Crohn's Disease Forum » Parents of Kids with IBD » Constipation and Crohns?


 
02-14-2012, 12:44 PM   #1
kimmidwife
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Constipation and Crohns?

Hi I was just wondering about something and I was wondering if any of you know. Is severe constipation a sign of crohns? I am constantly worried that one of my other kids has crohns. My youngest child has to take miralax or she cannot go to the bathroom. If we forget to give it to her for a few days she will get impacted and we have to disempact her (not fun). When she was a baby she also had very strange stools. They were always green and smelled abnormal as well. Once she started solid foods the constipation issues started. It is just always in the back of my mind could these be signs of crohns or put her at risk for developing crohns? She did have an issue with bloody stools for a while but it turned out she had strep in her behind. (same as strep throat something little kids get) Once she had antibiotics the blood went away.
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02-14-2012, 01:19 PM   #2
DustyKat
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Consitpation can be a sign of Crohn's, particularly when disease is higher in the bowel. Ileal disease can produce constipation due the degree of narrowing that inflammation and scarring can produce. That would not necessarily be consistent with the type of impaction you are talking about though, perhaps she has a functional problem.

In view of Caitlyn's diagnosis I would most likely start to pursue answers.

Dusty. xxx
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02-14-2012, 02:19 PM   #3
Tesscorm
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Yes, it's probably a good idea to have it checked considering Caitlyn's illness. However, when Stephen was much younger (maybe 6, 7 years, give or take a year??), he used to get constipated. (Yes, he does have Crohns now but I don't think this was related.) It used to cause him quite a bit of pain. The first time it happened, just the bouncing in the car to the doctor elicited groans!, the doctor suggested a glycerine suppository (just an OTC med) and said that Stephen should hold it in for 10-15 minutes and then go to the bathroom. It working amazingly! As soon as he'd go, the pain would instantly disappear. This happened to him maybe 5, 6 times over a couple of years and then stopped. I think it was caused because he would be playing and would 'hold' it so he could continue playing and, due to his eating habits, ate very little fibre.

Perhaps it was a very early sign of Crohns?? But, in this case, I really don't think it was...
02-14-2012, 02:56 PM   #4
ctrl z
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I have mainly had problems with constipation so I'd say yes, it could be a sign of Crohn's.
02-14-2012, 03:07 PM   #5
kimmidwife
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Thanks for your answers I think I will ask about it at Caitlyn's next visit.
02-14-2012, 03:44 PM   #6
imaboveitall
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Heck YES, it can be!
I have read more than a few stories on this very forum (and elsewhere) wherein the pt presented w/constipation, and whenever I said to any doc that V's sx didn't seem like IBD as she never had diarrhea, they would say, "what about constipation?". Her stools are always normal, though, which in just the few days I've been reading this forum, seems to be not that rare, nor is having no GI sx at all. I find that kind of fascinating.

At risk of seeming weirdly fixated on fecal lactoferrin, ask for it to be done on a stool specimen of the constipated child. Quick, easy, noninvasive and RELIABLE (according to V's doc) for inflammation in the gut and nowhere else. He loves this test, has ordered it done every two weeks hence to assess her response to Humira.
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02-14-2012, 04:49 PM   #7
imwood
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Rosalyn doesn't get can't-go-for-days constipation, but she has the strain and push for long periods of time red-face, eyes-watering type of constipation with bowel movements, most days.
She only gets diarrhea for a stretch of half a day or 2 days at most, every few weeks. The rest of the time, it's the constipation & straining.
02-14-2012, 05:58 PM   #8
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imaboveitall,
I am going to ask about that lactoferrin I have never heard of it.
02-14-2012, 06:14 PM   #9
imaboveitall
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Kim, nor had I prior to her getting sick. I knew about sed rate and CRP, but had never heard of this. Her pediatrician actually was the first to order it when she was seen at the beginning and the GI has always done it often.
It measures a byproduct of WBC's. If present in stool it indicates gut inflammation, unequivocally.

