After receiving many children patients with healthy bodies but the same cold like symptoms at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando, Florida, Dr. Julie Wei knew something was wrong. Children would come in to her office with cold-like symptoms like a runny and stuffy nose, cough, sore throat, fatigue, and constipation. She received many of these cases, so she decided to look further into each child’s health.
After interviewing the child and parent(s), Dr. Wei found that these children all had a large amount of dairy and sugar consumption daily, mainly before bed. This overabundance of dairy and sugar caused the children to have this sickness, so Dr. Wei decided to call it the “milk and cookie disease.”
Since this disease is just a nickname for the link between high dairy and sugar diets and cold-like symptoms, it was hard for Wei to diagnose at first. She would prescribe medication to the children in hopes that it would solve the problem. The method she used was sort of like the Texas Sharp Shooter problem in that she kept trying different medications until she realized the problem and the solution. According to a FAQ about this illness given by the University of Kansas Hospital, “Milk and Cookie disease causes symptoms that mimic other illnesses.” These illnesses include gastroesophageal reflux and laryngopharyngeal reflux. These ilnesses are caused by late night snacking and cause reflux. The reflux causes pain in the throat which is similar to Milk and Cookies disease.
Dr. Wei predicts that around 50 to 75 percent of children have this disease. A case study on a five year old named Jonathan was done to get a better look at this disease. Jonathan has difficulty sleeping because of his naturally enlarged tonsils, but when researchers found that he was late night snacking and eating foods that were easy on his throat that happened to be mostly dairy products, they concluded that the reflux that he was experiencing and the lack of sleep he was getting was probably more than just his inflamed tonsils. After seeing Dr. Wei, Jonathan’s parents limited his late night snacking and gave him more water, and within 3 weeks everyone noticed a difference.
This disease is very hard to find because the symptoms are similar to those of other sicknesses, but it is there and if it is not addressed, it can lead to unhealthy lifestyles that will lead to more sicknesses. Fox news provided a list of things to do if a parent thing his/her child has Milk and Cookie disease. They wrote, “keep a food journal, stop bedtime snacking, avoid or minimize dairy and sugar in the evening, offer healthy snacks, and treat constipation.” These things can help attack this disease and make you child even healthier. So watch out for those Christmas cookies!