son just diagnosed

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mrsghost
New Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 5/22/2006 5:43 AM (GMT -7)   
My 12 year old son was just diagnosed with IBS last week.  I am trying to figure everything out and everywhere I look there are conflicting things!  Dr said no dairy, red meat, etc.  Then I read about whole wheat vs white flour (called Dr and she said do whole wheat) but I read there could be a wheat allergy altogether!  Also, Dr said no dairy and then nurse said he should be eating yogurt.  Then I saw people recommending it on this site, too.  We had been eating activia everyday before all of this.
Also, there are some days when he is soooooo tired!  One day last week he slept most of the day and then slept all night!  Is this IBS or can he be depressed from all the things the DR said he couldn't do?
I just want him to feel better!  Dr also diagnosed him with having migraines- which I get too and wouldn't wish on my worst enemy, let alone my son! 

shelly1979
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 164
   Posted 5/22/2006 6:15 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello...I am also new to IBS...at least that's what the GI specialist says I have.  Us "IbSers", at least for myself, seem to want to sleep a lot because I'm so down about the life change that goes along with the IBS.  It was like, I'm great one day, and then all of a sudden I have constant diarrhea/loose stools for 2 1/2 months straignt now.  It's terrible.  Try to be understanding with your son and let him talk about it as much as he wants and let him know that you understand what he's feeling.  I feel like my husband is tired of me talking about it all of the time, and the truth is, I have all of these worries inside myhead, all I do is talk about them.  It's a horrible cycle.
 
What kind of IBS was your son Dx with?  IBS with constipation, IBS with diarrhea, or IBS that alternated between the diarrhea and constipation??.
 
Did they do a colonoscopy on him, Upper GI and small bowel series x-ray, blood tests, stool cultures, etc., to rule out all other possibilities besides IBS?
Hang in there.

runningrd
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 76
   Posted 5/22/2006 7:22 AM (GMT -7)   
Has he been tested for celiac? Is it C or D?

You could try soy yogurt vs dairy. These have the probiotics in them or just take one in pill form.

You may try cutting out wheat (pasta, cereals, any baked goods) If that helps it could be celiac. Do you know if you have a family history of celiac disease?

Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 5/22/2006 8:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Most people on here will recommend that you do a food diary. Basically you write down everything he eats and then what kind of reactions he has that day--sleepiness, diarrhea, constipation, gas pains, etc. Eventually you may begin to see a pattern of what bothers him and what does not. Don't forget to look at artificial sugars and preservatives as culprits. When you suspect a food, eliminate it and see if he gets better.

Processed foods are full of all sorts of things. You'll find milk protiens (casein and, I think, lechtin) in foods you wouldn't think have any milk in them. Wheat also hides in pretty much everything that's processed, under a variety of names, including gluten. And sugar is in EVERYTHING!!! My suggestion to you would be to make all of his food from scratch so you know EXACTLY what's in it (including bread--commercial kinds are a bad offender). It will make it easier to see a connection between what he's eating and how he reacts. If you can afford it, you may even want to try organic foods. Some people are so sensitive to chemicals that they can only tolerate completely organic items. But since organic can be really pricey unless you raise your own meat and vegetables, and most people are not that sensitive, cooking from scratch should do. That will at least eliminate the preservatives and artificial sugars and dyes. As the author of one book I read says (The French Don't Diet): if it doesn't have a mommy and daddy or grew out of the ground, then it's not real food.

If you find that your son seems to react to certain things, like all types of dairy or all types of grains, then you might want to take him to an allergist and see if he has an intolerance or allergy to these items. It may just be that his guts don't process them well, but it could also be that he has an allergy and should definitely look to avoid all forms of these foods.

By my estimate, only about half of us here have a problem with dairy, so I don't think there is any reason for your son to quit dairy all together unless you find that there is indeed a link between dairy and his problems. I mean, why miss out if you don't have to? And if he does have a problem, is it just a lactose intolerance or an actual allergy? If it's just lactose intolerance, then he should be able to drink Lactaid milk without a problem and eat most yogurts (the bacteria in it consumes most of the lactose). If it's a true dairy intolerance or allergy, then he would need to avoid all forms of dairy, including those proteins that get hidden in processed foods.

