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caltripp 04-15-2010 11:07 AM

Help...child with recurrent abdominal pain.
My 11 year old daughter has recurrent abdominal pain (RAP). She has had it pretty much all her life. She has missed a lot of school due to tummy aches. Intitially, I though she was having gas so I would give her Tums or Rolaids. I even gave some to her teacher to keep on hand. But she said that it never really helped. In the last couple of years, we have taken her several times to see the Dr. and she was even seen at in the GI dept at Childrens Primary. We had her stool tested for parasites, she was tested for gluten intolence and had x-rays. They all keep telling us that she is just constipated. But I don't believe it. I am thinking about having upper & lower GI's done on her.

Previously, she has had severe diarrea with her stomach pain. Today, she's home with pain, but she had a large bowel movement this morning. If it's constipation, why is she still in discomfort after having a large bowel movement?? And when I say large...I mean that her poop is twice the size of an average adults and sometimes plugs up the toliet!

I admit that she doesn't have the best diet. She eats more sweets than she should and not enough fruits & veggies. But her brother & sister have pretty much the same diet and have never had the stomach problems that she has been plaqued with.

She is about 15-20 lbs overweight and its all in her stomach. So it's hard to tell if she is ever bloated. I do think that she is missing something that tells her she is full. If we let her, she will overeat. We have to really watch not only what she eats, but how much. So overeating is probably part of her weight problem but I think whatever else is going on with her that is causing the chronic pain is part of it too.

The pain isn't from overeating. She will wake up with this morning. She had a normal dinner and the pain was present when she woke up. She has been having pain or discomfort all week....some days more than others and even threw up earlier this week at school.

Maybe is it IBS. But that is just putting a lable on a set of symptoms that can't be diagnosed and doesn't help her discomfort. I want to figure out what is going on with her and get it fixed so that she doesn't have to walk around with a constant tummy ache.

Does anyone else out there have a child with RAP and have any suggestions that can help??

tinabean34 04-19-2010 04:06 AM

Re: Help...child with recurrent abdominal pain.
I am in a similar spot as you. My daughter is a little younger but this is been going on at varying rates since she started school. Maybe a little before that. We had to take her to the ER for the first time this week for stomach pain, this was the first time I had seen her this bad, they did the regular tests and nothing. They went with the constipation theory but my gut doesn't go there. We gave her children's laxatives the last couple days and yesterdays she had explosive diarhea(is that right). Have you thought about nerves, anxiety can manifest itself in children in stomach aches until they really understand how nerves and stress affect them until they are older. I was the same when I was little and so was my husband. They told us to next go to the Pediatric GI doctor and see what they say. I don't know. Have you thought about counseling. Is she under a lot of stress? If not than I would keep plugging away, don't give up. Maybe we can keep in touch in what we find. I can use all the help I can get. I am worried at this point, my daughter who is very active when she is sick, stayed in bed solid for the last three days. It's just not like her.
How does your daughter do in school, could that be setting off the stomach aches, my problem when I was little turned out to be I was very afraid of my 3rd grade teacher and kids in my class. As soon as I could see the problem my stomach got better.
My daughter is also throwing up. Random not all the time. She is not eating the best a little better. HOw does yours eat? Let's keep talking - it could be a big help just to talk to someone else with a similar problem while we are dealing with our little ones.
Let me know how she is doing. What's her name? My daughter's name is Jamison she is 8. Could very well be IBS have you tried the IBS diet?

Post back when you can.

caltripp 04-19-2010 02:00 PM

Re: Help...child with recurrent abdominal pain.
Yeah, her dad thinks that she just has a sensitive stomach and needs a better diet. But like mother's instinct tells me its more than that.

I took her to another Dr. last internist. I told him all the trouble & tests that have been done and my on going concern. He suggested a CT of the abdomen. We did that today. We will have the results in a couple of days.

I asked my daughter today if she "always" has an mild stomach ache and she has just learned to deal with it and only complains when the pain gets worse....she said "yes". If it was constipation or diet related seems like the discomfort would come and go (away completely) depending on what she ate or her bowel movements. Unless she is not telling me the truth, she has a stomach ache that never goes just gets milder or worse. Maybe your daughter is the same???

