Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Milk Allergy?

Once again, I'm seeking the expert advise of all of you wonderful moms and dads out there. I'm wondering if any of you have discovered a milk sensitivity/allergy in your infant. If so, what were the symptoms in your infant, and how long did it take (after cutting milk proteins out of your diet) before you noticed an improvement?

Just to give a brief description of our situation: Baby Caroline (11 weeks old) has had green poop (so sorry, I know that's gross), and also a good bit of gas accompanied by discomfort, and one of the possible causes is a sensitivity to milk proteins. It could also be a whole host of other issues - a virus in her system, teething, or stress, to name a few - but this has been going on for quite a while. I hate to cut all milk products out of my diet, but if that's what I need to do to then of course I'll do it!



LauraSuz said...

My daughter had issue with milk protein her first three months. Her issues were mostly fussiness, a flaky forehead, and rashes that look like eczema on her cheeks. It takes about two weeks for the milk protein to leave your system. After those two weeks, my daughter was good to go. A completely different baby actually.

The Cichy's said...

Is your baby getting the hindmilk? I heard that if the baby just gets the foremilk they will have that green poop and be more gassy. A friend of mine just shared this with me recently.

Kat said...

You know, that's a very good point about the hindmilk. I'm pretty sure that she's getting it - I make sure to nurse her on the same side for a 2-hour period to make sure that she's not getting too much foremilk. HOwever, I do have a very strong letdown, which could mean that she's still getting a disproportionate amount of foremilk.

MJDMom said...

Is she gaining weight? If not it is probably more likely to be a hindmilk issue. We've had milk protein allergies and I have been told it can take up to 3 weeks...3!!..to get all the milk out of your system. Sounds like it might be worth it to give up milk for a bit.

Kat said...

That's the other thing - she's gaining wait beautifully and is in the 100th % for weight and height, so that's clearly not a problem...Would she not be gaining weight if she had an allergy? It would be nice if we could rule that out!

Ph.D. mama said...

Dominic, my third child, had eczema and a fussiness that didn't seem right to me. It worsened after he started eating off our plates at 5 or 6 months, introducing the milk proteins directly into his systems (instead of screened through mine). I found some helpful info on the LLL website and decided to take milk and wheat out of my diet (and to reintroduce cereals to him SLOWLY and carefully). I saw a dramatic improvement with a day. But it took a long time to get better and eventually he outgrew it all (by age five). Meanwhile, because he nursed for years, I had a couple of years without milk. (We quickly saw that wheat wasn't the culprit.) In retrospect, I wish I had been aware of my own vitamin D deficiency and taken supplements, but other than that we did well. Dominic was seen by a dermatologist and, of course, by his pediatrician, who supported and encouraged my course of action. Just be aware of vitamin D deficiency, which, they now tell us, can happen even to formula-fed babies.

Adrienne said...

Our daughter was sensitive to milk as well- I eliminated it from my diet, and within two weeks saw a drastic improvement in her. I was still able to eat yogurt and cheese. She switched to baby formula around seven months (I had to take a nursing-unfriendly medication), and was fine. I think it was something she outgrew quickly!

Anonymous said...

I'm on allergic baby #3 right now. If you eliminate dairy, you'll lose most wheat anyway, because almost all commercial baked goods contain dairy in some form. Be sure to read margerine labels--most contain dairy, too! Even some non-stick sprays. Whey is also commonly added to many sausages and salad dressings.

It can be pretty tough, but as long as you're taking calcium & D, it can be very healthy. If you like Asian food, almost all Asian food is dairy-free. :)

I've been cooking/eating for multiple allergies for my husband/kids about 10 yrs. Feel free to email me if this becomes an issue for you. It can be really frustrating.


Ph.D. mama said...

Anon4's comment is jogging my memory a bit more. I didn't have to eliminate all dairy, just straight dairy (milk and yogurt), to see a real improvement. Over time, I started eating yogurt again and that didn't seem to bother Dominic. Only if I drank milk straight up. His dermatologist told me most kids outgrow this over time--and by five years old--so I just keeping watching for his reactions. As I said, he nursed for years, but once he was eating independently, the dairy in my milk didn't seem to bother him very much. Hope this helps.

Molly said...

I would second the hindmilk thought...with my 5-month old, I still get green poop/gas if I don't feed on the same side for two feedings in a row. You could try the same side twice or even three times in a row (depending on how often she gets hungry). I hope it's just this in your case so that it's easy to fix! Good luck!

Karen said...

I agree with eliminating dairy for a few weeks to see if there is any improvement. At 3 months old, my son's pediatrician suggested that I eliminate dairy from my diet because of his eczema. In a few days (really, only a few days), I saw a vast improvement in his skin. My son was never fussy and is still a happy-go-lucky toddler, so I think he just has a high pain and frustration tolerance.
At 11 months, I started the weaning process and used infant soy formula. At 12 months, I had dropped the last feeding and started using a toddler formula, Baby's Only Organic Soy Formula, because it doesn't have corn syrup. I saw the options as unsweetened soy milk with a vitamin supplement (and possibly not enough fat in his diet), or to just go with a healthier formula that had the correct amounts of fat/protein/carbs as well as vitamins. At 22 months, he still drinks the Toddler formula and I am considering continuing that until he turns 3. It is rather expensive, but I basically stock up on 6 months of it at a time when diapers.com has a sale (free shipping!).
At 22 months, my son's eczema can flare up if he eats very processed dairy products (like the cheez-its his dad has shared with him...), but he seems to be okay with some less processed products, like minimal shredded cheese in his eggs. However, my mom recently made muffins and was very careful to substitute for the milk with soy milk. He ended up with flaming red cheeks that day and we discovered that her cooking spray had whey in it. :(
I LOVE dairy products, but after saying good-bye for 9 straight months, I barely eat them anymore. I consider them a treat. I do take a multi-vitamin and drink unsweetened soy milk for Vitamin D and calcium. I don't think that I could drink milk anymore--it would taste odd to me. I also think that my second pregnancy is going more smoothly without so many dairy products and have considered that I may also have a sensitivity to them. My skin is also the clearest it has ever been, so that is a good motivation for me to stay away from dairy products, too. :)

