Son Is So Sick!

Updated on August 15, 2011
R.W. asks from Herndon, VA
27 answers

Hi Moms,

My 3 year old son has been throwing up for 15 days (w/ diarrhea), with a 2 day break in the middle (9 days ago) Of course he only throws up at night, we've tried bland foods, he still has fits at night where he's throwing up every 15-20 minutes, continuing to dry-heave once everything speck of food is out of him (which is not much food lately!). We went to the Dr. 2 days ago and they basically said "wow, that's one serious stomach bug, but that doesn't explain why he's still throwing up." They had me take in a stool sample yesterday to test for whatever they test for, but they won't know results until Monday. We've been using probiotics, pedialite, gatorade, and absolutely nothing seems to make a difference.

I'm just really frustrated because I don't know what else to do for my son! My husband and I have barely slept for 2 weeks, not to mention the trauma and lack of sleep of my son. As I'm sure other mom's can imagine, it's heartbreaking and my son is totally losing weight from all this. All this being said, once he's done being sick in the morning, he's perky and active (can't slow this guy down!) and acts normal all day long, only to get sick again that night. There was one day when we actually got him to take it easy and basically watch tv all day (not ideal on a normal day, I know :), but he still was sick that night.

I guess I'm asking if anyone has any experience with a sickness like this, what did it end up being, should I be more worried than it just being a "stomach bug." I have 3 kids and none have ever been this sick, this long. He has no fever, or any other symptoms other than the "out both ends" problem we've been having.

Advice? Please?

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So What Happened?

Thank you so much to all who took time to give answers to my question. He eventually got better, although one stool test came back negative, and the Lab LOST the other stool sample. Because of this, we won't ever know for sure if it was Rotavirus, or something else. I'm still going to look into food allergies or other things that are making his body more prone to sickness. In the meantime, it meant a lot to me to hear all your input. I should also add that the throwing up only stopped after I insisted that the pediatrician give us a prescription for something to STOP throwup! She did, but I had to insist. That was the first night he actually slept, and the recovery got much quicker from then on (shocking that sleep would help him get better, right? :) Blessings to all!

Featured Answers


answers from Eugene on

Apple juice and apple sauce tend to go down and stay down. Let him eat it slowly. Apple sauce and apple juice stop the runs. You have to get the kind without sugar added. The best is the fresh squeezed apple juice without anything added to it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Giardia is no longer confined to wilderness settings. My daughter was sick, like this for over a week and a stool sample found giardia. She may have gotten it eating unwashed fruit or vegetables.

I would try feeding him only a small amount of soft, easy to digest foods.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Richmond on

Is he still sick if he sleeps in another bed or room? Just wondering if there is something environmental going on since he's only sick at night. Have you tried propping him up so the stomach acid stays down - is it possible he's having problems w/reflux? It's so odd that it's only at night. I am sorry he's suffering like this. I know it has to be difficult for everyone involved. Hang in there!

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answers from Boca Raton on

Lots of suggestions here, but I just wanted to add one more thought - if you go back to the doctor ask about celiac disease (severe sensitivity to gluten - wheat, rye, barley). Some celiacs can get extremely ill from even a small bit of gluten.

From your post I wonder if that could be why he feels better through the day - the previous night he got everything out of his system, and it takes the day time to build it back up again via what he's eating.

Just a thought . . . hope you can get this figured out. Bless your heart - that's tough for him and you.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Medford on

grasping at straws,,,
Is he taking vitamins at a certain time of day that might be bothering him?
Brushing his teeth with a contaminated tooth brush?
Drinking from a cup that might carry jerms?
Not washing his hands often?
Have his hands in his pants,, and then his mouth?
Does he still suck his thumb or have a pacifier that is not clean enough?
Has he seen a dentist to rule out tooth decay that can make him sick?
Was he at the dentist and has a filling that might be toxic to him?
Drinking water from bottled water that is too old, been in the car, been opened weeks ago? They do build up bacteria after they are opened.
Chewing on toys or window sills that might contain toxins, lead paint, bug spray, plant fertilizer, cleaners?
Did you recarpet, repaint, re-anything in his room? Bedding included.
Did you go camping or anywhere he might have had water or got into a stream with bacteria that stays in your system for a long time?
I sure hope the stool sample reveals something they can deal with and make him better soon.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on


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answers from Chicago on

Try putting a teaspoon or 2 of organic raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar in about 4oz. of water sweetened a little raw hunny. The apple cider vinegar must have the Mother in it, which is sold at any health food store. It is excellent for zapping stomach bugs & bacteria but alkalines the stomach as well. You can add a little more water if needed. Also, grapefruit seed extract is good also. You can add a few drops to juice & it too kills bacteria. I have a 4 year old who has silent reflux & at one time had candida in her esophagus & this is what I give her daily. Has made a huge difference. I also give her probiotics too. I pray you find a cure quickly.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

