Early Allergies to Soy Formula and Milk

Nicholas came home from the hospital on Similac Advance.  He was a really good, really happy baby – and an absolute joy.  He was very alert and aware of his surroundings – and was able to hold his head up remarkably well.  He slept well – through the night from about 6 weeks old!  He loved being held and hated bathtime.  At about 2 1/2 weeks of age, this happy, non-fussy baby turned into a screaming, crying, baby in pain after each and every bottle.  Nothing helped to relieve him of this, so we changed his formula to Isomil Advance.  For a few days, we had our happy baby back.  By the following week, our pediatrician recommended adding rice cereal to his bottle, which we did.  (1 tablespoon/2 ounces formula)  We also started giving him Zantac for reflux.  The pediatrician also wanted to start poly-vi-sol vitamins, but he barely got these as he would spit them everywhere and I eventually gave up.  He spent his first year sleeping in either his bouncy seat, swing (on off) or his car seat.  Lying flat in his crib only resulted in him screaming constantly.   We kept him on the Isomil Advance until he was 1, when we tried to make the switch to whole milk.  Nothing, and I mean nothing, worked when it came time to get him to drink milk.  This should have told me something.  After taking weeks and weeks in starting 1 ounce milk mixed with 7 ounces of soy formula and increasing the milk from there, we were at half milk/half soy.  This poor child was in such pain not long after each bottle.  He was so constipated that I had to give him at least 8 ounces of prune juice every day to get him to go – and when he finally did go, he was in agony.  I gave up the milk and started giving him the Isomil 2 toddler formula so he would get the nutrients he needed to grow. 

At 24 months,  he still could not tolerate milk.  His pediatrican told me not to worry about the Isomil 2, he’d get the nutrients he needed from food (despite the fact that he was a typical toddler when it came to eating) – but it’s ingrained into us that babies need milk – so I kept giving it to him thinking I was doing something right, something good for him.

Every doctor we took him to told me he needed to drink milk and completely dismissed my intuition that there was either an allergy or intolerance there.  Finally, I was able to get a dr to order an allergen profile – and I had my answer.  Nicholas is allergic to Milk, Soy, Peanuts, Wheat and Corn.  Milk and Soy were both issues for him – one I just knew – the other I did not.  We discontinued the soy formula immediately.  The difference in him once we did this was unbelievable.  Sometimes you dont even realize your child is in a haze until he’s not anymore – and that’s how we felt watching Nicholas come out of the haze.  Amazing.  (Incidentally, there are various methods of testing food allergies and intolerances – skin testing is not one that showed all of his allergies/intolerances.  I’ll write another post with the info in case anyone is interested.)

In hindsight, everything becomes crystal clear.   Nicholas had reflux starting from a very early age.  Instead of just medicating him with Zantac and adding rice cereal to his bottle and switching formula, I wish I had asked questions, pursued allergen bloodwork back then – and dug around for information.   Perhaps I would have stumbled on someone’s blog about their ASD child who had GI issues very early on – perhaps it would have opened my eyes…..  there is a gut/brain connection.    For those that think there isn’t a connection – tell me how you feel after having a few cocktails.

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