When hers was sky high as it always is but she felt great as she always did until Oct, I asked if there were any other possible reason for it to be elevated in feces other than gut inflammation, and was told no, it is specific for inflammation in the gut.
NOT specific as to the REASON for the inflammation, that is, a gut that is inflamed for reasons other than Crohn's would also have high lactoferrin, so it must be done in conjunction with other diagnostics in a pt not yet diagnosed. But when seeking an answer as to whether inflammation is present, as a precursor to doing further diagnostics, it can answer that part of the question easily.

Julie
02-14-2012, 06:25 PM   #10
kimmidwife
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Thanks Julie,
I am going to ask about it for her.
03-12-2012, 10:26 PM   #11
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Hi All,
So Sophia my little one had a few bad days of not wanting to eat and complaining and complaining that her tummy hurts. No fever, diarrhea. (she actually had normal bowel movements just a little more frequent. Today she was pretty much back to her normal self except for complaining this morning that her legs hurt. I spoke to the nurse at Caitlyn's GI and she said she will speak to him about seeing her. I am sooo worried and hoping I am just crazy and she is really fine. ABout that lactoferrin test the nurses said they never heard of it. I did read up on it and interestingly you cannot do it on a nursing child. Even though Sophia is 3 I am still nursing her because I read prolonged nursing may help prevent crohns disease. I had planned to stop but decided to continue because of her stomach issues.
03-12-2012, 10:37 PM   #12
Tesscorm
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Good luck Kim!!! I truly hope it turns out not to be Crohns! Can you do a calprotectin test? From what I've read here, the tests/results are similar.

Will keep you in my thoughts!!
03-12-2012, 10:51 PM   #13
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Thanks Tess, I looked up that test it sounds promising. I am sooo stressed out I just drank a half glass of wine to try to relax!
03-12-2012, 11:20 PM   #14
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Gosh, just down the other half! . But, I know... Once your mind starts racing, its almost impossible to stop it! I hope you can get her in quickly and, hopefully, all that will come out of it will be peace of mind!
03-13-2012, 06:12 AM   #15
imaboveitall
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Yes, lactoferrin is secreted in breast milk (and tears) so on a breastfed child may have skewed levels.
So sorry to hear this, God I hope it's just IBS. That can cause similar symptoms to IBD.
03-13-2012, 06:17 PM   #16
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The nurse from Caitlyn's doctor called. She has an appointment next week. (which I did not know about I think it was put in by accident) ANyway she said she mentioned to the doctor about Caitlyns sister and that we can discuss it at the visit. I will keep you posted.
03-14-2012, 04:21 AM   #17
laura32583
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yup....thats how i got diagnosed. was in the hospital because i hadnt had a bowel movement in over a month! did a colonoscopy and found my crohns.
03-14-2012, 05:25 AM   #18
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They may know it as fecal calprotectin. That's what Claire's doc orders along the labs.
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10-17-2012, 11:40 AM   #19
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Hi all,
It has been a while since I updated about my other daughter Sophia. She was doing really well until about two weeks ago she started complaining frequently about her stomach hurting. The weird thing is her bowel movements have been much better. Less constipation and she has not needed the miralax in a while. She does seem to go a little more frequently but mostly normal movements. No blood, occacional loose stools. Anyway this morning something weird happened with her. She had a very strange heart beat. Her heart was skipping a beat, then getting irregular for a few beats then back to normal for about eight to ten beats then did it again. I called the pediatrician and they got her in right away with a different doctor not our usual one. She said young kids ( she is four now) can have such things and it can be normal but to be safe we need her to see the cardiologist and she got her in for an appt next week. I also mentioned about the stomach aches and the history of crohns in her sister. She asked did I want to take her right to the GI as well. I suggested why don't we check a fecal calprotectin first and see what it comes back? She liked that idea, once I explained what the test was as she had never heard of it before. I got the lab slip and the cup. I am very pleased about this as I didn't want to be seen a mom who panics at every little thing but she was really sweet and asked me to ask the GI next week if it is a good idea to screen all the kids in the family with this test to kind of get a baseline because there is such a high familial association( I think it is a 30% chance of a sibling developing crohns). I really liked her and am going to try to see her from now on.
10-17-2012, 03:45 PM   #20
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Doesn't it just make you feel better when they understand, my younger son was having lots of tummy issues, stomachaches, diarrehea, etc. and with a brother and father with Crohn's you can understand why I was extremely worried but the pediatrician just poo-pooed it as me being overly concerned. Needless to say he retired and the new doc who just happens to have UC, when I once again voiced my worries and saying what had been going on for the past year was just as concerned as I was and scheduled blood tests to check for markers for Crohn's, celiac, etc. and a referral to Jack's GI. All his tests came back normal (YEAH!) but he is lactose intolerant just like me. Good thing is he is on the doc's radar now and they are always asking how the intestinal issues are going.
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10-17-2012, 04:11 PM   #21
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Sorry to hear about your little girl i hope she's ok.
10-18-2012, 05:59 AM   #22
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It is so fab to hear that you happened upon a doc that listens to and validates your concerns! That is priceless!

