Daughter with chronic diarrhea

I'm sick to my stomach typing all of this out.  I will kind of give you a little background.  I was diagnosed with UC at 19.  Battled it on and off until I was 30 and then had J-pouch surgery.  It has been fairly smooth sailing since then.  (a few obstructions and pouchitis every now and again but overall my health is good)

 

My 20 year old daughter and I were in with an endocrinologist's office two days ago and she asked her about her constipation/diarrhea.  My daughter said she has had diarrhea as long as she can remember almost every bowel movement and sometimes three times a day.  There is no blood in her stool per my daughter.  This was 100% news to me.  

She has been struggling with a lot of issues lately, one of them extreme fatigue.  She had half of her thyroid removed at 15 due to an unusually large benign cyst.  I was assured that she wouldn't need thyroid meds that the half of the thyroid would be sufficient. Her TSH while still in the normal ranges has been steadily climbing since her 1/2 of thyroid removal.  She does have a lot of hypothyroid symptoms, fatigue, anxiety and depression, cold, rough skin and I can almost pinpoint it to the thyroid surgery.  We started having her tested for anemia and thyroid issues about six months post op due to fatigue.  This is why we know that her tsh levels have been climbing.  She is not anemic and never has been.  

I know that we should see a gastroenterologist however I just don't see that we are going to get it all in before she goes back to college.  I do not think she is gluten intolerant (Celiac) as she went through a significant period (probably about six months at least maybe a year) of not eating gluten and the bowel issues didn't change.  If this doesn't change, I'll get her into see a doctor after she's home for the summer.  

What are your thoughts on starting her on a trial of VSL #3 just to see if this helps her bowels?  Her gut flora has to be out of wack with chronic diarrhea.  She said she does get bloating and gas.  

Hypothyroidism generally causes constipation not diarrhea.  But I think that the diarrhea started around the time of the thyroid surgery...it was for sure after it.  Could the chronic diarrhea be causing some of the fatigue?  My gut says yes (no pun intended).

Any advice?  Anyone experienced any of these symptoms?  

Original Post

Hi,

First off, I am so sorry that this hit you out of left field...not sure why she didn't say anything to you sooner but sometimes kids just have their reasons for keeping things to themselves. (it is not a commentary on you as a parent but them and a teen)

I know a lot of people who are 'just built that way' and who never have formed stools. Period. That's it. Never did and never will and that is their normal. 3xs/day is not abusive either when stool is soft or liquidy and may never cause her any major problems other than a greater loss of mineral salts or trace elements to her system...Which may be the cause of all of her pseudo-thyroid symptoms. 

She might wish to try taking a supplement with the following trace elements: iron, iodinefluoridecopperzincchromiumseleniummanganese and of course potassium and magnesium. I am not sure if any of these are counter-indicated with thyroid problems...Check with the doc first. 

I have a k pouch so my output is liquidy. I empty out my pouch 8xs/day +/- so I understand the problem. When I do not supplement I get weak, tired, achy, depressed, impatient or teary, exhausted etc. 

This fall, coming back from the U.S. I had a killer teaching schedule...teaching over 13 different classes per semester with upwards of 750 students in all. 

I barely made it through the first week and then cried myself to sleep the whole next weekend...exhaustion. 

Then I hit my vitamin cabinet...pulled down the Calcium/magnesium/potassium/zinc (not sure if she is allowed zinc with thyroid problems) plus extra iron and B complex. 

Within 1 week I was bouncing to school and home at night. Sleeping like a baby too...

And I had had my blood work done twice in 6 months to be told that I was in perfect chemical condition...so sometimes 'perfect' for everyone else is not good enough for us...

Wishing her good luck

Sharon

 

 

I no longer do multi-vitamins...it is sort of like one-size-fits-all clothing...they really fit no one or a very small part of the population...for everyone else, they are either too big or too small.

I get my liquid B's from GNC or Vitamin World...they are tiny little bottles with eye droppers, 1 squirt under the tongue 1xs/Day gives me all of my B's.

I get huge bottles of Calcium with mag/zinc/vit D from Costco (2xs/day at night before bed)...that gives me my baseline but because I have a healing problem I take extra prescription D in ampule form...

Iron is a tiny little iron pill from GNC...I have seen the difference and it is practically miraculous...maybe because I do empty so often or because of all of the bowel resections I do not absorb as I should or just age or menopause...doesn't matter why...but things just don't seem to stick around (except for calories!!!)...

I also take fish oil. 2 huge capsules/day with meals (avoid mornings or she will burp fishoil all day!)...is it improving my joints? Not sure, that could be the physio but either way, I am better.

I don't think that it is a one-size miracle but whatever it is, I found a key...I am losing weight thanks to the fact that I am upping my protein, doing more exercise (thanks to the increased energy) and working harder...my brain fog is lifting too...

My GP agrees that our case is special and that we have different needs than 'normally plumbed' people...so she allows me to play with my supplements and agrees that they are in fact helping me.

Don't fix what's not broken but when it is you need to play around until you find the remedy.

The other thing that I do do is eat Greek yoghurt daily especially at work (I am too lazy to go out for lunch with everyone else and too cheap to buy it daily). I take in 2 plain Greek yoghurts, 1 fruity type, a banana, some whole grain crackers and I graze throughout the day. It gives me just enough to survive and not so much that my pouch is trouble...but the yoghurt really helps my output stay stable.

She might try and see if it helps her too.

Sharon

 

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