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Unknown food intolerance, what would you do?
4 year old with stomach pains

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#1 hopeful81

Posted 14 March 2012 - 03:44 PM


My DD is 4 and has been complaining of stomach pains since she was about 2.5 years old. Over the last year and a half she would complain about them every so often but go through a period of complaining really regularly (daily) only for them to pitter out again to only every so often. Over the last 1.5 years I'd taken her to the Dr several times for this specific reason (at least 4 + times) and they would do nothing more than press her stomach and no formal testing.

Over the last couple of months she's been going through one of her stages again of complaining really regularly (many times a day). We've put her through the wringer doing blood tests, stool samples, urine tests, xrays, ultrasounds, allergy testing....

Bloods were normal (all good on the coeliac test they do), stool samples normal, urine test normal, xray normal, allergy testing (no reactions to anything tested). Ultrasound should excessive gas in the bowel so much so that the technician was having trouble scanning organs in enough detail. DD has never had constipation or diarrhoea and is very regular in her bowel habits. DD also never gets ezcema, rashes or anything similar to note. Her mozzie bites are always pretty big and red but I think the mozzies just love her.

Allergy Dr/ Specialist is confident she has a food intolerance going on (she has dark rings under her eyes) and suggested a strict elimination diet for two weeks (fruit, vegies, meat and rice only), then introduce challenges.

I know this may sound like a cop out but I fear the strict elimination diet will be pretty hard for DD to handle and I guess was just looking for any suggestions or advice that anyone may have about trying to identify intolerances in a less regimented way? I've taken cows milk out of diet for the last week and replaced with rice milk to give her a chance to get used to it before I take out some more of the regular foods from her diet (am basically trying to avoid her starving herself as she is pretty stubborn when she wants to be).

So, any advice or tips for me? How would you proceed knowing what you have learnt from your own experiences?

Also, a question, where do you go to get the lactose breath test performed? I've heard of it but don't know where to get it performed.
Also, anyone with a gassy child have any tips on managing it?

Thanks in advance.

#2 boy0hboy

Posted 15 March 2012 - 08:24 AM

Sorry but I don't think there is an easy way out. My only suggestions are that you talk to her and explain why she has to do it. And also not to have other foods that she can't have in the house (or at least keep them out of sight for eating when she's not around if possible).

It's hard but hopefully it will be worth it.

Good Luck!

#3 rachelwc

Posted 04 April 2012 - 09:56 AM


I have a 4 yr old that has food intolerance (mostly behaviour related). After seeing our Paediatrician and a family psycologist to stamp out ASD, our Paed directed us to the book by Sue Dengate, Fed Up. http://www.fedupwithfoodadditives.info/books/setFUinfo.htm

I would definitely recommend the additive/preservative free way. I used the book as a guide but didn't do the full elimination diet that is mentioned in there. Our little man is very fussy, and I was worried that the big change would have a negative effect. So we have just used the book as a guideline to eliminate the general additives and preservatives that cause the reactions.

As he is 4, we were able to explain to him that we were not going to eat "bad guys" any more. We call the food that he can eat "good guys". He now even recognises when he eats something with bad guys in it - he loses control of himself and his eyes glaze over and the boil over tantrums are horrendous. So I just say to him no mate, it has bad guys and he never argues!!! I guess the down side to not doing the Elimination diet we are not 100% sure on what doesn't affect him. But I am happy with the result we have achieved by the general guidelines for now.

Let me tell you the change is massive - he is a different child. We let it slacken over the Xmas and new year and we paid the price.

We changed his whole diet - we have eliminated wholemeal/wholegrains from his diet and now eat white bakery bread without 282 preservative, no tomato sauce, peanut butter, vegimite, honey or gravy. I thought I was doing the right thing giving him yoghurt and cheese - these are loaded with bad guys as they have the colour 160b. The only yoghurt that is ok to eat is the natural set stuff - which has quite a tang to it  sad.gif Anything with a yellow colouring (cheezels are the worst for him), no frozen nuggets or fish fingers (I do my own and use chicken breast/mince, fish and home done breadcrumbs), anything with cocoa in it, tiny teddies were really bad for him too so now we just do arnott scotch fingers (all generic/home branded stuff is loaded with bad guys!) I was surprised at even the fruit and vegies that have bad guys in them!

Woolies do an organic peanut butter and tomato sauce and he didn't notice the change. Birds eye oven bake French fries are the only ones I have found to be failsafe.

