My son has been having severe abdominal pain for the past 6 months. All tests come back completely normal. Doctors seem to think that it will just fix itself eventually. Any suggestions on how we can lessen his pain? We've tried everything over the counter and it doesn't work. Doctor prescribed "Belladonna"...phenobarbital for his pain but that doesn't help. Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated.
Person's Gender: Male
Person's Age: 12
I'm happy that you have asked me to assist you with your child and hope that you can benefit from my many years of helping parents like you.
I assume he has had blood and urine tests to be sure he has no underlying issues, infections, etc.
Has he had any xrays, upper GI, sonogram, CT?
Yes he has had upper endoscopy, many, many blood tests, urine and fecal tests. Abdominal ultrasound, CT Scan even Tilt Table test and 24 hour heart monitor.
During the 6 months he has had stretches where he feels fine, but then it comes back and hits him like a ton of bricks.
Is his weight stable or has he lost any.
He has actually gained a few pounds. Before this he had never been sick in his life. He is extremely athletic and used to going non-stop. Now since he is just laying around he's getting out of shape.
Have you tried any dietary measures?
They checked for celiac and it came back negative. We have been trying to make sure that he eats healthy. Lots of fruits and veggies.
OK, then here is what I would suggest trying.
Recently it has been discovered that there is a group of foods and substances known as FODMAPS, that are responsible for lots of people having chronic stomach aches, with or without bloating, cramping, diarrhea, gas, etc. Lots of people have been doing the Gluten-free diet in recent years sort of "self diagnosing" as Celiac in spite of normal tests. What is likely the reason for their improvement in symptoms is the diet eliminates many of the FODMAPS group of substances so they get better and assume their doctor was wrong.
This diet is simply an elimination diet of a few food groups and substances that are difficult for many to digest or that just cause more symptoms in some than others, including dairy (lactose), some fruits and juices (fructose and sorbitol) and others. Rather than list all of these for you let me give you the link to a very good article online that describes this diet and I'm sure you can find a lot more info from "Dr. Google" as I like to call him.
Here is the link:
Thanks so much doc! We'll give it a try.
Just either eliminate all of them or begin with a few and see if this helps as you will be surprised how ubiquitous some of them are in our foods - sorbitol for instance, which is in nearly all diet foods and juices as a flavor enhancer, as well as naturally occurring in many juices like apple, pear, and white grape, even Carefree sugarless gum!
It will take some time but it sounds like at least his health is not at risk for a couple of reasons: his tests have all been normal and he is gaining weight. This is common with this diet problem as it is not harmful, just aggravating.
We've been all over with him including Oakland Children's Hospital and haven't heard of this. I can't wait to give it a try!
33 years of experience as a general pediatrician in private practice and in pediatric urgent care.