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Date of last update: 9/9/2017.

Forum Name: Pediatric Topics

Question: 3 year old with frequent bowel movements

 kimmad - Thu Dec 13, 2007 10:42 am

Seems like nobody goes into the gastro forum. I posted this a couple of weeks ago there and have had no response - Please help!

I have a 3 year old son who in the last month or so has begun having up to 5 bowel movements a day. They are not watery, but completely foul smelling and usually pretty loose. It is generally happening shortly after he eats.

He has recently been tested for various problems due to behavior issues, and wonder if this might be related. His tonsils & adenoids were removed in March, he is on Allergy meds, and currently being evaluated for ADHD. He refuses to potty train, so I am changing diapers with this.

I have tried to figure out if this is all related. Any thoughts?

For additional background, I have had problems with my digestive system all my life - starting with reflux, then dx with "nervous stomach", and finally IBS. I know these things can be inherited.

He also had reflux as a baby. Also, over the last couple of weeks, a few times he has said he doesn't feel good, and when I ask where it hurts he points to his chest/upper abdomen area.

I've been thinking maybe celiac? He has lost some weight, but his older brother really thinned out at this age too.

Any help would be appreciated.
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Thu Dec 13, 2007 10:45 pm

User avatar Hi Kimmad,

There are a few things that can cause these symptoms. First, and easiest to fix, would be to look into the possibility of your son having too much juices. This is quite a common cause of loose/diarrheal stools in children. No more than six ounces a day is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Assuming this is not the issue, Celiac disease certainly can present with loose stools. It is also quite common, with some estimates of 1 in 100 people. Checking for this is certainly reasonable.

I would suggest he see a gastroenterologist. Ultimately, it may be necessary for him to have an endoscopy to see what is causing his symptoms.

Also, if he is thin it may be worth while checking for cystic fibrosis. This condition cause cause problems with digestion and result in foul, loose stools.

Follow up with his doctor is important.

Best wishes.

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