Friday, May 20, 2011

Happy To See Poop? Our recent GI issues.

Jessie has had significant reflux for as long as I can remember.  At one time or another she has taken Zantac (the mildest, this was the first reflux medicine she took), Prevacid and Prilosec.  If we owned stock in Mylanta or know.  A year or so ago she started having loose bowels, all the time.  Not like you expect with a virus (not as many times per day), no fever, didn't feel sick.  Finally, after this went on several weeks, we determined the culprit was the Prevacid she was taking.  Her gastroenterologist said sometimes drugs in that class, proton pump inhibitors (think I got that right :), after taking them a while can cause diarrhea.  We switched to Prilosec and in about 3 days, we saw that had indeed been the cause, as the diarrhea stopped.  Prilosec and Prevacid are both proton pump inhibitors, but I guess sometimes you can take them for a while before that symptom might arrive.  Prior to this, Jessie had been taking Prevacid, off and on, for several years.  So now, after a little more than a year of taking Prilosec, the same symptoms started again.  It's always tricky at first cause it's not that abnormal for Jessie to have a little issue for a couple of days here and there with no sure explanation.  After more than 2 weeks of this again, we have changed to a new drug, Axid, in a different class (not sure what) but it isn't a proton pump inhibitor.  Finally, we have poop with shape to it.  That makes me very, very happy :)  Normally, it is rare for Jessie to have poop accidents, but when all this was going on, it was constant.  I finally decided that her tummy must have felt unsettled for so long that she no longer could interpret the signal.  That was a sad thought that my baby's tummy had been bothering her enough that she couldn't tell she needed to poop. 

For any of you reading that might have a child taking a proton pump inhibitor, or are taking one yourself, it's a good idea if you've taken it a while, to have your B-12 checked.  Never mind that the doctor may say it isn't necessary :)  Initially, I had her B-12 checked because she had a few gray hairs and alopecia, and a google search revealed sometimes low B-12 is the cause of gray hair in children.  AFTER we discovered her B-12 was at the very lowest within the very large normal range, another google search showed that with the great numbers of people now taking this class of reflux drugs they are finding B-12 deficiencies.  Jessie now takes a B-12 tablet and as long as we take it semi-regularly her B-12 comes up to the middle of the normal range.  If we stop it it goes back down.

I have found it to be SO important to have a pediatrician that really listens to my concerns, and will go along a bit with me.  Jessie's pediatrician checked her B-12 for me after I told him I read that gray hair is sometimes associated with low B-12.  He agreed to check it to put me at ease, but assured me that it is rare to find a B-12 deficient child that eats meat.  We found one!! Jessie is a meat lover!

I share the poop story with you not cause I want to gross you out but because I know reflux is pretty common amongst younguns with Down syndrome.  If you have dealt with reflux and have any suggestions that might be helpful please leave me a comment!


  1. With your having many years experience with Ds and GI issues, you have probably heard this many times; but I'll share our experience because I didn't see you mention it.

    We have two 2yr old boys adopted with Ds. Lucas we just got home with from Ukraine, and Micah we got at a few days old, locally. When Micah was a baby, he had reflux very bad to the point of not wanting to eat because it hurt. He ended up on previcid, but that didn't really help. We switched milks too many times to count; and he ended up on a very 'simple' protien chain milk that was special order. Long story short, we didn't like that the doc's never listened to our suggestions of going a 'natural' way that had been suggested to us numerous times by moms- the tried, tested, and true advice ;) So we stopped the antacid (previcid) and put him on probiotics and goat's milk. Within, 48 hours he was a different baby; happy, refluxing minimally, and wanting to eat again. The docs said we would kill him...He's quite alive, and THRIVing! He still cannot take regualar dairy, but does fine on goat's milk.

    I've also heard that gluten intolerance (not necesarily Celiac disease) can cause reflux. Micah is also on a GF diet, and is doing better than before...chapped cheeks healed up, attitude has been way better, is learning quicker (could just be a spurt). He obviously just has a sensitive stomach. Now his only GI issue is constipaion now and then.

    Lucas on the other hand seems to take just fine to everything, except watermelon ;)

    Wish you the best,

  2. Ezra-9 had GI issues for a while. He was taking a a proton pump inhibitor when he was 2 years old. I'm glad we are finished with that. Now it is occasional constipation. Just recently we have noticed that he has a sprout of grey in his hair! We wondered where that would come from! I guess we need to look into the Vitamin B-12 connection. Thank you for giving me a clue! 9-year-olds should not have that much grey!