Blood in your baby’s stool?! Get answers here!

Help!  My baby has blood in her stool!

I don’t care what anyone says, but if you see blood in your baby’s stool it ALWAYS feels like an emergency.

I remember after Luke’s umbilical cord fell off there was a small amount of blood afterwards.  Probably less blood than I shed writing this post (I am very clumsy, prone to paper cuts, and we have a new kitten currently climbing on my leg).  But I remember it being far too much and needing to call Kristie to make sure it was ok (I’m a damned doctor but still defer the expertise of Doctor Mom).

So when your previously healthy baby starts having blood in their stool and diaper, it is understandable to be worried.

 

Crying baby with blood in stool
Blood in Stool is ALWAYS worrisome!

 

Usually, what happens is at an early age (2-8 weeks but can be later) you notice a bloody diaper/blood in stool, often with mucous, but that your child is “healthy otherwise.”  Sometimes it happens later when you start change to formula or let your child start eating other foods (but over half the time it occurs while exclusively breast feeding)!

It is easy to recognize the symptoms and most people and most then see their provider.  And that is the correct next step!

Note:  if your infant has significant vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration and or lethargy then they may have FPIES.  You should read this post after you take your child to the ER or provider’s office)

Before anything else, do this:

  1. First, if it is an emergency (continuous bleeding, lethargic or overly tired baby, decreased responsiveness or any other worrisome symptom) – GO TO THE ER IMMEDIATELY!
  2. Second, if you came to this site because you were googling symptoms of blood in stool, I want you to know that:
    • About 64% of infant rectal bleeding is from food protein proctitis/proctocolitis.
    • You should still see your pediatrician to confirm the diagnosis / make sure is no other cause
  3. Third, if you came to this site AFTER seeing your primary care provider about blood in stools, then I have A LOT of great information for you.

Table of Contents

This is a long post! Don’t get overwhelmed! I also included this guide so you can jump to a specific topic if you desire, or you can click here to download th post and read it all later!

  1. What causes food protein proctitis/proctocolitis (protein intolerance?)
  2. Who needs to avoid the food?
  3. How do you diagnose Food protein proctitis/proctocolitis?
  4. My approach to food elimination
  5. What is the long term plan?
  6. Now it’s time for questions

 

What causes food protein proctitis/proctocolitis (protein intolerance)?

Food protein proctitis/proctocolitis (also known as food protein allergy, allergic or eosinophilic proctocolitis) is NOT actually an allergy.

Remember, an allergy is an IgE-mediated immune response and traditionally causes food anaphylaxis, food-dependent eczema, or other IgE-mediated reactions.

Food protein proctitis/proctocolitis (protein intolerance) IS AN IMMUNE RESPONSE but not an IgE mediated response.  The immune system is triggered by a food protein and causes inflammation in the colon and the end of the gastrointestinal tract (which is what causes the bleeding).

The proteins that trigger food protein proctocolitis/proctitis are different in each infant, and up to 8% can have multiple proteins causing the symptoms.

Milk causes protein intolerance proctitis
Milk is most common cause of milk protein intolerance proctitis

Most common food triggers of Food Protein Proctitis/Proctocolitis:

The most common foods that cause food protein proctitis/proctocolitis (protein intolerance) are:

  1. Cow’s Milk (76%) – Cow’s milk really does seem out to get you, doesn’t it?
  2. Eggs (16%)
  3. Soy (8%)
  4. Corn (2%)
  5. Unknown/no identifiable cause (8%)

These are the most common causes.  Again, up to 8% of infants can have multiple food causing the symptoms so always keep an open mind to the possible foods (if you are unsure, a food journal is the right next step).

Other possible food triggers of Food Protein Proctitis/Proctocolitis

Truly, any food can be a trigger and as a parent, the key to not missing any food is to keep a food journal (I describe how below).  But some of the other foods I have personally seen cause food protein intolerance are:

  1. Tree nuts (almond milk, almond butter, or other nut butter spreads)
  2. Peanuts (peanut also seem out to get you, don’t they?)
  3. Seeds (sunflower or sesame particularly)
  4. Meats (less common, but I’ve seen a pork and chicken cause it)
  5. There are more! (If you think a food is causing a symptom, ask me and I can help)

Who needs to avoid the food?

