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westernblotmommy

Toddler's Diarrhea?

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I am new to the forum and I am seeking advice. My 2.5 year old daughter began diarrhea after what my husband and I thought was a stomach bug or something that she ate at daycare that did not agree with her. At the time I mentioned to the on-call nurse practioner that she also had a rash on her arms and legs, which she still has. We were told she had a bug and the rash was a heat rash. The diarrhea did not stop and after further investigation we noted that certain foods at daycare made it worse (fishsticks, chicken nuggets, etc.). After 8 weeks of talking to the pediatrician and dealing with the diarrhea (usually 1-2 very loose BMs...requiring a bath in the middle of a daycare day) did my pediatrician order labs for ova/parasites, blood cultures and fat content. All except the fat content came back negative. While waiting for the results we removed all gluten from her diet and limited her milk intake (the gluten free products had small amounts of milk) and continued with juice and water. Her diarrhea stopped. Her BMs were thick and pasty and still smelled foul, but the doctor felt we were going in the right direction. My problem is the GI specialist that I took her to today. Without looking at her test results (because they were never sent to him or taken off the fax machine) he said it was all toddler's diarrhea. That I should give her whatever she wants to eat but only give her water and milk. He said it has nothing to do with gluten. When I pointed out to him that for the last week she has been drinking as much juice as she wanted but we removed the gluten and her diarrhea got better he said that is what happens with toddler's diarrhea. This does not make sense. He wants the ova/parasite redone and also the fat test. When I asked if a positive fat points to malabsorption and he said sometimes but that his diagnosis is toddler's diarrhea. I mentioned the pain that my daughter is in right before the BM and while she is having it, but she gets relief when it is done. He said children say things like that when you ask leading questions. I am talking with the pediatrician tomorrow, but I am at a loss of what to do.

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Hi! I think I might get another Dr. :o Toddler's diarrhea is like IBS. The Dr. dosen't know why it is happening, so they label you with a 'symptom' as a diagnosis. Did the ped. run a celiac panel? Sounds to me you might be on to something if she is getting better gluten free.


Started on this journey w/ my 9 yr old son after a bout w/ the flu in the fall of 2009.

2 neg celiac blood tests, mine was also neg. No endo done. Son had x-ray, showing severe constipation. Son has latex allergy. KP for both of us.

Long family history of bowel problems, auto-immune and all sorts of cancers. My G-mother informed me that she was put on a gluten free diet after she had my mom (1950's), of course she stopped when she felt better. She has had problems ever since I can remember.

So here we are! I do have my son's Dr to thank for even bringing up celiac! Thank You Dr.B!

My adult daughter also has been helped by eating gluten-free.

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Hi! I think I might get another Dr. :o Toddler's diarrhea is like IBS. The Dr. dosen't know why it is happening, so they label you with a 'symptom' as a diagnosis. Did the ped. run a celiac panel? Sounds to me you might be on to something if she is getting better gluten free.

I agree............what's the harm in running a celiac panel? My 3yo was having similar issues that you described for at least a year. She would have some stomach bugs that would be liquid poo and the ped's nurses advised chicken nuggets of all things. Of course she got worse, but hindsight's 20/20. Our ped. suggested the celiac panel when we went for her 3yo well visit. Just to rule it out. Celiac it was, confirmed with a biopsy and we've been gluten-free for 6 weeks and she no longer complains of tummy trouble or has the numerous runny poops like she used to. Press for a test. Good luck!

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What to do? Ditch the doc who won't do his job.


Tiffany aka "Have I Mentioned Chocolate Lately?"

Inconclusive Blood Tests, Positive Dietary Results, No Endoscopy

G.F. - September 2003; C.F. - July 2004

Hiker, Yoga Teacher, Engineer, Painter, Be-er of Me

Bellevue, WA

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Thank you everyone. I greatly appreciate advice from people who know. I am calling the pediatrician tomorrow as a follow up call and I am going to push for the panel. You are all right, what harm would it do? The best part is that from doing all of my own research I found out the celiacs disease doesn't have to present as diarrhea is can also present as chronic constipation, which is what my other son has been suffering from since birth. But all the GI's he has been to say it is mind over matter. And it could be as straightforward as removing gluten (not that I think that will be an easy feat). And the parental contributor would most likely be me....IBS and stomach trouble for years. But my GIs always had excuses...you are going through puberty, you are pregnant, you are 40, etc. I would love to have answers. Thanks again!

