This is the diagnosis my son (he'll be 2yrs in Oct) has received from the GI doctor. He's been having issues with his tummy since birth and we are told he has allergic colitis which has to do with the inflammation in his intestine being caused by food and at our most recent appt the Gi doctor told us leaky gut although no official test has been done.
We're trying to increase the # of foods he can eat but every time we introduce a new food it seems to cause major tummy upset, diarrhea (he has extremely loose stool all the time), sleeplessness, major gas, crying/screaming, mucous in stool and all around discomfort.
Leaky gut is new to me I don't know where to start. I'm looking for help with food he will tolerate, supplements that might be beneficial and anything else anybody might have to help.
Hi. There is a lot of info on this forum about healing leaky gut. Here is one recent thread: http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1303201/healing-leaky-gut You can also do a search for leaky gut and there are many past posts on this topic.
Does he have any food allergies (or intolerances) that you know of or is he not able to properly digest any food? There are some diets like GAPS and SCD that are supposed to help heal the gut but if your son has food allergies to some of the foods then it is a little bit trickier.
Also, have you tried good quality probiotics? (There are dairy and other allergen free ones) That can be helpful with improving the quality of the stool.
He cannot tolerate dairy, either cows or goat, this causes bloody stool, along with mucous and major discomfort. Several other foods we've tried cause discomfort and mucous but he has no true allergies according to the test done by the allergist.
I will check out these 2 diets and see what might work for him.
So he probably has food intolerances if he tests negative for IgE allergies. My DS has both allergies and intolerances and it's a continuous process of trying to figure out what he can and can't eat. It's challenging to try to figure out what foods they are reacting to while healing the gut because if the gut is "leaky", they will probably react badly to a lot more foods.
I don't know if you are open to working with (or have already worked with) a naturopath or someone similar, but they can help more with specific supplements that might help your DS. Some also do muscle testing with different foods to figure out what should be avoided. I found this really helpful with my DS because he was reacting to foods that did not show up on his skin prick test with the allergist.
I guess then maybe the leaky gut diagnosis makes sense because he seems to react to every new food we try with him. We were with a naturopath earlier on and stopped going but it is something I'm definitely willing to try again.
I'm willing to cut out whatever needs to be cut out for his sake but he's only just almost 2 and he loves to eat; I can't imagine the tears and screaming this is going to cause to take away some of the foods he loves but are a no go while his gut is healing. Any tips in regards to this?
It is a challenge because if there is leaky gut, then foods are not going to be digested well until it is healed but the healing could be slowed down if foods that irritate the gut are consumed. It's hard to say what to cut because each person has very individual reactions so you can't just say, cut out these things and you'll be fine. What does he eat now regularly? Is he off any other foods or just dairy?
It might help to keep a food journal to see what he eats and what his reactions are (sleep, skin, digestive etc) for a couple of weeks. Definitely keep out foods that cause reactions (like dairy that you mentioned), but another option is to rotate foods so he is not eating the same thing all the time and see if you notice any difference. And if you decide to pull or add a food, do it one at a time so you can see any reactions more clearly.
I think the guidance of a professional (like a naturopath) with experience dealing with leaky gut would be very helpful. As I mentioned, probiotics (there are dairy-free ones) and some supplements (L-glutamine is one that helps heal the intestinal lining) might help. Also, do you know if your son has any issues with yeast/candida? That can also cause leaky gut and other symptoms.
Thanks for your input.
I've done food journals for him in the past and have never figured it out but I am starting another one. We're connected with a dietician who is going to check it to see he's getting everything he needs.
At this point he's eating turkey, salmon, avocado, carrots, beets, apple, peach, banana, and nectarine. We've just tried rice milk recently and I think it's ok and I just tried a tapioca gluten free bread yesterday and he's been cranky today but we'll give it a couple more days.
I got him a probiotic today and was told about Kombucha (kefiactive) which I'll look into - are you familiar with this? Digestive enzymes were suggested too but I'm hesitant to try too many things at once.
We saw a naturopath with him prior to a yr old and did a blood draw to test for allergies and everything came back negative but he was primarily breast fed at that time so it might be worth doing again. I just need to find a good one as I wasn't thrilled with the last.
He's not yet 2yo so it's possible his allergy tests are not yet going to be accurate because their immune systems are still cycling up and down until somewhere around 2yo as maternal antibodies are washing out and their own immune systems are maturing. It's the main reason infants get so many rounds of vaxes (because their maternal antibodies are not always fully flushed out--so those are fighting the vax instead of the child's body fighting it, which would build the immunity ). Plenty of doctors DO it, but it's kind of a lost cause because you can't rely on the results. It also depends on what kind of tests they ran (IgE, IgG, IgM?).
You're dead on: do NOT try more than one thing at a time because you won't know which thing cause the reaction (good OR bad). But I would definitely go back to journaling on him through the process. It will make your life way easier. If you want to pm me your e-mail addy, I have a spreadsheet that prints out to 1 page that you can just print off and run copies of to put in a report binder/cover.
Leaky gut is usually caused by intestinal yeast overgrowth that goes from it's normal state to a colonization that pokes holes in the intestinal walls and not only disrupts digestion, but can also "leak" undigested proteins into the body that sit on the neuroreceptors in ways that interrupt neurological connections or development and can cause behavior and development problems in children, headaches, sensory problems, etc. It's a big deal.
I would stick to whatever he can tolerate first and add a good probiotic. I would also be careful to find out what your dietitian's background is as many of them are very USDA regimented in terms of diets. I had to work long and hard to find a nutrition program that was considerate of nutrition theories that didn't agree with our government.
Once you've got him on a daily probiotic for a few weeks (maybe 3?) you could introduce dietary enzymes. They may or may not work.
If you're seeing a doctor that gave you this diagnosis, I'm kind of surprised they didn't prescribe Nystatin to you. It's not uncommon. That being said, it can also cause vomiting if the intestinal yeast is bad.
Best to you
It sounds like he is eating a good diet, even though it's limited in terms of variety. Kombucha (and kefir) are fermented drinks that contain probiotics, I believe kombucha is tea-based and kefir is dairy or water based. There are also fermented foods with probiotics like kimchi and sauerkraut. I'm not sure I would do both probiotics and that at the same time. Introduce very slowly if you do start.
I definitely agree with the PP about exploring the yeast/candida issue more, as that is common with leaky gut. It is really hard to find good doctor, it took me a while because not many people I know in real life deal with this sort of issue. I finally found a recommendation through someone I met in this forum. I think a good naturopath is open to taking your suggestions and also is okay with you working with more mainstream doctors (like a GI or allergist) while you figure things out.
Have you tried a "rotation diet"? Consult your dietitian or nutritionist because this will prevent you from getting "allergic" to all the foods you eat if you rotate the foods every 4 or 5 days. This will also keep the inflammation down. You also need to be concerned with yeast in the intestinal tract and killing it by avoiding all sources of sugar. Using probiotics will help put the good bacteria back in your intestines. Stay away from sugar because it feeds the yeast and the cycle will never end. I have rheumatoid arthritis which is caused by Leaky Gut. I'm getting better, but you have to avoid the sugars.