32 answers

Constant Tummy Trouble

My 10 yo daughter has had constant tummy trouble for what seems like a year now. We have had her stool tested - nothing. We did the elimination diet to see if it was a particular food - nothing. It is actually more of an intestinal problem - she seems to go back and forth from having severe diarrhea to being constipated, and she feels nauseated a lot but doesn't vomit. We have done a one-day colon flush as well and that seemed to make her BMs normal for a few days, but now we are back onto diarrhea. I have upped the fiber content of her diet, cut way back on dairy - except for yogurt - and given her an intestinal enzyme supplement. She is a physically active girl - rides her bike or scooter almost daily when the weather is nice, rock climbs, swims, and plays racquetball at the rec enter 2-3 times a week, skis almost every weekedn during the winter, and plays soccer in the spring and summer. I also make sure she drinks plenty of water and we don't eat a ton of red meat - about 2 meals per week.
Does anyone have any ideas about what might be happening? I would appreciate any ideas you might have as I am about to give up on our GP and seek out a specialist.

Thanks!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Well, unfortunately there is not a pediatric gastro specialist within 300 miles of here, but what I did do was to get her in with the pediatrician my infant daughter - who had digestive problems as a newborn - was seeing. The first thing he did was send us down the hall for an x-ray, we came back and he said that her intestines were WAY backed up - almost to the point where she could have developed an impacted bowel and had to have surgery. She is now on a prescription laxative for a week and then we will do a colon flush and flora and she is off of dairy until further notice. Seems her habit of drinking about a quart of milk a day, plus eating her weight in cheese and yogurt, is just something her system can't handle.
Thanks to everyone for the advice!

Featured Answers

My daughter had a problem similar to what you are describing. We were to told to give stool softener, which helped the constipation but then made the diarehha worse. My grandmother suggested giving her 1 prune (they come in packages you can keep in the fridge) a day to help keep her fiber more regulated. That really seemed to correct both problems. We did that for one month and it seems to have given her system the time to fix itself.

You've had a lot of responses, which look like rec. to see dr - I agree, they need to rule out celiac disease or food allergies (I think it's serious enough to actually get tested...) Anyways, if all tests are negative, they will probably end up saying she has irritable bowel syndrome (some foods can irritate it, but so can stress). Try charting her symptoms to see if there is a pattern with stressful situations (they may not seem stressful, but are to a 10 yr old) - social situations, etc.

Have you tried a gluten free diet? Also referred to as celiacs disease? This is an intestine problem. Distended stomach is also another sign of this disease/allergy. Wheats, oats, rye and barley. Found in less obvious items such as vinegars, chips, soups, sauces, meat, etc.

More Answers

Hi J.!
My 15 year old daughter experiences similar symptoms and we haven't figured it our either, so I look forawrd to hearing from other people as you do! Thanks for bringing it up!

Hi Jaie, does your daughter like oatmeal. That is one of the best foods for constipation. My mother used to give that to me and my younger sister.We were both pre-mature babies and im not sure if that had anything to do with our intestines not fully forming, but she fed us oatmeal and it helped. Try that and they have many different flavors let her choose one she likes if it helps...also massage her abdomen area that helps with some lavender oil.

My daughter had a problem similar to what you are describing. We were to told to give stool softener, which helped the constipation but then made the diarehha worse. My grandmother suggested giving her 1 prune (they come in packages you can keep in the fridge) a day to help keep her fiber more regulated. That really seemed to correct both problems. We did that for one month and it seems to have given her system the time to fix itself.

J.,

My step-daughter had the same type problem...stomach ache after eating for many years, before the doctors finally came up with what was going on....There is a little flap (sorry I don't know the name of it) that when the person eats this flap stays open, so as the food is being digested it is supposed to close, but my daughter's didn't, so the acids would continue to come up then go back down, on a constant basis.

My suggestion, if you have not checked, have her doctor check into this.

Good luck!

