Jump to content

Does gluten cause your child to be irritable and disturb their sleep?


  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

#1 Genabee

Posted 17 January 2013 - 02:32 PM

DD (20 months) has recently had a trial period of being gluten free, based on our paediatrician's advice, due to suspected coeliac disease (or at the very least, gluten intolerance). DD began to lose weight, in addition to a whole host of other symptoms, and as the paed wasn't sure how long a wait it would be until we saw the gastro, she wanted us to stay gluten free as DD had begun to put weight on. (I am aware this is against the normal protocol for those being tested for coeliacs, and questioned this myself initially).

Fast forward 2 months and we have seen the gastro, have been tested for the gene (currently waiting for the results), further bloods will be done next month (testing for other things as a precautionary measure) and a biopsy has been booked for March. In the mean time we have begun to reintroduce gluten, starting with small amounts, increasing daily. Since the reintroduction of gluten to her diet, DD has been increasingly irritable, either completely refuses to have a day sleep or only sleeps for an hour (previously would happily sleep for up to three hours) and is waking up overnight (previously would sleep through uninterrupted).

Previously to going gluten free, her stools were frequent and often explosive and she was always irritable. On a gluten free diet, stools normal and she was averaging 1 to 2 per day; she has been sleeping well and she has been a much happier toddler. Over this past week, stools have increased in frequency again, but at this stage they are still seemingly normal. Her tummy is extremely bloated and her facial rash has reappeared.

I am interested to know if anyone else's children (coeliac or otherwise) have similar behavioural reactions to gluten? Is this coincidental and I am just hyper sensitive to it (as we are keeping a diary of inputs and outputs), or can gluten send our kids feral???!!!! OR is this suggesting there is definitely some underlying intolerance or coeliac disease and this is how she reacts?

#2 FeralZombieMum

Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:38 AM

My DD with Coeliac disease was quite irritable - part of that was because she was low in iron and lacked energy, the other part was because she felt sick.

Her sleeping was shocking too - but she woke up most nights with night terrors and was very difficult to calm down and she could easily scream for a couple of hours. Our solution at the time was for me to co sleep in her bed and I did this for about 12 months until she was finally diagnosed.

She also had a few red flags for Aspergers, but within 2 weeks of being gluten free, she was a completely different child.

#3 Genabee

Posted 26 January 2013 - 06:29 PM

Thanks Zombie Mum.

DD is doing a gluten challenge at the moment and within a day of her having the smallest amount of gluten, her behaviour has changed completely. She is constantly irritable and lethargic. Also has become unusually clingy and is waking screaming at night (after sleeping through for ages).

I phoned the gastro to ask if this was normal and she basically told me that it has nothing to do with giving her gluten, even if she is coeliac! But there is nothing else we can attribute the sudden change to. It's so frustrating.

So, we are still hanging in there and giving it to her, counting down the days until the biopsy...

#4 VintageEyes

Posted 26 January 2013 - 07:03 PM

Since starting gluten free DS has been sleeping much better. He still wakes up a couple of times a night, but he now will be still, whereas before he would be writhing around all night even when being held.
It makes sense that he is also less irritable because he is getting much beyer quality of sleep.

I wasn't all aware that this could be a side effect, so there is no chance it is just a coincidence/placebo.

#5 75etd

Posted 26 January 2013 - 07:38 PM

My 2.5yo DD has been on a gluten free and lactose free diet since she was about 12 months. This change to gf and lf coincided with her beginning to sleep through the night. In my opinion it was no coincidence. There have been times when we've been on holidays when she has not followed her gf and lf diet and sure enough night waking started occurring again. She also has eczema and dry skinafter a period of time eating a diet containing gluten and lactose.

As she doesn't sleep as well when not following her gf and lf diet she is definitely more irritable, however this could also possibly be attributed to her having a pain in her belly.