This is one of the biggest questions I get:  who in the family needs to avoid the suspected foods?

  1. Your child – Easy answer first, but don’t give your child the identified foods:
    • While not life threatening like food allergy, you DO need to avoid the food in all forms.
    • You will need to do strict label reading for a while to accomplish this
  2. Breastfeeding mom – If you are breastfeeding, then you ALSO need to avoid these foods. Remember that over half of food protein intolerance infants present in exclusively breast fed children.
    • You should start by avoiding these foods in all forms.
    • It is possible you can become less strict over time, but that is part of the long term plan.
  3. NOT close contacts – in a food allergy, close contacts need to avoid the food due to cross contamination and contact allergy. That is not the same in this case.  So there is no worry about other family members eating the food then kissing/touching your baby.
    • I AGREE that this isn’t fair!
    • I also AGREE that you should make your family avoid the food anyway or impose some other form of justice on them!
    • (Wait, that’s NOT what you were thinking? Then you’re a better person than I).

How do you diagnose food protein proctocolitis/proctitis (protein intolerance)?

For the most part, history and physical exam only!

Allergy testing is NOT indicated unless you have symptoms of a food allergy or possibly eczema.  Celiac testing / gluten testing is not indicated unless you have symptoms of celiac disease and imaging / GI consult is usually not necessary unless there are other warning symptoms.

The history is usually enough, but then needs to be followed with a food elimination challenge.  This can be considered your diagnostic test:

  1. If elimination of the food fixes the problem, you have food protein proctitis/proctocolitis
  2. If elimination helps but not completely, you may have multiple food triggers
  3. If elimination does nothing to help, look for a different diagnosis.

How do you find what foods to eliminate?

This is a somewhat complicated answer.  The main idea is:

  1. First, eliminate the foods to get your child back to normal
  2. Then, monitor introduction of other foods
    • Make a list of “non-ok foods”
    • If any food causes symptoms, add it to the list
    • Keep that list with you and give to friends/family/daycare

My approach to food elimination – breast fed infants

Since this is not a life threatening problem, I usually eliminate 1 food at a time and use that to find the triggers.

  1. First, you should just avoid dairy in all forms!
    • It is the most common cause (76%) so usually just eliminate it first.
    • You need to do strict label reading, including eliminating the 29 other “names” of milk protein (you can download the list and a card to keep in your wallet HERE).
  2. The bleeding should improve within about 3 days but may take 2 weeks to fully heal.
    • If you notice that symptoms are improving, wait about 2 weeks to see if they are all the way gone.
    • If so, then you only need to avoid milk.
  3. If the bloody stools improve but do not completely get better, I would have you
    • Avoid egg for 2 weeks and see if that makes a difference
    • If it doesn’t, then avoid soy for 2 weeks and see if that helps
    • If it doesn’t, then try to avoid corn for another 2 weeks.
  4. If none of that helps, then I recommend you keep a food journal of what you eat
    • Write down your meals for the day and also track your infant’s stools.
    • Remember there is often a few day lag in your infant’s symptoms (let’s say 2-5 days)
    • If you want, I created a sample food journal you can download and use here
  5. Then, try and eliminate groups of food and see if they make a difference. If you are unsure, you can email me a copy of your food journal and I can help you make a plan.
  6. If you were ok changing to formula, you could consider changing to an extensively hydrolysis formula (read about this below).
  7. If none of this helps, then I would strongly recommend you take your infant to see a GI specialist to make sure nothing is being missed.

My approach to food elimination – formula fed infants

In many ways, a formula fed infant is a lot easier to manage regarding food elimination because you control the entirety of their nutrition.  My recommendations are:

  1. First, switch to an extensively hydrolyzed formula (you can download a list here).
    • We want to avoid milk-based formula because it’s the most common cause.
    • We often recommend avoiding soy-based formula because it can also cause symptoms.
    • As listed above, symptoms should get better within about 3 days and fully improve within 2 weeks.
  2. If symptoms get better, then you have one of two options:
    • Continue with the extensively hydrolyzed formula
    • You can consider trial of soy, monitoring to see if it causes any symptoms. I would only recommend this is cost or available of the extensively hydrolyzed formulas were an issue.
  3. If symptoms did not get better, then change to an amino acid based formula
    • If symptoms get better you will need to stay on this formula
    • If they don’t get better, then I recommend taking your infant to see a GI specialist
Milk protein allergy proctocolitis
Click here to get a personalized long-term plan!

