iron deficiency anemia = food intolerance?? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 10 Old 11-18-2008, 10:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I would love to get your thoughts on this situation..

Usually I post about my 12 mth old dd who has a lot of food sensitivities, most severely to milk and soy. However, many of the things I've read here have me thinking about my 4 yr old ds. Here is his story:

He was about 3 weeks old the first time I noticed blood in his stool. His stools were always green diarrhea until he was many months old - at least until he was on a lot of solids. I eliminated dairy but the stools didn't really improve. We took him to a pediatric GI who said leave it alone and he would outgrow it without any ill effects, so that's what we did. By 6 months I never noticed any more blood. However, when he was 9 months we tested his blood and he was anemic. We started iron supplements every day and re-tested every few months. Although the anemia resolved he never did rebuild his iron stores. We kept testing him every few months until he was 2 and each time the pediatric GI told us to give him more and more iron until we were giving him 90 mg daily and still not seeing much improvement in his iron stores. I was stupid then and didn't know what else to do but follow the GI's advise. But at that point I began pushing Vit C very hard on him. We started him on Juice Plus and made a point of giving a high Vit C food every meal and snack along with a high iron food. That did the trick and his iron stores were finally normal at 2.

We backed off on pushing certain foods figuring if we offered a variety of nutritious foods he would get what he needed. But at his 3 yr old check up he was again anemic (slightly). He is now 4 and hasn't been checked since but now that I know what I do about leaky gut I suspect he is still anemic.

I'd like to test the theory that he is still having food intolerances, but really have no good behaviors to indicate whether we're on the right track. The only thing that's a possibility is his sleep. He was a terrible sleeper until I night-weaned at age 2 (I mean thrashing around wanting to nurse every 45 min all night long). Now he has a hard time settling down for the night and usually wakes a few times. Otherwise he is a very normal 4 yr old as far as I can tell. And he is very healthy - hardly ever sick enough beyond mild colds. I also have no idea what foods he might have been reacting to in infancy. I never tried to eliminate anything but milk. So I'm not sure what I would try to eliminate.

One other thing - he has discolored teeth which I blamed on the massive doses of iron. But the dentist and pediatrician both say that might stain the teeth but not cause the brown color coming from the inside like DS has. I read today that discolored teeth can be related to Celiacs but DS was tested at 18 months for Celiacs and was negative.

Anyone think he could still be intolerant? Kathy, I keep hearing you saying you don't believe we outgrow intolerances. How do I figure out if that's true in the case of my 4 yr old?

TIA. Sorry so long.

Laurie Busy mama to Boo (10/02) DeeDa (10/04) and Belly (10/07) TS 45X
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#2 of 10 Old 11-18-2008, 11:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I realize I'm talking to myself here :, but it helps me to "talk it out" so to speak - gets my mind thinking about it...

I thought of 1 more possible symptom - DS has really bad breath. That's one, along with sleep, that I could pretty easily track.

I wonder if doing gut healing things without eliminating anything would make a difference? I've tried probiotics and CLO with him but I've been really inconsistent.

Laurie Busy mama to Boo (10/02) DeeDa (10/04) and Belly (10/07) TS 45X
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#3 of 10 Old 11-18-2008, 11:51 PM
 
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I could be wrong. It's happened before -- LOTS. I guess what I'm saying is that simply avoiding the food doesn't create healing necessarily. That you have to do healing things and avoid the food to create the proper environment for "outgrowing" food intolerances (which is really healing). Also, through Calm's CSS thread, I'm thinking there may be yeast (or other things) as an underlying cause of food intolerances, and if you don't fix that, then you also don't heal, or outgrow the intolerances.

Sleep is a big symptom (my DD's main symptom). No trigger foods = sleeps through the night. Trigger food = up 3 or 4 - 12 times a night (depending on the food). Someone with more experience than me might know if anemia is a sign of malabsorption. I don't know that we've ever had iron checks...

Are his poops normal now?