Follow your instinct. Numerous doctors have previously told me my DD couldn't be lactose intolerant, nor could her ezcema be attributed to food intolerances-well I can tell you they are wrong. Doctors are not always a font of all knowledge.

Do you have a family history if celiac disease? Am interested as we have made a decision not to test for celiac at this point in time, however it is always in the back of my mind. My DD does seem to be able to tolerate gluten more readily than she did a year ago. Also my DD has never had the explosive poos our problems with gaining weight.



#6 libbylu

Posted 26 January 2013 - 07:48 PM

Have you also had her iron checked?
Kids with coeliac sometimes have low iron, and low iron is associated with night waking and irritability.
Of course, she could just be waking at night and be irritable because the gluten is giving her a tummy ache.

#7 ~Joanne~

Posted 26 January 2013 - 07:56 PM

My DS was diagnosed at 21 months after months of trying to find out what was wrong with him.

As a baby and a young toddler he was an angel...slept well, very content but that all changed with the onset of Coeliacs Disease. His sleep was often disturbed, his tummy bloated and he was so very irritable. He would lose it at the smallest of things which was so out of character for him. Nobody wanted to babysit him as he had become so difficult to handle.

After diagnosis and a strict gluten free diet he returned to his old self.

Are you seeing a pediatric gastro?

#8 mum2cooper

Posted 26 January 2013 - 07:57 PM

My children don't react to gluten but we have a friend who is 6 who says his head feels funny and he has behavioural problems when he has gluten - no other side effects from what I know. He is now on a gluten free diet and doesn't have the issues he has when he eats gluten. If you think there is a link I would be inclined to believe it after seeing what gluten can do to this friend of ours.

#9 ~Joanne~

Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:04 PM

QUOTE (libbylu @ 26/01/2013, 08:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Have you also had her iron checked?
Kids with coeliac sometimes have low iron, and low iron is associated with night waking and irritability.
Of course, she could just be waking at night and be irritable because the gluten is giving her a tummy ache.


Very true!

Make sure your doctor checks for mineral deficiencies. DS was very deficient in iron and vitamin K.
Our doctor was very hesitant in doing our son's initial biopsy because of the vitamin K deficiency as it affects the ability of the blood to clot.

#10 Carmen02

Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:11 PM

DS does become very lathergic when he has gluten! He was diganoised almost 2yrs ago at a guess! (his 8) Time goes way to quickly, his behaviour doesnt change his the most easy going boy around!

#11 FeralZombieMum

Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:15 PM

If your DD has Coeliac Disease - then her body is treating gluten like poison. Symptoms can be like gastro or food poisoning.

Imagine how you'd be feeling if you ate something that didn't agree with you - you'd have trouble sleeping, and you'd feel irritable because you just feel sick. sad.gif She might also be feeling hungry, but might not feel like eating. She might also be having cramps.

Unfortunately, even some medical people that are supposed to be knowledgeable, lack proper understanding of all the symptoms a gluten reaction can cause, and give incorrect advice.

It's a pity the paed suggested trialling the gluten free diet first, but unfortunately this isn't uncommon. sad.gif

My DD didn't have severe immediate reactions prior to being gluten free, but once it was removed, she became extremely sensitive. We have even had to ban cooking with normal flour in our kitchen to reduce the risk of cross contamination.
These days she does get irritable if she's been exposed to trace amounts. She also gets sick. sad.gif

It's really hard to watch your child react this way, knowing that what you're feeding them could possibly be making her sicker. It's good that she's a young age - in some ways it would be so much harder if this was happening when she was at school because she might miss weeks of her education. And I'm assuming she's still in nappies, so easier on her to deal with those side effects. (not so easy for mum wink.gif ).


Make sure you are giving her as much gluten as possible - you want that damage to show up in a biopsy (it can be patchy), because then it won't drag out for too long.

#12 Genabee

Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:51 PM

Thank you everyone for your responses and support.

