29 answers

Looking for Advice- 8 Year Old with Wicked Gas Pains

We have an 8 year old daughter who is begging for a "stomach transplant" we've been to several gastros and she has had an endoscopy and sigmoidoscopy. She suffers from regular bouts of diarrahea and painful gas. Now we cut all dairy and dyes and most snacks sticking to carbs and protein, initially the no dairy seemed to work then she had a 4 day run in with Red dye (i gave her italian ices and twizzlers when the others were having ice cream- but red gatorade brought her to her knees and the light bulb finally went off). Now, even dairy and dye free she has horrible gas pains- gas you can feel because she is so thin. She is other wise healthy, happy and active. We don't know what else to do- but it is impacting her social life as she gets worried about getting sick at other peoples houses. I have dragged her to several specialists and they want to put her on heavy meds which will have side effects that don't seem worth it. Any ideas or suggestions? Also, she tested negative for celiac but she has an aunt and first cousin that have been diagnosed.
THANK YOU!

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Well, we are still in process, but it appears the culprits are Red Dye, All Dairy and most recently all corn products- I so appreciate all of your comments.

Featured Answers

Try cutting out all grain products, a gluten free diet. It sounds like celiac disease which can be relieved by no gluten. It really isnt hard to do. More and more people are realizing gluten can affect their digestion. http://www.gicare.com/diets/Gluten-Free.aspx
Last year I decided to go gluten free and have lost 40 pounds and dont feel constant hunger like I used to.

1 mom found this helpful

Does she drink regular milk? My friend had the same problems and she is lactose intolerant. She either drinks lactose free milk, soy mik or rice milk. Try the smallest container possible for a couple of days and see if she feels better.

Definitely get her tested for Celiac and ask about Crohns. After the testing, regardless of the results, put her on a gluten free diet.

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Find someone who can test her for candida - otherwise known as yeast. Yeast can burrow roots into the small intestine. You could locate a NAET practitioner in your area, they could tell you if she has a problem digesting carbs and protein, wheat and fill you in on yeast. A naturopath and NAET healed my son of ulcerative colitis in a very short period of time. It may not be considered "traditional medicine" but when all else fails.....

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remember when she was a baby, and you had to introduce foods 1 at a time for 3 days in a row before starting something new. whay don't you take something away for 3 days and see how she reacts to that (gas pain wise). sometimes it's not the one thing, but the combo of things that are being eaten. i couldn't understand if you took away carbs or not, but you might also take away brads, chips, potatoes. remember only 1 thing at a time and for 3 days in a row.

1 mom found this helpful

Try cutting out all grain products, a gluten free diet. It sounds like celiac disease which can be relieved by no gluten. It really isnt hard to do. More and more people are realizing gluten can affect their digestion. http://www.gicare.com/diets/Gluten-Free.aspx
Last year I decided to go gluten free and have lost 40 pounds and dont feel constant hunger like I used to.

1 mom found this helpful

N. - I feel your pain (or your daughters). Both my daughters suffered from the same type symptom. My youngest daughter had it much worse. I took them both to a pediatric Gastro and thank god she was not so evasive we did do some blood work a few tests in which she drank liquid and they took x-rays (too make sure everything was flowing properly). Everything was fine (thank God). She was diagnosed with IBS and was given medication Prevacid that she had to take for 3 months everyday. No side effects - it actually healed her stomach, now 2 years later, she only takes it as needed. I do believe stress and diet can be an issue - best of luck - but try this med it worked wonders.

1 mom found this helpful

Keep a food diary, listing what she eats and how she feels after each meal.

Read about elimination diets. Basically you start by eating only a few things that you know are ok and you slowly add food, one at a time and track the reaction. Food allergies and intolerances are very hard to pin down. But once you figure out what it is, life is much better.

I have many adult onset food allergies (that's what happens when you keep eating food that your body doesn't tolerate well, eventually you become full blown allergic). My son has food intolerances. He had stomach aches all the time, constantly. We did the elimination diet and when we added back gluten, the gas started almost immediately. He didn't test positive for celiac, but he gets stomach aches and gas when he has gluten, so now he just avoids it. It was gluten for my son, but for your child it could be something else, that's why the food diary is a good idea. Your doctor will also find it helpful.

BTW, one home remedy that works for me is eating an apple every day and taking a teaspoon of honey when I have a stomach ache. It may help your child.

It's a slog, but worth it when your child starts feeling ok. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Sounds like you've been to doctors, but could it be Crohn's disease? My son, who just turned 9, was diagnosed with it last Nov. He takes meds regularly, but no side effects, and the pain is gone. Good luck.

Has anyone ever suggested Gripe Water to you? I used it with my kids. They were younger but it worked. They had such bad gas it would cause them to throw up. Research it online and see if you think it might be worth a try. It is for infants but I am wondering if your doctor could recommend a dosage for your daughter. The normal infant gas drops did not work all that well with my kids so a friend suggested this stuff and it worked wonders!! I still use it with a few of them ages 2-4 but not with my 7 and 8 year olds. They don't seem to need it any more. Good luck!!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gripe_water

I am sure Dr.s have tested for everything... but have they looked for Celiac's? Colitis? Crohns? Liver problems? There are so many Digestive Diseases that could be overlooked... just keep on trying specialists until they find out what is wrong with her. That is no way to live and the longer it happens, the worst it can become. My brother went several months with Ulcerative Colitis before he willingly got help, then it took a while for them to find the real cause of his issues... they rule out more minor stuff first...
Good Luck!

