Q&A: bloody, mucusy stools

Rachel's got a question that's stumping me:

"My daughter is almost 5 months old and has had frequent bloody andmucusy stools on and off since she was about 6 weeks old. She is
exclusively breastfed.  Our pediatrician initially said it was dairy
and soy protein from my diet, so I cut those out. It seemed to make no
difference. I then cut out wheat, then eggs, until eventually the "top
8" allergens were out of my diet. Still no improvement. My pediatrician
says to wait it out, and since my daughter is gaining weight, seems
happy, and is meeting developmental milestones I shouldn't worry. I
just don't feel right about this, and since we are creeping up on
solids introduction age I really want to figure it out.  Do you have
any suggestions? We are so at the end of our ropes here."

Yeah, I just can't imagine that having blood and mucus in your poop is something that should just be ignored, so I'm kind of shocked that your pediatrician is telling you not to worry. Something is definitely not right.

You've dealt with the most obvious things: dairy, soy, wheat, eggs, etc.

Is this ringing a bell with anyone? I'm trying to think backwards through what I'd suggest if it were an adult suffering from blood and mucus in the stool, but I'm not getting anywhere with that in my head, either.

Was your daughter ever given antibiotics? That's the only thing that's jumping immediately to mind.

Please jump in with ideas if this is sounding familiar to anyone.

81 thoughts on “Q&A: bloody, mucusy stools”

  1. Agree that this calls for a second opinion from another doctor and a stool sample analysis (and consulting a good lactation consultant may be the answer, too).It is encouraging that your daughter is happy, growing well, and breastfeeding. Still, I understand why you want to get to the bottom of this.
    Having lived and worked in Africa (doing public health work) for many years, the first thing I think of when I hear bloody, mucusy stools is ‘amebic dysentery’ but I am 99.99% sure it couldn’t be this considering your daughter’s age, diet to this point, and overall wellbeing.
    Hope this gets resolved soon.

  2. Still think you should get a second opinion, but wanted to add that it can take ages for some of the allergens to get out of your system. You don’t mention how long you have been off the “top 8” but I think dairy, for example, can take up to 3-4 weeks to clear out of your system and the baby’s.

  3. (I’m feeling scattered – sorry for the serial comments.)One LAST thought – are you taking multi-vitamins? They can contain soy protein as a binder. Sneaky stuff.

  4. My daughter also suffered from mucousy stools (and reflux, and poor sleep) until we completely — and I mean COMPLETELY — eliminated dairy for nearly a month. We read labels and don’t eat out unless the restaurant can tell us their ingredients.You should definitely get a second opinion. We saw a pediatric gastroenterologist, and were very happy we did.

  5. Second Opinion.That being said, I had the same issue with my son and it turned out to be an oversupply issue. Once that was resolved, so was the stool.

  6. Can we get any more information on the blood in the stool? Is it a black stool – being blood that has passed through the stomach and intestine? In which case it is likely to be from the breastfeeding – damaged ducts, etc – it may not manifest itself on the surface? The other thing to consider is oversupply of breastmilk – even at 5 months. I would suggest contacting a reliable lactation consultant.

  7. I’ve also cut out the major allergens but sometimes M still has a reaction (hers is mucousy stools and eczema, no blood though). The list of what they can react to is endless – the major ones are just a starting point and even if you think you’ve eliminated them you may be coming in contact with them in sneaky ways (ie. wheat and corn in candy products, corn in vinegar products including ketchup and mustards).I’d get a second opinion to rule out any gastro-intestinal issues. If allergic reaction is still the best bet, you can try one of those Dr Sears-style total elimination diets for 4 weeks, see how she does and then if she clears up gradually introduce other foods to see what happens. I think it means surviving on sweet potatoes, rice and turkey for a few weeks though.

  8. I second the oversupply suggestion. That exact thing happened to a friend of mine, and it was solved almost immediately by switching to block feeding. She would feed several feedings in a row off of one side, and then switch to the other side for several feedings. The change saved her breastfeeding relationship, because her pediatrician wanted her to switch to formula if they couldn’t solve the problem. Get yourself a good IBCLC!

  9. No suggestions, but just…wow. This has been going on +/- 4 months and your pediatrician isn’t concerned? Get a second opinion, and and start looking for a new ped.Babies “seeming” happy is all well and good, but not a reliable indicator that nothing is wrong. Wow. I’d be at the end of my rope too. Hope you find some answers soon!

  10. My daughter had very similar issues. I second the comments about giving allergens enough time to clear your milk and about reading ingredient labels. It’s a pain, but it made a difference for us. Also, I suggest that you ask for referrals to a pediatric allergist and a pediatric gastroenterologist. Once we saw the GI and did a stool series, we realized that not only did Peanut have a dairy/wheat/soy intolerance issue, she was also low on a pancreatic enzyme. Once we had her on the right meds, it all cleared right up.Bloody, mucousy stools are NOT normal and you should do your best to get to the bottom of it. Good luck!!