To answer a few questions:

Yes, there is a history of coeliac disease in the family; my father and sister both have it and I carry the gene. I currently test negative for coeliac, but I am pretty sure I am gluten intolerant as I feel much better on a gluten free diet. Hence we are confirming/ruling out CD as a diagnosis for DD.

Yes, we are under a paediatric gastro.

Her iron levels tested at the low end of the normal range. Her vitamin D levels were 'good', thyroid and liver function were normal. We are going to be doing a whole lot of repeat bloods at the end of Feb, and also testing for a range of other allergies and further looking at the immune system. We are still waiting for her gene test for CD to come back (if it is neg, I assume they won't be going ahead with the biopsy that is currently scheduled for March).

She is now having gluten in all major meals and it is definitely impacting on the gut. Today we had 5 dirty nappies...  sick.gif She seemed to be constipated for the first week back on gluten (which she has rarely been in the past, but there you go), but now we are back to loose bowel movements - not quite liquid, but give her another couple of days and I am guessing they will be.

I am convinced she is having gut pains, as when she cries out in her sleep, she is moving all over the cot trying to get comfortable (usually with her bum up in the air). Other times you see her irritable as, trying to pass wind or do a poo, then once she does, she is happy for a little while...

She hasn't lost any weight since reintroducing it, but she hasn't gained any either. Bloated tummy is back though. sad.gif




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Teaching our son to say no to violence against women

Today, on White Ribbon Day - and every other day - we're teaching our son to say no to violence against women.

Mothers told to breastfeed in 'spacious' toilet

If there is one thing the owners of Tillings Cafe can be certain of, it is that the eatery won't win the award for Britain's best baby-friendly coffee shop any time soon.

Mother gives name to son dumped down drain

A woman who admitted to dumping her newborn baby down a Sydney drain has reportedly been allowed to give him a name.

Taking small steps to reduce stress

Are you feeling used up by life's stress, family problems and a demanding job you can't turn off? Many people are way beyond work-life exhaustion. They are functioning as robots.

Bad news: we're running out of chocolate

The world's biggest chocolate-maker says we're running out of chocolate.

Born at 23 weeks, 'Chopstick Baby' survives first week

A baby who was born at 23 weeks has survived her first week of life outside the womb.

Manic stations: the nesting instinct in pregnancy

It might sound like temporary insanity, but almost obsessive nesting as you near your due date isn’t uncommon – even if you’re not usually a particularly clean person.

How a baby can survive alone for days on end

The baby found abandoned in a Sydney drain may have been alone for up to six days without being fed, leaving many asking how he could have survived.

When it begins to look a lot like Christmas

A child's excitement at Christmas time is a beautiful thing, but one dad ponders whether his toddler daughter is getting into the festive mood a bit too soon.

Hospital lets dads the experience some of the pain of childbirth

A new experience is radically altering men's views of childbirth.

Italian doctors questioned over formula bribes

Italian police have placed 12 doctors under house arrest on suspicion of promoting baby milk formula over breastfeeding.

Heartwarming prank gives single mum the house she was hired to clean

Cara Simmons arrived at work to clean a large and beautiful house in time for a party planned for that evening. It was soon hers.

Those special moments of sibling bonding

Every now and then your child does or says something that is truly memorable.

Why we should stop telling new parents to 'enjoy every moment'

A few weeks ago, some dear friends of mine had their first baby. As the proud dad texted me a picture I had to fight the natural instinct to say “Enjoy every moment!”

Baby monitor footage posted online

Footage of Australian babies and children sleeping in their bedrooms are among the images on a Russian site showing live feeds from thousands of homes and businesses around the world.

Did this new dad really hit on his wife's midwife?

Was there really a man who was actually there by his wife’s side as she laboured and gave birth to his child, all while he was making what he perceived to be meaningful eye contact with a midwife?

Keep calm and ignore the Tantrum Trolls

Tantrum Trolls are a small but growing species of predatory bottom-feeders who delight in picking on parents at their most vulnerable.

