Colic? Gas? Allergies?

It all started 2 1/2 years ago. Throughout my entire pregnancy I ate pretty " healthy" in our everyday standards and only indulged in the occasional ice cream now and then. I had zero complications and everything was textbook.

Our 8 lb baby girl was born in September of 2006 and we were overjoyed to be parents. Everything was pretty straightforward for the first month or so. She started to fuss quite a bit after that so I purchased a baby pouch online to carry her in. That calmed her right down. The fussing became worse after feedings and she wasn't able to sleep without being held against my body or in the sling. At night she would arch her back and cry in discomfort. I had no idea what would be wrong as I had been doing everything "right" all along. The doctor said that it could either be colic or gas and to try gripe water as well as eliminate gas producing foods from my diet which might be affecting my breast milk thus causing her discomfort.

Both of the suggestions didn't work and we continued to go through crying spells after every feeding. At 4 months she developed a raised, weeping rash on her face which looked like a serious case of eczema. Off we went to the doctor again and she diagnosed it as eczema and prescribed a cortisone cream for me to put on her face until it cleared up.

I was really against putting cortisone on my new baby's skin and tried some natural remedies first in hopes that it would clear up. Cortisone has been used successfully in treating eczema however has been known to cause thinning of the skin if used too often. Nothing worked and our child's rash was progressively getting worse so I broke down and succombed to the cortisone. The rash cleared up but would return once I stopped applying the cream.

By now I was really at my wits end. Something was wrong and my gut told me it wasn't eczema. Something was truly wrong with my daughter. After spending hours and hours of asking questions, reading books and searching online I came to the conclusion that she must have an allergy of some sort. I eliminated the common allergens such as wheat, soy, dairy and nuts as recommended by Dr. Sears and saw a huge improvement within a few days. Her skin began to clear up, she was sleeping more soundly and her fussing decreased drastically. After 2 weeks her rash was completely gone and I was one happy mommy!

Gradually, little by little I began introducing one food at a time. Soy products were first and after a week of no reactions, nuts were next. Wheat followed and then dairy. There were no reactions to any of the foods until we reached the dairy. My daughter's face broke out in hives and she was crying in pain just like before. We had finally pin pointed the problem! This was the beginning of a new chapter in our lives . But that is another story which I will write about at another time.

I am still amazed to this day how our society uses dairy in one form or another in products you wouldn't suspect. Just last week I was at the grocery store and purchased a tin of salt and pepper flavored peanuts without checking the ingredients. I mean why would you check the ingredient list on a tin of peanuts? Our daughter broke out in hives after eating some peanuts and my first reaction was "Peanuts! Oh no now she is allergic to peanuts." until I checked the ingredients and saw "modified milk ingredients" on the list.

In a society where food allergies are becoming more and more of an issue, food manufacturers should be putting more allergy warnings on their labels.


Jamie said...

My oldest son was very wakeful from birth. He hardly needed any sleep. He was a very happy baby but never tired. I had always been told that new babies sleep a lot but not Aaron! I breastfed him exclusively until he was 6 months old. After that he only had organic baby food that I made myself plus lots of breastmilk. Still not sleeping much. At 10 months old, I came across an article that said that some children are senstive to foods with salicylates in them (many fruits, tomatoes, cucmbers, almonds) that could cause sleep problems in children. I cut those out of Aaron's diet and mine and, low and behold, he had a nap the very next day. After that he started going to bed early and sleeping all night. What a difference.

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