  11. My son had this. When I stopped eating peanut butter or anything with peanuts, it went away. But, since you’ve cut that out, that’s not your issue. When doing the research, my LC thought it could be oversupply or a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance. She had me to nurse only on one side during a feeding. In my case, it was something else, but that is the advice she gave me.And, definitely get a second opinion. Any doctor should have run some tests by now.

  12. My son had exactly the same symptoms at four months. We started bottle feeding Nutramigen, a formula in which the proteins are partially broken down and easier for the baby to digest. The problem resolved almost immediately. Nutramigen is expensive and doesn’t smell great, but my son was happy and healthy on it for rest of his first year. I know bottle feeding isn’t for everyone, but maybe you could consider it as a possible option. Whatever works, right?

  13. I agree with others that a second opinion is a good idea, as is seeing a IBCLC.I also recommend keeping a “food diary” for yourself with notes about when the bloody and/or mucusy stools appear. If you have a detailed list of everything you eat and when, plus comments on your daughter’s stools, this might make figuring out the problem easier (if not for you, hopefully for the doctor or LC).
    Could teething be a factor? Or illness? I know when my daughter teethed or is ill, her poop changes. Something else to note in the diary!
    Good luck!

  14. How long did the poster eliminate things? For dairy, you need as long as 5 weeks to totally clear the system. I think it’s safe to say between 4-6 weeks before you give up on that angle. My dd had mucus and streaks and pinpricks of red blood in her stools, starting at 2 months old. The variables for us included c-section delivery (me getting abx at birth and then at 6 weeks pp for a bladder infection probably caused by the catheter). She got a rousing case of thrush starting at 6 weeks that did not clear for several weeks (treated with Nystatin orally) (and it took me literally months to get rid my own symptoms, finally needing a long course of diflucan). The dairy elimination seemed to do the trick for us. I had to do every single last trace ingredient. Goat milk did not seem to be OK as it shares two proteins with cow milk. Luckily there are a lot of online resources for figuring out sources of hidden dairy. It gets very tedious, I know.Other thoughts based on my research (there’s a Kellymom article with lots of sources if you search for blood in stool) is a foremilk-hindmilk imbalance (hmm, we also dealt with oversupply! another variable.). My daughter wasn’t in any kind of apparent discomfort, although if I slipped up and had even a trace of dairy, we’d be back to a snot diaper and a little rash on her face and neck.
    I would probably get a GI referral and an allergist referral if it were me and my diet measures were not working. It could be a fissure or something anatomical, certainly. One thing someone in LLL told me is that sensitivities relating to the permeability of the intestinal lining will not necessarily test positive on the typical allergy test, so that one’s a bit of a pickle. You can try probiotics and other gut healing tactics (I’d look for dairy-free probiotics, just to be safe).
    Delaying solids for a few months while you get this sorted out is also OK and often recommended for a potentially allergic child. We did delay a bit, took it slow, and the good news is that my dd did not retain a lasting sensitivity to dairy. We challenged after her first bday, and all was well. A friend had a son with the exact same symptoms, and she ended up switching to hypoallergenic formula, and his symptoms cleared. He also had no lasting sensitivity. Finding out what it is and minimizing exposure seems to be the way to go, but the finding it out part can be maddening, so you have my empathy.

  15. Wanted to second what Virginia said. My daughter had this as well and while it improved when I eliminated dairy it did not fully resolve until we transitioned to formula feeding at 6 months and used Nutramigen.

  16. She needs to see a pediatric GI, pronto. A Dr. Sears style TED (total elimination diet) would be a good thing to try while waiting for the appointment.If the blood is coming from her system, that’s not good for her intestines.

  17. My son had this, and I panicked. We did all the tests, and finally got an answer. He didn’t have enough vitamin K, he was deficient. He got another shot like he did when he was born, and we haven’t had any sign of it since. He’s almost 4 now.

