Thursday, June 24, 2010

Soy allergy?

I'm suspecting that Michael might have a soy allergy.

He is a big time spitter. I tell people this and they don't believe me because the kid is so big... YES, he is big, because he eats ALL THE TIME. I complained about the spitting to the pediatrician who said, "Well, what ever he's spitting up he doesn't need." Ok, fine, he doesn't need it, but my breasts would like a break now and then. But daycare made me feel like I wasn't so crazy, they confirmed to me that he does have exceptional regurgitation abilities (I like to think of it as his super power). But spitting up is pretty normal, that didn't trigger any suspicion of allergies. (And FYI, the spitting doesn't seem to irritate him, he smiles and laughs when he does it.)

Since having M, I have taken a lot of shortcuts, particularly in the diet department. I have been eating several granola bars a day because they are convenient and easy to eat one handed... since I've constantly got the other hand busy breastfeeding him. I started with FiberOne bars but I quickly realized that both of us got terrible gas from them and switched to the candy bar-like Sunbelts. I know they are bad for me, but I'm lazy and they are tasty!

Then when I went back to work, I didn't have time to make myself a decent lunch, so I took a favorite of mine with me everyday, Green Giant Steamers: Healthy Weight. The Healthy Weight is a blend of black beans, edamame (immature soy beans), peas in the pod, and carrots in a 'buttery' sauce. They are tasty! And pretty good for you! But looking back, I noticed that M's eczema picked up about this time. He also started having more constipation.

I was starting to get burnt out on my Healthy Weight steamers and while pushing peas around my plate the other day, the dots started to connect. So I quit eating them for a couple of days and his eczema looks better and he's more regular. And both me and his daycare workers think he is spitting up less too! But if it is soy, I have a little bit of a problem, because soy is in nearly all processed foods... including my granola bars, my breakfast oatmeal, and about everything else that comes out of a package. I put peanut butter on a piece of bread to have instead of a granola bar and realized that soy bean oil was in the peanut butter AND THE BREAD, sigh. I will be trying Celia's granola bar recipe asap.

So I'm going to try to eliminate nearly all soy sources over the next week or so and see if it makes a difference. At least I have lots of practice reading labels since I'm a paranoid vegetarian. I'm feeling like even if he does have an allergy, it's not severe, so I can still eat a meal with unknown ingredients without a ton of guilt, but I should have the motivation and will power to avoid what I can.

M doesn't have bad eczema... a little on his cheeks, elbows and a larger patch on his tummy. It doesn't appear to be itchy or bothersome to him in any way. I think it bothers me more. We have been treating it with CJ's BUTTer. It cleared up his face in a couple of days, but his tummy is less responsive to it. And we avoid all petroleum, artificially preserved lotions/creams, and scented products on skin and with his laundry. I mentioned to my husband about bleach baths, and he freaked out... my husband is sensitive to bleach and gets a rash from it. (My in-laws use bleach baths for their kid, who has terrible eczema and it has helped him a lot!) So for now, we will keep plugging away with the current treatment.

I'm very, very glad that whatever the cause of the problem is, it seems to be rather mild. I'm going to do my best, but if it's not soy, or if I have to go crazy and do a total elimination diet, things may get a bit overwhelming. I'm already a vegetarian... I feel like I have less that I can cut out and still get by. If I let myself obsess about it I'd probably have to get rid of a bunch of my vitamins and maybe give up dairy since most cows are fed soy (and if he can get soy from my milk, can't I get soy from cow's milk?)... and what if he is sensitive to other legumes like peanuts and chickpeas! Ok, must stop thinking the worst before I explode. But what I do know is that just eliminating a few of the items that I normally eat for the last couple of days has made a big difference, so that is encouraging.

But on the bright side, I think this might motivate me to eat less processed food.


Suraita said...

We like sunbelts way too much at our house.

Not sure if this helps or not since it sounds like it might not be the case for your Super Spitter Upper but I have a mild soy allergy. Soy in processed stuff is no big deal, but edamame, tofu, and soy milk give me hives. It has also become much more mild as I get older so if he is allergic hopefully that part will be the same.

Michelle said...

We eat tons of granola bars here. I am going to check out that recipe. Those fiber bars were very MEAN to K. He loves them, and they are healthy, but instead of the gas issues, it caused diarrhea. Not fun.
I'd say if you are noticing a change in the skin, that it could be an allergy. If it's just the spitting up, he may just be a spitter. The baby I watch has always spit up tons and we thought it was at first a milk allergy, but it's the same with the soy formula. turns out it's just his nature. He's 7 months now and starting solids, and still spits a lot. It's just colored now. Thicker foods keep it in better.
Something else I noticed is this one here eats a lot more frequently on his worse days. When feedings stay down better, he goes longer.

