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'Cow milk protein intolerance' in 16 week old(13 Posts)
I've posted this in Children's health but realise I probably should have put it in here...
Been to the doctors today for the 2nd time in a couple of weeks about my DS's very runny poos. They started the day after his 2nd set of immunisations and I put it down to the rotavirus vaccine but they haven't improved since then (over 4 weeks ago). There is literally no substance to them at all, and they are absorbed into the nappy completely. Frequency has remained the same (ie one or two poos a day) and there are no other issues (apart from loads of sick but he's always been like this so not sure it's related), gaining weight fine etc.
The first doctor I saw wasn't really worried about it. The doctor today, however, diagnosed 'Cow milk protein intolerance' and told me to go on a lactose - free diet (DS is breastfed).
Subsequent googling suggests that a) there's no such thing as a CMP intolerance, only allergy, and other symptoms should be present to suggest it and b) if it is a lactose intolerance (which makes sense to me seeing that it came on after the rotavirus vaccine) then there is no point my eliminating lactose from my diet as my milk contains lactose anyway, despite what I do or don't eat...
So, do any of you have any experience of this at all? Do you have any advice you can offer?
CMPI does exist- but it is different to lactose intolerance. One is the sugar lactose in the milk which causes problems(and is rare, usually from birth) and the other is an intolerance to the protein in milk. I haven’t BF but have had two babies with this issue. Any other symptoms? Some have bad skin ( eczema- we didn’t) runny nappies, extremely agitated every couple of hours ( discomfort mistaken for hunger as milk is digested). Shocking to me how some doctors still get this wrong. Does baba suffer with some reflux also?
My son had lots of symptoms of CMPA so I cut it out. His skin is now clear, he's not congested, he's much happier... It was getting to the point that he didn't want to nurse because he was experiencing so much pain. It's not officially diagnosed but I have mentioned it to doctors who are happy for me to eliminate dairy from my diet.
It's been quite easy to do, but it's always worth checking labels as it turns up in some unexpected products (like naan bread and pate). Oatly is the best milk substitute imo. Their "barista" one is even better but harder to find and more expensive.
We think DS has CMPA. There are two different types, one which is a more obvious allergic reaction and the other which is a delayed reaction and therefore not as easy to detect. As PPs have said it’s not the same as lactose intolerance, so you need to cut out all cow’s milk and not just lactose.
There is lots of useful info about it online if you look. And be aware that it can take a few weeks for the protein to get of your systems (yours and baby’s) so it might be a while before you see an improvement.
Going dairy free is hard btw (I’m about a month in)... if you want any food tips I’m happy to share the best things I’ve found so far.
My daughter has the delayed onset type reactions to cows milk. We worked it out when she was 4 months old, she was reacting to traces of dairy in my milk. Her symptoms were marginal - reflux and wind, making her miserable particularly at night (the sleep deprivation is why i was desperate enough to try dairy free). When we accidentally fed her some milk at 6 months directly her symptoms were a lot worse.
The very low amounts of cows milk that get through into your breastmilk (it's less than is in the first type of prescription formula they'd try if you bottlefed) means some breastfed babies can have very mild symptoms as there isn't enough cows milk to trigger a full reaction for them (for other more sensitive babies there may be). It's fairly easy to go dairy free for 2 to 3 weeks and see if there is any improvement.
This happened to one of my twins after the same vaccination. I cut out all dairy - she grew out of it at approx 16 months.
My daughter had this. Grew out of it at 4 years old.
It could be a temporary lactose intolerance but you're right that eliminating it from your diet won't make a difference.
Aren't breastfed poos always liquid though? If its causing no problem then what's the problem?
Grew out of it may not be the correct terminology! She is no longer sick and she can eat dairy.
Have you tried the Allergy UK helpline? They are very knowledgeable on this:
Ha yes extreme sleep deprivation is literally the only thing that could ever have motivated me to give up milk chocolate. Now I’m still sleep deprived but can’t even eat chocolate to get through the day
Seriously though if there is a chance dairy is causing issues it’s worth cutting it out to see if things improve.
FWIW DS’s problems weren’t obvious at first but seemed to flare up after we’d given him some formula (cow’s milk based obviously) and I’d had a lot of dairy the same day.
I do think it’s a lot less obvious for breastfed babies unless/until they have enough to trigger more of a reaction - but if the reaction is delayed you might put it down to something else.
Thanks so much for your responses... very helpful and lots of food for thought.
He doesn't have any other problems, apart from being very sicky/reflux. But he's had the sick issue since birth and the watery poos only started a month ago. He was windy and colicky for the first couple of months, too, but this has mostly gone now (so I think he was just a typical windy baby that took too much air when feeding and couldn't get rid of it by himself). No sign of eczema, rashes, discomfort or irritability - in fact, he's a very happy baby who sleeps pretty well (touch wood this continues!). The only thing that is concerning me is the extremely liquid poos... far beyond the normal loose breastfed poos (which he had prior to this).
The thing that doesn't work in my head for a dairy allergy is that the poos started after the rotavirus vaccine and this therefore points towards the temporary lactose intolerance that you can get after a stomach bug. In which case, a lactose or dairy-free diet isn't going to make a difference, as I apparently have lactose in my milk whatever I eat.
I mean, as a PP said, if he's not bothered in any way then maybe I don't really need to do anything... although I obviously don't want to be causing any damage if he is allergic/intolerant.
I don't know if I'm just clutching at (cheese) straws (!) because I really don't want to give up dairy, especially at Christmas... I'm vegetarian anyway and bloody love my cheese and chocolate! And I was pregnant last Christmas so couldn't have wine... fancied total indulgence this year! I realise this sounds very selfish - I will of course give it up if it's going to help him but if it isn't (and it is a temporary lactose intolerance which won't be affected by whatever I eat) then I would honestly rather not.
Thanks again for all of your help. I'll give the Allergy UK website a look for more help too.
If it's not causing any actual problems, I wouldn't rush to 'fix' anything - it takes a while for babies' digestive systems to adapt to the outside world. Two of mine have been sicky/refluxy, and one had a mild intolerance to egg that he outgrew, but given they were otherwise healthy and happy there was no need to do anything but wait.
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