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Hi everyone! My name is Megan and I am mommy to Luke 4 1/2, Delia 3 1/2, and Gwenyth 2 weeks. We are FF and the doctor just switched little Gwenyth's formula to Alimentum due to a protein sensitivity. She has been having trouble with her poops and has had a couple of instances of blood in her stool. They also appear mucousy. I think the Alimentum is helping. However, I am just curious as to the likelihood of her developing a milk allergy later. Neither DH or I have a history of food allergies in either of our families. Has anyone had any experience similar to this? I really don't know much about it. I recently read that blood in the stools is a more "serious" reaction and could suggest an allergy. Is this true?
Protien intolerances occur on various levels. They can be so severe that the digestive tract somewhat attacks itself to get rid of the percieved "poison". I have a very similar situation. My son has milk and soy protien intolerance which is like an allergy except that all "allergies" are IgE mediated. "Intolerances" are mediated by some other means. That is the basic difference. DS also is allergic to eggs, tomatoes, carrots, cinnamon, Red 40, and neosporin. Ex-Dh and I have no food allergies. I have a lot of enviro allergies but neither of us have food allergies. Danny was diagnosed with a milk protien intolerance at 3 weeks old but we didn't find out about the soy until he was almost 2. He had chronic mucousy diarrhea until he was taken off the soy. Milk and soy protiens are VERY similar so if a child has a protien intolerance to one it is likely she will have one to the other also. You will want to try a hypoallergenic formula like Ellecare or Neocate if her digestion does not get better in about 2-3 weeks after switching. It will not be 100% for a few weeks after most likely even if this does help but the formula will have to have time to "wash out the old irritants." Then she will need time to heal. If there is no improvement within the three week period or if she gets worse I would schedule an appointment with a GI or her doctor and discuss switching to a hypoallergenic formula. A GI will be very helpful if she doesn't get better as if she is having bleeding she will likely need to have a scope done if the formulas don't help so that they can better determine a cause.
Thanks! I think the Alimentum is helping her - it is also hypoallergenic. She hasn't had any blood in her stools in 4 days and they appear less mucousy, so I really hope this fixes it. Just curious - I know some people IRL whose babies have needed the hypoallergenic formula and about half of them have developed milk/soy allergies. How do they know if a child will "grow out of it" or not? Did you ever try reintroducing it to your son, or did they know he wouldn't be able to tolerate it for a certain reason?
After 10 surgeries (mostly endoscopies) we discovered that Danny has an extremely rare disorder. It is called Isolated Chymotrypsin Deficiency. Basically your pancreas produces the enzymes that digest your food and he didn't make one of them. The four major ones work together so without that one he couldn't properly digest fats or proteins. We have reintroduced milk and he seems to do fine. It has been a six month process though mostly because he has been really sick lately. One illness after another. He is one of 9 people in the world with his deficiency but it is the reason he had so many protein intolerances. Since he couldn't properly break down the protein his body recognized it as poison.
The only way to know out if they will outgrow the allergy/intolerance is to wait and see. There is no way to know if it will get worse, stay the same, or go away. Danny's allergist has us wait 1 year after a failed attempt to retry. We also have to wait one month between stages. A stage was like moving from really hard cheeses, like cheddar, to soft cheeses, like mozzarella. There were several other stages too which is why it took so long but we already had 3 failed attempts...all before he started the enzyme replacements. Protein intolerances can be tested but aren't very accurate until at least after 1 but still aren't very accurate until around the age of three. Blood tests are worse. They are somewhat guesses as to the severity or presence of an allergy and do not measure intolerances. Skin patch testing is best for protein intolerances but it is best not to test that way until she is at least a year old but longer if you can avoid it.
Having to avoid a food because of a protein intolerance can lead to an allergy due to that protein no longer being recognized by the body. It is then immediately seen as a poison and elicits an immune response....aka allergic reaction. If the protein is kept in the diet it is less likely they will develop an allergy to that food but the damage to the body can be worse than simply having an allergy....no matter how severe. Danny didn't develop any allergies after starting in Neocate Jr. He thrived on it for a few weeks then flat-lined again in weight. We found later that this was due to the enzyme deficiency. We slammed him with calories which sustained him at 21 pounds rather than 19.
I probably rambled a LOT but I hope I at least answered your questions.
That was a great answer!!! Both my boys ended up on alimentum/nutramigen; Toby has a minor eczema reaction to milk/dairy; major eczema reaction to soy. Logan doesn't appear to really have any major issues. A little to dairy/eggs; but very minor, like 2-3 spots; and I'm not positive its food related and not just typical eczema.