It really is a lot to change, and seems very overwhelming - but it is worth it and once you get into the swing of it, it really is not much more work than preparing meals now. The change far outweighs the negatives.

Good luck with it. It is worth it.

R  rolleyes.gif

#4 oliversmum

Posted 04 April 2012 - 10:46 AM


l also have a 4 year old with lots of problems with eczema, behaviour, sleep tantrums ect..
also feeling sick in the tummy all the time...

l had always wanted to do the elimination diet from the fed up book but never knew where to start, finally l just bit the bullet and we are doing it now! we are doing the rpa elimination diet with a dietition..
Its really hard work, especially with a boy that loves all the things he cant have,
we havent got to the challenges yet but im so glad l stuck it out as we have seem outstanding results

no eczema!!!
no funny tummies!!!
so much happier its hard to believe......
its really hard on the kids at times but in the long run better, there are a few treats you can get to make it easier..... white musk sticks and pear lollipops are a hit here!

hope you find out some of the things that are affecting your little one

see if you can get hold of the book fed up as metioned...its brilliant

#5 mumto3princesses

Posted 05 April 2012 - 07:20 AM

Hi, we were going to try it years ago but it was too hard for us with 3 kids.

DD2 was already dairy free as she is CMPI. And DD1 kept complaining of tummy pains on and off for years. I had also noticed that after eating some things the girls behaviour would get bad or they would get emotional. So, I decided to try it gradually first to see if I could tell what may have been the problems and I got an exercise book and wrote down what they all ate each day along with any tummy aches or behaviour problems which helped to give me a hint to what the problems may be. I have heard that intolerances can be something they have just had or they may have had it a few days ago, so keeping a food diary really helps.

I swapped as much as I could for better options rather than taking everything away straight away. For us I found bread with 282 as pp mentioned the biggest problem but I also found that bread with vinegar as a preservative is no good for my girls either. After removing that bread from their diet I found they were all less emotional. DD1 was 9yrs and had swapped half her sandwich with a friends wholemeal salad sandwich thinking she was being healthy but I could tell within 10mins of picking her up from school that she had eaten something she shouldn't have as she was emotional. We also found that DD1's tummy aches have something to do with normal white bread, even bakers delight. Not sure why. She can have the low-gi white bread or wholemeal though with no problems.

I also wont let my girls eat anything with msg or any of the 600 numbers which is in heaps of things as their behaviour takes a nose dive after eating it and its nasty stuff anyway.

You said you had taken cows milk out of her diet but did you also check all food? There is dairy in all sorts of things even things.

As pp mentioned the book Fed Up is good and I also have the cookbook.

Edited by mumto3princesses, 05 April 2012 - 07:20 AM.

#6 Acidulous Osprey

Posted 05 April 2012 - 02:29 PM

Don't complicate it by doing the Dengate elimination diet at first.  The PPs are talking about a specific elimination diet but your doctor has not suggested that one.  The Dengate/Failsafe diet is harder to do than just a general elimination diet.

There's no easy way to do it but I have found that as my DS felt better it was easier for him to comply.

#7 Bubble11

Posted 05 April 2012 - 02:42 PM

You can start by eliminating the most common allergens - gluten not just wheat (even if not ceoliacs), dairy, egg, peanuts, soy, yeast, cashews, corn and see if that solves the problem, then if it does you add the foods back one at a time to identify the culprit/s.    It's a smaller elimiation diet.  You can also keep a food diary, of everything she eats and try to find a pattern with the reactions, though reactions are often delayed.  Unfortunetly most food intollerances, aren't strictly Ige or Iga mediated allergies so don't show up in blood work and a full elimination diet is often the only way to identify them.  If your in a major city you could try to get refered to one of the hospital based allergy/intollerance diagnosis programs like the one at royal prince alfred in sydney.  As a PP said I'd try the normal elimination diet first, the failsafe one is more about additives and certain food chemicals then specific food intollerances.  Sue Dengate might be worth reading for her info on how to do elimination diets involving children, she does say the whole family should do the diet as it's hard for a child to complie if the see the rest of the family eating all the foods they can't.  It's super healthy at least.  

Gas can also be from beans or pulses, and things like cabbage (when cooked too long, my allergy book says to cook very lightly).  As a PP said you have to read every lable, for dairy nothing that says lactose as well as milk, or milk protein.  If it's lactose lots of medicaitons in tablet form are lactose based too.

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