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Old 07-11-2004, 09:59 PM   #1
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Red face Happy 9yr old boy w/stomach aches and very low weight gain

Hi there. My son has been experiencing stomach aches for a very long time (over 1 year off and on). I have called the pediatrician about it, and they always say to make a chart of what he is eating...for a month before they will see him for a "stomach evaluation." They don't seem very interested in helping him...

However, I've still been in this office for other "sick visits" (strep throat, etc..) and talked to the pediatrician about this. During one appt., the pediatrician thought it was sinus drainage... During another appt., the pediatrician thought my son must be constipated. On another appt, my son had strep throat, with no fever and no sore throat (just the stomach ache). My son doesn't have stomach aches every day, but pretty frequently. He goes through bouts where sometimes his stomach hurts at least once or twice every day...lasts a good while... my son tells me that it hurts, and sometimes he doesn't tell me, b/c he's just trying to deal with it. Today his stomach hurt all day...it was worse than normal.

He is 9 years, 10 months old. Height: somewhere betw. 4'10" and 5' tall (I'll have to measure him tomorrow). Weight: He weighs 75 pounds. He's only gained 3 pounds in a year (is that normal??). He is very skinny. He also doesn't eat much. He had surgery for an inguenal hernial when he was 2 years old. He's healthy otherwise.

Do any of you have any experience with this, or have any ideas? I am definately going to call a specialist, but was wondering if you could give me any ideas of what I'm dealing with here in the meantime....PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE...I'd like any comments as to what this could be....
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Last edited by kippy6; 07-14-2004 at 07:54 PM.

 
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Old 07-12-2004, 12:01 PM   #2
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Re: Happy 9yr old boy w/stomach aches and very low weight gain

considering the "stomach aches" and low weight gain, i am thinking that he probably has an issue with his intestinal track. Definetely see a specialist so that you can get this worked out. it is probably something that can be treated and then he will be as good as new. just a side note, if you ever feel like you are not getting a straight answer from a doctor, please go and see someone else. You can always get a second opinion from someone else so please don't feel like you are betraying your regular doctor. you have to look out for yourself and the health of your family. I am not saying this to make you feel guilty at all, but if you would have gotten a second opinion a year ago, maybe your son would not have had to go through this last year of stomach aches. i'm sure he will be happy that you are doing the right thing now though, good luck and let us know how it goes.

 
Old 07-12-2004, 08:07 PM   #3
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Re: Happy 9yr old boy w/stomach aches and very low weight gain

Thanks so much for your reply. I don't get offended easily, so that's okay. I grew up with parents who were hypochondriacs (they still are), and I think that I have a tendency to wait a little too long on some things for fear that maybe I'm being a hypochondriac too. My brother used to complain of stomach aches, and my parents pushed and pushed until the doctor put him in the hospital to evaluate him. Nothing was ever found wrong with him. I think my brother just didn't like school. However, I suppose since my son is still having stomach aches even during the summer that his situation could be different. I guess I want to be 100% sure something is wrong before I take him in. I also want to do research to make sure I have my facts straight so that I go in informed. For example, is gaining only 3 pounds in one year normal for a boy his size?

Today he didn't complain about his stomach hurting at all...and it's days like this that make me think that I shouldn't take him in...how can they evaluate him if he comes in on a day that his stomach isn't hurting? I just feel like I'm repeating some of the same mistakes my parents made...
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Last edited by kippy6; 07-12-2004 at 08:19 PM.

 
Old 07-13-2004, 04:56 AM   #4
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Re: Happy 9yr old boy w/stomach aches and very low weight gain

As far as the weight gain i'm not sure..try searching the internet for growth charts, if you can find one you can weigh and measure him and see where he falls on the chart. Some kids are just skinny, i have a 9 year old who is very lean, and he's always been healthy and the doctor has never worried, it's just his body type.
Have you tried eliminating certin foods from his diet. Milk can cause stomache achs for someone who is lactose intollerent. I believe the whole idea of tracking his food is to see if it's a dietary problem...you said your doctor requested this but you didn't mention if you had done it? Since food is one of the easiest things to figure out it would only make sense that it is the first thing they would want to check into. So if you haven't than try and do that...write down what he eats and drinks and which days he has stomache aches...times of days etc so you can see if there is a connection to what he is eating and when he is getting the stomach aches, if you notice a relation try emilinating the offending food (one kind at a time, ie...just milk, just wheat products) for a few weeks to see if his stomache ache gets better. Since it will probably take a month or two to get in to see a specialist than you will have time to do this, and it may help the specialist diagnose whether it is a food allergy, sensativity or something else going on.

