Symptoms of gluten intolerance in breastfed baby — The Bump
Food Allergy

Symptoms of gluten intolerance in breastfed baby

Hi-

I am now starting my 11th or 12th week (I lost count) of figuring out what my little guy is allergic to. I did an egg-free, soy-free, dairy-free, nut-free, gluten-free diet and have challenged everything. So far I have been able to definitively figure out that he is okay wiht soy and nuts and not okay with eggs and dairy. The only one I can't figure out is gluten. I am on my 3rd gluten challenge and I still am unsure. The first time around really didn't count as I accidentallly cross-"contaminated" by eating a piece of bread that possibly had dairy and egg in it. The 2nd time I was much more careful and I noticed he was fussy and pooped much more but his skin (which is usually the tell-tale sign on him) did not break out. I'm currently in the middle of the 3rd time challenging gluten and he is fussy and his eczema is flaring up but he hasn't pooped at all today so that is different than last time.

If your baby had gluten intolerance while breastfed, what were the symptoms?

Also, if YOU are gluten intolerant, what are your symptoms (maybe all this allergy stuff is going to my head but I'm starting to wonder if gluten is an issue for me as well)?

 Thanks!


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Re: Symptoms of gluten intolerance in breastfed baby

  • My husband has Celiac and when he ingests gluten, he becomes incredibly gassy, urgently needs to go #2, which is usually painful and uncomfortable, and he has severe stomach cramping. 

    I've actually been wondering if our LO will be gluten intolerant and how/if I'll be able to tell by breast-feeding (I still have gluten in my regular diet). 

    I hope you're able to figure it out soon! Can his pediatrician recommend running any tests?  

    Met DH - Aug 2001 :: Married - Jan 2010 :: DD born - Sept 2012

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  • I never post here but saw the lack of response and wanted to let you know what we went through. My DD is 13 months and is gluten intolerant (not celiac, celiac is worse than just intolerant and has different symptoms). She had head to toe eczema and threw up every time she pooped because she pushed so hard, she'd only go once a day and it was rock hard or like pellets (gross tmi sorry). The worst it though is that she stopped growing at 9 months.

     We went gluten free and in 2 days her rash started clearing and in 5 days it was all gone. Her poop was regular again, hasnt strained once, and in 20 days the dr weighed her and she gained more than a pound which put her back on the charts. She is also in an amazing mood every day because she'scomfortable, that's been great. She is still breastfeeding but it really started when she started eating Cheerios and puffs and carby snacks around 9 months (coincidentally when she stopped growing). They say kids can grow out of gluten intolerance but you have to wait till 2 to test. Celiac usually has diarrhea as a symptom where we had constipation. And what I eat does affect her too. Hope this helps, sounds like it could be an intolerance, it's not hard to deal with she's in daycare part time and I bring all food  but could get tricky when she reaches school or birthday party age! Good luck :)

       

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  • My DD is 13 months and is gluten intolerant (not celiac, celiac is worse than just intolerant and has different symptoms). 

    Celiac usually has diarrhea as a symptom where we had constipation.

    Actually, gluten intolerance and Celiac can be very difficult to distinguish from one another. The symptoms are often identical and can be vague (i.e. not GI-related at all in some people).  Testing has a long way to go, but as of right now, Celiac is diagnosed when either the blood test or the intestinal biopsy is positive.  The problem is that there are a lot of Celiacs out there without enough circulating antibodies to test positive, and in the case of the biopsy, it's a really inaccurate test.  The surface area of the small intestine is the size of a tennis court.  The damage from Celiac is spotty, and when you're talking microscopic biopsies, it's a coin toss on whether they're grabbing from a damaged area or not.

    Here's an article you may find useful:   http://glutendoctors.blogspot.com/2011/11/inside-scoop-on-gluten-intolerance.html  That whole blog is full of fantastic info - you may want to start following it!

    As to your second point, this is also an inaccuracy touted by way too many doctors.  :)   It's actually a 50/50 split - just as many Celiac patients complain of constipation before diagnosis as do those who complain of diarrhea.  Sadly, it's the constipation-sufferers who are more likely to be told that that symptom precludes them from having Celiac and they are denied testing.  It happened to me.  :)  I demanded the testing anyway; my doctor was very humbled when it came back positive (even though I had given him several articles on this topic already, grrrr).

    Also, the fact that your daughter stopped growing when gluten was in her diet is cause for concern.  Obviously now that she's gluten-free she's growing and that is wonderful.  But IMO what stopped her growth was the fact that she could no longer absorb nutrients... this is something that happens when the intestine is damaged.  Intestinal damage is NOT consistent with gluten intolerance.  It IS consistent with Celiac.  The outcome is the same: maintain a gluten free diet.  But your approach in the future will make all the difference in your DD's health.  Be sure that if you introduce gluten to her diet say in 5 years, that even if she seems to be doing fine with it you insist on periodic Celiac testing.

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  • imagejulandjo:

    My DD is 13 months and is gluten intolerant (not celiac, celiac is worse than just intolerant and has different symptoms). 

    Celiac usually has diarrhea as a symptom where we had constipation.

    Actually, gluten intolerance and Celiac can be very difficult to distinguish from one another. The symptoms are often identical and can be vague (i.e. not GI-related at all in some people).  Testing has a long way to go, but as of right now, Celiac is diagnosed when either the blood test or the intestinal biopsy is positive.  The problem is that there are a lot of Celiacs out there without enough circulating antibodies to test positive, and in the case of the biopsy, it's a really inaccurate test.  The surface area of the small intestine is the size of a tennis court.  The damage from Celiac is spotty, and when you're talking microscopic biopsies, it's a coin toss on whether they're grabbing from a damaged area or not.

