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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

DD 12 with extreme tummy pains - is also overweight

(34 Posts)
HelpmehelpmyDD2002 Sat 18-Oct-14 20:42:13

My DD was born with a large protruding tummy. Her tummy has remained large and grown with her (she has been overweight most her life). We are an active family, so we have encouraged her to join numerous sports clubs over the years. We watch her diet and encourage healthy eating (she does not eat lots of fatty/sugary foods). I have raised my concerns with the doctor and been referred to a dietitian. We have kept a diary of her diet and activity and been advised that we are doing everything correct, not to worry and eventually she will grow into herself. This just isn't happening, her tummy is growing with her and to be honest is looking larger despite our efforts around diet and exercise.
Over the last year she has started getting extreme tummy pain. This is not a consistent pain (happens every few weeks/months), it comes in waves and lasts a few days. When she has a bout of these pains, they are a bit like contractions and at the peak of the pain she is doubled over and screaming in agony. No pain killer ease them. It has resulted in me taking her to A&E, they have taken her bloods/urine sample and these are both clear. I have taken her to the doctors and they have advised it could be irritable bowl or anxiety.
I feel that her large tummy and the pains are somehow related. I have made this suggestion to the doctor, but they don't think it is likely.
I have tried cutting out wheat and dairy, but it doesn't appear to make any difference.
She hasn't started her periods but is showing signs of puberty, not sure if this is a reason for the pains. Another theory is that her tummy will reduce once she starts her periods (I am not sure about this).
I feel I am failing my DD on two counts, her weight/tummy and I can't ease her pains.
I am willing to try anything to help my DD, suggestions welcome.

Tanaqui Sat 18-Oct-14 20:43:59

Has she been tested for coeliac disease?

Gileswithachainsaw Sat 18-Oct-14 20:45:54

I was going to suggest testing for coeliac too.

Also if dairy is a problem soya could be too. Cutting one won't be definitive you'd have to try both.

HelpmehelpmyDD2002 Sat 18-Oct-14 20:53:28

Yes, has been tested for coeliac, it was negative. I cut out wheat and dairy to try and reduce the bloating, by the end of the day she can look pregnant.

trockodile Sat 18-Oct-14 20:57:48

Your poor DD-I feel so sorry for her. I know this may be off the wall as she is so young, but the extreme, cyclical pain made be think endometriosis could be a possibility and a quick google seems to suggest pre-pubescent girls can exhibit symptoms even before they have a period.
It is just a thought, and would probably be difficult to diagnose at this age-only through laparoscopy-but might be worth you bearing in mind. Good luck to you both, she's a lucky girl to have such a proactive mum smile

Tanaqui Sat 18-Oct-14 21:07:50

Have you tried cutting out all gluten, or just wheat? I would try cutting all gluten- wheat, rye, barley, ordinary oats- hard but v v worth it for me.

HelpmehelpmyDD2002 Sat 18-Oct-14 21:14:09

Thank you trockodile that is interesting. On our last trip to A&E ovarian cysts were mentioned as a possibility, but later it was dismissed by the doctor doing her rounds on the ward. I have had to push/argue for a scan and I am waiting for a date (this will then rule cysts in or out).
It is so frustrating not knowing what is causing the pains, because until we do it is hard to treat.
I don't believe it is anxiety, she is confident, happy and has lots of friends. The only area that does upset her is her weight. Now she is older she is aware that her diet is healthier than most her peers and she does more exercise!
She has always been healthy before the pains started, with 100% attendance at school. She has recently had some days off when the pain was too bad.

MisForMumNotMaid Sat 18-Oct-14 21:14:35

Another long shot possibility story to add to your list of possible future thoughts for exploration....My sister had terrible tummy pains on and off throughout her early/ mid teens. She had a little more weight than her friends but wasn't massive. She also looked very bloated and pregnant. The doctors dismissed her repeatedly and told her to loose weight. It turned out to be ovarian cysts. She was rushed to surgery at 18. One was the size of a rugby ball, the other not much smaller. The surgeon said he'd never seen one so big.

It must be horrid to see your DD in such discomfort. Sounds like you're doing all you can just keep going back to the doctors and don't get dismissed.

MisForMumNotMaid Sat 18-Oct-14 21:15:42

Sorry cross post. I see cysts have already come up. DSis was told several times teenagers don't get ovarian cysts.

HelpmehelpmyDD2002 Sat 18-Oct-14 21:21:07

Tanaqui I have tried wheat and gluten. I have not actively tried to cut out rye, barley and oats, I don't think she would have them in high quantities but maybe they are the next thing to go. Did cutting them out reduce tummy pain? or bloated tummy?

Tanaqui Sat 18-Oct-14 21:28:07

There is gluten in rye and barley and I have awful pain with barley in particular- a bugger as barley malt is in a lot of otherwise gluten free things. I would try going totally gluten free- but get the ovarian thing checked too.

HelpmehelpmyDD2002 Sat 18-Oct-14 21:28:33

Misformum the more I read about cysts I do think they are a possibility. I am pleased I have pushed for a scan, just hope we get a date soon.
Did you sisters tummy reduce once the cysts were removed?
The weight is just on my DD's tummy, she has a tiny face and slim legs, she is totally out of proportion.

