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Autism and chronic diarrhea?(41 Posts)
Went ti the doctors this afternoon about DS (2) and his godawful diarrhea.
She was very dismissive and said it was most likely due to his limited diet (sensory issues with food) however the food he eats tend to be the sort that would give constipation not the runs?
not that i'm even sure there is treatment abailable but he is poo-ing 4ish times a day and often at night. given the fact he hates being changed this is really stressful for us.
Is it worth going to see another doc?
What does he eat? (Nb you are among friends and it won't be worse than half of ours)
cheerios (soaked in milk but nto served with)
bread with butter/toast
frubes / yoghurts in pouches
crisps (wotsits or skips)
chocolate and sweets (occasionally)
creamy pasta sauces (carbonara)
mayonnaise if mixed in with pasta
cheese - lots of it
he will drink milk or squash
can't remember what else off the top of my head, but that's the basis of his diet, dietitian wasn't concerned and discharged us
it's noted he only likes very soft food and generally beige coloured food (except for smarties wierdly) and he only likes food he can pick up.
doctor only suggested he could be teething (he has a full set of teeth and this is a long running thing) his bowls have never been great even before he started stripping his diet back ( he wasn't always this fussy) but his bowls are becoming a huge issue, he finds the process or removing clothes, wiping bum, trying to put clothes back on quite distressing - as do i when hes trying to smear poo everywhere! and if not changed immediately he gets very sore as it seems quite 'potent' (sorry for the tmi there)
we've had issues with him pooing in the night and removing his nappy - believe me that is not a mess i want to deal with at 3am haha
and in the nices possible way
That isn't causing diarrhoea.
Bananas and egg are traditionally firming. Egg yolk can be blended into mash/Mayo/sauces (lion marked)
Try also to see if you can mix a bit of live yoghurt into his normal ones (total full fat Greek). It is very soothing.
It may be "him" but there are things that can help.
The poo days will end.
I would (and did, with my dd when she was a similar age) be looking at some sort of dietary intervention. For my dd, that meant a gluten/dairy free diet, after a reasonable amount of research. I had her urine tested at Sunderland (think it is ESPA now) to check for digestive issues with gluten and casein (protein from dairy).
I had little mainstream (eg GP) support, but there are a fair amount of parents who find dietary/biomedical intervention helps enormously. It did with my dd.
Imo, it is worth reading up on.
You could look up Natasha Campbell McBride's GAP diet book too. Lots of alleged links between autism and the digestive system.
i will try - not sure how easily i can sneak greek yoghurt into a frube tube - he won't eat things he needs a spoon for (fussy bugger lol)
i was amazed by the appointment with the dietitian who contradicted everything i had ever heard about feeding children 'oh don;t worry about the healthy stuff just plenty of calcium and calories'
i feel like i've been lied to my entire parenting life
though we are having bloods done as he has/does PICA and doesn't meat which suggests his iron is low
Yep, GAPS book worth a read, although quite full on and scary!
<nice to see you, madwoman, how is your ds? We talked diet and sentry issues a few years back>
Diet, intervention and autism is a good starter book, imo- easy read, and inclusive of recipes. A bit outdated, unless it's been re-issued.
thanks i will take a look. I did wonder about dairy, as my youngest DD has had issues with dairy intolerance/allergy.
however dairy is the main of his diet (on bad days he will only eat potatos and cheese) so i'm reluctant to remove it if its not the issue
I can only speak from my experience, livvy. Dd1 only ate gluten/dairy foods. Nothing else - lived for yoghurt, craved bread/breaded products.
The theory is that it is like an addiction, and once that addiction is overcome, the same craving/need is not there. Food replacement (gluten-wise) went smoothly enough for dd1. Dairy was harder to replace 10 years ago (she wouldn't touch soya replacements) but we muddled through.
Dietary intervention remains the single biggest thing we did for dd1. It completely changed her life.
I would second PandasRock's advice.
Children with ASD having gut issues is tremendously common. I think I'm right in saying the NICE guidelines about autism now include something about recognising prevalence of GI problems.
There is a whole biomed world out there if you are interested. Treating autism org uk is a good website to have a look at to get an overview.
