I need help with my son's digestion... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 2 Old 03-18-2010, 08:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have been absolutely SCOURING the resources and past posts for this for weeks, but there is so much it makes my head spin so forgive me if I missed this answer somewhere.

Background: my kids used to eat what I would call a mainstream "healthy" diet. Not a lot of junk or fast food, but some. Lots of fruits and veg, whole grains, lean meats, etc. Then I found out that both of my children (17 months and 3.5 years) have food allergies. I discovered this after a year of being in and out of the doctor for possibly asthma (the 17 month old) and respiratory and ear infections. Both of my kids had reacted obviously to dairy as infants (first asthma scare with younger DS and bad diaper rash/runny nose for older DD) but when I began giving them milk around 1 they didn't react, at least not obviously (well, older DD didn't, DS never really drank milk). So when the doctor started talking "tubes" I was just like (based solely on instinct) "shouldn't we look into food allergies?" So she sent me for testing and, low and behold, DD allergic to dairy and DS allergic to dairy and wheat (that was a shock, the wheat). In retrospect here is what I think happened; DS is and always was allergic to dairy and (probably) wheat. But DD, who had been drinking milk every day since before DS was born, had never shown symptoms until he was 7 months old and developed the asthma/ear infection thing. Then she caught the ear infection from him. So the doctor prescribed antibiotics which I gave, and that killed both of their possibly already compromised gut flora. Enter immune system imbalance and food allergy, and 12 months of ear infections and coughs. But that's just my hypothesis.

ANYWAY, obviously we've eliminated the offenders and my DD has recovered as has, for the most part, DS. Both are still on strict elimination made easier by the fact that I have been following the guidelines laid out in Nourishing Traditions and eat absolutely no processed food. Neither have been sick since we eliminated. BUT I'm still concerned about DS. After I had read much of the thread on gut flora and allergies I started analyzing his (well everyone's) BM for clues (that sounds gross! but I just visually inspected). And he doesn't. digest. anything. I found a small orange segment, pretty much intact, yesterday. Other than meat anything he eats is recognizable coming out. I'm concerned just because I don't know what else to do and after reading the thread I realize how dangerous undigested food can be to the immune and digestive system.

So what should I do? Besides not digesting he's not showing any other symptoms- he doesn't have excema, he doesn't have diahreah, constipation, or cramping (that I can tell, he never complains, anyway), no more respiratory or ear issues. He hasn't gained any weight for about four months, but he's still large for his age. I'm trying to get as much probiotic matter into him as I can, but it's hard with the dairy allergy (despite it I actually do let both kids eat yogurt every few days, but he doesn't like it, and neither will touch kefir). They take chewable probiotics, but I haven't seen any change since starting them two weeks ago. I've also tried giving him kombucha (which he didn't like, either). I also am not clear on the symptoms of leaky gut syndrome or if I should be concerned about that.

So what I'm asking- what would you do? Is he fine and I'm just freaking out over nothing, or should I alter his diet further? I'm already on the verge of banning citrus.

TIA!
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#2 of 2 Old 03-18-2010, 08:18 PM
 
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Undigested food is often caused by low stomach acid, as a result of zinc deficiency. You might try a good quality zinc supp (I'd go for about 15mg a day, ideally split into a couple of doses, with food). I like the Thorne trace minerals supp, covers off other minerals too (you can get online at iherb.com). In the meantime, a good digestive enzyme might also help - I use Digest Goal, and sprinkle on food (for my little guy, about 1/3 capsule each meal, it's quite strong).

Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win. ~Jonathan Kozel
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