  18. 1) Second opinion. But before you go get one, go to POFAK.org and ask on their forums which doctors in your area are best. Because there are a bunch who are rather less than helpful.2) MSPI is a common cause of bloody/mucousy stools, but it requires removing all traces, even flavorings. If you didn’t remove all traces, you won’t get resolution. Mr B had MSPI, though he only reacted to the dairy protien, soy was okay. Also, 3/4 of the time (not all, but most), MSPI comes with copious vomitting about 20 minutes after consumption. And I mean copious, like someone turned on a garden hose, soaking through the entire front of the clothes, sitting in a puddle of puke. Not ‘spitty’.
    3) Oversupply is also a common cause of green, liquid stools, and if they go on too long, they progress to bloody/mucousy because of the ongoing irritation. Mr B also got to experience my oversupply issues, so he was in trouble in a big way. Frequently, babies dealing with an oversupply issue grow exceedingly well – they get a lot of calories (high lactose input), just not a lot of fats.
    4) Allergies (inside or outside the top 8), infection, and a bazillion other potential GI issues could be playing a role or could be the primary cause. You’ve worked on the top issues, but I’d go to POFAK.org (parents of food allergic kids) and hit the boards there ($25 last I checked for a year, worth every blessed penny, though I think you can post to the general forum without membership), and see where they direct you for diagnosis – they are not doctors, but the parents have kids with MSPI, and they have a breastfeeding forum as well. Some parents will end up having to switch (even temporarily) to fully hydrolyzed formula to allow the gut to rest and recover (though some can reintroduce). They’ll be the ones who can truly commiserate, regardless. And they are very very good at directing parents to the best doctors in a region. They’re also directly responsible for us getting a diagnosis for Mr B (he has early-onset lactose intolerance and fructose malabsorption). Pointed us to the doctors who handle these issues most, and who were the most successful at finding what was actually going on.
    Meanwhile, food diary like crazy. It can take weeks or sometimes months to get an appointment, depending on who it is and where you are, and the more accurate detail you can give them when you go in, the better. Everything you eat or drink, brand and preparation info, supplements, the whole bit.
    Mr B is also allergic to red dye (40 and 6), something in commercial berry juices (through breastmilk and direct – HUGE hives reaction, though he can eat the berries without a reaction), and penicillin. The allergist was very clear that we can be allergic to nearly anything. Including chemicals in our own bodies (exercise allergy, for example). We spotted the red dye because of two incidents – profuse vomiting after getting tylenol with red dye, and vomiting and hives after I had vitamins with red dye in them.
    Talk to your doctor about whether it is okay to take the LC-checking-on-supply approach while you’re waiting for your appointment. Still schedule the appointment, though – you can cancel, but waiting extra if it has nothing to do with oversupply will be an extra stress.
    Good luck. It is distressing to be stumped. I hope you can track down a cause, and then can proceed effectively from there.

  19. Oh, and one SIL had a huge issue with this with her last child, and even down to chicken and rice TED for 5 weeks there was no improvement – rash, vomitting, bloody stools. She ended up switching to Nutrimagen, and that worked out. He outgrew all reactions, too – not allergic to a blessed thing by a year.Dairy protien stays in the body for 5 weeks, according to a study of preemie sleep behavior and milk protien in breastmilk from Johns Hopkins. (removing all traces of cow dairy protien for 5+ weeks improved sleep behavior in preemies, and when reintroduced, caused disruption again until milk was again avoided for at least 5 weeks.)

  20. My son had bloody, mucousy stools as well, and it really didn’t clear up until I’d eliminated dairy for 6-8 weeks. I second the second opinion recommendation, but, I also wouldn’t panic yet. Your baby is happy and growing. I know when my son was having problems, it was really hard for me not to get anxious and worked up every time I changed his diaper. Give the diet time. I feel like I read on kellymom that it can take weeks for the dairy to clear out of your baby’s system, and weeks for it to clear out of your breastmilk. But, also, get more medical advice!

  21. I would have them check on intussuception. Bloody mucousy stools are a hallmark of that. Does he have any type of crampy pain along with it?Hope he gets better soon.

  22. I’d second the “get a second opinion.” The first doctor might be right and it may be nothing to worry about, but whenever something your doctor says doesn’t seem right to you, getting a second opinion is always a good idea. Maybe she can find a specialist – pediatric gastroenterologist or nutritionalist or something?

  23. We did seek a second opinion with a holistic practitioner, he seconded the food allergy/protein intolerance opinion. Both doctors have done stool cultures (sorry, I should have mentioned this) for bacteria, yeast, parasites, and WBCs and they’ve both come back negative.I am going to ask for a ped. GI referral….thank you guys for the helpful comments

  24. Blood and mucus? SECOND OPINION, STAT. That’s not something to mess around with.Has your daughter been tested for Cystic Fibrosis? That is the first thing that came to my mind.

  25. Definitely see a gastroenterologist. I have ulcerative colitis and those are the top two symptoms. Not saying that is what it is, but a gastroenterologist can diagnose waaaaaayyyy better than your average GP.

  26. Pediatric gastroenterologist!I know a mom whose son had a similar issue but it turned out to be a carbohydrate malabsorption issue. That might be another way to check into it. She ended up switching from EBM to Alimentum for a month to clear it out (pumping the entire time while on a dairy-free diet) and then once his intestines healed, went back to EBM.

