Testing for Food Intolerance
It is often difficult to identify triggers of food intolerance in babies. With the testing out there that is available to us for intolerances, there is no testing that is 100% accurate. (Please note we are not talking allergy here- if you do suspect allergy, see your health care professional immediately).
Some symptoms of food intolerance include, but are not limited to;
Inconsolable fussiness and discomfort.
Changes in bowel motions e.g. mucous, blood, diarrhoea, constipation, green and frothy.
Reflux or what some may call “happy chucker”
For me, when I was trying to figure out what foods my little one was having difficulties with through exposure from breast milk, I tried a few different types of testing as well as food elimination diets, GAPS and low chemical (failsafe).
Although tests like vega testing and hair tests and many others are out there and available, there is not a large amount of scientific evidence to support the accuracy of the readings. I did try these methods and although many people do have great results eliminating foods from the test results that come up as incompatible, I myself, unfortunately seen no improvement in symptoms. Please note that I am certainly not against these methods at all, because they can be helpful to many people and some do see significant improvements.
Personally, I found the most accurate form of testing was eliminating foods and then reintroducing them after time, keeping record of any improvement or aggravations. For example, after 4 weeks of having eliminated all dairy and soy from my diet, I did see some improvement, however the mucous filled stools, occasional blood and uncomfortableness continued.
Having seen mild improvement, I chose to keep these out of my diet and experiment with other foods one at a time. It is important to note that when breastfeeding, dairy can take up to 8 weeks to completely be eliminated from yours and bub’s systems, thus being consistent and knowing where it may be hidden is vital.
We food eliminating mothers become quite the detectives!
When doing an elimination diet, always keep a symptom journal and rate the severity of symptoms each day-week. Most, suggest when experimenting, to start with the top 7 allergenic foods, but there is no need to do all at once and once you reach a happy spot where symptoms are little to none there is no need to keep eliminating. Dairy and soy are the top 2 reactive food proteins for babies.
For me this was the most effective way to know for sure if the food elimination was absolutely necessary or not. I wont lie, it’s not the easiest, but you also have to remember it doesn’t have to be forever. A lot of babies will grow into 2-4 years old eventually having little to no issues with the foods that once highly aggravated them. Sometimes, they wont and that’s totally ok- its your mindset that’s important. You kind of have to just go with the flow and do what it takes because you either have to have an uncomfortable baby that cries a lot, or itches or constantly pukes OR you can avoid the foods that aggravate and have a happier baby at the end of the day which might even mean (fingers crossed) a decent sleep and overall less stress
Food eliminations may sound difficult but they can be well worth your time and effort if it makes for a happy baby.