My child is just turned five and she has been having abdominal pain, EVERDAY, since she turned three. We saw what I thought was a competant gastroenteroligist in our home town, who did an endoscopy, colonoscopy and found nothing. He told us it was in her head! We were then sent to the childrens hosp, and have a wonderful gastro doc there. However, after many test, we still have no answers, she has severe abd pain over the navel, breaks out in a sweat and cries, fevers occasionally, sometimes if she has a bowel movement the pain will subside. Very rarely has diarrhea, I don't think she is constipated, she has regular bowel movements, and doesnt seem to have problemes with that. Most generally this is happenning at night, usually two hours after dinner, but in the beginning she would wake up in the morning with pain. We had an upper gi that showed her digestion to be very slow, so they did a gastric emptying study, which came back normal. ?. Then the gallbladder us, hida scan, blood work, stool cultures. She has gone from 43# to 32# since june. I can't put her through to much more. We changed the diet, added fiber, tried medication, to no avail. They think it could be crohn's, IBS, and they have not totally ruled out gastroparesis. Just wondering if anyone else has a child suffering. I know she cant go on much longer, and neither can her father and I. It's very frustrating and we don't know what to do anymore. Would love your comments, thoughts, suggestions-Thanks
[This message has been edited by rayjay's mom (edited 08-14-2003).]
I feel so bad for your daughter, it must be awful for her. The weight loss is scary--that's a lot of weight to lose for someone her size and age. If the doctors end up deciding it's Crohn's or IBS, I would suggest you get the book Patient, Heal Thyself, by Jordan S. Rubin (you can find it by searching the net), and perhaps his other book, titled Restoring Your Digestive Health. He had Crohn's really bad, the medical profession was not able to cure him, and he eventually found a natural method of healing it. His program is some work to follow, but he has cured many digestive disorders. Since the doctors don't seem to be able to help your daughter, this would definitely be something to consider.
Welcome to Healthboards!!!
I am Sorry about your daughter's problems. I have lost 2 daughters -- a 5 year old to complications of the measles many years ago and a 15 year old in an auto accident. I know the responsibllity and frustration you have and how it feels and the pain of a broken heart.
Several things I would suggest.
A person, even a child, has to have fiber for the intestines to function properly. A water soluble fiber like Metamucil would be good since it contains both fiber that absorbs water as well as fiber that doesn't. You can buy it in wafer type for children or adults ---just make sure of the dose and make sure she drinks enough fluid or it will cause constipation. It's safe, and sort acts like a cleaner of the folds an pockets of the colon.
The intestinal bacteria may be out of balance causing spasms as well as cramping along with gas. The moving of gas through the colon can cause pain. Re-balancing the friendly bacteria in her intestines can really help. There is just no tests that can determine candida /yeast un-balance in the intestines evena stool test. Because we all have some ---it's only when it gets out balance that it can cause problems.
Many Doctors don't even believe it happens but we all know a round of most antibiotics can really cause gastro problems in people of any age. There are 400+ bacteria strains in the GI tract. We don't even know what candida does much less all the others.
Several things you could try that I have found very effective are eating yogurt 3 or 4 time daily. The best I have found is Stonyfield Farm --Organic type,-- it contains 6 active live cutures. It always takes 2 kinds of cultures to make any yogurt. The bacteia that is very good at re-colonizing the intestines is Lactobacillus reuteri -- it is cultured from mother's milk and is not in any other yogurt on the USA market. You can buy this bacteria in a chewable tablet from Wal Mart-- it's name is "Probiotica".
As an adult I have found this extremely effective and it only takes 2 doses to know the difference. Of course Acidophilus in the yogurt is also essential.
If your daughter is lactose intolerant -- she could probably eat yogurt since the lactose is used up almost entirely in the process of making yogurt.
You can try Kefir that is flavored. It has a sorta tart taste similar to buttermilk and your daughter may not like it??? It's been used for 1000 years around the world to help gastro problems ---it contains 38 different active cultures. The natural kind that is considered good is Helious Brand from a health food store.
The only other thing that come to mind is Celiac disease. But, it would usually cause loose bowels --- however she could be intolerant to wheat and wheat products. You could find out by not letting her eat wheat or the products for a short while. Wheat is a commonly big problem with some people. Rice is usually well tolerated.
Please let us know about her progress???
[This message has been edited by Harry (edited 08-17-2003).]
Harry-Thank you so much for your concern and suggestions, we have increased the fiber in her diet, and tried the new wafers, which are wonderful, we have also switched her to rice milk and have eliminated as much of the "bad foods" as possible, we have been shopping for her at the health food store and trying more organic foods. She was recently tested for celiac and they said this was not the cause. My husband and I are at odds over this as I am the overprotector and he just thinks it is something she will grow out of, I thought that way in the beginning as well, but after two years, this just isnt right. I will try the probiotica, that sounds like something worth while. I can't thank you enough for your suggestions and appreciate your advice. I am so thrilled that I found this message board. I have really been impressed with the response, concerns, suggestions and wished I would have found you all two years ago!
I would second all of Harry's suggestions, but would add that if she has all the tests done, then it is probably highly unlikely that it is Crohn's Disease. They would have found this, hopefully on the endoscopy, as it normally affects mostly the small bowel. They would most likely have discovered this when testing for Celiac Spru.
As you described the pain as being around her belly button and having a sore throat, this could be GERD and the sore chest and throat are as the result of acid reflux. This is a possibility, since you said that she may have a sluggish GI system?
My last thought, do you have a history of migraines in your family at all - either you or your husband? It is just that if she is having these constant stomach pains and she is not really having trouble with bowel movements, it is just possible that she is having something called Abdominal Migraine. Children tend to get these if there is a history in the family, but rather than getting the classic headache that adults get, then tend to get tummy pain instead and they can go sweaty and pale with the pain as you described and the pain can be sharp too.
You could investigate this as a possibility and see what turns up.
Hi all, well here we are in december and I'm still frustrated, this time with hida scan results. Last week had the hida scan, my daughter was injected with radioactive dye, laid flat on a table for one hour, while the liver and gallbladder filled up, at the one hour break she went to the restroom and was given a "drink" which they only described as the equivelant of a full meal, six minutes into the second hour of the test she started having her pain again, about 2 inches above the navel, broke out in a sweat and was very pale. Continued on and with fifteen minutes left of the test, she vomited twice, the tech said that she was suprised to find undigested food still in her stomach contents. She stated to us that the gallbladder appeared to be emptying the way is should the only thing she saw was that something was backing up from the small bowel into the stomach. Preliminary report from the doctor says that everything is fine and its just IBS. I asked about the small bowel reflux and they ordered a kub to check stool, which was normal and she was not backed up. We go back tomorrow and I just wondered what anybody's thoughts are on this. Am I off my rocker and should just accept the fact that she has Ibs and deal with it? I just cant do that yet, her symptoms are not typical of IBS, she runs fevers, has pain after she eats, and is so severe she cries and is diapheretic. I just dont get it. Thank you all so much for your responses in the past, I really appreciated having all of you to listen.