Is reflux related to food allergy/intolerances? - Mothering Forums
 
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#1 of 12 Old 07-03-2010, 02:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My 19 month old *STILL* has really bad reflux. Wakes up frequently every. single. night. She also has some days where she refuses food because of the pain. And she has some growth issues.

My question is - are food allergies or intolerances related to reflux? She tested negative for food allergies but we have reason to believe she has intolerances. The difference confuses me. And the doctors seem more like - she doesn't have food allergies and they are done (ish).

But she obviously still has some serious pain that I would like to try and help her with . . .

Is reflux it's own separate thing? How (beyond the elevated sleep stuff) can I help her . . . .?

Karen
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#2 of 12 Old 07-03-2010, 09:02 PM
 
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Barring a physical deformity, I think that reflux is caused by food pretty much the rest of the time. That's probably just my opinion. But everyone I know who changed the diet of the child (or themselves), the reflux went away. And if you go on reflux.org (sponsored by Neocate), the forums are filled with kids with food intolerances.

They make wedges so that they stay elevated, but if the child moves around a lot (which she seems like she would at that age), I'm not sure if it'll do any good.

Most allergists don't "believe" in food intolerances. If an allergy test shows negative, they say that it can't be food. There are food intolerance tests (we did ALCAT but there are others). And there's elimination diets of different kinds. The 4 most common food culprits are dairy, gluten, soy, and corn, which are in most packaged/prepared foods out there.

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#3 of 12 Old 07-03-2010, 09:35 PM
 
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Food wasn't the cause for my son. We did explore that extensively though (major diet changes eliminating all top allergens and intolerances and he had a scope as well to look for allergic reactions as a cause (EE)).
In his case it was metabolic. Is she also constipated? Is she otherwise healthy?

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#4 of 12 Old 07-04-2010, 12:09 AM
 
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We were one of those cases that battled "reflux" unsuccesfully for 12 months, and then after an IgG test revealed 9 intolerances and we removed them, saw almost immediate results. I do think it is related to food, but thats just my experience. I was at the end of my rope and sought practitioner after practitioner until I found one who believed me and who knew which tests to run. An allergist and an ENT told me there was "nothing" wrong, I was a paranoid first time mom, and he was just reflux-y (he woke every 45 minutes the entire first year of his life and fussed constantly.) After taking out offending foods and starting a great probiotic, among other supps, we are finally seeing some improvements at 20 months.

Good luck!
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#5 of 12 Old 07-04-2010, 12:33 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbgrace View Post
Food wasn't the cause for my son. We did explore that extensively though (major diet changes eliminating all top allergens and intolerances and he had a scope as well to look for allergic reactions as a cause (EE)).
In his case it was metabolic. Is she also constipated? Is she otherwise healthy?
Not to be nosey, but from which metabolic disorder does he suffer?

For DS3 it was milk/soy.
But of course that's just my experience.

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#6 of 12 Old 07-05-2010, 01:41 AM
 
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I agree with the above. DS had a negative scratch test for egg and soy but he was 'refluxy' for months until I removed egg from my diet. Lo and behold if I give him egg or soy he gets hives and a bleeding rash. But still no positive scratch test. I would definitely investigate food.

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#7 of 12 Old 07-06-2010, 02:21 AM
 
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My daughter had awful reflux as a baby - she did not grow for a year and was almost labeled failure to thrive. She did not test positive to food allergies consistently until age 5. Until then, it was oh, now she is allergic to milk, oh wait, this month she's not allergic to milk - it's corn, etc.

She outgrew all the others, but does have the multi-nut allergy and also sunflower and sesame seeds.

I think yes-but all I have is anecdotal data.

There is also the fact that histamine blockers are also used as reflux meds....
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#8 of 12 Old 07-06-2010, 02:43 AM
 
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Our DS1 was heavily dependent on Zantac for reflux from the age of 8 weeks until he was 20 months old. He would scream in pain whenever his dose wore off. We had previously tried cutting back dairy for a month with no change so we had concluded (based on ped's expertise) that it wasn't dairy. At 20 months, I totally eliminated all dairy, even trace amounts, for an unrelated reason...and in eight weeks, he no longer needed Zantac, and didn't need his reactive airway medication and nebulizer treatments either. And never needed them again. In his case, dairy was causing both problems.

About six months after eliminating dairy, we had an allergist test him, and he tested positive for a dairy allergy using both skin and blood tests. But the allergist explained that those tests only test for two types of reactions - there are several types a person can have that can't be tested for. He says that elimination diets, rotation diets, and food diaries of symptoms are just as worthwhile as the testing itself.