If you think she might be lactose intolerant, you could try Digestive Advantage pills, which are sold over the counter.
http://www.digestiveadvantage.com/prod_children_li.html

Lactose is found in a lot more foods than you might expect -- baked goods, hot dogs, as fillers in vitamins, etc. So even if you are eliminating dairy from her diet, she may still be eating lactose that you are not aware of. I severely restricted my lactose intake for a few years because I suffered terrible GI symptoms with even the tiniest bite... and then I found these pills. I had more stomach episodes when I was off dairy than when I take them and eat whatever I want. They are basically lactase enzyme plus acidopholus, to restore the proper balance of bacteria in the gut. If you think lactose intolerance is the reason for her discomfort, maybe try these pills on a day or weekend when she'll be at home. (BTW, I have no connection to this company - just think their product is great!). If this doesn't help, I agree with others who say to see a pediatric gastroenterologist and evaluate for Crohn's or other GI problems. Good luck - hope your daughter gets some relief soon.

Hi N., I will pray for your little girl. Have you spoken to a nutritionist or health expert? You may want to try probiotics to help her digestion. I hope you can find some help for her. I find myself having less and less faith in MD's these days. If they can't write for meds. they do not know what to do. My best, Grandma Mary

It sounds to me as if she is having some kind of allergy problem. She is clearly allergic to something she is eating. I would take her to a pediatric allergist and see if they can figure her problem out. I wouldn't want to give her the heavy medications either.

I'd get her tested for food allergies - specifically wheat, gluten and soy. We have celiacs in our family (gluten allergic) and after going on a gluten free diet, gas pains and lots of other skin and digestive issues cleared up.

There are two types of test (both blood): one is an IGG Elisa (sp?) which tests for lots of different food sensitivities but there is a more expensive and accurate gene test for gluten (may cover soy as well). Ask your pediatrician or get your daughter to a specialist who can order the tests from the correct lab. Good luck!

Does she drink regular milk? My friend had the same problems and she is lactose intolerant. She either drinks lactose free milk, soy mik or rice milk. Try the smallest container possible for a couple of days and see if she feels better.

Hello N.,

have you tried a gluten-free diet? has she been seen by an allergist? Here in the US might take up to 10 years to be diagnosed w/ celiacs disease... check out enteroloab.com
could she also be allergic to corn? high fructose corn syrup is in almost everything. also some artificial sweeteners can upset the gi track too. Good luck and keep looking until you get the right answer for you and your daughter. ~Carmen~

Someone else mentioned celiac disease and I would have to agree it is defintely worth looking into.

Some Symptoms are:
Infants, toddlers, and young children often exhibit growth failure, vomiting, bloated abdomen and behavioral changes.

Symptoms of Celiac Disease May Include One or More of the Following:
Recurring bloating, gas, or abdominal pain
Chronic diarrhea or constipation or both
Unexplained weight loss or weight gain
Pale, foul-smelling stool
Unexplained anemia
Bone or joint pain
Behavior changes/depression/irritability
Vitamin K Deficiency
Fatigue, weakness or lack of energy
Delayed growth or onset of puberty
Failure to thrive (in infants)
Missed menstrual periods
Infertility male & female
Spontaneous miscarriages
Canker sores inside the mouth
Tooth discoloration or loss of enamel

Here is a website link to the celiac disease foundation where you can see how a proper diagnosis is made: http://www.celiac.org/cd-diagnosis.php

Gas drops in her food and drink. Arizona Green Tea. Try Beano too.

It works for me.
Nanc

Definitely get her tested for Celiac and ask about Crohns. After the testing, regardless of the results, put her on a gluten free diet.

I too immediately thought celiac's (gluten) and think that an elimination diet would be the best thing to see what really irritates her stomach BUT, PLEASE ONLY DO UNDER A DOCTORS (naturopath or osteopath or nutritionist) SUPERVISION. Because the diet is so limited, it is possible to be undernourished at some points and the they will tell you if you need to add something to it. It worked great for me-I am super sensitive to eggs after eating them my entire life with no problems, I developed a sensitivity to them. BUMMER!

had another thought....maybe she has a hard time digesting protein....I had to take digestive enzymes to eat beef or pork.... pro-biotics are always a good supplement too.

Hi N.,
What I read the cause might be "bacterial toxicity".
Is you daughter drinking enough water? Liquid should be avoided with meals, only before or after meals is OK.
And try to give her more fiber, fruit, vegetable, whole grain, multi grain bread etc. No white bread.
Also watch that she is eating slowly and shewing her food properly.
You might want to give her ginger or chamomile tea.
NO drugs.
Hope she feels better soon.
C.

