Loose stool w/ gritty sandy grainy stuff?

Kelly - posted on 01/25/2011 ( 15 moms have responded )

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My son is 18 months old. Around Xmas, he started with these grainy stools that leave this sand like stuff all over his skin and it is impossible to get it off. He did this for a couple days, and then it stopped, so I figured it was just all the cookies & junk food he ate at family members houses.

Well, a week later it returned in the form of very loose and foul smelling stools. I figured he had gotten into some more junk food at someone elses house and didn't really think about it. But it has not gone away now.

His doctor said he probably ate something off the floor but I am 100% sure that is not the case. I'm worried about celiac disease, allergies, or maybe he's just eating too much fruit? I've searched the internet and can't find much at all. He has a doctors appointment for his 18 month check up in a couple weeks and if this is still happening, I'm bringing a sample and making him send it out for tests.



He is otherwise very healthy, great appetite, happy, wonderful baby boy. His behavior is excellent and he has a great vocabulary and social skills so I am not worried about autism or anything like that. He has never had anything more than the sniffles.



Does anyone have any idea what could be causing grainy stool? Like I said, I'm 100% sure he has not eaten sand or dirt or anything like that. It's not coming from the diaper itself as he actually pooped in the tub the other day and it was just as grainy.

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Jordan - posted on 01/21/2012

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Hello I had the same problem with my now 3 year old. He had tummy ishues and constipation problems from birth so we had him on a lactose free diet from a new born.. But at about 12 months he started with the grainy, loose, very stinky poops, they were very acidic and caused horibble rashes no matter how quickly I changed him. Then I noticed his poopes were getting more mucousy and had undigested food was in it. (its was comming out looking the same as when it did going in) at about 2 years after almost a year of pooping problems he got very sick for about 4 to 6 weeks with vomiting, water like diarrhea and fever. I finally took him off Gluten because of my fathers advice who is celiac, but it was agienst the doctors orders.



I have been to several doctors had stool samples and blood work done everything comes back negative but he has been on a gluten and lactose free diet for 9 months now and seems to be perfactly healthy now with normal daily stools... He is also finally fully potty trained wich was almost impossible befor the G-free diet due to the the loose stools. My doctor's (4 of them) still dissagree with the G-free diet, and I disagree with the advice they have given me, after doing my own research I belive some of their 'sugestion' could cause more damage then good. My son was so ill durring march/april 2011 and this is something that built up over time. I honesly don't want to think of where we would be with out the G-free diet. It took a long time to reverse the damage done to his intestines in the 1st 2 years of his life eating gluten, but I belive he is finally almost fully recoverd. As much as I want him to be able to eat 'normal' foods I'm afraid of the damage it could re-do over time. I also have a now 1 year old son and am worried he's going down the same path as his brother, I might just switch him aswell despite my doctors advice not to.

Janelle - posted on 07/20/2011

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Oh man.. this just happened to my 14 month old. It came out of no where though. He hardly ever even gets diaper rash then one diaper and he has the worse diaper rash ever with sores and loose grainy stool. It changes too with each diaper. I can't think of anything out of the ordinary that he ate. Last time this happened (months ago) i thought it was because I changed juice brands. Now i have no idea.

Emily - posted on 01/18/2012

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I really hope we can find out what's going on with our 16mo old son as well. He has sandy stool that leaves a terrible rash even if I change his diaper asap. He's been tested for Celiac disease and it came back negative, but the doctor also said that those tests aren't always completley accurate at this young age. He has a appt with a GI doc tomorrow, because I just can't take the loose stools and sand anymore! He's been ona lactose free diet, and we've tried pinpointing certain foods that cause this but we can't seem to figure it out. If anyone else has any suggestions please let me know! :)

[deleted account]

Hi Kelly,

My son, who is now 4.5 yrs, developed a lactose-intolerance when he was about 13 months old. He did have the sandy grainy stool, and it went away. However, one thing about lactose is that it takes two full weeks for the lactose to get out of your system. My daughter, now 15 months is suffering from frequent diarrhea and sandy poop. We tried lactose free, but no change. It seemed to improve a bit, but not very noticeable to anyone but me. I'm thinking gluten intolerance or celiac disease. Hope this helps. My son did grow out of it about a year after we started the lactose-free diet.

Marta - posted on 10/12/2011

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I know everybody hates to structure a diet around gluten free, but in the long run if they are allergic it's easier to start them when you control their food intake, than when they do. Also, eventually they will have more issues than grainy poop to deal with. Many people end up very sick from celiac disease and have a harder time adjusting their diet. The good thing is that there are so many foods being made for people avoiding gluten-even bakeries are marketing products for the gluten free crowd. When my cousin was a baby/child he was allergic to wheat and dairy-talk about an impossible diet & nobody was making wheat and dairy free foods. My aunt and grandmother created new recipes for everything from bread to ice cream for him. The ice cream was made from soy formula and it wasn't bad! Good Luck

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Beth - posted on 01/02/2012

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I am really curious about the results of this, mainly because I already had my little one on gluten free (wheat allergy) and limited dairy due to lactose intolerance. When the grainy poop appeared it was after a terrible virus that had vomitting and diahrrea. He does eat cheese and yoghurt but doesn't drink milk or eat ice cream (those cause diahrrea. Unlike you, I cannot be sure my 22 month old hasn't eaten dirt or sand. I try to be vigilant, but you can't watch all the time and take care of other kids or the house. I want him to have freedom to explore some. A little dirt never hurt any kid, but the sandy diapers are not just annoying, they poop comes with terrible gas that hurts him.

