I am collecting information regarding breastfeeding, digestive health in general and the CSID connection. To date, there is no documented research indicating that children with CSID present any symptoms prior to beginning solid foods. However, my son Parker DID show signs of failure to thrive, suffered from seizures and presented other symptoms related to CSID long before he had anything but breast milk.
Breastfeeding to strengthen digestive health
According to some studies on breast milk in general, the oligosaccharides found in human breast milk can reduce or prevent diarrhea. This information got me to thinking how my son, Parker, never had full-blown diarrhea, though his BMs were always oily, very smelly, and bulky compared to my other breastfed children. As many of you mothers out there know, breastfed infants rarely produce smelly BMs. Usually the “stink starts” when other food is introduced!
As a result, I would like to gather some more information in order to write a detailed article which touches on CSID, but reaches a broader audience of mothers who may not recognize this additional benefit to breastfeeding their child. Though CSID cannot be prevented by breastfeeding, my hunch is that it can definitely protect your child from developing other digestive diseases or infections due to an imbalanced gut. There is already proof that breastfeeding can have a “protective affect”on children susceptible to Celiac Disease.
Breastfeeding may have prevented my son from becoming severely dehydrated
When I think back to just before Parker was diagnosed with CSID, I recall the week before seeing his GI, he was very sick and lethargic. He was having several BMs, several in an hour at times, but nothing that appeared to be diarrhea. After receiving his diagnosis, I discovered that many children with CSID are hospitalized due to dehydration. Though Parker was hospitalized several times, the reason was always due to his seizures, not his digestive woes. Since I breastfed Parker until he was about 14 months old, adding only some solid food at nine months (most of which I removed from his diet since nearly everything seemed to exacerbate or increase his symptoms), I fully credit the benefits of breast milk as the sole reason he was never hospitalized for dehydration. However, breastfeeding may also have been the reason for his delayed diagnosis given it may have prevented the severe diarrhea that would have demanded the doctors attention!
Share your CSID and breastfeeding story connections
Of course, this theory cannot be proven for our particular circumstance. However, if we can band together and share our stories related to breastfeeding (or not) and try to find a connection, we may be able to help that child and mother facing undiagnosed digestive issues.
You will see two surveys posted on the left side of this blog. If you have a child with CSID or you suspect CSID or another digestive issue is the cause of your child’s health problems, please select the survey answers that best represent your situation. If you are interested in sharing your story in more detail, please respond by commenting on this post or by sending me an email.
Thank you so much for your support on this important topic!