Finley was difficult to settle from three weeks onwards, he hardly slept through the day, was worse in evenings, and spent all evening and night on and off the breast. We just thought he was normal because we had nothing to compare him with.
At eight months old he was having spasms at mealtimes, which were becoming worse. His arms would go rigid, he threw them up in the air, his face would contort and lips drop, which led to a paediatrician diagnosing Sandifer-Sutcliff Syndrome. (Reflux presented as spasms). He was put on Losec immediately to rule out epilepsy. The spasms stopped as soon as we started Losec, but every time we tried to reduce the drug his symptoms would flare terribly.
He spent 14 months on 30 mg Losec daily. He always had poor weight gain, bad eczema and poor sleep. He was unable to get to sleep or to stay asleep, waking every two hours or more. We tried going dairy free at ten months with no effect.
He had a barium swallow to rule out structural dysfunction, (result normal) and at 20 months old was facing an endoscopy, when we went to Sherry’s talk at the Parent Centre last year. The next day we took gluten, all wheat, soy and sugar (except for fruit and honey), out of his diet and ate only wholesome foods.
In the first month of our dietary changes, he had a huge weight gain, the greatest that he has had his whole life.
His eczema cleared almost immediately. It eased within days and was gone within weeks. We went through a transition period with the diet as we got used to it, because we found gluten and sugar was hidden in many foods.
Two to three months down the line we started to reduce the Losec bit by bit. The spasms didn’t come back. This had never happened before; as the spasms would return almost immediately every time we tried to reduce it. It took six to eight weeks to get him off Losec altogether.
Finley has now been free of Losec, spasms and reflux for three months.
I am now encouraging his nursery to adapt and alter their approach to food with small changes, such as using honey instead of sugar, using butter instead of margarine, removing stock cubes from meals and to use Himalayan salt.
I have noticed that when we relax our approach to foods and allow non-gluten grains and flours into his diet, his skin is starts to dry up and small patches of eczema appear again. It may not just be dietary factors of course, but interesting nonetheless.
The biggest improvements in our very sleep-deprived journey have been through the dietary changes to gluten/wheat/soy free and homeopathy.
Finley is a really different boy now. He can get himself to sleep and sleeps most of the night, probably because his gut has healed a lot and now he is able to absorb nutrients to sustain him for longer.
We have certainly made permanent changes to our diets. Finley is much more settled, happier and even plays on his own now for short periods of time.
He continues to improve slowly but surely, and we look forward to a future with an even happier little (or maybe bigger!) boy.