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Oh, these doctors!! What a load of crap (pardon the pun :lol: )

There are some great doctors out there, but there are always some very ignorant doctors who make these nonsense, catch-all diagnoses that mean nothing. Toddler's diarrhea is such an outdated, ricidulous diagnosis. And I am so tired of docs discounting a child's description about how they feel.

In my experience, both as a mom and a pedi healthcare worker, kids do not complain about something unless it truly does hurt or is bothering them. Adults yes, but children are not little adults.

I would definitely push for a celiac panel, maybe from your pediatrician instead, or find another GI. It sounds like you are on the right track to getting your dd healthy again.

I have four children who are gluten free, and only one has an actual diagnosis of Celiac. They all had various symptoms, my oldest having psoriasis and possible ps. arthritis. His test was negative, but he clearly gets sick from gluten. He's in middle school now, and he has been very compliant with his diet, he knows how sick gluten makes him and has no interest in cheating. I leave it totally up to him...I buy him good food so he doesn't feel deprived, but the rest is up to him, I don't push. So far, it seems to be working (fingers crossed!)

Good luck to you! Stick with what your gut is telling you is best. You can see with your own eyes what is working, and the overall goal is to have a healthy child, no matter what the tests say :) Take care.


Tamara, mom to 4 gluten & casein free kiddos!

Age 11 - Psoriasis

Age 8- dx'd Celiac March 2005

Age 6- gluten-free/cf, allergy related seizures

Age 4 - reflux, resolved with gluten-free/cf

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As far as I can tell, not having dealt with it yet "toddler's diahrreah" is useful as someone telling me "your baby is colicky". Oh, goody, you've told me my cranky baby is cranky, or my poopy baby is poopy. How helpful.

(I don't believe that colic is a "diagnosis" either - it's caused by something, and it certainly seems digestive. For my baby, it was reflux. For others, perhaps sensitivities to something in mom's diet.)


Tiffany aka "Have I Mentioned Chocolate Lately?"

Inconclusive Blood Tests, Positive Dietary Results, No Endoscopy

G.F. - September 2003; C.F. - July 2004

Hiker, Yoga Teacher, Engineer, Painter, Be-er of Me

Bellevue, WA

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As far as I can tell, not having dealt with it yet "toddler's diahrreah" is useful as someone telling me "your baby is colicky". Oh, goody, you've told me my cranky baby is cranky, or my poopy baby is poopy. How helpful.

(I don't believe that colic is a "diagnosis" either - it's caused by something, and it certainly seems digestive. For my baby, it was reflux. For others, perhaps sensitivities to something in mom's diet.)

I wholeheartedly agree!!! Colic is a catch all "diagnosis" that is utterly useless. I've never heard of "Toddler's diahrreah" before but it sounds like a load of crap to me (LMAO).


Mommy to James, who is Celiac diagnosis by blood test and confirmed by endoscopy on 9/29/2009. Our household has been gluten free since.

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Also, regarding the high fat content....classic malabsorption, you were right in asking about that. That's what makes the stools so foul smelling. You are on the right track mom, now you just need to find a more knowledegable doc!


Tamara, mom to 4 gluten & casein free kiddos!

Age 11 - Psoriasis

Age 8- dx'd Celiac March 2005

Age 6- gluten-free/cf, allergy related seizures

Age 4 - reflux, resolved with gluten-free/cf

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So, my daughter has been gluten free since I last posted and not one episode of diarrhea. In fact, she skipped one day and then every day have been a "normal" pasty poop. When I told the pediatrician about the GI and his toddler's diarrhea should didn't stop apologizing. She became so infuriated that she found me another GI doctor and made a preliminary call to the doctor and made for a push appointment. She said it bothered her that doctors like that GI is still allowed to practice. She is pleased with my daughter's progress and believes we are going in the right direction. I agree with you all. Children complain for a reason. They get sick because something is making them sick. I love my pediatrician and trust her opinion. I asked her to do the panel and she said she would but that she wanted my daughter to see the GI to make sure s biopsy wasn't necessary.

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So, my daughter has been gluten free since I last posted and not one episode of diarrhea.

:) I'm glad your baby is better.Thanks for updating us.


"But then, in all honesty, if scientists don't play god, who will?"

- James Watson

My sources are unreliable, but their information is fascinating.

- Ashleigh Brilliant

Leap, and the net will appear.

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