What is the long term plan?

Now for some good news:  in general, food protein proctocolitis/proctitis usually goes away on it’s own and does so in the vast majority of infants (as opposed to true food allergy, which can be lifelong!)

As a general guidance:

  • 50% of infants will outgrow food protein intolerance by 6 months
  • 95% of infants will outgrow food protein intolerance by 9 months

 

Most providers are taught to wait a year before introducing foods.  This approach is conservative and usually winds up forcing you to avoid food for longer than needed (if breast feeding) or possibly paying for expensive formula for longer than is necessary.

As a result, I often reintroduce foods between 6 or, ideally, 9 months of age.

There is a specific way to best introduce foods, and is a little beyond the scope of this blog because each infant is different in their food causes and background.  However, because I know that this is done poorly by so many people, I have created a form that you can fill out and I can try to help you do it the right way.

Get a CUSTOMIZED long-term plan here!

Now it’s time for questions

This is, definitely, an epic blog post.  I could probably do an hour long webinar just on this topic alone (if anyone is interested in that, please let me know)!  But I did want to give you the correct information and help you as much as possible.

If I didn’t answer your specific questions, please just ask me and I’ll get you an answer (give me a day or so to write back, but I promise it’ll be a great answer).

Also, I recently wrote a food reaction central toolkit post to start to help everyone with food reactions (whether it is an adult, child or infant and ANY type of food reaction) and I’m also starting a “Food Reaction Facebook Group” where I can help but also where we can all help each other.

What can you do?

Food protein proctocolitis/proctitis is a big problem that often gets very poorly treated and leaves most parents with more questions than answers.  So if you can, please SHARE this post as far as you can (Facebook or Pinterest, maybe) and let’s help other parents get the right answer.

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  • Thank you for this post. My baby has the slightest amount of blood in her stool. She is 12 weeks and this has been on and off for the last two months. We have removed dairy, eggs, beef, soy, nuts, and wheat from moms diet. Baby is breast fed 100% and is growing like a champ. She has about 3-4 day stretches that have no blood and then she will have 2-3 days with small amounts of blood in mucous (like maybe an eye lash amount – very small. Baby poops after feeding and does not show signs of straining). Our ped says that everything is fine because the baby is not overly fussy and gaining weight perfectly. We are not going to switch to formula, but how can we stop this? I understand that waiting might be our only option, but to wait for four more months with this blood is very difficult. Any advice? .

    • Thanks for asking. It sounds like your baby has FPP, which as you read has some blood in the stools in an otherwise healthy growing baby.

      I understand that the pediatrician said it’s alright and, overall, it is. About 50% of kids will outgrow this by 6 months, 95% by 9 months and most all kids by a year. You would be fine to do nothing. But as a father and an allergist, I would probably still try to eliminate it as much as possible.

      You have eliminated the major causes out of mom’s diet (milk, egg, soy) and that is helping. The 4th most likely cause is actually corn, so maybe try a few weeks without this as well (most corn syrup is OK to keep taking although if you wanted to know for sure I’d reduce that too). I’m curious why she is also avoiding nuts, beef and wheat. Are those known causes of your child’s symptoms, were they avoided because of allergy testing, or are you just avoiding them. My desire is always to reduce how much mom would need to avoid.

      If avoiding corn doesn’t help, you have one other great option: a food journal.

      It sounds like your baby goes for a period of time doing great, then has a few bad days. This might suggest that there is a dietary pattern that could cause it. The best way to do this is to write down the foods that mom eats and then write down your baby’s symptoms. Usually there is a 4 or so day lag (mom needs to eat and digest and make into breast milk so that’s a day, then baby needs to eat and have it cause problems so a day or two there). But if it looks like there is a pattern then try to have mom remove that food and see if it helps.

