My DD will be 3 in December. She has always had unformed, disgusting mush for poop. (I will be more graphic in describing her poop if needed!) This is normal for babies and toddlers, of course, for quite a long time. Up until she was 2 her pediatrician wasn't concerned. But after 2 apparently this isn't normal. Right?
My DH and I would like to figure out what's causing her poop problems and hopefully fix it. Here's the background:
- Parasites: We had her poop tested a couple months ago and it's fine. No bugs in her guts.
- Dairy/juice: Ped asked us to cut out dairy and juice for two weeks and see if that fixed it. Nope. Not that she eats much of this anyway! Juice is only a special treat, she drinks milk a few times a week (lactose-free), eats cheese a few times a week, and that's generally it (other than the little amounts in stuff like bread, etc). (I don't eat dairy so I don't cook with it.)
- Constipating foods: Yes, she eats bananas daily (sometimes two a day) and usually either rice or pasta daily. This doesn't result in solid poop.
- High fiber foods: She does eat a lot of high fiber foods: oatmeal, broccoli, green beans, chickpeas, 100% whole wheat bread, brown rice. She's a quite healthy eater.
- Fruit: She eats a lot of fruit too. Mostly bananas and apples. Also peaches, oranges, grapes, strawberries, etc. I do notice that her poop seems slightly more disgusting than usual if she eats a whole lot of peaches or grapes, but it's a slight difference. And cutting those out doesn't solve the problem.
- Probiotics: She's not taking any right now, but for a long, long time she took probiotics daily. It never helped the poop (other stuff, yes, but not poop).
What are some other causes of the poop problem that we should look into? My only other idea is to cut out gluten, but I'm wondering if there are other conditions I should look into as well, or other things I should try first.
My DS sometimes still has this. He has a lot of food allergies/intolerances and gut issues. Does your DD have regular bowel movements (like once or more a day)? It sounds like she is not constipated, just the quality of the poop is not great? Is there undigested food or mucus in it? (sorry to be so graphic!) Does she have any other digestive or other symptoms indicating a problem like gassiness, dark circles under the eyes, restless sleep?
If your DD has sensitivities to some foods, it could really be any food. It's difficult to figure out which one but gluten certainly could be one. It is probably something that she eats on a regular basis. I know this is not very helpful, but the only way to find out is by trial and error. Probiotics are certainly helpful, but sometimes you have to give a lot to see results (also, it would be good to find a dairy, gluten free one if you think your DD has issues with them).
Another thought is yeast overgrowth in the gut. If you search candida on this forum, you will find lots of information. You might want to try a low carb/no sugar diet if you think it might be a problem for your DD.
There are also stool analysis tests that can tell you if you have candida, good/bad bacteria etc. An example is the Metametrix one http://www.metametrix.com/test-menu/profiles/gastrointestinal-function/dna-stool-analysis-gi-effects There are others as well. I'm not sure if conventional doctors offer it, but I got it through a naturopath.
Mom to DS born 6/09 and DS2 born 6/12
Thanks for all the info, Momo123!
Yes, she has a BM at least once a day. There's sometimes undigested food in her poop, but never mucus. She doesn't seem to have any other symptoms. She occasionally complains about her stomach hurting, but I think it's usually hunger. She had gas a lot as a baby and young toddler, which is why we did probiotics and lactose-free milk (and for a long time no milk at all, actually, just soy), but she doesn't tend to have gas any more. (She also had reflux as a very young infant.) No dark circles under the eyes. No restless sleep.
When eliminating foods, how long do you generally need to do it to find out if it's "the one"?
It depends on the food, but I have read at least 2 weeks for dairy. I think with most foods, if it is a problem you should see some improvement in 2-3 weeks with complete elimination of the food.
It sounds like your DD's symptoms are digestion-related so they are probably intolerances/sensitivities and not IgE allergies (so it would not show up on a skin prick or blood test). My DS has both, so there are things that don't show up positive on his skin prick test that he still reacts to (mostly through digestive and skin problems).
Another thing besides probiotics you might look into are digestive enzymes (this wouldn't fix things if foods that cause an issue are not taken out, but may help digestive issues in conjunction with elimination). I would start very slowly with it though if you decide to try it. There's a lot of info about this online, one is:http://www.enzymestuff.com/index.htm and gives you pointers about how to start and how to get kids to take them (a lot of these Web sites might mention autism, but that is because some parents try a gluten/casein-free diets for their kids to see if it helps).
Have you checked out the Allergies sub-forum under Health and Healing? Searching the archives under leaky gut, candida, food intolerances can bring up a lot of good info.
Mom to DS born 6/09 and DS2 born 6/12
My 4yo used to get very unformed stools when he was younger, probably until about 3 something. All the peds just blew it off. He is also in the 5th % for weight and has been since a baby. I tried many things, including gluten free for a year or 2, and that didn't change anything. I also tried various probiotics, and finally it seemed the Renew Life Buddy Bear did the trick (or coincided with his poop firming up). Now my other son, at less than 2, gets firm poops, that look just like a miniature adult poops...and he's also in the 5th% for weight, and he's the one who gets a lot of gas. At some point I just stopped worrying about it, as they are both growing well in height, and everything else. I think poop can indicate a digestive issue, but it could also just be the gut taking longer to mature.
just an off hand thought because I happened to read a post on it last night, but have you considered fructose malabsorption? i don't know much about it, but thought it may help....
Mommy to DS born 11-10-10 And DD born 6-3-13