Friday, January 21, 2011


I’ve researched a ton on dairy intolerances and protein allergies in infants and children. I've read that perhaps, back in the day, babies were diagnosed with colic when in fact they had milk or other food intolerances. If their diet or the nursing mother's diet was just changed slightly it may have made a huge difference.

Hubby was not breastfed and had colic. Was it actually colic? Or could he have been born with a dairy protein allergy? Hubby was fed soy formula after his pediatrician recommended the switch because of his “colicky” behavior. My MIL told me this when little E was 6 months old (it would have been really nice to know earlier!). Hubby suffers from an array of stomach issues and I’ve been bugging him to get checked out for what seems like forever. I’ve been telling him that’s it’s not normal to feel like this. Something is not right. So I’m beginning to think…maybe he never grew out of this? Maybe little E has inherited this from his Daddy?

Mama needs answers.

Over the holidays I had 2 weeks off work and decided it was a perfect time to trial little E so I could monitor reactions closely. For lunch one day, he happily ate two small cubes of cheese. An hour later, he was very irritable and would not go down for a nap without a fight. In the afternoon he seemed fine with the normal grumpiness that comes with waking from a nap. But bedtime...bedtime was a disaster.

He woke up very unhappy around 10pm and I suspected the cheese right away. We brought him into bed with us and he went back to sleep. From 3am-5am he woke 5 times to throw up. Each time, he would wake up with a cry and lift himself up to his knees and say in the saddest, most heart wrenching voice ever, "again".

How could I do this to my baby? I felt horrible. I was responsible for all of this pain.

In the morning he woke up happy and was back to normal other than a couple of messy diapers.

So it seems instead of getting better or going away it's actually getting worse. During my last post on this topic, it took a couple days for symptoms to show. I will not be trialing him again in a few months (as per doctor's orders). Enough is enough.

This month, I helped Hubby with a dairy trial of his own. Little E and I both don't eat dairy (I cut it out while nursing him and haven't gone back other than eating small dairy items here and there outside of the house) and it was time Hubby joined.

So he started an elimination trial. For one week, he did not have a single food item with dairy in it. And guess what? He felt like a million bucks! Then when introducing a small dairy item, like a Caesar salad dressing containing cheese and modified milk ingredients - the bloating and running to the bathroom returned within 30 minutes of consumption.

So riddle me this? Is it a dairy intolerance, a dairy sensitivity, a dairy protein allergy or lactose intolerance? Who knows. The quick reactions are now making me think lactose intolerance but all along I've been told dairy protein allergy. Lactose intolerance is rare in children and usually doesn't development until later in life. The symptoms in both conditions are extremely similar.

Last week, little E had horrible diarrhea. I let it slide Monday thinking something must have snuck in his food at day care by mistake. That night I confided in Hubby in how I could approach Mrs. X. Tuesday was worse and he started developing a rash on his bum. So I questioned Mrs. X on everything he had eaten the last two days, being very careful not to try to point fingers. It came down to butter made in some bread rolls she made and a scoop of yogurt that was included in a Thai sauce served over chicken and rice for lunch. That was it. She felt horrible. And I felt horrible for making her feel horrible, but it was for the best. She told me the diarrhea had started before his nap, which was in line with approximately 30 min after he consumed the yogurt and butter.

We took a detour to the doctor's office that night before heading home. I explained everything to the doctor and told him about my personal research about a lactose intolerance developing if a dairy protein allergy is agitated enough. He assured me that he would get me in to see the allergy specialist to do some more testing and to rule out any other possibilities like lactose intolerance.

Last night I received our appointment date. March 31st - are you kidding me? I have to wait this long? In the meantime, the three of us will remain dairy free and will sit tight and hope that this doesn't happen again.


  1. I'm sooo proud of you! How could you possibly feel guilty?! You are the one who is doing the research and investigation into your family's medical issues AND taking action. You will be the one who will improved the health of you child and your husband. Well done, you!!!

    I know that March 31 is FOREVER from now, but you're kinda lucky. Bethie is in desperate need of allergy testing. Her appointment was scheduled for June (having been requested Sept 2010). The doctor said that June was too long to wait, so he tried to get us in the hospital in Montreal. They gave her an appointment for Oct 2011. I'm not kidding! Very frustrating because Bethie is just a child who needs some help. So, I understand where you're coming from.

    Keep up the good work (and I know it's a lot of extra work). You are doing a marvelous job. If you keep this up, I will be forced to refer to you as Super Mum! :)

  2. My husband's lactose intolerant, and there are differences. Cheese and yogurt, for example, don't actually contain much lactose. The bacterial cultures that are used to make them break the lactose down. So lactose intolerant people are generally OK with cheese or yogurt, but people with dairy protein allergy are not.

    Also, as you said, lactose intolerance is very rare in young children, as all mammal milk contains lactose.

  3. Thanks Gwen. It's hard not to feel terrible every time he has an outbreak or I put him through a trial. That's crazy that you have to wait a full year for Bethie.

    True Amber. It is probably a milk protein allergy but it is getting stronger rather than going away - which the doctors told me it will. In MOST cases they say it goes away but not all. And it also says it may be genetic in some seems Hubby never grew out of it, if this is the case. Did your Hubby get tested for lactose intolerance?

  4. Our son has a milk allergy, and getting him diagnosed was such a long, horrible process. Like you, I was convinced that milk was bothering him, but when we went for allergy testing, he'd always test negative at the skin prick test. Our allergist felt strongly that a child should not be off of milk unless absolutely necessary, so we'd reintroduce milk, go through a period of rashes, diarrhea, upset sleeping, random temper tantrums, and extreme exhaustion, then take him off milk again, and voila!, he was better.

    After a few years of this, we finally convinced our allergist to test him with an actual drop of milk (as opposed to the syrum they use in the office), and lo, he had a reaction. FINALLY.

    But even if we hadn't reached that point, I know we would have kept him off of milk. There is no one who knows your baby as well as you do - absolutely trust your instincts. If he's doing better off of milk products, then that's really all you need to know - it's nice to know exactly why, but if they can't pinpoint the reason...just run with it.

    Good luck!

  5. Thank you Lynn. I appreciate hearing your experiences and advice.