My 3yo daughter has had ENORMOUS tonsils (considered stage 4 - they touch most of the time, one of them crosses the midline) and has since she was little. Her sleep apnea got really terrible this summer, to the point where we couldn't sleep all night in a tent because I kept thinking she was dying /choking / cutting down trees. At that point we started a nasal steroid on the advice of the ENT, something I wasn't thrilled with but knew we needed some immediate help. Within a few weeks, her breathing improved somewhat, but not completely, and her tonsils still look mostly the same so I am guessing that the steroid shrunk the adenoids. After doing some research, and based on a sensitivity in infancy (which manifested as a rash), we eliminated dairy starting Nov.1. It has been hard to see if it made much of a difference, since we are also using the steroid. Overall, her breathing plateaued at "improved but not great" but has recently regressed again. We have stopped the nasal steroid recently and want to see if she will continue to need it.
My question is about the dairy elimination. After 8 weeks, we have seen no noticeable improvement to her tonsils. We have been fairly diligent about removing all dairy from her diet (including milk protein,casein) ; however, there have been a half-dozen episodes where I found out afterwards that there were trace amounts of dairy protein in something (a rice cheese with dairy protein (?), a cracker with milk solids, etc.). Could this be enough to have derailed any gains made by the dairy elimination or not? Keep in mind that before November, DD drank cow's milk regularly and ate yogurt, cheese, etc. Also, generally, how long should we continue with the elimination if we are not seeing results? My concerns are twofold: 1) sleep apnea is believed to cause developmental problems and I'm not willing to take the "wait and see" approach indefinitely and 2) being dairy-free has been a real struggle with her preschool and I don't want to continue with it if there is no benefit.
I realize these are pretty specific questions, and I should probably get in with a naturopath, but money is tight at the moment and any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for reading this.