Has she been checked for Celiac's disease. It is an allergy to wheat. I would ask your doctor about the possibility. Unfortunately most everything has wheat in it but they do sell so many products that are Gluten free for people with this condition. My aunt has it and at one point they thought I had it. I suffer from irritable bowl which usually goes back in forth from constipation and diarrhea. It is also accompanied by tremendous stomach pains. If she is stressing out about it it's only going to get worse. It may be something simple as a diet change like removing wheat from her diet to see results. Good luck and keep us posted.

I would agree with testing her for celiac and continuing to pursue the cause. But a short term quick fix that I use for me, my husband and 6 year old for gas pain is fennel. You can take fennel seeds and brew a tea with them or buy liquid fennel drops in a health food store, it'll be with the herbal stuff. A dropperful or 2 in a little water. Works really fast!

Have you tried a nutritional approach? More than merely cutting out dairy, it is important that she gets foods that her body can digest easily like sprouted and soaked grains, soaked nuts, cultured dairy, etc. That should build up her digestive system. I highly recommend "The Maker's Diet" - it's actually pretty easy to do and the book explains in plain language why it will help. You could also check out the www.westonaprice.org website for some other diet suggestions for making those 'carbs' more digestible.

Have you had her tested for a Gluten allergy? I have a friend who had a lot of the same probelms and it ended up being a Gluten allergy. It is worht a shot.

Digestive issues are a sign of high anxiety. I use to get it really bad as a child and almost into adulthood.
I began running track at age 12 and that helped alot. In fact as a grown up continuing running, exercise and yoga helps the best.

I use a DVD to do yoga in the living room and my husband came in the living room one morning and had to leave. He was laughing so much at all the gas that was being released. I also lie on the floor and massage my stomach in the morning. The next day I go running, the next I do yoga. But I need activity to keep me regular. Also kids get diarrahea as they get older it becomes constipation and than goes back and fourth. Exercise keeps you regular.

Yoga releases the anxiety as well. I had an abusive mother and my stomach would tie up in painfull knots whenever she came home from work or into a room or just the thought of being yelled at or beaten by her. Anxiety becomes addictive and it is the worst for your digestion, it is like someone who gets back pains from dealing with stress.

Work with your daugher to find a competive sport that she likes.

Have her see pediatric gastro. She could possibly have Chrohns Disease.

my son has this problem too. He finds that a cup of tea after dinner and before bed really helps. he puts a little honey in the tea, a little milk, and it really helps. He eats everything.. and some things he stays away from like chili, red sauce, spicy or gassy foods. but other than that, he eats almost everything. it's gotten better - he is not 13 and knows if he feels the gas coming on, he will lay on his back and push his knees towards his stomach and back out again.. to help relieve it.. in bad days.. we use milacon (the baby stuff) mylacon.. or however you spell it.. it really helps too.. sometimes he just takes a drop full after dinner. good luck

have you tried doing an elimination diet? you basically do a little bit of a cleans and slowly add in different types of food till you find the culprit- if its food that is doing it.
wheat is a biggie.... wheat used to do that to me...and not im wheat free- its changed my life.
good luck!

Hi N.
OK, so you say you have not gotten a diagnosis as to why, just a treatment plan for the problem. Is that the way I am supposed to be reading your message.
I know you have taken away lots of things, but is that because MD's are suggesting allergy?
I have lots of experience with allergy, and it sure isn't what I thought when I first heard our oldest had an allergy.
Have you kept a log of her food intake along with times, and then times of serious problem? Has the MD looked at that log and evaluated it? Our oldest had a corn allergy, corn in all its forms. Our younger son has a sugar enzyme deficiency, which we called an allergy. Our older daughter has a wheat allergy. Our younger daughter has a milk allergy as do I. These are all complicated by less severe allergies. Allergies cause varying degrees of problems with amounts ingested. I can't have any lactose. I have never been able to drink a glass of whole milk, for many years I could have it in things. When I started having digestive problems I never dreamed that after keeping the lactose allergy in check for years, that would be the problem. I now cannot have any, none without symptoms, which are severe bloating, gas, and diarrhea. I did have a lactose tolerance test and I don't recommend that if there is the possibility of the problem. I got pretty sick. It takes about 6 weeks for the allergens to get out of your body. So if you have narrowed done the allergen, and decided it can't be it after a month, you could be wrong just because you didn't wait long enough.
Wheat allergy, and / or celiac disease is common these days. Tests are not conclusive and being your own detective works better.
Someone told me to buy peppermints with real peppermint oil in them and it would help, and doesn't seem like poison, like some other suggestions. They became standard dessert at our house, in my purse, and peppermint tea again with the real peppermint not just peppermint flavor has become a comfort.
Now I will say don't let it ride because the MD has not formed a diagnosis. Don't think she is lying, trying to get out of a chore, or any other myriad of things like I did with our older daughter. She was about 10 when she decided if she ate less, it would not hurt so bad. Yes, we are dealing with anorexia because of it.
Thanks for listening.
If you want to talk write
God bless you in your search for a diagnosis
K. -- SAHM married 38 years == adult children 38,coach;33,lawyer;and twins 19, in college after homeschooling and both on Dean's list both semesters.

You might want to have her checked for celiac disease, which is intolerance for gluten. It can cause similar symptoms.

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