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18 Month Old With Chronic Diarrhea

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I have only recently learned about celiac disease through searching for a cause for my son's constant loose stools.  When I came across some of the symptoms it caught my attention.  Sometimes I feel convinced this might be his issue, other times I feel like I am probably exaggerating things in my mind or making a big deal of something that is not.  Let me tell you a little about him and where we are at this point and let me know what you think......

 

He is 18 months old.  At 16 months old he had two weeks of bad diarrhea (up to ten times a day typically yellow and pretty runny).  Took him in to see a pediatrician ( not ours because he had already gone home for the day).  She ran stool test and said they were all normal and it could have been caused by antibiotics that he had recently been on.  I was a little skeptical because he had already been off the antibiotics for a while (somewhere between a week and 2 weeks).  But it seemed to clear up for a bit.  Then he got bit by a dog on easter weekend and had to be put on antibiotics and started having loose stools again.  (Not quite as runny or often - but not "normal").

 

Took him back in after about a week of this (saw the same lady - not our ped) and she basically gave the same reasons.  That was a few weeks ago and he is still have loose stools never a "normal" color ..... green / yellow are the typical colors, only occasionally will he have brown but even then it is loose.  I honestly wasn't that concerned about the poop and believed what she said about the antibiotics until I went in for his 18 month check up and realized that he had not gained much weight and was slowing down height wise.  (He has always been right at 50 % - on the mark every time - but this last appointment he had slipped down somewhere closer to 40%.)  I know this is not "small" but the poop and slowed growth had me curious enough to turn to google.  Our ped ordered another round of stool samples and all came back negative again.  We are going to go in today to do a blood test for celiac.  Not sure which ones he is doing --- honestly he admitted not knowing much about it but said that he wanted to look into what could be causing the constant poop.

 

He is healthy and happy and very active.  No real symptoms of anything besides diarrhea and a gradual slow down in growth (which I understand happens to toddlers anyway).  He sometimes seems to have a tummy ache around when he needs to poop but most times it does not seem to bother him.  He has had rashes on and off with all the loose stools.  He does have issues with a runny nose, cough, and ear infections that seem to come and go a tad more than the average kid (but he goes to daycare).  

 

Also, just FYI, he doesn't really drink fruit juice, just milk most of the time and occasional water.  So I don't think it is "Toddler's Diarrhea".

 

Sorry for the long post.....do y'all think I have a reason to be concerned about celiac or am I reading in to things?????  Thanks for any help or advice!

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I do think it's worth investigating.

 

Here's our experience: We have a 4 yo celiac daughter. Right after her celiac diagnosis, her then-20-month-old little brother started experiencing chronic diarrhea that went on for weeks and weeks and frequently got him sent home from daycare. He was occasionally on antibiotics also for ear infections, but not all the time. I was totally convinced he also had celiac. But then we did two rounds of blood testing which revealed no celiac antibodies. About two weeks after we got those comforting results, the diarrhea cleared up on its own and he hasn't really had GI issues in the 4 months since. He's now basically healthy, although he occasionally has minor skin issues. Because of the family history, we will retest him periodically, but for right now, he seems to be fine.

 

I'm just offering that as a comforting anecdote to show that frequent diarrhea does not necessarily equal celiac. But I think your doc is def doing the right thing to rule it out, since the tummy issues are combined with a slow down in growth.

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Celiac is not the first think I would think of.  

 

With all those antibiotics, were you giving a pro biotic with?  They can really really mess with a little one's system. I would be more inclined to thinking it was the aftermath of the antibiotics than any condition.  Have you considered trying a course of probiotics before starting anything else?

 

Also, as kids start to drop off a bit as they start begin more active (like walking and running around like crazy little people!)  A slight drop wouldn't worry me. It happens. 

 

Good luck!!

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I would agree with the others. Try probiotics to replenish his intestinal tract with "good" bacteria that were wiped along with the bad. It takes a couple of weeks. Use them whenever anyone in your family takes antibiotics.

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Sometimes I wonder if the antibiotics spur on celiac. Like they already have it, but the meds make it come out.

My son got diarrhea after antibiotics but it never went away.

Blood work at that age is not a good indicator. My sons bloodwork and biopsies are all negative, but he was only 2 with the blood work. Even though the scope was negative, he is doing so well gluten free and when he does get even a tiny bit his symptoms show up again. The GI thinks he still has it.

Height was the first thing we saw drop off too. Not weight. My GI says she sees that a lot.

Try the probiotics, but if he is like mine- nothing will help. Don't let it drop. Maybe go see a GI doctor.

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Sometimes I wonder if the antibiotics spur on celiac. Like they already have it, but the meds make it come out.

As I see it, it is not the meds. The trigger for celiac disease to activate was not the antibiotics, but the underlying infection that the antibiotics were prescribed to treat. That is my thinking. YMMV

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Thank you everyone. Right after we went ahead with the blood test, and after I posted this comment, his diarrhea suddenly let up. Pooping less often, less runny..... So, I convinced myself I shouldn't have been googling and it was likely just a need of probiotics....although he had been off antibiotics quite a while.

THEN.... He got a slight fever and I decided to go ahead and take him in (he's never had fever) and we were going out of town for the weekend. To my surprise the dr came in and said that his blood test were already in. To my surprise.... He said his results were "slightly elevated" ( IgG - ttg 7.5 --- he said negative was considered under 6.) Also re-weighed him and he was even less than appointment before.... Has not gained any weight at all in about 4 months, but hasn't lost. He eats every bit as much as his 4 year old brother- sometimes even more. Dr does not know much about celiac but is concerned about the no weight gain along with the elevated test results and is sending us to Texas Children's to see a specialist.

Can anyone give me some insight on these test results - this is the only test he ran, which I know is not a complete idea of what is going on. But I would loved some experienced opinions on what these results could possibly mean? Thanks in advance.

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