DS was the same at this age we saw a private dietician who specialises in autism. I was waiting for her to look at the list of foods ds would eat (very limited) and say how awful it was but she just said "oh it's not that bad I've seen much worse"
She said if it was an intolerance then the only way to find out what was the issue was through a process of eliminating and reintroducing food items. She did recommend ruling out ceoliacs just in case.
He's 8 now and much much better in the poo department. We went gluten free for a long time but reintroduced it, although I have to say bread still causes issues so we avoid that
yes the dietitian looked at the list and seemed impressed
with 2 NT DD's who eat anything and everything i thought his diet was extremely limited but apparently compared to others its not too bad.
Is it worth me going back to the doctor armed with this information - we can't continue as we are - especially as he does not like the feel of disposable nappies so we are mostly in cloth (or a sposie with a fleece liner if push comes to shove)
It's not the most limited range of foods I've seen (I had a memorable month where dd1 are raisins. That's it.). Are you able to sneak anything into the pasta sauces? Or vary the bread and add extra bits in?
I have to say I've never had reasonable mainstream (ie NHS) dietary guidance. I too was told, when I took dd1 along as a toddler with rancid nappies and undigested food in her poo, that it was to be expected with autism. That wasn't an acceptable answer to me - if she were not autistic, her gut symptoms would have been investigated - and so I had to try to find answers myself. Hence the biomed. I also had shocking advice when I needed dietary help with dd2.
I second ovenchips suggestion of Treating Autism.
I sympathise on the nappy front - dd1 was in cloth nappies until she was nearly 6.
he used to eat red pasta sauces and we could hide veg etc but he would see the colour in a white sauce and then refuse it.
we have recently (this week) discovered he likes smoothies, and we can hide all manner of items blended with banana and greek yoghurt. it seems to be a texture/colour thing. if i blend it all down so its smooth and a beige colour he will happily drink it - i realise we are lucky compared to others on here.
I'm fully expecting his blood test to say he is anaemic. today i succesffully got a few leaves of spinach into a smoothie so we are working on it"
we have supplements but he won't take them, the dietitian said barely any kids do but the NHS won;t prescribe the chewy sweet ones that kids will actually take. so I need to go out and purchase some tomorrow.
Really hoping we hear about the assesment at child development centre soon. he was referred 8 weeks ago. i can't say to the doctor 'he has autism can you please look into his gut issues' as we have no diagnosis of autism! gahhh
It sounds as though you are doing all you can, which is all anyone can do.
We went for heavy bribery for supplements, and we were lucky and it worked. Dd1 would take all manner of foul concoctions from a 5ml syringe as long as she got some chocolate buttons afterwards. I think, after the first couple of weeks, she actually recognised that she felt better when taking them, which also helped.
Do you think you would be able to vary eg his bread? There are many really good recipes which add extra nutrients. Is cake a possibility? It can be easy to hide all sorts in cake and muffins.
Ds has abidec which is beige liquid. We started with a tiny bit every morning by syringe. He takes it easily now. Magnesium baths help too. I am more of a diet optimiser than a diet restricter but I think what works, works.
If Ds would drink smoothies I'd add whey protein powder....sadly not an option.
his understanding level is very low, he turned 2 in september he wouldn't understand a bribe sadly.
i'll look into the whey protein powder.
looks like there isn't much the GP will do to look into gut issues. I will look into some of these diets.
He's pretty strict about his bread (white squidgy tiger bread) or hovis 50/50 (again must be really fresh and squidgy)
Just wondering if it could be chronic constipation with overflow, rather than diarrhoea?
and yes we are doing what we can, i've been known to grate pork and chicken into mashed potato just to get something into him!
we must be doing something right as he is 75th percentile for weight and height, he's really skinny so no idea where he's hiding it. nearly fell off my chair when dietitian did his weight! must have iron legs
i did wonder martha but doctor felt his tummy (that was an experience i don;t want to repeat) and said all felt normal. I just don;t really know what to do anymore!
he's due to start preschool in Jan, its only for 2.5 hours a few mornings but i think he will go nuts if a stranger tries to change him!
Yes, to be fair, dd1 was nearer 4 when bribes worked. At 2 she wouldn't have understood.
I well remember the days of grating stuff, and hiding this and that.
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