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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 9 yr old daughter has been having stomach problems for a year (low or no appetite, daily stomach aches, car sick easily, thinking she will throw up, was losing weight). We've seen the family doc, and a pediatric gastro specialist. At first the specialist said IBS, then the problem continued so we had a barium swallow - nothing there. She then said acid reflux. The problem continues. How do I figure out what's *really* going on - and how to "fix" it - well, not fix it, but deal with it. Does she just have to live with the stomach aches, or is there a way to determine what's really causing them? Could it be food related (some people here talk about wheat or lactose intolerance)? Is it worth it to pursue food allergies?Thanks.Patti
 

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Hi I hate to see kids sick. You may want to post "eric can you help". He is one of the people that could help you out. He may not see this post because he runs a forum on this site. Some kids have been helped by Caltrate, LNAPE is the expert on Caltrate. kmottus can also help with infomation.Tim
 

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Patticakes,I too am sorry to see kids in pain. However, it is somewhat hard for me to figure this out with what you have said in the post. Did the gi doc confirm IBS, and did they want to run anymore tests. You can have reflux and IBS, so you know. The stomache aches are not a symptom of reflux, but more a symptom of IBS. Did the specialist want or think there was a need to run more tests. Usally with kids they will check lactose intolerence first, because that can mimick IBS symptoms. They will also take stool and blood samples which you should make sure they do. From what you posted here, I think it is important for you to really sit down with the specialist and talk this through in detail with them and have them explain what they really think is going on from the diagnoses they have done so far. I would not suggest at this point the internet for answers, as it maybe more confusing for you at this point. You will be way better off with the doctors assessment at the moment. If it is IBS and reflux, then coming here for ideas and support is a good idea, but at the moment for the sake of your daughter have them explain all this in detail to you. I don't mean this in a bad way, but this will save you a lot of time second guessing which might actually hurt your daughter. If there is more you did not say here, please post it and maybe that will clear some of it up better.Good luck and we are here to help so you know.------------------I work with Mike and the audio 100 program. www.ibshealth.com www.ibsaudioprogram.com [This message has been edited by eric (edited 02-06-2001).]
 

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There is a mind-gut connection with IBS. We with IBS tend to feel things through our stomachs. Everyone feels ill before a test, first day at school, etc. With IBS this is magnified. Our emotions are expressed through our gut.One place to start is with your lifestyle. Is she a quiet, shy kid? Is it difficult for her in new situations? Is there stress in her life?Please, I mean no offense. At this age, you can do her a lot of good by teaching her a healthy way to deal with stress and difficult situations. In no way do I mean this is in her head. The symptoms of IBS are very real. It's just that at times we express ourselves through our gut when the stress has no where else to go. It certainly couldn't hurt to talk openly, help her learn to cope with difficult situations, teach her to relax, and get help if necessary.For a Dr familiar with functional disorders of the bowel, contact the IFFGD at www.iffgd.org They will be able to refer you to a specialist in your area. Mention that you want someone familiar with children.az
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks everyone.Let's see... to AZmom1 first. We considered a "social" thing at first when this all started, but when it continued into the summer, away from school I doubted that was it. We went NOwhere all summer (because of her stomach), cancelled art/swimming classes cuz of it, and basically was just home (little or no stress)... I had a lengthy discussion with our family doc and frankly asked "could this be social" and knowing her very well he said he really didn't think that was what was going on here. To Eric: Without really any exam (except poking around on her belly) the gi doc originally said IBS. Gave us a flyer and said see ya (I never did like the doc - rubbed me wrong from the beginning). At that time she said let's just watch it - didn't run more tests. Then when she later said reflux, I was confused about that too - since reflux seems upper gi/throat related, rather than stomach. They didn't ever take a stool sample, but did draw blood (which was torture). Didn't check for lactose intolerance (but I have wondered about that myself).You're right about relying on the internet rather than a better diagnosis/testing/exam. On the one hand I thought it would go away, on the other I wonder if something serious is wrong with her (although they ruled out ulcers etc. through the barium swallow).I'm rambling... I guess it is time to go back to the doc - a referral to the local Children's hospital is my next step cuz I won't go back to the original specialist. She was too chilly for me.Thanks everyone. I appreciate your input.
 

