My intolerant child and his bloated tummy. 4

Zac has a bloated tummy. He has had it since he was born. Some days are worse than others. Before we were 100% dairy free and gluten free it used to go up and down like a balloon and he definitely suffered from cramps even though he was too young to tell me. He would pull his legs up, thrash around and groan in his sleep. Now he can tell me. He doesn’t say it often but has been saying it more and more lately – despite the fact he is gluten free and dairy free. Some nights he is so peaceful and sleeps soundly but on the nights he wakes and wanders in to us, you can guarantee that it also coincides with the nights he has gone to bed with a slightly bigger than normal tummy.

I sometimes wonder if he eats too much fruit. DF/GF kids don’t have many snack or dessert options, so it is possible he is having more than he needs. He loves it too. Give him the choice between an apple and a piece of cake and he mostly chooses apple! Fruit is notorious for causing bloating, so I assume it is just that. But could it be something else? All of the specialists we have ever met have agreed it does look more distended than normal but haven’t seemed overly concerned and as his weight is fine, they have said he is definitely not fat. 

This week he has been struggling to finish his dinner and even says, ‘I just have no room and need to get stuff out of my tummy before I can fit any more in’. He has been a bit off colour too – but I have put all this down to the anti-biotics he is taking for the infected spot on his tummy. We are using Augmentin, on the advice of Dr Adam Fox, as Zac has had such bad reactions to other anti-biotics. Everyone knows they can be harsh on the gut and for a child with such sensitivities, it is always more likely that he will suffer an adverse reaction or too. He hasn’t had an upset tummy, but has definitely looked ‘big’ and is a bit off colour. Has anyone else tried Augmentin and had a problem?

Ironically, I think it was the bloated tummy that caused the spot. Some days his tummy swells up so much that the waist band on his trousers needs to be adjusted. I think his tummy skin was pinched by the little metal catch that does his trousers up. Or perhaps it just rubbed a bit and for Zac that is all it takes. Just a little ‘nick’ of his skin is enough for the ‘staph’ to get in and cause an infection.

So which came first the bloating or the infection? Is he bloated because of the anti-biotics he has to take to manage the infection or was he bloated first, and the bloating caused the ‘rub’ which caused the infection and now he is still bloated because of the anti-biotics. So I rang the hospital again. Still no results and still no appointment before May. Will keep on them. In the mean time, if any of the rest of you have thoughts or similar experiences, I would love to hear from you. 







  1. We’re wondering the same thing with our daughter at the moment. She is gluten and dairy-free too, a perfect weight for her height, but her tummy bloats making her look bigger than she is. She’s also struggled wearing trousers around her tummy for years because to be big enough to be comfortable, they’re far too long in the leg. Given the number of allergies M has, I’m seriously considering getting her tested to see if there’s another culprit we’ve not yet identified in her diet.

    To be fair, I had kinesiology a few years back that identified potatoes being an issue for me – within days of cutting them out, my constantly bloated tummy had settled and I looked like I’d lost a stone! Will let you know how we get on as it may be worth seeing if there’s something else you need to avoid!

    • Hi. Lovely to hear from you. I know you do have a lot to contend with. How is the little man getting on? Do keep me posted on all of your progress. Zac was feeling very full again last night and hardly ate any dinner – or anything else, so I know he wasn’t just being fussy. I am thinking perhaps the antibiotics are the behind the full feeling, but the bloated tummy was almost certainly what caused the trousers to rub on his tummy and cause the skin infection that needed the anti-biotics. We go round in circles! Interesting one about potatoes, Zac hardly touches them – perhaps that is why. Perhaps he knows they make him feel funny. That is the problem I have these days, he says everything gives him a tummy ache and judging by the size of his tummmy, he is probably telling the truth. Need to chase the hospital again! Best wishes and please keep in touch. Nicola

  2. Hi Both.. I can thoroughly recommend Kinesiology – it has helped me out for the past 30 years! I am not sure if you know this but you really should give Zac a PRObiotic at the same time as the Antibiotics to help counteract the effect they have on the stomach lining. An independent health food shop (rather than a multiple) would be able to advise, but a really good brand from my own experience is Nature’s Own (from memory I think that is what it was called). Another thing to consider is that if Zac gets agitated by his bloated tummy it could in fact make things worse. Stress is possibly too strong a word to apply to a child, but it is possible to ‘think’ yourself ill and well when you are eating so being ‘calm’ when eating is very important.

    Suggest you research homeopaths (who may be kinesiologists as well) and ensure you keep him off ALL cow products. If he needs dairy try goats and sheep products which are much kinder to the digestive system. It could also be the fibre in the fruit that is aggravating things. Although natural sugars certain fruit are not easily digestible.

    Hope this helps. My son is now 20 years old but was very poorly as a child and I have had food intolerances myself for the past 30 years so I really feel for you.

    • Thanks so much for this comment. I have heard good things about kinesiology and about pro-biotics. I will take your advice and see if I can find a dairy free one. I would love to find something that can ease his tummy. Even though we are strict with his diet and he manages it very well himself, sometimes he still gets pain and looks bloated – none of us can figure out why. Really appreciate all of this advice. Best wishes to you and your son. Nicola x

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