Sunday, December 18, 2011

My kid is allergic to everything

Ok, maybe not EVERYTHING. But honestly? Pretty darn close. Let's start at the beginning.

As a little baby, Staci was a huge spitter. By which I mean, she spit up ALL the time. There was never a feeding after which she did not spit up, so much so I would change my shirt and her outfit no less than 4 times a day. Her spitup finally started to decrease around 7 months old, but even then was pretty severe. I read many places that some babies were just spitters and that she probably wasn't spitting up as much (volume-wise) as it appeared. Looking back, she probably spit up anywhere from 1/2oz-1oz after each feeding. That is probably why I had such an oversupply with her. She never had a problem gaining or growing, and never expressed any discomfort from the spitting so I just figured she loved to nurse and was eating too much, coupled with my super fast let-down reflex causing her to swallow more air than the average breastfed baby. I could never notice any sort of pattern to foods I ate that didn't agree with her because the spitting was so frequent. She didn't seem to have any problems with gas and her stooling patterns were normal to that of a breastfed baby.

There was one food, however, in particular that I could not consume. Chocolate notciably increased her spit up. In fact, if I ate chocolate she did not spit up. She projectile vomited her entire feeding. So, as much as it stunk, I gave up chocolate for the first 10 or 11 months of our nursing relationship. At that point, she had started to eat some solids and I tried it little by little, and she seemed to do ok with it.

Starting solids with her was an adventure. I chose to follow baby led weaning and added in some purees here and there. I quickly learned purees were not good for her, because she would always puke when I put her down for her nap. I just thought it was her normal spitting up, but now I think her stomach just wasn't mature enough to handle the solid foods. She didn't get teeth until she was 13 months old, and that is one of the most reliable signs a baby is ready for solid foods. Basically, I think she just wasn't really ready for solids until then.

Around 8 months old, I let her have a small piece of cheese. She proceeded to rub it all over her face in an effort to get it into her mouth. In a matter of minutes, her face broke out in hives and her eye nearly swelled shut. I watched her carefully for any signs of breathing trouble but no signs appeared. We had an appointment with the chiropractor that afternoon. I remember driving the entire 25 minute trip with my hand touching her, to make sure she was breathing ok and not showing signs of distress. Our wonderful chiropractors gave her some homeopathic remedy for the type of allergic reaction she was having and I do think it helped. From that point on, every time I tried any kind of dairy with her (yogurt, cheese, cow's milk, even goat's milk) she would either puke immediately, or in the event she refused to eat it, would get all snotty and crazy and upset. I thought she was just being stubborn about the yogurt b/c 'people who can't have dairy can still have yogurt'. That may be true for many who are lactose intolerant, but as you will see below, her allergies are to milk protiens.

Finally, around 16 months old, I was eating yogurt and granola (one of the only things that sounded good when I was in the early stages of pregnancy) and she wanted to try it. I hadn't given her any dairy in a while so I let her try it. She did fine! I was so psyched! As things progressed, yogurt became one of her favorite foods. I also found that I could add milk and cheese in small amounts to recipes like meatloaf or meatballs with no immediate or noticable reactions.

Around the same time, she tried peanut butter for the first time. I let her have a small bite of a peanut butter cracker I was eating and she immediately started crying and drooling like crazy. I just figured she wasn't ready for peanuts yet. I let her try it a few more times and every time, no matter how small the bite of peanut butter, she would always cry and/or spit up. As she got older, this turned more violent. I only tried peanuts about 4 times before I realized she absolutely could not have them. I thought I'd wait until she was 2 or so. The Easter before she turned 2 she ate some peanut butter in a piece of candy at a family event before I even knew what had happened. Her reaction was so immediate and so violent I haven't given her any since. She puked 4 times from one small piece of candy. I just kept thinking she would outgrow this reaction as she had seemed to with dairy, which is why I kept reintroducing it. I learned my lesson that Easter.

While all of this is going on, Staci had a rash come and go frequently. At first I thought it was yeast. We cloth diaper so I thought it kept coming back because the yeast was living in the diapers. It was so bad it bled on more than a few occasions. I took her for a second opinion and was told it was bacterial. Each time, the rash cleared up with treatment, so I just figured it was something we would have to battle with her. It didn't seem to matter if we were using disposables or cloth, so we kept using our cloth. And typically, it would be bad for a few days and then fine for weeks at a time. Now, I think it *could* be dermatitis herpetiformis, which is a rash that is associated with celiac's disease. It might not be. Maybe it really is recurrant yeast and eczema. Skin rashes are very difficult to diagnose. The next time we see it we are getting it biopsied to find out for sure.

The most recent time her rash flared, it was extremely dry, almost felt scabby. It covered her entire bottom. She also has keratosis pilaris-like bumps all over the backs of her arms, her legs, and the back of her hips. I took her to the Dr, and asked if we could get some allergy testing done. Our family Dr did a IgG food panel, and we found she has strong reactions to all dairy, eggs, gluten and peanuts.

All gluten, wheat and peanut reactions were in the IV-V range. What do these results mean? I'm going to go more in depth in the next post on what these results mean and what the next step for us is.

I also had some muscle testing done at the chiropractor and she determined Staci had a vitamin E deficiency. She said it seemed more like a deficiency than a toxicity, and gave us some homeopathic supplements (inflammatone) as well as a fish oil supplement. Staci's skin does seem to be doing better with these supplements, but that is not surprising to me as fish oil is really wonderful for your skin. Also, when something or somethings were so obviously affecting my child and her well being, I knew I needed some more concrete, science based testing done.

My head is still spinning a week and a half after we received these test results. More on what they mean and what our next step is in the next post!

1 comment:

  1. Even though I already knew all of this, it is still good to read it all again. And I know how therapeutic it is to write this stuff out. Hugs to you guys! Staci has the best parents in the world!