Alex had some diaper issues that led us to believe something was wrong. Lab tests ruled out most possiblities. When the pediatrician decided it was "just one of those things", I couldn't accept that as an answer. Internet searching led me to the conclusion that we might be dealing with a dairy allergy.
This is a milk protein allergy. It's different from lactose intolerance. His system mistakenly believe that the milk protein is harmful and tries to fight it. This causes an allergic reaction that leads to (among other things) runny/bloody stools, eczema, and bright green stools - all things that Alex has dealt with.
Keith & I decided that, right conclusion or not, it couldn't hurt if I removed dairy from my diet for a few weeks to see what happened. That was far trickier than I thought it would be! Dairy products are in EVERYTHING from brownies to salad dressings to hamburger buns to candy bars to spaghetti sauce. Even Cool Whip (a non-dairy product, according to the label) contains dairy. Go figure. I've been learning to read labels very carefully!
Anyway, after trying the no-dairy diet, Alex's eczema cleared up entirely within a few days. His diaper issues cleared up a few days later. We had no problems at all since then.
Over the weekend, I chose to purposely eat some dairy products and see what happened. I just found out about 30 minutes ago with the nastiest diaper I've ever changed. We also had some serious sleep issues the past few nights, and Alex hasn't been nursing well. He acts as if his tummy hurts. I'm wondering if these things are due to my adding dairy back into my diet.
I still need to go over this with the pediatrician at Alex's 6 month appt, but I think our own little 2 week test has yielded some pretty definite results. On the bright side, most infants outgrow this by about 2 years of age. Let's hope so!!
While I'm glad we found the problem, I'm a cheese-lovin', dairy-lovin', ice cream eatin' chocoholic! It's a good thing I love this little boy...'cuz I'm giving up all the yummy stuff for him! At least chocolate syrup is dairy-free...and it makes soy ice cream a tolerable alternative! :)