difficult child's stomach issues. Again

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Californiablonde, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    So difficult child has been battling with a mysterious stomach issue for the last year now. We just can't figure out what is wrong with her. She gets very nauseous and throws up mostly in the morning, but it can last all day too. She also has bouts of diahrrea for no apparent reason. Yesterday was a non school day for her because it was the day after finals, so my mom came and took her out to lunch. The whole time my mom was driving difficult child felt very sick and had to ask my mom to turn the music off and not talk because the noise was bothering her. She felt a little bit better around dinner time but then again this morning she got sick. She kept saying she was going to throw up. I thought she may have been using it as an excuse to get out of going to school. Instead of asking to stay home, however, she asked me to call my mom and see if she could take her to school later when she felt better. My mom said okay to that so I left difficult child at home and took easy child to school. Right after I left, difficult child threw up. When my mom picked her up she told my mom she threw up and that she still felt sick. My mom opted to take her to the doctor's instead of school. The doctor ended up diagnosing her with a stomach virus. He also scheduled an xray for later. He is keeping her out of school for two days. But I know it's more than just a simple virus. This has been going on for a year now. She has had bloodwork that has all come back fine. She was tested for lactose intolerance but we found out that wasn't it. Then she had an abodminal ultrasound. That came back normal as well. So what could be the cause of this? I really don't know what else to check for. I thought it could be anxiety related but difficult child has stated several times that she is not anxious. Has anybody else ever experienced something like this?
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    These are just totally off-the-top-of-the-head, wild-card ideas... just in case.

    1) migraines. For some people they don't feel like headaches, but they can cause serious nausea.

    2) has she ever kept a food diary? every single bite, every single day, plus multiple notes per day about how she is feeling, condition of bm, etc. A sensitivity can cause serious gut problems - for example, my Dad can't have shrimp... and it's JUST shrimp, but even the tiniest bit causes major problems. Could be dairy, could be wheat, could be gluten, could be... lots of stuff.
  3. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    No she doesn't keep a food diary but that's a good idea. They tested her for allergies though and it came back negative.
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Many sensitivities don't generate a histamine response... which is what an allergy is.
    I cannot tolerate milk protein, but it doesn't show as an allergy.
    Dad doesn't show an allergy to shrimp either.

    The most common ones I know of are: milk, gluten, wheat (in which case other gluten is just fine), food coloring, nightshade plants (tomato, potato and eggplant), beef.

    Other problem foods are more likely to show up as an allergy - berries, for example.
  5. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Has she seen a gastroenterologist? My brother has Crohns Disease. It started when he was twelve years old and his main symptoms were he'd have diarrhea and throw up, lose weight and feel sick. Nobody diagnosed him right until he almost died (not scaring you, I hope, this was over thirty years ago and they kept saying it was nerves and he'd outgrow it...blah, blah, blah). If you haven't seen a stomach specialist, I'd start there first. Although this WAS a long time ago, doctors specialize more now and sadly are less likely to figure out what is wrong with somebody unless it is their area of expertise. I don't know if a primary doctor or pediatrician would even bother to test for Crohns since the insurance companies would rather you try other things first...you kind of have to insist. I will never forget the sound of my brother throwing up at night and the sick feeling I got while worrying about him. At any rate, I wouldn't guess on this one...I'd take it to the guy who knows the field...a gastro man. This probably is not psychiatric and because she has psychiatric conditions, it may get poohed-poohed as "its her nerves." Rule out first. After the gastro man, you can see other types of doctors. Make sure it doesn't originate in the stomach first though. Cousin to Crohns is Ulcerative Colitis. Since she could dehydrate and get very sick, I would not fool around on this one and would try to get her in right away and try other methods later. My brother was sensitive to certain foods, but that was not why he was really sick and eliminating them didn't really make him any better. He is 55 now and has done pretty well considering, but he has to take very serious medication and there is no choice. He has had surgery too. The earlier you catch this, as always, the better the prognosis.
    I'm sorry if I sound scary, but since I lived with this, I'd hate to see it fly under the radar...test her to make sure she does not have either Crohns or Ulcerative Colitis. This would especially be true if she runs low fevers like 99.0 or 99.4 and is tired or lethargic a lot, but at first those symptoms don't always kick in. It's the diarrhea and vomiting.

    With the bloodwork, I think it's the (ok, my spelling is garbage) sedementation (Help helathcare professionals?) that is usually fast with Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis. I am not sure this test is routinely done. The best way to really tell what's going on with the stomach is the doctor taking a look down the throat and up the (throat clearing). I've had these lovely tests. They're not so bad...they put you out for them. I needed this for gastric reflux, which is another possibility. Somebody really needs to look at her stomach and bowls.
  6. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the tips, Midwest mom. I will call her doctor and ask for a referral to a gastroenterologist.
  7. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Good. he's the guy who knows the most about stomach problems. Honestly, regular primaries really are limited in their knowledge and your poor girl is obviously feeling soooooooo sick. Good luck!
  8. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    My daughter had stomach problems until she was 8. I took her to several gastroenterologists who found nothing wrong. They tested her for celiac disease multiple times and did other tests like ultrasounds, X-rays, reflux studies. They said she had "anxiety". When she was 8, I we found out she was gluten and casein intolerant. Giving up milk and gluten got rid of her stomach problems.

    I had to discover that on my own from reading internet sites. I ordered a test from Enterolab and it was positive for gluten and casein. The real test was eliminating gluten and milk from her diet and seeing that her stomach problems went away. I think doctors are probably still dismissive of that test, but it gave us an answer.

