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July 13, 2006

Aches and Pains

Question from Keller,Texas, USA:

My seven year old child has had diabetes since the age of one. One year after diagnosis, she started having chronic severe bouts of tummy pains. At least once a day for an hour or less, she experiences disabling pain centralized at her belly button area. These occurrences are not always related to high blood sugars with ketones. She has been to many doctors and all have no idea as to why. Is there a connection to having diabetes and belly pain? I had a brief talk with an adult diabetic and she claimed she gets belly pain as well. If so, what causes it and what can be done?

Answer:

Tummy pain is a frequent complaint in pediatrics. Sometimes it represents a true disorder. Kids with diabetes also have an increased incidence of celiac disease, which is a condition that is related to not tolerating wheat gluten. I would make sure that your physician has screened your daughter for celiac disease. Also, talk to your pediatrician who can help determine if any further testing for other disorders related to tummy pain may be necessary. They also may wish to involve a pediatric gastroenterologist if the pain persists and their work-up doesn’t reveal a cause.

MSB