MSPI, A Nutrition Mystery Solved – Part II

[This is a 3 part series discussing MSPI. Read Part I if you missed it to find out exactly what is MSPI.]

My son about 4 months old

My Personal Story with MSPI.

Breastfeeding did not come easily to my son and I. It was often painful and frustrating, though I persevered because it was important to me to provide the best possible nutrition for my son. I also had plenty of milk to offer! It took us about 4 months and many visits with the lactation consultant to really get the hang of it.  Within the first month though it became obvious there were other problems going on as my son was increasingly fussy after eating and hard to console. We sought the help of our pediatrician who diagnosed our son with reflux. He prescribed some medication and sent us on our way.

My husband and I were not comfortable with giving our newborn medication so I took to the internet to do some research. One of my favorite breastfeeding resources, which I’ve mentioned before, is I found a great deal of information about how an intolerance to the protein in dairy products can cause reflux. In addition, I discovered the same for soy, and even found a few references to eggs and nuts as potential culprits. I decided it was worth a shot before starting medication, and spoke to my pediatrician about it as well. He said I could give it a try.

Initially I cut out all dairy, soy, eggs and nuts. I noticed a significant improvement in my son within a week to 2 weeks. After waiting a few more weeks to ensure everything was out of my milk supply, I did my own food challenge and added back in nuts. When there was no reaction, I then added back in eggs, which also did not prove to be reactive. Soy was next and this was fine as well. So that just left me leaving out all dairy foods. I already read nutrition labels with a fine tooth comb so it was not that difficult for me to make that change. By the time my son was 9 months old, he had outgrown the intolerance and yogurt quickly became his favorite food – he would eat anything with it!

Fast forward three years to the birth of my daughter. I was anticipating a problem with dairy based on the history I had with my son and was careful not to eat much after she was born. Thankfully establishing breastfeeding this time around was much easier. But within a few weeks the same patterns began with her as with my son. I made sure that all traces of dairy were gone from my diet and still we had issues, primarily a ridiculous amount of spit up and fussiness. My new pediatrician is very proactive and told me to remove soy from my diet as well, which I had already come to the same conclusion. Within a week my daughter was much better. She became a happy spitter (though nowhere near as much spit up as before cutting out dairy and soy) and gained weight extraordinarily well. So she was part of the other 50% that is intolerant to both dairy and soy proteins.

I will say that avoiding soy is harder than dairy as soy is in so much of the food supply now if you carefully read labels. Stay tuned for Part III of this series coming on Tuesday where I will discuss what I eat and some fun new food discoveries that make it much easier!