Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Poop Page - from TACA

I read this article and found the information helpful understanding my sons tummy troubles. I hope it helps you too.

The “Poop” Page

By Lisa Ackerman and Linda Betzold

Dedicated to fellow “poop peepers” like me!
Many children with autism suffer from many issues involving the gut and their bowel movements (or lack there of). So much so that not a meeting goes by, nor a support phone conversation, that does not involve a discussion of “how are your child’s poops?”
Based on the obsession to help children “go” daily, one would conclude this process is a newly found hobby. Many TACA families take great care in discussing, analyzing and fretting over their child’s poops! (So you are not crazy! Join the club!)
For our kids (and all humans) moving our bowels daily is a key component to basic and good health. If a child:
  • Is having loose bowel movements that happen too quickly after eating (for example less than one hour) — there are issues to address.
  • Is having bowel movements two, three, four or more days apart; then they are not stooling often enough — there are issues to address.
  •  Is having bowel movements that contain undigested food particles, and you recognize the good in the toilet or diaper — there are issues to address.
  • Has a bloated belly beyond the age of two — there are issues to address.
  • Performs self stimulatory behaviors such as toe walking, flapping or posturing just before or while stooling (posturing appears to provide comfort and may include applying pressure to the abdomen by leaning against a blunt object, like arm of sofa, therapy ball, mom’s knee, etc.) — there are issues to address.
  • Alternates between constipation and diarrhea — there are issues to address.
  • Produces stool that has a very odd odor, color and/or texture — there are issues to address.
  • Has fallen behind or hit a plateau on his/her growth chart — there are issues to address.
  • Has been unable to potty train passed a reasonable age (6, 8 10 years of age) — there are issues to address.

If your child is pooping daily and still seems uncomfortable, he or she may not be getting enough stool out every day. It is important to consider these suggestions with your doctor and make sure that your child is having complete and regular bowel movements.
A few more thoughts …
  1. Stool impaction is incredibly painful, and it sometimes happens to our kids. An exam and x-ray of the abdomen (called a KUB) can help diagnose an impaction, which will likely require MEDICAL ATTENTION. Watch for distended tummies, night waking because of pain, and sometimes dramatic changes in behavior as clues. Sometimes children with stool impaction will produce thin, ribbony stool in the toilet, another clue that there may be an impaction. Sometimes children with an impaction may have diarrhea every day or every few days. It can be a little confusing or misleading, but diarrhea is the only thing that can squirt around the impaction. This can be another clue that there is an impaction. Please see a doctor for help immediately. A good gastroenterologist can make a huge difference in finding and solving the root problems unique to your child.
  2. The best pediatric gastroenterologists that understand and treat the GI issues of children with autism are Dr. Arthur Krigsman of Pediatric Gastroenterology of New York and Texas, www.autismgi.com, and Dr. Timothy Buie at Massachusetts Hospital for Children, a teacher at Harvard Medical School,www.massgeneral.org/children/specialtiesandservices/ladders/default.aspx. In many cases, if children on the autism spectrum are experiencing severe, prolonged GI-related problems, a trip to either one of these professionals is recommended.

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