  27. If it is allergies, I would suggest a total elimination diet. You’ll know in a couple of days if its allergies that way. Its basically rice, chicken, pears, asparagus and lettuce. If it works then go see an allergist who can guide you in reintroduction and if it doesnt work then you can rule out allergies and see a GI specialist. I agree with Moxie- I would just ignore it.

  28. I have no real advice beyond what has already been said.However, I want to tell you to try to keep it in perspective. You say your daughter is happy, growing, and meeting milestones, and two doctors have told you that it is probably an allergy or intolerance. You’ll get this thing figured out- don’t let it make you worry ALL the time.
    Pumpkin had (and still has) a “touchy” digestive system. When she was your daughter’s age, I was on a dairy-free diet, which mostly kept her symptoms (gas, with lots of screaming, usually in the middle of the night) in check. Every once and a while, though she’d still have problems. I couldn’t always figure out what the food was. When we were first figuring out what I should avoid, the food journal really helped. With that, I figured out I had to avoid dairy and minimize citrus and garlic. If I remember properly, it took about 2 weeks for the dairy to clear from my system and for us to see results, but once that period passed, the results were dramatic.
    I was back on my regular diet by the time Pumpkin was 8 months old, and we’re still breastfeeding (she’s 21 months now). She now gets cow’s milk and has no problem with it.
    In the early days, we considered switching to the special formula, but decided that in our case the symptoms weren’t that severe and the list of what I had to avoid wasn’t that long. But I remember that feeling of desperation I’d get when I’d be holding my screaming baby at 2 a.m., wondering if it was something that I ate and if I was going to end up on an all oatmeal diet.
    Hang in there. You’ll figure it out. It will get better.
    Oh, and if you want, you could try giving your daughter Culturelle (you break open the capsule and mix it with some expressed breast milk or something, and then feed it to her with a dropper because it will clog a bottle). It is a lactobacillus preparation and helps with digestive health. Our pediatrician recommended it when we were having so much trouble, and it seemed to help. We still use it whenever she has to take antibiotics. It may not help in your case, but it probably won’t hurt. Maybe ask your doctor first to see what he/she thinks.

  29. Try that elimination diet. My guy had MSPI and it took almost two months to clear all traces of dairy and nuts out of my system. Dairy included hidden diary in chocolate, margarine, “non-dairy” creamer (which has some diary in it!) etc. I investigated the foremilk/hindmilk dilemma first (and it wasn’t), then went to a Ped Gastro (no help), then did allergy testing (no help) and stuck out the breastfeeding while eliminating the suspect foods. At about 6 months old, he started to show improvement in the stools. We delayed solids a bit because of it but he’s great now. Almost 3 and he grew out of his food issues. Check out the la leche league bulletin boards online (heroic and smart women are found there) and by all means, get as many opinions from doctors as it takes to resolve the issue. For me, sticking to my instinct to keep breastfeeding and eating a different kind o fdiet for awhile was the solution. It may not be for you, but it won’t hurt too much to try it out.

  30. As with some commenters above, we had this, plus reflux and a screaming, unhappy baby. We switched him to Neocate (another hypoallergenic formula) when he was 4 mos. old and within two weeks all his symptoms were gone. I was heartbroken initially–I so wanted to breastfeed him as long as possible)–but it turned out to be the best thing for him. But it sounds like your babe is much happier than mine was . . .

  31. sorry, would just like to add that I eliminated from my diet nearly everything–until I was eating chicken, rice, and pears. And some lettuce. I would still very much like to know what it was.

  32. @tralala, I’ve heard that lamb and rice is better – chicken turns out to be high on the allergenic list.The POFAK.org site is great for supporting those who want to keep breastfeeding, those who want to and it is Just Wrong for the kid (therefore don’t keep on but are unhappy about it), those who are relieved to be able to switch, etc., etc.
    Culturelle is also definitely a good idea, and if you are in the UK or europe, try Infacol probiotics (not the gas drops, the probiotic drops) as well. Both are well-researched for the exact strain used, and the Infacol is a potential major player in reducing GI irritation even from MSPI.
    I’ll also second the ‘don’t panic’ comments – it can and often does take years to figure out what’s really going on (and often enough it resolves before anything is determined for certain). I also would break a sweat when a mistake had been made, and it is horrible to know that an error on our part means someone else suffers, and they don’t get a say in it, nor do they understand what’s wrong or why. Miserable. But not as life-treatening as it may appear, especially if you’re not seeing signs of pain. Mr B was very happy, overall – at least until we introduced fructose into his diet (sigh). Joy joy joy, and the most amazing smiles. Yeah. Pursue a resolution, but don’t panic.
    Oh, and glad you’ve done the cultures and such, but there’s a lot more to go. I’m going to keep flogging the POFAK.org thing, because the parents have dealt with every possible combination of things you can imagine – nightshade allergy (potatoes, tomato, eggplant, pepper), corn allergy (misery!), garlic allergy, the big-8, FPIES, MSPI, you name it, they’ve seen it.

