up) and was distraught. Changed her clothes, cleaned her up, changed her sheets... it was an awful mess and REALLY smelly. Repeated this twice? three times? before morning.

This morning she's tired but otherwise seems okay. I gave her a banana for breakfast, all she wants to drink is water, and now she's watching tv and eating dry cheerios.

Meanwhile I think DH's gassiness has cleared up since he stopped drinking the almond milk (which he was mixing with soy protein powder to take to the gym).

What do you think, is this in keeping with an allergic reaction and should I try to get her seen for allergy testing?


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 12:35 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
It could be. It could also be a virus. I would avoid the soy milk and almond milk for the moment and see if she gets back to normal. Write down what happened just in case you do end up at the allergist's, as history is very necessary for them to make any kind of diagnosis.

If you are going to introduce any other new foods or beverages, maybe take it slow and only do one new food/beverage per week. That way you have a clearer idea of what the culprit is, if there is some kind of reaction. If you are willing to try again, you could try JUST the soy milk for a week, but of course stop at the first sign of the symptoms that she had before. Keep a food diary to help you figure things out as well, if you can.

(Just a question: If your DH is mixing soy protein powder with the almond milk, how does he know that soy isn't also the cause of his problems?)

As for the baby - has cutting dairy from your diet helped? That is the child I would want tested, to make sure that you are cutting the right thing out of your diet - and hers. Also be aware that you are potentially exposing your baby to traces of almond protein via your breastmilk, which migh not be the best idea. (Sorry!)

My youngest had the same skin issues - extreme cradle cap and eczema that got very bad at 2-3 months, and was finally diagnosed at 5 months with a dairy and wheat allergy. (We added eggs and peanuts and barley within the year.) It got quite hellish before the allergist visit, because he was so itchy and I'm sure also in pain from the eczema. Eczema often feels worse than it looks (until it starts looking really bad), so it's good to try to figure out what is triggering it. It's not always food, but my experience with babies is that it often is.

So, lots to think about. Might be a good idea to have them both tested, if there is a history of allergies in the family (of any kind, not just food). If you need any clarification, just shout. And don't let the family doc tell you that babies cannot be tested for allergies. They can.

K.

_________________
Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 1:44 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 3:03 pm
Posts: 180
Location: Montreal, QC
KarenOASG wrote:


As for the baby - has cutting dairy from your diet helped? That is the child I would want tested, to make sure that you are cutting the right thing out of your diet - and hers.

My youngest had the same skin issues - extreme cradle cap and eczema that got very bad at 2-3 months, and was finally diagnosed at 5 months with a dairy and wheat allergy. (We added eggs and peanuts and barley within the year.) It got quite hellish before the allergist visit, because he was so itchy and I'm sure also in pain from the eczema.

K.


I agree with Karen, my little one showed the same signs at about that age (2-3 months). Because skin tests aren't very accurate in newborns, I cut soy, dairy, eggs, fish, nuts, peanuts and beef out of my diet as a preventative measure because at the time we couldn't pinpoint the exact allergies. I noticed a change in 3 days, and the cradle cap and severe eczema were pretty much gone within a week or so! She got tested at 6, 9 and 15 months. Each time, I started adding new things to our diets because we had negative skin tests.

Good luck!

_________________
Me - Kim - No allergies
DH Ben - 31 - Allergic to nuts and peanuts, lots of environmental allergies.
DD Anne - 4 - Asthma. Allergic to dairy, eggs, mustard, kiwi, peanuts, wheat and barley... for now...
DS Francois - 1 - No allergies so far...


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 1:50 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 11:15 am
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Thanks for your response, Karen, I appreciate it!! So far for today at least she seems to be back to normal. She's had some gas since lunch time, but at least she's not crying now every time. She's back to her typical run over, let it out, and giggle while running away. :roll:

I'm going to keep her away from the soy and almond milk for sure. What I'm afraid of now is, if that is what happened, will she now be more sensitive to the soy in things like chicken nuggets. I don't know if I dare to let her have a real soy product again!! I sure don't want a repeat of last night - she was just miserable. Of course, I didn't think of almond protein, I just assumed it was more likely to be the soy because she had more of that. Oh, and yes, sorry I think I didn't mention it, but it was DH's conclusion that the soy was probably the cause of his own gassy problems that led us to the theory of it being her trigger as well. It just seems like a logical leap since both of them came on with it at the same time. A virus seemed less likely since no one else has been sick, like me or any of the friends she spent time with on the weekend (at least as far as I know, anyway), and because she doesn't have a fever, behavioral changes, or anything else to indicate that she's sick.

Cutting dairy was just a theory of my own, based solely on reading a lot of accounts online of that helping with infant eczema. Of dairy and wheat, dairy was the easiest to remove from my diet for a few weeks to see what happens. So far, I *think* I'm seeing an improvement. She doesn't seem to be digging at her chest quite as much. Of course, I don't have before/after photos or a diary to do a real comparison, but one thing is, she does seem to be spitting up less. Of course that could be coincidental as she's 4.5 months old and probably starting to outgrow it a bit.

I'm totally hoping that this is just a bunch of coincidence and that she just happened to have a tummy bug at this particular time. Reading some of the accounts here and elsewhere online, I admit I'm a bit overwhelmed by the thought of the difficulties that food allergies bring up.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 1:53 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 11:15 am
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Thanks Kim -

So... if you cut out both dairy and soy, how did you get calcium? I'm trying to imagine how to maintain a balanced breastfeeding diet with all of those things removed!!


Karen


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 1:54 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
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Location: Toronto
As Karen says, the symptoms in the 3-year-old could be allergy, but also could be virus.

What makes in sound less like allergy (in MHO) is that husband was getting gas as well. Possible this brand was a little off?

Still - if allergies are in the family, you may want to test your daughter just to rule out soy. Soy's in so many things that you might almost want to do for peace of mind.

Hope you and your daughter get some sleep!

_________________
Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 3:27 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 3:03 pm
Posts: 180
Location: Montreal, QC
khipson wrote:
Thanks Kim -

So... if you cut out both dairy and soy, how did you get calcium? I'm trying to imagine how to maintain a balanced breastfeeding diet with all of those things removed!!


Karen


I used calcium supplements (Caltrate are dairy free) and took rice milk (in cereals and such) and ate tons of calcium rich veggies like broccoli and bok-choy. There are also lots of calcium-enriched cereals. It was hard at first to find good things to eat, but you get creative after a while, and it's pretty amazing what you can do with rice, corn and potatoes that are quite tasty! A side bonus was that it makes you eat really healthy, because lots of pre-packaged food and sweets are off limits, and I lost all my baby weight and then some pretty quickly! ;) But most important, is that is was all worth it for both me and my daughter! She weaned at 13.5 months, and now drinks soy milk (after being tested negative for soy twice), and she's super healthy and barely got sick her whole first year!!!

_________________
Me - Kim - No allergies
DH Ben - 31 - Allergic to nuts and peanuts, lots of environmental allergies.
DD Anne - 4 - Asthma. Allergic to dairy, eggs, mustard, kiwi, peanuts, wheat and barley... for now...
DS Francois - 1 - No allergies so far...


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