My 12 month old child is intolerant to every grain i have tried, including buckwheat and millet. Does anyone else have the same problem?

She is also allergic to cows milk and intolerant to tomatoes...so far! She is not coeliac as she is too young to be diagnosed and I dont believe she is anyway. Just wondered if anyone else out there had similar problems as she does. Im stuck for grains to give her now! Thanks,

26 Replies

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  • Is she intolerant to rice, in Italy where CD is a big thing, children are started on rice rather than any other grain.

  • Yes unfortunately. We tried her with rice as the first grain but it made her eczema very bad and also everytime i ate rice when i was breastfeeding her the eczema also worsened. the only grain ive left to try is quinoa - im just keeping my fingers crossed that when we try it she will be ok with it:-)

  • What's she like with potatoes and other veg/fruit? Have you tried maize?

    Does it matter at this stage if her body doesn't tolerate grains? It might be that she has an irritable stomach that might quieten down as it matures......many children, often very fussy and faddy for no apparent reason, end up on a very limited diet of a few items and they mostly all grow out of it and don't suffer any ill consequences from their limited diet. I'm not saying your child is being fussy (she's too young for that) but as long as she has got foods that she can safely eat and is growing normally then why worry too much? It must be taking the joy out of her babyhood for you with all these worries.

  • You are very accurate saying it takes the joy out of babyhood as ive permanently got a baby who is so distressed as she is itchy all over and cant sit still as a result. she wakes every 2-3 hours at night due to itching as well. Antihistamines dont seem to be doig the trick. I know that certain foods trigger it so we just avoid them and it has got to the point that she eats meat, veg and fruit well so why bother putting her through more torturous trials of food - i completely agree!

    We have questioned potatoes a few times but thought she was doing ok with them but she had some unsalted seabrook crisps on saturday that only contained potato and sunflower oil and the [packet said they were gluten free - but within minutes of eating them she had a rash around her mouth which towards her eyes after an hour or so - she became that distressed with the icthing and fell sleepy. So i wondered if potatoes were an issue but my GP said it they could have just been cross-contaminated in the factory (which is probably more likely i guess).

    Every week we seem to be trying to work out what she has maybe picked up from the floor to trigger such reactions etc. Her paediatritian has said we have to fully wean her trying all grains etc before they'll even listen to us really - but i am not prepared to try her with wheat yet. When i was breastfeeding her she reacted badly to my milk until i cut out dairy 1st (helped improve her eczema) then i cut out gluten and her allergic type rash subsided too. Im not sure with maize yet as when i finally cut that out of diet when b'feeding it seemed to help a bit more again. It's all such a mind field and she starts nursery in a couple of weeks and Im worried it's going to make matters worse.

    Sorry for the long response! I'm a mother who is permanently stressed by seeing her baby tormented by such horrible itchy skin and rashes - im always on the lookout for answers:-)

  • I know that many people are allergic to nuts, but have you tried nut flour. My daughter is allergic to gluten, corn (maize), tomatoes and dairy, but she is fine with nuts!! It is possible to buy nut flours - chestnut, hazelnut etc. It may be worth a try. Jane

  • Hi Jane,

    thank you for your reply. She is fine with coconut flour but as of yet I havent tried chestnut etc. I will give them a try. Do you know if you can make a white sauce with any of them? I was using the buckwheat flour to make a white sauce to go over things for her but then she seemed to be reacting to it. Thanks, sarah.

  • Hi, I do feel for you. It must be so distressing. I don't seem to be able to tolerate buckwheat, and have no idea why. How is she with cornflour? I only ever use this to make a white sauce.

    As to weaning her onto a full diet.....i can see where the docs are coming from but they aren't living with it. Sometimes infant eczema eases off once a babe turns 2 which would be wonderful if it happened to your daughter. I'd be tempted to keep her on a diet of food that she's ok with(it's a healthy diet) and wait until she is perhaps about 2 when she will be more able to communicate with you about how she feels physically. I do think at some stage you will have to try her on different foods but does it have to be now?

  • Hi Sarah,

    How about chickpea flour? I use this to make pancakes, wraps and breads as I can't have too many carbs. With this I mix 100g chickpea flour with 150ml water (1 1/2 times as much) then leave it to soak for 30 mins. Use the batter like you would for pancakes. I'm sure you could experiment with this mixture to make sauces too.

    There is also a range of bean flours you could try. If you do find she's ok with potatoes, then you can thicken food with potato flour and a little bit of water. It works instantly, so add it to the final food, give a stir, then it's thickened.