Ironicly, I watched an episode of Mystery Diagnosis in which this woman started having stomach pains, then tingling in her hands and feet, then vision problems and balance problems. This went on for over 10 yrs and every Dr. she saw said that there was nothing wrong with her. Finally, a Dr. tested her B12 levels and found that they were very low and that she had pernicious anemia. One of the reasons the other Drs. missed it was because her iron levels were actually any kind of anemia was ruled out. Apparently, this disorder can be present even with normal iron levels. She had to be put on B12 injections (Dr. found that her GI stopped processing B12) and nearly all her symptoms went away. I am not saying my or your daughter have pernicious anemia but I wonder about the levels of B12.

I read that you have to specifically ask for a vitamin B12 check when blood work is done. If my daughters CT is clear, I am going to have a blood panel done to include checking of B12 and any other vitamin deficiencies. I also read that stomach problems can lead to a vitamin B12 deficiency. So if our daughters don't have B12 deficiency, it could develop because of there on going stomach problems.

I wonder if, it is a mild vitamin deficinency...if it's hereditary. Various vitamin B deficiencies playing a role in depression. That is something that all the women on my dads side of the family has delt with. Maybe I have a vitamin B deficiency and it is worse in my youngest daughter.

The body is supposed to produce a protein called the intrinsic factor which is need to process B12. If the body stops making the intrinsic factor (or maybe isn't making enough), you can develop B12 and other vitamin deficiencies.

Well, I am just writing my thoughts here.....I don't know if there is anything to it but, for me, it's worth talking to my daughter's Dr. about having her checked.

caltripp 04-19-2010 02:17 PM

Re: Help...child with recurrent abdominal pain.
Oh, in answer to your question, my daughter's name is Courtney. And this has been going on probably since she was a baby. I remember she frequently would throw up while I was nursing her and we put her on soy formula thinking maybe she had a milk sensitivity. I don't remember if this helped or not. In kindergarten, we through she was having trouble in school because she kept complaining about stomach aches and wanting to stay home. But she always insisted that things were fine in school and she just had a tummy ache. This has continued throughout her school life....missing many days of school because of tummy aches.

She eats fine....matter of fact, she likes to eat too much! And when she is hungry, she complains about how much her stomach hurts. I think even her hunger pains are more intense than what would be considered normal. Now that I think about it....I think she confuses her stomach aches as hunger pains....that is why she wants to eat all the time!!

Also, I forgot to mention, you should let your Dr. know about your stomach problems. For your daughter, it almost definately sounds hereditary. If its a vitamin or other deficiency of some sort, you and your husband probably have it too....maybe 2 different kinds and she got both!!

jconway 05-27-2010 09:49 PM

Re: Help...child with recurrent abdominal pain.
I am not sure how long this post was from but if your child has been diagnosed please let me know because it sounds a lot like my daughter.

My daugher is almost 11 years old. She was a healthy girl, always a little overweight where she holds it in her stomach. Her symptoms have gradually accumulated to a point that we aren't sure what to do anymore. Lucky she is going to the Mayo Clinic on June 7th to meet with a pediatric gastroenterologist and also the pain clinic. To back up a little bit:

In October of 2009, she began to get sick. It's now May/June 2010 and we are still in and out of the ER to manage her pain. We have been to the ER 8 or 9 times since Dec 09 and have lost count of how many trips to her regular doctor. She has also been to the Children's Hospital in Minneapolis where she had a colonoscopy and edoscopy which came back normal. All blood work, CT scans, surgical procedures, etc have come back negative. I've been accused of having munchausen syndrome by proxy and it is devastating. So to back up a little, I would like to share her symptoms and hope that someone can say "hey, i think i know what it is!"

In October she had H1N1 for a week. The following week she had the stomach flu or a different form of H1N1. The next week she went to school for 2 days then came home sick and we took her in to find out she had strep throat. Following that she had a bladder infection. Then she got strep throat again.