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The first step to "fixing" is to get a good workup. Assuming (with all the risk that goes with that) that is IBS and also reflux disease "fixing" may or may not be possible but successful management is possible. I'd recommend looking into some of the mind-body therapies (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Hypnotherapy) First off there are no drugs, and secondly since the brain is still developing and part of IBS is how the brain and the gut communicate, it makes some sense that if you can do that kind of intervention when she is young, not only may it make her feel better, but it may help the connections between the gut and the mind mature in a healthier way, rather than mature with IBS being in the way.I hope she feels better. K------------------I have no financial, academic, or any other stake in any commercial product mentioned by me.And from the as if IBS isn't enough of a worry file...from New Scientist's Feedback column: photographed on the door of a ladies' loo in the Sequoia National Park in California by reader Liz Masterman: "Please keep door closed to discourage bears from entering."
 

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Patticakes,This is difficult to get across, but I'll try. You have to understand how IBS evolves. I think of it as a downward spiral. First, comes the physical symptoms, the pain and D. Then comes the fear. "Will it happen again..." "What if..." "Uh oh, I know that feeling..." "Oh no, not again..."It gets to the point that you can literally think yourself into an IBS attack of D, pain, etc. Any twinge gets the mind racing, and actually can bring about the physical response.There are other disorders related to IBS, and an important one for you is anxiety disorder. I have it, so do many, many others on this BB. It and IBS are both related to the levels of seritonin in the body. At your daughters age, hypnotherapy would be fantastic. Kids do great with hypnosis, they are in a hypnotic state half the time anyways. Hypnosis is simply a relaxed state where the conscious mind is moved to the side. You know when she's watching tv, and you shout "dinner's ready," and she literally doesn't hear. That is the state of hypnois. We sometimes are in it when we drive somewhere, and all of a sudden we realize we don't know how we got there. It's like being on automatic pilot.I am studying to be a clinical hypnotherapist because of the remarkable change it brought about in my life. I did Mike's tapes, and had 90% improvement. After 27 years of IBS, I have an episode only once every 3-4 months.At the same time it may be useful to find someone that can do CBT with children. When my neice was 6 years old she developed panic/anxiety disorder and wouldn't leave her house. (In fact, she was on the Oprah program, on a show about children and stress.) Luckily, my sister knew what it was immediately because of my experiences, and got her help with a child psychologist. After a few sessions, she was much improved. My neice was afraid of certain places, elevators, stores, etc, and the therapist took her to these places, taught her to relax, and that she was safe. Now at 13 she still uses these techniques. It is extremely important to find someone that knows how to work with children.I urge you to check out Mike's website at www.ibsaudioprogram.com and definitely email him for advice on whether his program is effective on children. If not, he may be able to direct you to a collegue in your area. He is a terrific person and a great hypnotherapist, in fact he teaches his techniques to other hypnotherapists. At your daughters age this would work great for her, and give her the skills she needs to cope in the future.The downward spiral of IBS continues with each attack we have. However, you are lucky to have discovered it so early. Anxiety does tend to reoccur in adolescence, so getting the skills now will help her for the rest of her life.Please feel free to contact me at any time.az
 

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Patticakes - you are doing the right thing by going to another doctor and demand they do some more tests. My 9 year old was experiencing stomach aches for a few months last summer and they did take a stool sample and found it to be Giardia which they were able to treat. Good luck. Hope they find out what is causing her problems.
 

