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Thread: Cow's milk allergy vs oversupply

  1. #1
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    Default Cow's milk allergy vs oversupply

    My EBF 2-month-old has had green, mucousy poop since 1 week of age. Recently we have started to see tiny specks of blood in the mucous. Dr says to cut all dairy out of my diet and see what happens. I've been dairy-free for 2 weeks and we're seeing blood in more diapers now that we were previously. I question whether it's an allergy since he shows no other signs-- no excema, no vomiting, gained 7 lbs since birth...
    Has anyone ever seen blood in the poop of their baby from an oversupply problem? My breasts are usually quite full and I let down multiple times in one feeding. I've been nursing on just one side per feeding but maybe I need to take more measures to reduce supply.
    Wondering if anyone out there has had the blood issue and it NOT have been allergy related??

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Cow's milk allergy vs oversupply


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Cow's milk allergy vs oversupply

    read this article.

    What causes blood in baby's stool?

    By Kelly Bonyata, BS, IBCLC

    Many cases of blood in infant stools have no known cause. If the baby is otherwise well and growing, blood in the stool often resolves on its own, but this should always be checked out by baby's doctor.

    The color of the blood gives you a clue about where it originated. Blood originating in the colon or rectum tends to be red and may only streak the outside of the stool. If the blood originates further up the GI tract, then the blood is generally darker in color (dark brown/maroon, black) and mixed throughout the stool instead of just on the outside.
    Some potential causes of blood in baby's stools:

    * A common cause of blood in an infant's stool is a slight anal tear (fissure) from baby straining with the passage of the stool. The small amount of blood from an anal fissure tends to look like a red streak on the outside of the stool.
    * Another common cause of blood in the stools of infants is food allergies. The top allergens are cow's milk products and soy. See Dairy and other Food Sensitivities in Breastfed Babies for more information.
    * A third common cause: If mom has a cracked nipple or other bleeding, then baby may ingest some blood from mom (this is not harmful to baby), which may show up in baby's stool.
    * Occasionally, blood in the stool may be due to breastmilk oversupply. Per Dr. Jack Newman, bloody stools in some babies have been eliminated completely by resolving mom's oversupply. This can be done by following the usual management procedures for oversupply; it can also be helpful to use breast compressions to increase the amount of fat that baby gets while nursing. See Can a baby be allergic to breastmilk? for more information on oversupply causing blood in baby's stool.
    * There are several case reports of a baby beginning to have mucous and/or blood in the stool after starting vitamin/fluoride drops, where the blood disappeared after the drops were discontinued.
    * Blood in the stool may also be caused by a temporary case of lactose intolerance, due to an intestinal infection.
    * Certain kinds of infectious diarrhea can cause bloody stools in babies, including Salmonella and C. Difficile. C. Difficile is a bacteria that grows in the gut if the bacterial balance has been upset; the toxin can cause injury to the mucosa and bloody stools. Breastfed babies tend to have less severe symptoms than non-breastfed babies because breastmilk inhibits the growth of the bacteria.
    * Various forms of colitis, intussusception, or other intestinal disorders are other possible causes.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Cow's milk allergy vs oversupply

    Hi there - wow, I had exactly the same thing as you - both oversupply and blood in the stools, however, the blood in the stools is definitely from an allergy. My sister in law saw a pediatric allergist who told her that blood in the stools is almost always due to an allergy, so when my daughter had blood I tried taking milk out of my diet. Here are a few things I learned:
    1- it takes 3 weeks to clear dairy from your diet. Hang in there.
    2 - It doesn't matter if it's straight cow's milk or a cookie with milk ingredients as the 47th thing on the ingredients list - either will bring on bleeding. Read labels and don't cheat. Milk protein is also known as whey, casein, and sodium caseinate.
    3 - Many kids who are milk protein intollerant are also soy protein intollerant, so if you're using soy as an alternative, try switching to rice products. I personally prefer rice milk to soy milk anyway.
    4 - try skin testing. My daughter also has extremely sensitive skin and will break out at the touch of milk. Just wash thoroughly afterwards. But your LO may not have sensitive skin, but still be allergic to ingestion. It's worth a try, though - makes testing a cinch when they're on solids.

    My daughter is also allergic to eggs, and would bleed if I had eggs for breakfast. She is also allergic to several types of fruit as well as wheat germ, nuts and legumes. I figured out all of her allergies while breastfeeding, by watching her gassiness, bood in poop and her skin. The only allergy that causes eczema for her is the wheat, and it did not cause bleeding. But anyone who tells you that food doesn't transer to BM is nuts. She once had severe collic after ate half a canteloupe. Her father later said, "Have you ever seen me eat cantloupe? I'm allergic to it!" So, appparently, is his daughter...

    So if taking milk and soy out isn't working, try removing other foods, or if you're desperate, go on a safe diet (rice and chicken) and start introducing foods slowly into your own diet and see how your LO reacts.

