10 year old, bowel problems: Hello My son is 10 and a... - ERIC


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10 year old, bowel problems



My son is 10 and a half years old, in year 6 at school. He's had bowel issues since potty training really. Between the ages of 4 and 5 he had a few courses of movicol as GP thought that soiling might be due to constipation. It didn't really help, but he became better able to make it to the toilet on time.

Since the age of 7 or so he has had periods (sometimes lasting days, sometimes months) of frequent, explosive, runny poos. During a bad spell we took him back to the GP, who did a blood test for Coeliac Disease, which came back negative. No further advice offered, so we hoped he would grow out of it.

Things seemed to be improving on the whole, but in the last few months it has been much worse again. At least 3 explosions a day, with the occasional normal poo here and there. He ALWAYS looks bloated and uncomfortable, but NEVER says that he is. No changes to his diet, which is pretty well balanced.

We can just about manage it without accidents if he goes to the toilet as soon as he gets up, after breakfast, straight after school and after tea. However, he's due to go on a school trip for a full week next month and is worrying about how he will manage. He's extremely self-conscious about it, and his toilet visits are very noisy, messy and long.

I'm going to take him back to the GP, but am worried they will say again that there's nothing they can do. Any advice on what this is likely to be? He's got quite a few funny little foibles other than his bowels (terrible balance and coordination, strange walking and running gait, seems to have trouble recognising people out of context...) but he's a clever and lovable boy and is getting along great at school.

Many Thanks

(and sorry for the novel)

10 Replies

My son has seen a chiropractor a number of times for his severe constipation (he’s also hypermobile) sadly she lives far away or we would go more often. From your post I’m wondering about food sensitivities and trying a naturopath or nutritionist or functional medicine practitioner. My son is same age and same year and incontinent of bowel so totally get the impact 😖

My daughter has the same but we have been told to cut out dairy x

My son is now almost 13 - Bladderandbowel issues since birth and just the odd issues like balance and poor motor skills, - after endless and I mean that nagging to anyone I got referred to an OT to review balance issues and after 10 years of searching ( mri, eye , physio etc) we got a diagnosis of mild cerebral palsy and CVI. You wouldn’t know unless I said. Saying all that they haven’t offered any more help with the original bladder and b issues we are now left to try and manage unless we want to catheterise and use Botox . The consultant wouldn’t or couldn’t say if it all related but suspected it was - it has been epic to get this far !

Hi there,

My daughter , almost 10, after years of constipation developed v bad cramps/ bloating/ Gas/ both diarrhoea and constipation. She was cleared of coeliac but found to have a wheat allergy. We have now discovered an intolerance to onion / garlic and most High fodmap foods, and any high fat foods and processed foods. . Since following a low fodmap diet and stewing high fodmap fruits ( apples/ pears/plums) to ensure she gets enough fiber and doing a lot of home cooking she has made a massive improvement and has regular normal bowel movements and no tummy pain and renewed energy levels. The plan is to slowly reintroduce the high fodmap foods over time . Apparently everyone’s trigger foods are different but there are lots of books about how to follow the restriction and re introduction of foods... obviously a dietician would advise but we have done it ourselves.

Hope that helps

This sounds like a sensitivity or intolerance to foods. Definitely cut dairy and soy for at least 3 weeks to begin with. I would be looking at his diet.. GP are hopeless with diet and allergy related issues. Consider a naturopath that specialises in children and gut health/intolerances. Good luck!

Thank you everyone. I've booked him in with the GP next week, so will let you know how we get on. We've tried keeping food diaries and linking to symptoms, but I can't make any sense of it myself. He can be pretty much ok for weeks or months at a time, then have 6 months of intense trouble -- but his diet is pretty consistent and balanced. He's a very chilled out character and doesn't have any worries at school or home as far as I know. He's vegetarian (since birth) so I'm really nervous to cut out food groups like dairy and wheat without medical advice or evidence of an allergy. Maybe the GP would refer him to a dietician or other specialist...

Wagamama in reply to BlackInk

Hi, like others have suggested, this sounds like food intolerances, which will not show up on blood tests. The only way to find out is to cut out dairy and wheat for at least three weeks and see if it makes a difference. It's worth a try and will not hurt him even on a veggie diet. There are so many alternatives out there. All very nutritious.

My son is dairy and wheat intolerant along with banana and sweetcorn and will soil himself repeatedly if he has anything. I discovered this. Not the Dr. They very rarely suggest food intolerances! I just one day went to Sainsbury's and bought a whole load of gluten free products and soya/ almond milk etc...

If my son has anything wheat or milk, he goes back to square one and effects can last DAYS, just from one thing! So be strict with the trial diet. Youll soon see if it makes a difference.

All the best xx

Thank you Wagamama, I suspect we will be left to try and 'get to the bottom of it' ourselves, but will see what the GP says on Monday. We have been forward and back to the GP about this since he was about 4. At first they said constipation, later blood tested for Coeliac Disease, but when that came back negative they didn't suggest any other help. So we went away and hoped it would improve. It hasn't really. Surely a 10 year old can't be expected just to put up with this kind of thing?

Hello, just a quick update. My son saw the GP yesterday. They suspect IBS / some sort of dietary intolerance, and have referred him to a paediatric dietician and also to a bowel specialist to rule out anything else before we go down the elimination route. I feel they really listened, which is great. We saw 2 student doctors initially, and then a qualified GP came in at the end, so we had extra time and attention to detail!

That is great news- very encouraging 😃

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