On again, off again

Dairy has been a food group of much contention in our house over the past year.  First, Matthew tested positive for a dairy allergy (at least according to one type of test) and subsequently went on an elimination diet.  He was part way through the “challenge phase” of the diet, where you add various forms of dairy back into your diet in a specific order (ghee, butter, yogurt, hard cheese, soft cheese, milk), when The Dude came along.

We had agreed ahead of time that it didn’t make sense for him to continue with the elimination diet once the little one arrived (by that time he was up to “hard cheese” anyway), what with the influx of donated meals.  We were already specifying vegetarian meals, and adding “no dairy” on top of that seemed too complicated.

However, after a few weeks of a very fussy baby, MY dairy consumption became the focus of attention.  Certain proteins in the mother’s diet can pass undigested into breast milk and cause problems for the baby, and dairy proteins are a major culprit, although it is relatively rare (estimates from various sources range from 1 in 100 to 5 in 100).  We consumed most of the dairy-containing food in the house, and then I went cold turkey.

Eight weeks of scrupulously avoiding any dairy, including most foods prepared for us by others, restaurant meals, etc.  Eight frustrating weeks where I really wasn’t sure if it was making a difference for Gabriel, or if I was going to a lot of trouble for nothing.  And then a few weeks ago, I started adding dairy back into my diet.  Not in any particular order — just trying to avoid eating “too much” on any given day.

Since then, The Dude’s poops have taken on a strange consistency — very mucous-y, with a few little streaks of blood on occasion — and, in retrospect, he’s had more issues with gas.  At first, I chalked it up to a bit of a stomach bug, but when it continued, I looked it up, and, you guessed it, the stool changes were consistent with a dairy sensitivity.

So it’s out with the dairy once again.  I’m willing to make the sacrifice if it actually helps him, and at least this time, I have something concrete (or not) to monitor for improvement.

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5 Responses to On again, off again

  1. EcoCatLady says:

    That’s all VERY interesting. Over the summer I ran into a nursing mother who was having similar issues, and hence, was avoiding all dairy. She said it was nearly torture for her, but I did get a great recipe for popcorn out of the deal (sprinkle it with garlic powder, salt and nutritional yeast – it’s AMAZING!)

    Anyhow, since I’ve started eating meat again, I’ve noticed that my dairy consumption has fallen to practically zero… and I find this really curious. It’s not like I’ve made some sort of conscious decision to swap one for the other, I just don’t find myself craving cheese like I used to. I’m not eating a lot of meat either… usually just one small serving per day. But I am using it in my soup stock… which ends up in just about everything I cook, and somehow it gives it enough flavor or protein or something that I just don’t think to grab the cheese and smother everything like I used to. I even let a chunk of yummy pepper jack go bad in the fridge because I just never got around to eating it… this is UNHEARD of for me!

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating meat eating… I still have plenty of ethical issues with the whole thing. And if so many other foods weren’t off the table for me, I never would have “gone there” in the first place, but I do find it all very interesting.

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