or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Women's Health  › What is wrong with my niece? bowel pain/white poop!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

What is wrong with my niece? bowel pain/white poop!

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Can anyone send me in the right direction with helping my niece? For the last few months, she has had extreme pain when having a bowel movement. She did have constipation, but now has pain even with normal movements and diarrhea. Now, for the last week, she has had off colored poops getting paler and paler until yesterday they turned white.

What could possible be going on? She has always been sickly (has had pink eye 12 times!) but this is scary. The doctors have been giving us the run around and we need to get some answers soon. BTW, she's 2 and 1/2 if that makes any difference.

Does anyone have any ideas?
post #2 of 24
has she brought a stool sample to the doctor? it does sound like it should be checked out; I didn't realize the child was 2 1/2 - the pain with diarrhea doesn't sound right, either.
post #3 of 24
The brown color in poop comes from bile. Bile is black all by itself. It's made in the liver, stored in the gall bladder, added to the food in the small intestine, and extracted in the colon. It could be an issue with any of those areas.
post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 
Yup, she took in a sample last week (before it turned white) but it will take a while to get back the results.
post #5 of 24
Don't know if this is something it could be...but I had white/clay color bowel movements when I had Hep A. (after the initial symptoms) I don't know if you get it with any of the other types of Hepatitis. Perhaps you should call the doctor and let him/her know that this is happening. Maybe it will help in figuring out what is going on. Poor girl, hope she gets better soon.
post #6 of 24
This poor baby is having issues with her liver, gall bladder and maybe pancreas. There is no bile being released that would normally turn her stool brownish. Sometimes it is a dairy allergy, but regardless, it is simple to help the body get back into balance with dandelion tincture. I would use dandelion root tincture 5x/day in small doses of 5-7 drops and especially before meals...about 20 minutes before would be best. She needs easy to digest foods like soups without dairy until her system is regular again. Dandelion encourages more digestive enzymes as well as well clears obstructions to stimulate the flow of bile. It is specific for this little girl. A few cups of chamomile tea would also help her be calm and deal with the stress on her body and it is a bitter to further help with digestion.
post #7 of 24
that sounds like when i had geartia (sorry, not sure how to spell it).

i hope she gets better soon. she's seeing a dr., yes?
post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thank you all. I have been worried for a while that she has some issues with the absorption of nutrients as she is tiny and didn't grow for almost a whole year (8 months - 18 months) The liver, gallbladder, and colon are where I will start my research. I will pass on the info about the dandelion root tincture.

Dn is under the care of a doctor, and has been since birth. My sister was investigated by CPS because my dn is so tiny and someone thought my sister was starving her. She has to take my niece in to the doctor once a month as part of that whole mess. They have consistently acted like my sister (young single mom) is overreacting and that dn has nothing but a bit of constipation.
post #9 of 24
Holy moly! This is a Very serious problem. The presence of white (clay) colored stool is a good indicator of liver trouble. My daughter had the same symptoms when her liver was very sick.

Chttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=433899 &dopt=Abstract

This is a link to info on diagnosing the problem. It is called hyperbilirubenaemia or cholestatic jaundice. The should check to make sure the bile ducts are working well with no sludge in the galblatter and check liver enzymes and liver function. I am not aware of any common reason for clay colored stools in combination with pain. BUT< there are alot of things I am not aware of so don't get too excited...

In the meantime, milk thistle is a good liver helper. It works well for us.

Cholestatic Jaundice

Cholestasis is a failure of bile flow, and its cause may lie anywhere between the liver cell (hepatocyte) and the duodenum. Cholestasis may be due to failure of the hepatocytes to generate bile flow (certain rare inherited defects such as Dubin-Johnson syndrome where the main problem appears to be impaired transport of bilirubin across the cell membrane), obstruction to bile flow in the intrahepatic bile ducts (a rare condition of unknown cause called primary biliary cirrhosis), or obstruction to bile flow in the extrahepatic bile ducts (stones, tumours especially of the pancreas, strictures). The last one is the most important cause of cholestatic jaundice. Hyperbilirubinaemia is conjugated in type since conjugation of bilirubin proceeds undisturbed but the bile returns into the blood.

