Gritty sandy poop

Angi - posted on 10/26/2009 ( 18 moms have responded )

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Hi all,

Erin is 2 and it's been 1 1/2 years since her pullthrough. Just lately, she's been having very sandy-looking, gritty poops that are very hard to clean off. They must also be acidic because her little butt is all red and raw. Only way to get it all off without hurting her is to put her in the bath. Anyone else having this problem?

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Amber - posted on 11/06/2011

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Hi Angi, just updating on where we're at with Andrew. After I posted this he got just a little better for a few weeks, and then it came back with full force. We had him tested for undissolved bile acids, or salts, as acidic and gritty sandy stools are a classic symptom. He came back negative, so now the doctor thinks it's a pH problem, and that the gritty sandies are from him not completely emptying his bowls and the gritties are from old stool mixed in with the new stool. We tried a super laxative to completely flush him and then see what would happen after the "reset" and low and behold the gritties disappeared and it didn't burn him. After two bm's both came back, and with every bm until the next time he was flushed the grit and the burning would get progressively worse. So we're still waiting to officially get him tested for the pH problem (which would be fixed by a prescription) but he's having another barium enema done on Tuesday at the nearest Children's Hospital. Our specialist said despite having a colon that at 15 months old looked so good post surgery that it didn't look like he'd ever had anything wrong with him and needed surgery, there could have been a segment so small at the time that it neither showed up on a scan or caused problems, but now that he's older it could be causing problems and we need to check for it. So enema on Tuesday, probably followed shortly by a biopsy and this time he wants to do a sigmoidoscopy and get a visual look too. That's a good idea about allergies though, I'll bring that up. Wouldn't that be a nice, and cheap solution! I'll post again when we know anything more. Prayers would be appreciated!

DeAnne - posted on 01/02/2011

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My son has this problem too. We use a little spray bottle and mix Baby Aveeno & water in it and mist his bum (or the wipes) with it when we clean him off. Another Hirschsprung mom gave me this tip & it saved us from rubbing his bum over & over trying to get the grit off.

Amber - posted on 03/04/2012

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Angi! Goodness a lot has happened and I wanted to share it with you, might help you guys prevent future problems. Real quick before I forget, yes he's had the complete workup for every possible allergy and intolerance and everything came back normal.



The grit is stool that has stayed in the colon too long and is super dried out stool that sluffs off and comes out with the fresh stool. And it burns because the natural 'juices' are too concentrated from having too much water absorbed from taking too long to get out. Which explains why the burning is associated with the grit. Poop should not be that way and any child that has a long history of this or it's getting progressively worse NEEDS to get in for an anorectal manometry study, where they put a catheter in and do a bunch of tests to check on the base tightness, responsiveness of the ganglion cells, and a few other things. Boy was it an eye opener for us! Also when the colon is that slow it's just asking to develop SIBO, or small intestine bacterial overgrowth, the next time they get enterocolitis or cdiff, because with things moving SO slowly, any bacteria that might migrate up into the small intestine might not be flushed out before it starts gobbling up the food and reproducing super fast! Can you tell we've had one heck of a few months and have figured all this out finally? YEAH. EC at the end of December combined with the super slow motility triggered SIBO, which was FINALLY caught mid February but not before it turned Andrew into the 'starving african child look' with a big bloated belly and nothing but bone arms and legs and you can count his ribs (it gobbled up the food in his small intestine instead of him getting it, and produced hydrogen gas as a result, which filled him up and made him not want to eat, further accelerating the weight loss. He went from 39lbs to 32 lbs inside a month and a half). Now he's got an NG tube in to get enough nutrition and hydration in him, and is on meds to treat it but it made his colon problems SO much worse that I wanted to warn you to not let the grit go on so long because it's just asking for bacteria to migrate north and cause big problems. Having the SIBO go undiagnosed for so long combined with his overly tight rectum and improperly responding ganglion cells (as detected by the manometry study) made his colon turn into a balloon because the gas the bacteria couldn't get out, so it just stretched and stretched and stretched out his colon. Now we're looking at possibly needing surgery.



So please please, everyone that's seeing this problem (burning grit) more often than not and not just occasionally, do whatever you have to to get an anorectal manometry study done to see if and where the problems are BEFORE they cause much much worse problems! Even with multiple trips out to Stanford and dealing with some of the best docs on the west coast we still had a very hard time pinning down all the problems, and are still trying to figure out how to get him back to normal, all the while he's wasting away and paying the price. You'll probably run into some stubborn doctors that don't like you telling them what to do, but don't give up! Find your inner mama bear! It could show no problems at all, but you NEED to have that study done to know for sure, because IF there are problems that need addressing (like for Andrew the tight rectal muscles, poor ganglion response, and uncoordinated sphincter), you can address them BEFORE they cause more major problems.

