Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

9 year old with abdominal pain

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 3 Replies
  • Posted By: jingles628
  • February 13, 2009
  • 03:00 PM

My daughter had a stradle injury in July of 2008. Since this injury she has been experiencing diarrhea everyday with abdominal pain and headaches.
She has been to see doctor after doctor to find out what is going on without any real answers. She had a abdominal ultra sound done which found free fluid in her pelvis. The very same day she had a enhanced CT done of her abdomen and pelvis which also found a suspicious enchancing of the fluid in her abdomen. (what ever that means have gotten no answers) The report stated that there were no concerns about extravasaton from collecting system and thought that her symptoms were more likely due to a GI process. She has had stool samples done which came back negative (negative for what I don't know). She has been to the Adolescent clinic at CHP without any findings. Those people seemed irritated that I was told to bring her there when she hasn't even started her period. She went to the GI doctor who did 1 blood test and stated that if this test came back negative to stop dairy products for 2 weeks. Well, the test came back negative and we stopped dairy products for 2 weeks but the diarrhea, abdominal pain and headaches still persisted. We were then told to take her to see a Child Behavioral Counselor that most likely she was having anxiety. I am so fed up with all the run around that I have been getting. It has been 7 months now and she is still experiencing diarrhea everyday, headaches everyday, and abdominal pain everyday. She is confused because she does not want to feel like this anymore and she is getting very depressed. She has been seeing the Child Behavioral counselor now for almost 2 months and nothing has changed. She does not want to go to school in fear that she may have a accident and her headaches have gotten worse. We even took her to the eye doctor who prescribed her glasses only for reading but the headaches are still there if not more now. The abdominal pain that she is experiencing is located on her left side just below her ribs and she states that the pain is a very sharp pain. Her PCP stated once again that she probably has a intestinal viral infection and it just needs to run it's course. Well, I think 7 months is long enough to run it's course. Someone please help I am at my wits end.

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  • This is almost exactly what my 12 yo daughter is going through (sans the diarrhea, and add in vomitting 1-2 times a day). We have also not had any luck with the medical profession and my daughter is currently seeing a counselor as well. I don't have any answers for you, but wanted to let you know that you (and she) is not alone with this. Does your daughter respond to any pain meds? My daughter find no relief with anything that has been given so far. Even tylenol with codeine. She says her pain level is about a 7 out of 10 for both the abdominal pain and the persistent headache, so I really don't know how she copes with this day-in and day-out. I am waiting for my GP to get back to me with a referral to a different pediatrician as the first pediatrician refused to authorize any further testing. This new ped apparently has a "special interest" in GI issues. Even if this is completely "functional" (i.e. all in her head), I would prefer to continue to rule out any physical/medical issues. At least I have finally rounded up some support from the school system, as my daughter was not going to school due to the pain and insomnia. We have a home teacher coming twice a week now and she attends school in the afternoons (when she can). It is so frustrating as a parent to not be able to help your child. Hope you can find some relief for your daughter soon. Cindy
    laidbackmomto2 14 Replies
    • February 13, 2009
    • 08:23 PM
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  • You need to get the stool test results and make sure they tested for clostridium difficile infection. This is becoming increasingly common and is often overlooked in a routine stool exam. You need to specifically ask for this test. Clostridium difficile causes colitis, and is very nasty. This should be ruled out. Also get a good quality children's chewable probiotic and give this to your child daily. This will help with the diarrhea and promote the good bacteria in her intestines. I like Nature's Plus Animal Parade kidzdophilus, but there are others. I'm sorry you are not getting answers with your doctors - don't think anxiety is causing her issues. Also, two weeks off dairy is not going to show much of anything. Has she been tested for celiac/gluten sensitivities? Could you talk in more detail about the stradle injury and when her symptoms began? Best wishesDOM
    acuann 3,080 Replies
    • February 13, 2009
    • 11:37 PM
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  • Okay, please describe the stradde injury from the context of whether she was injured otherwise and if this occurred while riding a bike, did she fall? What is the nature of the headaches? Is it constant or intermittent and specifically where does she state that her head hurts? Is there any nausea or have there been any vomiting episodes? Does she complain of any light-headedness, dizziness or vision problems? Was an MRI or CT scan performed at any time? With regard to the diarrhea, is it constant or intermittent? Does she experience loose bowel movements or is it more watery? Does she also have excess gas production? Prior to the bowel movements, what are her symptoms? How long after she eats does she experience diarrhea? Is she awakened during the night by the need to evacuate or have a bowel movement? This is not related to a virus or bacterial infection. In children with pain at the left upper quadrant just under the rib curtain, it is possible that she suffered a diaphragmatic injury, or injury to the accessory muscle that helps you breathe. Secondly, and slightly less common, would be injury to the spleen, but it's been a bit long for this to represent a causal factor. If she complains of difficulty breathing deeply, or the pain worsens on deep inspiration, then it needs to be evaluated further. The distal portion of the duodenum is also a common injury that can sometimes be related to subsequent GI complaints and pain, although more related to upper right quadrant or substernal pain in such cases. Several issues require attention here. If she has experienced chronic diarrhea for 6 months or more, there's likely an electrolyte imbalance that could be at issue. Also realize that many people try and correct electrolyte imbalance with sports drinks that contain a high sugar content, which will only make diarrhea worse and even perpetuate the circumstances. Pedialyte is often a better choice for electrolyte restoration. More primary to this is the nature of the headaches. Depending upon the character of the pain and specifically how it is becoming worse, I would be suspect that the straddle injury was somehow associated with a subsequent fall injury as well. Once you can provide answers to the questions provided, I can offer better direction about where to proceed from this point. Her condition would warrant further evaluation, not observation. Best regards, J Cottle, MD
    JCottleMD 580 Replies
    • February 14, 2009
    • 00:29 AM
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