  33. @tralala- I am not a doctor, just an interested parent with a bioscience background, so take this with a grain of salt, but… I think some babies just have trouble with ANY protein, which is why the hydrolyzed formula helps. In that formula, the proteins have already been partially (or fully) digested. I looked up Neocate and its website says it is 100% free amino acids (the building blocks of proteins).I think in these cases, the baby’s digestive system isn’t quite ready for prime time yet, and that once their digestive system finishes developing, they tend to outgrow the intolerance.
    If your baby had this problem, there was no diet you could have put yourself on that would have resolved it. No matter what you eat, breast milk has protein in it. The restricted diets only work for people whose babies only have trouble with specific proteins- the proteins in cow’s milk and soy being two of the most common ones to cause problems.

  34. I third (or whatever it is by now) the oversupply possibility. And offer a YES to blockfeeding, as well. Also, I didn’t have time to read through all comments and so forgive me for repeating, but a trip to a PEDIATRIC ALLERGIST would be key.This happened to us. We were dealing with silent GERD, some food sensitivities, over supply, thrush from antibiotics from reflux related ear infections, reactions to antibiotics, etc. Hang in there. I feel you.
    I was eating rice and wild salmon and carrots for months. And we are on the other side of it now and still nursing at 20 months. You will feel free of the weight of this some day, I promise.

  35. (Oh, and for some kids it isn’t THE thing, it is how much of it to create irritation – Miss M has a sensitive histamine response, diagnosed by the allergists at a Children’s Hospital, so I’m not making it up… anyway, she reacted with mucous and such to either first instances or excess consumption of ANYTHING. It was like she was allergic to the idea of ‘new’ and the idea of ‘plenty’. STRICT moderation in my diet, with rotation of fruits in particular, plus expecting the first exposure to be BAD were just part of life for a while. The elimination diets would have made things worse rather than better (or at least no better at all) because they would have increased reliance on fewer foods, thereby increasing total exposure. She also has dermatographia (skin-marking – she gets hives when exposed to friction and pressure), plus cold-induced urticaria (histamine reaction to temperature change). Poor thing. But, good news is that it tends to improve, and she is MUCH less sensitive to life than she used to be.Anyway, for those who are still going ‘what the heck WAS that?’ it could just be a straight histamine reaction, where the body is just plain sensitive to everything. The allergist tried to introduce that idea early, after having a look at her, and I just could not picture it. But after going through the full round of diagnostics, it became more and more clear that he was right – some kids really ARE sensitive without being ‘IgE allergic’.

  36. I went through this with my baby. After 6 months of elimination diets (I basically ate rice, pears, sweet potatoes, and bland meat) our pediatrician finally ordered stool samples. Once the results came back (all normal) she referred us to a pediatric GI. The GI said that there are some babies who have a sensitive gut and their system will react to everything, not just food. The way she put it, our son was “allergic to the world”. She said that as long as the blood wasn’t heavy, like menstrual blood heavy, there wasn’t much we could do about it and he would outgrow it eventually. We started solids shortly thereafter and I would say by about month 10 or so the blood and mucous were gone. He is 2 now and has no known food allergies or intolerances and his GI tract appears to be normal.Hope that helps some!

  37. My son had this and doctors were completely useless for me. I would start at the allergy bulletin at babycenter.com (or mothering.com). It was a lifesaver for me. If you go there ask for the TED (total elimination diet) FAQ. I wrote it back in the day when my now 5 year old had the problem. FYI, with baby #2, I cut out dairy (every trace) as soon as she was born and she was fine.This is important although doctors will say it isn’t. It will lead to malabsorption and possibly behavioral or developmental problems later. My pretty normal 5 year old has some sensory issues which I think came from this.
    I would also recommend a dairy and soy free probiotic for you and babe (try Kirkman’s labs.)

  38. I think a lot of people have already said this, but I would say don’t just go to another pediatrician for a second opinion — head straight to a specialist.

  39. All of these comments are so helpful! I never considered she could be getting worse from my eating the same foods over and over…I was beginning to think it was a rice or apple allergy. I will try a more “rotated” diet while we wait for the GI.

