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Crohn's Disease Forum » Parents of Kids with IBD » I have Crohn's 14yo son has odd bowel habits


08-16-2014, 06:30 PM   #1
Malice67
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I have Crohn's 14yo son has odd bowel habits

If I hadn't been diagnosed with mostly asymptomatic Crohn's this year I wouldn't even think about my son's the possibility of my son having problems (and they are NOTHING as serious as what many of you have experienced with your children, I do understand that):

(1) He is 14 and will often leave straight from the dinner table to the bathroom and camp out for a half hour... doesn't seem to be terribly related to what he eats, but haven't started food diary as he is a bit uncooperative.

(2) He also will camp out EVERY morning before eating anything.. (and often 1-2 more times each day)... though when I commented about how to manage the new school routine now that he has to leave 45 minutes earlier this year, he said "maybe I could poop at night" ???? like he would have a choice in this ???

(3) Other than that comment, he gets irritated and annoyed whenever we question him about anything related to his body or bodily functions. Not sure if I am getting real answers when he is asked about constipation, diarrhea, or bloody stools (claims no to all).

(4) About once a week or so he complains of a stomach ache, but isn't specific in location.

So... how do you get your teenagers to communicate about their symptoms? Do any of these symptoms raise a red flag to you? (I'm thinking the crazy long times in the bathroom and frequent stomach aches). Next month he sees a new doctor (family medicine - he won't go to his old pediatrician as he feels he is too old and the only male doctor only works there part-time) for a regular physical. Thought I might bring these up... does that sound reasonable or am I just overly suspicious due to my recent diagnosis?
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08-16-2014, 08:11 PM   #2
my little penguin
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One thought some parents have used is to shut off the toliet water so the kiddo can go but not flush - then you can at least "see it".
Other than that I have a ten year old who was dx at 7 so it was a lot easier to train him early.
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08-16-2014, 09:39 PM   #3
DustyKat
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Unfortunately it is a fine line between between saying nothing and saying too much when it comes to teenagers! No doubt you already know that. *sigh*

Keeping the lines of communication open is paramount so I found that observation, just as you are doing now, was the best form of information. They did tend to come to me when they needed to but outside of that questioning more often than not would lead to overt sighs of frustration and the likelihood of learning nothing!

If you have concerns, and rightly so, then no you arenít being unreasonable and I have done the same in having my son have bloods drawn when my suspicions were raised. I do think that your sonís symptoms do need monitoring but are they at the red flag point? That is hard to say if he denies any problems. The fact that he will be seeing a new doc may well the perfect opportunity for you to touch base with the doctor before the visit, discuss your concerns and what non invasive tests may be ordered under the guise of a new patient.

Just one more thing re the toilet. I think the number of times he goes is noteworthy but not so sure about the length of time he spends in there. If it has suddenly changed then yes but if the males in my house are anything to go off then lengthy sit down toilet visits are frustratingly the norm!

Dusty. xxx
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08-16-2014, 09:52 PM   #4
Tesscorm
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^^^ditto^^^ to all above. After my son was diagnosed at 16, I was constantly asking 'is everything okay?', etc., etc. Although he was patient with me, I could see it was starting to annoy him. After a few months, I finally made him a deal - I would stop asking if he was 'okay' if he promised to tell me if there was anything I might need to know. It's worked 'decently'... now that it's been 3 years and he's been fine for most of it, his telling me of symptoms has slacked off but, even if delayed, he does eventually come tell me. Perhaps if you explain the seriousness but then explain that, at his age, you are going to let him take some of the responsibility (by telling you symptoms), he may take 'ownership' of the job. In any case, at this age, it is tough when you know you know better but they're pulling away as they try to become more independent.

And, yes, I would let the doctor know of your concerns (even though you may get that sigh and eye roll from your son).
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08-16-2014, 10:09 PM   #5
Malice67
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Unfortunately it is a fine line between between saying nothing and saying too much when it comes to teenagers! No doubt you already know that. *sigh* ...questioning more often than not would lead to overt sighs of frustration and the likelihood of learning nothing!
agreed!!!

The fact that he will be seeing a new doc may well the perfect opportunity for you to touch base with the doctor before the visit, discuss your concerns and what non invasive tests may be ordered under the guise of a new patient.
ooh -- great point!! I will give the doc a call before hand! Thinking CBC and CRP to start? maybe folate, ferratin, and B-12 ... teenagers in the summer sleep so much I have no idea if there are symptoms of anemia

Just one more thing re the toilet. I think the number of times he goes is noteworthy but not so sure about the length of time he spends in there. If it has suddenly changed then yes but if the males in my house are anything to go off then lengthy sit down toilet visits are frustratingly the norm!
good point.. his Dad also hangs out a while... only about half as long, but still may be a male trait! Still 2-4 times each day seems like a lot to me, and the urgency he has to get there sometimes immediately after a meal does make me wonder
08-16-2014, 10:12 PM   #6
Malice67
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^^^ditto^^^ to all above. After my son was diagnosed at 16, I was constantly asking 'is everything okay?', etc., etc. Although he was patient with me, I could see it was starting to annoy him. After a few months, I finally made him a deal - I would stop asking if he was 'okay' if he promised to tell me if there was anything I might need to know. It's worked 'decently'... now that it's been 3 years and he's been fine for most of it, his telling me of symptoms has slacked off but, even if delayed, he does eventually come tell me. Perhaps if you explain the seriousness but then explain that, at his age, you are going to let him take some of the responsibility (by telling you symptoms), he may take 'ownership' of the job. In any case, at this age, it is tough when you know you know better but they're pulling away as they try to become more independent.

And, yes, I would let the doctor know of your concerns (even though you may get that sigh and eye roll from your son).
This may be the best approach -- especially if I remind him that since I have it he is more likely to get it (I know not THAT much more likely! but at least it might impress upon him the importance of letting me know)
08-17-2014, 06:34 AM   #7
Mehita
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Have you considered food intolerances? Celiac? Dairy? Does HE think there is a problem?
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08-17-2014, 11:15 AM   #8
Malice67
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He refuses to talk about it... "MOM!!! Leave me alone! "

but does tell me about once a week he is having stomach pains...
08-19-2014, 09:04 AM   #9
Nancye50
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Does he have a phone or device you could use an app to track his habits? So he's not having to talk poop with you, just storing the info in his phone? I'd let the new doc know ahead of time so he can ask doc to pt questions without your prompting at the time.
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