Amanda said...

I definitely think the spitting is in his nature, but I think that the soy made it worse. I didn't tell daycare that I was changing my diet or anything, I just asked them after a couple of days if they thought thing had gotten better and it was a pretty unanimous agreement that things have vastly improved recently.

Good Egg Hatched said...

Ugh -- I hope not. It is in everything! From what I gather they can have "sensitivities" they outgrow versus true allergies -- hopefully it is the former!

Sophie said...

That's rough, we are in a similar situation b/c Mirabel has bad gas so I'm trying to not use onion so much in my cooking.

By the way, I'm sure you've heard of 'em, but have you tried Lara bars? They're pretty tasty, I think, packed with nuts. I've heard mixed things on avoiding nuts while BFing, though :/, thankfully we haven't had any issues.

Asashia said...

Just to comment on an eczema treatment:
Now that it's summer we go to the pool almost every day. This could be your "chlorine bath." This was suggested to me by my son's allergist. I'm vegetarian also but my son doesn't seem to react to soy. In the meantime, for his eczema, we now do a bath daily and by recommendations again from his allergist, within 2 minutes of getting out, we lather him down with natural, raw shea butter. If we're out of that, vaseline works in a pinch. I tried the regulars (Aquaphor and Aveeno) but those didn't work so well. Disney Babies did help but it was too expensive for us. So I'd recommend a quality moisturizer. And if worse comes to worse, we use a prescription steroid lotion after the moisturizer on the hot spots.

Anonymous said...

A soy allergy - that is interesting. Gosh that would be difficult as a vegetarian. S and I end up eating a lot of soy. I'm glad things seem to be improving!
Which nursing tanks do you use? I've tried the bravado nursing tank and I just got a glamour mom one, and neither seem to work for me. They don't give me enough support in the bra, and I get too hot with them underneath another shirt. I wanted to like them. Perhaps I'm just too fat. The XL is snug, but maybe if I wore it a little it would stretch and be more comfortable. Maybe I can use the glamour mom one at night.

LORI said...

I'm what you would call a stalker reader...I check daily to see if you've posted (and are usually disappointed when you don't hehe). I don't usually have anything enlightening to add bc you research your stuff so well but my daughter (who is 10 months) has eczema that we've been battling on her back. It's also not bothersome or itchy but bugs me bc you can see it when she's in anything strapless (I know, def the reason to treat, right?) My doc said eczema is something they have to outgrow (no cure just treatment to keep it under control) --- I'm sure you know all that...I've managed to get it all to go away except one patch (it went shoulder to shoulder now it's about the size of a quarter). I put Cortizone 10 on it (which he recommended) and it's dome wonders. She still has it lerking though bc within 2 days of me stopping it's back worse than before which I was told I don't want to let happen bc it can spread when it's more severe. But maybe try that over the bleach bath since the hubs didn't like that idea. It worked great for us. On the spit up...both of mine were the same way...random spit up but happy as a clam...when we started oatmeal they quit doing it. Just a thought since he's getting older and they give him bottles a could do a formula scoop size in a bottle or two a day and it might give him something besides liquid to settle his tummy. :)

Amanda said...

Thanks for the eczema comments. The cutting back on the soy seems to be helping at this time (he has almost completely quit spitting up too). We don't have any plans for going to a pool anytime soon so we won't be able to take advantage of that as a substitute chlorine bath. We don't use petroleum products like Vaseline or aquaphor on him because the petroleum can interfere with his skin's natural ability to moisturize itself, causing more problems in the long run (I can personally attest that this is a problem for myself). We don't use hydro cortisone or other steroid creams because they can thin the skin over time. But I do have a tube on hand in case we get a flare up and need it (I'm not opposed to it, but I don't want to use it regularly). The CJ's is pretty good stuff, it's Shea butter, cocoa butter, coconut oil, lanolin, beeswax, and vitamin e in it... it pretty much covers the bases. I don't know that I'm ok with a dr saying that eczema is something they outgrow... I think that can be the case but often it is really outgrowing the allergy/sensitivity that caused the eczema. But I'm new to this arena, so we will just continue to try things and see what works for us... hopefully it's not all in vain.