      You could also consider getting an allergy test, but it would be less helpful as this is not a true immune system allergy as much as a food protein reaction. For that reason, I’d say the food journal would help the most.

      Does that help? If not, feel free to reply here or, for a more private discussion, you can contact me here.

  • I got my babies diapers under control then a lady messed up on my coffee how long does it take to get back out or our systems! And by having a situation like this happen is it damaging to my baby’s GI track . I just want to know I am not hurting him more then helping him by breastfeeding.

    • Melissa,

      I understand your frustration. It’s hard when you try so hard to control things but other people mess it up. Good news is that it will only take about 4-7 days for this to clear from your baby’s system and then it should be back to normal. Also good news is that although having blood in your baby’s diaper is disturbing (and nothing you want to see regularly) it is not hurting him in the short run and is ok as an accidental every now and then.

      Finally, this is likely a short-lived problem. 90% of babies will outgrow this by 9 months (and most by 6 months) so just keep up with it for now and hopefully it will be not be an issue much longer.

  • I was glad to find this blog. My baby is almost 6 months old and has always suffered from severe eczema. He also has often had green stools full of mucus and at times, blood, although unusual for him. At the advice of our allergist, I removed dairy, eggs, and soy from my diet at 3 months. Green stools and eczema persisted. We attempted a peanut challenge at 4 months to prevent allergy, which was followed by blood & mucus in his stool after 3 feedings, so peanut was stopped. I have since removed peanuts, tree nuts, beef, and wheat from my diet. I have seen positive results at times with clear stools and clearing skin for a few days at a time but then his symptoms will return. Today we attempted peanuts again at the allergist office, which was followed by persistent vomiting all afternoon. I am at my wit’s end trying to juggle my diet for my baby and to find out what bothers him. I also have kept a food diary for months but just can’t see any correlation between his symptoms and what I eat. I eat very healthy with very little processed foods and I read labels religiously. Any ideas?

    • Morgan,

      Thank you for your comment. It is so unsettling to have a little one with problems like eczema, bloody stools, and mucus. All you want to do is help them and sometimes its so frustrating to not know how. I’ll send you a direct email to get more information and provide you with some additional help.

      Thanks for sharing your story and hopefully this is the start of helping even more parents finally get to the bottom of their baby’s health concerns.

      Respectfully,
      Dr. Chris Webber

  • Thanks for the information! It can sometimes feel like your baby’s Ped is not doing enough to find out what the problem is and I definitely do not think they fully understand how hard eliminating foods truly is. Especially while breastfeeding. We had eliminated blood and now are in the process of eliminating it again after failing a “challenge” but it is comforting to know the blood should stop soon and that a slip that causes blood again isn’t harmful in the long run! Thanks again! 4.5 months down.. 7.5 to go..

  • Thank you for writing this. The readers questions and your answers were helpful. My baby had blood in his stool when he was very little and I’ve been on a strict dairy/soy free diet for around 6 months. It cleared up but had a mucous, blood positive diaper checked this morning at the Drs. I may have eaten something this past weekend (friend baked a dairy/”soy free” dessert) not sure she knew what that really meant. I’m going to get strict about my diet again and check his stool at the Drs again in a week. I’m hoping this goes away by 9 months. The struggle is real!! Thanks again.

    • You’re very welcome. Thank you for your kind words. And do the best you can to help other parents who are going through this… they will thank you for all that you had to go through so that they hopefully won’t have to!

  • Stephanie says:

    My son was diagnosed with milk protein allergy after switching to formula ( breastfeeding was not working out for us) He had blood in his stools and was switched to alimentum powder. One week later, still had blood in stool so switched to alimentum ready to feed. One week later, still had blood in stool so switched to RX hypoallergenic elecare formula. No more blood in stool but now having really loose, watery stools every 4 days and tummy has a lot of gas. WOndering if one week was enough time for blood to clear from stool or if we should have given the alimentum ready to feed longer?? He has also had bad reflux during all of this too but getting better now at 3 months old.

