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Hard Yellow stool in child, switched to soya milk, high milk intake. Cause?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2004
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My 21 month old son has yelow stool. He has had it for months now. I just thought it was because of his high milk intake. He was drinking up to 32oz a day of milk. He eats and is very healthy. He has no yellowing of the eyes nor skin. He is around 37 lbs. I recently switched him to soy milk, I noticed his stools hardened and his stomach is not nearly as big from gas. Although the consistency is good now the color is still yellow. His pediatrician is in the midst of changing offices and will not be able to see him for another week and a half. What could it be?
Posted Mon, 30 Apr 2012 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Sujeet N Charugulla 4 hours later
Hello and thanks for your query.

I shall make an effort to provide you with good professional recommendations specific to your questions.

Yellow colour to the stools is a normal feature imparted by the presence of biliary pigments from the gall bladder; the intensity depends on the fat content. The bile pigments secreted in his gut are proportional to the fat content of his diet. Milk does have fat which needs more bile pigments to absorb it and metabolize too. As a child of that age and considering his milk intake which is quite good, this is sounds normal to me.

You would need to watch out if he has poor feeding, fever, other colour than yellow to the stool rather. And definitely are not the issues at hand for now. Even if the consistency changes, that is due to altered water intake and would not mean anything big if no other symptoms co-exist.

Let me know if I have missed out any other concern in your question.

Yet again, I duly appreciate your query to me, I do hope that you have found something useful to help you and I shall be glad to answer any further apprehensions.


Dr Sujeet N Charugulla, MBBS, MD
Consultant Physician.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Hard Yellow stool in child, switched to soya milk, high milk intake. Cause? 4 hours later
So should we put him back on milk? I have noticed he is sleeping through the night now with the soy milk but I don't want to lower his amount of calcuim intake if he needs it. His dad is 6 ft 2in and 260lbs, so I know his growing is perfect. We had a blood count done a few months ago and it was perfect also. His peditrician said to keep doing what we were doing. I have notcied that his stools have become less, they were up to 5 times a day. Now we are down to 1 or two and his belly is not swollen. If we stay on milk what can I do to make sure he gets enough calcuim or is that enough?
Answered by Dr. Sujeet N Charugulla 5 hours later
Thanks for the response.

As your pediatrician has advised already, I would want you to do the same too. Soy milk certainly has Calcium though in lower amounts than milk, but not so low to cause immediate deficiency of calcium.

Perhaps, as he gets growing you can try alternating between both before going on milk again. But, that needs gradual, not in the short term.

And as the reports are normal, you have nothing to worry. Just follow your doctor.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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