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New diagnosis in teenager


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Good Morning - after a lot of blood work, stool samples, an abdominal ultrasound and most recently, an upper endoscopy, my 13 year old was diagnosed with IBS.  He has missed almost 4 weeks of school due to the pain and needing to run to the bathroom at odd times.  His school has been fantastic with communication and giving him assignments - although he usually feels crappy enough (like a gorilla punched him in the stomach - his words) that he can't even focus on the work.  


His GI doc started him on Levbid to settle his belly and he has taken 3 pills so far.  It has not helped but I imagine it will take more than a day and a half to kick in.  We have not found his triggers yet, although one of the blood tests was a food sensitivity test and the two things that came back as "red"/bad for him are wheat and corn.  We are trying to eliminate both of those from his diet.  He is a vegetarian and gets most of his protein from milk, cheese and Morningstar Farms products.  I am going to switch to lactose free dairy - will that help??


I am just looking for support - from parents who have children with IBS....from people that were diagnosed in middle school.  Is there a way (for a VERY shy child) to get back into the groove of public school?  Does an online school make more sense?  He is a brilliant child in advanced classes, and although he hates school, he loves going to his orchestra class. His viola is his passion.  


Please let me know how you have handled this with your child?  Or your own experience in MS/HS?



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Jeffrey Roberts

I'm sorry to read that your 13 year old is dealing with such issues. I was formally diagnosed around the age of 15 so I get it when you have to deal with that crappy feeling all the time especially at school.

Curious as to why they did an upper endoscopy called "gastroscopy" versus looking in his bottom end? Were they trying to rule out a cause in his stomach? Good that stool samples were used to rule out an infection. Was an ova and parasite stool test also done? What about a stool test looking for C. Difficile? I would consider that if he has been on an antibiotic in the last 6 months. Lastly, to rule out inflammatory bowel disease, did anyone suggest a fecal calprotectin stool test?

Levbid is an antispasmodic that is short acting. To be honest if it's not helping with abdominal pain immediately then it might never help. You take it 30 minutes before a meal to try and dampen down the nerves so they aren't "firing" quite so much. There are other medications that could be considered. I would let the GI doctor know if levied is not helping. I presume this is a Paediatric GI doctor?

Food sensitivity isn't really involved in IBS. There is a low FODMAP diet that could be used to try and find foods in various quantities that might be aggravating the symptoms. A Dietitian that is familiar with the low FODMAP diet is the best person to consult and guide you with this. It's not meant to be a permanent diet. You use it to determine what you can and can't tolerate. Lactose is a high FODMAP and could definitely be considered BUT I personally wouldn't eliminate things until you speak with a Dietitian.

I wouldn't suggest online school or anything like that. I would get to the bottom of this and find a treatment that allows him to cope. Sounds like he lives orchestra and the viola and that's important to him.

Lots of kids his age are diagnosed with various gut illnesses. I understand how hard it is to watch your child to be in so much discomfort. Keep showing him that you are working to find a solution. Don't let the GI doctor just diagnose and not offer more support. There are many options available.

Hope this helps. Here to help.




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