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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I haven't posted much lately -- but I need some help please...<br><br>
My DD who is 16 months old is not gaining weight. She hasn't gained any weight in almost 6 months -- and this last docs visit for the first time, she lost weight -- 6.5 ounces.<br><br>
Here is some history: DD was 9 lbs 6 ounces at birth, lots of mec in the waters. She didn't aspirate any -- but wasn't breathing at birth so they were able to suction first (which saved us from all kinds of grief I am sure). Anyway, western docs swore I was gestationally diabetic -- midwife and naturopath said no way. DD never had any strange sugar levels. As soon as my milk came in, we had constant constant crying. It was hell. Only those of you who have had this happen know the kind of agony it is. We tried everything. I was convinced it was a food sensitivity and started cutting foods out -- couldn't figure it out so decided to cut out all but the least allergenic foods and then add things back. Within 2 days of only eating brown rice, squash, zucchini, sunflower seeds and peaches, we had a totally different baby. She didn't cry, she slept. It was wonderful.<br><br>
Except that every time I tried adding anything back into my diet, we went back to square one and had a really really unhappy baby. So I ate those foods for 3 1/2 months. Ick. Finally figured out that by taking digestive supplements, I could eat whatever I wanted (this was when DD was 9 months old). SO things seemed to resolve themselves. We did vega testing and found that DD didn't have any sensitivities.<br><br>
About 2 months ago, things started getting really bad again. Turned out that she had a UTI. Took the dammed doctors 3 weeks to figure it out and she was on antibiotics for the first time in her life <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> But even our Naturopath agreed that it was necessary because the infection was SOoooo bad.<br><br>
It cleared up fine and then the docs started talking about urinary reflux. We have been watching her urine and she has not had another infection. We also took her to an allergist/immunologist to get her tested and she has a tree nut allergy -- so we have both cut nuts out of our diet. The allergist/immunologist also started talking about an IGA deficiency which could explain all of the really bad colds she has had. She has never been in daycare in her life and she has had 15 really bad colds. So something is going on there...<br><br>
So Friday I let them do blood work. It wasn't as bad as I had feared...DD was really brave. Some of the #'s came back funny...her bun/creatinine ratio was high, her CO2 was low, her RDW is high and all of her monocytes are high. Of course we got the results after everyone had left for the weekend -- so I am left panicking about this...<br><br>
Any ideas?<br><br>
Oh, we are still breastfeeding and aside from nuts, we are both eating lots of good food. DD is a typical toddler in that she is finicky and sometimes eats really well and other days picks at her food and nurses all night...<br><br>
Any ideas?? Anyone out there know how to read these blood work ups?<br><br>
Thanks in advance...<br><br>
Rachel<br><br>
Edited: Also she has been walking since 9 months so the weight loss probably isn't related to change in activity.
 

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Well. I know a little. The bun/creatine and CO2 both most likely have to do with her kidneys. Which would fit the possibility of urinary reflux. Has she had any tests on her kidneys? RDW is the red blood cell size--I don't know what that would mean but might be anemia indicator. The monocytes would indicate possible infection. I have to be honest, with a small guy myself the failure to gain any weight and then weight loss would be concerning to me. Is she gaining height? Kids with kidney issues often have growth issues as well. How is her blood pressure? I'm glad you are getting her tested--I can tell that you are a good mommy (that diet alone would be so hard and you did it for her). I do think she may need to see a specialist to have her kidneys tested. I know that is scary but she will be ok.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the fast reply! I forgot to tell that we had a renal ultrasound and saw a urologist a few weeks ago. Everything was normal. RDW is the size of ther ed blood cells? Hmm..that is strange...bothe her hemocrit (37.2) and hemoglobin (12.5) are normal so unless it is b 12 anemia, I don't think that is what is going on...<br><br>
Also, her BUN and creatin levels seperately are within limits -- it is just the ratio that is off. She is also at the end of a cold, could that be why the monocytes are there?<br><br>
Yea, I am worried -- next week the urologist and our MD (and our ND) and the allergist/immunologist will be looking these results over -- I am just panicked in the mean time....<br><br>
Also, I started some fenugreek to try and increase my milk -- seems to be working -- and it can't hurt...anyone know how long you take it?<br><br>
Thanks,<br><br>
Rachel
 

