My 12 year old daughter is having some cramping and has had 2 white stools that look like 1 inch little pieces of paper and 1 with clumps of mucas. Since, she has had what looks like aregular stool. Should she see a doctor?
*I'm really sorry if this doesn't help you, but I'm hoping it does! I'm trying to share my story with people who are having similar problems. My life has changed so much since I found out what was wrong!*
Here is the problem I have been having: cramping, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting, followed passing small (one inch x one half inch) pod-like (chicklet-shaped, bean-shaped) objects in my stool, which always float and are filled with a white, powdery substance.
I would get very dizzy and nauseated, followed by very intense stomach cramps. Then I would have explosive diarrhea, almost completely liquid. It had a very strange musty smell, almost like mold or mildew. Really, really weird. This kind of thing kept happening. One night it was really bad and I was in the bathroom for hours. Then I started vomiting. The vomiting was the most violent I’ve ever experienced. It was awful.
That is when I saw them. Bright red pod-looking objects in the toilet. There were 2 or 3 of them, and they were about an inch long, a half inch wide, and a quarter inch thick. Kind of chicklet-shaped.
The outside of the pods varied in color. I rarely saw red ones after the really severe bout of vomiting. By this time I had seen white, orange, yellow, and even green ones. I saved one for the doctor’s office, then cut open the other one, scared to death of what I might find. The outside of it was soft and kind of see-through, like the consistency of a gummy bear. I saw that inside was a white powdery substance. And it looked like it was dry, as if the pod was completely sealed as I passed it! That freaked me out even more.
I told 2 doctors and my allergist. They looked at me like I was nuts and told me it was probably a pill casing, or some kind of intestinal problem. Finally, I saved a couple of the pods. I had never really examined one before, and I was horrified that it might have some kind of eggs or something in it. I mean, at this point, what could it be but some kind of parasite??
I brought the pod to my doc in a stool-sample container they had given me and asked them to please send it for testing. They did. The result? Negative. Um, WHAT?? Negative for what?? What IS it?? That’s all they could tell me. They couldn’t tell me what material it was or what was in it.
A few months ago, through some variation of gross keywords, I found a blog in which people were talking about the same symptoms, desperately searching for answers from one another!! (http://www.************.com/strange_spongy_white_object_in_stool_t127457.html)
I was so relieved that I started to cry at my computer.
At that point, I was pretty convinced it was something really terrible. Something incurable, that I would probably have to deal with until whatever-it-was killed me. The blog was the first thing I found that even remotely described what I was dealing with. But everyone was as scared as I was, or even more scared, and there weren’t really any answers. I read about people going to doctor after doctor and getting no answers. Some even got colonoscopies and CT scans, others had been to ER several times. I read and read, and followed many scary leads and links until I finally found one that made sense.
It was a link to the Google Book Search Page for the book Diseases of Infancy and Childhood by Luther Emmett Holt, John Howland, specifically a section called: “Curds” in the Stools.
The undigested masses appearing in the stools of infants taking milk are usually spoken of as “curds.” These may be small, soft and white, and may make up a large part of the loose stool. An excess of mucous is usually present. [This was true with me too!] Such masses are composed almost entirely of fat. There are also seen, but much less frequently, larger smooth hard masses of a yellowish-brown color, but white on section. They are usually present in small numbers in a stool, the rest of which might be quite normal. These hard or “bean curds,” so called for their resemblance to lima beans, are composed chiefly of protein, usually with an envelope of fat. They are undoubtedly formed in the stomach, where the casein coagulates in masses, some of which are so firm and hard that they pass the intestine without being digested. Curds of this description are rarely seen unless proportion of casein in the food is high.
Curds of the first variety, if numerous, call for a considerable reduction in the amount of fat. The large, smooth, hard curds, if numerous and persistent, may usually be made to disappear by boiling the milk. This causes the precipitation of the casein to occur in smaller masses which are more readily attacked by the gastric and intestinal secretions.
Here are more Google links leading to other sources I found that discuss casein curds (casein coagula). They, like the first source I cited, are written in the context of occurrence in infants in children. (I am still looking for data about this issue in adults.)
I have had a milk “allergy” since I was a child. Doctors told me that I was not lactose intolerant; I was allergic to milk. In fact, before I was diagnosed with the allergy, I would get so sick that I would wind up in the hospital, completely emaciated from not keeping any food down. And of course, my parents and my doctors were feeding me dairy to build my system back up, wondering why I could not get well.
Yet, when I had allergy testing done just earlier this year (the first time I’ve had it done as an adult), I tested negative for milk allergies! I made them try it again at a higher concentration. Still, nothing. My allergist told me that dairy issues were commonly misdiagnosed, and that my issues sounded more digestive then allergy-related.
