Diagnosing Ella by Sarah Abbott
Since birth, my daughter was on formula and filling her nappy up to 14 times a day. She was also feeding almost every hour and completely finishing the bottle every time. I tried switching formulas and she improved to only needing a nappy change six times a day. But she still had a nappy rash that was as if she had sat in a bath of acid, which, as you can imagine, made her scream.
When she was 18 months old, she was once again up past 11pm one night, screaming in agony thanks to her bleeding bottom. In desperation I began investigating nappy rash online – milk seemed to come up a lot in my search, as did lactose. Soon I found information on lactose intolerance and headed straight to the doctor for an emergency appointment.
I just wanted to clear it with them before I put her on a lactose free diet. But all I managed to get out of them was an application for an appointment with a paediatrician and the comment that “children with lactose intolerance will become dehydrated and start to lose loads of weight” – which wasn’t the case with my Ella.
Still, I went straight to Tesco and bought lactose free dairy products. I gave her two 9oz bottles the next day as a test – no poo! I gave her a yogurt – no poo! In fact, she did not go until the next morning after breakfast and this time there was a great improvement in her nappy! I now have her on a lactose free diet and she is a different child, no ‘curry paste’ poo and no nappy rash!
My doctor’s surgery has since apologised to me and officially diagnosed Ella as lactose intolerant. This made me wonder how many other babies are misdiagnosed as they don’t present with the ‘right’ symptoms. My advice to other mums is to be aware that sometimes a nappy rash is more than just nappy rash. If your child is not teething or doesn’t have a bug, then this could be a sign that he or she is allergic to something that they have ingested – like lactose.