How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Sohaib Your Own Question
Dr. Sohaib
Dr. Sohaib, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 5239
Experience:  MBBS, FCPS Experienced in all Medical Specialities
Type Your Medical Question Here...
Dr. Sohaib is online now

my 14 yr old son has a long history of diahorrea, constipation

Customer Question

my 14 yr old son has a long history of diahorrea, constipation and wind. he was treated for anaemia a month ago with iron tablets as he was getting dizzy, headachey and lethargic. He seemed to improve after 2 weeks of iron tablets. For past week he has had continuos upper abdominal pain - slightly to the left. Made worse after food. He has hardly eaten this week. He is exhausted and headachy. Gp treating with busipirone but this is not making any difference. My son also has aspergers.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Sohaib replied 4 years ago.

Hello and thank you for the question.
Answers given are for informational purposes only and are not meant to replace an exam by an in-person.

I am Dr. Sohaib, a practicing Internal Medicine Specialist and i will do my best to help you today.


He is suffering from chronic diarrhea and there are a number of reasons for this including;

1. Infections such as;

  • Amoebiasis
  • Giardiasis
  • Other causes of infective colitis
  • Intestinal tuberculosis

2. Diverticulitis

3. Bacterial Overgrowth

4. Other Malabsorption syndromes (coeliac disease, whipple disease etc)

5. Inflammatory bowel disease

6. Cancer (colon cancer or lymphoma)

Its great to hear that he has been treated successfully for his anemia with iron, but i wonder whether his doctor try to find out the underlying cause for anemia as well or not. Because if we simply replace the iron (which will correct anemia) and do not treat the cause for iron deficiency, the anemia will recur when the iron therapy is stopped.

Worm infestation is a common cause for iron deficiency but in his particular clinical context (chronic diarrhoea), this iron deficiency seems to be a part of over all malnourished state (secondary to malabsorption of iron and other essential nutrients) due to chronic diarrhoea.

I think sufficient duration has passed and its time now to have this evaluated in detail by a Gastroenterologist for a comprehensive clinical examination aided by tests such as;

1. Stool examination (3 sets) to look for ova and cysts of parasites. Also specialized staining can be ordered for parasites and to look for malabsorption.

2. Blood CBC/ESR, CRP and other inflammatory markers

3. Electrolytes, albumin, calcium levels

4. Colonoscopy and upper GI endoscopy with biopsy, aspirate for culture.

Other systemic causes like a thyroid disorder should also be ruled out.

The best way to proceed further is to have an appointment with a gastroenterologist, and discuss the above mentioned details for further clinical evaluation.

Keep him well hydrated.

A good nutritious and well balanced diet.

Both will be helpful.

I would have been worried too if i were at your place but let me reassure you that most of the conditions responsible for such symptoms are treatable and carry a good prognosis with appropriate management.

It was a pleasure assisting you and thank you very much for visiting us.

My goal is to provide you with Excellent Service - if satisfied with the response, Please do not forget to Rate my service.

If you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions.

Kindest Regards.