  40. I’m *so* with Hedra. POFAK.org is the best site ever for kids with food issues.My son was also growing fine, but he had nighttime insomnia, gut pain, and chronic (months and months) of diarrhea. It took the BTDT parents from the forums there to get us the right help my younger son needed. (For him, that involved a local ped GI, an upper endoscopy, and eventually a more specialized clinic that did a full reflux probe, a full upper and lower GI scope, and other assorted tests.)
    One more time: POFAK.org
    Truly I cannot recommend it highly enough. They will help you through all of it, no matter what it turns out to be.

  41. I went through something similar, though my baby screamed ALL THE FRICKING TIME (like, 21/24 hours) and my stupid horrible ignorant doctor told me it was just a “personality issue” and as long as she was growing and meeting milestones there was nothing actually wrong with her. (Can you tell I am still angry at him? I feel like my daughter’s first year was stolen from me and I am STILL recovering from the PTSD all that screaming caused.Anyway, I got hooked up with a great LC and allergy support group, went on the Dr. Sears-style TED, and ate practically nothing for months and lost dramatic amounts of weight. When, at 9 months, my daughter was still highly reactive to even the lowest allergen type foods and was still exclusively breastfed because of this AND I was losing my mind….
    I did something out of sheer desperation. I tried NAET (Nabrudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique – naet.com) and it WORKED. Within three months my daughter was clear of all her sensitivities and has been fine ever since.
    When I explain to people what NAET is, I have to agree that it sounds like voodoo, or total quackery at best. But I always talk about it, because it is in my mind, a viable alternative for some.
    Because of our history with Sophia’s sensitivities, I have come into contact with MANY people with lifelong, life-threatening, and debilitating allergies. Only a few have chosen to take the plunge with the crazy-ass sounding NAET treatment, and so far they’ve all been cleared – peanut allergies, gluten/celiac issues, the hardcore stuff.
    So. If you get desperate and/or your pediatric GI isn’t working out for you, see if you can get a referral for a good NAET practitioner in your area. It’s one of those things where you really want to hear from people who have had good results before you go.
    And if you do try it and it works, please talk about it! We need more sane-sounding converts spreading the word. It TRULY was a miracle for our family and I so want others to have the opportunity too!

  42. I went through something similar, though my baby screamed ALL THE FRICKING TIME (like, 21/24 hours) and my stupid horrible ignorant doctor told me it was just a “personality issue” and as long as she was growing and meeting milestones there was nothing actually wrong with her. (Can you tell I am still angry at him? I feel like my daughter’s first year was stolen from me and I am STILL recovering from the PTSD all that screaming caused.Anyway, I got hooked up with a great LC and allergy support group, went on the Dr. Sears-style TED, and ate practically nothing for months and lost dramatic amounts of weight. When, at 9 months, my daughter was still highly reactive to even the lowest allergen type foods and was still exclusively breastfed because of this AND I was losing my mind….
    I did something out of sheer desperation. I tried NAET (Nabrudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique – naet.com) and it WORKED. Within three months my daughter was clear of all her sensitivities and has been fine ever since.
    When I explain to people what NAET is, I have to agree that it sounds like voodoo, or total quackery at best. But I always talk about it, because it is in my mind, a viable alternative for some.
    Because of our history with Sophia’s sensitivities, I have come into contact with MANY people with lifelong, life-threatening, and debilitating allergies. Only a few have chosen to take the plunge with the crazy-ass sounding NAET treatment, and so far they’ve all been cleared – peanut allergies, gluten/celiac issues, the hardcore stuff.
    So. If you get desperate and/or your pediatric GI isn’t working out for you, see if you can get a referral for a good NAET practitioner in your area. It’s one of those things where you really want to hear from people who have had good results before you go.
    And if you do try it and it works, please talk about it! We need more sane-sounding converts spreading the word. It TRULY was a miracle for our family and I so want others to have the opportunity too!

  43. Bloody stools can have many causes. This website lists a few: http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns/bloodystool.html How long did you eliminate dairy and soy? Dairy can take up to 9 days to leave your body and another 9 to leave your baby’s. The top 8 allergens are not the only things babies can have allergies to. Have you considered doing an elimination diet? Have you talked to a lactation consultant or a LLL leader? Most will give phone help almost immediately.

  44. I don’t know if anyone may have mentioned this but you might want to look into FPIES (Food protein induced enterocolitis syndrome) it is somewhat rare and on its face looks like an allergy but actually is different. My son has this and I’ve read a lot of other parents’ experience with the syndrome and bloody/mucousy stools with regular growth and development is a common symptom. Not to scare you, but if that is the case, you will want to know as much as possible before beginning solid foods.

  45. My son had a touch of this (not huge amounts, but enough to freak me out) up to about 3 months. I had oversupply/forceful letdown, and once we got that sorted out it went away (block feeding). I never eliminated anything from my diet (in fact, I ate tons of potential allergens and love cruciferous vegetables). I second the second opinion (definitely get one, if only for your own peace of mind) but it’s true that it might work out with time. Good luck!

