- click to tweet
Our culture, our modern society and our modern medicine have stopped us paying attention to what is in front of us, the most obvious of signs and symptoms of allergies including Cow's Milk Protein Allergy, CMPA along with other food allergies and intolerances.
We have become accustomed to thinking that there are certain sufferings in life that we must either accept or put up with.
We have decided, as western cultures, that convince and fun in food are far more important than health. We have changed our fundamental values and beliefs that immediate gratification and joy are far more important than long term health.
And when it comes to your own health, that is fine. That is your decision. The consequences of that decision are on your head.
But our children?
You are the guardian and custodian of your child's health. Every decision you make you must be able to justify to them when they are 12, 16 and 36. Your decisions about their infantile healthcare have life-long impacts. Be educated. - click to tweet
I'm pretty sure that no parent really wants to hurt their child. that if asked "would you do anything for your child?" that every parent would say "Yes" unequivocally.
I know what it is like to say No to your child.
My daughter will psychically stop breathing at night if she so much as looks at an egg, or a sausage, or regular soap due to the allergies she has. [amongst a whole lot longer list].
So believe me when I say I know what it is like to say no to your child and they look at you with those eyes that say "please mum, just this once? Please let me try the foods that everyone else is having"...
And I've given in, I've let her have birthday cake.
And I've had less than 1 hours sleep as a result. Because I wanted to let her be "normal". I wanted to let her have the instant gratification of a sugar high.
So how do you know if your child or baby might be harbouring a hidden allergy or intolerance to a food they are eating? These are my top 5 signs:
Dark rings under their eyes.
Prolonged ones. A few nights of poor sleep will also cause dark patches under a child's eyes, which will substantially reduce with just one good night's sleep.
Dark lines, dark circles or marks that are just "there" for kids, are a true sign of a disturbance in the digestive system. This is underpinned by Chinese medicine as the Stomach Meridian (energy pathway) starts just in the base of the eye socket.
Yes. Reflux is a symptom of something else other than the problem itself (Read more on the causes of reflux here). In only a very very small number of children is acid production the actual problem. In babies, regurgitation is a normal part of development. Reflux that causes pain is a problem in lots of babies, but is often caused by something else. Seethis post on tongue tie and latch causing increased air intake which presents as reflux.
And how many babies are diagnosed with reflux who actually have Cows Milk Protein Allergy (CMPA)? And cow's milk is not the only food substance that has the propensity to cause reflux. Other food allergies can present the same way, with similar symtpoms.
Abdominal Pain, Bloating, Wind. as subsets of reflux...
All of these can occur naturally. If they are features of a child's life early on and constantly, and cause discomfort and pain, then chances are there is something going on for your baby or child that is causing this discomfort in their digestive system. Intolerances to foods early on give us all sorts of signs and signals that something is not right. We should pay more attention.
A Cold. That Lasts Longer than it Should
Yes. Runny nose, sneezing, coughing. All classic signs of an allergy or intolerance.
If a cold does not start to improve after 7 days from "catching" it, ask questions if indeed there is something else at play.
Breathing Problems, (Enlarged Adenoids)
I was told my youngest daughter had a cold for 5 months by the GP (with monthly visits). Then I figured it out, she was actually having a reaction to something in her diet. Eggs was first, then the biggest one we discovered was sulphites. We are still waiting for our appointment to confirm allergy or intolerance (IgE or IgG response). But with a 30 week wait time, I'm very glad that I used my own skills to track down and identify all her allergens and now she sleeps perfectly every night. Breathing easily, breathing happily, and breathing constantly.
Crankiness, violence, whiny, aggression.
In children and babies we typically put these behavioural characteristics down to tiredness, development milestones or emotional disturbances. And yes, all of these can be the very cause of behavioural upsets.
However, constant mood swings, inexplicable bad behaviour is not how our children are designed. They are actually predisposed to be happy and pleasant. No child is hard-wired to have poor behaviour.
So next time you observe a child having a behavioural episode, especially the type that make you, as a parent, want to as "what is going on with you? What have I done today to cause this? All I did was clean up after you, make sure you had 15 choices of food, clean your clothes and plan a fun day out"? - type of reaction. Then ask yourself what has your child eaten earlier in the day?
I had to do this myself a year or so ago when my 3 yo was lashing out at my 18 month every few afternoons, always around 5pm. And it turns out that these were the days she was having a fruit smoothie as treat! She isn't allergic to the fruit, she isn't intolerant to the fruit. Her body was reacting to the blood sugar spike and drop! Yes! From a pure fruit drink.
Similar reactions can be caused from allergies and intolerances directly
Babies who have CMPA, any food allergies or intolerances have a more sensitive naturally immature digestive system than other babies. And so this makes them more susceptible to intolerances when introducing foods.
I have written my book the Baby Reflux Lady's Survival Guide to help all of you, parents of babies struggling with reflux and CMPA through this minefield of suffering and risk to the other side in a safe manner so that you can enjoy being parents and your babies can be symptom free.