Feeling Helpless

Over the past 2 years we have been dealing with multiple GI issues with O, being someone who has food intolerances and also has dealt with the GI pain and issues similar to what I assume she is experiencing I feel awful as she is suffering.  I am writing this to express my frustration and in hopes that maybe there is another parent who has experienced a similar situation and can shed some light and offer advice. Those who don't want details of GI function and parenting be warned and step away now!

This all started shortly after birth when I was breastfeeding and O had many issues with foods I ate, after cutting out numerous things she improved somewhat but has always been slow to gain. As she began eating more she ate great but for a long time will eat and then lay on the couch complaining of pain and further back just cry :( She makes way too many bathroom trips daily, often barely making it in time. This can be 6+ times a day or even more, upwards of 15+ about a year ago. Her poor belly is huge and firm, f she was older pretty sure she'd look pregnant!

You can only imagine how difficult this made potty training! There are times when I know it is nearly impossible for her to make it to the bathroom. I worry about pre-school next year or now when I leave her at the gym childcare, what will happen?

It is awful watching your child in pain, We have spent numerous visits to GI doctors, undergone multiple blood and stool tests and all with only a few labs slightly elevated but without an answer. We left the doctor a few weeks ago, again with no real answer. I keep getting told she is developing fine so it is okay. The final push came on the way home from that appointment, a little voice from the backseat saying "need to go back to doctor, tummy still hurt. Why didn't doctor make it better?" Now if that doesn't make a mom feel helpless.

So after failed attempts at dairy free eating and no doctor answers I made the decision to do a gluten free trial. I remember how tough this was on me understanding why I had to avoid certain foods I can only imagine what she is thinking when I deny her the graham cracker she really wants. We are now on Day 2 and plenty stocked up on gluten free options. Although I am in need to pita chips, one of her favorites. Let's hope this gives us an answer.

Any great gluten free snack options that I have missed? Luckily for her I have been eating this way for awhile and have pretty good hang of it. 


  1. SPA sister here from www.almosthealthylife.com :) I have Celiac Disease and my first thought reading your post was that she has a gluten intolerance or Celiac itself. Have the docs tested for Celiac? If not, don't put her on a gluten diet yet. They can't test if gluten isn't present in her diet.

    If they have and she's not Celiac it may very well be a gluten intolerance as you're suspecting. If so, here are my recs for snacks (and I LOVE to snack!):

    1. Annie's Grape Gummy Bears
    2. Annie's Chocolate/Vanilla Cookies
    3. Betty Crocker GF Chocolate Chip Cookies (to die for, just make sure you melt the butter completely even though the packaging says not to)
    4. Kinnikinnick Blueberry and Chocolate Chip Muffins (pop 'em in the microwave for 30 secs and she'll never know she's eating GF!) Here's the link: http://consumer.kinnikinnick.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/products.home/productcategoryid/18

    Let me know if I've missed the mark on snacks... I have many more so don't hesitate to ask. I hope this helps solve her belly problems. It sounds like you're describing me as a child. Be well! Steffi

    1. Thanks for the suggestions. We've done the blood test for celiac and it was negative although she was only 2 so might not be reliable. I do have gluten intolerance and my blood work was also negative and biopsy inconclusive.

  2. So sooty you are experiencing this:(. Praying for answers:)

  3. Oh, Jen- that must be so hard. It's so frustrating when drs have no idea, but you know something is going on. I think you're smart to start experimenting on your own- gluten is and dairy are a great place to start. I know it can take weeks to see a difference, but I hope it helps. Thinking of you!!

    1. Thanks Laura, it really is tough not knowing and not being able to help her. Hoping we can figure this out soon.

  4. I hope the gluten free helps her! Poor thing! :(

  5. I have been trying to do more gluten free with the kids since I know I react to it and I just feel iffy about it in general. Anyway, here are my main snack staples:

    fruit is our #1 go to

    apple dippers (apples with peanut butter)

    Banana dippers (shockingly, it's bananas with p.b.) Can also cut in to chunks, drizzle w/pb and then freeze

    Veg sticks w/dressing/dip

    dried fruit & nuts (though I would be careful with dried fruit - keep portions fairly small such as 1-2 Tbsp - as fructose load could cause more diarrhea)

    homemade Lara bars (weelicious/similar recipe)

    homemade granola bars - I made the weelicious version recently and subbed coconut butter for the fat and they were delicious. They also made me realize that I'm in fact very reactive to coconut. LE SIGH!

    I have been meaning to make my own fruit leather, just been lazy


    smoothies are awesome

    Hope that helped trigger some ideas!

    1. Thanks for the suggestions :) We do a lot of fruit, veggies, homemade granola etc. I never thought to do the frozen banana PB thing, yum! ANd smoothies, I forgot about these :)


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