I just came across an arcticle where they did extensive studies on autopsies for mineral deficiancies. Minerals that were consistantly deficiant in people with chronic diarehea, were: Copper, EFA, Folic Acid, Vitamin D, Zinc. If you have heard of Acai, I would suggest you start your daughter on it. It is an amazing food source of vitamins and minerals. You can look it up on the internet. There are tons of articles on it, and sources to get it. My friends and I just started taking a drink called Mona Vie. Acai is the main ingredient. All 3 of us have noticed amazing differances. One friend has pregnancy induced diabetis. After she eats evan a little, and tests her blood, it is way high, but after she takes Mona Vie, it drops 20 pts. I have cronic stomach pain, but I havn't had any since I started taking it, and my energy level is much higher, and my other friend shakes all the time, but not when she takes Mona Vie. Call Pam, and she will hook you up.###-###-####

It almost sounds like IBS Irritable Bowel Syndrom, but I am not a DR. I have IBS and I mainly watch my fat, no fried foods (fast foods out of the question), and organig or less processed food worked best; I even went Vegitarian (lacto ovo with fish) for a while because even chicken bugged me. There are some good alternative health proffesionals out there that might help I prefer a Doctor of Oriental Med. but others might help, but first insure that it is not anything more sever. Good luck

Wow this sounds like me 6 months ago with my oldest daughter. We too tried the eliminating food. I on accident came across a book that talk about allergies and was shocked when I found out how many people where allergic to things we as Americans take for granted. Like processed food(the Bleach) preservatives, dyes in food. After I took the time to eliminate these ingrediants from my daughters food it was night and day. Let me tell you this is ALOT more work then it seems. I never knew meat was injected with red dye to make it look "red" for longer. I did not know the difference between natural and organic. The first thing you should do is to educate yourself on these things-then start working them out of her diet. For my daughter it took about a week and her belly stopped hurting and her bowels final balanced out. We eat healthy and always have now we just eat educated.

J., it sounds like what some would diagnose as Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Is she anxious or under stress? Our sympathetic nervous system can reek havoc on our digestive system.

I would seek out a specialist ASAP. A good friend of mine has a daughter who struggled for years with stomach problems, and they finally discovered she has Celiac disease. They have had to omit all forms of gluten from their diet, but now she's finally much better. It sounds like you are doing everything you should be with keeping her active, drinking plenty of water, and supplying her with plenty of fiber, however, if she is still having significant problems, a specalist is probably your best bet. They will run tests on her, and find out the source of her problems. I would also recommend visiting www.drnatura.com and looking at the Paranil Jr. supplement. It's an antiparasite supplement and it worked wonders for my son who struggled also for months with stomach woes. It worked so good I sent in a testimonial on his behalf. Our picture is on the website under the Paranil Jr. section.

Good luck and best wishes in finding some help for your daughter.

A. (SAHM of 3 boys, and baby #4 on the way!)

You've had a lot of responses, which look like rec. to see dr - I agree, they need to rule out celiac disease or food allergies (I think it's serious enough to actually get tested...) Anyways, if all tests are negative, they will probably end up saying she has irritable bowel syndrome (some foods can irritate it, but so can stress). Try charting her symptoms to see if there is a pattern with stressful situations (they may not seem stressful, but are to a 10 yr old) - social situations, etc.

check out eosinophilic disorders on the web site. My son has it-- it may be worth having her checked. It was at one time a rare disorder and is increasing quickly. I would definitly ask to see a gastro specialist.

Hi J.! Your poor kid! I thought I'd just let you know - in case you don't already - that there can be psychological causes for upset tummies. When I was being bullied at work, I had the same problem of alternating diarrhea and constipation and frequent nausea, for several months before I gave up the job. Is there a chance that your daughter might be a victim of bullying, or some other stress that she hasn't felt able to tell you about yet? Particularly a major life change that occurred about the same time that the tummy trouble started. I hope you get to the bottom of this (sorry, no pun intended) soon!

