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Hello and thank you in advance for reading this and giving me any insight and/or encouragement. My son is ten years old and has been suffering from abdominal pain for 7 years. When he was 3 he was hospitalized twice, for a total of 9 days as they did various tests, including blood work, stool testing, colonoscopy and endoscopy and CT. Over the years we've also tried several elimination diets, including lactose, gluten and spicy foods, to no avail. His complaints had all but subsided for several months, only to return recently. His pain is relatively low on the pain scale, ranging from 2 to 4 and centered around the belly button, however, extending out 6+ inches in any direction. Even though he asks me to "rub his tummy" , my gentle rubbing can aggravate it. The pain occasionally wakes him at night, 1-2 times per week. He has not lost weight, however, until a year ago, was on the bottom of the weight charts. He saw a specialist recently who could see a large load of stool on the x-ray. This was the only test she performed and has diagnosed him with constipation and prescribed Miralax daily. She also sent paperwork home on Chronic Functional Abdominal pain. It's been 2 months of daily Miralax and eliminating most dairy and other constipating foods, I have seen little to no difference in his bowel routine or complaints of pain. In the last 6 months, not a day has gone by that he didn't complain of pain or ask me to rub his tummy. As you can imagine, it is hard, as a parent to accept there is no cure, no hope for a child, (However, I am very thankful for his overall health). We have a follow up in a few weeks and I am hoping they do further testing. I am reaching out on the forum in hopes that someone can give me insight on additional testing or alternative treatments. I am having a hard time embracing the fact that my son may be bothered with chronic abdominal pain for his extended future.
 

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am so very sorry for your son's problems and pain. and sorry for you as well. having to watch one's child suffer and in pain has got to be the most difficult thing in the world. i can't imagine

it sounds like getting his constipation under control would be a good idea and hopefully his doctor is being proactive about this. i don't have children so i don't know what to suggest for him as far as medications, etc are concerned. if you feel his doctor isn't being proactive enough (or is knowledgeable enough) you could try another gastroenterologist who specializes in pediatrics. often doctors affiliated with university hospitals are much more knowledgeable and proactive about treating constipation and pain than regular gastro docs..

that's good that his doc gave you literature to reads about Chronic Functional Abdominal pain. your post reminds me of another one (several actually) over on our teens and childrens board.

the member who posted over there--smile4lina--had good success with her 7 year old taking elavil for his chronic abdominal pain. here's the link to that post. you might want to do some reading over there, too, and post over there as well for more feedback.

http://www.ibsgroup.org/forums/topic/229665-advice-needed/

the only other thing i can think of off the top of my head is--does using a warm heating pad (not too hot) on his tummy help his pain at all? or sitting in a warm bath? also some people find that drinking peppermint tea can help with abdominal pain and cramping, if you can get him to drink that...heather's peppermint tea (available in drug stores and online) is a good brand, i hear.

and perhaps a pain specialist could help him as well...again, one who specializes in pediatrics.

good luck with everything. hope he can find some relief soon. take care.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you so much. We will try some of those things. And also check out the link. Currently, my son is seeing a peds gastro, who happens to be 3+ hours away.
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We have a follow up this month, with a constipation specialist who's only an hour away, and a constipation clinic in December, again 3 hrs away. How long until I start seeing results with the Miralax? Is this issues also considered IBS?
 

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Hiya,

My worst symptom is pain, though mainly left colon area. Cold water (ocean or pool) will often start some pain for me if I was having none. It is like the cold hits that area and causes things to contract... then light spasming (all painful). Mine also will wake me up rarely, but I cannot sleep on my right side... as it causes discomfort, then pain in my bad left side area. Flat on the back can be an issue or not depending on the day, left side sleeping is fine. (in case any of this sounds familiar).

Heating pad, not hot but warm helps the pain. For me peppermint tea (real stuff from heathers for ibs online) is incredibly soothing, and stops most all pain within 20 mins. I am not sure if it is ok for a child, but I assume so. Might be worth a try, warm only, cold has effect but not as much. I cannot overstate how helpful that has been.
 

