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Chronic vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain in 10 yr. old

Posted by @concernedmtnmom in About Kids & Teens, Jan 16, 2012

My daughter is 10 and has four main symptoms, all chronic: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, pain in left abdomen. Started w/severe diarrhea 3 mos. ago. We did blood tests for parasites, bacteria, wheat allergy, CBC, celiac, dairy allergy. All negative. Didn't get better, went to a GI specialist at the children's hosp. Same tests plus a viral panel showed nothing. Since we have Crohn's and colitis in the fam, they did an endoscopy and colonoscopy with biopsies. Everything negative; they definitively ruled out Crohn's, colitis, celiac. After these biopsies the diarrhea got better but has since gotten quite severe. Making things worse, she started vomiting after these tests, along with nausea, sometimes severe vomiting episodes (2 hr. long spells). She is skinny and holding her weight, but barely—she should be gaining. GI doc pretty much "broke up" with us (that's what it felt like) and was surprised when our pediatrician called to say she was not getting better. She made an appt. to see us 3 wks later. Meanwhile, my daughter is sick as a dog! So we got an MRI of her brain to see if it's "abdominal migraines/cyclic vomiting." MRI showed no cancer or tumors or bleeding or infections—thank God. Neurologist followup appt determined she has no neurological problems. They ruled out cyclic vomiting (she's never had a normal spell w/o vomiting) and may want to followup with an EEG to look for autonomic nervous system dysfunction. We did an upper GI with a barium swallow test (small intest. follow-thru) and that was normal, so still no answers. That's where we are…waiting to see the GI again. So sad and frustrated. She has missed two and a half mos. of school and counting. She has never been constipated or had bloating or gas. Lots of sharp pains across belly and in the left corner. They also ruled out h. pylori but said she has GERD and some esophagitis as a result but the Prilosec has taken forever to kick in. Any ideas or similar stories? We can find nothing on Mayo site or elsewhere to rule in any possible diagnoses.

Tags: chronic vomiting, chronic diarrhea, sharp stomach pains

ellep99 likes this

Posted by @betsy1rn, Jan 20, 2012

my daughter Ashley (age 16) had similar issues starting 3+ years ago. She was finally diagnosed with Gastroparesis a year ago. Check out

for more information. Also, you can read my daughter's story at:

Also there is an excellent you tube video created by a young lady with Gastroparesis to raise awareness about this rare disease. You can check it out at-

Hope this helps and that you can get some answers for your daughter...


Posted by @concernedmtnmom, May 23, 2012

thank you so much for telling me about Ashley! I get her updates by email and pray for her all the time. she is such a brave and amazing girl and I ask people at my church to pray for her. I have never met her but she is my heroine!

I am happy to report that my daughter is 100% better--we don't know why, but she is eating again and gaining weight after a 7-month illness. She still has Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), which we think was caused by the same virus that attacked her digestive nervous system and made her so ill for so long. She also had C. difficile along the way, which was AWFUL. We don't know why she got better but think that taking her off food and nourishing her by feed tube (NJ) helped her nervous system reroute or calm down or whatever happened. She slowly learned to eat again and now can eat anything. She takes neurontin (gabapentin) for the pain, which is gone, so we're down to just minimal maintenance dose), and salt tabs (1 g twice a day) and fludrocortisone (0.1 mg/day) to keep her blood pressure up, which fights the dizziness and nausea that POTS causes. She does great if she doesn't miss a dose. We think she'll outgrow the POTS by her 20s, so we are happy. I will repost if anything changes, but please know we keep Ashley in our prayers always. You are an awesome mom!!!!


Posted by @jillcresap, Feb 27, 2012

You may want to get another opinion from a different GI doc. Ask them to do an endoscopy and take biopsies for Eosinophillic Esophagitis and Gastroenteritis. Also, check out the American Partnership for Eosinophillic Disorders for support and information. It's a great source.


Posted by @littledreamer, May 22, 2012

I have IBS and celiac disease. If your daughter is stressed out, it might explain a lot.


Posted by @dhoffman1985, Sep 28, 2012

Rare function disorder common to begin in children is Cyclic Vomitting Syndrome. sounds similar to what I went through and still do. Diagnosis can take years of testing and hospital visits and most cases unfortunately no cure or real treatment. Sometimes seeming almost healthy in between episodes.


