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Child has frequent bowel movement, vomiting and weight loss. Underlying cause?

Dec 2012
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Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2012
Answered : 1704 Questions
I have a 10 year old son who has lots of bowel movements with occasional vomiting for about a two month's now. He has lost weight and his appetite durning this process too. He has not had a fever or any severe stomach pain to this point. Was wondering if you had any ideas. We took him to his peditrician and he thinks it might be anxeity. I dont think so he has been a worry wart his whole life and never had a problem like this before. Thank you for your help
Posted Tue, 26 Mar 2013 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Nsah Bernard 15 minutes later

Thanks for posting on XXXXXXX

I can see you are a worried parent. I will like to know how many bowel movements he gets daily and also present the characteristic of stool i.e soft or water, color, odor, mucoid etc. Has this BMs persisted daily for 2 months or they are on & off?
My impressions will depend strongly on the answers you present up.
If what your are trying to describe is a case of chronic diarrhea (frequent daily watery or soft stool for more than 1 month), then serious close examination and laboratory test need to be considered. This could be a case of an inflammatory bowel syndrome or food intolerance. It will hardly be a case of infectious diarrhea (most infection are acute or may persist and will rapidly drain the child since he would be loosing a lot of fluids).
Since your son has lost a lot of weight it will be wise for your health care practitioner to start considering oral rehydration therapy plus proper nutrition since this has obviously lead to a state of malnutrition.
Stool exams + culture, colonoscopy, complete blood tests after physical exams by the doctor or pediatrician need to be considered. Non the less, i still feel his pediatrician is a better judge of the situation since he can see and feel your son and also can interview you properly. If you are still very worried, please take time off to go and pay him a visit and try to give him more information about your child's home condition including hygiene, feeding habits and type of food etc.

Hope I was helpful and give me feedback with questions if you have any.
Thank you
Dr Nsah
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Child has frequent bowel movement, vomiting and weight loss. Underlying cause? 9 minutes later
He has anywhere from 5 to 13 BM's a day. It started off as diarrhea mostly liquid for just under the first week. From then on it has been really soft, normal in color and odor. When he takes diarrhea medication is when its only five times a day, if not it is anywhere from 10 to 15 times a day.
Answered by Dr. Nsah Bernard 9 minutes later
Thanks for updating,

Then this is a serious case of chronic diarrhea that needs to be investigated first starting from infectious causes to autoimmune causes etc.
As I earlier mentioned the pediatrician/doctor will have to run a stool exams +culture (which will determine the specific causative germ-if any and also identify the antibiotics sensitive to the microbe). Other tests such as ESR, CRP, CBC, Widal, glycemia, urinalysis etc and also colonoscopy will have to be done.
You need presently on your side begin oral rehydration therapy for his age at least 2-3 litres daily and give him sufficient meals, avoid sweet beverages/fruit juice.
Then get to see his pediatrician as soon as possible if not see another doctor to assist with the situation.

Hope I was helpful.
Dr Nsah
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Child has frequent bowel movement, vomiting and weight loss. Underlying cause? 14 minutes later
Thank for yor help. I am on the phone with his Dr's. office to get him back in. Thank you for your quick response and advice.
Answered by Dr. Nsah Bernard 30 minutes later
You are welcome.
I welcome your update after speaking with your doctor.
If you are satisfied with my answers, please do take some time to accept my answer.
Thank you
Dr Nsah
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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