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Coeliac baby (16 months) now also has mild eczema (triggered by milk etc). GP recommends continuing to feed dairy. Any experience?

(6 Posts)
Smosma Tue 14-Jul-09 17:01:02


My 16 month old daughter was diagnosed with coeliac disease based on blood test results about 3 months ago and is doing well on her gluten-free diet and finally - at long last - gaining weight although she is still off the bottom of the growth charts. She's too young for the endoscopy at the moment but will have it done to confirm diagnosis when the time comes.

She has also had frequent flare-ups of what the GP now reckons is eczema triggered by dairy, on her face (around the mouth), bottom and most recently hands. We've been prescribed aqueous cream for the face and hydrocortisone 1% for her hands. The GP thinks it looks like a classic reaction to milk, but says that because of the coeliac, he doesn't recommend excluding dairy and says we should just manage the symptoms and she will grow out of the milk allergy. He reckons that nutritionally she really needs to stick with dairy.

I can understand this of course, because she does need all the calories she can get and the reaction is mild in comparison with some eczema and clears up almost completely between bouts. However she does spend about half the time looking as if she's been eating jam sandwiches and smeared the jam all over her face, and her hands have been quite swollen and itchy.

I know my MIL will argue in favour of going dairy as well as gluten free, so I want to be sure we're doing the right thing in following the GP's advice. Has anyone had a similar experience? Are some dairy foods worse triggers than others (I wondered if it might be mostly cheese)?

Thanks in advance for any thoughts!

AbricotsSecs Tue 14-Jul-09 19:37:49

Message withdrawn

headabovewater Thu 16-Jul-09 13:28:26

I would try dairy free. Most GPs know very little about allergies/nutrition - and I don't mean that in a GP-bashing sense. It is perfectly possible to have a gluten and dairy free diet that is healthy and balanced, but it will take some effort. My dd has been dairy, egg, wheat, nut and sesame free for 4 years now (since she was 1.5) and is at the top of the growth charts - and has completely clear skin, having been plagued by eczema at your daughter's age. We used neocate formula until she was about 2.5 and now Oatly with calcium (rice milk no longer advised due to arsenic levels). If your dd is sensitive to the gluten in oats then you are probably in soya milk territory or will need hypoallergenic formula for longer. You may need to give calcium supplements depending on how much milk substitute/soya etc is eaten.

Eczema is miserable for everyone - if it is doing that to her skin then presumably it may also be irritating her gut.

Try and get a referral to a dietician.

(btw before dd I was very anti exclusion diets and would probably have thought that avoiding all these major food groups was incompatible with health. It isn't!)

AbricotsSecs Thu 16-Jul-09 21:56:54

Message withdrawn

trixymalixy Thu 16-Jul-09 23:40:14

I would try and go dairy free as well. It is possible to have a healthy diet without dairy.

When you say she looks like she has been eating jam sandwiches, is it eczema or a hive type rash/red skin?

Smosma Tue 21-Jul-09 15:54:22

Thanks so much everyone - and sorry that it's taken me a few days to login again and catch up with your replies! I'm just feeling a bit overwhelmed by the whole thing at the moment....gluten free seemed fine, but gluten AND dairy free seems so much more complicated. I know so many people cope with this and much more, but it seems quite daunting. I guess I just need to get by head around it and give it a go :-)

We go back to DD's paediatrician in a couple of weeks and back to the dietician next month. They only advised on gluten-free last hopefully we'll get more advice.

What is the story with rice milk and arsenic?? Any advice on dairy-free milks would be fab. I think you're right to say that Oatly would not be good because of the coeliac.

Many thanks once again...

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