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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tummy Trouble

I wrote a long while back about Sierra complaining about stomach pain on a daily basis.  
It was consistently in the morning, "Mommy, my tummy hurts!", but seemed to be okay after she ate.  If if was later in the day it was nearly always preceding a BM.  When it first started she was also expressing distress over every little bump or ache or pain throughout the day.  It was then, too, that she had her frequent urination problem.  We blamed it all on Sierra's way of reacting to Trevor's RA.  Consequently Trevor and I ignored the stomach pain remarks with every thing else going on.
Gradually all the other issues ebbed yet the tummy aches remained.  Then she began saying her "back bum" was hurting her, particularly in the evening before bed.  Huh?
I took her to our family doctor who suggested Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) since all the symptoms pointed to that.  (yes including a sore bum, with IBS as the body relaxes in the evening those particular muscles will often contract and cause pain)  She was put on a probiotic drop and I was given a few simple dietary suggestions.  Sierra's symptoms improved a little but as soon as anything 'exciting'  (Christmas/Palm Springs) was coming up her problems worsened again.

We ended up seeing a pediatrician who said that IBS is a common 'catch all' diagnosis but in reality very rare with kids.  After a lengthy, in-depth conversation she suggested that constipation may be the problem.  Not a pleasant topic so all I'll say is that her system seemed to be normal and ago as far as I could tell.  I learned that constipation doesn't always manifest itself in the obvious way.  Stomach X-rays were ordered and Sierra was put on a mild laxative and asked to return in six weeks.

Last Friday was six weeks.
We have noticed an significant improvement in Sierra's tummy aches in that time; she complains far less. 
The doctor said that the X-ray did indeed show a significant amount of stool in her system.
 So it seems that constipation is/was the culprit.  

  Constipation is not a major issue but sure can be if not dealt with.  
I am thankful it appears to be nothing more.  We will still be watchful and aware of her tummy complaints. Other than a three month follow-up check with our family doctor we are good to go for now!


Karen D said...

Sorry to hear Sierra has been having issues with constipation. Recently, the the grandson of the people I live with had a serious emergency with that. They thought he had appendicitis (he's 5 years old) and it turned out he had 3 feet of poop backed up in his intestines. Symptoms were almost identical to what you were describing with Sierra. I'm glad you caught it before it got that bad and required emergency medical intervention. Thankfully little Mikey is okay now, but it's a scary thing for a little kid to go through. I hope Sierra doesn't ever experience it to that degree.

Me said...

Yikes! Poor kid - and he probably didn't have the obvious symptoms either (unable to go at all). Sierra had a BM every day so I never gave it a thought!

Karen D said...

You're right, he didn't display any symptoms other than tummy aches like Sierra had. He did have BM's normally - or so they thought. His mom didn't think twice about it, just chalked it up to him being nervous about things. He's got Asperger's Syndrome which is a form of autism, and he is easily excitable because of that. Thankfully since that incident, he's been monitored more carefully and he's doing great now.
I hope Sierra won't have anymore episodes like that and she can go on being a carefree little girl, the way she should be :-)