Clinical features: < BACK TO TOP >

There is jaundice of various intensity, static or fluctuating, reflecting the mechanism and severity of cholestasis.

Stools are pale or clay-coloured due to deficiency of pigments (bilirubin is not delivered into the gut).

There is dark urine from the renal excretion of conjugated bilirubin.

Generalised pruritus (itch), probably due to skin deposition of bile salts is commonly reported; sometimes scratch marks are visible.

White-yellowish hard lipid deposits in the skin over joints and tendons (xanthomas) and around the eyes (xanthelasmas) develop due to protracted elevation of serum cholesterol (bile cholesterol is returned to blood).

There can be weight loss due to marked malabsorption (bile salts are required for fat digestion and indirectly for absorption of lipid soluble vitamins).

Bleeding tendency (easy bruising) is sometimes noted due to vitamin K deficiency (vitamin K is a lipid soluble vitamin).

Dystrophy of the bones due to vitamin D deficiency (vitamin D is also a lipid soluble vitamin) can also be a problem.


Investigations in individual patients are determined by the clinical findings. It is usual to find elevated levels of conjugated bilirubin in blood together with raised alkaline phosphatase.

Where there is no obvious cause for cholestasis, initial efforts are directed to identifying a large biliary duct obstruction, and ultrasound should be carried out initially.

ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography) is the best investigation if the biliary tract is dilated, as demonstrated on ultrasound.

Liver biopsy is performed when there is strong evidence of liver damage such as in biliary cirrhosis or inherited abnormalities of bilirubin transport into intrahepatic bile ducts.


This depends on the underlying cause of the cholestasis.

HTH, please make sure that she finds a diagnosis. I do hope that it is not something harmful to her. I hope that info helps!
post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 
Well, She got into the doctor yesterday. He said he has no idea what white poop means (even after my sister relayed all the info here) and wants to wait until next week to see how she's feeling then. She lost 11oz since her appointment 1 week ago. She now weighs 22lbs. (She's 2 1/2!) The doctor didn't want to do any blood tests yet because he wanted to do more research first. He doesn't want to traumatize her unnecessarily. I appreciate that, but I hate waiting around to see is she gets more and more sick.
post #11 of 24
I cannot believe he did not think the liver could be a concern and would definitely do bloodwork to find out what is going on, and this is from a vet not a human doctor. Especially with her small size, it could be something congenital (not to worry you as it could be correctible which is an excellent reason to investigate further) but white/pale stool often indicates liver issues. Maybe she can also take her dd to an ND as she really sounds like she needs some help with her overall health. I know that can get costly though. I really would not wait a week. There are lots of herbs and homeopathics that can help with liver function too if that does turn out to be the issue. Good Luck and hope she feels better soon.
post #12 of 24
your sister needs to get that child in to see a different doctor. I would not wait a week, I'd go Monday at the latest. Maybe a nutritionist would be the best bet, with the child's size and weight gain issues (but she isn't that much smaller than my DD who is three and a half), or an endocrinologist (aren't they the ones who deal with liver problems?). White poop is one of the things our doc said has to be addressed immediately.
post #13 of 24
I'll be blunt. She needs to take her child to a competent doctor, one who pays attention to her observations and looks at the child.

The trauma of having blood drawn will be as nothing to the trauma of something serious made all the worse for being ignored by a fool afraid to admit his own ignorance and refer her care to someone who will know what to do.
post #14 of 24
May I suggest that another person take the child in, without her mother? Some people consistently rub doctors wrong. This is too important to play nice.
post #15 of 24
Originally Posted by Apricot
May I suggest that another person take the child in, without her mother? Some people consistently rub doctors wrong. This is too important to play nice.
In some places, the custodial parent/guardian has to be present but it wouldn't hurt if someone went in with the girl and her mother.

