Fecal Statis in Children: Causes, Symptoms, and Prevention
Have you ever heard of Fecal Statis in children? I haven’t before Enzo got it last August.
Our hospital ordeal last August..
It only started with a tummy ache after he got home from school. He was active and playful the entire day when he suddenly complains about his stomach. It was a usual thing for him cause for the longest time we thought he was acidic. So, hubby and I thought it was just another cause of his usual acid attack. We did our usual first aid when he was having his attacks: probiotics, water, and banana.
Until the second day where he got high fever in the evening and entirely lost his appetite. He would eat but then vomit it after ten to fifteen minutes. After all our home remedies we decided to bring him to the hospital.
After doing a urinalysis, the doctors found that there is a minuscule of blood in his urine but diagnosed it was only because of his high fever. They also saw high traces of ketone in the urine signaling an infection. So after that, they sent us home and gave us antacid and antibiotic for his acid and his infection.
We thought he was cured..
After a week on the antibiotic, he was well again so we decided to let him go to school. Unfortunately, his fever went up again so we had to rush him back to the hospital. We did not know what was causing the fever anymore. The doctors did not know what was causing the fever. They said he has an infection but couldn’t pinpoint where the infection was. It was a scary moment for me, hearing the doctors unsure of their answer. What they suggested was for us to get a specialist and look at Enzo’s stomach and kidney.
The Pedia – Gastro Ordeal.
We decided to seek a second opinion from Makati Medical Center. It was a good decision for us. Upon seeing the lab tests from the previous hospital, the doctor immediately diagnosed it as UTI infection. She states it is never normal for urine to have blood in it. So, he prescribed some medicines again (which Enzo loved, btw, best for kids) and asked us to get some lab tests done just to check on Enzo’s entire abdomen and kidney.
DIAGNOSIS: Fecal Statis/Impaction
After doing the abdomen supine x-ray, the results showed a build-up of feces in Enzo’s large intestines. This was what was causing his stomach ache, and acid as gas are already building up in his abdomen.
FECAL STATIS/IMPACTION is a severe bowel condition where a hard, dry mass of stool becomes stuck in the color or rectum. This immobile mass will block the passage and cause a buildup of waste, which a person may be unable to pass. (Cadman, B., 2018)
Symptoms of Fecal Statis/Impaction:
- Irregular bowel movement
- Small or pea-sized stool
- Painful abdomen
- Feeling of fullness and not wanting to eat
- Unintentional weight loss
As we learned about these symptoms, we noticed these were all true for Enzo. It was the perfect explanation for his acid attacks, being underweight, and sometimes losing his appetite.
But what causes fecal statis/impaction in children:
One of the causes is constipation. Constipation can make the stool hard and dry. As per Enzo’s cause, our doctor explained that his large intestines move slower than usual due to lack of water intake. It then makes his bowel movement slower as well.
Managing Fecal Statis/Impaction in Children
Our doctor advised us on using a suppository to help him release all the stool that was built-up in his rectum or colon. He is also on a month use of laxatives to help his stool become softer and easier to release. To stay hydrated he was advised to drink a minimum of 1.5 liters of water everyday. He is also on probiotic every day to help his gut become healthier. It is such a relief for us to see that he no longer has discomfort in his tummy and in his bowel movement.
For further prevention, here is some home care we can do:
- Increase fiber in a child’s diet. Add fruits, vegetables, cereals, and grains in their meals.
- Fruit juices like prune and pineapple can be helpful for them.
- Teach our child not to wait to have a bowel movement. Try to train your child to a regular routine.
- Being active and doing exercises regularly can also help in reducing fecal statis/impaction.
- Drink plenty of water everyday.
- Using the bathroom when the need arises instead of waiting. It might be that our kids would prefer to play or be with their friends that pee or poo, so we need to always remind them to go to the bathroom instead of waiting until they really need to go.