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February 27, 2008

Aches and Pains

Question from Ireland:

My eight-year-old daughter has had diabetes since she was 23 months old. She has ongoing stomach pains. Her blood test was negative for celiac disease and heliclobacter. She is in pain most evenings until she falls asleep. Her upper abdomen becomes like a drum and she feels like she is going to vomit (but doesn't), and has burping, which she describes as "bubbles coming up her neck." What could be causing this?

Answer:

I might repeat the celiac tests and certainly would consider a consultation with a gastroenterologist perhaps also with endoscopy to look for a culprit. Sometimes a mild wheat/gluten allergy will also cause such problems in which case the celiac tests will be weakly positive or only nonspecific. Avoiding wheat and gluten for three to four weeks very strictly would answer this question. It is not likely related to diabetes. Gut motility disorders, unrelated to diabetes, would also be a possible consideration that the gastroenterologist could discuss. Rarely, thyroid and adrenal disorders can cause bowel and belly symptoms as can simple things like lactose intolerance.

SB