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Pale Color Stools
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My 5 year old daughter has been growing and acting fine but Sept of 2003 she got a virus and vomited for 3 days. After that her stool was pure white one or twice. This last month she vomited and had white stools again for 4 days. THese are the only two times she has vomited in this time frame of 15 months. I have noticed that her stools are too light day to day. I took her to pediatirician and her liver and pancreas are fine. They did a celiac blood test and the gliadin was negative (under 11 is neg and she was 3) and her tissue transglutaminase IGG was 3 (under 7 is negative) but her Tissue Transglutaminase IGA was 5 and under 5 is negative, 5-8 is equivocal and over 8 is positive. So she is a little over neg but not positive either. Has anyone here had experience with pale stool with their children. She does complain about stomach aches sometimes. Her stools were normal as a baby. I really have just noticed the color the past year. She is thin but I believe that is just her build and she is slightly small compared to the kids in her class but she is 50% for weight and 80% for height. She has tons of energy. I am going to a ped GI on the 26th but I was just wondering about celiac and pale stools or any other info you may have encountered on pale stool in children.

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I'm relatively new to this arena with twin daughters who just turned 4. One specifically was failure to thrive with...among other characteristics....consistantly pale stools. However, her IgG came back at 75 which is definitely positive followed up with a endoscopy and a biopsy showing celiac. For us, nothing brought back the color to the stools until she went on the gluten-free diet. She is also currently taking Probiotics. Again, our situation is different since she had positive bloodwork.

I did also have her IgE tested (allergy) to about 85 foods as we were in the midst of the "celiac" testing. Not one of them came back positive. I did this to see if any of the foods (besides those containing gluten) could be contributing to what symptoms we were seeing. I believe the others who are more qualified in this area will say there are other tests to check more accurately for food intolerances/sensitivities.

I can say that although the daughter mentioned above wasn't on the growth curve until recently, her sister who is thriving at 50% on the curve showed a slight elevation on some of her IgG and IgA bloodwork. They are both gluten-free now.

My understanding (what little there may be at this point) about the pale stools is that for us, it was a sign of nutrients not being properly absorbed in the intestines. Perhaps your situation is more of a food/sensitivity or intolerance? It is great to see that she's energetic and doing well otherwise. We had dark circle under her eyes and a little girl who dragged behind others energetically until recently.

Christine

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My daughter, who is now 3, had pale stools as one of her symptoms. She never had diarrhea, but her stools were very pale, like the color of sand and she had terrible constipation. Pale stools are usually a sign of fat malabsorption, so this was one of the reasons I though there was something really wrong with her. When I put her on a gluten free diet, her stools were normal colored within a week. Every time she is exposed to gluten, I notice that her stools get pale again. I feel that I caught my daughters celiac disease early, before she had major failure to thrive. Your daughter's pale colored stools may be an initial sign of celiac disease, even though she doesn't have other symptoms.

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Thank you both for your info. I was wondering if you noticed if the pale stools floated or not. My daughters do not. Also, what test did you have done? My daughter was on tons of antibiotics for 2 yrs but got the pale stools during the next year when she wasn't on any antibiotics for a year so I am wondering about that along with celiac. Did either of you have the stool test. Were blood test positive, etc? I love having kids but nothing makes you worry more than when something is wrong with your children. I am so glad your kids are doing much better. How hard it the gluton free diet to follow? Do you go out to eat?

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Thinking back, the pale stools Dina had did not float.

Her IgG (blood test) did come back positive, at 75. She also had a CBC done (at the time, they thought her symptoms were from anemia....weren't we suprised). The results of the CBC showed mild anemia. The other testing I had done was by an Allergist. They did the allergy test on their back for a bunch (80+ comes to mind) to see if soy, corn, wheat etc. came up as an "allergy" before we went to the GI doctor. During that time, I learned so much between allergies and celiac. Not one thing came up on her allergy test so since she was so bad off at the time, we bit the bullet and let them do the biopsy, which came back very positive. Her GI doc also ordered a bone age x-ray and at 4 years old, her bones were showing an age of 2 1/2 years old. That combined with the other info proved to us that the celiac to be taken care of. No, we didn't do the stool test.

In all honesty, I had a good cry tonight about the gluten-free diet thing. It's not impossible but I think it took me about 2 weeks to get into a good groove. It's pricey but with some good searching and calls to manufacturers to ask if the products are gluten-free, it became easier. With kids, I knew off the bat neither of mine were going to go for veggie caseroles, etc. so I spent the first days learning about recipes or products they could have that other kids their age were eating so they didn't feel odd. In the past month, we've been to 2 birthday parties and had three parties at school for classmates and my girls have survived. Actually, Dina has gained 4 lbs in that one month and has normal poop again! Her sister, also celiac, hasn't gained but hasn't lost so we're holding our own I guess.