Posted by @nlr8470, Jan 9, 2013

To concerned mom....when I read this it was like it was written about my son...he has been going through the same thing since Memorial Day 2012. He swallowed pool water and I just thought that he was sick from that...although he has not gotten better and its over 7 mos later...he usually awakens between 4-6 am vomiting and then has diarrhea. They have tested for all the same things except for the milk allergy, and only because he wont eat any of the white foods he is supposed to eat 24 hours prior to the test. He has an upper endoscopy scheduled next week. The doctor has diagnosed and is treating him for Cyclic vomiting syndrome, but I dont think thats whats wrong. This happens at least once a month, goes away and comes back. Any suggestions for me. My son is VERY thin as well..he is 9 yrs old and only 48 pounds


Posted by @concernedmtnmom, Jan 9, 2013

Hi, other concerned mom, and thanks for posting! We JUST got back from our week at Mayo Clinic. It took us a year to get in, so if you haven't filled out an app yet, do so! We found out that our daughter has Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) and a fructose malabsorption. (She also had two Clostridium difficile [C. diff.] infections last year that really complicated everything, but she's fine now.) You can read about POTS on this site, but it's basically an autonomic nervous system disorder. Hers manifests as dizzyness, fatigue, occasional headache, nausea/vomiting, and weakness. Sort of like you feel when you first get the flu. Prognosis is good! Exercise, lots of water, and lots of salt. I have read about cyclic vomiting, but we didn't have it because the nausea/vomiting never went away. I understand it comes and goes, so that diagnosis MIGHT be right. Does migraine medication help? But it could be POTS! You can learn more at and click on the POTS link. Our daughter vomited at night a LOT.

Have you tested him for C. diff? I do know C. diff. (the bacterial gut infection) can be very hard to catch, as there are many ways to test for it. It is a killer--not for kids but often for seniors--and it makes you want to die. MISERABLE. Our GI told me the gold standard test is the "cytotoxin B" test, but I believe they always test for A and B toxins together. I read a paper that said you should get the culture test, too, as this is most reliable. Well, I requested that, and the cytotoxin B test came back positive in a couple hours. The culture test took a few days and was also positive. Not all labs test with the same protocols, so you have be very aggressive and demand multiple types of tests, especially the toxin test.

The fructose test is fairly easy and the positive result was a surprise (and a bummer--it's in every food group!) but she is on a restricted diet for 4-6 wks, then we can slowly reintroduce it. Are you a Mayo patient? If you are, you can call the Barbara Lips Patient Info Center and ask them to do research for you. If you want to chat by email, please send a private message. Please don't hesitate to write me, I feel for your son--and you! This is a very tough thing to get through. Many many people helped us,I'd love to help you if I can!


Posted by @concernedmtnmom, Jan 9, 2013

Again, don't be shy--private message me!


Posted by @littledreamer, Jan 20, 2013

I am sorry to hear your daughter is feeling so ill. I am 15 and I have very similar symptoms to your daughter and I also have no answers. I was diagnosed with celiac disease when I was 13 years old, but it didn't stop the GERD, diarrhea, and tummy pain that has been plaguing me for quite some times. I got a colonscopy and an endoscopy too, but they found nothing. Eventually my GI and physician pretty much just diagnosed me with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and told me I would just have to deal with it. It's been quite frustrating too because I am 5'4 but I weigh 85 pounds, so I am very thin. I guess I am still searching for answers.

So far the only thing that has given me some relief is massage therapy and yoga.


Posted by @concernedmtnmom, Jan 29, 2013

HI, Little Dreamer, thanks for writing! I am sorry it took me so long to get back to you, most mostly I am sorry for your suffering. I know how hard this is for you, and I hope you will get answers from a doctor willing to go the distance. Please read my other posts on this page under Concerned Mtn. Mom. I am happy to report we got the help we needed at Mayo Clinic and my daughter's diagnosis was Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome and fructose malabsorption. A year ago we were told it was "just IBS" and also just "something to deal with--if she throws up, just act like nothing happened." Well, she was throwing up every day, 10 times a day or more, and ended up in the hospital. It was a "go-away" diagnosis and one some docs will give when they can't figure you out. Dont' give up! Get to Mayo if you can, but in the meantime, you may want to ask your GI to test you for FODMAPs--that's "short chain carbohydrates and monosaccharides which are poorly absorbed in the small intestine." At Mayo my daughter did a fructose absorption test and found the source of her nausea, vomiting, and chronic abdominal pain. Restricting her diet to eliminate most fructose made a huge, wonderful difference. So it's not all in your head, but it could be in your intestines! : )

Mostly I would encourage you to never give up. You need an advocate to push your case on any doctor who will listen. A diagnostic team is a good thing, doctors working together with open minds.