First of all, I'm so sorry your daughter is going through this. Second, you probably need to see a GI doctor. I recently have similiar symptoms and am being dignosed with chrones disease which is apparently diagnosed for young people as well, so it might be worth looking into to that.

Hello J..
I can tell you are very concerned for your child's well-being, and are keeping close eye on both her health, and the results of the suggestions you have been given. I can also tell you are frustrated with not being able to help your daughter get relief from this problem. I can't speak for anyone but myself who has posted here, but I am not a pediatrician. However from the sounds of many of these postings, neither are those who are offering you their experiences. This is your child's health you are talking about. Please, seek professional medical assistance in determining a diagnosis and treatment plan. Follow your instincts, ditch your GP, and consult a pediatric specialist.

I would seek out a "classical" homeopath. As a starting point, the best homeopathic school in the nation is here in Phoenix. I forget what it's called, but probably AZ School of Homeopathy or something. Make sure your homeopath using the "classical" approach and you may also find a homeopath who is also a natropath (not spelled right?)
Good luck,
B.

J.,
I do not know what is going on with your daughter.My 13 year old is experiencing the same thing and we have done 2 full blood tests taken reflex medication now is taking miramax once a day.she has all the things your daughter does plus fainting spells.shes VERY active and weighs about 110 @ 5ft 2 .I to am about to give up and am so frusterated that I cry at times because I dont know how to help her.It hits her all day on and off but really bad during the evening time.If you find anything out please let me know and I will do the same.

When I was a child I had undiagnosed GERD, reflux disease. I went through all kinds of tests, including a barium shake and enema! Yuck! Looking back on it now, I realize that I was under a lot of stress, too much for a 10 year old. I hated school and often stayed home. You may want to ask your daughter to really dig deep inside and think about some non-physical/mental possibilities. Otherwise, I eat a yogurt a day and take ranitidine. Good luck!

This may be far fetched, but I had a friend with similar symptoms and it turned out she had a Glutton allergy. Glutten is found in wheat and is in most foods. It could also be a milk allergy. I would research food allergies and experiment with cutting foods out of her diet as that is the only way to determine some allergies. I know there are tests for glutton and milk, but also know that sometimes the only way to determine if it is a glutton allergy is by sticking to non-wheat foods for a few days. You could also try an allergist....

Have they looked into Irritable Bowel Syndrome? It can be caused by psychological factors, stress, anxiety, etc. Many people don't address these issues, but at times medication can work. I think a specialist would be beneficial. I suffered for years with IBS and it started when I was 16. It is such a bad cycle and really hinders your life. Good luck.

Have you tried having her colon re-flouristated? Sometimes, after performing a colon flush (or colonic) too many of the good enymes and bacteria are flushed out and the colon needs to be re-flouristated. A holistic health practitioner can do this for her. I have a resource guide if you need a referral.

Sounds like Gluten or other allergy. Ask your Dotor again then ask him refer you to a Gastro-interologist.(sp?)
He'll do tests and find out what's up.. M

Have you looked into an eosinophilic disorder? Eosinophilic disorders can mimic the symptoms of other diseases like inflammatory bowel disease, food allergies, irritable bowel syndrome and reflux, among others. Check out www.apfed.org and click on About EGID. My son has eosinophilic esophagitis, same thing just in the esophagus.
M.

Try probiotics. Get a really good one from your health food store. Most of the good ones are stored in a refridgerated case. These are very good for regulating the digestive system - better than just eating yogurt. Good luck!

B.