 
Old 07-13-2004, 05:19 AM   #5
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Re: Happy 9yr old boy w/stomach aches and very low weight gain

Quote:
Originally Posted by MandyAnne26
As far as the weight gain i'm not sure..try searching the internet for growth charts, if you can find one you can weigh and measure him and see where he falls on the chart. Some kids are just skinny, i have a 9 year old who is very lean, and he's always been healthy and the doctor has never worried, it's just his body type.
Have you tried eliminating certin foods from his diet. Milk can cause stomache achs for someone who is lactose intollerent. I believe the whole idea of tracking his food is to see if it's a dietary problem...you said your doctor requested this but you didn't mention if you had done it? Since food is one of the easiest things to figure out it would only make sense that it is the first thing they would want to check into. So if you haven't than try and do that...write down what he eats and drinks and which days he has stomache aches...times of days etc so you can see if there is a connection to what he is eating and when he is getting the stomach aches, if you notice a relation try emilinating the offending food (one kind at a time, ie...just milk, just wheat products) for a few weeks to see if his stomache ache gets better. Since it will probably take a month or two to get in to see a specialist than you will have time to do this, and it may help the specialist diagnose whether it is a food allergy, sensativity or something else going on.
I agree with MandyAnne. Eliminating certain foods first is what a doctor would do (in addition to other tests). Besides milk, wheat, eggs, soy, and all that, also try eliminating gluten from his diet. Gluten is found in wheat, rye, barley, spelt, triticale, kamut, and farina, in addition to other foods. The diet is difficult to follow as many foods contain gluten.

Has your son always been skinny?
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Last edited by jerrie97; 07-13-2004 at 05:19 AM.

 
Old 07-13-2004, 01:38 PM   #6
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Re: Happy 9yr old boy w/stomach aches and very low weight gain

yeah, if you havent tried the food charting, i would definetely try that like the other ladies said, but you know that doctors can do a full workup of a lot of the possibilities. hopefully you will get to see a specialist soon and that he/she will be someone that you can trust and tell them everything that you just told us about your childhood and your brother.

about the weight gain. i would not say that it is normal, but everybody grows at their own rate and there is totally a chance that this may be unrelated to the stomach aches.

again, good luck and take care!

 
Old 07-13-2004, 09:17 PM   #7
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kippy6 HB User
Re: Happy 9yr old boy w/stomach aches and very low weight gain

My son was chunky as an infant. He slowly started slimming down through toddlerhood. By 6 years old he was skinny, and he's been skinny ever since. This thinning out has always seemed normal to me, as I know that kids lose their baby fat as they grow out of toddlerhood. But now he seems too skinny to me.

I guess I'll go ahead and start the food chart. This is going to be a big deal for me. I'm supposed to document everything he eats, indicating what time he ate, and also what time his stomach ache occurs, and how long it lasts...I realize this is very helpful information, but it's going to be a bear to do!!!! I guess it's like everything else...once you get a system, it gets easier. So I'll probably type up a chart to fill in. Isn't there anyway they can just run tests on him (i.e. Celiac, lactose intolerance, etc...)? I was hoping there was even a couple of preliminary tests they could do first. What if it ends up having nothing to do with his diet, and I make this great big chart for nothing. This seems stressful to me.
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Last edited by kippy6; 07-14-2004 at 07:55 PM.

 
Old 07-14-2004, 02:40 AM   #8
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Smile Re: Happy 9yr old boy w/stomach aches and very low weight gain

Hi my 6 year old daughter has Gord (acid reflux)and this can affect tummy ache.I know that certain foods affect her alot.Also stress can aggravate.He may actually be able to tell you himself which foods hurt his tummy.Does he avoid any particular foods?
reflux can be masked by alot of other things and it often gets missed as a diagnosis in children.however,the testing for it is often invasive and a trial of medication will indicate if it is reflux or not.
Have you ever tried giving OTC ant-acids.If you do and the stomach ache goes you may need to lok at reflux as a cause.Heatburn is another term for acid reflux.
Also if there is allergy this can lead to acid reflux.
If he loses weight or doesn't gain then i seriously consider getting him seen by someone.

 
Old 07-14-2004, 04:23 AM   #9
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MandyAnne26 HB User
Re: Happy 9yr old boy w/stomach aches and very low weight gain

i realize with 4 kids it will be a challenge for you to get teh charting done, but maybe you could print something up like you said, make it simple so your son can help to do it. You could either make it with blocks of time...7-9am 9-11am etc....or you could do, breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack etc...keep it in the kitchen and get your son to write down what he eats. you could have a blank spot on the bottom to write in each day whether or not he has a stomache ache, how long it last etc. I would also try using some kind of antacid, can he describe the pain to you and exactly what part of his stomache it is coming from?
It is important that you get the charting done, it may save your son from unecessary tests if his problems are being caused by food. charting very well could be nothing, but really it's just to help the doctors figure it out, if you can get it done it will be a big help to the doctors as they may request it anyway. The tests he has done may be a waste of time also, but they may also be necessary in order to narrow down what is going on.
Something that i forgot to mention before, how is his stress level? Does he have any problems with anxiety or do his stomache aches come at stressful times? I have a friends who's little brother constantly got stomache aches due to anxiety problems (whenever he was stressed or worried), i'm not sure if that applys to your son but it's something to keep and eye on.
I know charting may be hard for you to get done, but get your son to help you out...put the chart on the fridge where you and him will see it, if he gets the food himself he writes it down, if you get the food for him he writes it down...get him to help out.