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Welcome patticakes, Has your daughter been on antibiotics recently? This was over-looked by my GI docs. If so, they may have altered her intestinal flora. You could try giving her yogurt if she tolerates it. For me, food/chemical allergy testing was very beneficial. Unfortunately, the types of allergy testing vary from one allergist to another. You need to find in experienced one who is familiar with foods/additives that might cause intestinal sensitivity. This sensitivity sometimes becomes more noticable, especially after antibiotic treatments. The immune system has a tendency to go a little haywire after an intestinal infection. I had the double-blinded provocative sublingual testing along with the blood and intradermal testing. I found out I was very sensitive to the additives: citric and benzoic acids. I was drinking juice like crazy thinking it had to be good for me when I didn't feel much like eating anything else. Sure enough, the juices I was drinking contained a lot of citric acid. I grew up on TANG in the 50's and 60's, and often would wonder why I got a stomach ache at school sometimes. I also ate a lot of foods containing tomato sauce, because my mother was Italian. I would often complain of a stomach ache after a spaghetti meal and she would think that I was trying to avoid doing the dishes afterwards. I seem to be sensitive to lactic acid, which might have something to do with my intolerance to some dairy products. (White milk in the morning nauseated me since I was a kid). Soda pop often contains benzoic and citric acid. You could try to start reading labels and see if these might be the problem. There are many chemical additives in processed foods that may could present problems. My abdominal pain and bloating were duplicated when the allergen drops were placed under my tongue. I was given antigen drops to relieve it and they help a little, but I am not certain just how effective these are in the long run. They are meant to build up your immunity to the allergens slowly. Avoidance, however, has done me a lot of good. Cutting down on sugars and avoiding vinegar based products, citrus fruits, and too much chocolate has helped me as well, as I seem to be sensitive to a lot of those foods too. Your daughter may have different food intolerances, but I think it is worth checking out if you hit a dead end with the GI docs. and elimination diets, as long as you can find someone experienced in doing the allergy testing.Good luck. I hope she and you both find some answers soon. It is tough watching your child suffer and to feel helpless.
 

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Just being 9 is tough, it's a hard age. Even though she had a low stress summer, I remember at that age spending most of the summer agonizing because school would start in the fall. Her symptoms could be related. She didn't start losing weight first did she? Please don't take offense, but I had a cousin with full blown anorexia by age 10. Not eating right can lead to all those other stomach problems you mentioned. Secondly, does she drink enough water? Not soda, but water? I get car sick very easily and feel nauseous if I don't get at least 50-60 ounces of water a day. I think IBS people might be more sensitive to slight dehyration, maybe because we already lose a lot of water from the D.I have GERD (reflux) and it can cause me to have days where I have no appetite. It can also sometimes give me gastritis, and during those times I could eat like a horse and never fill up. So yes, she could have GERD, or IBS, or both.If she were my child, I think I'd get a couple more opinions from a couple of different specialists. Also, if you can afford it, see doctors from different hospitals. It has been my experience that if one doctor gives you a diagnoses, there isn't another doctor at that same hospital or practice that will offer a different diagnoses.In the meantime, keep a food and symptom journal. Not only will it help you learn if she has any food sensitivities, it will also give her a sense of control, that she is doing something to help get better. The doctors might be able to better help her if they have a month's worth of symptoms, too. You may also find out some interesting stuff... for example, I found out that eating 5-6 small meals a day really helps me, and that eating some foods in the same day (like corn or tomatoes) will cause me a lot of problems while eating them at different times doesn't usually bother me.Good luck, I hope you find something that helps her.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well,unfortunately and to no offence to you ,by consciously reducing her activities the stress level may have actually increased.I am sure that this is of no surprise to you that stress appears to be one of the major causes related to I.B.S.She may have her own stressors like friends,school,and the thoughts of burdeningher parents with this horrible syndrom.I do share a product with another person whom both of us have not had the symptoms like your daughterssince we started to digest this stuff several months ago.It is great to go through an entire day and not having to worry about stomach pain followed by aquick trip to the washroom.
 
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