Thursday, February 4, 2010

Whoever decided humans should drink cow's milk...I hate them....

Or: You never know what you've got until it's gone :(

(Warning: This post will be long...but possibly interesting so it might be worth reading ;) And I need your advice at the end!)

So here's the deal. I really like my milk. I drink it with every meal and usually a few times in between. I really like all the things that you can do with it: chocolate, cheese, cream cheese, ice cream, yogurt, butter (umm....real butter....), huge variety of desserts and sweets, breads, etc.

But I've decided Milk might be the bane of my existence! OK, so that's a really strong statement. But hear me out. Several years ago I heard a nutritionist talk about the problems with milk. He pointed out that we are the only mammals that: 1)Drink milk from another animal; 2) Drink milk into adulthood. He said there is a whole movement that is advocating that we shouldn't drink milk at all. It's not good for us overall and causes a lot of problems. It is mucous forming and can cause upper respiratory problems, stuffy noses etc. It is also very hard for a lot of people to digest. The milk industry is just out to make money and milk doesn't necessarily "do a body good". There's all sorts of other information out there if you were really interested in the issue. I personally am not here to write about all that...or am I?

So let's start with Tyler. He was born in Logan, which if any of you have paid attention will know is one of the highest polluted areas in the nation on many days in the winter. He was born in late November and 5 days after he was born he started wheezing. Over the next 11 months he ended up on oxygen twice, had pneumonia once and was almost constantly on a nebulizer (pulmacort and albuteral) to keep the wheezing at bay. At 11 months old he got a little stomach bug and so the doctor put him on soy formula because it was gentler and would help him get over it. Well wouldn't you know it...but his breathing problems disappeared almost immediately. So we went with what worked and kept him on soy formula/milk from then on. It didn't make any sense to me, but it seemed like EVERY TIME we tried to put him back on regular milk he would invariably get an upper respiratory infection and ended up wheezing again. When he was 1 1/2 we moved to Cedar City and his breathing improved even more. We ended up doing 1/2 cow's milk and 1/2 soy milk for a long time because any more than that he would get sick. We finally were able to go 100 % cow's milk for a good 6 months to a year without any problems. He was doing great. Then in January of last year he ended up in the hospital with RSV and strep throat. RSV sounds scary, but if you know anything about it, it's usually only scary for babies. In older children it's usually appears to be a cold. It shouldn't land a 3 year old in the hospital. So we ended up back on soy milk for the next 6 months at least. He's back on regular milk most of the time now. Occasionally he still chooses "special milk" but not usually anymore. And he's been doing fine. He's been sick a few times in recent months and I've just been holding my breath waiting for the wheezing to start. It hasn't. His body seems to be getting stronger I guess. I could never explain the connection to milk, but there always seemed to be one.

Well now we have another problem. And it's actually not new, but I'm just looking at it in a different way. Kelley, Tyler and now Maren have all been projectile vomiters. I have to bring at least three LARGE burp rags everywhere I went in addition to extra clothes for me AND them. People don't usually believe me until it happens to them, but my babies could SOAK themselves and an adult in one fell swoop. Kelley and Tyler just ended up on Zantac for their whole first year to control the "reflux". It controlled it OK...

A few months ago I went to a child care seminar and Dr. Harvey Karp was the keynote speaker. He wrote the Happiest Baby on the Block. He mentioned that he believes reflux is extremely over-diagnosed and over medicated. I talked to him briefly about my babies and my concern we'd end up with the same problem with this one. His theory was that if they don't seem to be in a lot of pain and they are gaining weight fine, skip the medication and just deal with the spit up. So that was the plan.

Sure enough Maren has had the same problems, although not as bad as I remember with the other kids...but it's hard to say because it has been a while and I was expecting the worst. Well I haven't done the medication, but have read some stuff and talked to some people who say that dairy can be a culprit in reflux babies. So this week I did what I thought was impossible and have cut out ALL DAIRY. It has been torture! Do you have any idea what it is like to skip the creamies your hubs and kids are having...to go without chocolate and most baked sweets....to try to eat bagels without cream cheese...to crave cheese enchiladas, but not be able to do anything about it...to never be able to butter your toast with (((((sigh))))) real butter??? I could have never done it for myself, but this is my little tiny baby girl we're talking about here.

Well....UNFORTUNATELY....it seems to be helping. She's only projectile vomited once since I started and that was after I ate waffles made from buttermilk mix. Grrr....So now I'm in a dilemma and I feel like a bad mother for even thinking this way...but now what do I do with this information? Go without all those things for the next year while I nurse her? Go without them most of the time, but splurge occasionally at her expense? At this very moment I have a box full of Valentine's cookies sitting on our counter that I don't dare touch because I bought them, they don't have an ingredient list and they were probably made with butter, sweetened condensed milk, or something. I do have to admit it would probably be a FABULOUS diet program, but it is really worth it? I LIKE my dairy!

There is the possibility that I could add in some dairy...it's just kind of a painful process of trial and error to figure out what and how much will bother her. I could just put her on the Zantac, but the older I get the more I'd rather not do meds if I don't have to. Sure I give my kids medicine when they need it. But if they have a low grade fever for example I don't give them anything for it. I'd rather have their bodies fight off whatever they need to. I also won't ask for antibiotics unless it's a bacteria. I once had a pediatrician offer to give me antibiotics for one of the kids if I wanted it. He told me it was probably viral but I could do antibiotics "just in case". NO! Are you kidding me? Anyone ever heard of "super bugs" and why they evolve? So I don't really want to do Zantac.

