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Does this sound like food allergy/intolerance to you? - pos. slightly TMI

(8 Posts)
Honneybunny Tue 21-Oct-08 21:30:18

Over the last two months, since starting school, ds1 (4.10) has been having recurrent (but irregular) short term watery stools with bits floating in it. He never vomits, and doens't have a temperature, but does complain about tummy pain (cramps).

At first we thought it was a bug, as there were some nasty things going around, and it is that time of year again (actually, is there ever a time that it isn't?? grin). But now after several of these episodes we are starting to wonder... It usually does not last more than a day or two and he is absolutely fine in between episodes.

I went to see GP today and played the idea past him that it might be an allergy or intolerance, with lactose being a suspect (as I have lactose intolerance myself). I have the feeling that these episodes have occured after ds1 eating (huge-ish quantities of) ice cream. He does not drink milk, as he has in the past found that this upsets his stomach, but does eat yoghurt, ice cream and cheese etc.

The GP wants to send of a stool sample to exclude bugs, and seemed to think that lactose intolerance is quite unlikely. I told him that i am planning to keep a diary of what ds1 eats, just to see if there is a pattern. Any of you have advice on what else i could do that might shed light on what is going on? And does it sound to you like it might be an allergy/intolerance?


tatt Tue 21-Oct-08 22:27:57

possibly, especially as you mention problems with milk. But its odd that you mention starting school as a turning point. Has his diet changed now he has school meals/ a lunchbox?

If you suspect lactose you can give him lactase each day and see if that stops the problem.

Honneybunny Wed 22-Oct-08 07:08:20

thanks so much for your reply!

re. starting school being a turning point: we thought this odd as well, but we've started noticing only for the last couple of months and that has conincided with ds1 going to school. it might be just that: a conincidence. on the other hand, he might be eating something there that he does not tolerate well. he has school meals, i guess we could try him on packed lunch and see if he does any better.

thanks for the lactase tip. smile it's funny but even though i am lactose intolerant myself this had not crossed my mind.

wb Wed 22-Oct-08 09:21:32

Well, I think the GP is right to exclude bugs as there are several which hang around in the body and would cause the symptoms you describe. But it may be difficult to exclude them unless it is a sample of the watery diarrhea that you test (as a pose to normal poo).

On the other hand it is quite common, in parts of the world where dairy is not generally part of the diet, for lactose intolerance to develop about age 4/5. And as gene pools are not exclusive it is quite possible that you and therefore your son have inherited the 'lactose off' gene whatever your ethnic origin. So I definitely think that it is worth bearing this possibility in mind.

tatt Wed 22-Oct-08 15:46:48

sounds to me like you are both doing the right thing. Bugs are common at school and the GP is quite right to test for them. However lactose intolerance isn't that unusual (especially after a bug!) so the two aren't necessarily exclusive. If you do have reason to think its lactose intolerance it may only be temporary.

Honneybunny Wed 22-Oct-08 18:42:41

thanks again for replies.

i did not mean to sound as if i was critising the gp. i actually was very happy with his examination of ds1. he literally checked every inch of him... glands, toncils, tummy, temperature, ears, and actually diagnosed a little murmur, that we did not know he had.

i am glad that the gp was so thorough and wants to exclude a bug. he told me -and this also made complete sense to me- to wait until ds1 has another episode (which might be two weeks, if he continues as he has) and collect both the lumpy bits and some of the watery of the stool.

he also said that it could be some form of toddlers' diarea, as children often have bouts of diarea without specific cause (they don't need to be toddlers for this).

wb, although i have always seen myself and therefore also ds1 as white, i have a lot of asian blood in me (my mum was born in indonesia, when that was a dutch colony), and i know that lactose intolerance is very common in populations of asian ethnic origin. my mum and two of her siblings as well as her mum also have lactose intolerance so for ds1 to (possibly) have inherited it from me would not be that unlikely i guess.

whoisdoingthedishes Thu 23-Oct-08 01:12:04

could the floating lumps be because of fat being discarded? if he ate ice-cream that would make sense.

thumblesswitch Thu 23-Oct-08 02:11:51

if you want to check for lactose intolerance, you could try a simple test of excluding all lactose-containing foods for 2 weeks and then re-introduce a possible cause, e.g. the ice-cream. If he responds with an attack of the diarrhoea, then it is a reasonable assumption that he has lactose intolerance. There are lactose-free ice-creams that you could give him instead.

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