Pain associated with untreated acid reflux can cause babies to display long periods of inconsolable crying, wakefulness leading to sleep deprivation, and distressed and avoidant feeding behaviour resulting in poor growth.
So my son cannot have dairy, soy, gluten, egg … what on earth do I feed him!? This is a question faced by many parents who have infant and toddler ‘refluxers’, as food can often be the culprit for a reflux flare and cutting out gluten, dairy, soy, and/or egg from their diet can sometimes help (AND there may be other foods that need to be avoided too!). Food allergies show on allergy tests but there are no skin or blood tests for food intolerance and both can cause symptoms of reflux in susceptible children
Adverse reactions to food can be categorised into IgE mediated reactions and non-IgE mediated reactions. Understanding the difference between the two is important as the approach to treatment is quite different. An IgE-mediated food reaction involves the immune system. The onset is sudden and includes vomiting, abdominal pain, urticaria and angio-edema. An IgE-mediated reaction to food can be diagnosed through a range of validated tests including skin prick testing.
Oliver is our second child, a sister to Ella (you can also read about her story).
I was terrified that Oliver would have reflux, as we had gone through such a hard time with Ella. The decision even to have him was tough, as Ella was still suffering and we still weren’t getting much sleep. However, I told myself that if we waited until Ella was sleeping well, then we could be waiting years, so along came Oliver.
What is food intolerance, and what does it have to do with reflux?
It has taken me a long time to write my story down on paper, mostly because every time I think too much about it I cry. I don’t know exactly why. I do know I still feel ashamed that I didn’t realise sooner that my baby was in so much pain. I feel angry at myself for listening to doctors instead of listening to my heart. I feel guilty for letting my poor little baby cry so much and for so long because I let people convince me she was just determined or naughty or trying to control me.
This book is simply awesome. Get it and read it. Its available from the RISA library but I thoroughly recommend buying it.
In fact, if you’re a reflux parent, I’d be keeping a copy of this, Reflux Reality and Colic Solved on the shelf. And use the regular baby books to prop up the cot!
Read on for information about alternative treatments to reflux medications, appetite stimulation and long term use of laxatives.
My daughter, Evie is 3 and a half years old. This is her (medical) story. Evie was born in June 2009. Right from the beginning it was a rocky start. My milk failed to come in adequately and she failed to gain weight. We had to give her formula or we would be staying in hospital. I battled on trying everything to increase supply and meanwhile, supplementing so that she gained weight. At about 5 weeks, she became VERY unhappy. She cried for almost every waking moment for 3 days. The only thing that stopped her crying that weekend was me breastfeeding her (although I think she was using me more as a dummy) and walking her around outside, talking to her and holding her very upright.