  46. @Steph, that’s Miss M, too! Allergic to the world… but willing to get used to it, eventually. She can eat everything she ever reacted to in that style, though she’s still allergic to cow’s milk (IgE) and chocolate (direct histamine allergy, like shellfish and strawberries). But banana, that gave her horrible reaction on first try? Fine. Blueberry? Fine. Citrus? Fine. Etc., etc.POFAK can give good info on FPIES as well – it’s rare, but YES, you really really want to know if you have it going on before you try, say, rice cereal.
    I will always be grateful to the folks on POKAK, seriously. Without them, I don’t know if we’d have a diagnosis at all. Let alone what passes for a normal life around here (heh).

  47. Please get another pediatrician.I mean, yes, get thee to a Ped GI and all, but get another primary care pediatrician.
    My girls’ pediatrician once said “You ignore a mother’s intuition at your peril. They teach you that, but sometimes doctors forget and we always have to relearn it in some unpleasant way.”
    You are uncomfortable with the situation. I’m guessing your daughter isn’t having the greatest time, either. Alarm bells are going off for you, otherwise you wouldn’t be asking Moxie.
    Your intuition is telling you something, and your pediatrician is ignoring it. That is not a good medical relationship.
    Oh, and after all this bloody poo, is your pediatrician monitoring her for anemia? Even if the cause turns out to be totally benign, I assume all this blood has to come from somewhere, right?

  48. My son is intolerant to cow’s milk and has a peanut allergy, and I’m learning a lot from this thread. (MSPI? Never heard it put that way before. POFAK? No idea what it is.) Thanks to everyone chipping in here.Here’s what I’ve got: Some people have recommended CULTURELLE, but you want to avoid it if you’re avoiding cow’s milk because it has trace amounts. Otherwise, it’s wonderful stuff.

  49. MSPI is not cow’s milk allergy, by the way – it is an entirely different disorder, which is almost 100% outgrown usually by 3 years old. It does have the cross-reaction with soy issue, but it is NOT an IgE allergy. Confusing it with allergy will cause you a lot of trouble with doctors, too. MSPI is a recognized condition (you can look it up on eMedicine, if you want), self-limiting, with specific symptoms.And yeah, forgot about the milk traces in Culturelle – Kirkman Labs has all sorts of allergen-free options, so they’re worth a look-see.

  50. It’s NOT the allergens. I’ve been down this road.It started as oversupply that then started a downward spiral into a GI tract that’s overwhelmed with acid and acid-loving bacteria. (all of this was finally explained to me by a ped GI)
    At five months, the quickest and most effective fix is to start giving rice cereal. You don’t have to stop nursing, though I would recommend sticking to one side for every three hour period. You also don’t have to add the cereal to a bottle – just mix it up like you ordinarily would.
    If memory serves, we saw some relief in less than a week. We still had to treat the silent reflux (which went hand-in-hand with this whole thing) with some prescription meds, but she was a WHOLE DIFFERENT CHILD after the rice cereal.
    And I was a whole different mom after realizing that the allergens weren’t the cause.

  51. Don’t have time to read the comments, so sorry if this is a repeat… If the blood is bright red, it’s from the bottom half of the body (intestines). If it’s dark and almost black, it’s old blood and is likely from the esophagus, which means reflux. My best friend just went through this exact scenario for months.

  52. Wow, does THAT sound familiar! We had the exact same scenario with similar diet elimination frustrations (he was exclusively BF until 6 months too). The elimination diet can drive you crazy!Nothing was resolved until we saw a pediatric allergist around 6 months. She did the skin test and he was positive for milk and egg allergy (then with follow-up blood RAST test confirmation). Even though I had cut those out of my diet for two weeks and saw no improvement, once I had the real evidence and went hard-core on my diet, the blood and mucus cleared up.
    We just took him back for second allergy testing to see if the numbers have gone down, and to test for two other foods that I suspect based on reactions when I introduced solids. You have to be very regimented and careful about introducing all solids. Talk to you pediatrician/allergist about how long to wait with each new introduction etc.
    The hard part was for me to keep on the diet until he was weaned 1 months ago at 17 months. I was getting really sick of the no-dairy no-egg diet. You have to be very strict and read every little label, every trace of dairy or egg or whatever.

