My son Robby was given the label “failure to thrive,” when he was only a few months old. From when he was a tiny baby, he was never a good nurser — he would spit up or even vomit after most feedings and we were told to supplement him with formula. So he would nurse and then we would give him a bottle of formula after each feeding.
We did this for a number of months until I started looking into possible reasons for his failure to thrive diagnosis. Robby just never seemed to gain that much weight. He was on the skinny side and while he seemed to be “with it,” and social with us, he didn’t seem like the active chubby babies in his playgroup. He did not meet many of his milestones for a long time: rolling over, babbling, crawling, so he was definitely delayed.
Removal of Allergenic Foods Helped
A lactation consultant that I had been seeing suggested that I consider removing certain foods from my diet to see if it made a difference in his feeding habits. So then we began the long process of removing foods from my diet: milk, soy, beef, citrus, beans, wheat, and a few other foods. Although things did not seem to get better at first, by the time I had taken a lot of foods out of my diet his spitting up and vomiting began to go away (it didn’t seem like there was anything left to eat!).
It was clear to me that he was allergic or at least sensitive to food in my breast milk, so we eventually had him tested at an allergist’s office. Sure enough, he was positive for beef, milk, soy, corn, some citrus fruits, and all sorts of beans. We suspected that he also was sensitive to more foods, so I just pulled other foods out of my diet that I suspected were a problem for him.
When I stopped breast feeding him, he seemed to drop in weight again, and we had to give him a special formula called Neocate for a while. His food allergies were obviously a problem, but we suspected that there was something else going on, too.
Gut Dysbiosis and Malabsorption
We went to see a holistic doctor who recommended that we start him on probiotics and some vitamin supplements, and continue to do a modified diet. She told us that Robby had gut dysbiosis and malabsorption and that his food allergies probably were causing inflammation in his intestines which would affect his ability to get nutrients from the food.
We did NAET treatments with a naturopath to help him get over his food allergies. Over time, we have been able to reintroduce foods into his diet. We found out that he was severely deficient in folate and B-vitamins, so we supplemented him with dosages suggested by our naturopath.
Robby is still behind his peers, but he is catching up! He is now walking and talking and we are so relieved because he was not doing either before we started him on his supplements. Our naturopath thinks that the B vitamin supplements were a critical missing piece for him.
He can now handle so many more foods and he is putting weight on. We eat a very good diet at our house–only organic foods, cooked at home. I think this makes a difference because he is getting good quality food.
We are continuing to learn more about how food and certain diets can heal his gut, so we are thinking about doing the GAPS (Gut And Psychology Syndrome) diet. Hopefully, we’ll learn more about to fix his gut, but for now, I think we are on the right track.
– Sandy in CT