Blood in the stools is definitely a sign of something amiss, probably a food intolerance. If you only tried eliminating milk before, you could go many routes. You could do nothing to change his diet, and start keeping a food journal and see if you notice any trends. You could take out milk and soy, which seem to go together with a lot of people (and if you removed milk but not soy, you most likely wouldn't have seen an improvement). You could take out the top 8 allergens, you could go with a more extensive ED, or a TED. It will not turn around in one night. We did the Doris Rapp elimination diet in her book "Is This Your Child" and then we removed foods one by one until we got to baseline -- I was amazed when my child slept soundly through the night (no waking, no screaming, no snoring). My DS took forever to fall asleep (even though we'd taken out dairy and soy, which we thought were his only triggers when he was an infant), over an hour, and was clingy at bedtime. When we took out all the foods that he reacted to, according to the ALCAT test, he went to sleep quickly each night, with one goodnight kiss. What a difference.

How is he moodwise? Pretty stable? Tantrumy, whiney, clingy?

I'm just wondering if there are other things that you might not think of as symptoms....

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#4 of 10 Old 11-19-2008, 09:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by kjbrown92 View Post
I could be wrong. It's happened before -- LOTS. I guess what I'm saying is that simply avoiding the food doesn't create healing necessarily. That you have to do healing things and avoid the food to create the proper environment for "outgrowing" food intolerances (which is really healing). Also, through Calm's CSS thread, I'm thinking there may be yeast (or other things) as an underlying cause of food intolerances, and if you don't fix that, then you also don't heal, or outgrow the intolerances.

Sleep is a big symptom (my DD's main symptom). No trigger foods = sleeps through the night. Trigger food = up 3 or 4 - 12 times a night (depending on the food). Someone with more experience than me might know if anemia is a sign of malabsorption. I don't know that we've ever had iron checks...

Are his poops normal now?

Blood in the stools is definitely a sign of something amiss, probably a food intolerance. If you only tried eliminating milk before, you could go many routes. You could do nothing to change his diet, and start keeping a food journal and see if you notice any trends. You could take out milk and soy, which seem to go together with a lot of people (and if you removed milk but not soy, you most likely wouldn't have seen an improvement). You could take out the top 8 allergens, you could go with a more extensive ED, or a TED. It will not turn around in one night. We did the Doris Rapp elimination diet in her book "Is This Your Child" and then we removed foods one by one until we got to baseline -- I was amazed when my child slept soundly through the night (no waking, no screaming, no snoring). My DS took forever to fall asleep (even though we'd taken out dairy and soy, which we thought were his only triggers when he was an infant), over an hour, and was clingy at bedtime. When we took out all the foods that he reacted to, according to the ALCAT test, he went to sleep quickly each night, with one goodnight kiss. What a difference.

How is he moodwise? Pretty stable? Tantrumy, whiney, clingy?

I'm just wondering if there are other things that you might not think of as symptoms....

I've been coming to the same conclusion about food intolerances and that's what has led me to conclude that DS maybe never did "outgrow" them as we had thought. Maybe now his food intolerances are just manifesting as malabsorption. I really need to read the CSS thread - I started but got so far behind that its intimidating to catch up.

The thing that debunks this theory is that DS's poops are always perfect. He has the best poops of anyone in the family - almost never any gas, perfectly formed. They usually come out without even leaving any poop behind on his bum.

I'm going to the library today - I'm going to try to get the Doris Rapp book. Maybe if we just start eliminating we will see changes that we didn't consider as symptoms before.

Anyone know anything about discolored teeth?

Laurie Busy mama to Boo (10/02) DeeDa (10/04) and Belly (10/07) TS 45X
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#5 of 10 Old 11-21-2008, 02:37 AM
 
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Don't know about discolored teeth, but do know that there can be blood in the stool that you do't see. (Called "occult" blood as opposed to "frank" blood) How's that for fun? They gave us hemocult cards...and lo and behold, all areas I'd tested (both where you could and could not see blood) came up positive.

