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How I Discovered My Son Is Soya Intolerant
For months I knew something wasn’t right, I kept voicing my concerns to my sons dietician, GP and even the gastroenterologist. They all said the same thing, ‘it’s nothing to worry about’ ‘that’s normal’. But Mum knows best!
When my son was born things weren’t ‘normal’ and even when he started having blood in his stools ten times a day the doctor’s would say ‘it’s nothing to worry about’ or ‘he’ll grow out of it’ Of course he didn’t and I demanded he was put on Neocate LCP at 9 weeks old and then all of the cow’s milk protein allergy symptoms stopped after just 12 hours. My son started having the soya desserts at around 6-7 months old. Around this time he started projectile vomiting after foods but there was no consistency with it all. He would do it after one particular food but then have the same food again and it wouldn’t happen. I had no idea what was causing this projectile vomiting every two days. I asked his GP, who of course said it’s nothing and to do nothing, I was so fed up with being fobbed off by this point I demanded to be referred to a specialist. He referred us to a gastroenterologist and we had to wait five months to see her – great!
My sons symptoms were:
Projectile vomiting – at totally random times with no consistency
Barely eating his meals
Refusing his Neocate LCP and only really drinking a few ounce while asleep
It was very upsetting and stressful to see my son not eating regularly and then when he did occasionally eat he would bring it all back up. Because my son has always maintained a healthy weight the doctors are not concerned which is understandable but at the same time I knew something wasn’t right and something was bothering him. The random projectile vomiting stopped after two months and hasn’t happened since – ‘touch wood’.
I changed my sons milk from Neocate LCP to soya milk when he was 11 months old. I had, had enough of seeing him struggle with the Neocate, he hated it and he would only really dream feed which meant I was still getting up to night feed every 2-3 hours. Being a single parent I was exhausted and I knew my son needed something else. We both needed more sleep too. The soya milk was a huge hit, he absolutely loved it, but after being on Neocate for nine months I don’t blame him (Neocate tastes vile). Below is a picture of the soya milk we used, which is sold in most supermarkets:
My son would drink a lot of the Alpro soya milk but he still wasn’t eating all of his meals. He would pick and graze, he probably had the total of one meal a day. I would get very stressed and upset about it, every day I made him three meals and every day he refused to eat them. The dietitian didn’t seem concerned, his weight was ok so she would just advise what he needs to be eating and offer no advice as to why he might be refusing meals on a regular basis. We finally saw the gastroenterologist when my son was one year old, the projectile vomiting had stopped a few months before but I still went to the appointment and voiced all of my concerns. The gastroenterologist suggested that the projectile vomiting was due to a sensitive gag reflex and all of his other symptoms are ‘normal’.
My son had started getting scared very easily at the slightest of things. If I moved suddenly he would panic. If an ambulance or police car drove past our house with the sirens on he would get really scared, so scared it was like he was trying to climb inside me, he couldn’t get close enough. The slightest thing could set him off, slamming a car door, certain people’s voices. It was awful seeing him so upset and frightened over every day things. He was still waking up twice in the night for a bottle of his soya milk – not surprising as he wasn’t eating three meals a day. The dietitian insisted that I water down his bottles of soya milk and gradually wean him off night feeds – this was unsuccessful.
By the time he was 17 months old his symptoms were:
Not eating properly during the day, refusing meals
Getting scared very easily over the slightest noise or movement
Hungry throughout the night
Loose stools – like this since birth
When my son was 15 months old I wanted to use a nursery for extra day care (he already went to a childminder) The nursery he went to fed him dairy (knowing he is allergic) in the form of angel delight, during the two hour induction period. My son was very very poorly after this and I really struggled to come to terms with the fact that they fed him dairy knowing he is allergic. I ended up joining a support group for cow’s milk protein allergy on Facebook, this was a turning point for me. I realised I am not alone on this CMPA journey and it was great to have people to message who really understand what you are going through. It was reading someone else’s post in the support group that made me realise my son could also be soya intolerant. I read the post and I thought that sounds just like my son. I decided to eliminate soya from my sons diet to see if it made a difference. I removed the soya milk to begin with, the first three days were hell to be honest. It was like my son was having withdrawal symptoms, his behaviour was outrageous but I persevered. Day four, I had a beautiful little boy who would eat three meals a day and didn’t get scared easily. The sirens would drive past our house and he wouldn’t bat an eye lid, I could move suddenly without him getting upset and other noises that bothered him before didn’t now. He also started doing soft stools which he had never done before. It was like this for two weeks but then his previous symptoms started creeping back in. I decided to eliminate all soya from his diet and once I did that all of the symptoms completely disappeared. He’s now nearly two (this weekend) and he doesn’t have any soya in his diet and he is a very happy little boy, who eats three meals a day. He has ‘normal’ regular bowel movements. Sleeps well and isn’t frightened of everyday noises/movements. My son has gone to the same childminder since being three months old. When he had soya in his diet he would get scared easily at the childminders and he would try and climb inside her too.
The people around me said my son getting scared easily was due to me being a single parent, ”it’s because it’s just you two at home and your really quiet and laid back” ”He’ll be fine once he goes to nursery and he’s around lots of people”.
It’s still just the two of us at home, i’m still really quiet and laid back and my son doesn’t go to a nursery (he still goes to the same childminder) he also doesn’t have any of the symptoms he did whilst having soya in his diet.
Intolerance to soy protein may occur immediately or occur several days after ingestion. You may experience changes in mood or behavior after consuming soy protein if you are intolerant. Symptoms may include irritability or nervousness or depressed mood, according to a 2007 article in “Living Without Magazine.” Infants intolerant of soy may exhibit fussiness, irritability or discomfort. Source
Food intolerance’s are not easy to pin point or diagnose, especially if your child is unable to tell you how they are feeling. I always think mum know’s best though and if you think something isn’t right then follow your gut instinct and investigate it.
If you suspect you or your child has a food intolerance you should discuss it with your GP. This post does not replace professional medical advice and is simply the sharing of a personal experience.
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