WARNING – THIS POST TALKS A LOT ABOUT BABY POO
I honestly thought we were done with messy diapers, smelly leaky poos and changing clothes (hers and mine) several times a day now that Baby B is over 12m old. I was so wrong.
Last week, Baby B had her third bout of what seemed like diarrhoea in 45 days. Since the first round, I questioned myself as to what was causing it, I couldn’t come up with an answer. We have fortunately not dealt with severe diarrhoea in the past unless Baby B was teething and that also corrected itself in a day or two without meds by tapering on certain foods and adding more binding foods in her diet. Unfortunately, this time was different – there was no change in her diet, no oil added, no chilli and neither did she have any unusual foods by mistake. We even considered lactose intolerance but she’s already been on soy milk because of her eczema and possible milk intolerance. She was going 9-10 times a day (without exaggeration) and all of this happens when our paediatrician is away on holiday for a month!
The first thing diarrhoea leads to in toddlers I believe is a diaper rash. For us, Baby B didn’t have much protection to begin with as her bum skin had already started peeling off two days prior to this onset when she was left to nap in a dirty diaper one afternoon while I was away. The result, of course, was not pleasant. For 5 days, we had a screaming, crying, trembling toddler in our arms. Baby B had the mother of all rashes (from what I have seen so far) and as the diarrhoea progressed that eventually turned into a bleeding bum. The entire area was so flared up and she cried in pain. At times she even banged her head against the floor and the wall and went ‘nah nah nah’ saying no more please.
We tried everything to soothe the flare up – by leaving her nappy-less, putting on layers of destin, her anti-fungal ointment and none seemed to help. All this while I was in consulting with my GP (he is 81years old and I have been seeing him since I was 5 years old). We had a stool examination done and it was all clear. I was going crazy trying to figure out what was going on and having Baby B’s paed out of town wasn’t helping any bit.
On day 5, I couldn’t bear to see her like that anymore. Her bum continued to burn, the skin was peeling off and there was blood when we tried to dab it clean. I was in tears looking our munchkin howling in pain. We finally took her to over to my GP to have her examined in person. He suggested that this was a result of ‘acidic poo’ which would burn her skin every time she pooped. His prescription comprised of an antibiotic to control the stools, anti-fungal powder, and a mixture of creams (anti-fungal, the rash cream and lactocalamine lotion). We tried that for one day and it seemed to get a tad bit better but I we weren’t seeing the progress we were hoping for.
I spent that all evening researching on acidic poo. What it was? What caused it? How can Baby B suddenly have acidic poo when nothing seems to have changed in her diet?
For me, diarrhoea means begin binding foods like rice, pasta, potato, bread…anything starchy right? And in fruits stay clear of citrus fruits and add pomegranate, apples etc to your diet while heaping on probiotics like yoghurt, buttermilk etc. Now to control acidic poo and looses there is very very little overlap in the diet for someone suffering from diarrhoea and someone having acidic poo (NOTE: Acidic poop is not the same as acidity). Most of the food items I’ve typed above to get diarrhoea under control is apparently acidic (according to this chart below I found on ). So now what do I do?
It seems that food’s acid or alkaline-forming tendency in the body has nothing to do with the actual pH of the food itself. For example, lemons are very acidic, however the end-products they produce after digestion and assimilation are alkaline so lemons are alkaline-forming in the body. Likewise, meat will test alkaline before digestion but it leaves acidic residue in the body so, like nearly all animal products, meat is classified as acid-forming. (http://www.trans4mind.com/nutrition/pH.html)
Uff – so very confusing! DH was super sweet and told me that it was great that I was trying to get to the root cause of the problem but whatever was happening to Baby B is very recent. Even though I was saying that her diet had not changed over the last few weeks, at least more than 90% of the diet was same and she has been thriving well, so there is no need to get bogged down with all this nutritional jargon and take drastic measures or change her diet. And he was right. We decided to do what we thought was right and go with our gut.
Fortunately, the next day I got hold of our paed’s good friend who visits the same hospital as we do and she also happens to be one of our close friend’s paed for several years. We went to see her right away on Day 6 and she put our minds to rest and she truly seemed God sent at that point in time. She had more or less the same prognosis as our GP besides the acidic poo. When I explained to her that nothing had changed, she suggested that it might just be an airborne infection – something I didn’t know happened with toddler diarrhoea. When I asked her about the acidic poo? She responded saying “What did you expect? Alkaline poo?”
In addition, she had Baby B’s stool re-tested and it came back positive for pus cells and mucous indicating we were right on track with the antibiotics and she was clearly suffering from a bacterial infection. The one and major difference between her recommendation and my GP’s recommendation was for the diaper rash. She too suggested a mixture of different creams and ointments and asked us to past it on Baby every time she ‘went’. It was a magical cream because Baby B didn’t twitch once with the cream mixture – it actually seemed to have a calming soothing and maybe even cooling effect on her. In this Mumbai heat of 36 degrees Celsius, I didn’t once hesitate to lap on a layer on her backside several times in a day and within less than 24hours of doing this, we could see her bum / rash healing already (even though the diarrhoea was still getting under control).
So what did this magic cream comprise of?
1. Nadoxin Cream (Nadifloxacin)
2. Fucidin Cream
3. Lignox Gel (Lignocaine)
4. Rashfree (Zinc Oxide “Desitin” equivalent)
5. Candid Cream (Clotrimazole)
I just mixed one tube of each of these into one sterilised container and it did the trick!
As far as her diet is concerned. Nothing changes…well, at least for now.