It was one thing after another until December things started to drastically change. She then began having severe abdominal pains. We thought it was her appendix so we rushed her into the ER. The did a CT scan and said her appendix was fine but maybe she was backed up. They gave her 2 enemas which didn't work and they sent her home with some pain medicine. Not to long after she had so much pain we brought her back to the ER. They did an ultra sound but didn't find anything. They hospitalized her for 2 days to manage her pain. Upon discharge she was feeling well enough to go home. Over the weekend she got sick and we were back at the ER. Over the next several weeks were were in and out of the ER. She had 3 total CT scans which is not good for anyone especially a child, but they couldn't figure out what was going on. Finally after several visits to her regular peds doctor we were referred to Children's Hospital in Minneapolis where she had a colonoscopy and endoscopy. The results came back fine. At this point, she is on a high dose of prilosec for acid reflux and zofran for nausea. They sent her home saying that she probably has IBS. After the procedure she felt well enough for a few days to try school. Before the week was done, she was out sick again with even more severe abdominal pains. She was then prescribed miralax to regulate her stools.

Time went on and eventyally she started getting migraines with her stomach pains or bad headaches in her temples or in her eyes/forhead. A couple weeks later we had her back in the ER with unbearable pain. A CT scan showed a ruptured ovarian cyst. She also had a bladder infection. The CT scan also showed she had inflamed lymph nodes in her abdomen which they called mesentary lymphadenitis.

Now it's May and she's been out of school for months. Her new symptoms which is scary to me is that she gets short of breath and when she has such bad pains she turns this awful pale blue color. Usually this means she is going to vomit. This is new too. Now she vomits regularly. Lastly she told me she had blood in her stool. Within a few hours she was at the ER in SEVERE pain. She was throwing up, pale blue and had no desire to even move. They pumped her with morphine for pain and sent her home with vicoden to manage pain at home. Over all this time, she has never run a fever (except when she had the flu). She rests a lot and sleeps a lot too. She usually naps every day which hasn't been typical of her in the past. Her worst times are in the evening, during the night and in the morning. Afternoons seem to be better. It gives her a false hope every day that she will get to go to school tomorrow. She can't do any physical activity without paying the consequences of getting sick. Once she's rested she might feel okay for a day or two but the second she rides her bike or runs in the yard with the dog, etc, she ends up sick later that day.

Like I said, she is going to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN in a couple weeks so I'm so curious what they will diagnose her with. I've been accused of having munchausen syndrome by proxy but that is nonsense. I know she is a sick little girl and she needs help, but nobody can help her other than popping her full of pills to manage pain.

Please let me know if your daughter has been diagnosed and we should stay in touch. One thing that caught my attention is that they both carry extra weight in their tummy and share many of the same symptoms.

caltripp 05-29-2010 07:55 PM

Re: Help...child with recurrent abdominal pain.
Sounds like your daughter pain is worse than mine! With the illness she had and the fact the pain came on shortly after, I would think it would be related. With all the antibiotics she was taking, you really need to get her on a probiotic. Probiotics help to replace healthy flora in the gut which is distroyed by antibiotics. This may help.

I know it is soooo frustrating when you know that something is not right with your child and you put her through test after test and the Dr's tell you that they can't find anything wrong and they look at you like your a hypocondriac or in your case, worse, they accuse YOU of causing your childs pain!!

I couple of things that concern me. My mother also suffers from chronic severe stomach pains. She started taking Prilosec and now she can't get off of it. Everytime she stops taking it, her pain gets worse. The prilosec could actually be contributing to your daughters problems. Also, the miralax....they wanted my daughter to take that too, but if you read the lable, it says that it may cause stomach pains! So the miralax could also be contributing to her problems!! (we never put our daughter on it)

No child should be taking so much medication. Note too that ibuprofin is known to be irritating to the stomach and, personally, codine (found in Vicadin) makes me nauseated.

With all the tests your daughter has had, I am sure she has been tested for H. Pylori. If she hasn't, ask your Dr. to give it too her. If you read up on it, she is having a lot of the symptoms of it.

We should be getting the test next week to see if my daughter has fructose malabsorption.

I will post and let you know the results. Good luck with your appointment with the specialists. Let us know what they say.

lilsunshine46 06-10-2010 04:27 AM

Re: Help...child with recurrent abdominal pain.
Have your daughter's been checked for adrenal disorders/tumors? Do they have facial flushing? My 16 yr old daughter has much the same symptoms but has facial flushing , swelling of feet and legs and daily diareah. Plus her pulse is quite high ,most days it is over 90 and when she is having one of her episodes around 120.She also apparently has a clotting problem now, actually we are waiting for DNA testing from NIH to see if she has a rare disorder relating to gatrointestional tumors. She has freckles on her lips, which is rare, supposedly a "sign" of this disorder?She was born with some congenital problems ,brain and kidney but is a vey intelligent child inspite of this.

caltripp 07-22-2010 03:41 PM

Re: Help...child with recurrent abdominal pain.
We finally got the fructose test done and it came back positive! Her baseline was 11 and she went up to 38. Not a huge increase but the Dr. said that anyone that experiences a rise of 20 or more from their baseline is considered fructose sensitive.

