In 1995 I gave birth to my first son. He was really colicky from the very beginning, and most of his problems seemed to occur shortly after feedings. I won’t get into the amount of time we spent at doctors and hospital for the next year and a half, I’ll just throw you the bottom-line, he had multiple allergies including milk, wheat, soy, and orange. His symptoms included colic, runny nose, sweating, failure to gain weight, eczema, and profuse diarrhea sometimes accompanied by colitis. I tried asking the pediatrician over and over if it could be allergies, the answer was always “No.” Finally, right before I agreed to have a gastric tube placed for feedings to help him gain weight, I took him to an allergist (on my own). Multiple food allergies were diagnosed. I was astonished, but I think I knew this all along. My first son was past the formula stage, so I adjusted his diet as necessary and he has done fine since then. My second son, born in 1998, developed colitis in 6 weeks (bleeding in his stool). I took him to a gastroenterologist immediately and he was diagnosed the same, milk, soy and possible wheat allergy. Now what? He is on formula, I only knew of milk and soy based formulas, what do I do know?
This is what I learned after using every over the counter formula that exists, only to end up with the same symptoms. For infants with severe multiple allergies the best formula available is an Amino Acid formula. These formulas have their proteins broken down to the lowest possible molecular level, making them easy to digest and tolerate for these infants. The bad news back in the day (1995, 1998) was that they needed to be ordered through a pharmacy and you needed a gastroenterologist to write a prescription, it was a real hassle. But you do what you must, and my boys did fine with this formula. My third son, Surprise, was born in 2009, same deal, multiple allergies. I was not looking forward to the run around to obtain this formula again. So I took a chance and looked them up on-line, and would you believe the progress we made in 10 years, there they were. Direct ordering from the manufacturer, yeah! Getting this formula was easier than ever, probably because of the increase in allergies among infants these days, I personally believe the problem is environmental.
When my first two boys were born the only amino acid based formula was neocate, but since then many others have been formulated from different manufacturers. With my third son I just stuck with what I knew worked and stayed with the neocate, but the point is that we have many options in this formula category now. The cost is high for these formulas, so you can do some comparison shopping. And in many cases if you have a diagnosed infant and can get documentation from your gastroenterologist, the formula can be covered by your insurance company. All three boys were covered for the formula up until 1 and half years old. Also my third son actually was covered by the NYS WIC program, which I will be eternally grateful to them for. So if you r child has signs and symptoms of these allergies, all is not lost. All of my children have grown healthy and happy feeding with these alternative formulas.