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the results from miralax can vary depending on how much backed-up stool is in his colon and how hard it is. and also varies depending on the dosage. i'm not sure if his age/weight would be a factor? i'm just not at all familiar with how meds and supplements work in children. some adults get results right away with miralax--the next day. if there's a lot of backed up stool it could take a day or two...

as far as an ibs dx is concerned--i'd ask your doc. there are other tests that can be done--such as a stiz marker study (colonic transit study) --to see if slow colonic transit is a factor or not in causing his constipation. you can look that test up online for more info...
 

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oh you're more than welcome. good luck with everything. it sounds like you have some good doctors lined up, so that's good although yes, it's hard when some are so far away.

let us know how it goes or if you have more questions...

wishing both you and your son all the best..
 

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I am also dealing with chronic pain, but not constipation. I suffer from diarrhea instead. There are no easy answers that work for everyone, so you will have to be patient and find what works best for your kid.

My personal opinion is that it is worth looking into diet. What are you feeding your kid? I believe that home cooked meals are better than commercial processed foods.

You can also research the "low fodmaps" diet. Some people find it helpful.
 

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Hello, my son has grown into centrally mediated abdominal pain, just above his belly button. Went from completely normal to pain, not related to food and no other digestive issues. !!! TRY ACUPUNCTURE !!!! He is now 12. His first start was at 8 years, it was very bad for 5 months, then it was tolerable for 2 years. It became bad for another period of months, we did scopes, tests, all normal. This year at 12, he's back to a very bad 5 month cycle, as of now. We see a pattern, 2 bad days
Out of 10, he says 8 or 9, then gets better, gets better, gets better, goes back to bad, 2 bad days, and on same cycle.about ecery 8 days the cycle repeats. Nothing that helps ibs makes it better, neither an antispasmodic nor antidepressant, and some things, ppi and peppermint oil make it worse. I have taken him to a neurologist (thinking abdominal migraines) and endocrinologist, and of course, GIs. GIs say ibs, but it is not ibs. The pain does not occur while sleeping, it comes on within a few minutes of waking up and then from that point forward it remains basically at that level until he sleeps again. One GI doctor did say something that was interesting, when waking up, seratonin rushes to your belly and you're cramping. I agreed something was happening right after waking up, but cramping medicine doesn't work. I started noticing hot showers make it worse, What has just happened this week though, and why I write is I started to try to get him into a pain program, and in the course of that, a nurse at Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago just said on the phone, has he tried acupuncture yet while I was making an appt trying to get in. I couldn't get into Lurie's soon enough, so we went where they recommended. I asked the pain clinic md about acupuncture, he said oh yes, for sure try it, I do it myself., and he gave me a name and number. We went to a person who would treat children, and it was completely amazing. The acupuncturist said he has too much heat and like a cold headache centers in your head, heat can do the same. I asked if "heat" was a euphemism, he said no. He started pressure points on his elbows and knees and my son was feeling relief. He did one session of acupuncture and my son sighed with relief when he got off the table. The next day, after 5 solid months of pain days from 9 down to 3, he was at a 1. My son was so happy. The following day to that though, he was back up on the pain scale, but we went back that night, and he was relieved of the pain again. The treatments should teach his body to retain the right reaction and eventually we won't need to go. We are going forward with acupuncture, it really was amazing and acupuncturists do see this! It is parasympathetic nervous system thing, and that people grow into it and out of it makes sense to me when they're growing, they just can't quite regulate something. I hope you all find something to help your children, and do try acupuncture.

Update: I've been posting this on forums I can find. we are on week 4 of acupuncture and his pain is gone. After 4 years of varying intesity, he has no pain! He moved off pain in week 3 and it went to nausea, so they are now working on that, i'm sure they can address it, that is slso parasympathetic nervous system related. I am sure this Is the solution for this centrally mediated abdominal pain, also called FAP. Try it!!
 
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