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5 yo 'feeling sick' everyday

(16 Posts)
LakeFlyPie Thu 13-Feb-14 22:10:42

DS (5.8) is full of energy, eats and drinks well and seems fine most of the time.
He complains of 'feeling sick' or his 'tummy hurts' most days.
However, it's usually in morning before getting ready to go to school or before bed (it can be at other times but less often) he's easily distracted and I tend to ignore or minimise it as it doesn't stop him eating (he has always had a great appetite and loves food) nor does he actually vomit.
He occasionally has pale or loose stools but not always (was always prone to looseness as a baby in nappies and suffered from terrible nappy rash at times).

Having put it down to a general reluctance to go to school, which he enjoys when he's there but would prefer to be at home given the choice, I've dismissed this as a mix of anxious nausea and fabrication for many months but DP raised the possibility that it may be real, he thought it may be heartburn (which I think is unlikely in a 5yo)

I'd be very grateful for any advice or tips to deal with this and how to talk to DS to help him describe how he feels and assess if he needs to see GP or not.

mememummy Thu 13-Feb-14 22:44:07

Watching... Sounds like my 6 yo

mawbroon Thu 13-Feb-14 22:55:06

DS1 was like this and when he was around 5yo, he sometimes would complain of a burning in his chest.

5 year olds can and do get heartburn.

He also started complaining of being sick in his mouth. I think he had suffered this for quite a while and it was only around age 5 that he could verbalise it.

I investigated all the possibilities and found that the cause was his posterior tongue tie which had gone undiagnosed all that time.

We had it revised and the gastric troubles stopped.

LakeFlyPie Sat 15-Feb-14 15:30:12

Thanks for your replies.
On further questioning he said he thinks it's "too much phlegm" as "it comes up from [his] tummy to [his] throat".
Does sound like it could be reflux.

I have previously suspected that milk gives him loose stools so am going to try some lactofree products as a trial and will see GP if things don't settle down.
Not sure how lactose intolerance is assessed / diagnosed, will consult Dr Google!

mawbroon Sat 15-Feb-14 16:55:39

Even if milk is causing him problems, it may not be the lactose. It is possible that the milk protein is the culprit. I had this with ds1 and had to cut dairy completely.

LakeFlyPie Sat 15-Feb-14 18:03:42

That's interesting mawbroon.
How was the intolerance diagnosed? Is it a straightforward test via GP?

mawbroon Sat 15-Feb-14 21:23:34

His intolerance was really obvious. If I took him off dairy for a while, his poo firmed up usually about 10 days. As soon as he went back on it again, it became soft. This happened over and over. There isn't really a test they can do, unlike for allergies.

I pretty much managed the intolerance on my own, I didn't find that the docs or dietician were terribly helpful tbh. He also had an egg allergy, but that is handled very differently with periodic skin prick tests.

Has he got his back molars yet? If it is reflux, you need to be aware that it can damage the back teeth if it's getting as far as the mouth. DS1's are coated with the stuff they use routinely here, but they were already slightly stained.

deakymom Sat 15-Feb-14 23:46:49

my son has heartburn he is 5 he gets the same symptoms we ignored them put them down to school reluctance and it got worse to the point where he only ate two meals a day refused the third and would scream in his sleep he was in agony so he is on adult gaviscon three times a day it helps massively he is now constantly hungry and sleeping through the night again (thank goodness) we also discovered he might have a thyroid problem because he had a blood test done as his symptoms could have been anything

LakeFlyPie Mon 07-Jul-14 21:56:39

Just clicked on Threads I Started by accident and saw this!
Thanks to all who took the time to reply at the time.

Thought I should update for anyone who may have experienced similar.

We tried Lactofree milk and it seems to have sorted things out.
Haven't had any complaints of 'feeling sick' since we changed so I'm pretty convinced it was the milk on cereal at breakfast which was causing the problem.

I initially swapped to Lactofree cheese and yogurt but have reintroduced 'normal' versions of both in smallish quantities and he seems OK with them.