    Here's an article you may find useful:   http://glutendoctors.blogspot.com/2011/11/inside-scoop-on-gluten-intolerance.html  That whole blog is full of fantastic info - you may want to start following it!

    As to your second point, this is also an inaccuracy touted by way too many doctors.  :)   It's actually a 50/50 split - just as many Celiac patients complain of constipation before diagnosis as do those who complain of diarrhea.  Sadly, it's the constipation-sufferers who are more likely to be told that that symptom precludes them from having Celiac and they are denied testing.  It happened to me.  :)  I demanded the testing anyway; my doctor was very humbled when it came back positive (even though I had given him several articles on this topic already, grrrr).

    Also, the fact that your daughter stopped growing when gluten was in her diet is cause for concern.  Obviously now that she's gluten-free she's growing and that is wonderful.  But IMO what stopped her growth was the fact that she could no longer absorb nutrients... this is something that happens when the intestine is damaged.  Intestinal damage is NOT consistent with gluten intolerance.  It IS consistent with Celiac.  The outcome is the same: maintain a gluten free diet.  But your approach in the future will make all the difference in your DD's health.  Be sure that if you introduce gluten to her diet say in 5 years, that even if she seems to be doing fine with it you insist on periodic Celiac testing.

     

    Thank you so much for the info. I've been going on research only since my pedi is not super supportive of the allergy-as-a-cause for things (specifically eczema). I had her see a chiropractor and she is the one who suggested the gluten free as an intolerance rather than celiac (but we're not going back to chiropractic care). I will be more persistent with our dr for testing to make sure we are treating what she actually has.  Thanks again.

    This is an old SN, can't remember password of my normal one!
  • imagejulandjo:

    My DD is 13 months and is gluten intolerant (not celiac, celiac is worse than just intolerant and has different symptoms). 

    Celiac usually has diarrhea as a symptom where we had constipation.

    Actually, gluten intolerance and Celiac can be very difficult to distinguish from one another. The symptoms are often identical and can be vague (i.e. not GI-related at all in some people).  Testing has a long way to go, but as of right now, Celiac is diagnosed when either the blood test or the intestinal biopsy is positive.  The problem is that there are a lot of Celiacs out there without enough circulating antibodies to test positive, and in the case of the biopsy, it's a really inaccurate test.  The surface area of the small intestine is the size of a tennis court.  The damage from Celiac is spotty, and when you're talking microscopic biopsies, it's a coin toss on whether they're grabbing from a damaged area or not.

    Here's an article you may find useful:   http://glutendoctors.blogspot.com/2011/11/inside-scoop-on-gluten-intolerance.html  That whole blog is full of fantastic info - you may want to start following it!

    As to your second point, this is also an inaccuracy touted by way too many doctors.  :)   It's actually a 50/50 split - just as many Celiac patients complain of constipation before diagnosis as do those who complain of diarrhea.  Sadly, it's the constipation-sufferers who are more likely to be told that that symptom precludes them from having Celiac and they are denied testing.  It happened to me.  :)  I demanded the testing anyway; my doctor was very humbled when it came back positive (even though I had given him several articles on this topic already, grrrr).

    Also, the fact that your daughter stopped growing when gluten was in her diet is cause for concern.  Obviously now that she's gluten-free she's growing and that is wonderful.  But IMO what stopped her growth was the fact that she could no longer absorb nutrients... this is something that happens when the intestine is damaged.  Intestinal damage is NOT consistent with gluten intolerance.  It IS consistent with Celiac.  The outcome is the same: maintain a gluten free diet.  But your approach in the future will make all the difference in your DD's health.  Be sure that if you introduce gluten to her diet say in 5 years, that even if she seems to be doing fine with it you insist on periodic Celiac testing.

     

    Thank you so much for the info. I've been going on research only since my pedi is not super supportive of the allergy-as-a-cause for things (specifically eczema). I had her see a chiropractor and she is the one who suggested the gluten free as an intolerance rather than celiac (but we're not going back to chiropractic care). I will be more persistent with our dr for testing to make sure we are treating what she actually has.  Thanks again.

    It's great to be vigilant and fight for the right diagnosis!  Just know that testing for Celiac cannot be done once she's already gluten free.  So it's sort of a moot point for now.  She'd have to be back on gluten for a minimum of 3 months in order for her body to be damaged enough to test positive.  I'm betting that's not something you're willing to put her through.  :)  You know that keeping her gluten free is what she needs, so stick with it.  It's further on down the line that you'll have to think about whether to do a gluten trial and testing.

    Here's my son's experience FWIW.  He was extremely sensitive to multiple foods from day 1.  By the time he was 18 months old, he only had 6 safe foods that didn't cause bloody diarrhea, rash, screaming for hours, etc.  Gluten was always the worst offender; I'm talking one cookie would have him like this for 3-4 days.  But because he could never tolerate 3+ months of a gluten-heavy diet, he could never be tested for Celiac.  We just had to keep him on a very strict food regimen to keep him safe.  He very slowly started outgrowing most of his food intolerances, and when he turned 5 we decided to do a gluten trial.  He ate a typical American diet (read: gluten gluten gluten) for 3 months and then had the blood test and upper endoscopy.  Everything came back negative for Celiac.  BUT because *I* have Celiac (and my daughter is still extremely sensitive to any gluten cross-contamination but also can't be tested), he will get the blood test annually.  He seems fine now, but Celiac could show up at any time and may or may not present with the "classic" symptoms.  Stay vigilant!  :)

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