    • I would normally give the formula at least 2 weeks to work. One week is a little short. BUT keep an eye on it. If it is improving after 2 weeks but not 100% there, consider doing the trial for a month. If there is no change whatsoever (or worsening) after 2 weeks, then consider another cause or discuss it with your primary care provider.

  • So glad to find this blog! Please help!! My baby is now 5months old and exclusively breastfed! From about the age of 3&1/2 -4
    Months of age she has had streaks of blood in her stools on average appearing about once a week. However since going to the doctors and the doctor saying to cut out dairy it appears to have got worse- it has been four days of complete illumination but more blood has appeared every other day instead of just once a week!!! I’ve switched to organic almond water/milk but!! I have eggs every day though and am a good meat eater!! I’ve cut out gluten since the four days too just incase!! She is a very healthy girl, very happy, sleeps brilliantly, has recently been fussier on the breast during the day having a little then coming off then having a little then coming off, but during the night she feeds brilliantly. I feel terrible as I feel like it’s my fault because is it what I’m eating!!?? Please help I don’t know what to do and I’m struggling to eat properly as I’m worried it will irritate her, don’t know what to have for breakfast etc!! Please help!! Many thanks

    • I’m sorry I got to this reply late. If you want, feel free to Email me with an update and I will try to help you with your daughter’s symptoms.

  • I just came across your article and am hoping to find a little clarity for my situation. My son experienced blood in his stool at 4 1/2 months (a little over 3 weeks ago) prior to this, he had no other problems. I exclusively breastfeed have been meticulously Dairy free for 3.5 weeks, soy free for 2 weeks, and now gluten free since Monday. Things got worse before they got better. We have seen some improvement including less frequent stools (12 per day to 5), but STILL most diapers have visible blood specks or streaks. I want to continue breastfeeding for as long as possible. Is there a chance this will go away as he “grows out of it”? Or now that the blood is there, must it totally be eliminated? I have been seeing my pediatrician as well as a GI specialist, both seem unable to tell me anything other than wait and see.

    • I’m sorry I got to this reply late. If you want, feel free to Email me with an update and I will try to help you from your son’s most recent symptoms.

  • Thankyou for your article! it really helped give me some clarity. My son was diagnosed with a cow’s milk protein Allergy after finding small streaks of blood in his diaper. I’ve been dairy, nut, egg and seafood free for 2 months and soy free for 2 weeks but there’s still the occasional dot of blood in his diapers. It’s gone down from a streak to a dot but it still bothers me! all his other symptoms of frequent and watery stools and fussiness are gone. he is otherwise a healthy happy baby gaining well and growing well. I’m at my wits end with what to do to achieve a blood free diaper for longer than a few days! please help me.

    • I am sorry to hear about you son… and I also want to commend you for what you have done so far.

      If he is exclusively breast fed, then your diet is the one to monitor. If mixed, then you need to monitor both. And if bottle fed, then only his needs to be monitored.

      A few things to try:
      1). Consider removing soy or corn. These are very common causes and are often overlooked.
      2). If this doesn’t help, consider getting you (or him) skin tested by an allergist. Again, pick the person to test based on whether he is breast, bottle or mixed fed. A positive test doesn’t always find the cause (and there are some false-positives) BUT it might help you find a food that you’ve been missing.
      3). Finally, consider a food journal. In this case, write down all the food you (or he) eats for a month or so. Also write down when you see the blood. Look for common foods and try to remove them and see if it helps. The tricky part is often the food lags behind by 3-4 days… so don’t just look at the food right before the bloody diaper but the food a few days before.
      – If removal of the food helps, keep it out of the diet
      – If not, then reintroduce it (you don’t want to remove foods unnecessarily)

      Does that help? I know it can be frustrating and it does sound like you have a great head start. But I would also be annoyed with the tiny drops left… so I think this is a good plan.

      And remember, the majority of kids will outgrow this by age 1 (12-18 months)

      • Thankyou so much for the encouragement! he’s exclusively breastfed. I will start a food diary today. I’m already soy free. Will try corn now. His paediatrician asked me to ignore the few specs that show up occasionally since I’ve pretty much already eliminated everything. Also will my son react to whatever I am allergic to as well? I have a mild citrus allergy that my mother has as well but I’ve been having the occasional sprinkle of lemon on salads etc. could that be the cause of the remaining bleeding?

