Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Did my illness cause my children to have acid reflux as infants?

As I have learned more and more about mast cell activation disorders and the role of histamine in the body, I have pondered many things about my past.  I have breastfed all of my children and all of my children have had various levels of acid reflux or GERD.  No other babies in my or my husbands family had reflux.

Starting at two weeks, my first child began to projectile vomit continuously after nursing.  It got to the point that she could no longer sleep or be comfortable for longer than 45 minutes.  She would then demand to nurse again and she would projectile vomit more.  I took her in to the pediatrician and they prescribed Zantac for the pain.  There was nothing they could do about the projectile vomiting.  After talking to various other moms, I decided to remove dairy from my diet (dairy is an inflammatory food).  She stopped projectile vomiting after ten days.  She was still spitting up quite a bit so I took soy out of my diet (soy is a high histamine food).  There was a marked decrease in the amount of gassiness and spitting up.  Then I noticed that if I had anything fried, she would projectile vomit for a day.  I took fried food out of my diet (inflammatory and high histamine food).  She stopped projectile vomiting for good.

I also battled a systemic yeast infection from month one to month three and finally was prescribed Diflucan.  Twenty doses later I was much better and began a very strong probiotics regime.

By nine months she was spitting up much less and we weaned her off the Zantac.  At ten months I put those foods back in my diet one at a time for two weeks without her becoming ill.  At that point she was also only nursing three or four times a day instead of eight times a day.

Recall that histamine causes your stomach to release acid.  It can also cause stomach cramps and vomitting...

My second child also started with acid reflux at two weeks and was prescribed Zantac.  Removing foods from my diet did not improve his symptoms.  I had received antibiotics during labor and was still going strong on the probiotcs (I never want to deal with a systemic yeast infection again!) When he was four months old, I stopped using fabric softener and was using our own laundry machines.  My eleven years of chronic fatigue ended immediately.  My son never outgrew his Zantac dose despite growing much larger so we discontinued the medication soon after.

Since I was having an allergic reaction to the fabric softener my body was producing so much histamine that I had been very sick for eleven years straight....

Then I ate something that ended up having a benzoate in it.  I immediately broke out in a rash and by the next day my son had a rash all over his body, too.  I took him to the doctor and he checked out 100% healthy.  I was very concerned that he also had the same issue that I did with the benzoate but the doctor said that it was the histamine in my milk that gave him the rash.

So, my histamine can pass through to my baby through my milk!

My third child also started with reflux at two weeks and was put on Zantac.  By four months he was spitting up blood and only gained nine ounces since month two.  My happy child never even cried about the pain he was in.  He just ate less and less as time went on.  He was put on Prilosec and started gaining weight again. 

A few months later, I first learned about histamine intolerance, mast cell activation disorders and mastocytosis.  I match the symptoms so I know that I have very high levels of histamine in my body.  To make matters worse, the probiotics that I had been taking faithfully for over four years are histamine producing organisms thereby increasing the histamine present in my body.

I discontinued the probiotics immediately (early April).  My baby is now weaning off Priolosec with no issues.  He started  to sleep on his belly three weeks later for the first time ever (in the past he would scream on his belly )...You'll find out if anything else has changed this week for him when I post a summary of this first diet week on Monday.

It certainly seems to me that the histamine in my body which was in my breast milk did play a roll in the acid reflux symptoms of my babies.

Did my first child has issues with dairy, soy and fried foods or was it just that I had issues with those things and produced very high histamine milk?

What do you think?