I suspect your daughter is suffering from Yeast. There is a good book available at your local Library called the Yeast Connection. High carb diets, high sugar diets, even if both diets consist of foods that are natural or prepared at home. Also allergies can lead to an overgrowth of the "bad" bacteria in her intestines, although some experts say an overgrowth of yeast will cause the allergies. Please read the book and compare the symptoms.
The fact that the one day colon flush helped is also a clue. Just yogurt and Acidopholus will not do the trick. It will require the diet mentioned in the book.
I am afraid I am not explaining well enough to convince you to read the book and decide for yourself but that is my advice. Since you can get the book at the Library it is a cheap solution. If I am wrong you haven't lost anything but time. Good luck and I hope your daughter will be feeling well soon.

Hello J.,

I'm sorry to hear the health problem that your daughter has. Have the doctors checked for pancreatic enzymes? or gluten intolerance? or parasites? The symptoms can be related to some of these conditions.

I hope the doctors will find the problem and treat it soon so she will be better.

Sylvia

J.,

I had the same symptoms when I was about 12. My Dr. finally figured out that I had Irritable Bowel Syndrome. They gave me some medicine and a few diet changes and I almost instantly improved. Maybe this is what your daughter is experiencing.

good luck,
bren

Have you tried a gluten free diet? Also referred to as celiacs disease? This is an intestine problem. Distended stomach is also another sign of this disease/allergy. Wheats, oats, rye and barley. Found in less obvious items such as vinegars, chips, soups, sauces, meat, etc.

Hi J.,

We had the same sort of problems with my daughter from the age of 1 to about 3 years old. she was always constipated it seemed. She'd go 4-6 days without going. We'd sit on the potty what seemed like forever.....We would tell her, she'd get a treat or something if she'd go......It was so frustrating.....we constantly gave her fiber supplements, laxative drops....tried different foods.....

She to would eat yogurt 1 a day, and some days she would drink the fun yogurt drinks too....

It was my last straw, I took her off of the yogurt and wa la. haven't had a problem since.....

Every once and awhile she'll still have one of the drinks, but not everyday

I called the tummy specialist that we had gone to, to ask if it could be the yogurt causing the constipation and he said YES. There's a bacteria in yogurt for some that could be the problem.....

So.....FYI For You...........I think it took a good couple of days off of the yogurt before everything was better.....

Have they checked for ulcers? I had a friend in junior high that had a lot of the same issues your daughter is having and they found out she had an ulcer.

Another suggestion is to give her whole foods only. Switch her to a diet with as natural as possible foods and that might help. If she eats fruits or veggies they should be fresh. My digestive system has improved dramatically since I started eating fresh food and staying away from canned or boxed foods. Good luck and I am sorry to hear that she is having these issues.

J.,
Our kids have various tummy-issues too - and what finally helped get us on track was seeing a specialist - a PEDIATRIC GASTROENTEROLOGIST that specializes in children's digestive systems.

There are so many possibilities to what could be going on - but it's definitely important to get her seen right away since you said its been going on for a year now....which makes it a chronic condition that could cause permament issues if it's related to some sort of disease or disorder.

Likely, with the proper evaluation and treatment, she'll be just fine though.

Best,
C.

J.,

Take her to see a pediatric GI doc as soon as you can. It sounds like a digestive disorder is "kicking in" to me. Other responses so far have suggested Eosinophilic disease, IBS, and Celiac Disease (sometimes each of these can mimic the other). It can be any one of these, perhaps Crohn's Diease. It could even be say an allergy or a food intolerance.

My own daughter has Celiac Disease, and I am gluten intolerant. We are also involved in a general special diet needs group, as well as a Celiac specific group.

If it is something along the lines of one of these, it is not the end of the world...but do get your daughter checked out so that you can avoid perhaps years of this issue for her.

~D.

Hi J.,
You need to try a nutritional product called Reliv. I have been helping families with health issuse for 12 years. This is common and easy to take care of, if you take this correctly. The company gives 100% money back if you are not satisfied. I had the same problem all my life until this. My results were fast. If you want to talk just give me a call at ###-###-####
I do not pressure anyone into buying anything! I can just give you the information and you choose what is good for your family. That is a promise. I hope to talk to you soon. R. :)

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