    RE: your daughter's reaction to Seabrooks crisps - a friend of mine is intolerant to 'nightshades' and can't eat tomatoes, potatoes or aubergines as these are all in the nightshade family.

    Hope this helps you both. :)

    Sarah

  • hi,

    Thanks for your post. I dont know why i forgot abotu chickpea flour - i was on it when i was breastfeeding her as the private specialist we saw told me to hve that instead. I think ive got that bogged down with it all ive forgotten some of the allowed foods i had and my daughter would probably be fine with them too. Thank you - i will give it a try:-)

    I did wonder about the nightshade group and did cut out potato for a week or so then reintroduced and didnt see too much of a problem until she ate the crisps - that was what baffled me.

    Thank you so much for your help:-)

  • It may be the salt on crisps, why not make your own, use ptato peeler for thin slices. I made own for son for a while, let them go cold then put in bags.

  • Sorry I missed the bit about maize in your reply.....that's a shame. Oh, and nursery shouldn't be a problem if you provide all her food and tell them exactly what else she is allowed to have. I think a list of what's ok is easier for people to follow than a list of what isn't....probably shorter too. Good luck x

  • Hi,

    Yes i am starting to think the same way - keep her on what she can tolerate now until she can tell us exactly whats happening herself - and making the list of allowed foods for nursery is funnily enough exactly what i did yesterday. Figured it might be easier at this point in time.

    Thank you so much for your help im very grateful:-)

  • Hi Pudding

    Most grains will contain "glutens" including rice, millet, etc. These are proteins, with gliadin being the protein in wheat to which coeliacs have issues. Maize (corn) also contains a gluten protein, although most coeliacs are OK with this.

    As she has experienced sensitivity to some gluten proteins, my guess is that she may react with all.

    Others have suggested alternatives, certainly ground almonds can be used as an alternative to flour in some cakes or gram flour (made from chickpeas). There is also soya flour available from health food stores.

    I would keep her away from any gluten containing seeds.

    If she has issues with milk and tomatoes, I would recommend keeping her away from beef and potatoes/aubergines as these contain similar proteins and you can get reactions.

    The rash around her mouth indicates an allergic immune reaction and you should treat any substances that cause tingling/swelling/rashes around her mouth/lips or issues with eyes/nose with great caution as allergies can become progressively worse if exposure to allergens continues i.e. lead to possibility of anaphylaxis. If you see signs of swelling or difficulty in breathing after eating a food you must get her to a doctor/hospital asap.

    If a food you gave her gave a reaction from your breast milk there is a very high chance it will cause a problem in her now. So again, try to avoid them.

    I would not agree with the paediatrician to try different grains - this is increasing her risk of issues - a more effective route is to try flours made from different groups of plants.

    Avoid giving her fresh pineapple or papaya as these have enzymes which are more aggressive to the digestive symptom and can increase the risk of a leaky gut. If she is in the middle of an "attack" or has diarrhoea, until it subsides, give her foods which you know to be safe and avoid over sugary foods. Her gut flora will be disrupted by the diarrhoea and feeding her dodgy foods or sugary foods will cause an increased risk of bacterial overgrowth which can cause ongoing intolerance type symptoms.

    Also avoid foods higher in histamine - tinned fish, highly processed meats and wine (not likely to be a problem! but can be in some sauces as an ingredient) can contain histamine and loading your body with histamine can make a mild reaction worse.

    Finally, do seriously think about getting a second opinion if you are not satisfied with the advice being given by the doctor. I would recommend given the range and severity of the symptoms that you seek a referral to an immunologist.

  • Wow thank you so much for your advice - you don't realise how much i appreciate it! It's a bit a very long 12 months in terms of researching things about her problems whilst having very little professional support.

    I will try the things you have suggested and follow your recommendations. OUr GP on monday said she would speak again with the paediatritian to discuss things but as she was of little use on the other times ive seen her im not holding out much hope. I'm not sure if the GP is reluctant to refer us on to another prof as the paediatritian is still dealing with the case - im not sure. If they bring the review date forward for us to see the paed again then i will try and suggest she refers us to an immunologist, otherwise i'll ask the GP directly.

    Thank you again for your reply - it gives me something to work with:-)

  • Actually, it's not correct to say that all grains contain gluten.

    Gluten is the name given to the storage proteins in wheat - gliadin and glutenen. All grains contain prolamins, or storage proteins, but technically only wheat contains gluten. The proteins in rye and barley, secalins and hordeins, have a similar string of amino acids in the make-up of their prolamins, allowing the body to react to them in the same way it does to wheat gluten, and so have come to be included in the 'gluten grains' by popular usage.

