Do you have an infant who exhibits any of the following signs or symptoms:
- Blood in stool
- Reflux, vomiting or an intolerance to breastmilk or formula
- Chronic diarrhea
- Chronic constipation
- Eczema or other persistent rashes
- Red rings/rashes around the anus
- Colic, excessive irritability
If your infant shows one or many of these signs or symptoms, he or she may be sending you “red flag” warning signs that they are affected by this epidemic.
Often times these symptoms in babies can be alleviated or ameliorated by identifying and removing food allergens or intolerances in the mother’s diet (if breastfeeding) or in formula or baby food. Many breastfeeding mothers find that they can reduce or eliminate the above symptoms by taking particular foods out of their own diet. The most common food allergens are: dairy, wheat, egg, and soy, but other foods known to cause problems include citrus, shellfish, nuts or any other food that is eaten on a regular basis.
If your child has colic, reflux or other apparent gastrointestinal symptoms, it may be the foods that you eat everyday causing the problem. If you do decide to remove foods from your diet or your baby’s diet, be sure to work with a qualified nutritionist/dietitian who can help ensure that you and your baby are receiving proper nutrition.
If your physician recommends putting your infant on Prevacid, Prilosec or another reflux medication, use extreme caution. Use of these medications in infants may have long-term consequences including gut dysbiosis, food allergies, and immune dysregulation.
Before putting your infant on a reflux medication, consider trying an elimination diet first. Consider removing the foods you typically eat everyday (e.g., cereal and milk, coffee, orange juice, bread, eggs, etc.) and replace them with foods that you do not normally eat (e.g., quinoa, millet, vegetables and meats that you do not usually eat, etc.).
See if this improves the severity of your infant’s symptoms. If the symptoms improve while on the elimination diet, then you know that you are dealing with a food sensitivity/intolerance/allergy.