The Nappy Situation

Look away now if you are eating.
Since birth, B has produced very runny nappies. It is rare for him to do a ‘solid’ poo although not unknown. Mostly the poo is ‘loose’ and often very smelly. I raised this with the doctor quite some time ago, who told me to monitor the situation. She said there were allergy tests that could be done, but that, given his good physical development, a milk or wheat intolerance was unlikely.
B is allergic to peanuts. I found this out the hard way one Christmas when I ate some peanuts, then kissed him. His face exploded into a rash, hives appeared on his body and he began crying for a drink. One ride in an ambulance later, plus a few tests along the way, and his allergy was confirmed. He now has an epics with him at all times and, unsurprisingly, a peanut has not entered our house since.
Anyway, that’s an aside from the matter of the runny poo. Someone told us recently about infant diarrhoea, where the water content is not properly balanced or something. Most children grow out of it by the time they are four years old.
I have, however, heard of links between bowel problems and autism. This seems bizarre to me, but then I’m still just starting to learn about things. Someone I know who works with severely autistic teenagers was unaware of it and the paediatrician dismissed it too.
A condition called leaky gut syndrome has been linked to autism but the findings of the research have been widely disputed as being inaccurate and misleading. So who knows?
B has now had blood tests to eliminate pretty much every kind of allergy, including: cats, dogs, grass pollen, mould, eggs, milk and wheat. He has had biochemical screening for renal, liver, bone and caeliac related problems. Oh, and Fragile X. All tests were negative. The poor child gave so much blood in one sitting, it was such a shame. The nurse offered him a consoling biscuit. It clearly came from a box containing nuts (we politely declined).

Regardless of a link with autism, the situation means that potty training with B has an added difficulty, beyond trying to get through to him. My wife has been working hard on getting him to use the potty, with some recent success, but we still need to conquer the poo situation.

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3 Responses to The Nappy Situation

  1. amanda says:

    An excited mum reporting back on some progress we have seen (it has come to this, that I get excited over the state of my child’s stools!) – for 8 days in a row, my child has produced solid stools! Until now, he alternated between constipation (eg 4 days no poos) and very mushy poos – toliet training was out of the question for very practical reasons even tho’ he had asked for the potty at the apprpriate time.
    We started along the lines of the GAPS diet half heartedly in January – no ‘forbidden’ foods (except I allowed potatoes) – only in the last month have I eliminated potatoes too. I have also stressed he should not be given gluten free breadsticks at nursery (staff had problems understanding that simply gluten free is not what we are about!).

    So – great progress in terms of stools – but nothing to declare developmentally. Which is as I, great cynic and pessimist, suspected. But to be fair, we are still not doing the GAPS diet per se. Will we embark on it? if he continues to produce solid stools then I am certain I will be encouraged enough to go down that route!
    It seems too simple to be true – that by a few alterations of diet we have seen a major change. But 8 days in a row …

  2. Kim White says:

    Hi! Please try your son on a gluten and dairy free diet – my son (now 9) wasn’t talking and had terrible bowel problems similar to those you describe. We started the GF and DF diet two days before Christmas when he was aged 3 years, and on Christmas Day he woke up and was talking and smiling. It was the best Christmas present ever! He went from being in his own little world to communicating and participating with people around him. It was like the wheat had been blocking up his system. His bowel problems cleared up really quickly and we know now straight away if he has accidentally eaten any wheat or dairy!! Give it a try and see if it makes a difference – allow 2 or 3 weeks on a strict diet to really notice a difference. It does make eating out more challenging but it sounds like it’s pretty challenging for your son anyway going to new places away from the home. My son isn’t cured of autism and still likes to retreat into his imaginary world now and then but I never thought i would hear him say the words “I love you mummy” (as he does quite regularly now) -so the GF/DF diet feels like a major miracle to me! Best wishes

  3. Kim White says:

    Oops – sorry – forgot to add about potty training. My son was still in nappies day and night aged 3 years and I was getting more and more anxious as school nursery was looming, and you had to be toilet trained to attend the place.
    After many abortive attempts at traditonal potty training throughout his third year, despite the GF and DF diet improving conditions, I had given up. One day, aged 3 and a half, he woke up and announced that he no longer wanted nappies and starting using the main toilet!! Just like that – dry day and night – he has never wet the bed or had any accidents! When I asked him about it, he stated very matter of factly that he had been able to control his bowels for ages but wanted to make sure he could use the big toilet before stopping wearing the nappies. He is a perfectionist and will not attempt something until he is confident that he can do it successfully. So perhaps you just need to be patient and your son may surprise you suddenly one day!

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