Here are some updates on Little Z. We recently visited the pediatric gastroenterologist at Children's Mercy, in the KC area, and he was very informative and was... just wonderful (I have heard from several mom's that their pediatric gastroenterologist are not helpful at all!).
Regarding Celiac Disease: The Pediatric Gastroenterologist was more concerned with Z's possible Celiac Disease than his multiple food intolerances, and that is what we discussed for most of the appointment. As many of you may know, Z tested negative for Celiac Disease, but he reacts to gluten, and Celiac disease runs heavily in my husband's family. The PG said that Celiac tests done on babies under 2 are not reliable (regardless of what kind of test that was done). He said we should keep him on a gluten-free diet until he is at least 4, and at that time, we can test him again, but it will require that he go back on gluten. He also said that now research is showing that some people who have Celiac Disease test negative for it (even when they eat lots of gluten) because they don't have a normal IgA response (this is really technical, and I don't fully understand it myself. See this article in Living Without to read more). I was concerned that he would have to have a biopsy done to confirm that Little Z had Celiac, but the Pediatric Gastro assured me that those are not needed anymore like they were in the past. Ultimately, I got the feeling that he thinks Z has Celiac, but right now we just don't know for certain.
Regarding intolerances: Little Z is clearly intolerant to several foods, but the Ped. Gastro. was not too concerned with them. He said that most children outgrow dairy and soy (and other) allergies/intolerances by age 3, but some later. He said we should not introduce any new foods to him until he is at least 2 years old, and he suggested that we could try putting a teaspoonful of milk in his tippy cup of rice milk for several days and see if he handles it OK. Increase it every few days to see if he has a reaction. And of course, introduce foods very slowly (one every four days or longer).
It was a wonderful visit, and the main point I took away was this: we should follow the symptoms and not test results. In fact, the doctor said he has one little boy whom he sees that tests allergic to eggs, but he eats eggs everyday with no reaction!