My son never threw up much but he did have diarrhea for almost 6 weeks.
Our pediatrician said once a gut gets irritated it can sometimes stay irritated for a long time after the initial source of irritation has resolved itself.
Keeping up with the fluids/electrolytes is most important, try small amounts frequently to cut down on the gagging as much as possible.
Have him suck on pedialyte popsicles.
He doesn't actually need solids so much as the fluids.
Can he sleep propped up?
It's hard, but it's really good he has no fever and that he's acting normal.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Little kids tend to put things in their mouths or handle things then their hands find a way into their mouths. I would watch what he plays with and make sure it is clean. Since you said he is fine during the day after he is finished being sick I would check what he touches just before bed time. If you have him brush his teeth at night, check his tooth brush and anything he uses just before bed time. If he sleeps with a pacifier, I'd get a new one just to be sure.

If you have a cat or a dog, I would give the pet a real good bath and take any flea or tick collar off of the animal. Some people are allergic to the insecticide on the flea and tick collars.

I would feed him cheese (real cheese, not the processed cheese food stuff) and cottage cheese and yogurt. Why? Because it has the bacteria in it that assists in digestion. Something that causes diarrhea usually kills most of the digestive bacteria in our bowels. The cheese and cottage cheese and yogurt helps restore that bacteria.

Good luck to you and yours.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

There are a few possibilities it could be. 1) Stomach Bug 2) Allergy 3) Reflux or 4) Seizures (this is the very least likely, but it can be a possibility)

The BRAT diet always works for us with diarrhea. Sounds like you're doing a good job in keeping him hydrated and restoring those electrolytes. Very very important. Eliminate acidic foods from his diet and see if that makes a difference (might take a couple days to notice a change). I heard that it can be normal for a stomach bug to stay around for quite a while (longer than 10 days), but that wouldn't sit right with me either. If they don't find anything in the stool sample, I would light a fire under their butts to figure out what's going on. I hope you get some answers on Monday... Praying for your little guy. (((HUGS)))

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Fort Wayne on

have your dr write out a script for a stool sample. your ins should cover it 100%. that may answer a lot of questions and avoid unnessary tests. also a blood test is always good to find out if there is any infection going on. gl

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I think it is a little odd that he only gets sick in the morning and at night. If it were a bug I would think he would be effected all day long. My son went through a similar thing last year. For about 3-4 weeks he complained of gut wrenching pain and then he would throw up in the morning and in the evening. Usually he would be woken up and be on the toilet with a trashcan for hours. We kept the log of what went in and what came out, did the BRAT diet. I consulted 'Dr. Google' (looked up every possible thing he could have) and I made my doctor test him for everything even though they didn't think there was a chance he could have it. He had his blood tested for any abnormality possible and everything came back normal. Personally, I think that doctors can be a little dismissing and blame everything on a 'bug'. My son was also having to pee all the time. Diabetes was ruled out and over the course of about 4 weeks he seemed to be getting better. He still has a very sensitive stomach. He can't eat anything before bed or he will be up 4 hours later with bad stomach ache, vomitting and on the toilet. Someone suggested to me that his intestines may not be growing as fast as his body. Strangely enough, I have noticed that when he complains of his hips hurting and and legs hurting due to growing pains, he seems to get stomach issues around the same time. I keep track of when he has these symptoms and so far they seem to coincide with his growing spurts. Of course, I brought this to the attention of his doctor and he basically dismissed it all to a 'bug'. Lol. I feel your frustration and feel bad for you son. I sincerely pray that he feels better soon and am hoping that his test results come back with something. As a mom it is so much better knowing what is going on with your child than not knowing at all. Please let us all know what the doctors find out. Hugs to you and your family during this hard time. <3

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

my first thought reading this is food allergy. maybe gluten or dairy? kids can develop allergies after not having them before... try taking him off the major allergens for a while and see if it helps. good luck, sounds horrible :(

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answers from Chicago on

#1 track EVERYTHING he eats and drinks
#2 if he's still puking as of Monday, get him into the drs office and see if they can give him some "anti-nausea meds". Yes, they do exist. There is no reason for him to be suffering like this.
#3 if he pukes at night, don't let him run around. He may be wearing himself out. He needs rest.

Is there some pattern? What is he eating for dinner? Have you tried the BRAT diet? I know it's no longer considered ideal, but maybe if you can track what he's eating it might help?

This doesn't sound like a stomach bug to me.