  • Very interesting..wondered why the connection with barley much clearer now.

  • Hi Pudding

    My wife and I were in the same position as you until we staged a sit in at the local children's a and e department asking for our problem to be taken seriously.

    Eventually she saw a gastroenterologist who diagnosed who as coeliac due to her physical state, weight and blood tests so it is possible to diagnosed at this young age.

    The difference in her in two weeks is amazing, it's like having her daughter back.

    Anyway, it may be worth mentioning the above next Monday, it might help.

    Good luck!

  • In hind sight i wish we'd have taken her to a&e a few times when shes reacted to things so they would take the action needed. As everytime i managed to get an appt with the GP the reaction had obviosuly gone by that time so i felt like i was on a convincing trip to make them believe how bad it was. The paediatritian just sat infornt of me and said i had a healthy baby and i shouldnt worry she looks fine!! I was most anoyed as she was only good because i had cut dairy and gluten out of my diet whilst breasfeeding and i wasnt prepared to reintroduce them in order to make her react so the health prof would see it!

    I will do what you did i think the next time we have an issue. Thank you.

  • RE: eczema, my lad was covered head to toe in eczema for the first 2 years. We had to tie mitts to his hands to stop him scratching :( Like you, we had little help from our GP so my ex took him privately to a dermatologist. He recommended daily baths using oilatum, then 2 daily coatings of epiderm cream. We had steroids for the worst patches, but I wish I'd never used them in hindsight as they scarred his skin to this day (he's now 13).

    After 2 years his eczema improved so it was just around his mouth, then by about 5 he would just have it now and then in the winter (and mainly around his mouth). If he has a breakout now we can clear it up in 2-3 days with epiderm.

    At the time I knew nothing about food allergies/ intolerances. I think the route you're taking by avoidance is much better, maybe you could back this with the non-invasive wash/ cream routine. It is all available on prescription.

  • Hi,

    thank you for your advice. From when she was 8wks old weve used the oilatum and various different creams including epiderm but none got to the root cause. Since weve cut out the foods i have found the creams help a bit more now.

    Its amazing how much food affects the skin - though i dont know why its such a surprise when skin is an organ and we fully accept that food can affect our other organs. Just seems odd that the health profs cant see that!

  • There is lots of information out there for parents who have similarly allergic kids, who use the paleo diet to great effect.

    Try reading blogs from The Paleo Parents, who wrote the great kids recipe book Eat Like a Dinosaur, or The Paleo Mom.

    And don't despair, your daughter can be perfectly healthy if you give her all the protein, healthy fats and healthy carbs from beans, lentils, chickpeas, vegetables and fruits that her little body needs. She doesn't need dairy or grains to be healthy and happy, although it means you can't rely on convenience foods.

    Good luck!

  • Ooh, lastly, Dr Rodney Ford, a paediatrician in New Zealand, has written a brilliant e-book called Eczema - Cure It!

    I bet you would find that useful.

  • Thanks for that:-)

    I will have a look at those blogs too. It was the paleo diet.stone age diet i had to follow whilst i was breastfeeding to try and eliminate the offending foods that she was reacting to. I am thinking of going back on it again myself as that way we can all eat the same meals - plus - it made me feel so much better too!

    I do definitely feel happy to know she has a very good diet - much better than a lot of the babies i know. Maybe it was meant to be that she has these food intolerances - makes for a healthy baby:-) Got to look on the positive side!

    Thanks for your help:-)

  • Hi, You mentioned exzema, dairy makes exzema worse. Have you tried her on a dairyfree diet? I'm wondering if this would help?

  • Hi,

    Yes she has no dairy. When she was tiny she was covered in severe eczema all over and within 2 days of me cutting it out of my diet when i was b'feedig her she had silky smooth skin - was amazing. Soince then she was tried on cows milk formula and she came out in hives so she obviously has some kind of allergy to it.

    Its amazing how many babies i know which have eczema and after cutting out dairy the eczema pretty much disappears.

    Thanks

  • Yes, the link between dairy and eczema is very strong. My husband had terrible eczema for about five years. He looked like a burn victim, couldn't sleep through the night and had bloodstains on all his shirts. I once caught him scratching his back with a coathanger! His GP shrugged and said they'd done all they could for him. He gave up coffee and dairy and is like a different person.

    Acupuncture and massage were very helpful and he used cold compresses to sooth the itching. Perspiration/moisure seemed to be a trigger too.

    I don't know if any of that will help you, but I really sympathise. It's hard to understand how distressing it is to be constantly itchy unless you have witnessed it yourself.

    Good luck.

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