    Before I forget, you should definitely be single side feeding if you have the oversupply. I tried feeding on one side three times before switching, but was still getting the green gassy poops. Finally I found a lactation consultant who told me to take one cup of strongly steeped sage tea (found at the health food store) three times a day for two days. Stop for a day and watch your supply, then do another day or two if needed. Worked like a charm for both me and another friend of mine who had the same thing. Just be careful - it works fast, so watch your supply. But after I took it my supply reduced, the green poops were gone, along with the gagging, and latch improved.

    Good Luck!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Cow's milk allergy vs oversupply

    Jonahsmum, Thanks so much for all the info! Can you tell me what you typically saw as far as the blood in your baby's stool? (how much, how often, color?) I took my baby to the dr yesterday for his 2-month checkup and brought a diaper in. The dr doesn't seem convinced that it's an allergy-- he said that b/c the amount of blood is so small he still thinks it might be from straining (although he didn't see any fissures). They ran 3 different samples of stool to test for blood and the only one that was positive was the one that I saw blood in. That seemed a little odd to me-- if there is intestinal bleeding, wouldn't it be positive in all his diaper's, even if you can't see blood? The plan for now is to stay dairy-free for a month and see if it resolves, then reintroduce milk products and watch for recurrence. I just wish I could know for sure what, if anything, he is allergic to so I can avoid it in hopes of him growing out of it.
    I'm glad that you were able to figure it out with your LO while breastfeeding...I definitely don't want to have to go to formula.
    Thanks again!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Cow's milk allergy vs oversupply

    Mooma,

    My ebf baby started having blood in his stool at about the same age as it sounds like yours did and like you, I had trouble believing that he was suffering from an allergy. The amount of blood I was seeing was very, very small. So small that if I had not been scanning his poop like a hawk everytime after I saw the initial blood, I never would have seen it.

    I started by going off of cow's milk for two weeks and when that didn't work, I went on what's called an elimination diet (no dairy, soy, eggs, peanuts, treenuts, fish or shellfish) and continued that 5 months when the blood in his stool finally cleared. It was a bit frustrating being on this restrictive diet without seeing any results and I finally asked one of the nurses in our gastroenterologist's office why the diet was necessary when I wasn't seeing results. She explained to me that it is possible for babies to develop sensitivities to certain foods when their intestines are irritated so it's best for moms to avoid common allergens. Difficult as it was, the elimination diet beat the heck out of weaning!!!

    A large portion (65-75% I was told at our GI clinic) of a baby's immune system is their GI tract. For this reason, we delay introducing solids until 6 mo at which point, their GI tract should be mature enough to handle solids without mounting an immune reaction. Initially, I saw the blood in my son's stool go away at the six month mark. From there, I was able to slowly reintroduce the foods that I had been avoiding.

    Just a side note, our gastroenterologist was very supportive of me continuing to nurse. If you should have to see a GI specialist and he/she recommends weaning, I would recommend getting a second opinion as our GI specialist proves that it is not necessary!

    What I saw, when there was blood in my baby's stool, was the tiniest amount of stringy looking blood and occasionally, this would be accompanied by mucous. I was told that this stringy look to the blood, indicated that it was coming from his intestines and that the blood would look fresh and streaky if it had come from a fissure. I would see blood anywhere from several times a week, to once a week. As for whether there should be blood in all stool samples if it's from your baby's intestines, I can't help you.

    Jonahsmum

    What fruits is your LO allergic to (besides cantaloupe)? After months of blood-free poo, we're dealing with a flare up of the allergic colitis and are pulling our hair out, trying to figure out what my baby's reacting to.

    Hope this helps Mooma! It helps me to know I'm not the only one dealing with this!!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Cow's milk allergy vs oversupply

    Thank you Cammylou, the blood you described sounds like what I'm seeing. I've been holding diapers up to the window to inspect b/c the amount is so tiny-- kind of gross when I think about it! I was hoping to avoid the total elimination diet, but if I don't see any results soon from the dairy-free eating then I guess I'll have to do it. I definitely don't plan to wean him-- he's my last baby and I would miss it too much (even more than I'm missing ice cream )
    Did you baby have any other symptoms other than the blood that you saw? Did the GI dr do any allergy testing?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Cow's milk allergy vs oversupply

    Ha! I know what you mean about inspecting the poop. I got so that I would barely let anyone else change a poopy diaper because they didn't seem as willing to pore over the diapers the way I was! Thank goodness BF baby poo doesn't smell too bad (at least early on).

    To be honest, I'm not sure if my baby had any symptoms besides the blood. He was dealing with gastroesophogeal reflux at the same time which made him fairly fussy, but it's hard to say if any of that fussiness was due in part to the colitis too. Other than that, no symptoms. Currently, I'm having trouble getting him to gain the appropriate amount of weight, but I have no idea if that has anything to do with the colitis flare up we're dealing with.

    BTW, I found an excellent brand of rice-cream that was a great substitute for the real deal. I can't remember the brand name now, but I'll try and remember and post it on here! Finding little things that made my diet seem a little more normal definitely helped me through the elimination diet (that and my complete and utter devotion to breastfeeding ).