It's okay to never 'get over' the death of a loved one

The death of children, siblings, and parents has long term impacts on the rest of our lives.

What Mark Latham needs to know about depression and motherhood

Love has nothing to do with mental illness. But love may drive a mother to do something about it.

'We're just trying to keep our child alive': life with FPIES

We have a beautiful seven-month-old son, and his allergy rules our life.

Transgender dad breastfeeds his babies

A transgender man who breastfed his first baby - despite having his breasts removed as part of his transformation from female to male - has now had a second child.

Couple face $1 million medical bill and bankruptcy after babymoon birth

A Canadian couple were slammed with a million dollar medical bill after their daughter was prematurely during their babymoon.

Cigarettes, junk food dominate supermarket sales growth

One in every five dollars spent at supermarkets goes on cigarettes or junk food, according to industry data.

Teacher under fire for breastfeeding in class

There is no doubt mums have a right to continue breastfeeding after they have returned to work, but one teacher in the US has taken it to the extreme.

Win a family pass to Disney Live!

We have 4 family passes to give away to see Disney Live! presents Three Classic Fairy Tales, touring Australia this December/January.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Join PADDINGTON on the red carpet!

To celebrate the release of PADDINGTON, we are giving five lucky winners the chance to win a family pass to the exclusive Australian Premiere in Sydney on December 7!

The tragedy of losing a favourite teddy bear

We were green and uninitiated, perhaps a little naïve when it came to the favourite toy responsibility.

Video: Baby sniffs beardless dad to make sure it's him

She looks him up and down and then touches his chin, but baby Lindsey still isn't sure this clean-shaven man is her dad.

It's possible to workout while pregnant

Medical experts say intense fitness routines can be done safely during pregnancy - if the mums-to-be follow some guidelines.

What parents really want for their kids

Are our hopes, dreams and expectations for our children what they really need?

'I had a feeling something was seriously wrong'

Before even giving birth, Katie Myers' maternal instincts warned her something was wrong with her baby.

When your pregnancy causes a relationship rift

Some dads-to-be don't miss a beat when their partner is pregnant; others struggle with a range of issues and can become withdrawn, right when their support is needed most.

Couple uses group photo trick to announce pregnancy to loved ones

Katharine and Kris Camilli devised a clever trick to immortalise their family and friends' reactions to their exciting pregnancy news.

Why Tracey Spicer has given up make-up

"After 30 years on television, I had become what I despised: a painted doll who spent an hour a day and close to $200 a week putting on a mask."

Knowing you are one of the lucky ones

I am secure, confident and strong, but the responsibility of protecting my children can almost bring me undone.

Why I am so emotional now I have kids?

There are so many ways in which parenthood changes us as women, but one of the most noticeable, for me, has been the changing state of my emotions.

Baby survives despite sharing womb with 'foreign body'

Baby Maia was conceived against the odds, only to find she was sharing a womb with an ominous "foreign body".

Video: Baby shows dog how to jump - or vice versa

They say dog is man's best friend, but this playful pooch seems to have chosen a jumping baby as her number one buddy.

10 ways to soothe a crying baby

New paernts can get frustrated when their newborn gets fussy and can't settle down. When you're feeling overwhelmed, try some of these simple tips to help soothe your baby.

20 baby names that are becoming more popular every year

The data-lovers at nameberry.com have been at it again – this time, they’ve discovered the names that are continually rising up the ranks, ready to take out some top spots in the next few years.

10 great meals to make for new parents

Ideally, you want to give food that isn’t expensive to make, isn't too difficult to create, and freezes well; stews, bakes, soups and pasta sauces are perfect.

Weird pregnancy products

Some pregnancy products come to market and are just awesome. Others just leave you scratching your head.

Carers admit to force-feeding children

Christa Engles was changing her baby's nappy when tragedy struck.

 

How many weeks til Christmas?

On your To-Do list

Get the "Santa" shopping done without the kids in tow.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.