I do hope all is well with Sophie Kim. I will be thinking of you both over the next little while and wishing and hoping that all is normal.

Dusty. xxx
10-20-2012, 10:08 PM   #23
kimmidwife
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We dropped off the sample for the fecal calprotectin yesterday morning. Does anyone know approx how many days it takes to get the results?
10-20-2012, 10:39 PM   #24
my little penguin
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Ours took about a week to get results back the two times we did.
Beware kids under 9 are "normal" with a level less than 160 I believe.
Over 9 the level drops to 50 for non Ibd kids .

Also if the disease is in the small bowel the number may still be normal .
Since constipation and Ibd tends to be small bowel related .
If the colon is affected then you get diarrhea and high fecal caloprotectin numbers.

Hugs
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10-21-2012, 03:37 AM   #25
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Sorry, for some reason I am just catching up with this thread. Hope your little one is feeling ok at the moment, good luck with the GI and cardiologist. That's good that they will be seeing her quite quickly. As for the calprotectin - ours takes about 4 to 6 weeks to come back, but not sure whether that's just the med system over here or whether it takes that long to culture whatever it is they need. Waiting for Amy's but only handed it in a week ago so we have a long wait!
10-21-2012, 10:33 AM   #26
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Sorry all my son was fooling around with my iPad and posted that on it.

Last edited by kimmidwife; 10-21-2012 at 11:26 AM. Reason: Son was playing with my iPad
11-03-2012, 07:45 PM   #27
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Finally got the results of the fecal calprotectin yesterday the doctor said it was normal. My daughter has been having more stomach aches though. Also after having a BM she has been having blood on the toilet paper and complaining her butt hurts her. I looked and don't see any fissures or anything I am wondering what is causing this? Does anyone know if it is possible to have an internal fissure that you can't see from the outside?
11-04-2012, 05:47 AM   #28
DustyKat
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I'm so sorry to hear that your daughter is continuing to have issues Kim. I love normal results but they are of little comfort when problems persist.

Sometimes fissures can be very difficult to see with the naked eye but they are characteristic of the tear being largely external in nature rather than internal.

I hope you are able to find answers soon hun and your daughter can find relief from the symptoms she is having.

Dusty. xxx
11-04-2012, 05:59 AM   #29
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That's a shame she is still having the stomach pain, especially since the test was fine. I'm sure it's possible to have a fissure internally - I would imagine it would be quite hard to heal so it's possible the blood is just coming from just inside. Never had to deal with a fissure, but maybe there is a cream or suppository she could put inside to help?
11-04-2012, 10:17 AM   #30
my little penguin
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Hugs
Another one here with consistently normal results.
We still had issues until DS had the right meds
Has she been seen by a Gi ?
If not I would take her.
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