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Sensitivity To Wholemeal/Wholegrain Products/Recurrent Diarrhea?

(2 Posts)
midori1999 Tue 14-Jun-11 09:54:07

DS3 is 7 and has Downs Syndrome. He is physically pretty healthy, he did have heart surgery at 6 months, but has never had a chest infection and doesn't really get ill, so we're lucky.

However, he often has Diarrhea or loose stools. It doesn't seem to bother him and I have mentioned it to paeds and the GP and everyone just sort of came to the conslusion this was normal for him, not least as I myself tend to be a bit similar, although no Diarrhea, just loose stools/frequent use of the toilet. blush He doesn't seem to get stomach cramps or be uncomfortable or distressed at all.

Lately I have noticed it is a lot worse when he has wholemeal bread. His nappies seem to contain a lot of 'fibre' and since we switched completely to wholemeal bread last week, his stools have been much runnier. I am going to switch back to white bread for him today and see if there's an improvement.

Does anyone have any experience of anything like this? I am going to see the GP in a few days whether it improves or not with the change of bread, but we are moving home in August, so I suspect it'll be a waste of time re: any referrals etc.


moosemama Tue 14-Jun-11 11:10:09

My ds never had a normal stool from weaning onwards - I never had a nappy where the contents were flushable, iyswim.

We saw the GP a few times and were told it was toddler diarrhoea and he'd grow out of it, until he was seven and a half, when a locum GP suggested removing gluten from his diet for a discrete period of a couple of months and keeping a diary to see if he improved. We did and the difference was incredible. He gained weight, went up two trouser sizes and a shoe size and within a week his stools were almost normal.

When we were referred to the Paed to get him assessed for ASD we discussed this with him and he arranged a coeliac blood test, which meant putting ds back on gluten for 3 months, but he was so ill once we put him back on it that we begged them to bring the test forwards.

Unfortunately, he had a d&v bug 10 days before the blood test, which meant he didn't eat anything, let alone gluten for over a week, ending a few days before his blood test.

His test was negative, but the paediatrician, GP and dietician agreed that due to the correlation of digestive problems/diarrhoea etc with the ingestion of gluten in his diary he should be treated as if he has coeliacs anyway.

We don't get anything on prescription, because he doesn't have a formal diagnosis, but he's been gluten free since last September now and his diarrhoea is a distant memory, so we're sure we're on the right path.

Having been through all that with ds, I wouldn't advise removing gluten until you've discussed it with the GP, as once you have he won't be able to have the blood test. That said, if he is otherwise healthy, growing well (which ds wasn't) and has not pain etc it could well be an intolerance rather than coeliacs (which is an auto-immune response rather than an allergy). I would discuss it with your GP in the first instance and decide if its worth having the blood test done.

There are a lot of gluten free alternatives available, but they're expensive and none too healthy, often being full of sugar and fillers. So removing gluten often involves a change of diet to reduce the amount of pasta, bread etc they eat. If you do want to try a decent-ish gluten free bread, the Genius range is probably the best, the unsliced is better than the sliced, as the sliced stuff has a tendency to fall to pieces.

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