Angi - posted on 06/12/2011

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Hi Amber, I wish I could say that Erin outgrew this or that things had changed, but she continues to have this issue only definitely not as often. For Erin, it has become a sure sign that something bad is happening in her intestines because it is usually followed by extreme constipation. Her nutritionist insists that it is from not drinking enough water. I have to admit that in general the grittiness has lessened when I am tracking the water she take in and making sure she has enough. Erin's nutritionist calls for 1ml per every calorie- so with her 1200 calorie/day plan she would need to take in 40 oz of water. I have not been able to get Erin to drink that much water yet, so maybe if I could, the gritty poop would stop but that is an awful lot of water to ask a 3 yr old to drink.
Last October, Erin was admitted to the hospital for constipation and for 2 weeks prior to her being admitted, she had gritty, sandy bowel movements. I believe her constipation was related to drastic diet changes (we found out she has multiple food allergies). Erin's corn, apple, and soy allergies all exhibit themselves as stomach/bowel issues. Maybe ask your regular doctor about having your son tested for food allergies and also for a referral to a nutritionist that deals with Hirschsprung's kids. That way you can be sure that food allergies aren't contributing to the problem. I had to be pushy with that doctor (we don't go to him anymore) to get these referrals, but I'm so glad I did now. Please keep us posted. I hope things get better for your guy!

Tara - posted on 09/08/2010

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Hi Angi,
Cole at certain times suffers from this gritty stool. I find that when I mix vaseline, ihles paste, and an anti fungal cream it clears up his lil bumm, and also the vaseline in the cream makes wiping a little easier.
I hope this helps.

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Brian - posted on 06/04/2014

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@Brian Solved! Hello, I just wanted to share that we later learned that my daughters symptoms are related to milk protein. Lactose free milk did not help. She does not drink cow's milk of any kind and we try to avoid every food that has milk derivatives (cheese, butter, even some sliced ham and turkey or sausages...). She's now 3 and a half years old and almost never has diarrhea. When she gets into cookies and cakes or some lollipops that have butter or milk, she has a bout of stomach upset and some soft stools, but then bounces back. I would say perhaps she has a sensitive system right now, but this milk issue may go away in the future. We tried re-introducing lactose free milk after about 8 months, but the frequent loose poops returned. Her regular "milk" is "oat milk." She has been OK with goat and sheep cheese that's easy to get around here.

Brian

A Dad

Evelyn Racheal - posted on 05/15/2013

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My 3yr old son gets this grainy loose poop sometimes too and I have found him to be irritable at night as well when he has this sort of poop. I decided to have a look at his anus in the middle of the night while he was asleep using a torch and sure enough I found little white wiggly worms ( gross I know ).!! The next day I bought some worm tablets from the chemist and and within 2 days the poop had gone back to normal and he was no longer irriable at night and no more tummy pain.

Kristy - posted on 11/05/2012

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Hello Amber, it has been 8 months since you posted this How is your little guy doing I hope by now he is doing much better.

My name is Kristy and my little guy is 3 years old he was diagnosed with hirschprungs at a week old. he had iliostimy for 8 months and then had hes pullthrew with a total colon removal (they removed all of hes large intistine) so it has been over 2 years and he has been doing great untill about 4-5 months ago. he started having pure water poop and screaming that hes butt and belly hurt. took him to the Emergency and they said evrything looked fine he probly had bad gas. took him to the dr. they ran test said everything looked fine, just take him off milk. after a while it seemed to go away so we thought maybe it was bad gas. But for the past few weeks it seems to be back and when I saw the title grity sandy poop! I gasped! Oh my that is exsactly what Bens poop looks like I didn't have a way to describe it but that Is it! My huband and I are always examining hes poop wondering what the Heck it is. did Andrew Scream out in horrible pain and then have a huge Growl! in hes belly then be totally fine untill the next attack? and he is pooping Alot sometimes and it doesn;t always look gritty but it seems to more and more.



Well thank you for sharing your story at least now I have something to tell the dr. I am going to ask them to give him a Anorectal Manometry Study! What all does that intale do the put them out I hate when hes under anastsha (toytaly spelled wrong sorry) but then I don't want him to feel any more pain and discomfort. I was thinking of just taking him to childrens hospital and not leaving till I have some answers. At least now I have some more knowlege.



would love to hear an update on Andrew sending all our love and prayers :)