  53. If you’re cutting out everything, it could the oversupply issue that has now affected her stomach and intestines.I had huge over supply issues with my first and didn’t know about block feeding. At around 8 weeks, I noticed the mucus/blood in her stool, and while I did fix the oversupply issue, for her, she never actually went back to having regular stools.
    I ended up doing a TED and saw some improvement in her demeanor — every now and then I saw the black lines (old blood) in her stool, but overall she was much better.
    However, I do think her gut had to heal (since I pounded her with foremilk for 2 straight months), and that’s why she was so reactive.
    She does not have any food allergies or sensitivities — does have some mild eczema. (She’s now 4).
    With my other kids, I got the over supply under control and it was fine.
    The TED was pretty painful (I did it and a modified version for a year) so you might check into Reflux meds (which I think she had as well).
    If you get an oversupply issue under control, try to systematically remove the big 8 allergens — one at time for a solid 2 weeks. The other thing is to just avoid the foods that can cause sensitivities — chocolate, caffiene, dairy, acid fruits/veggies — and see if that makes a difference.
    Consequently, as their stomachs heal over (6 months, 9 months, and 12 months), my daughter greatly improved. She didn’t start solids until about 9 months and only ate a few if that.

  54. I’m another POFAK’er. We did allergy testing to help me figure out what to eliminate. It was super helpful in my case. For one, it let me know that I *could* eat wheat (yay!!) and found out that our major culprits were seeds (my son is anaphylactic to sesame, sunflower and mustard seeds). Testing isn’t accurate on all kids, but happened to be super telling for my son.Also, if you have a big oversupply then you can run into some bloody green poops. Usually this wouldn’t be a problem at five months, but who knows? Block feeding can help tremendously with this issue (only feeding on one side for 6-8 hours and then only on the other side for the next 6-8 hours, etc.)

  55. My daughter had this at 4 months. Referred to a pediatric gastrointerologist. Stool samples positive for blood, eosinophils, and reducing factors. Eliminating soy, dairy and eggs from my diet resolved problems. MD believed that the allergies would resolve by the time she turned 1 year. I introduced cow’s milk and the other items at 1 year without any problems. Now age 2, she drinks several cups of milk a day and has 2-3 eggs a day, without symptoms.Stool samples must be totally fresh without urine contamination!

  56. We had the same issue with our son — and it was a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance.The little one is nipping at my heals, so I have to go before he gets into something (like chewing on the computer cords o.O) but you might want to look that up.
    Definitely call a LC and ask. An LC should help you be able to “diagnose” it if that is the problem. 🙂

  57. My sister who also breastfeeds only has a son who was very cranky right from the start and after eating seemed to be in pain so she started eliminating everything from her diet as the aforementioned. She finally even had to cut out any source of nuts – and guess what? That was it. She still doesn’t eat the possible allergens because her son is so happy right now. He is at the top of the charts for weight too. He’s much bigger than my children were and her husband and her are much smaller than my husband and I.

  58. I have been dealing with this issue with my almost 8 month old since he was about 3 months old. I’ve seen several doctors, including a pediatric GI, and all have said pretty much the same thing: he’s growing and healthy and looks great, and most anything they would do would be more invasive than it’s worth. First they suggested anal fissure, and kept suggesting that, until I went back after about 6 weeks and demanded more attention. Then they had me try the dairy, soy, nut, egg elimination diet, and after 2+ months of that, I felt that it really wasn’t making much of a difference. They’ve done stool tests, all normal, with minimal signs of inflammation and normal hemoglobin levels in the blood (no anemia). So anyway, after a long time on the diet, I recently added those ingredients back to my diet and saw nothing get worse. He still has pinpricks of red blood every now and then, and mucous now and then. The frequency of the bowel movements has decreased since 5 months ago. I just don’t think it’s the food intolerance after going through all of this. I’m convinced it’s something else, but what? I might add that my son drools a LOT, has a sensitive gag reflex, and is not interested in solid foods (just spits them out). He is still almost exclusively breastfed. His 3 year-old brother has no allergies and never had this issue.

  59. Hi, I am going throught the same thing right now. My daughter is 4 months old breastfeed only and has had bloody stools since birth. I have been off of Dairy, Wheat,Soy,nuts,shellfish,eggs, All I eat is salads with home made dressings and she still has the blood. She has had an Upper Gi and has also been to a Gastro Doctor. I have to smear her poop on a card every other day and so far all have come back positive for blood. I have also tried the hypoalergentic milk they seem to make her worse. It has been really hard on me but I really dont want to stop breastfeeding. She is gaining weight and seems to be a happy baby other than gas issues. She is actually off the charts in her weight. The gastro doctor told me I may have to stop eating meats. I am not sure what I am suppose to eat but I am willing to do whatever it takes to continue breastfeeding her.If I find out anything new with her Gastro doctor I will keep you updated. I to am very confused with the whole thing.

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  61. Just wondering if there was ever a resolution to this problem? My son has the exact same symptoms. We have also tried the Top 8 allergen elimination diet to no avail. Please update on outcome of this case. Thanks!

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