After my "Going for Broke" post I received quite a few emails asking about Noah's symptoms, how we knew what was going on and exactly how much of everything we are doing for him. I thought I'd post about it in case anyone else stumbles upon my blog and has the same questions.
How did we discover the milk allergy? What were the symptoms?
We started Noah out on Good Start Gentle formula (we had a great experience with Good Start with Ish). Noah would fight his feedings. He would flail his arms and legs and was very tense at every feeding. He would cry and fuss after every feeding until he eventually wore himself out and fell asleep. He would scream in pain from gas. He also had about 10 dirty diapers a day - with very mucousy stool that caused an unbelievable rash which is very common with milk allergies.
Our first remedy was to switch to Enfamil Nutramigen - a hypoallergenic formula for infants with a milk protein allergy (our pedi felt the symptoms he was presenting were indicative of an allergy). We immediately saw a difference when we switched. Noah was calmer, he didn't seem to be in so much pain when eating and his rash was getting better (thanks in part to 2 prescription creams). Unfortunately, although his symptoms were getting better, they were not going away. At one point he even had blood in his stool - a sign that the allergy was still going strong. We knew we had to do something more - something different. So at the advice of our pediatrician, we went to see a pediatric GI specialist. After her exam, she determined that Noah's milk allergy was quite severe - so even the minuscule amount of milk protein in the Nutramigen was affecting him. She prescribed the Nutramigen AA. This formula is amino-acid based with absolutely zero milk proteins. Within a few days, his rash was completely gone, his bowel movements became "regular", he was much calmer during and after feedings and his overall demeanor improved - he became a happier baby.
This took a few weeks to remedy - as we waited for the formula switches to work. It also took quite a few visits to doctors, as well as quite a few calls to the nurse's line at my pedi's office. But thankfully, we seem to have found a wonderful (though expensive!) remedy for Noah. We are currently working with our doc's office to try to get Cigna to cover the expense of the formula. I'll let you know how that goes!
How did we know Noah had reflux?
We actually didn't know Noah had reflux. He has what they call "Silent Reflux". He wasn't violently spitting up, but he had an excessive amount of spit-up. He stomach would also churn and gurgle a lot. And while some of these symptoms were also due to the milk allergy, they are also symptoms of silent reflux and my pedi thought he would benefit from a small dose of Pepcid twice a day. The GI specialist agreed. So he gets .6ml twice a day. This, combined with the formula change, is really making a difference.
How much of the probiotic are we giving Noah?
The GI specialist recommended 4 drops a day. She specifically recommended the BioGaia. It's a natural supplement that we feel can't hurt - so we added it to our arsenal. I haven't been able to find it in-store, so I bought it online from Walgreens.com
We use Gripe Water as needed - I don't know how it does what it does but it cures the hiccups instantly! And I think it helps with some gas/evening fussiness.
We also take Noah to a chiropractor. Matt, Ish and I all go. It's another natural remedy that we all benefit from. Ish has been going since he's 3 weeks old. We first brought Noah in at 2 weeks old.
I have learned a lot these past few weeks - and I have found a new group of friends here on the internet going through similar circumstances with their infants. It's comforting to "talk" to others going through the same thing. So if you would like to reach out to me - email me (my email is in my blogger profile).
And because I can't have a post without a picture - here's Noah in his brother's highchair: