Friday, October 23, 2009

Poor baby... mystery illness

For about the past ten days, we have been finding blood in Amalie's stools: first just tiny little bits, but then more. As the blood increased, so did baby's discomfort.

Three visits to the pediatrician and one visit to a pediatric gastroenterologist later, the most likely explanation is that Amalie has an allergy to cow milk protein. The best way to test this hypothesis? Two words: elimination diet. Hers and mine.

One does not realize how ubiquitous cow milk proteins are in a typical American diet until one has to avoid them. I originally figured that heck, regular milk can be replaced by soy milk, butter and margarine by vegan "butter-like" spread, and cheese by no cheese, and that will mostly do the trick. But then I realized that most baked goods have dairy in them. And then I started to read labels. Off limits: processed lunch meats, hot dogs (even Hebrew Nationals!), all of the chips in the house (ranch, sour cream and onion, cheddar), pesto sauce, biscuits and all of the other breads we own, chocolate (duh!).

Amalie's health is well worth the sacrifice. Happily, there has been no blood today. I hope we've found the problem, or that she just had gastroenteritis from a tummy bug.

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