My son, who is turning 8 in a couple days, has been experiencing random vomiting (without fever or diarrhea) every 2 to 3 weeks for the past little while. Usually, it's just a couple times he gets sick during the day or night and only lasts 24 hours or less, but he has been getting really sick during the night for the past 4 nights. It's very odd because he doesn't appear to be sick at all, except for when he is vomiting or having diarrhea and he has only been vomiting in the middle of the night or early morning hours (1 am the first day, 4 am the next, etc). During the day, he appears to be fine, he has no fever and is eating, drinking, playing, but having really bad diarrhea to the point where he's had a couple accidents. Also, I know this sounds super gross (this is a HealthBoard afterall) but his vomit/diarrhea smells awful. I know what you're thinking, "doesn't vomit & diarrhea always smell awful?" and I do agree, but it smells much different than anything I've ever smelled...like something rotten or decaying. So strange!
Could this be some wacky stomach flu bug that I've never heard of? Any time he's had the stomach flu in the past, it has always been accompanied by a fever or other flu symptoms.
The first time I took him to the Dr's, they thought that perhaps he had eaten something bad and maybe had food poisoning. They told me to keep him hydrated and it should pass within a day. Two days later I took him back because he was still vomiting at night and having bad diarrhea during the day. They then said that perhaps it was a flu virus and that if he's been sick already for three days he should be getting better any time now, that is until I told them that he had been vomiting randomly other times in the past couple months. I had never brought him in for it because it always lasted less than 24 hours and then he was better. At that point the Dr. looked baffled, but still stuck to the "flu virus" diagnosis.
I guess what I'm wondering is if anybody has experienced similar symptoms, either personally or with their children. I am worried that he may have some sort of blockage in his stomach or intestines, an acid reflux problem, or a digestive problem...nothing in his diet has really changed or anything like that.
Please help! If you have any advice at all to offer, it's much appreciated.
I don't even know where to turn or what tests we should have done etc. I am so frustrated.
Also, he's on a medication called Adderall for ADHD. I've spoken with his specialist and he feels that this is not a side effect of his medication. I agree; he's been taking this med for a couple months with no side effects so far.
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I would see about seeing a gastro (GI) specialist. Could be reflux, which is the first thing I thought of when you mentioned vomiting. But that wouldn't address the foul stool issue. Has he been on antibiotics? I know there's something called C.Diff. that can cause foul smelling stools, pain....
Thanks for the advice. We're now on day five of the vomiting & diarrhea. The vomiting is still only happening once per day and during the night. Went to the Dr. yesterday (again) and this time he thinks it may be a parasite or something else, I think it may have been the C. Diff you are talking about...I had to take a couple stool samples and drop them off at the lab.
I will have the results of the samples mid-next week...if he's still sick at that point and the results show nothing abnormal then they will send him for a stomach ultrasound. If nothing comes of that, he'll have to go get scoped at Children's Hospital. I will be asking for a referral to a GI specialist if this doesn't get better soon.
Well, nearly a week since my last post. The vomiting and diarrhea stopped finally on Sunday...one week after the symptoms began. On Sunday his stomach was still hurting quite a bit and even though he wasn't vomiting he kept running to the washroom thinking he had to...I finally had enough. We went to the emergency room and, after a 5 hour wait, finally saw a Dr. and had a urinalysis, blood test and stomach x-ray done. All three of them came back as "normal".
The results of the stool sample came in just yesterday. Turns out my son tested positive for the parasite Blastocystis Hominis. Our Dr. couldn't really tell us much about this parasite, except for that it can last for weeks, months, even years...there's no way to tell. He also said that they do not recommend treating the parasite with medications unless the symptoms come back and stay back. Why? I am not too sure, but he said something along the lines of the medication not being 100% effective and also it being a fairly strong drug/dosage that may be harmful to your body...pretty much, endless diarrhea is worse than the drug, but the drug is worse than the parasite without symptoms. I would like to know why leaving this parasite in my sons body is a better option than treating it with medication. Also, is anybody aware of a natural way to try and rid him of this parasite?
I've done some online research and have found many places that say that it's hard to determine how people even contract this parasite...is this true? I would like to try and figure out how this happened, as well as prevent myself, my husband and step-daughter from contracting the same illness.
I hope you see this since you posted back in Feb. I'm researching all over to find out whats wrong w/my husband, can't find answers. He was in hospital for a week throwing up, diarreah & started w/high temp. They took all kinds of tests & found nothing, that was last week. He thought he was feeling better now this morning started in again. Did you ever get a diagnosis for your son, I hope so. I do know that Dr's don't do well when dealing w/parasites. Thanks Joy
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Yes, the diagnosis for my son was a parasite called blastocystis hominis. They didn't end up treating him for it though, because the medication they use can be quite harsh on the liver, especially that of a young child. His symptoms did eventually go away, and the Dr. said that, as long as they don't come back, he should be fine.
Good luck with your husband! I just hate mystery illnesses!
I feel your pain, I raised my grandson since age 3 & he got lyme disease, what a fight we had w/that for yrs almost killed him. That one never goes away just lays dorment, stress can bring it up which scares me he's 22 now married w/a baby & has so much stress! I will keep it in mind about the parasites, I had thought of that but Dr's don't know anything about it.