    We tested my other daughter, too, and she was also positive for both milk and gluten. She did not have stomach problems, but she was a difficult child with ODD. Putting her on the girlfriend/CF diet turned her into a easy child.

    I would take your daughter to the gastro and make sure there is nothing more serious going on but also see if she is interested in trying the girlfriend diet. I have found over the years that most people are not interested in this, but if her stomach is bothering her that much, she just might try it. If you are interested in an actual celiac diagnosis, she needs to keep eating gluten until after she is tested. But a negative test doesn't mean eliminating gluten won't help her.
  9. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    All very good advice, and I hope you can find out the source, sounds awful for her :(

    IF all tests continue to find no cause, it could (not saying it IS) be that the cause is indeed anxiety. I only say that because IF no cause can be found, it isn't unreasonable to think perhaps it is due to anxiety (both the vomiting and diarhea). My easy child had this going on through the first half or so of 2012. It was quite a lot of talking and digging for her to be able to even recognize that she was being sick and getting diarhea as a part of anxiety. She was expecting anxiety to feel "typical" and since it wasn't with her, she didn't recognize it was anxiety she was experiencing and that induced her troubles. We worked very hard together on stress management techniques, anti anxiety techniques, helping her identify what anxiety can feel like for HER (Because its different for many people) so she could identify it and then realize she had to reduce the anxiety to feel better. It wasn't overnight and it still took time to eliminate the physically ill symptoms, but we did get it under control with her. None to soon either because it was heart breaking to see her running up a hall vomiting racing embarrassed and crying to the bathroom and then crying after in such sheer frustration.

    I think you're on the right track with the further testing for now though, but just in case, maybe some low key talks about what she feels day to day, indentifying differences in how anxiety can be experienced etc could be in order, just "in case".
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    I think a gastro is a good idea too because it could also be h pylori. I had awful stomach pain and cramping along with trotting off to the potty for one end or the other if I could manage to keep anything down.
  11. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    My sister in law was having a lot of gastro problems (vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss) and after more than a year of searching for an answer she found it was problem with her thyroid, along with Chron's disease. She eliminated gluten and wheat from her diet and started on medications for her thyroid and said she feels like a new woman.
  12. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Eliminate anything you like from her diet, but take her to a gastroenterologist :) When you are a nervous person, as I am, whenever you complain about your stomach you are told "it is your nerves." Or something else simple to fix. They need to seriously explore and make sure. She can become very sick and dehydrated. Even if it is her nerves, which I seriously doubt 100% of it is, the gastro man can best tell you what to feed her.
    Crohns can go into spontaneous remission and then come back like a biotch. I hope this friend, however, feels great forever :)
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Look up abdominal migraines. They do not involve headaches but they are migraine activity and can do some of this. Also do some research on IBS, which is what this sounds like. Look at the IBS diet, etc... One thing that will help is fiber. LOTS, but build up gradually. I used dry miniwheats as a snack for years and it was the only thing that really helped. Other things like the fiber bars, etc... are also helpful. Fiber helps most digestive problems except nausea.
  14. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    It could also be the medications. Some medications can cause off/on stomach issues, but I would also start with a food diary (simplest solution first!). My daughter had to come off trileptal because her dose got so high the dose itself made her ill and she had to switch to tegretol (similar but takes less for same effect).
  15. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Well she ended up getting sick again today. She threw up several times this morning before school. She hugged me and begged me to let her stay home. She didn't want to throw up at school. So I am making her a doctor appointment tomorrow. I don't have work tomorrow anyway. I am going to ask her pediatrican for the referral to the gastro when we are there. I hope we can get to the bottom of this soon. Right now difficult child is miserable and can barely eat. I went to see my therapist yesterday and he thinks it's psychological. Figures. It very well may be, but I still need to cover all possibilities and see if there is something physical. Hopefully we find out soon.
  16. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    CB...if your daughter has anxiety, all doctors will say it's psychiatric. They told my mom that about my brother too, even though he WASN'T particularly high strung. In fact, he almost died because they blew off his symptoms as being nerves. Make sure you get that gastro appointment. Have every test done to her. Be sure it isn't physical. Anxiety can cause real stomach issues too. I'm surprised your pediatrician hasn't already referred her to a gastroenterologist. I think he isn't taking her seriously...jmo. And that's common, as I said...doctors assuming that if you are high strung, it's psychological. Without looking inside the stomach and colon, THEY DON'T KNOW!
  17. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    And on top of what MWM said... if there are medical gastro problems? anxiety makes them worse... which makes it even more serious to get to the bottom of it.... one way or the other.

    If you go through the testing and there is nothing, you have something to fight back with against some of difficult child's anxiety. if there ARE issues... they will get dealt with. You both win either way.
  18. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Well I took her to the doctor this morning. doctor says it could be her Trileptal but she's been on that stuff for about seven years and hasn't had any issues with it. I seriously doubt the medications. She reluctantly called in a referral to a pediatric gastroenterologist. She didn't really think it was necessary but I insisted. It will take about two weeks for the referral to go through then I need to make an appointment. In the meantime she prescribed two medications. One is for the nausea and the other one is for stomach acid. I am hoping the medications help. I can not have difficult child missing any more school. I can't keep taking her to the doctors and getting notes. She's already missed three and a half days this week. Hoping and praying the medications work.
  19. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Keep copies of the scripts etc. - every slip of paper counts in proving that you are doing what you can.
  20. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Well the medications aren't helping. difficult child agreed to go to school today (thank goodness!) and I am hoping I can convince her to go the rest of the week. I can not take her to the doctor's anymore. There is nothing they can do for her till she sees the gastro. Hoping to find some answers really soon.