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Could Your Baby Be Suffering from Food Allergy or Intolerance?

Written by Pathways Magazine   
Sunday, 01 June 2008 00:00
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A diagnosis of GER (gastroesophageal reflux), whether technically correct or not, says little about the underlying cause of a baby’s distress, and treatment with GER medications seldom provides notable resolution for such symptoms. Frequently, chronically unhappy babies are reacting to foods in their breastfeeding mother’s diet, or in their diet through formula or solid foods. Strict, selective food avoidance usually brings relief.

Here are some signs that diet could be causing your baby’s problems:


Inconsolable fussing and crying.

  • If your baby can be easily consoled by picking up or a little rocking, then plenty of snuggling is all baby needs. If it regularly takes heroic jiggling efforts to appease your baby, or baby is simply not consolable, likely something is causing pain. Once the healthcare provider has eliminated more serious possibilities, the most common cause is reactions to diet.


Mixed messages at the nipple.

For babies with food intolerance, nursing can be both comforting and a source of distress (sometimes even recognized by taste at the time).

  • The Nipper keeps coming back frequently for tiny doses of milk.
  • The Comforter spends long amounts of time nursing yet taking in little milk.
  • The Screamer may shake their head and even yell in frustration at their source of both delight and misery.


Irregular stools.

  • Bouts of loose, watery, or mucoid stools; bright green streaks; regular appearance of red or black blood; and sometimes constipation are all signals of inflammatory reactions. In the absence of fever, suspect food reaction.


Slow weight gain.

  • Inadequate nursing, frequent diarrhea, and poor nutrient absorption across inflamed tissues can impede weight gain or even cause weight loss.