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Thread: Failure to Thrive/Protein Allergy

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    Default Failure to Thrive/Protein Allergy

    *sigh*sob* After seeing a pediatrician last week my son was 'labelled' failure to thrive. he is not quite 12 lbs and will be five months old this week. He weighed 8lbs 8 oz. at birth but got down to 8 lbs 4 oz. We have struggled with bf from the beginning - at first the thought was low milk supply but each time I take something either allopathic(domperidone) or herbal I end up with plugged ducts / mastitis. He feeds up to 16 times a day...rarely is he satisfied for longer than an hour. He sleeps very poorly, want to be held all the time so I wear him in a sling. We co-sleep so i can get some rest and to give him a lot of opportunitiees to gain.
    We have had blood work and urine tests done and tomroorw go for a sweat test and kidney ultrasound.
    The doc thinks it is possible a protein allergy and put him on losec (dairy free) to help with reflux but the meds seem to really upset his tummy so I have stopped giving them. I have cut out all dairy, soy, eggs, and red meat from my diet.
    I am really worried...waht could be wrong here???Why is he not gaining? He has grown taller and his head circ. is increasing but still falling percentile wise.
    We are currently supplement with nutramigen but he only takes aobut 4-10 ounces a day through the sns to preserve bf if possible. Our bf goals were to extended bf but right now I'd be happy to make it to six months.
    What woule a protein allergy look like....would he outgrow it??? I have spoken with a IBCLC and she suggests to go through with all the testing to rule out a serious problem.
    Could the problem still be me...is it possible to just have an inadequate amount of nutrients in my breastmilk? I so wanted bf'ing to work this time. I have a 2 1/2 year old dd that I had to supplement for 5 months due to a severe tongue tie.
    Any advice is appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: Failure to Thrive/Protein Allergy

    Has your doctor mentioned malabsorption syndrome? It is a condition that causes the small intestine to inadquetly absorb nutrients (protien, fat, and carbohydrates).

    My DD, 6 weeks old, dipped and didn't gain for almost 3 weeks straight and this was one option we talked about. I know what you're going through. For us it turned out to be my milk supply, and with supplementation and continued work to increase my supply she has begun to pick up again.

    Anyway, in the blood panel they'd be looking for sodium (decreased levels can indicate lossed electrolytes), cholesterol (decreased levels may indicate poor fat absorption), B12, and a few others. Usually though, they want to do a barium x-ray of the intestines (or CT scan), and if needed, a biopsy (only in serious cases depending on prior test results).

    I don't know much about it but began looking online when it was mentioned to us.

    Even after supplementing with the SNS, it may be worth asking about if he still shows no signs of thriving well. The good news is, once it's diagnosed it's easily treated with diet and propper supplementing (balancing the right amounts of fat, protien, and carbs).

    My heart goes out to you, I know what it's like to think the problem is ours. Despite all my efforts, I still feel like I'm letting my little one down. It's a horrible feeling.

    Deffinitly go through with all the tests though. I'm lucky in that my doctor is a big advocate of BF and is encouraging of us, even though it's difficult when problems arise. Kudos to you for sticking it out for 5 months, what a great job!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Default Re: Failure to Thrive/Protein Allergy

    I am so sorry you are having such a difficult time! My DS was also diagnosed FTT (though at an older age and problem was more readily identifiable), but still I know how heartbreaking that can be. You are doing such a great job in continuing to nurse and trying everything to help your baby. I think its highly unlikely that the problem is your milk. Unless its just low supply, which it seems you've tried to rule out, breastmilk contains all the nutrients a baby needs unless mom is SEVERELY malnourished. I would definitely go ahead with all the testing suggested by the pediatrician. My thoughts when I read your post were similar to previous poster (maybe some type of malabsorption problem or other illness), though I don't know very much about those issues. When the pediatrician suggested protein allergy, did he mean to a food protein that is coming through in your milk? Did he have any other suggestions besides the elimination of the dairy, soy, and eggs? I know that peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and wheat are the other common allergens besides the three you already mentioned. It becomes very difficult to cut them all out, though, as you end up with nothing else to eat. Did the tests today give you any further information?

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