Brian - posted on 11/02/2012

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Hi Angi,

Our toddler has had chronic diarrhea, relatively slow growth in terms of weight gain. Many times she has gritty, sandy poops. We are considering the possibilities that she may have a difficulty with one of lactose in cow's milk, gluten in wheat and other grains, or have a parasitic infection of giardia. We've been to a pediatrician and had some bloodwork and stool samples taken. The initial interpretation of the results (by her family doctor) were a "weak" positive for gluten intolerance (celiac), negative for parasites, but with an elevated ige which relates to parasitic infections. Tests for some parasites may show false negatives because the parasites are not always coming out their backside every poop in big numbers. We took samples once a day for three consecutive days, following doctor's instructions. With doctor's suggestion, we did remove lactose for two full weeks without resolving the diarrhea. She seemed to change to solid stools in the first days we took out lactose, but it may take much longer for the lactose to get out of their system. Sometimes any random change we make seems to change her poops, which makes us crazy trying to correlate these things. We are not going to take gluten out of her diet without such a recommendation from a pediatrician. It seems like a parasitic infection like giardia can aggravate any sensitivity a kid has to foods like milk and grains. Maybe it is hard to be sure what is the cause, and maybe there can be more than one cause. I am going to have our water tested. Kids can get infected and reinfected with many things at daycare even if they are treated once. That's life. We treat our dogs for intestinal parasites, but not the cats (I can't catch em). We try to wash our hands all the time when changing her and when feeding her. We boil a lot of her plates, cups and bottles, but not every time she eats. We have a Brita Maxtra water filter pitcher that I use for some cooking (for taste), but I read that it probably does not remove small protozoans like Giardia and Cryptosporidium. OK, you can see I am mostly concerned about and reading about Giardia. All of this because we are brainstorming what might be causing this chronic diarrhea in our toddler (1 1/2 years old, many months of on and off diarrhea). Her doctor just recommended giving her a liquid (Flagyl metronidazole) while we wait for an appointment with a GI specialist. I prefer to do this before having a biopsy of her intestine (one option to look for gluten intolerance). Taking gluten out of the diet before diagnosis by a doctor may mean that any test for celiac afterwards will come back negative. The main reason I am concerned is that she is a small toddler, relatively low weight although she usually eats well. I'd love to know if anyone else had the sandy, gritty loose poops and then found or treated parasites. I've also found posts from people finding these kind of poops resolving it by removing gluten from the diet, even in pets. Good luck and good health to you and yours,

BM

A Dad

[deleted account]

Hi Angi and Amber!
I have been noticing that my son (15 months, pull-through at 8 months) has been having sandy poops as well. I am not too sure about the gritty part though. In his case, they are VERY liquid, but do have this "sandy" texture (I use washable diapers, so my hands feel the texture of the poop regularly! :D). Now, he is eating fairly diversified, but he is still also breastfed. His pattern of pooping has been once or twice a day, always when sleeping or napping. But his poop does seem to be quite irritating, since his bum has been red for the last 4-6 weeks (which was not the case before).
I was not too worried, but now reading your stories has made me wonder if I should get it investigated more. My main problem is that we are pretty much only followed by the surgeon, and he would not do an anorectal manometry study (his point of view being that if he poops, there is no problem). So before I embark on a battle on this, I just wanted to get an idea of whether what I am seeing corresponds to the same thing you were.
Thanks!

Holly - posted on 01/03/2012

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Has he been tested for a food allergy, such as gluten or celiacs disease (sorry it's not spelled right I'm sure). I've read a lot online tonight about this, it may be a possibility.

Amber - posted on 06/04/2011

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I saw it's been a long time since you posted this, has anything changed since then? My son had his pull through 3.5 years ago and started the gravelly thing a little over a year ago. It started out just a little sandy, and the rashes would come with it. It's to the point now where it's gravel sized little balls at times (not always, but always at the least VERY sandy and gritty) and his skin bleeds if it's on there too long. He screams when he's going and he screams when we clean him. I've tried modifying his diet, nothing helps. I'm about ready to walk him into a hospital and not leave until they can tell me what is causing this, it's getting worse and I can't bear to let him be in this much pain! Anyways if any of you ladies that have gone through this have any updates with what causes this please share! Sorry, he's trying to "go" right now and screaming his poor little head off, so I'm a bit antsy. : (

Amber - posted on 06/04/2011

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I saw it's been a long time since you posted this, has anything changed since then? My son had his pull through 3.5 years ago and started the gravelly thing a little over a year ago. It started out just a little sandy, and the rashes would come with it. It's to the point now where it's gravel sized little balls at times (not always, but always at the least VERY sandy and gritty) and his skin bleeds if it's on there too long. He screams when he's going and he screams when we clean him. I've tried modifying his diet, nothing helps. I'm about ready to walk him into a hospital and not leave until they can tell me what is causing this, it's getting worse and I can't bear to let him be in this much pain! Anyways if any of you ladies that have gone through this have any updates with what causes this please share! Sorry, he's trying to "go" right now and screaming his poor little head off, so I'm a bit antsy. : (

Catherine - posted on 02/25/2010

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When my daughter get sick she gets that gritty, sandy poop. That has always been one of the indicators to me that she is getting sick. I had the issue of diaper rash also when she didn't have her ostomy. I would pour warm water over her bum to wash it off while she sat on the toilet.

Molly - posted on 02/21/2010

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My son went through that. I found that a lot of his problems were caused by diet. I can control his rash (somewhat) and stool by watching what types of food he is eating. My suggestion is to see what types of food may trigger it. Hopefully its not a favorite.

Zoe - posted on 11/10/2009

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my son had his pull through six months ago and it seems to be okay but i do have the same problem, it is almost impossible to clean off unless you give them a bath i really dont know what to do for it, his consultant told me to clean it off with emolient but that doesnt work to well, XX

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