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#6 of 10 Old 11-21-2008, 12:59 PM
 
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My DS has always had good poops though, and he's very regular. Screaming all night long is not normal and a rash on his upper lip and all his other symptoms. Each kid is different and I've learned to be very "in tune" with them to figure out their issues. I'm sure a lot of people would have already made their kid "cry it out" by now thinking well, they just want attention. Or thinking that their kid is just unruly. Or has growing pains. Or night terrors. Or wet the bed very late in life. But take out the problem foods, and you get a sweet, nice, well behaved child who sleeps all night without pain and snoring.

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#7 of 10 Old 11-21-2008, 06:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LaurieG View Post
I read today that discolored teeth can be related to Celiacs but DS was tested at 18 months for Celiacs and was negative.
What kind of testing? Just bloodwork? Which tests? Were IgA levels also tested (IgA deficiency can cause false negatives on one of the CD tests). You can get false negatives with the bloodwork alone, especially if you'd been cutting out gluten on an elimination diet beforehand. If he had a biopsy of the small intestine and the doctor only took one sample, then you can miss it entirely (damage is patchy).

A negative result at 18mo doesn't mean he doesn't have CD. Autoimmune disorders can be triggered at any time. I'd find a GI who has more experience with CD and ask for re-evaluation.

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#8 of 10 Old 11-23-2008, 12:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mommydancer View Post
Don't know about discolored teeth, but do know that there can be blood in the stool that you do't see. (Called "occult" blood as opposed to "frank" blood) How's that for fun? They gave us hemocult cards...and lo and behold, all areas I'd tested (both where you could and could not see blood) came up positive.
I probably need to check his stools again. We haven't really worried about his anemia b/c he seems very healthy, but to be honest I think I'm finally coming out of the year long stress over dd and realizing I've blown off ds's needs in this area for too long.

Laurie Busy mama to Boo (10/02) DeeDa (10/04) and Belly (10/07) TS 45X
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#9 of 10 Old 11-23-2008, 12:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by kjbrown92 View Post
My DS has always had good poops though, and he's very regular. Screaming all night long is not normal and a rash on his upper lip and all his other symptoms. Each kid is different and I've learned to be very "in tune" with them to figure out their issues. I'm sure a lot of people would have already made their kid "cry it out" by now thinking well, they just want attention. Or thinking that their kid is just unruly. Or has growing pains. Or night terrors. Or wet the bed very late in life. But take out the problem foods, and you get a sweet, nice, well behaved child who sleeps all night without pain and snoring.
Good points Kathy. There are a number of things that I guess *could* be food intolerance related with ds. My scape goat of choice lately has been not enough sleep, but we're working on that so it should become clear if those behaviors continue.

Laurie Busy mama to Boo (10/02) DeeDa (10/04) and Belly (10/07) TS 45X
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#10 of 10 Old 11-23-2008, 12:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by jocelyndale View Post
What kind of testing? Just bloodwork? Which tests? Were IgA levels also tested (IgA deficiency can cause false negatives on one of the CD tests). You can get false negatives with the bloodwork alone, especially if you'd been cutting out gluten on an elimination diet beforehand. If he had a biopsy of the small intestine and the doctor only took one sample, then you can miss it entirely (damage is patchy).

A negative result at 18mo doesn't mean he doesn't have CD. Autoimmune disorders can be triggered at any time. I'd find a GI who has more experience with CD and ask for re-evaluation.
His testing was just blood work. We never did a colonoscopy. The test for CD was tTG. I just did a quick google search and saw that this is not a very reliable test for CD. Hmm.

But if he doesn't really have any serious symptoms other than chronic mild anemia and brown teeth how likely is it to be CD? I would really hate to subject him (and myself) to a slew of doctor's visits just to be told there is nothing wrong and they told me that 2 1/2 yrs ago already. Maybe his general ped can do the necessary testing and we can cut out the GI. I really, really don't like the GI clinic...

Laurie Busy mama to Boo (10/02) DeeDa (10/04) and Belly (10/07) TS 45X
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