I’ll be honest, I am still not clear on the difference between milk allergy and food intolerance and food sensitivity. But since I showed no allergic reaction to milk or casein, I definitely feel that “allergy” is the wrong word to describe what I have. From what I’ve read, allergic reactions tend to occur pretty quickly after you eat and tend to be severe, while the intolerance/sensitivities tend to occur during the digestive process. (After you eat, it takes about six to eight hours for food to pass through your stomach and small intestine, but complete elimination from the body typically takes 24-72 hours.) But I’ve also read that having allergies can lead to the digestive problems, so it goes round and round. And these issues are so often misdiagnosed so who knows WHAT we really have. We have to be our own detectives.
Here is an awesome site that discusses allergies/intolerance: http://www.theallergysite.co.uk/dairy.html
And here is a study about casein and milk allergies:
I found it very interesting that, in the first blog I found, many of the people afflicted by this didn’t drink milk or didn’t “do dairy at all.” That suggests that they have had problems with milk in the past, just as I have. But little did they (or I) know that avoiding dairy does not mean you are avoiding casein.
Following are some things I learned about good ol’ casein.
The Wikipedia entry on casein: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casein.
Okay, so now I knew a little bit about casein. I started to wonder why this started happening to me after I moved to TX. It had never happened before that (unless some pods went unnoticed, which is possible, but certainly it hadn’t gotten as extreme as it got here). I began to realize that my diet became a lot different here in the South. I had never had much Mexican food before but I found that I really liked it. I knew that cheese bothered me but I have always just dealt with that and had it in limited doses. I expect some discomfort and gas when I have dairy, so when I splurged, I made sure I was hanging out by myself that night. But what could have prompted such an extreme response?
Casein is a protein found in milk, but it is used in LOTS of other processed foods. It is often listed as sodium caseinate, calcium caseinate, or milk protein, whey, whey protein concentrate, and many more. The biggest and baddest source of casein (in my experience) is called Milk Protein Concentrate (MPC). This is basically the heroin of casein!! I read about it as my casein research linked to more and more articles.
You can find these casein proteins in food that is creamy. Scientists have isolated the specific proteins that give foods a creamy, dairy-like consistency. So when people buy “fake” cheese, they are actually getting those concentrated proteins. What was I buying late night in the grocery store? Kraft singles. Poison for me. Velveeta? Poison for me. QUESO (oh no!!)? Yup, definitely poison for me. Never, before I moved, had I ingested so much CONCENTRATED casein! I could always handle fresh dairy like small amounts of milk and tiny amounts of fresh cheeses now and then, but the concentrated proteins tear me up.
Here are some disturbing articles about the controversial use of MPC. Granted, the source is Family Farm Defenders, who are very biased, so use your own judgment. They slam Kraft products pretty bad. But I can testify that Kraft products make me sicker than just about anything else (Kraft Singles, Velveeta, and Kraft salad dressings).
And here’s another anti-MPC article:
Some more casein-containing foods that surprised me were: salad dressings (Not just the thick ones either! Creamy Italian used to be my fave but that can be chock full of it!), cheese flavored chips (Doritos, I will always remember you…), protein shakes and “health” drinks (watch out for these!! Slim-fast, Ensure, and a lot of protein body-building drinks are really packed with milk proteins. For those without this sensitivity, it is good protein. For the rest of us, not so much.), etc.
I really recommend reading this page for some info about where casein may be hiding: http://web.mit.edu/kevles/www/nomilk.html
Casein is also known for breaking down into casomorphins, which can have an opiate-like effect on the body. (http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-casein.htm) Hence, comfort foods!! A lot of fast food chains have been accused of using caseins intentionally for this purpose, profiting from the good feelings (and literally addictive qualities) of caseins.
Here’s an article that addresses this and other casein issues:
I have also noticed that many of my worst reactions have occurred around days that I drank beer. I read in couple of the resources that when you have intolerance and sensitivity, any extra strain on your digestive system can make your problems worse. Since alcohol wreaks havoc on even normal digestive systems, it’s a good idea limit your alcohol intake if you’ve had foods you shouldn’t have had, or vice versa. You will be sorry if you don’t.
I am still looking for info and modifying my diet as I find MORE things with casein. Ugh. It is crazy how much of it I was ingesting before. No wonder I couldn’t isolate what was bothering me. It was basically everything I ate! But knowing is way more than half the battle. Way more. I can’t possibly provide every piece of info that exists about casein and this health issue. So please research on your own. Please. For your issues, all this could be completely off base. But all I can tell you is what makes sense to me. And removing casein from my diet (or minimizing it, at least) has improved my life SO much!
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