That child needs to see someone else. Pronto. I'm just a lowly lpn and my first thought was, I hope she doesn't have hepatitis. I can't believe a physician would say, I dunno. Her mama needs to *run* from him and find someone else who will at least address her concerns. No one knows a child better than the one who takes care of her on a daily basis. A good dr will recognize that.
post #16 of 24
In Chinese Medicine (I'm a prodessional practioner) white in the stool, of the skin, or on the tongue indicates a cold condition...

she has cold invading her small and large intestine... could be stemming from the spleen and/or stomach... or perhaps originating in the liver...
I'd have to see her to know for sure. I'd look at her tongue, her eyes, her skin, feel her pulse, etc...

I'd suggest bringing her to an acupuncturist/ dr. of chinese medicine, or even a naturopath.

in the meantime, she should avoid cold, frozen, and raw foods... as well as dairy, soy, corn, white flour and sugar.
best foods for her would be baked yams, steamed vegis, soups, brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat noodles w/ toasted sesame oil, eggs, fish, miso, baked apples, stewed pears, oatmeal... and other warm nourishing foods.

she should also be taking a childrens probiotic daily.

rooibos tea is a good idea as well.
post #17 of 24
Thread Starter 
My sister just called. Dn had another appointment with Dr. incompetent, and she gas lost 2 pounds since Friday! She's down to 20 pounds. OMG!! I'm so worried. She's going in for blood testes tomorrow morning and the Dr wants to see her again on Friday. I think she should take her to the ER tonight. I keep yelling her to take her to another Dr. I hope she'll at least call my ped tomorrow.
post #18 of 24
I am sorry to hear that, she really should take her in somewhere, do you think she is in avoidance mode in case it is something serious? I hope she does something sooner rather than later, maybe sit her down and talk to her about her fears? Just a suggestion as she may be extremely worried. Let us know how your dn is doing.
post #19 of 24
If she's having diarrhea, white stools, has lost 2 pounds in 4 days & seems to be in pain, yes I would go to a pedi hospital if you have one available or regular hospital otherwise. With the diarrhea & weight loss I would be concerned she may be getting dehydrated.

Also, failure to thrive that has been going on for 2 1/2 years & no cause has been identified calls for a new healthcare provider. It may well be that she does need a referral to a pedi gastroenterologist/digestive disease specialist. It could be an infection but there are some other physiologic problems that may need to be ruled out.
post #20 of 24
Thread Starter 
I went with my sister today to get the blood test done. She talked to the ped on call last night and she recommended in addition to the blood and urine test, an x-ray (or ultrasound) of the abdomen and a poop culture (one apparently has not been done yet!). So we go in to the hospital to get the test, and they have no record of anything other than the blood test. While we were there, her Dr shows up, asks how the blood test went, shakes his head about the no orders for the other tests, says he'll call the ped about it, and leaves! I could have killed him. In fact, if I had know that she was speaking to her doctor and not the friend I though he was (can you say just out of med school and wearing cargo pants and a ball cap) I would have demanded that he order the test while he was standing right there!!!

As it stands now, we've got to track down the ped, get her to order the tests, take off more time from work to get the test done, and wait until Friday to see the Dr. again (the ped said she'd see her next week). I'm wondering what is going on here. Are they waiting to see if she'll lose another 2 pounds? I'm not sure what to do here as this is not an emergency, per say, and we live in a very remote area (Alaska anyone) so the nearest specialists are 900 miles away.
Originally Posted by amnesiac
If she's having diarrhea, white stools, has lost 2 pounds in 4 days & seems to be in pain, yes I would go to a pedi hospital if you have one available or regular hospital otherwise. With the diarrhea & weight loss I would be concerned she may be getting dehydrated.
Well, she doesn't always have diarrhea, I mentioned that because I'm concerned that she has pain whenever she poops, no matter what the consistency. She looks fine, and doesn't act sick other than the pain when pooping and the sudden weight loss (and of course those alarming white poops).
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Women's Health
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Women's Health  › What is wrong with my niece? bowel pain/white poop!