I tend to use the Lactofree or coconut / almond milks for breakfast cereal, porridge, smoothies and pancake batter and it seems to have tipped the balance in our favour smile

Clairelouise149 Tue 08-Jul-14 10:17:39

My 5 year old is just the same always complains of feeling sick, his health however is complicated as he has Congenital Heart Disease, Pulmonary Stenosis with leaky value and Atrial Fibrillation. He has so many systems I just put it down to his condition but after reading these comments I think I might have to get him checked. Yet more health professionals in his life

redandyellowbits Wed 09-Jul-14 21:30:38

My DD is age 6 and also complained exactly like your son did.

Gaviscon sorted her out completely, so it was heartburn in her case.

Glad your son's problem is sorted.

mabelbabel Fri 18-Jul-14 15:26:58

mawbroon if you see this, could you post some more details about your DS1's tongue-tie - how/why this was causing his symptoms at age 5, and how it was resolved?

I'm asking out of interest, because I have a current thread about my DD2 who is suffering from tummy ache at the moment. She had a tongue-tie snipped as a baby, but not very well done I don't think.

mawbroon Fri 18-Jul-14 23:41:55

Hi mabelbabel I have posted loads about DS1's ties before because they caused him no end of problems. Mainstream HCPS are pretty clueless about this stuff. Been there, got the T Shirt!!

When he was about 2yo, I suspected he was tied, but he (eventually) breastfed ok and his speech was fine, so I thought no more about it.

He was always ill, endless stomach bugs, poor sleeping - snoring and bouts of apnoea, he was a fussy eater and was a bit anaemic, he had congestion and noise in his ears and some hearing loss, He was mouth breathing and his tonsils were massive. He often just seemed like he was ill but I could never put my finger on what was wrong.

As I mentioned downthread, he started complaining of reflux like symptoms when he was 5yo, but looking back, I think he had been suffering all along but had not been able to verbalise it. He would only eat soft or sloppy foods. He would sometimes just take a bite or two then say he was full. Yes, he probably was full, but he was full of air, not food!

I read on here that there was a link between tongue tie and reflux-like symptoms. I investigated further and learned that with the incorrect tongue movement during swallowing, it is possible that air is swallowed when eating causing bloating, but also the air can come back up, bringing stomach contents with it. I remembered back to when he was a baby and often thinking his stomach was massive. I see now that it was full of air. He had been put on Gaviscon and Omeprazole at 5yo, but neither did a great deal for him. He had an endoscopy which showed irritation and some type of crystals forming that were related to the reflux, but nothing else.

We had his tongue tie revised under GA which was ££££ but it stopped his reflux symptoms overnight. I later learned that although his reflux had stopped, his ties had not been fully revised. Clearly enough had been released to improve the swallowing, but he still did not have full function.

We went several month later to a dentist who had specialised in ties and he gave us a full assessment and said there were orthodontic problems which needed addressed. He was almost 7yo at this point. The tongue shapes the palate during the time in the womb and beyond. If the tongue cannot function correctly, the palate remains high and narrow. This can cause breathing problems - the palate restricts the space needed for the nasal passages so mouth breathing becomes the better option. Mouth breathing lengthens the bottom jaw changing the whole orofacial structure. DS1 was very flat across the nose and cheeks (not that you would notice unless you knew what you were looking for) and his bottom jaw was already bigger than his top one - it should be the other way round. The high palate was also restricting the space for the eustacian tubes and I am fairly sure that there was gastric fluid up there from the reflux. He had been consistently congested for 18 months before the reflux stopped, and after revision his ears were clear at the next audiology appointment.

So, he was revised again - properly this time with laser and local anaesthetic, started orthodontic treatment to expand his palate and wore headgear at night to draw out the flat section and his upper jaw.

