E is now just shy of 2 1/2 and things have changed a bit from last year. We recently allowed him to eat too much soy, without realizing it. When he gets bits of it in his diet over a period of time, then he doesn’t sleep. We’ve known this from the beginning. What’s new is that we have finally figured out the link. Why do his food intolerances make him not sleep? He doesn’t seem in a lot of pain. Sometimes we can still hear him refluxing, we know that dairy and soy make that worse. We always thought that the reflux made it hard for him to sleep. But in the back of my mind, I knew there was something more. He was too fidgety for it to be just that. Almost hyperactive and on those nights, he adamantly will not sleep. Hates laying down. This lasts three hours or more, sometimes all night long.
On normal nights, though, he goes down perfectly. Says his prayer, says, “goodnight, sweet dreams Mommy” and rolls onto his side and goes to sleep.
The link? RLS.
I finally tried laying down with him during his most recent stint of not sleeping (it lasted about a week). During that time, he wouldn’t stop moving around. He finally fell asleep, and I could feel the bed shaking. His legs were still moving, twitching, bouncing. I couldn’t believe it. I put my hands on them, and they still didn’t stop. He stayed asleep though.
Every night when I put him down, I hold him and sing a song while pacing around. It’s part of his routine, and it is the only thing that has ever worked for him. Only this song and only a swinging motion. Even while falling asleep or getting sleepy on me, he is kicking his legs. I can’t remember when it started. A long time ago.
When a child has food intolerances or allergies, their bodies don’t absorb nutrients efficiently. Even when they eat well. There is a very strong link between restless leg syndrome and nutrient deficiency. I was shocked to find that out. I don’t know why.
I know our food can have a tremendous impact on our health. You eat to live, or you eat to die.
He is growing. I think back two years ago, and I can’t believe we survived it. It was awful. Now, I believe he is catching up. His height is closer to 50% than ever before. He keeps getting taller, and his pants keep getting shorter, yet he’s so skinny they still fall off his hips. I love that he is finally outgrowing clothes. I thought he was going to be in 18-24 month clothes until he graduated high school.
Just kidding. Mostly.
On top of the RLS stuff, a doctor thinks that E’s soy reactions sound more like allergies. I don’t know about the dairy, it doesn’t seem to be worsening and I let him eat things with butter sometimes. The soy is definitely getting worse. He breaks out around his mouth now if he eats something with it, like eczema. Bright red and irritated. No hives though. It only takes one consumption of it to mess up his sleep patterns.
He also still has the nastiest diapers ever. I don’t know if he could fully potty train just because of that.
Prayers for this are always appreciated. He is a healthy boy, and such a joy to us. He is hilarious and loves to laugh. It could be so much worse, it has been worse, and we can tackle these issues.
And you know what? I’m still grateful. I hate that he has gone through so much already in his life, but at the same time, his issues have had a huge impact on the health of all of us. We have cut out all processed foods from our diets. We don’t use refined sugar, only coconut sugar, raw honey, and grade B maple syrup. We are in the process of cutting out wheat and many grains because of our gluten problems (it’s mostly me, but it affects us all). We eat lots of good protein, veggies, good fats, and we are training our bodies to burn fat instead of carbs for energy.
It’s all because of E.
Then again, his problems probably come from the horrible food I was eating before he was born. It’s a vicious cycle, but I’m glad to be awakened to it.