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November 10, 2003

Aches and Pains

Question from Columbiana, Ohio, USA:

My son, who has type 1 diabetes, has had a belly ache going on 15 days now, but no other symptoms to go with it. His sugars are fine, no ketones, no fever, no diarrhea, not sick, no cold, no nothing. I have called the pediatrician numerous times, and he has gone to her twice. I also called his endocrinologist who says it's not diabetes-related. His pediatrician checked him out, but found nothing so now we are trying antacids which aren't helping either, and we ruled out stress. Something is wrong! He's not his little happy self with the belly ache. Now his pediatrician says he should see a counselor. We have monitored what he is eating, and the time of the complains there are no patterns. His eating has slowed down from three to five carb choices per a meal to two to three. Any help you can give us will be appreciated. This has gone on for way too long, and we need some help here.

Answer:

Another cause of chronic tummy pain in kids with type 1 diabetes is celiac disease. Although I agree with your physicians that other methods of treating him may be appropriate, I would also suggest you consider testing for celiac disease.

MSB

[Editor’s comment: See Chronic Abdominal Pain in Childhood: Diagnosis and Management for some additional information.

WWQ]