I wrote a post last spring about GirlyGirl and her almost constant tummy pain. You can read about it here. We initially tried going gluten-free with her in hopes that it would help alleviate her tummy troubles. We stuck with that diet for only a few weeks. Here's what happened:
After seeing a handful of doctors and having many tests run, our pediatrician wanted to put GirlyGirl on some meds. After trying the gluten-free diet for a few weeks, we hadn't seen a difference in her signs and symptoms (yes, I know if can take longer to see the full benefit). So we decided to try the meds instead. I must say that I have disagreed with the medical diagnosis she was given and the meds she was prescribed, but I also knew the meds wouldn't be harmful if taken for a short period of time. And I figured we could always go back the the gluten-free diet in the future.
Well, her signs and symptoms actually did clear up with the meds...mostly. At least she said her tummy wasn't hurting anymore, but she also hated taking the meds. So it's hard to know if she was just saying that to get out of taking the meds. I asked the doctor what was next. He said to keep her on the meds indefinitely. Now, that was an answer I would not accept! I took her off one of the meds immediately (the one I disagreed with most), and I kept her on the other one until I could regroup and figure out what to do.
After talking to several people and reading lots of good information, we decided to have her go milk-free. Another simple adjustment for us since Bubs has a milk allergy. We already have all the appropriate substitutes in the house.
GirlyGirl does love milk and cheese, so cutting those out has been difficult for her. I did finally find a milk-free cheese that she likes, but she isn't too keen on the rice milk. But she's been milk-free for over two months, and she no longer complains of any tummy trouble or any of her other potty issues we were dealing with. And she is now off all meds.
The more I read about issues with dairy, the more I lean toward keeping her off of it. She has mentioned several times that she really likes milk and wants it back in her diet, so I'm not sure how long we can keep it eliminated. But I will continue to try and continue to educate her as she gets older so she can make good choices for herself.
At the same time we were making this diet change, we also decided to firmly cut out artificial colors. There is so much information out there about how bad these artificial colors are for you. In fact, in other countries there must be a warning label on foods containing artificial colors stating the possible effects. Now, I love GirlyGirl with all my heart, but she can be a bit spacey at times. At her well visit last fall, the doctor casually mentioned that some of her behaviors may indicate ADD. Regardless of how you feel about that diagnosis, I figured eliminating artificial colors now may help her focus better. After all, there is lots of research showing that artificial colors contribute to ADHD and behavior disturbances. I want her to have the best chance in life, so we will continue to make these kinds of choices for her.