  • Hi Dr. Webber,

    I was so happy to come across this article and hope that perhaps you can provided a little bit of clarity if not at least an idea as to what has been going on. My son was diagnosed with a milk protein and soy allergy at one month of age (he was taking formula at the time). His symptoms consisted of painful bowl movements 17 times a day as well as blood and mucus in his stool. He had been growing fine at the time but was very unhappy. After trial and error with several different formulas we switched him to Elecare and his symptoms cleared up over the course of a week. He is now 13 months old and we reintroduced him to dairy (not soy) at 12 months. He had no outward symptoms but when his GI Dr preformed a hemoglobin test on his stool it came up positive for blood. He has now been off all dairy for four weeks and we just had the stool retested via the hemoglobin test and it still came up positive. At this point we are at a loss of what to do. His GI Dr suggested to not do anything further as he is healthy and thriving or we could do a scope. I’m so unclear to if this is normal and what further action to take.

    Thank you truly for your opinion and help.

    • This is a really tough one. And I will admit, I don’t have a perfect answer.

      One answer would be to remove milk, soy (consider corn and eggs too) and do this aggressively for another month. Then repeat hemeoccult test. If it is abnormal, then it would be reasonable to consider a cscope to make sure nothing else is going on (most likely normal).

      It would also be reasonable to just monitor for visible blood in stools and otherwise just do nothing with a plan that about 18months repeat a blood count (with iron studies) and repeat hemeoccult. The idea is if those labs are normal then there is no real problem and you can just wait for this to resolve. But if they are low at 18months then definitely pursue further testing just to make sure all is normal.

      Between those two, I’d say option 2 is very reasonable. Well, both are reasonable. I think it just depends on how comfortable you are monitoring vs how proactive you want to be.

      Send me an email when you can and let me know how things turn out! I will be hoping for a quick and speedy resolution for you.

  • Finally found more information with what we are dealing with! Thank you! My son is 12 weeks old and I have been dairy- and soy-free for 7 weeks now and free of eggs, tree nuts, gluten, and corn for 3+ weeks. I have been religious about checking labels and all the “hidden” ingredients. 6 days ago I started an extreme elimination diet (only eating organic- chicken, rice, beets, carrots, apples, and bananas). My baby’s stools seemed to become normal by day 3 but then started becoming mucousy with specks of blood again by day 5! Helllpppp!!! There is nothing more to take out of my diet, and this is not sustainable!

    • I’m sorry this has been so frustrating. There are two big ideas I have for you:

      1). First, if your son is growing well, healthy and otherwise great (except for the specks) then it is possible there won’t be a complete resolution. I know this is never the answer you want to hear, but big picture is if your son is otherwise healthy, then that’s great. It is very reasonable to do the best you can and then just wait for this to be outgrown.

      2). Second, you could consider a trial without any breastfeeding and instead go straight to an elemental formula such as Alimentum or Nutramigen or anything similar. The thought: if you can do this for 2 weeks and your son’s stools are completely normal, then you can slowly build from there and change one thing at a time to narrow things down.

      But again, if he’s otherwise healthy is is OK to just monitor. It’s not the best solution and it doesn’t make you feel the best as a parent… but it is perfectly healthy and reasonable.

      Feel free to email me with more questions and I can do my best to give you better answers.

  • I am so glad I found this blog. My daughter is almost 10 weeks old and about a week and a half ago her diapers suddenly changed to dark green with streaks of blood. I was in sheer panic. She is exclusively breastfed. Our pediatrician said she thinks it’s the milk protein allergy so I have cut out all dairy. Her poop was seeming to improve. We were seeing less diapers with blood and some even retuned to the normal mustard yellow. However, today after a strained poop we saw a couple specks of bright red blood again. I know the elimination is a process but a couple days without seeing blood I thought we were figuring this out only to see blood today. I did have eggs for breakfast yesterday and made lactation cookies (dairy free) with peanut butter and had several as my milk supply has really gone down recently. I had been staying away from peanut butter and don’t think I have had eggs since this all began. Does this mean We might see blood bc of another “allergy” to one of these foods? Do you have any insight or anything to help ease the mind of an extremely worried momma. She is otherwise healthy, happy, and growing. Thank you for any advice or help.