    What I was told by our GI dr early on was that he could do a colonoscopy and be sure that we were dealing with colitis, but that the procedure is a fairly big deal (requires sedation or anaesthetization) and he indicated that with or without a colonoscopy, he’d still recommend an elimination diet for me. My husband found, on a google search, that allergic colitis could be diagnosed with a blood test, but on re-googling just now, I couldn’t find anything about that. He said he printed it out at work and will bring it home tomorrow. Will post more then!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Cow's milk allergy vs oversupply

    Thanks again! After the blood cleared and you started re-introducing foods, did you ever figure out what it was that was causing his colitis? Are you able to introduce solids normally or are you holding off on common allergens?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Cow's milk allergy vs oversupply

    Hey Ladies, sorry I've been MIA for a while. Sounds like Cammylou and I have had similar experiences, and Mooma's joining the club. Rice Dream ice cream is pretty good, and if you can find rice bread with potato and/or tapioca flour in it, it's better than those that don't have those ingredients. BTW watch out for margarine - you think it's okay, but a lot of them have whey in them. I use Becel RSF in the purple container and PC lactose-free worked until my daughter developed a sensitivity to Palm oil. Regarding the fruits, she's got what they call "fresh fruit allergy" according to Sick Kids hospital in Toronto. She (and her Dad) reacts to unripe fruits, particularly banana, as well most fruits with peel. So she can actually have ripe, raw peach, but not peach peel. Same goes for plums, apples, pears etc... Again, it's a protein problem, and the procedure of tinning or canning somehow alters the protein, so she's actually okay with jarred cherries, but not fresh. She was okay with tinned peaches before raw peaches, but can now do either. She also seems to have issues with green grapes, but not red, as well as kiwi. Surprisingly, she's okay with strawberries and other berries, though she did develop an issue with blueberries for a while, but has thankfully outgrown it. She's fine with watermelon, but not other melons. Luckily or unluckily, her skin is so sensitive that we can just do a skin test on her inner forearm to tell us if she's allergic to it. It's nice to avoid the upset tummy.

    My GP was quite skeptical that she had tiny bits of blood due to the allergies - he was quite certain it was either a fissure (but no evidence of such) or a cracked nipple (they were fine). Great doctor otherwise, but just goes to show that you need to trust your own intuition sometimes. You could try getting a RAST done, which is an allergy test based on production of antihistamines in the blood, but they aren't conclusive. My daughter's own rast scores for milk and egg were very high, though. She has only ingested milk directly once, and she had trouble breathing afterwards.

    Anyway, the reactions she had to various allergens varied while she was BFing. Wheat never caused blood, but she would get gas and eczema. Other things like the fruit only ever caused cramps and gas, but no blood. It was always so hard to know if she was just collicy because of not managing to get a burp out or because she was overtired or because of something I ate, but in the end, I was surprised at how accurate I was once she started solids. One thing is for sure, after 7 months of eating an elimination diet, I was darned skinny. There's no diet more effective than knowing that what you eat will hurt your child. As a note, she has no allergy to fish, though shellfish is definitely a no no. And nuts and the entire legume family. Actually, that's another one that made her bleed. Check your diet for peas, chick peas and lentils - not surprisingly related to peanuts.

    We only managed 7.5 months of BFing. She went on a nursing strike at 5.5 months after I pulled a new nursing pillow out of a plastic bag and nursed her without letting it degas first. Dumb. She will now even react to the plastic on the potty seat. I never really got her back to the breast much after that, though I did handstands and spent the entire day trying to nurse her for three weeks. If you do end up going on formula, what we used was Nutramigen, which is based on corn protein. It costs a fortune and tasted vile to me, but she loved it. It was bittersweet for me that her tummy was so much happier on formula than breastmilk, but I still have faith that I did the best I could for her immune system and brain functioning and all those other great benefits. After she stopped formula, we went to rice milk for her, which is fortified with calcium, but has no protein, so she gets extra meat and fish compared to other kids.
    .
    I'm sorry you have to go through this - the hardest part is seeing them in pain, but it will be hard for you too. The elimination diet is restrictive not only to your palate, but also to your lifestyle. It's worth it, though, and in case if you're planning any more little ones, you'll be happy to hear that my #2 doesn't seem to have any allergies at all.

    BTW, we decided to avoid the colitis testing too. The procedure wouldn't have given us any info we didn't already have - she had a very sore tummy. Interesting to hear that with an irritated GI they can develop new sensitivities. Mine seems to be able to develop them very easily. I gave her lots of blueberries at a time when her tummy was upset fromtoo much drool when her molars were coming in, and she was allergic to them for a year after that.

    Cammylou, has your little one outgrown the milk allergy or many others yet? My daughter is almost 3, but is still very sensitive to almost everything she was initially sensitive to.
    Last edited by jonahsmum; October 28th, 2007 at 01:09 PM.

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