Dairy allergies – the second round

As stated in my previous post, I wanted to bring light to what happened with the milk allergies at a later time. If you are experiencing this with your own baby, you are no doubt wondering, “When will things improve?!?! And will he/she ever grow out of this?!?!”

From our experience, we finally allowed small amounts of dairy around age 14 months (well, one of us did, the other did not). String cheese on occasion, then slowly and gradually other items such as ice cream or other milk/dairy/cheese products. I did my best to stick to the basics that, as a picky 1 year old, might normally allow. Organic chicken nuggets, unsweetened applesauce, steamed finger-sized broccoli (surprisingly!), raisins and whole foods as able.

But as the pickiness increased, my resistance to the “easy” foods decreased. I too, started to allow various cereals or string cheeses or cakes, even if they contained dairy.

That is, until around 2 years and 4 months of age….and this was when the nightly vomiting started. As it ran its course, a few nights in a row – and we went to the doctor. Then a few more nights in a row – back to the doctor again. And this went on for a few weeks.

Allergy skin tests, a top Peds GI doc, and an endoscopy to evaluate her esophagus (this was done to check for eosinophilic esophagitis (EOE) – which is a food allergy where the reaction occurs in the esophagus) – and there was nothing found. The best advice we were to receive was to use OTC GERD medications and that it was acid reflux. All this over the course of 2-3 months. And, this is where I’m forgetting, but even with the GERD medication, while it would seem to suppress the vomiting for a while, it would come right back.

She would vomit nightly, usually starting anywhere from midnight to 3am, and it would continue for a good hour or two. It was abnormal vomit; it was white and creamy and seemed to smell sweet – not like normal stomach acid. It would also have little chunks in it (I likened them to pineapple). In any event, as this went on for about 3-4 months, and despite the best, and well-intentioned efforts of her doctors, I was completely frustrated after the endoscopy (as this is not a procedure any mom wants to see their child go through, I get sad and teary thinking of it to this day – and if I had had this knowledge prior to then, I would have never gone through with it).

This is when I put my foot down on the dairy (as the other side was not as easily persuaded that the milk allergies existed – but was, however, having to deal with the vomiting as well). And as the ice cream was put on the shelf, the vomiting subsided, and nearly overnight.

She would later go on to have a few more episodes, as in, a single night with vomiting – throughout the next couple of YEARS. This was how dramatic and effective the result was – of removing dairy from her diet.

That said, I personally am not a big fan of dairy, but I do love cheese. I can, however, live without it if need be. The other side consumes it much more. In either event, the bright side to this story is that finally around age 5 she was able to tolerate dairy and has not much trouble with it since. So if you are a parent struggling with these issues early on in your child’s life, and love your dairy, there is hope.

My story isn’t to bash any one type of food or industry – but it is rather to bring relief to parents of little ones…and to perhaps shed light on some issues I do believe we are facing with our food supply. I plan another post about this when I talk about the GMO OMG movie and other documentaries I’ve watched on this very topic. But for now, hoping I can pass some hope to any tired or worried parents.

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