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#9 of 12 Old 07-06-2010, 11:34 AM
 
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Yes, reflux can be caused by food allergies or intolerances. Barring any physical deformity causing the reflux I would definitely investigate food sensativities. My son had horrible horrible reflux from birth that caused breathing problems and required nebulizer treatments for almost a year before we firgured out that it was triggered by foods. I finally found a GI specialist who said he had Multiple Food Protein Intolerance (MFPI) and sent me to a food allergy specialist. So far, none of my son's reactions are true allergies(negative RAST and negative skin prick), they are intolerances. We have kept a detailed food journal, and have done patch testing as well as IgG testing. He has a TREMENDOUS list of intolerances and sensativities, but as long as we have removed all of his triggers he is 100% reflux and symptom free! We keep zantac on hand and use it as needed for if he has a reaction to something and needs it. As we found out though, they can be sensative to ANYTHING!!! Our biggest triggers were dairy, soy, corn and eggs, but we are also sensative to a ton of other random foods as well.

If your baby is not on something for the reflux currently, I would talk to your dr. about doing so. It can damage the esophageous if it's not under control. I would try zantac or prevacid while you investigate food reactions to give her some comfort and allow the esophageous to heal. If you haven't seen a GI specialist to rule out any physical abnormalities, I would start there.

Goodluck and I hope you find some relief for your little one!!
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#10 of 12 Old 07-06-2010, 12:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We have seen and do see a gi specialist. Even as a babe on neocate and prevacid - she still has severe reflux. She wakes up multiple times a night. Has only slept through the night 4 nights is 19 months - not all consecutively of course. She refuses a meal about once every other day - just screams as in obvious pain. She is not failure to thrive, but has went from being in the 95th percentile to the 20th for weight and height. She is currently off of gluten, soy, corn, dairy, tomatoes, carrots and oranges for various reactions/reasons. She has, however, been for the past month been eating some gluten as they tested for celiac - which is apparently negative. But she clearly can't have gluten so pfffft on them and their celiac test.

She actually chokes and gags a lot at night - on prevacid - so she sleeps with me as I sometimes have to intervene. She did have a stop breathing episode at 5 weeks and was on an apnea monitor for a few months.

We saw a dan doctor who said she had a metabollic disorder - but didn't says much more about it so I would be interested in knowing more about what metabolic disorder your lo has.

We take probiotics, cod liver oil, and some brain child nutritionals - which I think is helping her not fall so far down on the growth chart.

But no matter what I do - I can not get her to sleep. Even if she seems fine during the day - she refluxes all night. I am just at my wits end with the reflux. And I am pretty sure that is causing her to refuse meals. But yep - she has tested negative for allergies. My gi specialist is really slow to do anything. And I can't afford to keep seeing the DAN doctor.

Thanks for everyone's replies. I guess I'll keep going down this road of investigation.

Karen
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#11 of 12 Old 07-06-2010, 01:10 PM
 
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I can't speak to pediatric reflux because I believe it is different from adult reflux but...

Reflux in adults is caused by an increase in stomach acid. What causes that increase?? Histamine. Zantac, one of the most popular treatments of reflux is actually an H2 (level 2 histamine) blocker. So, you basically take an antihistamine to control stomach acid.

Problem with allergies is docs really don't know a lot about what they are, what causes them. I think the false positive/negative rate in allergy testing is around 50%.

I'd try eliminating some of the high histamine foods in your child's diet (just google high histamine foods and you'll be able to get a list) and see if that helps.

Poor thing, I hope you get a solution soon.

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#12 of 12 Old 07-06-2010, 03:45 PM
 
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Karen,
Couple of things I wanted to touch on from your most recent post. You said your little one was on Neocate....i know this is not the case for everyone, but my son had one of his worst reactions when we trialed Neocate and EO28 splash (made by Neocate). So, if she is still on it, you might want to consider trying to stop it and see if you have any improvement. Also, check and see what your probiotics are cultured in. Some kids will react to them if they were cultured in dairy or soy, even if there are no intact proteins left after the fermentation process is complete. Intolerances are different in that way....the child may react to any part of it, not necessarily the intact proteins. Where allergies are to the intact proteins for the most part. I personally switched to making water kefir for my son to completely avoid the dairy/soy issue since he reacted so horribly to every other kind of probiotic I tried. Make sure you're eliminating even trace amounts or derivitives of those things as well. Corn is the hardest, I think as it is in EVERYTHING prepackaged for the most part!

I would talk to your dr. about switching to zantac.....many kids do'nt do well on prevacid as it has a milk derivitive in it. If your babe is sensative to dairy she could be reacting to the prevacid itself as well as foods. I have heard of MANY kids having stomach pains and cramping, etc. from prevacid. Check out www.infantreflux.org it has wealth of info about reflux and meds, etc. Just a warning though, zantac is mint flavored and tastes nasty....you can ask the pharmacy to flavor it with grape which is the only flavor that will cover up the mint. Also, as previous poster said, it's an H2 blocker, which might help more and give you more coverage than the prevacid. You also don't have to time it and give it 30 minutes before a meal like you do the prevacid.

I hope you get things figured out....it looks like you're on the right track atleast. Have you seen any improvement since eliminating those things?

I ended up getting desperate and did an extreme elimination diet, which is how we finally found out he was sensative to almost everything we were eating.
Valerie
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