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Joined: Oct 14, 2013

4 Yr old son with Stomach Distension and poor growth

Posted by @sarahec123, Oct 14, 2013

I’m writing about my 4 year old son. His problems started as a baby who struggled with chronic constipation. He would frequently “throw up” a thick, slimy, snot like stuff either during or after eating once we started him on baby food. He would make this hiccup, burp sound and then up would come this slime. It would rarely have food in it, and would usually just be clear. I asked the doctor about both of these issues and was told it’s normal, ok, continue doing what you’re doing. At 1 year after continuing to have the constipation issues we switched doctors and were put on Miralax. It was amazing, no more chronic constipation issues and very seldom would we have troubles. The throwing up continued, but seemed to get better with solid foods. We would adjust the Miralax dosage on occasion and kept his stools fairly soft. He was growing and developing normal and was very happy. Fast forward to when he was just 3 years old and I started trying to potty train him. I cut back the Miralax dosage a bit to try and firm up his stools to try help with training. I noticed when I put him in underwear that he didn’t seem to poop “normal” He was pooping very small amounts almost constantly. It was like he was seeping all the time, not having 1 large stool at a time. I was getting very frustrated with him, messed around with the dosage of Miralax again but no real improvement in getting him to have a normal stool. We quit potty training for awhile just thinking he was withholding and wasn’t ready. 6 months later we try again and are having the same issues. I’m also noticing that his stools smell abnormally bad, a very strong ammonia like smell. I take him to the doctor to ask for help and ideas. An Xray shows that he is full of poop. Dr. thinks that his rectum has no muscle tone left from being dilated. We increase the Miralax and do a combo of stool softeners and enemas to try and get him cleaned out. This goes on for about a month with no luck, he just keeps retaining the stool. We get referred to a Pediatric GI. We do blood work to test for Celiac Disease, comes back normal. I also expressed concern to the doctor that he always has a distended tummy and has even as a baby. It seems to be smaller in the morning, but is just as tight as a drum at night time. At this time he’s still throwing up occasionally, is a very lazy child, very irritable, a picky eater and is very whiny. The doctor decides to do an Upper GI scope to test for Celiac and does a rectal biopsy to test for Hirshprungs Disease. Both come back normal. We then have him tested for all kinds of parasites and infections of the intestines. All normal. We did the Hydrogen Breath Test for lactose Intolerance, that is normal. I then decide to take him off of milk and instantly no more retained stool. I thought it was impossible that it could have been something so simple this whole time. So milk sensitivity it is I’m thinking! We start to have huge success, he’s finally in underwear, is doing really well toilet sitting and isn’t having accidents inbetween times. We are working on getting his rectum back to normal, etc. The stomach distension is still there, so the doctor isn’t satisfied and we then realize that he hasn’t gained any weight in the last 9 months. So, we run more tests. We do a fecal fat stool test and that comes back abnormal. Finally, something to give us direction. The doctor thinks maybe his pancreas isn’t secreting the enzymes for digestion, so we do the labs to test for the enzymes and that comes back normal. We had him tested for Cystic Fibrosis and that came back negative. I even took him to a chiropractor and an allergist who tested him for food allergies. No food allergies. We are now at a road block, we have a little boy who isn’t growing, has a bloated tummy, is very irritable and lazy but otherwise very healthy and happy. I’m so confused and exhausted by this. I try and think maybe it’s nothing, but it’s not normal or ok when your child isn’t growing. My hope is that someone has had similar issues and can lend some advice or point us in the right direction!


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