Thursday, August 2, 2012

Corn is the devil

Well, I promised you guys a post on M's allergies, especially Leisel, so here it goes!

Marek was the happiest baby ever until about 2 weeks old, then things started to change.  He started crying a lot more, especially when he was pooping.  And he had significant amounts of mucous in his poo, like giant stringy loogies (sorry, gross I know.)

Luckily my sister had been though this a year and a half before.  She went to the doc and was told to start by cutting out dairy and eventually had him allergy tested and his symptoms completely resolved when she cut out all of his trigger foods.

I started by cutting out dairy and eggs.  Things were going pretty well.

At this point I started to get my endo pain back (thats right, breast feeding only kept me in remission until 1 month PP) I had to go back to gluten free to save myself (and my liver since I was pounding advil like nobody's business.)

I didn't understand how but for some reason going GF made M's symptoms 10 times worse... He was inconsolably crying, crying when he ate, and throwing up (which until then he'd only done about 3 times in his whole life.)  We found out after testing this is because I was eating so much more corn and he is SEVERELY allergic to corn.

We finally got him in to see his pediatrician and demanded allergy testing.  At that appointment they tested his stool and there was blood in it.  Unfortunately they couldn't get us in to see the allergist for 2 weeks.  The pediatrician recommended during that time that we do a 24 hr test on hypo allergenic formula and keep all dairy, gluten, egg, corn and rice out of my diet.

The allergist started by doing prick tests for type one allergens (the type that cause you throat to swell up).  They tested him for 20 different allergens and then came back 15 minutes later to read the test.  He tested positive for peanuts...  Ouch.  So no more peanuts or anything processed in a facility that processes peanuts in our house.  We also got an epi pen junior and lessons on how to use it.

At this point they started the process for testing for gastrointestinal allergens.  The way the doctor described these was like a reaction to poison ivy on all your mucosal membranes, he thinks Marek has something called eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorder (but they can only confirm the dx with a colon biopsy which we hope he never needs).  They test by putting on a big sticker with tiny discs full of foods stuck to it.  They put the patches on Monday, remove them Wednesday and then read the results on Thursday.

Here he is getting ready in his precious tiny hospital gown

This is right after they put the patches on.  The purple dots are where all the type 1 allergy pokes were.

This is on Wednesday when they first took the patch off.  The one that is allready bloody is corn.  They marked underneath were each patch was so they knew where to read the results.

This is Thursday when they read the results.  I want to cry for his poor back.  

Of the 20 patches they put on M reacted to 15.  The worst one, the one just above the 10 on the last picture is his reaction to corn.  He is also allergic to wheat, barley, rye, oats, potatoes, soy, eggs, pork, peanuts, green beans, peas, carrots and garlic.

He didn't test positive for milk but apparently that is the one food with a high false negative rate.  My plan with milk is to completely avoid it for the first few weeks and then try it back and see how he does.

As for everything else... I can't eat any of it.  And corn hides in everything.  I'm still going to try and breastfeed for as long as possible because there is only 1 type of formula he can have and its incredibly expensive.  I really didn't realize how badly I wanted to BF until it looked like I might not be able to.

We met with a dietician right after they read the results and it made me feel more confident about being able to eat this way.  I think I'll start posting some allergy free recipes on here too.  Its definitely possible to eat well from whole foods only and as an added positive I have a feeling the baby/infertility weight is going to be pouring off!

Its been a week since they read the results and he is a different baby.  So much happier, healthy looking poop and you can just tell he feels better.  It is totally worth it!


  1. Awww your poor baby! And poor you! My close friend went through this very thing. She had a very short list of what she could eat while breastfeeding, but she did! He is three now and all of his allergies resolved! Good luck to you mama, you have my sympathies!

  2. Oh, that's so hard to read about such lil ones suffering so much. So thankful you got answers and that he's doing so much better!!

  3. Oh my goodness. Poor boy! I have a lot of food alergies that I gained as an adult. They make my tummy feel horrible. I can't imagine the feeling in a tiny little body!!

    Side note... Do you find the GF diet really helps your endo?

    1. I've also developed alot of allergies as an adult! And yes, the GF diet makes a HUGE difference in my endo pain. I still have pain on the first day of my period but not any other time. The difference for me is incredible, it takes 3 days of being GF to see results but after that its night and day. This time before dropping gluten again I was in so much pain I was on max dosage of advil all day every day for a week and then haven't had to take an advil since.

  4. Oh my gosh!!! Seeing Marek's back makes me want to cry, poor baby! I'm sorry this has been such a rough time for you, but I'm so happy you figured out the triggers. Healthy poop and a happy baby are so worth only eating... well, what are you eating??? Chicken and beef?

    Thinking of you, Linds <3

    1. Haha, yep, chicken, beef and rice. Actually shallots are a good subsitute for garlic so I'm eating lots of those too. And TONS of fruit.

  5. Oh man, what an ordeal! Poor Marek and poor you. I hope things continue to go well with the new diet. However... I must protest that corn is not the devil. As we know, rain makes corn, corn makes whisky, and whisky makes my baby feel a little frisky! :-)

    1. Great minds think alike! I was totally singing that song as I wrote this post! And man do I miss corn, especially mexican food!

  6. Thanks for writing about this, Linds. I don't know how you do sounds like a crazy diet! Though easy enough to follow at you have a plan for eating out or when you are traveling/staying at someone else's home? That's what is hardest to wrap my head around. You are amazing!

  7. I'm so glad you figured out what was wrong with poor marek but can't believe how bad his little back was from all the reactions! :( I must have left your blog window open last night BC my DH commented on how heartbroken he was for my friend's baby's back. Good luck with the diet, it sounds challenging but it is so worth it, ESP for you to keep bfing. Hang in there my friend. Sending hugs and good diet websites! Xo