Best wishes. I'll read your update!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Is he sleeping only in his room? Have you tried him in a different room? If he is okay during the day, maybe there is something in his room triggering him. Get an Apt with an allergist and see if they can check him for allergy's. Is he napping during the day?

good luck



answers from Washington DC on

Keep up the probiotics, water down the gatorade. Try some weak ginger tea. You could try the anti nausea sea sickness bands. Also the homeopathic nux vomica 30x strength might help break the cycle. You can get it @ Whole Foods. Give 3-5 pellets from the cap into his mouth. No food 30 mins on either side of taking it. If the dr. can't find anything, I'd suggest acupuncture. If you need a referral, feel free to contact me. I have referrals all over the DC metro area.



answers from Charlottesville on

I would have your child checked for migraines. It is hard to diagnose at that age - especially when an actual headache may or may not happen, just the vomitting. Good luck.


answers from Washington DC on

after 15 days - to me? this isn't a bug...I would take him to the nearest ER and have him admitted for possible dehydration....especially if nothing is staying down...dehydration can make the body do some funky things....since you are right around the corner from me - I would suggest the INOVA Urgent Care on Baron Cameron and Town Center Drive (by the Home Depot) and have them check him out...

I'm truly sorry this is happening!!!

I would also (I know you are beyond tired) go through the house with Clorox wipes and wipe EVERYTHING down - stair rails, knobs on sinks, door knobs, walls, all of it so that no one else gets this nastiness!!!

Please let me know if there's anything I can do!



answers from Dallas on

Is it possible he has developed a food allergy of some sort? Maybe something he handled ok before? I am allergic to tomatoes. My symptoms most often appear in the evening and mornings. I often react to them the way your son is behaving. Maybe he has developed an allergy to something that's in "everything". Good luck. I hope you have some answers soon.


answers from Houston on

I'm sorry, this is awful. Have you been keeping a food journal? I would write down what eh ate that day and times and such. Perhaps you will notice if there is some sort of food allergy?



answers from Norfolk on

I personally had a very similar experience about 25 years ago. I got the flu right after Thanksgiving (or at least that was what they called it). I would vomit just by looking at food.

I would be sick today, Mom would keep me home from school the next day, I would be back home by 9:30 vomiting pea soup looking stuff. And the cycle went on like this through the 27th of January.

I was hospitalized about the 23rd of January for dehydration. They did EKG, cat scans, everything they could think of. The neurologist (who we knew very well and went to church with us) was doing his rounds one morning, saw us told my mother I looked fine. 2 hours later, he was back and I was green and vomiting. He looked at my mother and said "What the hell happened to her?" Mom informed him that we had been doing this since Thanksgiving. He sent me in for more tests. They never did find anything but after the iv's with the fluids, it all went away almost like a flip of a switch.

Sorry I have no "diagnosis" as they never could figure out my problem. Good luck. Take him to er the first signs of dehydration.


answers from Los Angeles on

How is he feeling today? Has anyone in the house gotten sick? I'm feeling like it's not a contagious virus. I would recommend a GI Ped.



answers from Toledo on

i would think a food allergy. even if you did bland, he could have an allergy to dairy, wheat, eggs, all things that are in stuff like toast, soup. i would call an allergy dr and have him tested asap. in the mean time, make some stuff like applesauce (look at the labels), rice, fruit & veggies (no butter). my friend's son is allergic to a lot of things. does he have a rash or hives?


answers from Chicago on

Have any new foods or ingredients been introduced to his diet? Might he be having an allergic reaction to something new?



answers from Norfolk on

this doesnt sound like a sickness to me if it's only at night. is he fighting it during the day to play or is he only getting sick at night to stay up? your mind can do many things to make you sick with diarrhea ...far fetched as it may seem. or maybe it's something he eats towards bedtime or a few hours before to where by the time its bed time it has started bothering him. does he drink milk or eat alot of dairy? you said bland but is that the same as the BRAT diet? bread, rice, applesause, toaste? maybe try feeding him only that for a couple days if not. everything plain with nothing on it. non dairy diet a few days a glucose free diet a few days. only water. oh one other idea is to let him sleep with you or you sleep with him. see if that helps going on the idea that it's in his mind. make sure he knows ahead of bedtime you'll be sleeping with him though. good luck.



answers from San Diego on

I would add to some of the great advice you've already received is to call your Dr.'s office this weekend and ask for a prescription to be called into your pharmacy for anti-nausea medicine. I don't understand why they didn't give a prescription before. 15 days that is way too long for your son to be going through this. If nothing gets resolved through your doctor by Monday take him to the emergency room they will find the answer. Good luck!

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