Eating out....well......hardly. I called our McDonald's to ask about a dedicated fryer for the fries. The girls have had those about twice since going gluten-free. Other than that, we went to a buffet place once and they had fruit and a can of pediasure that I brought from home. We have a fridge in the minivan and I stock up so we are prepared with things they can have.

Sorry to ramble on!

Christine

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Hi Christine. Thanks for all of your answers. I decided this weekend to collect my daughters stool to take to the GI doc on Wed so I could show him the color instead of trying to explain it. Well, both times I went to collect, her stools have been brown. I haven't seen them this dark in 6 months. She has been eating alot of wheat. I am wondering if the probiotic I started to give her is two weeks ago is making a difference. She has been on tons of antibiotics her whole life so I know her flora is way off. I hope that her stools don't go back to pale. It has only been twice in a row that they looked normal and she does seem a little constipated. Also her Tissue Tansglutaminade IGA was slightly elevated at 5. I am nervous about getting good answers at the GI doc because from all I've read here, alot of docs aren't very helpful of knowledgable for that matter on celiac disease. I'm glad you girls are improving. I will keep them in my prayers.

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Joan:

Sorry not to get back to you sooner. I don't get a chance to get on the board every day.

My daughter was in diapers when we were going through the pale stool things, so I'm not sure if her stools floated. My feeling is that they would not have.

The testing question has a long story behind it:

When I first noticed problems with my daughter, I had a difficult time getting our pediatrician to listen to me. She was only familiar with the classic signs of celiac dz, and my daughter did not have failure to thrive, although she had decreased on the growth charts from above the 75th to the 25th percentile. At any rate, she did not encourage the celiac disease testing. We were broke at the time, b/c my husband was out of work and we had no medical insurance, so I decided to try my daughter on the gluten free diet just to see if she would improve. I had some doubts myself as to whether she had celiac disease. Well, she improved dramatically - much more energy, her stools changed to normal within a week, her distended belly disappeared (that took a little longer), she stopped throwing up and her appetite began to improve. I wish now I had insisted on having her tested at that time.

We ended up moving across the state and now we have a new pediatrician who is from Europe and has a little better knowlege of celiac disease. I did have her tested, but she had been on a strict gluten-free diet for 7 months at that point, so of course the tests can back negative - except for her reticulin IgA antibody which was 1:40 - but I know that is not specific for celiac disease. I should mention that my father has Dermatitis Herpetifomis (DH) - which is another reason I suspected celiac disease. There are 2 other relatives on my father's side of the family with celiac disease as well.

As this point, I am unwilling to do a gluten challenge in order to have my daughter tested properly. She is doing so well and the 2 times I know she has gotten into gluten, I've seen some mild symptoms return. I want to have her tested for the celiac gene soon.

I have not found the gluten-free diet to be terribly difficult to follow ( but I'm a registered dietitian and was already familiar with the basics). The hardest thing has been missing some of the things we used to eat - bread at each meal, pizza, etc. The expense of the gluten free products has been hard, too. I make most of our foods from scratch, because it is cheaper to buy the special flour and make it yourself than to buy prepackaged foods. As far as going out to eat, we rarely do - I feel that the contamination risk is too high. We have occasionally gotten McDonald's french fries. Once we went to a Ryan's, which is buffet style, and I was able to select enough appropriate foods for my daughter.

Good luck in finding some answers for your daughter.

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Around the age of two he began having very soft pale stool. It was extremely foul smelling and sometimes it was even kind of frothy. I called the doctors office and the nurse said it was probably something he ate. Yeah, right!!! Long story made short -- he dropped from the 75% in height to the 10% by age three. I talked to his ped re: celiac she said to try him on a gluten-free diet. I already had and his stool returned to normal and several other things/symptoms cleared up.

I put him back on gluten to get an official dr. diagnosis (he was gluten-free for four months) After three months of a completely "normal" diet, and constantly feeling like I was poisoning my child, his blood results came back negative and the dr. did not advise on a biopsy. His IgA was 4 -20 and above is positive; his IgG was a 19 - 20 and above is positive; and his Transglutaminase IgA was a 1 - 20 and above is positive. It seems like your test positives levels were different than ours. Oh, we did a liver check as well and it came back fine. I put him back on a gluten-free diet anyway. About four months later I ordered the gene test and the stool test from Eneterolabs and he has the gluten sensitivity gene and he is producing antibodies against gluten.

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