Melissa - posted on 10/18/2011

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I am having this same problem with my 13 month old daughter. I took her to the doctor today for the second time regarding this same issue. It seems to be getting worse and she is irritable too. Her doctor told me to switch her to Soy milk, cheese and yogurt. She is also doing a culture of her stool bc it is loose as well as grainy that is hard to get off her skin. She also told me to not give her any juice either only water and soy milk. The doctor did not seem too concerned either but I agree with you. It isn't normal. Especially when it starts all of a sudden, gets worse and my child is unhappy. Please let me know if you discover anything new.

Kelly - posted on 10/11/2011

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When we did take him off gluten for a few weeks, it cleared up. His doctor say they think sandy grainy stuff is normal. Ooookay. I don't really agree there. They did say they could test him but it involves a biopsy of intestinal lining and there is no way I'm putting him through that just so I have an easier time cleaning his diapers you know? If he gets worse as he gets older,then we might have to do that. But as for right now...

Becky - posted on 10/10/2011

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Well I would say maybe just *reduce* his gluten intake if you're hesitant to take him off it entirely. The thing is, just like lactose intolerance, if it isn't handled rightly (stayed away from), it will get worse as he grows older. I know it really stinks--my daughter's favorites like macaroni, Cheerios, and goldfish are definitely not gluten free. But I would hate for it to get worse as she grows older.

And who knows? Maybe it isn't that for him at all--but experimenting for a few days to see if it clears up his digestive issues would be worth it just to know what's up.

Kelly - posted on 10/10/2011

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I would not be surprised it it clears it up! I just feel bad keeping him on a gluten free diet because it takes out so many of his favorite foods, and really other than the sandy stuff he is fine. Since its back to being formed he's not having a problem, just that diareah was the worst!!! Still unsure how to proceed.

Becky - posted on 10/10/2011

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I've been doing a lot of research on this, and it seems to be commonly related with gluten. My 18-month-old daughter has been having this "sandy poop" problem, and we're now considering taking gluten out of her diet for a week or two to see if it clears up.

[deleted account]

Try taking Milk or Gluten out of his diet. My DD is now much better. We went dairy free and she's good to go.

[deleted account]

Definitely know what your talking about. In my situation though, its also very acid and sandy, so my kids get diaper rashes. If it was just the poop, I could handle it. But I can't handle a screaming baby every time I change her diaper. Good luck with everything!

Kelly - posted on 07/12/2011

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Thank you!!! He actually used to be on soy instead of milk cuz he also had a milk allergy when he was an infant (his nose would get all mucousy) but he's been okay with dairy now that he's older. The grainy stool goes away when I remove gluten. But I don't want to make him eat cardboard tasting bread just so I have an easier time changing his diapers, you know?

Kelly - posted on 05/12/2011

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Well, I actually went against my doctors advice and put him on a gluten free diet, just to see. Guess what? Grainy stool is gone. Its either the gluten or the wheat. I'm torn tho, because keeping him gluten free means a restricted diet, and things like gluten free bread, pasta, crackers, cookies are not only twice as expensive but they also taste like crap. So, I've kind of just been doing a 'reduced gluten' diet. The sand is there but its not so bad now like it was before, so he's not getting so raw on his bottom when I try to wipe it off. Also I found that if you wipe off the majority of it, sprinkle some baby powder on the remaining sand and then rub it in with your fingers, then use a wipe, it seems to coat the sand particles and then they wipe off easier. Kind of gross to have to use your fingers but you're gonna wash your hands anyway and it saves some irritation on the butt!

Margie - posted on 05/12/2011

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I have a 15 month old with grainy stool too, completely healthy in every other way. We switched to Lactaid milk thinking that was the problem but still no change. Did you find out anything about his grainy stool yet? Good luck.

Kelly - posted on 07/12/2011

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Thank you!!! He actually used to be on soy instead of milk cuz he also had a milk allergy when he was an infant (his nose would get all mucousy) but he's been okay with dairy now that he's older. The grainy stool goes away when I remove gluten. But I don't want to make him eat cardboard tasting bread just so I have an easier time changing his diapers, you know?

Kelly - posted on 05/12/2011

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Well, I actually went against my doctors advice and put him on a gluten free diet, just to see. Guess what? Grainy stool is gone. Its either the gluten or the wheat. I'm torn tho, because keeping him gluten free means a restricted diet, and things like gluten free bread, pasta, crackers, cookies are not only twice as expensive but they also taste like crap. So, I've kind of just been doing a 'reduced gluten' diet. The sand is there but its not so bad now like it was before, so he's not getting so raw on his bottom when I try to wipe it off. Also I found that if you wipe off the majority of it, sprinkle some baby powder on the remaining sand and then rub it in with your fingers, then use a wipe, it seems to coat the sand particles and then they wipe off easier. Kind of gross to have to use your fingers but you're gonna wash your hands anyway and it saves some irritation on the butt!

Margie - posted on 05/12/2011

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I have a 15 month old with grainy stool too, completely healthy in every other way. We switched to Lactaid milk thinking that was the problem but still no change. Did you find out anything about his grainy stool yet? Good luck.

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