It didn't take long before he stopped snoring, mouth breathing and the bouts of apnoea. Our orthodontist is fantastic. He is also an osteopath and he pointed out a curvature in DS1's neck, possibly caused by the tension created by his ties. This was having a knock on effect on his hips, knees and ankles. He straightened him all out and he stopped complaining of sore hip and ankles all the time. The dentist also regularly manipulates inside his mouth. I was never very sure what he was doing, but at the last appointment, he said that ds1's cheekbones were tight and the palate expander would not work so well unless he removed the tension.

It has been a long road, the orthodontics are almost finished. He will need fixed braces when he's a teen, but it will be very minor compared to the extractions and god knows what else he would have been facing without this early intervention.

There are photos on my profile of his ties, but bear in mind that appearance is not terribly relevant when it comes to ties, it's all about how the tongue functions.

Is there anything else going on with your DD2 that might point to ties? How old is she?

RockinHippy Sun 20-Jul-14 00:59:16

I think there's lots of possible causes for this & yes it can be real, but the anxiety, tummy trouble & nausea together make me wonder if he is a "bit bendy too" does he sit in a W position on the floor for example - knees & ankles to the side of his body. I'm wondering if he feels nausea on standing up from getting out of bed

My DD has Ehlers Danlos Hypermobilty, aka Joint Hypermobility syndrome - she was like this at this age - lots of similar gastric issues, which for her got worse due to stress at school & always nauseous on a morning, travel sick too

Though that's said, she's recently been diagnosed with a diary protein & soy allergy, which again allergies are apparently commons with EDSH - like you we picked up on possible lactose intolerance & I used to keep her of it during IBS flare ups (diagnosed at 8) - true allergies show up in blood tests, intolerance doesn't & is exclusion diet.

RockinHippy Sun 20-Jul-14 01:05:53

Sorry, late & missed a bit

Other signs are, they fidget a lot, maybe difficulty with writing due to overly flexible finger joints - none of this might look out of the ordinary to you, because it's hereditary & it's your normal too IYSWIM

POTs (postural Tachycardia syndrome) is a symptom of EDSH, but can be triggered in susceptible people by an illness or trauma - for my DD, this was pneumonia at 5 - this is basically to do with how your blood pumps around your body, from lying down/sitting to standing, it doesn't right itself correctly, making you feel sort of seasick - it affects stomach, reflux etc too

Hope you find answers for him

Good luck

mabelbabel Mon 21-Jul-14 09:19:26

mawbroon thanks for that, sounds like a lot of trouble caused by one small thing. Hope it all resolves finally. The thing is that I know that she still has a tie to some degree. I do too, as it happens, and DD1 (see below).

For DD2, after the snip (as a very young baby), her feeding did improve, but it wasn't a dramatic difference, partly because things weren't so bad in the first place. Compare and contrast to DD1 who also has a tie, who could hardly cling on to the bottom of the charts for the 4 months that she was EBF. NO-ONE mentioned or looked for a tongue-tie, not even once, despite repeated meetings with GP, HV etc. It was only when we started weaning (early - on HV advice) that she started to get back on track.
With DD2 I was scared of this happening again, so being a bit more clued up I tried to sort things out straight away. But I regretted it actually, because it wasn't done well and it was done before I really thought it through.

Reading through the list of issues that ties have caused you, it seems like we have luckily not encountered most of those. The only things that sound possibly similar are:
DD2 feeling sick a lot at the moment (as mentioned above).
DD1 has suffered a lot of earache of unknown cause, but seems to be growing out of it.
But of course both of these (taken on their own) are quite vague and could have other causes too. Neither of them mouth-breath to a significant extent, and both of them speak well. I do trip over myself with speech sometimes but it's not really a problem most of the time.

I am slightly concerned about teeth! I mentioned it to the dentist last time I took DD2, as her adult teeth are coming through in rapid succession. He didn't seem at all concerned about it, but I'm not sure he really understood my questions. Maybe this will be the subject of another thread once I've had the next dentist trip.

[Sorry for the slight derail folks]

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