Rivercam Sat 18-Oct-14 21:35:25

I definitely think it's worth getting your daughter allergy tested. Milk could be another suspect. Does she also suffer from wind? That's a symptom.

(Goats milk is a good alternative to cows milk)

wannabestressfree Sat 18-Oct-14 21:41:29

This happened to me as a child. I was hospitalised lots with terrible stomach pain - diagnosed with colic? Grumbling appendix? Attention seeking? Also has an enlarged tummy.
At 19 I was taken into hospital with the same problem - query appendix was operated on and had a bowel resection. I had Crohn's disease and it has been there for years.

HelpmehelpmyDD2002 Sat 18-Oct-14 21:44:17

Yes, she does get wind. This time when she had a bad bout of pains she was also burping a lot. I did then think it could be an ulcer. I've been advised that an ulcer will not show on a scan.

hellsbells99 Sat 18-Oct-14 21:52:36

My DD used to be similar. She has allergy problems. Try cutting out all drinks except water and natural fruit juice - squashes and fizzy drinks can contain some 'rubbish'. Cut out all sweets - again, can have artificial colours and sweeteners. Cut out processed foods - nothing with breadcrumbs etc (unless homemade). Try treating any 'flare ups' with piriton liquid and colpermin capsules (peppermint). If it is allergy related, once you have a flare-up, it can last a few days so it's very hard to tell what was the initial trigger. See if any of that helps. DD used to be in so much pain, my friend once assumed she must have appendicitis! DD used to have a huge stomach that you could play the drums on. She is now reasonably careful with food and drinks - Sainsbury's products tend to be safe for her.
Hope to get to the bottom of it - good luck op.

hellsbells99 Sat 18-Oct-14 21:55:13

Another problem is that if your DD has a lot of wind, they may struggle to see anything on an ultrasound scan.

RandomMess Sat 18-Oct-14 21:55:43

TBH cysts are really common, it's just unusual that they cause problems.

There are quite a few MN posters whose dds have turned out to have had ongoing cyst issues that have been ignored for years because "they are too young" happened to a colleagues dd too.

IDidNotSignUpForThis Sat 18-Oct-14 21:56:10

I am so sorry to hear about your daughter's problems. You are not failing her! I think stomach/ digestive problems are amongst the hardest to diagnose and get help with. Keep pushing with your GP. See someone else and get a second opinion. Ask for a referral. Keep pestering, even if they keep fobbing you off. If the worst comes to the worst would it be possible for you to pay for some private investigations? I had some terrible gastro- intestinal problems a few years ago and ended up having to pay to go privately. It was money we could Ill afford but we were desperate enough to pay it and I don't think i would have ever have got sorted without it. Good luck with it all.

GirlsonFilm Sat 18-Oct-14 22:01:35

Could be Gall Stones, does the pain come on after eating fatty food? It is rare in teenagers, but not unheard of and burping is a symptom. If it is gallstones the pain is to the right of the navel. It is really painful too.

MisForMumNotMaid Sat 18-Oct-14 22:05:49

Yes my sisters tummy became flat. Wonders of young skin. She has an unfortunate scar due to complications because everything became an emergency rather than being dealt with calmly like you are, so not something its necessary to spill the gory details on.

In some ways if it is cysts, diagnosis is clear, quick and conclusive (the scan should show them) and the solution is quick.

Ongoing allergies/ intolerances as others mention seam to be so hard to narrow down.

Just keep your faith that your child deserves every help you can get her and hopefully the resolution will come quickly.

HelpmehelpmyDD2002 Sat 18-Oct-14 22:09:14

I won't give up! I will have another look at her diet and make a few changes and see if it will help.

If cysts are ruled out at the scan, then I think I will look at paying for private investigations and allergy testing.

HelpmehelpmyDD2002 Sat 18-Oct-14 22:13:56

The pain is around the naval area, she describes like something is inside trying to get out. Her bowel movements remain the same. It does appear worse after food, but the last time she had a flare up she hardly ate for three days and the pains kept coming at the same intensity.

tootsietoo Sat 18-Oct-14 22:15:10

Oh, I've just posted something very similar about my 8 yr old daughter (excluding the tummy pains, although she does complain of these sometimes).

I really hope you make some progress with finding a cause. It's impossible to know where to start, and so hard when the professionals won't help to check for things.

HelpmehelpmyDD2002 Sat 18-Oct-14 22:24:49

It sounds awful but I am hoping it is cysts because as Misformum says it can be treated. I don't want this to continue, I am concerned about her emotional well-being. During the last flare up she was told it was anxiety and her mind causing the pain. This really upset her and she feels that professionals don't believe her and that she is making it up.
To her the pain is very real and I do not believe it's anxiety. When it flares up we can be at home, on holiday, at a theme park, out with friends or at school. She did not have a flare up during exam time, which would be a stressful time. she is mature for her age and has said there are times she feels nervous and she will get a tummy ache/butterflies, usually when performing in front of people. The pain she gets when it flares up is on a completely different level.

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