Bedtime brought a nightmare of nasal congestion and coughing for eight year old Olivia.
When her mother, Kerry, brought her to see me, she was concerned and frustrated. Olivia’s Celiac Disease had been diagnosed just before her first birthday, so this mom was already very tuned into and protective of her daughter’s health, and wary of medical opinions. Kerry had been misinformed by one doctor who told her that gluten wouldn’t pass through breast milk—a bad call on his part that kept Olivia miserable for a long time when she was just a baby. What Kerry wanted now was a real solution to Olivia’s uncontrolled night coughing. It was depriving her daughter of the sleep she needed, and nothing they’d tried so far was working. Kerry felt there had to be a better explanation than “colds and allergies,” so she kept pressing the issue with doctors until she was referred to me.
After interviewing Kerry and Olivia, I could see there was a definite relationship between dairy products and the sinus issues that kept triggering the girl’s cough while in a reclined position. Since sleep positions put the stomach at the level of the throat, the risk is always there for reflux. And reflux triggers mucus production which can trigger coughing—all night long for poor Olivia! I diagnosed the “Milk and Cookie Disease” (MCD) and got her off of goat’s milk and cow’s milk. Since then, Olivia’s coughing has stopped. She still eats a little cheese, but Kerry keeps close taps on any kind of dairy in Olivia’s diet, and they’ve found a manageable level.
Kerry is so relieved that she didn’t let Olivia’s situation go unresolved any longer. She told me, “I’ve learned to trust my own instincts.”
For more information on the “Milk and Cookie Disease,” click here.