Please help my constipated allergic baby UPDATE - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 06-23-2009, 11:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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UPDATE in POST #8
Hi mamas. I have been reading that constipation can be an intolerance symptom and LO (7 months) is super constipated. I need the allergy mamas to help me brainstorm! He has had food intolerances since birth, much improving by four or five months with an elimination diet/focused whole food nutrition for me to heal my gut and liver detox, etc. but he still reacts to dairy and wheat/gluten so I keep those out of my diet. Things aren't perfect but a whole lot better on the reacting through me issue.

So, we started out on solid foods last month. I was doing simple fruit and veggie purees and occasionally a bit of brown rice. He was doing great as far as typical tolerance symptoms (no reflux, fussiness, sleeplessness), but he began to pass progressively harder stools, though they didn't cause pain. Then they became pebbly and infrequent. Pulled the rice, but they remained the same.

I then discovered Traditional Foods for infants on the Weston Price website:

http://westonaprice.org/children/nourish-baby.html

which basically says the carbs are hard for baby to digest, and better starter foods are animal sources of fat and protein. I thought - aha! He probably doesn't have the enzymes needed to adequately digest all these carbs (esp considering all our earlier intolerance problems) so I changed his diet to the following:

Morning: 1 egg yolk with a bit of sea salt. Afterward a fruit puree.
Evening: Pureed meat with a veggie puree.

No grains or juices. I am still eating GF/DF. He nurses a lot, before and usually after meals and a bunch more in between and night too. I offer him water during solid feeding but he only drinks about an ounce or two.

Still constipated so I added a bit of good fat (1 tsp coconut oil to fruit puree and 1 tsp olive oil to veggie puree) No change!

Added some probiotics! No change!

Pulled a few foods that he used to react to through breastmilk in the early days. No change!

Added a daily taste of fermented veggie juice for probiotics (loved it) but NO CHANGE!


What's next? Pull solids altogether? That would be hard. He is really hungry after multiple morning nursings so I think he needs the solids. And TBH, I noticed his poops were getting more formed even when he was EBF...not sure what that means.

His last poop (3 days ago) tore him and it bled, so he may be holding it back now so I am not sure on consistency but he is just not going. We EC and he'll pee and then cry if I don't take him off the potty right after. I know he feels pressure. We are going on a few days now so its going to hurt if we don't get things moving ASAP. He is really fussy tonight and is starting to spit up a bit after feedings. This happened the last time he was constipated because I think his system gets backed up and its harder for the stomach to empty? Sorry if this is TMI ladies but the last poo he had, the one that tore him was REALLY big and hard. Like adult size. I could not believe that it came out of a skinny little 7 month old!

Any ideas? And is there any harm in getting some glycerine suppositories for now to help him go and not tear? I know they aren't a long-term solution. I had one other kid who was chronically constipated starting at six months. I tried everything for him and had to finally put him on Miralax and a dairy free diet (at 18 months) and that did it. But we are already milk and gluten free, what else could it be? How do I treat it best in an allergy/intolerance friendly way? Does this indicates something else - is there a deficiency somewhere that is making it hard for him to poop?

Questions, questions, and no answers. Help.

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#2 of 14 Old 06-25-2009, 03:31 AM
 
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Poor baby. And poor you.

I think that the constipation is probably due to your DS switching over to solids, rather than any allergy related issue. Breast milk is already digested so not too much for the digestion system to do.

Here is what I would do ... Go back to just breast milk for a month, or at least a few weeks. This way your DS's system can "reset." Then very gradually introduce foods, starting with fruits and veggies. Think of it as exposing him to new foods and having him taste them, rather than making a meal out of them. Then once he (and his digestive system) are comfortable with eating some solids, the amounts can be increased.

Your milk supply will rebound, supply and demand and all that ...

Heather, veg*n mama to A (4), S (2),and Shiso the Cat
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#3 of 14 Old 06-25-2009, 03:25 PM
 
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We're right there with you, although my DS is two. For us, the constipation issue is salicylates. What fruits are you feeding him (and what are you eating yourself?). You might try going low sals for a week or two and seeing if you notice a difference. Both coconut oil and olive oil are very high salicylates, as are most fruits and some veggies. My DS is still about 75% bf, and salicylates can totally stop him up. We're now dealing with soft poops but a psychologically traumatized kid who doesn't want to poop, and it's awful .

ETA: if he's currently constipated, try a warm water enema. The problem with them holding the poop in for several days is it gets harder while it sits in there, and that makes the problem worse. Glycerin suppositories didn't work for us, and they had a burning sensation for DS, FWIW.

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#4 of 14 Old 06-25-2009, 06:14 PM
 
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Sending healing vibes!!