I'm not sure why your doctor said no red meat; I don't know that a lot of IBSers have a problem with that (some do, though). However, red meat is harder to digest than other meats (and non-meats, of course), so it's probably not a bad idea to limit him to small portions of red meat. At 12 years old, I'm betting he's not a steak-a-day eater anways, but then our portion sizes are WAY out of control in the U.S. (and rapidly Britain as well). If you look to see what weight a hamburger patty should be, you'll find in more in line with a McDonald's plain hamburger flat patty than the huge ones most people make at home (we'll not even get into Big Macs, Whoppers and Hardee's Monster burgers). Unless you notice that red meat in particular messes him up, I would let him have red meat once a week at the recommended portion size. That's enough red meat for anyone, really. Fish is better for you and chicken's not bad. I think pork, though, is just one step down from red meat, so maybe that only once or twice a week too.

Some other things that mess IBSers up that you will want to try eliminating at some point: artificial sugars--including the worst of the worst, sugar alcohols (sugar-free products); raw apples and apple juice (and for some, cooked apples as well); acidic foods, like citirus fruits, coffee and tomatoes; caffeine; if he has gas pains, carbonation and beans; raw vegetables and some cooked vegetable that are very tough (cauliflower, broccoli, bell peppers); pre-cut lettuce from a bag or salad bar (washed in chemicals that cause a lot of people diarrhea); sugar (including honey, molasses, cane sugar and high fructose corn syrup--although of those, honey and molasses are the least likely to cause problems and the most likely to be tolerable in small doses).

Did the doctor give your son something for the migraines? They can certainly get so bad that they can cause bowel problems (may even be the source of them). Both of you should definitely try and go preservative, chemical and dye free with your foods as I have heard that is sometimes a culprit of migraines. You may also need to go organic as you may be one of those really sensitive people; I have heard of people who cured their migraines by doing that. They also have to be careful of artificial scents from candles, plug-ins, perfume, and even deodorant. You may both want to go to an allergist.

mrsghost
New Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 5/22/2006 10:02 AM (GMT -7)   
Thankyou all for the info! I forgot to tell you- he has D. He had tests (blood, urine, stool) done to eliminte other things but nothing else.
Luckily I am a specialty foods buyer for a small grocery store chain, so I know what is out there and can get the stores to carry organic items. I am wondering about gluten- which I had been researching to help my celiac customers - little did I know it would soon be for my son too!
He had a blood allergy test awhile back and no actual food allergies showed up, but I'm not sure if gluten was one of the things he was tested for. There is no history of celiacs in my family- that I know of.
Thanks Shelly for your insight! I am sure that he is overwhelmed right now. Unfortunately, he doesn't want to talk about it at all, really. But, I will tell him I'm available and will show him your response so at least he knows he's not alone.
Keri, thanks for the diet info! My son will like hearing he might be able to have dairy afterall. I thought I would try red meat once a week after we figure out his bad foods and see what happens.

Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 5/23/2006 8:39 AM (GMT -7)   
I hope you find something that can help him; I know having diarrhea at school can be very, very embarrassing; kids are really quick to notice how many times you go to the bathroom and poke fun. Have you seen our posts about calcium (Caltrate 600 w/ Vitamin D) helping diarrhea? With him so young, you really need to check with your doctor to see how much he can take (the recommended dosage is probably too much for a child), but that may help. A lot of kids don't get as much as they are supposed to at any rate. And you need to ask your doctor about the diarrhea causing vitamin deficiencies and how to check for that or what multivitamin he should take. Diarrhea can do that to an adult, but it's especially bad in a child since they are still growing. He doesn't want to be short and have diarrhea too!

I think you're right on track with wanting to talk to him about it; it will make him feel less embarrassed and less uncomfortable if you initiate discussions and you make taking care of his problem a central activity. You may want to look to see if there are any support groups for kids living with illness. When you get right down to it, kids with diabetes, kids with cancer, kids with bowel problems really have the same problem: functioning at school, and, namely, interacting with kids who don't understand and who can be cruel.
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