Some dairy-free products:
Aunt Millie's Early American bread
Earth Balance margarine
Silk products (start with the vanilla or original and work your way down to the unsweetened)
Stonyfield O'Soy yogurt (you'll get used to the taste; I like this better than Silk yogurt)
soy cheese (not that great...try to find recipes without cheese if possible; commonly sold Veggie Shreds/Slices have whey in them; you'll probably have to find a health food store)
Smart Balance Omega cooking sprays (Beware: not all Smart Balance is non-dairy!)
Veganaise (non-dairy mayonnaise)
Tofutti Ice Cream (quite good when you get used to it)
Ghiradelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (for baking/secret chocolate fix during kids' naps)

As for non-dairy recipes, vegan recipes are an option. You can always add meat to them.
When baking, you can generally substitute unsweetened soy milk for milk, but be cautious with butter/margarine substitutes. Non-dairy margarine seems not to have enough fat. I generally use recipes with canola oil in them instead.

I hope this is helpful! I was very overwhelmed when I had to eliminate dairy and it took a lot of trial and error. I only had to feed myself and my husband, so this may be more difficult with two other children. I hope you're able to find enough good recipes that you don't have to make two different meals every night! Good luck!

PS: One of my seldom-updated blogs, Trusted Taste Buds, has non-dairy recipes that I use a lot. Feel free to check it out.

Karen said...

I just thought of these and wanted to add them in case you use them:
Tofutti Cream Cheese
Tofutti Sour Cream

Anonymous said...

Hi Kat,

I have a 15 month old now, who was extremely fussy from the beginning. Around 12 weeks old, I cut out direct dairy products for myself (ie. drinking milk, eating cheese, yogurt, ice cream..etc) and noticed a difference almost overnight. I did not worry about breads..etc that had dairy products in them, just those I ingested directly. I thought it would be impossible for me to give up dairy (I loved drinking milk!), but when I noticed how much calmer the baby was, I was not tempted to drink milk, knowing she would suffer later, and I would be exhausted trying to calm her down.

It has been about a year now, and although I'll have an occasional dairy product here or there, I do not miss the dairy. And I have done some research (especially through Dr. McDougall's website), and see now that dairy is not really healthy for anyone. I have not given my daughter cow's milk, even now that she's old enough...I have tried, but she refuses it, and now I see she doesn't need dairy at all. I like drinking rice milk in my cereal and for baking.

During my research, I have seen a revised food pyramid, which now states that one does not need 3-4 servings of dairy at all. Maybe one or two, or none at all is recommended. Calcium and protein can be found in so many different sources.

Believe me, I am so surprised I ended up here, because I was addicted to milk myself. But with God's grace, all is possible. I hope both you and Caroline feel better and more rested soon.
Oh, by the way, I had a powerful letdown, too. Frequent and mid-feeding burping helped alot, otherwise the poor baby had to struggle getting the gas out the other end. It took so much energy trying to get her to relax so she could pass her gas. Anyway, another thought is to get her to suckle enough to get the letdown started, then pull her off and catch the fast-flowing milk in a cloth diaper.. etc until it stops flowing on its own. Then latch her back on to feed at a more normal pace. Eventually she'll learn to eat fast without swallowing all the air bubbles, too.

God bless,

Amanda said...

I went dairy free for my almost one year old. I started by cutting out the straight dairy and when I saw the improvement it made I also cut out the hidden dairy in breads and baked goods and such. For us I could tell a differnce in some things, like his sleep, immediately. And by immediately I also mean if I accidentally had cheese on something I noticed the adverse effects almost immediately too.

But I just wanted to provide encouragement because although it is hard, it gets to be just second nature. And in our case by 8-9 months I slowly reintroduced dairy in my diet and he was fine. This week, two weeks shy of his first birthday he had yogurt and did just fine. He has more of what you would call a dairy sensitivity rather than an allergy - an allergy would probably present itself with eczema and blood in stools.

At 8 weeks when I cut out dairy, I thought my little guy was going to be a permanently fussy baby. Now not a person walks by us who doesn't comment on what an insanely happy baby we have.

Hollie said...

Hi- I have never posted but read a lot- love your blog!!

Both of my girls have/had MSPI- milk and soy protein intolerance. It is an intolerance, not an allergy, and most babies seem to outgrow it around one year. My first daughter did around a year, and I am about to 'test' my 10 month old.

I have had to eliminate all dairy and soy from my diet (everything except soy oils)while I nurse, as the sensitivity/reaction is to soy and dairy.

The symptoms did not include skin but discomfort, crying, green stools, mucuosy stools and most notably blood in the stool. It took 2-3 weeks to see changes once I eliminated the offending products.


Annie Bizzi said...

I have been allergic to milk proteins since birth and therefore very aware of how it effects my children. I would simply try cutting out dairy from her/your diet for one week. At that point you will see if symptoms have subsided or if the problems lies somewhere else.