But...chocolate....cheese....milk....

Am I just the worst mother in the world???? I really don't want to do formula either, which is probably another option. I think breastfeeding is best if possible. There's the bonding benefits, the nutritional benefits that babies can't get anywhere else, and it's always been really helpful in my loosing the baby weight. Plus it's really convenient and virtually cost free.

Oh and did I mention she's sleeping on a regular basis now at night for 5-7 hours at a time? Could it be because her little tummy isn't bugging the heck out of her? My other kids were terrible sleepers. Kelley was a year old before she slept through the night...I'm talking up 2-3 times usually! So this no milk thing also makes for a much more rested mama....which is a happier mama. Maybe it's not connected, but it's awfully suspicious!

Anyway....what would YOU do? This is one of those things that you almost wish you never asked the question to because the answer is SO not cool! But if people had never decided to start drinking milk in the first place...I wouldn't have this problem right now and wouldn't know what I'm missing!

Oh and just one other thing I wanted to throw out there for discussion. The chiropractor told me that she knew another chiropractor that could eliminate allergies. There is this huge skeptic in me that says....umm...yea right! If that was the case why is everyone doing it? I actually saw an allergist a few years ago that said that allergy shots could cure you of allergies, but it takes like 5 years. But then there's this other part of me that says...what if they really could? Of course the medical field probably would never tell you about it because they would loose a lot business. I'm sure the allergy field is HUGE. Just think about all the commercials you see for Claritan, Zyrtec, etc. And if you do allergy shots it's once a week for like I said 5 years...or more. Imagine how much money they must make off of that. I know I sound like a crazy conspiracy theorist. I'm not saying I really think that is the case...but what if?

Any thoughts on this one friends? PLEASE! I'd love to hear what you have to say.

6 comments:

Anna said...

Well, I think I'd keep trying to cut out the milk. You've made it through one whole week, you'll get better at it. I don't eat much butter or cheese anymore myself, you'll find other ways to enjoy those things. I have learned to actually LIKE olive oil on my toast instead of butter. If it wasn't such a noticable difference I'd say whatever- but no more vomit, hip hip hurray! As to the chiropractic care, it can't hurt, can it? And just for the record, I think the anti-milk people are misled. We aren't animals, we're people. Animals were put here for us to use appropriately, for our benefit. And there are entire nations that live off of milk. Yes, milk. Then again, milk isn't necessary in an otherwise balanced diet.

Lara said...

There are a lot of allergies and problems associated with milk, yes. However, I tend to believe it is due more to the processing of milk and the hormones than it is to actual milk.

Have you tried the lactose free milk? That's all we can drink in our household, otherwise we all have major issues. We do okay with cheese because it is in an easier form for the body to break down. Milk and ice cream are hard, though. We do rice milk (Bria is allergic to soy) and Lactaid, and after a while, both taste just fine.

I totally believe that there are schools of thought that can eliminate allergies out there. They aren't mainstream, and I am of the belief that many doctors don't believe it because they think it's hocus pocus, but I've seen things like this work for many people.

There is a doctor in Provo, Dr. Dennis Remington that does a lot of work with allergies. My kids and I went to him for a while and he helped us immensely with under the tongue drops and a bit of diet change.

My friend, who is also in Provo, does an alternative laser treatment that eliminates allergies also. Her son had major problems with eczema and after she learned how to do this and treated him, he has not had any problems since. I am not sure how much it costs, but next time I'm out there, I'm having her evaluate me and my kids to see if she can do anything. If you'd like her email, let me know, and I can get it for you.

Anyway, I always think it's worth it to try the alternative methods. Make it a matter of prayer, too, and you'll know what you need to do. And if that means staying of dairy, you'll get used to it. You really will.

Kate said...

How hard and what a hard question?? What do you do? I do think I would try some of the other forms of milk but that won't help with your wanting ice cream, butter, cheese etc. I would also check into allergy experts but then again it is so hard with a newborn. Good luck, I wish I had an answer.

Jaclyn said...

Good for you. That isn't an easy thing to do but well worth it. We aren't big milk fans/drinkers for the same reason. I quickly realized that when Sonja drank too much milk in the mornings she would throw it all up. We have since switched to soy milk for them and the problem had gotten much better. There are a lot of articles bout too much animal protein being bad for us. I would love to give it all up and become a vegan but I just love cheese too much to quit. Good luck my friend.

Frances said...

Milk is soooo good for you, I promise, but if it's bothering Maren, skip it for as long as you can, then switch to formula. As far as the chiropractor goes, he's a quack. Don't waste your money. The shots, on the other hand, really work. It's easy to think that there is this big conspiracy going on with the drug companies and the medical field, but there isn't. This guy is rolling in money suckering people into getting treatments that don't work (or just have a placebo effect). Good luck, and don't feel bad if you stop nursing. The first 6 weeks are the really critical period for breast milk, after that until 6 months is awesome, and according to my pediatrician, after 6 months there are benefits to nursing, but not as many. Formula kids are smart and active and healthy. Just my own thoughts.

Rebecca said...

Good for you! I'm with you on the milk front, and the benefits of breastfeeding, and the allergy treatments. Isaac's doctor (a chiropractor) does allergy elimination treatments for him and has for 3 years. It's the only reason he's still alive. So if that Chiro is doing NAET, DO IT! And since you'll be there anyway, take Tyler! You'll never regret it! You'll be able to eat those creamies and have real butter again. AND chances are really strong that Tyler's health will improve,too.