Sarah has a question that's beyond me, so I hope there's someone out there who can unravel it for her:
"I just wanted to ask you about my son's sleep problems. He's now nearly 11 months old, and he's suffered from gas pains since he was born. I hoped when he was first born that he would start to grow out of it at 6 weeks, as everyone told me he would, but he didn't. If anything, it intensified. He exhibited the classic signs of colic - drawing his knees up and crying. This would happen exactly two hours after he ate (he is formula fed - I tried breastfeeding but after three bouts of mastitis, flat nipples and chronic thrush I gave it up for a bad job), then he would sleep until his next feed. He would then be happy for two hours, then the colicky symptoms then sleep etc etc. As he grew older, at around 6-8 months, he started crying in his sleep at night then waking up screaming and impossible to console. I did think that perhaps he was having nightmares, but my mother in law assured me that he was too young for nightmares, and on the nights he stayed with her he would do this and then burp or pass wind then go back to sleep, so she assumed it was a gas pain problem. Over time, I see now that she is correct in this - when he does it now, I pick him up and generally he burps and then is calm for a couple of hours.
We discovered over the course of time that elevating his legs seems to alleviate the pain. As a result of his frequent wakings and the need to elevate his legs, we've ended up co-sleeping rather than pogoing out of bed every couple of hours to sort him out. I did think that he would grow out of this at 8 months when his digestive system matured, but it still persists. Even eating solids hasn't solved the problem. I suspect the problem may be yeast related - he had problems with this from the breastfeeding days, and he had the last white patches in his mouth at about 7 months. He also has a persistent diaper rash that doesn't clear up with zinc oxide. I haven't tried thrush creams on it yet, but that will be my next port of call. He's eating half a pot of probiotic yogurt a day to try to combat this, but it doesn't seem to be having any effect. As yet, the health professionals seem unconcerned (however, we do live in the UK where extensive testing for digestive abnormalities doesn't happen due to the constraints on the national health system), but since it seems to have not abated at all, I'm starting to get quite concerned about him. He also has a slight wheeze which intensifies when he eats a new food. In case you were thinking it may be milk related, I've tried him on hydrolised protein formulas and lactase drops and these had no effect either. I recently switched him to iron fortified follow on milk and the wind seemed to get a bit worse.
Do you have any ideas on this? I'm at my wits end, having not slept for more than three hours at a stretch for nearly a year...
My gut reaction is that it's definitely dairy related and that she needs to take him off dairy completely, make sure there's no wheat in his diet, and be aggressive about treating the yeast. But I don't really know where to start on that if he's taking probiotics already.
Is there anyone with more experience with food sensitivities, dairy intolerance, celiac, or yeast issues who could offer some thoughts?