Sometimes you have to do probiotics three times a day to really get results and recolonization happening. Make sure it is not milk-derived--pharmax makes some good ones.
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#5 of 14 Old 06-25-2009, 08:04 PM
 
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Dd has lots of signs of magnesium deficiency - craves chocolate, constipated, noise sensitivity, bed wetting (we've ec'd since the first couple of months, and there's NO WAY we could do it at night. She pees in her sleep, still, at 2.5).

I added mag for myself (~800mg/day via natural calm, I think the form matters with bowel tolerance) and dd's much less constipated - close to normal now : We've also seen a decrease in anxitey She does a little bit directly, if she feels like a couple sips of tea before bed, but I think it's mostly going through me. It's odd, though, because according to my reading, mag levels *shouldn't* change according to mom's diet. But there you go. My experience trumps the reading, for me.

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#6 of 14 Old 06-25-2009, 09:08 PM
 
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My dd's main intolerances - gluten, dairy, AND egg - cause constipation.
I think we are both deficient in iodine - her TSH was 3.2, too high IMO and one of the symptoms of hypothyroidism is constipation. Also, intestinal yeast overgrowth can cause constipation. Magnesium helps lots here, too.

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#7 of 14 Old 06-25-2009, 09:11 PM
 
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One thing I found with my daughter is that a chiro visit can work wonders. My littlest never had newborn baby poo; she went straight to the consistency of an infant on solids so when she did start solids she became incredibly constipated. I backed off on the solids (a taste once a day) and took her to the chiropractor. By that evening she had soiled her diaper and was having newborn breastfed baby poop for the first time in her life. The one visit was all she needed and she hasn't had any problems since.
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#8 of 14 Old 07-03-2009, 03:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks mamas!

Thought I'd update that we are doing better! For us, I think it was an magnesium issue. I started Natural Calm five days ago, and the past two days he was able to pass stool on his own without crying! Amazing to me how many health issues we are solving with nutritional therapies. I feel better too. I had no idea that mag deficiency was related to anxiety. I tend to get anxious post-partem, and I crave chocolate like mad during pregnancy and nursing (didn't even like it pre-pregnancy) so my theory is that my pregnancies/babies have high-magnesium needs and have led to deficiencies in me. I gave some to my chocolate-loving anxious 8 year old too and he loved it. So I am having him start the Epsom soaks too.

:

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#9 of 14 Old 07-03-2009, 11:17 AM
 
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Excellent.

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#10 of 14 Old 07-03-2009, 12:48 PM
 
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Yay! :
Are you supping the baby at all, or is he only getting mag through your milk?

Now for the next legs of your research...
all about magnesium

The amount of magnesium in your milk isn't *supposed* to change, but I'm seeing the same thing - that dd seems to get some when I supp myself. She still does well with a little bit directly, too (she's 2.5). My theory is that mom is getting so deficient that it's affecting the milk. And that supping mom brings the amount in the milk up to normal. As far as I know, there's not a mechanism to actually *increase* the amount that's in the milk above what's normal. We're talking about it in this thread, but the consensus is that there needs to be more research!

It is possible to have a dramatically increased need for mag, though. In a nutshell, mag helps regulate calcium ion channels, which are on every cell, and can be held open by various things. A couple things that open them are glutamate/ammonia and low calcium diet. There are a couple threads on it here and here, but I haven't updated them in a while and my theories have changed a bit so ask questions!

So if you and baby have an increased need for mag, and aren't getting it, then baby gets a 'normal' amount until you flat out run out, at which point you're both really, really deficient. And that deficiency will show up differently for each of you.

Everyone sees this stuff from a different angle, and everyone contributes something different. I don't mean to shut your theory down, just to fast track you up to speed. This is a big study group and we're all learning a bunch every day...
:

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#11 of 14 Old 07-03-2009, 12:55 PM
 
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I recently got a rec for a book, The Calcium Lie, that discusses, basically, mineral imbalances related to calcium (too much calcium, or maybe just not enough of all the other things calcium works with, magnesium being one of the biggies). My DH's family history is riddled with the types of health issues the summary on amazon discussed--my family, nope, but DH and I tend to have totally different health issues. May be another avenue to look into, in your spare time.
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#12 of 14 Old 07-03-2009, 04:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earthmama4 View Post
Thanks mamas!

Thought I'd update that we are doing better! For us, I think it was an magnesium issue. I started Natural Calm five days ago, and the past two days he was able to pass stool on his own without crying! Amazing to me how many health issues we are solving with nutritional therapies. I feel better too. I had no idea that mag deficiency was related to anxiety. I tend to get anxious post-partem, and I crave chocolate like mad during pregnancy and nursing (didn't even like it pre-pregnancy) so my theory is that my pregnancies/babies have high-magnesium needs and have led to deficiencies in me. I gave some to my chocolate-loving anxious 8 year old too and he loved it. So I am having him start the Epsom soaks too.

