In reply to the Reader’s Story [537] in the last newsletter about salicylate intolerance misdiagnosed as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, our story started 5 years ago. We have fraternal twins who were born at 37 weeks and seemingly healthy at the time, no problems within the pregnancy was diagnosed in regular scans or when they were born. My first clue, looking back, that twin 2 may not be all right was her failure to use her bowel until day 3. I remember her gagging on day 1 and being told by the nurse that this was common in newborns until they had their first motion.

We then continued on a very long path during her first twenty-one months of life with an unsettled baby. Both twins were breast feed however twin 2 was always unsettled. At 6 months we decided to introduce solids - starting out with farex and progressing to adding small amounts of pureed fruits, ie pear, apple, etc 'all the safe ones'. To our shock twin 2 started to get the most horrible nappy rash with excoriation and bleeding. We couldn't understand it and were regular with her
nappy changes, we also noticed that she would strain whenever she tried to use her bowel. We went to see her Paediatrician who prescribed hydrozole cream and amoxil drops, suggested we try some small amounts of vegetables and sent us on our way.

Four months had passed and we were increasingly worried for our daughter who still suffered from the terrible nappy rash and constant visible straining when using her bowel (most unusual in a baby) and was generally unsettled. By now we had tried cows' formula (which resulted in vomiting) and soy formula (which resulted in diarrhea) and we had also noticed that with fruits the problem was worse. Things didn't improve and after many calls and visits to our GP and Paediatrician we decided to see another Paediatrician.

The next Paediatrician suggested we trial a prescribed formula for 2 weeks of 'Alfare'. This resulted in violent vomiting and trip back to him whereby an ultrasound was performed and we were informed that she in fact had chronic constipation, with a large mass in her colon. Our daughter was now 11 months-old and had to have immediate surgery to remove the mass which resulted in her having a colostomy for 3 months.

We were assured by the Paediatric Surgeon that in fact her problems were not food related and that she was born with an 'anorectal anomaly' and that all would be ok once the colostomy was reversed. To our disappointment as soon as the colostomy was reversed we went straight back to the problems of severe nappy rash and excoriation on her full diet. Our daughter at 15 months was then seen by a Professor at the hospital who diagnosed disaccharidase deficiency (sucrose
intolerance) to be the cause of the excoriation and unsettled behaviour; not the case.

Somehow eventually after breaking down many times and a visit again to our GPs rooms in desperation we were finally sent with a referral to the RPA Allergy Clinic (daughter 21months old). This was like a dream come true, they did a skin prick test for allergies; which showed no positive reactions (as suspected it would by the clinic Paediatrician). We were then talked through food intolerances and naturally occurring chemicals in foods which caused intolerances in some people! The evidence was there in front of us and we couldn't believe it we finally had answers. Our daughter is now a healthy 6.5 year old, on a low salicylate and mainly low chemical diet who continues to thrive and hasn't looked back. We do trial new foods occasionally and are starting to add small amounts of moderate salicylates to her diet and some dairy (her main drink is now rice milk). We know straight away if she has overloaded as this results in usually loose motions or not being able to control her motions. For us the evidence is overwhelming and we are just very grateful we have our daughter and we can now give her answers and solutions so that she continues to enjoy good health and happiness. - by email.