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6 month old - does this sound like a dairy issue?

(7 Posts)
birdybirdbird Wed 10-Apr-19 10:45:41

Does this sound like a diary issue?

My LO is 6 months old and I’ve long had a feeling that something isn’t quite ‘right’ with his digestion. At a recent trip to an OOH GP, the Dr queried if we’d ever tried going dairy free and now I’m wondering. He’s combination fed and has been since birth due to supply issues and weight loss. He only has around 120-200 ml a day though so is mostly breastfed. He’s gained weight well since and is hitting all his milestones. He’s generally a fairly jolly thing but every so often just gets so whingey and miserable and we have some periodic dreadful nights linked to wind and bloating. Nothing seems to be completely consistent with CMPI/A, lactose intolerance or reflux though and I’m worried I’m over analysing everything (as you can see from the lengthy list below!)

Occasional extreme trapped wind - belly goes rock hard and blows up like a football. This is what took us to OOH GP a few weeks ago and we were concerned it was something more serious as the screaming was horrendous. This came a few days after a holiday where I’d had a lot more dairy than usual and he had been having slightly more formula. He is generally VERY farty overnight.
Poop is quite variable! Always strains/grunts but never seems to be in pain doing so. Sometimes they have a very sour vinegar smell. Very occasional mucous present. We’re weaning at the moment with has naturally made them firmer but he’s into actual constipation territory now.
Feeds much more regularly than most of the other babies I know - usually around every 2 hours day and night.
Hiccupping - a lot when smaller and seems to have come back.
Has always sneezed a few times a day.
Quite a gurgly belly. I can often feel the air moving around when breastfeeding.
Sometimes writhes and arches after feeding but not often enough to make me think he has reflux.
Very rarely possets or is sick.
An outbreak of rash/dry skin that possibly coincided with me binge eating a LOT of cheese.
Recently rubs his face - really reminds me of how I feel when I have hay fever and my face feels all itchy inside!
Eyebrows/around eyes sometimes look a bit pink.

It’s possible I had a dairy issue myself. I didn’t drink milk as a child (or eat yoghurt, cream etc but cooked/in tea was ok), I think because it made me sick. However, I’m not sure if this is because I just didn’t like it! I don’t have family available to ask.

We’ve tried gripe water, dentinox etc to no effect. I’ve just started on the road to being dairy free. We tried him on lactose free formula and he seemed to have less trapped wind but it made him constipated (he usually has premixed formula). We then put him back on his usual formula and almost instantly had a terrible night though it could’ve been coincidence!

The GP has dismissed a dairy issue twice - when we took him with trapped wind (prescribed gaviscon which would surely make it worse with the constipation side effect?!) and with the rash/dry skin. But the OOH GP got me thinking that maybe there is something there. We can use my work health insurance to go privately (with a GP) referral but wondered if it rings true for any of you?

OP’s posts: |
Exhausted18 Wed 10-Apr-19 11:04:16

My DD has a cow's milk allergy. She was FF from two weeks and it kicked in immediately Her symptoms:

*Very bloated.
*Sometimes very farty and other times completely unable to pass wind
*Constipation regularly
*Hysterical crying for up to 3-4hrs at a time. Multiple night wakings
*Eczema from 3 weeks of age
*Crying an hour after any bottle
*Feeding every three hours or more often.
*Suspected silent reflux
*Some vomiting (not much).

I tried everything going. Gripe water, dentinox, corelief you name it, I bought it but nothing worked. Eventually, we moved her to a formula called Nutramigen on GP's advice and saw a massive improvement in about 48 hours. No more hysterical crying, was only waking once at night at 12 weeks. She still had the eczema, vomiting and some bloating though so we moved her formula again at 5 months old to a goat's milk based one. Her skin was clear in a week. She still vomits occasionally but we think this might be something she just needs to grow out of.

It's harder when you are combination feeding but I would try cutting out dairy and moving him to a different formula and see how you get on. Doctors can sometimes be reluctant to diagnose anything because in a lot of cases with small babies it's trial and error to find out what is wrong and more often than not they will grow out of it themselves (according to my lovely GP who has 3 kids herself). Your son sounds like he is not growing out of it yet however so I would try a change if I were you.

Exhausted18 Wed 10-Apr-19 11:08:47

Also my DD had been consistently gaining weight all the way along (and she was 80th percentile since birth) so I wouldn't think that matters.

birdybirdbird Wed 10-Apr-19 11:45:32

Thanks @Exhausted18 it’s really useful to read your experience. The ‘Sometimes very farty and other times completely unable to pass wind’ puts into words exactly what he is like!
It’s interesting, the OOH GP said that an adult would likely get diagnosed on the basis of just trapped wind and occasional bloating but that GPs always want kids to tick off loads of things on a list before they’ll even consider it! That’s certainly been our experience so far, maybe I need to be more forceful.
I am keen to reduce the breast feeding ready to go back to work but he seems worse when having more formula so it’s been a bit if a vicious circle so far. I’ve also heard that a lot of the specialist formulas aren’t very nice and babies won’t drink them. I simply don’t make enough milk to exclusively breast feed him though so hoping that’s a bridge we never come to!

OP’s posts: |
birdybirdbird Wed 10-Apr-19 11:47:14

Oh and the HV and GP always express surprise that ‘he hasn’t grown out of it already because most babies have by now’ I feel like that should be a big pointer to there being something else going on!

OP’s posts: |
Exhausted18 Wed 10-Apr-19 12:10:36

I completely understand the frustration of professionals not wanting to do anything. My HV told me in no uncertain terms not to change her formula as she would grow out of it herself and if I had listened, DD would still be crying the place down and covered in eczema (and I'd possibly have been sectioned because I was losing my mind with it all). I was lucky to have a sympathetic GP but as I said, she couldn't tell me outright it was an allergy, we had to work through different things to find out what was wrong.
The Nutramigen didn't smell very nice but DD took to it quickly. It gave her awful looking green/brown poo, but that didn't bother her one bit and it was a very small price to pay for me grin. If you are going to try a new formula, the sooner the better really, because I think they are more likely to reject them the older they get. Maybe do some research into the Nutramigen and see if it seems right for you? It can be gotten in the pharmacy (without prescription in Ireland anyway and I assume the UK is the same). I was told by the GP that the supermarket soya versions and lactose free versions of things like SMA are no good for allergies like my DD's so I skipped them entirely and went straight to the pharmacy stuff. Best decision for us.

Go with your gut. Mum knows best flowers

Newyearnewunicorn Wed 10-Apr-19 12:27:54

There’s no point in cutting dairy out of your diet without the nutrimagen formula. It does taste foul but I’ve always put vanilla essence in it ( I still have to and he’s nearly 2) and for the first week I put sugar in a well because he wouldn’t take it without and cut the sugar down gradually. I still bf as well and I don’t eat dairy. We do still have horrific wind and bloating at times

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