:
hi... i've been following this thread and am happy to hear that dc is doing better. i have posted a few times about my own constipated, allergic baby and am now wondering if i should also try a mag supplement. i myself have occasional restless legs and serious chocolate cravings and probably some anxiety issues too. didn't think of all these things being related possibly... anyway, are you giving the natural calm to dc or just through your milk? i read the next thread down about mag levels not changing in the milk much but i agree that maybe if mom is really low this could affect the milk eventually and supplementing mom would then bring milk levels back up and consequently give results in baby. i wonder if i chose to give the natural calm, how much would i give him?


jen

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#13 of 14 Old 07-03-2009, 07:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by gigismom View Post
hi... i've been following this thread and am happy to hear that dc is doing better. i have posted a few times about my own constipated, allergic baby and am now wondering if i should also try a mag supplement. i myself have occasional restless legs and serious chocolate cravings and probably some anxiety issues too. didn't think of all these things being related possibly... anyway, are you giving the natural calm to dc or just through your milk? i read the next thread down about mag levels not changing in the milk much but i agree that maybe if mom is really low this could affect the milk eventually and supplementing mom would then bring milk levels back up and consequently give results in baby. i wonder if i chose to give the natural calm, how much would i give him?


jen
Here's what we've done:
I started natural calm and was able to increase from ~400mg/day (tablets) to 800-1000mg/day (naturalcalm). We were mixing it into tea, and dd show a bazillion signs of mag deficiency, so I mixed about a half teaspoon (100mg) into maybe 3oz of tea for her. She drank maybe 3 sips . The next day, she was at bowel tolerance. Now, after more experimenting, it seems that it's definitely doing something for her when I take it, but not *quite* enough if it's her only extra mag source. If I mix about a quarter tsp (50mg) into some water, and get her to drink even just a couple sips of that, we're good to go. More than that and she's at bowel tolerance. I want to play with increasing our calcium to see if that increases her tolerance, and because calcium is really, REALLY important for us. Dd is 2.5. So to summarize, I think it's worth just supping yourself at first, and then to go really slow with supping a LO.

For reference, RDA for a lactating mom is 310-320mg. For a 6mo-3yo, it's 75-80mg. And interestingly, the requirement jumps from 30mg for an ebf infant to 75mg once you start solids. It sounds like the mag in milk is way more absorbable than mag in foods!

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#14 of 14 Old 07-04-2009, 04:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by whoMe View Post
Yay! :
Are you supping the baby at all, or is he only getting mag through your milk?

Now for the next legs of your research...
all about magnesium

The amount of magnesium in your milk isn't *supposed* to change, but I'm seeing the same thing - that dd seems to get some when I supp myself. She still does well with a little bit directly, too (she's 2.5). My theory is that mom is getting so deficient that it's affecting the milk. And that supping mom brings the amount in the milk up to normal. As far as I know, there's not a mechanism to actually *increase* the amount that's in the milk above what's normal. We're talking about it in this thread, but the consensus is that there needs to be more research!

It is possible to have a dramatically increased need for mag, though. In a nutshell, mag helps regulate calcium ion channels, which are on every cell, and can be held open by various things. A couple things that open them are glutamate/ammonia and low calcium diet. There are a couple threads on it here and here, but I haven't updated them in a while and my theories have changed a bit so ask questions!

So if you and baby have an increased need for mag, and aren't getting it, then baby gets a 'normal' amount until you flat out run out, at which point you're both really, really deficient. And that deficiency will show up differently for each of you.

Everyone sees this stuff from a different angle, and everyone contributes something different. I don't mean to shut your theory down, just to fast track you up to speed. This is a big study group and we're all learning a bunch every day...
:
I am not giving DS any directly, just through my milk. And whatever he may absorb through the Epsom Salt baths, though I don't know if it works that way!

Thanks for the perspective. It sure is interesting to find all these connections. I have alot of reading to do!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gigismom View Post
hi... i've been following this thread and am happy to hear that dc is doing better. i have posted a few times about my own constipated, allergic baby and am now wondering if i should also try a mag supplement. i myself have occasional restless legs and serious chocolate cravings and probably some anxiety issues too. didn't think of all these things being related possibly... anyway, are you giving the natural calm to dc or just through your milk? i read the next thread down about mag levels not changing in the milk much but i agree that maybe if mom is really low this could affect the milk eventually and supplementing mom would then bring milk levels back up and consequently give results in baby. i wonder if i chose to give the natural calm, how much would i give him?


jen
I really suggest trying the mag if you have symptoms of deficiency. I don't give it to him directly but it seems to be working through my milk. And I don't crave chocolate anymore. Seriously. I wouldn't mind some, but its not that must. have. chocolate. now. craving I'd get every few days before.

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