Food intolerance symptoms

When Oscar was first diagnosed with food intolerances his main symptom was an inability to sleep.  At 8 months old he was waking every 20 to 30 minutes all night long.  Once we went on the elimination diet he started to sleep and his whole personality changed – but its impossible to say whether that was because of food or severe sleep deprivation!  When we did the food challenges the sleep issues always returned, we also had tantrums and cradle cap when we trialled food colours.

Since December we have been re-introducing higher salicylate foods.  We started off with one day care meal per week,  These contained high and very high salicylates and some preservatives.  In February the menu at day care changed and we went up to 6 meals over the 4 week menu cycle.  We monitor Oscar’s food intake and symptoms on a calendar where we record any food he eats that is not on his “allowed list”, rate his overnight sleep on a scale of 1 to 10, and note down anything that could be a symptom (e.g. tantrums, mood swings) or could cause behaviour changes (such as illness).  During this time we had no reactions.

In late March we started to add in some more high salicylate foods once a week: corn, rhubarb, Nutella (hazelnuts), fresh tomato (peeled), almonds, apricots and Vitaweat grain snacks (linseeds), in April we pushed it to 3 or 4 times a week.  At the end of the first week of April I realised that Oscar had had several poo accidents in close succession.  I knew “sneaky poos” were a symptom of food intolerance, but Oscar had not been toilet trained for long and still often wet himself when he was totally engrossed in something, maybe this was the same?  I started to record these accidents as well.  We also had a return of cradle cap during this time, something we hadn’t had for a very long time.  In a 3 week period we 8 accidents, so we went back to our previous “safe” level of just the day care meals, its been 3 weeks and we have had no accidents.

Credit: Ambro

There is a fact sheet on “Sneaky poos” on the Food Intolerance Network site.   It is also known as encopresis (or kids who poo in their pants).  Sneaky poos is the accidental passing of a bowel motion in children who have already been toilet trained. It is one manifestation of irritable bowel symptoms. Other symptoms include bloating, stomach discomfort, reflux (in babies and adults), colic, constipation and/or diarrhoea (can be alternating), and a feeling of incomplete evacuation.

We will stay at our current level of salicylates for a few months before try to increase them again.

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