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Yes, I think the monoctyes could be the cold. So her kidneys are ok? Did they determine if she does or doesn't have urinary reflux? I'm sure she'll be ok--but waiting to find out what is up would drive me crazy as well. I hate it that you had to wait all week-end.<br><br>
I do know the fenugreek generally starts working within 72 hours but it could take longer. I used it and was told that you have to take at least 3500 mg. per day...increase dosage until your urine smells like maple syrup. It did help my supply. I don't know if oatmeal is a safe food for her but if it is eating oatmeal can also increase supply (not quick oats--real oatmeal--cookies work too but with all her allergies I think that would be a hard recipe!) I add olive oil to my sons veggies (light tasting) to help his weight issues. I also use avocado which is a low allergen food...just some thoughts. Hugs to you--I know this has been a long week-end.
 

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The Co2 levels can be low if the child is upset, crying. I had the same results come back once for one of my kids. I also had the Creatinine level come back a little high. Don't freak out just yet. It turned out to be nothing with my child. It can be normal.
 

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I will ask my friend Mountain Mom to look at this thread. she is a certified herbalist and might have some good ideas.<br><br>
Something I can address:<br><br>
As far as increaing your milk, why? Does she nurse frequently? Like at least 8x/day? Increasing your milk by using fenugreek when your supply is really OK can actually be harmful in that it can increase the amt of lactose laden foremilk, which can cause gas. She needs more fatty milk to gain. If you want to go to the trouble, you could start to pump and skim off the cream that rises and feed her this in her food or on a spoon if she'll take it.<br><br>
But tell me how well she is nursing.<br><br>
Sorry I can't help with the other stuff. And BTW, this kidney reflux thing is the big new thing tho. It seems to me every other baby at my LLL mtgs is being diagnosed with it and put on abx and it makes me nervous. Like it's a new test/diagnosis/reason to drug and the drs can't get enough of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Darylll --<br><br>
Cora has had 3 really bad colds all in the last month. I was getting worried because she was not nursing as much because she was congested. She was down to only nursing 3 times a day. I started the fenugreek a few days ago and now she is nursing 3 or 4 times as much. So maybe that is part of the problem...<br><br>
She is a toddler so her nursing is frequently short and upsidedown...(where's the smilie for that?) except for before and after naps. But it has really increased since I started the fenugreek. Can I stop taking it now that she is nursing more?<br><br>
Good to hear about the kidney reflux -- my ND is having us give her DManose as a preventative measure. The test for it is really nasty -- I really really don't want to do it. So we have gotten good at doing a clean catch urine sample and I am smelling all of her diapers...hopefully we won't have any more infections.<br><br>
Thanks again for the thoughts...<br><br>
Also, I talked to the doc today and he said that the bun/creatine ratio is usually higher in babies, the low CO2 is beacuse she was crying during the blood draw ( <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> and she wasn't the only one), the RDW # is only an indicator of anemia if her hemocrit and hemoglobin numbers are off, and that the monocytes are definitely due to the cold she was getting over...<br><br>
So all that is good -- but still left with the mystery of the weight loss and lack of weight gain...<br><br>
I got a protien shake mix for kids and started giving that to her -- she likes the taste and it also has vits and minerals from whole foods...I guess I will just keep trying to fatten her up...<br><br>
Rachel
 

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If she is nursing well, and frequently, maybe you can stop the fenugreek. If she slacks off again, start again. Don't let her get down to only 3 bfings a day again, no matter how stuffy. If she won't nurse, pump and feed it to her in a cup! Your milk is full of more calories and vital nutrients than any protein shake. You could even add your milk to those shakes.<br><br>
Do you co-sleep and nurse her a couple times in the night as well?
 

