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Old 04-29-2013, 10:03 AM   #1
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diagnose my toddler! *poo description if you can't handle that*

--we have been to the pediatrician about this multiple times and are going *again* today. We're in a very small area and the other pediatricians will not see us because we do a delayed vaccination schedule (at our pediatrician's suggestion and with his blessing, due to vaccine reactions in our other children). Changing pediatricians is NOT an option. Our insurance will not let us see specialists without a referral from our pediatrician.

Basics--
--19 month old boy, EBF until about 7 months, still breastfeeding.
--About five weeks ago, he drastically increased his nursing sessions and was eating 4 full meals a day plus an average of 2 snacks between each meal (eating as much as our extremely active 7 year old, its like having two teenage boys in the house)...chalked it up to a growth spurt...in the last week, though, he has pretty much eaten *maybe* a toddler spoon or two of food at each meal, stopped snacking, but is nursing for 20-30 minutes at a time every hour, plus all.night.long.
--Low iron (10.7, diagnosed anemic, iron actually went DOWN last time we had him on iron supplements)--eats TONS of iron rich foods, beans, raw spinach, beets. Blood & poo tests were (reluctantly by pediatrician, at my insistence) scheduled this week, but since he's feeling under the weather, ped decided to do in a couple weeks. I personally think need done NOW, and the reason he feels sick is related to whatever this issue is.
--diagnosed with PICA (due to anemia) and a speech delay.
--up until the last month, very slow weight gain. He has gained about a pound and grown 1/2 an inch in the last month. He's currently 21 lbs.
--He's very pale, dark circles under his eyes (despite plenty of sleep)--assuming this is from anemia--, but he is hitting every motor skills milestone, so there are no muscle development issues or anything like that, at least that are obvious.
--On average, poops 6-8 times a day, and this has been going on for at least 6-7 months. Generally, its more liquidy than peanut butter-texture, but more solid than straight diarrhea. Its generally got some type of undigested food in it (no, I'm not digging through poo, you can just straight up see it lol), and it smells horrible. BAD BAD BAD. Like...I've never had a child make me want to vomit from them smelling so bad, and I've thrown up more than once from the smell. Its NOT rotavirus smell.
--Generally sleeps from about 10pm to 9am (with a few nursing sessions in our bed in that time), plus a nap from around 1130 to 1215, a nap from 130 to 230, and a nap from 430 until about 6pm.
--From Wednesday night until Saturday night, he was running a fever of 103-104 without meds, and 100-102 with meds. He would not touch food at all. He's still pooping a lot (but only like 3-5 times a day) and the same texture/smell, but everytime he needs to go pee or poo, he's screaming hysterically. Fever broke late Saturday night/early Sunday morning, but he's been very restless since then, fussy and clingy (well, he's always clingy, so that's not new), sweating like crazy, hands and feet are really cold...he has bursts of being a fine mood, then he'll just randomly start screaming and go nuts and thrash around in my lap for a bit, then he's fine again.

Personally...I think there's some type of food allergy issue at hand, but can't seem to pinpoint what it is, and getting our ped to agree to a referral to an allergist (or a GI) or to order allergy tests is proving to be difficult. Going in again to do another fight. But essentially, from experience with our other kids....if there is something wrong beyond the usual childhood illnesses, I have to pretty much diagnose them myself, fight with the ped as to why I think they have whatever it is, then he usually concedes, orders testing or meds or whatever is needed, then when the test verifies or the meds help with whatever I insisted it was in the first place, then he'll be like "well, I guess you were right". However...I'm stumped on this one and can NOT seem to convince him to test for a food allergy or celiac or anything like that because there are no skin or respiratory reactions (only gut reactions), and because the little guy is gaining weight (albeit very slowly). I'm not trying to find something wrong when there's not...something is obviously NOT right here....Any other ideas??

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Old 04-29-2013, 10:07 AM   #2
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Re: diagnose my toddler! *poo description if you can't handle that*

Has he ever had blood work done? Blood sugars and white blood cell counts?
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:09 AM   #3
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I'd say food allergy. Have you tried eliminating foods from both his diet and yours? I would have said growth spurt if it was just eating and then not...if I were you I'd go down to the brats diet and see if that helps and slowly add things back in. The dark circles is definitely a sign of allergies and not just anemia.

Good luck!
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:15 AM   #4
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Re: diagnose my toddler! *poo description if you can't handle that*

Blood work was rescheduled because of the illness the last few days--on Friday ped said it was a viral thing since it was pretty much just a fever and not anything else glaringly obvious (throat or ear infection, that sort of thing)...said if he was still acting off to bring him back in today, and we have an appointment in a couple hours. As far as I can get from him, the blood work was only supposed to be checking his iron (a needle draw vs. a finger prick). He doesn't like to drink milk, but he doesn't seem to have issues with cheese and yogurt like he does milk so he still gets those. I'm hesitant to eliminate gluten because everything I'm finding regarding gluten allergy testing says it needs to be in the system in order to show as an allergy, that if its been eliminated, it won't show an allergy even if there is one? I have tried an elimination diet with myself and it doesn't seem to impact him at all??
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:16 AM   #5
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I also think its a food issue.

He sounds a LOT like my 4 year old, who has a definite gluten intolerance.
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:19 AM   #6
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Re: diagnose my toddler! *poo description if you can't handle that*

It does sound like something is going on with his guts that the nutrients aren't being absorbed.

Also I would take out beans if you can and see how he does and obtain iron from other vegetables and food. Beans' phytic acid cause low iron absorption including wheat products. I wouldn't rule out gluten allergy or other food related allergies but I would start from there.
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:22 AM   #7
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Re: diagnose my toddler! *poo description if you can't handle that*

I didn't know that about beans?! Everything I've gotten from the ped, WIC, and even just online says that beans are a good source of iron and to up them if your child is low in iron??
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:30 AM   #8
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Re: diagnose my toddler! *poo description if you can't handle that*

The whole joke about beans & farts is a good example of why people can't easily digest beans in general. The body basically can't breakdown the phytic acid unless fermented (which reduces majority but not all) and it'll actually go against the body's ability to absorb protein and other nutrients.

Supposedly you can reduce the phytic acid by soaking them first. I haven't tried or found any concrete studies but it's worth looking into.

It's the same thing with milk and dairy. If they are pasteurized the enzymes are lacking (aside from lower nutrient contents) and stresses the body causing more harm than good. People with allergies for example will notice a huge difference once they cut pasteurized dairy from their diet. Or anything that cause excess mucus is a good sign of intolerance.
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:42 AM   #9
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Re: diagnose my toddler! *poo description if you can't handle that*

My first thought would be celiac, too. I would think that could explain the low iron and digestive issues. The current fever stuff could be separate. Your pediatrician sounds pretty useless. If he still refuses a referral to an allergist (why would he do that, anyway? what does he care if you go see an allergist?), I would drive a great distance to find a new pediatrician if I were you. If that is not an option at all, I would just do a gluten elimination diet for the both of you. If he seems like a new boy, you have your answer without the official diagnosis.
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Old 04-29-2013, 01:29 PM   #10
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Re: diagnose my toddler! *poo description if you can't handle that*

It very much sounds like an allergy to me.

Can you not just tell the doctor that you want to rule allergies out and need the referral?

As far as iron, one of the best ways to help with that is this stuff:


http://www.vitacost.com/plantation-u...ch-pack-of-2-1

Has to be unsulphured to be any good. Can be hard to find the real stuff at a grocery store.
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