Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Call from the Doctor

A few weeks ago I took Thing 1 to the doctor. Our babysitter swore to me that he was having stomach troubles, complaining about hi tummy hurting and laying down on the floor. Never mind that when I asked him about it he would deny the whole thing. Or that he never displays that kind of behavior with us on the weekends. My concern was that he was acting out for her. He is at an age where lying is a seductive cocktail. But, I had to take it seriously because our trusted babysitter has been saying this on and off for a while now. And although we have never had any other health issues with Thing 1, I can't just ignore it.

So our pediatrician recommended a group of blood tests, including a basic allergy work up. She also had us keep a thorough record of Thing 1's diet in case it was allergy related. I must say I was proud to hear that she felt that his diet was very good. (Yay!! I am such a nerd.) But she did feel his tummy and thought he had some gas. She did say that we eat more fiber than the average person and that could contribute to gas. And we all felt that that may be the reason for him complaining of stomach pains. The doctor also suggested that we not give him milk before lunchtime.

So for the last couple of weeks it has been no dairy in the morning. He cries for milk everyday, but it has gotten a little better. And he has complained of tummy aches less. I think the milk is definitely part of it. And to clarify, even though I love where we get our milk from, Thing 1 was only getting about 3-4 ounces of milk every day with his meals, only 10-12 ounces a day! My kids have always loved milk so much that overloading them with such a foodlike beverage would surely mean no real food would be eaten. But with less milk, he is eating more food. Also, he is a little more regular. I hate to embarrass him, since it is likely that he will read these posts at some point in his life. But Thing 1 has struggled with being a little overly regular. Reducing the dairy has helped him to feel a little more normal.

But then finally, the doctor called and told me the results of all that blood work. She had his liver, kidney and other organ functions checked. All is good. She checked for general infections, all was good. Lead levels were right where they should be (kids in my neighborhood tend to have higher lead levels, it is thought because the buildings are older and possibly not kept up as well). And the allergies, milk, wheat, eggs, peanuts, etc all came back negative. Which she said could happen because the blood work tests for allergy, not sensitivity. He could still have a sensitivity and some minor reaction without having a full blown allergy. Hence the recommendation to limit the milk.

And finally she told me that she had his Vitamin D levels checked. And she said that his level was very good, one of the highest that she has seen at 35 ng/ml (almost 90 nmol/L). I was thrilled to hear that. Because you know that Vitamin D is a big deal. It is an important vitamin in keeping healthy against the common winter viruses, but also at warding off larger inflammations like cancer. I don't give my kids vitamins. Our expensive grass-fed-organic-low-temperature-pasteurization-non-homogenized-whole milk (sorry, it sounds pretentious when I say it, but it looks even more pretentious written out) does not have added D3. And now that it is cold outside, they aren't spending alot of time in the sun.

So how are we getting Vitamin D? It has to be all the grass fed meat (and the long, complicated and expensive sounding milk is grass fed too). We might not be outside, but the cows are, so their meat and milk have it. And because we eat a diet rich in healthy fats both saturated and unsaturated, I know we are able to better absorb the D that we get. Grass-Fed makes a difference. The animals are healthier, and so are we for embracing it.

This post is entered in Food Renegade's Fight Back Friday


  1. oo gosh!! hope he is ok. thanks for article, i actually needed some advice for my daughter.

  2. I have been saying for a while now that people give their kids way way too much milk. Even if you didn't have a sensitivity, or an allergy, it would either give you the runs or constipate you because it's just too much dairy! We are the only animal on the planet that drinks any milk at all after weaning much less the milk of another animal. We simply don't need all that dairy. Plus people hear that we need two servings of dairy a day (which I don't believe anyway) and think dairy equals milk and don't account for the cream cheese and cheddar cheese and yogurt they are eating in addtion to the milk! We are a nation obsessed with Milk! Got Milk?? NO thanks and I'm just fine!


  3. Great post. I guess I need to be eating more grass-fed meat (because of my vitamin D deficiencies) -- although maybe you eat a lot of sardines and salmon? I think cow's milk is overrated too. My son drinks goat's milk, but I drink almond milk.

  4. Actually we don't eat much fish. That is one of New Year's Resolutions (Okay, it was a Mid-January resolution), eat fish once a week and eat beans once a week. But yeah other than that it is grass fed meat. But we buy it through our CSA, so it is way cheaper.
    And I bet the goat's milk has vitamin D in it because it has saturated fat. The almond milk probably doesn't, but you know I don't rightly know...