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I have nothing to add with the blood tests, but did want to suggest that when she gets weighed at each visit to make sure that she is naked. This way a bit of urine in the diaper or using a different size/brand of diaper won't have an impact on her weight measurements. It seems silly to some people, but when ounces matter, this can make a difference in the measurement.
 

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You didn't mention if she's gotten taller.<br><br>
I don't think there's any mystery weight loss. Did you know that it's very typical for a breastfed baby to gain no weight or even loose between 9 mo and 18 mo? They get very active and burn off all that good baby blubber they stored up in the early months. Plust they get distractable and find much better things to do than sit and nurse.<br><br>
Plus she's been sick a lot lately and not nursing, so it makes sense to me that she would have lost a little weight.<br><br>
I agree with Daryl, nurse her as much as possible. Your milk is way better for her than any shake.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the great ideas -- I had no idea that it was normal for a breastfed baby to lose weight during this age...<br><br>
She is nursing 2-3 times during the night -- yes, we cosleep. Letting her get down to nursing 3-4 times a day really snuck up on me. But yes, I agree, we won't let it happen again. She just had one cold after another and we were both really run down and brain dead...<br><br>
She has not grown much (in height)in the last 3-4 months -- she started out big and long -- so she has dropped a few percentile lines in height and weight since birth.<br><br>
The protien shake was just an idea our naturopath had because sometimes she doesn't eat much. It isn't a substitute for nursing in any way. She likes the taste and it is from whole foods so can't hurt...<br><br>
Thanks again for all the ideas and thoughts.<br><br>
Rachel
 

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I'm so sorry she's had a rough time of it!<br><br>
If she's not feeling well, she won't eat well. Over time if she continues to not feel well she can actually start to ignore her hunger signals. My dd had an extreme case of that but it's normal to some degree for even a healthy child. They go into sensory overload (fight or flight) because of pain and discomfort, and the appetite goes away.<br><br>
Secondly, hunger cues are determined by blood sugar and dehydration. If her signals for these two things are messed up because of her UTI's and kidney function, she may not be feeling as hungry as she needs to feel.<br><br>
I would strongly suggest getting her tested for silent reflux, celiacs, and bacterial overgrowth problems. These can also cause a lot of discomfort even if she's not showing any outward signs of having anything wrong. She obviously has a very sensitive GI system. Celiacs is tested through a blood draw and bacterial overgrowth can be determined by sending in a stool sample (also have them check for blood in the stool, which might indicate allergies or other GI irrations causing internal fissures).<br><br>
For reflux, the easiest test is to give her a small dose of Mylanta 3-4 times a day for a week. See if her appetite comes back. If it does, she probably does have some acid reflux going on that may be causing her pain and irritation in her esophagous, and causing her to not want to eat. If the Mylanta works, try asking for a prescription for Zantac or something stronger. Mylanta should not be used long-term.<br><br>
If the above things don't check out, have her tested for problems absorbing foods.<br><br>
I hope you are able to get to the bottom of this soon she starts eating and growing better!
 