During the test, over the course of 3 hrs, she had to log her symptoms. Within 30 mins she was having mild stomach pains. In the next hour her stomach pains increased and she had fecal urgency with explosive diarrea (sp?) and moderate nausea. So I knew she had to be sensitive.

They want her to follow a strict fructose (i.e sugar) free diet for 2 weeks and come back in for a follow up to check to see if it has made a difference. I know it will because of the symptoms she developed during the test.

I would recommend that anyone who has unresolved gastrointestial issues...especially your kids...have this test done! FM could be your or your childs problem and a proper change in diet may be the ticket to relief!

Good luck all!

janetbento 03-31-2011 11:52 AM

Re: Help...child with recurrent abdominal pain.
Hi, I hope you don't feel like I'm butting in here but what your daughters are going through my 11 year old son has been going through for several years now. Even as a baby we put him on soy milk as he was very colicky. My son has had an endoscopy, a colonoscopy, he had the valve between the stomach and esophagus operated on as he had a LOT of acid reflux to the point that acid fumes were getting into his lungs and giving him asthma like symptoms. He has constant stomach aches, sometimes he has to roll up into a ball and lie down. He's missed lots of school days and other events because of this pain. I have him on a gluten free diet now for a week and will keep him on it for a while longer, so far the symptoms have not changed. However, I do believe he is allergic to something and gluten is a HUGE problem with many children and adults. My sister was diagnosed with Celiac disease (gluten intolerance) but only after she had been tested via her stool and if she had malabsorption. The celiace test via biopsy of her stomach and also blook test showed up NEGATIVE. The only test that showed positive was the lab test done on her stool (the check for malabsorption and also her dna). I have sent my sons stool to a Texas Lab (ENTEROLAB) and they will give me his results next week. I am also checking his reaction to Dairy. I am keeping my fingers crossed that he will have gluten or dairy intolerance. I know that sounds ridiculous but he has suffered so much and seen so many doctors and done so many procedures that I have noticed that he is no longer a happy child. My son is over 5 feet tall and very skinny, but Celiac disease can either make you lose or gain weight and what happens in the long run is that it does damage to organs in your body, that's why if you are gluten intolerant it is important to start the diet immediately and stick to it, one ounce or one pound of gluten ingested wreaks the same havoc on your body and you feel the consequences. I will report next week and tell you the outcome. The Enterolab website is very complete with all kinds of information. You may save yourselves a lot of trouble by getting the celiac test done this way. My sister suffered with Celiac for 40 years and finally diagnosed herself on the internet. She confirmed it with the stool test after getting negative blood and biopsy results. In Europe children are tested for gluten intolerance before they reach their 6th birthday, that is how common this disease is. I believe that in North America a lot of doctors still believe it is a very rare disease when in fact there are a lot of people out there who suffer with supposed irritable bowel but don't treat the true reason for having ib symptoms. Will catch up next week.

caltripp 04-04-2011 09:10 PM

Re: Help...child with recurrent abdominal pain.
Thanks for your input. We did have her stool tested for celiac in the beginning, which was negative. Since we has started watching how much high fructose corn syrup and other sugars she is getting, her symptoms have improved. If celiac disease is negative for your son, research fructose intolerance...the intolerance is a more serious condition than the malabsorbtion and causes severe your son is having. Hope this helps. Good luck!

VA_girl 04-04-2011 09:51 PM

Re: Help...child with recurrent abdominal pain.
Yes, the blood tests for celiac are only so accurate, and they just test for actual celiac disease, people can be allergic to gluten and not have celiac. I believe the best test is the entrolab test as well. I'd had that done after years of stomache aches, and after being off a gluten for a few weeks 100% my stomache symptoms got soooo much better. Good Luck!

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