 
Old 07-14-2004, 05:50 AM   #10
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Re: Happy 9yr old boy w/stomach aches and very low weight gain

Hi, keeping a chart is a pain, but why not ask/tell your son that you are going to keep a chart of .....this, that and the other thing, to see if anything/something is making his tummy hurt, and it would be a great if he could/would help you. That way if it does turn out to be a food or food additive he will have seen for himself that its a "no no food" and will be more willing to avoid it.
My son had tummy problems from a very young age, drs visits, test after test, hospital stays, a trip to a big city hospital all came down to food elimiation diet to find out what was wrong, turns out that he has a problem with gulten, but not just the natural kind also monosodium glutamte, modified food starch and there was other "wording" that I cant remember now.
You didnt say if he has any other symtoms...just tummy achs? Usually a food intolerance or allergy has more symtoms, yuckie poop for example.
Hope this helps, take care.

 
Old 07-14-2004, 07:20 AM   #11
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Re: Happy 9yr old boy w/stomach aches and very low weight gain

Hi. No, I've never tried giving antacids before. That's an idea. All I've ever done is give him Motrin or Tylenol. Right now I can't think of any other symptoms he has. His pain is located right under his belly button. Sometimes a little above belly button as well. Sometimes I wonder if it is left over from his inguenal hernia operation...maybe he's developed something related to that...

Also, what are other symptoms of food allergies besides stomach ache (so I'll know what to be looking for). Excluding rashes, etc...

He doesn't seem to be under any stress or anxiety. He's a normal child. Happy most all the time. He's plays w/friends and at home w/siblings. Sometimes he has a stomach ache which will limit his activity level. The other day when it was hurting quite a bit, he said his stomach hurt worse when he yelled. I don't understand. I don't think he is making this up. It's been going on for too long off and on. And, to me, the fact that it happens even during his free (fun) time with friends solidifies that he is telling the truth.

That's a good idea about getting him involved with the chart too. I think that is a must! Also, I can't really keep up with what he eats while at a friends house, so he'll have to help me with some of it anyway. I'm hoping he'll get in the habit of taking the initiative every time after he eats to write it down. But I'll help him. He doesn't say that any particular food makes his stomach hurt.

Thank you all so very much!!
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Last edited by kippy6; 07-14-2004 at 07:30 AM.

 
Old 07-17-2004, 08:59 PM   #12
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Re: Happy 9yr old boy w/stomach aches and very low weight gain

there probably are prelim. tests that a doctor can do... for some reason it is really not sounding like a food allergy to me either. i had a good friend in college that had many food allergies and most of them were related to vomiting and other stuff that you mentioned like rashes, even diarrhea. it still is probably a good idea to start the charting and see what happens, hopefully it is just something temporary that you can do until you get to see the specialist.

he said that when he yells it hurts more, that totally makes sense to me cause when you scream, you put a lot of pressure on your abdomen. if there is something in there that is sore, the added pressure will probably upset it even more, ya know.

maybe you can get an x-ray or something to tell if there is a problem at the site of his hernia. did you make an appointment yet?

 
Old 09-24-2004, 07:41 AM   #13
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Re: Happy 9yr old boy w/stomach aches and very low weight gain

I just went threw this with my daughter, they first said it was allergies, than celiac sprue. Then she was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease. Now she has gained 15 pounds and eating very well. Try talking to a pediatric gastrologist. they will be able to assist in your concerns.

 
Old 09-25-2004, 05:26 AM   #14
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Re: Happy 9yr old boy w/stomach aches and very low weight gain

has he ever had any basic blood panels done on the liver or kidneys?or any other blood tests just to rule out certain diseases and or conditions?i forgot whether or not you happened to mention just when he had the hernia surgery,could you please mention?Marcia

 
Old 09-25-2004, 07:25 AM   #15
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Re: Happy 9yr old boy w/stomach aches and very low weight gain

I don't think he has ever had any blood panels on liver or kidneys. I'm not sure what blood panels means though. He is almost 10 yrs. old, and he had the inguenal hernia surgery when he was a toddler, so it's been a while since the surgery.

During his physical this summer, the pediatrician said his weight gain is fine, and he is in the average range. I suppose this is good.

His stomach has not hurt for at least a month now. But this happens sometimes.

Worried Mom - did your daughter have stomach aches all the time, or were they in irregular intervals? Did your daughter ever go a month at a time w/no stomach aches?

Last edited by kippy6; 09-25-2004 at 07:34 AM.

 
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