Milk Allergy…for real?

20130119-115942.jpgEli went 12 days off antibiotics with no snot. Pretty impressive considering in his 8 almost 9 months of life he’s pretty much been snotty the whole time.
Not bad but it always slowly turns into some kind of infection. He’s had antibiotics four times now. Not terrible but not what we really want either.

Last night the snot returned.
His little nose was so stuffy he was breathing out of his mouth. It’s never been that bad before. I wanted to fix it and fast! We just started using essential oils from source vital for sinus relief- they worked instantly. But still don’t solve the mystery of why he continues to be snotty.

I called his pedi this morning and she suggested it was a cold to which I replied he always has a cold. :/
What she suggested next has been bouncing around in my mind for a while: pet allergies or cow protein allergy.

I hadn’t seriously considered soy formula because breast is best and that couldn’t have been causing him any issues. Also I figured he would have more symptoms than just a stuffy nose.
Turns out he actually has 3 symptoms: congestion, dry skin (recently chapped cheeks) and reflux. I wrote about this issue before but clearly never revisited it as a possibility. D’oh!
He’s had all three of those for 8 months and I never connected them to a milk allergy.

So now I have a weeks worth of soy milk to try and see if we can find some relief from these symptoms.
At his 9 month checkup we will discuss the formula change and the possibility of allergy testing. Apparently infants don’t develop allergies to pollen and such until around 2 years of age, which would require skin testing.
Instead, pet and food allergies are tested with blood. 😦 and our last blood draw was pretty traumatic (but resulted in a full thyroid panel that revealed normal results so yay for that).

It never occurred to me that his reflux could be related to anything but Ds since its so common in our kids. And his stuffiness…well I think I let myself believe some of those evil doctors that said he was stuffy because he has Ds. I know his nasal passages are smaller and I never went back to any doctor that made such a suggestion but still…I think I held onto that because I wanted an answer.

If he has a milk protein allergy I will be happy it’s resolved but feel so dumb at the same time. 8 months he’s been dealing with these symptoms.
And lets not mention the freak out I just had over sending Eli to his sitters house- I became paranoid that her kids were getting my kid sick. So much so that I was ready to quit my job and stay home to keep him in a safe bubble where nothing can harm him.
I’m nuts I know. And I know they share germs sometimes and preventing sickness is unavoidable but seriously, I feel dumb right now. Mom of the year!


16 Replies to “Milk Allergy…for real?”

  1. Beau was ALWAYS stuffy as well. We went through TONS of different formula changes as well. I feel for you!! Since he was g-tube fed, the only formula we ever found that actually worked was one called Compleat Pediatric. However, his stuffiness never completely went away until he got his adenoids and tonsils out right before his first birthday. The worst experience ever but looking back now it was a saving grace!

  2. hey may have a milk sensitivity or lactose sensitivity but if he had a true milk protein allergy he would be screaming in pain and have constant diarrhea, diaper rash and bloody stool. that is what charlie has. if he had a true milk allergy, he would show classic allergy signs like trouble breathing. you can test for a milk allergy (and other food allergies) with skin prick testing but most docs won’t do it at this young of age. you can also test with a blood draw but that isn’t always reliable either. the best thing you can do right now is try the formula and see if it helps. if it helps you have your answer and you don’t have to worry about getting him tested.

    1. That’s what I thought too which is why I never explored it any further. But I’m tired of the snot and I’m not breastfeeding anymore so I want to try anything at this point. I guess we wil talk with his ENT as well. Thanks girl!

  3. rachel was lactose sensitive. it made her stuffy and made her reflux worse. we switched to similac sensitive with rice starch which was lactose free and helped her reflux. i really loved that formula for her. when she turned a year old we went to full fat lactose free milk but still gave her cheese, yogurt….. she grew out of it and now can have milk without issues.

  4. Dairy protein allergy… Ugh. My daughter had a dairy protein intolerance. Not sure it’s the exact same because our GI dr specified a difference between an allergy and a intolerance, but we dealt with it all the same. No fun, but not the end of the world. Big points we learned: a significant percentage of babies who don’t tolerate dairy protein also don’t tolerate soy protein, so you can start with cutting out dairy only, but if he seems a little better but not totally, try cutting out soy too. We had to do both. And she did not do well with the formula, but did great with i cut it out and she had diary and soy-free breast milk. Also, you can continue to breast feed if you cut those things out of your diet. No fun, especially as soy is in basically everything processed, but do-able. And for us it was worth it. Also, once you stop eating those things, it takes about two weeks to get out of your system enough to see if its benefitting baby. For my girl, she had a lot of trouble sleeping because of belly aches and was just cranky, and her demeanor improved so much when we cut those things out. She was much younger though, becuase she was in the NICU and they helped us figure it out. Even there it took nearly 3 months to realize what was causing her problems, surrounded by nurses, doctors, therapists, etc who are trained to see things like that. It took a call in to the GI dr and tests to rule out reflux to get to that conclusion. So don’t feel like you missed anything someone else wouldn’t have! The last important thing, and this totally depends if it’s a true allergy or an intolerance, is that it was temporary. Allergies are permanent (as far as I know) but for us, intolerance meant that we cut out dairy and soy for a few months, then slowly reintroduced them and she was fine. I still try not to over-do it with her now at almost three, but she doesn’t have any major problems. I definitely recommend talking to a good GI dr. That made all the difference in understanding what we needed to do!

    1. Thank you so much! We aren’t sure if its an allergy or intolerance so we will see what happens with the soy milk.
      I had to stop breast feeding- I dried up so no more milk. 😦
      I sure hope this helps, we will see!

  5. I’m glad I stumbled across your post. My son has had nasal congestion since birth (he is now 8 weeks old) and its always been “oh, that’s common with these kiddos.” He does have chapped cheeks and reflux and is umcomfortable all the time after eating. I’m interested to see how this formula change works for you guys! I hoe it helps!

    1. I’m glad I’m not the only one! Your poor little one! We know how it is- he’s only had 2 bottles with the soy so I will definitely let everyone know how it goes.
      Definitely don’t think it’s just Down syndrome. It sucks to be told that and I almost let myself believe it but its just not the case. We will figure it out though!

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