I could really use your wisdom here. This is long.
DS1 has basically been growing poorly since he was a baby. He was born fairly small at term (6 lbs or so) and followed a growth curve around the 3rd percentile. There would be little spurts of growth and then nothing for ages. He is 8 years old now. Over the years, we consulted lactation consultants, doctors...followed various nutritional plans. Nothing ever changed. I was always worried about it, but although he was super small, he always followed his curve more or less, so nobody was ever *really* concerned. So now at his growth check up the other day he has clearly fallen off his curve. What makes this particularly interesting, is that he eats like a horse. We are mainly organic, whole foods at home...green smoothies every morning, etc. He eats A LOT. And he hasn't really gained anything in ages. My younger DS, who will soon be 3 and has always been a normal size/weight has also fallen off his curve and we have struggled with weird poo with him since birth as well. We took him off dairy and that has helped, but he has essentially never had a solid poo, seems to be having also some tooth enamel issues and as I said, is also no longer gaining. So there is "something" in their diet that isn't working...I don't know what else it could be besides gluten that would cause such growth issues in DS1 and now that plus other symptoms in his little brother. I should also mention that it was never obvious to us this could be an issue, as DS1 has no other obvious symptoms of gluten intolerance...no noticeable reaction, normal digestion, etc.
We did a 3 month gluten free trial with him last winter and there was no change in the first month, and then in the following 2 months he gained 6 pounds and just over an inch, total. This is phenomenal in that if you compare with the rest of the year since we stopped that trial, he hasn't gained even barely a half a pound.
So, he will be tested for gluten intolerance next week. I wish I knew exactly which test, but our doctor appointments are in German and those details often slip by me. I do know it is a more sensitive test than the typical gluten allergy blood test. This is an alternative medical doctor, and he feels it is fairly reliable.
I sincerely hope it is gluten! I just really, really need it to be that "simple". My question is this, if the test comes back positive, what steps can we take to help heal his gut from the damage other than eliminating gluten (which we will likely do regardless of the test result, since it seemed to help him either way). Probiotics? Anything? I have no idea where to start. Any tips you have for helping us to optimally heal his gut and support his weight gain/growth would be very much appreciated!
Second, if for some reason the test results are negative...can you think of anything else in the diet or otherwise that could cause growth delays the way gluten can? I feel like I need a plan B...a different tree to bark up if this doesn't make things clear. I want to be prepared for that doctor visit, if it should come to that. He is not a sickly child, very happy, rosy cheeks, seldom ill. I just don't feel intuitively it could be anything super serious, especially as his brother seems to be having issues, too. But maybe I'm overlooking something?
By the way, I have a lot of the signs of gluten intolerance, too...but never put 2 and 2 together. Just thought I had a "sensitive stomach". Sigh.
thanks so much!!!!!