    • Yes, I think this likely means milk alone was not enough to reduce the reaction. The most common foods are milk, egg, soy and corn. I would consider either removing one at a time OR removing them all and seeing if that helps (then bringing a single food back one at a time to narrow it down further). That’s how I would approach it currently.

      Of note: did the peanut butter cause bloody stools? I only ask because that is a less likely cause than those listed above. I would rather you avoid the foods that are known to cause a problem and not just avoid for no reason. If peanut butter does cause issues, then keep it out of the diet. But if not, then reintroduce it and work through the list I provided above.

  • This article is very helpful, thank you! It’s extremely hard to find information on this topic, including from your doctors!! Like you said, there seem to be more questions than answers. Anyway, I seem to have mostly eliminated the blood from my sons diapers (dairy/soy/egg free), however they do remain green and mucousy at times. This still concerns me, but should it? Does that still imply that something is irritating him? Also, have you heard of beef being a trigger because i seem to notice irregular diapers after eating red meat. Thanks!

    • First, you are justified in the frustration. It is much harder to find good information on this. My guess is its because the problem goes away in the vast majority of kids… but still, its hard to find good answers.

      The simple answer is to look how your child is doing. If they are growing well, eating well, and acting normal then you are usually ok to just monitor and wait for it to resolve. It should remove in most kids by 18 months (the majority between 9-12 months). If all is well otherwise, it is ok to just monitor.

      But also, yes, meat CAN be a cause. If you wanted, try to remove it from your/his diet for a 2-4 week period and see if it helps. You’ll know within a couple weeks if it makes a difference or not. Its an easy test with clear results, so you wouldn’t be wrong to give it a try.

      I hope it helps. Feel free to email me directly if you have more questions and I’ll do my best to answer for you.

  • So glad I found this!! Would love get your recommendation on what is best for the gut of a 7 month old who has had some diapers with a specks of blood or occult blood in poop, formula like eleCare or breastmilk? He can go 2-3 weeks with no signs of blood and then give me a diaper that looks strange and tests positive. I’ve eliminated dairy, soy, eggs, shellfish, legumes, nuts, corn, and gluten (although recently added this back in). He is gaining weight fine, doesn’t seem to be in pain, no eczema. His diapers were always runny and many had mucus. He recently started solids and his poop consistency now reflects that. I have not been able to get a straight answer on what is BEST FOR HIS GUT given every now and then there’s a bad diaper. I’m struggling with this and feel guilty either way. Thanks!!!

    • Jessica, you are totally justified in your frustration. You have tried to eliminate the appropriate foods and it has helped… but still there is some blood! The approach from here is really about a balance: how much blood is ok vs how much to avoid.

      Now, that may seem obvious: I want no blood in his stool and will eat only rice if needed to achieve this! As a parent, I know that feeling. But realistically… the blood in the stool is NOT hurting him! That’s the best news! He likely has FPP and will continue to grow, be healthy, and will very likely outgrow this within the next 6 months! If he’s growing fine, then what you’re doing is ok! Still not the best feeling to see blood… but is perfectly ok. So option 1 is to just let it ride and wait for him to outgrow it… and do this knowing you’ve reduced enough as a good parent to keep him safe. Perfectly reasonable.

      Option 2: go for a more strict food avoidance. This would involve expanding foods to include potentially all of these: Cow’s milk, soy, and cereal grains are the most common trigger foods, but other foods have been reported including eggs, meats (poultry, beef, pork), seafood (fish, shrimp, mollusks), peanut, potatoes, nuts, and fruits (apple, pear, banana, peach, watermelon). This list is excessive for most people… and unnecessary for most kids. But if you wanted to give it your 100%, then try to eliminate these (from your diet if breast feeding and his if he’s eating).

      I don’t fully know your situation, but from what you wrote and knowing you’ve seen medical providers (who should have caught anything more dangerous), I do think you can do option 1 with parenting confidence. If you want to discuss it more, shoot me an email and I’ll happily give you more details.

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