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Just so you don't forget<br><br>
* "Breast milk continues to provide substantial amounts of key nutrients well beyond the first year of life, especially protein, fat, and most vitamins."<br>
-- Dewey 2001<br><br>
* In the second year (12-23 months), 448 mL [15 oz per day] of breastmilk provides:<br>
o 29% of energy requirements<br>
o 43% of protein requirements<br>
o 36% of calcium requirements<br>
o 75% of vitamin A requirements<br>
o 76% of folate requirements<br>
o 94% of vitamin B12 requirements<br>
o 60% of vitamin C requirements<br>
-- Dewey 2001
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
USAmma,<br><br>
Thanks for the ideas -- interesting enough the immunologist had the lab test the blood that was left from her draw last Friday for celliac. I should know later this week. I am also waiting on the IGA immune tests that could explain why my poor baby has had so many colds....<br><br>
I know that she has no allergies -- the blood tests showed that (according to the allergist). So now that we have both cut out nuts we don't have to worry about other foods...(unless the celliac thing comes back positive).<br><br>
Also, we collected the first of a 3 day stool sample today. We are waiting on the ND to get preapproval for a comprehensive digestive stool analysis from the insurance company -- so that should yield some good info.<br><br>
About the silent reflux -- I don't know how comfortable I am giving her Mylanta. We really try to stay away from non herbal remedies. Any ideas about what we could substitute for this? It is an interesting thing to consider...I would just worry that so many variables affect how much she eats that the test would not be clear..<br><br>
Darylll -- thanks for the reminder about what breastmilk provides. There is no doubt in my mind that breastmilk is the best thing for her. With all the problems we have had while breastfeeding, I cannot even imagine how bad things could have been if we hadn't.<br><br>
Thanks everyone,<br><br>
Rachel
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">About the silent reflux -- I don't know how comfortable I am giving her Mylanta. We really try to stay away from non herbal remedies. Any ideas about what we could substitute for this? It is an interesting thing to consider...I would just worry that so many variables affect how much she eats that the test would not be clear..</td>
</tr></table></div>
The main ingredient is, I believe, calcium carbonate. I'm sure the health food store would have a good antacid if you asked. I don't know of many other substitutes for it. My dd is on Prilosec, that's how bad her acid was. I don't feel good about it but it has improved the quality of her life so much that it's worth it.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">With all the problems we have had while breastfeeding, I cannot even imagine how bad things could have been if we hadn't.</td>
</tr></table></div>
You are doing such a great thing with the breastfeeding!! Breastmilk, as you know, is by far the easiest thing to digest. I pumped for dd2 for 7 weeks but had huge obstacles with health issues of my own and ended up giving up. She did poorly on the milk probably because I did not eliminate things long enough. The only alternative was hypoallergenic, pre-digested formula. Let me tell you that stuff is nasty, expensive (read: $250 month), and of course lacked the immunity protection of breastmilk.<br><br>
My dd was tested twice for the immune problems because she also got sick so much. It ended up being reflux. Reflux irritates the mucous membranes all the way up and down the GI tract. It opens the door to germs getting in because the tissue is so inflamed. My dd was refluxing all the way into her ears last year and ended up getting tubes. She struggled with croup 3-4 times, stomach flu, and the common cold but it was worse in her than it would be in a healthy child. All because of reflux. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shake.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shake"><br><br>
My point in telling you that is that the underlying issue, if there is one, can cause all kinds of secondary things. If she is having kidney reflux or some GI issue going on, that could be the cause of her getting sick a lot.<br><br>
BTW my dd's monocytes were high every time I had to take her to ER for something. Usually it was a bad cold or stomach flu causing her to be dehydrated, and the white blood cells were elevated because of the infections she was fighting. When I had her tested during a window where she was well, her counts were normal. I hope that makes you feel better. I hope that you can get your dd's blood tested when she's not sick or has a UTI if they are still concerned about it at a later time. That might be very revealing.<br><br>
So hopefully your dd's immune system is okay and she'll get less sick as she gets older. If she had an immune system problem she would be getting frequent pneumonia and other more serious infections that she would have trouble kicking with our without antibiotics. If she is just getting a lot of colds or that sort of thing, and if she's fighting them off on her own, she's probably fine. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> Her immune system may just need to get stronger with age, or maybe it's under some stress right now because of underlying issues. Also, the first winter as a toddler is really hard for some kids, even healthy ones. That breastmilk is going to help her so much!
 

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A healer I know who I linked to this, gave me this link in case it helps:<br><br><a href="http://www.naturalhealthtechniques.com/Basics%20of%20Health/lab_result_meaning1.htm#Blood%20Gasses:" target="_blank">http://www.naturalhealthtechniques.c...lood%20Gasses:</a>
 
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