Tummy Issues with my teen and myself - Specialist sought

I need a recommendation of a specialist in dealing with stomach issues and I need someone who has really been able to make a difference with more than just suggesting elimination diets. My 13 year old daughter and I have had stomach issues for awhile now. I've had them for a few years and she for the past eight months or so. Basically the symptoms can either be stomach cramps, diarrhea, constipation, or a combo. We both have tried extensive elimination diets of eliminating gluten, dairy, sugar, white flour / white rice / white pasta, alcohol (for me), meat, and various combinations of all of these. The other thing we've tried on advice from our pediatrician is ant-acids, but nothing brings our stomachs back on track for very long or even at all. I honestly just thought my issues had to do with aging, but now that she is going through it I am concerned much more. I'd appreciate someone who has proven to help without prescribing more elimination diet advice.

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Hello friend. I'm sure you already know this, but GI issues are frequently due to stress and anxiety... our daughter's therapist, who was AWESOME, described this as "emotions coming out in your body," and made the analogy of getting butterflies before giving a presentation (= anxiety coming out as stomach pain). I know from experience that no parent wants to feel like someone is suggesting emotional issues - but perhaps it's worth going for CBT and maybe even biofeedback, just to learn techniques for coping with pain? Both CBT and biofeedback have been fundamental in our family for targeting health issues, and I have no idea where we'd be without them. You can try our therapist if you want, she's in Berkeley (Rachel Zoffness PhD, zoffness.com) - she sees teens and also does parent work. I hope this is helpful. Best wishes, PT

I had the same problem, for over a year I had the same miserable stomach problems that you mention. After a really bad day, I thought I had an ulcer, I went to the doctor seeking testing and advice. She told me to try cutting out caffeine and ibuprofen (and alcohol too, but I didn't drink to begin with). Well that did the trick within a week! After a couple weeks of elimination of caffeine and ibuprofen, I was able to add back in one cup of caffeinated coffee per day, but I still rarely take ibuprofen for pain and take tylenol sparingly instead. My daughter's stomach problems are mainly PMS related, and she has found eating an orange every day helps with that. Good Luck.

I suggest consulting with your family doctor and getting a referral to an experienced dietician. (There are illnesses that are the cause of stomach issues like a parasite, giardia etc., and some lab work may be warranted). You may want to keep a food diary to try to identify potential triggers. For me, relief has come with zero caffeine!, zero coffee (including decaf), (zero caffeinated tea), zero liquid milk, no yogurt, no ice cream! :(, no ricotta, no undercooked eggplant, no raw fish,  and avoiding almost all processed foods.  A short course of probiotics (like 2 or 3 days!) may be helpful, but for me they caused short terms issues, which resolved when I stopped taking them.  Very basic non-irritating foods include white rice and boiled potatoes. Green apples have a lot of pectin and help keep things together (bannanas too!).  Avoiding candy and chocolate can help. Avoiding lots of fats and grease is good. Home cooking is best!  P.S. I would avoid raw milk cheeses due to prevalence of listeria. Be aware that a huge percentage of lunch meats are contaminated with listeria.  https://www.cdc.gov/media/matte/2011/05_listeriapregnant.pdf

I started having stress related stomach issues 10 years ago. I consulted Michael Silpa in Berkeley. He is great--very non-judgmental and professional. After reviewing early childood on up he diagnosed IBS and said that I had been born with it. My son also has it.