I am happy to report that with the treatment plans they gave us to handle my daughter's two diagnoses, she is back in school and living a mostly normal life. In a month! You might also look at Gastroparesis. Today is also SMA awareness day, to raise awareness of a dangerous condition patients who lose too much weight too fast can face (Superior Mesenteric Artery). See this is very very rare, I am just sharing this info for the spirit of the day. I am not a doctor! just someone who knows that it's worth it to keep looking for answers and better health. Good luck and I hope you get comfort and healing fast!!


Posted by @littledreamer, Jan 29, 2013

Thank you so so so so so so so so much! I really needed someone to listen and help instead of just say, "deal with it because it's just stress."


Posted by @marlamartin, Feb 9, 2013

I am so sorry for what you are going through. My son is four and has been having abdominal problems for about a year. Although, when I think back over his life I remember more and more stomach issues starting from infancy. His symptoms are chronic diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain. The good spells in between are getting further apart. The doctor basically casts me off because his skinny weight is "normal" and he is tall. However, he is sick and/or uncomfortable more often than not. His appetite is irregular and he gets colds and such very often now as if something is keeping his immune system down. He has been tested for parasites and had a blood panel for celiacs, which have all been negative. I'm very frustrated and not sure what to do next, but I want him to feel better soon. Any suggestions for getting doctors to listen to me?


Posted by @adkeverding, Mar 4, 2013

Please Excuse the Spelling!

I have a 12 year old son who has for the past 6 months had severe stomach pains and vomitting every day. He has had CT, MRI, Barium Scan, Sonogram, upper GI scope, colonoscopy, counseling (therapy), Nuerology exam, opthomologist full exam, blood work several times, and trials of medication including anti-nausea medication, erithromyacin, Nexeum, Xantac, Omeprozole, and others. We have tried dietary changes including no wheat, low fat, no dairy, gluetan free, vegan, and vegetarian. All of the above tests came back normal, counseling had no impact (although he does emationally handle the stress of being sick all of the time better now), dietary changes had no effect. Our doctors are now starting to repeat some of the tests and he has a sonogram to look at his gall bladder and pancreus specifically now. The previous sonogram in october showed no issues with the gall bladder but could not see ALL of the pacreas due to gas. He has not had issues with weight loss and has continued to gain and hold his weight. He can not attend school on his bad days which are more often than his good days. He is on intermittent home bound and 504 services to prevent him being retained in the 6th grade due to absences. When he can he goes to school, leaves to throw up, lays down in the nurse's office for a little while and goes back to class. So far we have ruled out everything and come up with no cause for his pain and vomitting. He is now taking amnitriptoline and that appears to help with the pain issues however he continues to vomitting 5+ times a day. I don't know if it is notable or not but I have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, high cholesterol, migraines and heartburn. We considered abdonimal migraines but he has no periods of releif and the vomitting is not related to if he has eaten or not. I dont know what else to do. I need an answer and help for my son.


Posted by @kendrakay, Apr 12, 2013

Hello, I hope things are improving for your little one. You are all in my prayers. I started having thesame symptoms at 27 I'm now 35 and it has been a long road. 1 thing that may help... I know you said she was checked for a dairy allergy... well so was I and it came back normal but then my Dr had me eliminate it anyways for a couple months. My symptoms improved a lot but did not go away completely since I had done permanent damage to my tummy. When I re added it I got sick again. I am not lactose intolerant, I can't have any dairy protein casien or anything but does not show up on an allergy test. Just an idea:)


Posted by @ellep99, Jul 9, 2013 I'm hope that you may be able to shed some light for me. After I read your story about your daughter, all her symptoms much up to my bestfriend's. My friend has been off school for 8 weeks now and her condition is getting dire. She has had all the tests that you can possibly imagine... (obliviously you know what I mean). Severe stomach pains so bad that she can't even stand up to get pain killers, vomiting, diarrhea-severe constipation. She is so skinny it is painful to look at her. She is very pale and very weak. She said that even when she does take pain killers her stomach still aches 24/7. The doctors are scrapping the bottom of the barrel to try and find out what is wrong with her. They have basically just give up and just said to go home and hope that she gets better. Has your daughter become well again without medical help or has she been otherwise diagnosed? I hope that she is well.....

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