Moms - do any of you have gastrointestinal issues?

Posted on: Thu, 07/05/2001 - 1:49am
booandbrimom's picture
Joined: 08/23/2000 - 09:00

Forgive this long post. I think and think and think about the causes of food allergies, and wonder if there are others out there who think about the causes as well... Here's what I've concluded so far (background required to know why I'm asking the question about gastro illness):

- Food allergies are something happening mostly in industrialized countries. They're on the rise. I don't believe this is just a case of better reporting, and this rise is consistent with other autoimmune disorders.

- While genetics play a part in this, food allergies must be triggered by a body system that's more short-term, since 100 years is not enough time to make changes in the gene pool. In other words, we've always had the genes for atopic disease, but something new is triggering this in the current generation, so something has changed in our environment.

- There must be a positive reason for this immune response, because otherwise the mechanism that creates food allergies wouldn't be selected for over time.

- Food allergies are not passed exclusively by breast milk since not all children nurse, so they must be happening in utero.

All that said, the pat answer to why we have food allergies now is that there are far more proteins being introduced into the diet at younger ages. Yet most children show the reaction at a very early age, and as soon as they come in contact with the allergen. For instance, my son showed a milk allergy at 3 months the first time he had milk. Same for soy. Same for peanut butter (at 20 months, of course). He couldn't have been solely "sensitized" by breastfeeding because many mothers have had this experience and their children aren't breastfed. And it's simplistic to believe there's a "hidden" first exposure in children this young.

So, these kids are getting their knowledge of proteins in some way from their mom in utero. Yet not all children in a family have food allergies, and not all moms have history of atopic disease. (I don't.)

In my particular case though, I do have a history of spastic colitis, another disease that's had a meteoric rise in our society. Many doctors attribute this illness to stress and/or emotional triggers, but again, that's pretty simplistic. I suspect that during these episodes, proteins that I'm eating may be passing into my system in a less-than-digested form (i.e. leaking of the intestinal walls), and that this type of leakage with the subsequent immune response might set up a baby to have food allergies. This would explain why not all children have the allergy (not all fetuses are exposed because not all mothers have "active" disease during pregnancy).

Of course, this begs the question of where the colitis comes from (cow's milk is my candidate for culprit), but it's an interesting hypothesis. Any comments? History of gastro upset during pregnancy?

Posted on: Thu, 07/05/2001 - 2:45am
torontosue's picture
Joined: 06/08/2001 - 09:00

Booandbri's mom, yes, you can add me to the list for this one, I have IBS (Irritable Bowel syndrome), and cow's milk is definitely a trigger for me. However, I also have a whole slew of food allergies myself, as well as asthma and eczema, so I've always said that Taran's come by his allergies honestly.
p.s. Taran's been asking about Bri, please e-mail us if you get a chance. [email][/email]

Posted on: Thu, 07/05/2001 - 3:11am
Liamsmom's picture
Joined: 02/21/2001 - 09:00

I've had IBS for at least 15 years (I'm 39 now), but have never managed to nail down the foods that trigger it. Actually, it bothers me most when I exercise!
I had no gastrointestinal problems during pregnancy other than moderate morning sickness for the first 4 months.

Posted on: Thu, 07/05/2001 - 5:04am
BENSMOM's picture
Joined: 05/20/2000 - 09:00

The nutritionist/homeopath I took Ben to said he had leaky gut syndrome, which essentially means that proteins are passing through the intestinal wall when they shouldn't be. I don't think I have any problems like this, but I think genetic predisposition, early exposure to cow's milk, and a bunch of episodes with antibiotics (which kill off the good bacteria in the intestine) set Ben off. Since he's been on dietary supplements, he's been doing great. I don't expect his nut allergy to clear up, but his eczema, labored breathing at night, and environmental allergies have almost disappeared. I definitely think there's a link between digestion and allergy.

Posted on: Thu, 07/05/2001 - 11:21pm
booandbrimom's picture
Joined: 08/23/2000 - 09:00

Sue, I'm so sorry we haven't written! To be totally honest, I started to go through our 4000+ emails to see if I could find Taran's last message and then promptly forgot. (Apparently we got "spammed" in our email account by a pager company.)
I'm at work now, but will see if Brian and I can sit down this weekend and write. [img][/img]

Posted on: Fri, 07/06/2001 - 5:58am
Going Nuts's picture
Joined: 10/04/2001 - 09:00

Oh yes, all the women in my family are IBS Queens!

Posted on: Fri, 07/06/2001 - 11:31am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Quite an interesting theory. I also have IBS.

Posted on: Tue, 07/10/2001 - 1:56pm
DMB's picture
Joined: 02/22/2001 - 09:00

I also have IBS. Mine started after college when I started working. Stress is my major trigger. It was very bad during both of my pregnancies. As far as we know, my oldest son is the only one pa.

Posted on: Wed, 07/11/2001 - 4:11am
KarenT's picture
Joined: 10/30/1999 - 09:00

Me Too! Started after my 1st was born and has gotten worse with each child (or age!). I think it is oils that trigger mine. Olive and palm oil. My husband and I have a key word so he knows if I am in trouble after I have eaten something. "WHOSH!" Sound familiar?

Posted on: Wed, 07/11/2001 - 10:44am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Very intersting. We have no history of food allergies in our family, so my son's pa was not inherited. However, all my life I've had stomach problems. Mainly after eating out. I've had numerous dr. and ER visits due to severe stomach pain and vomiting, I've been diagnosed with numerous ulcers, H-pylori and Gerd over the years. I had preterm labor with both my pregnancies & had both children at 35 wks -- I always wondered if the stomach probs had any influence on that, but I've never thought about the connection with pa. Interesting thought!

Posted on: Tue, 08/28/2007 - 11:50am
booandbrimom's picture
Joined: 08/23/2000 - 09:00

Edited from original.
[This message has been edited by booandbrimom (edited August 28, 2007).]


Peanut Free Store

More Articles

You already know that if you or your child has a peanut allergy you need to avoid peanut butter. Some...

There are many reasons why you may want to substitute almond flour for wheat flour in recipes. Of course, if you have a...

Are you looking for peanut-free candies as a special treat for a child with...

Do you have a child with peanut allergies and an upcoming birthday? Perhaps you'd like to bake a...

Most nut butters provide all the same benefits: an easy sandwich spread, a great dip for veggies, a fun addition to a smoothie. But not...