throwing up too much

mom2emallMarch 2, 2008

I posted this on the parents forum, but that forum is not as active as this one, so I decided to post it here now.

So the problem is my 9 yr old son throws up too often. The only medical problems we are aware of is asthma, which he takes singulair daily for and it has improved. (when he was younger he was hospitalized once or twice a year for his asthma, but since taking singulair he has not been hospitalized in 2 years)

About 2 years ago he started throwing up a lot, at first we thought it was a flu. But it lingered and we went to the dr. She did tests and said he was lactose intolerant, which was wierd because he had drank milk everyday for years. So we took him off all products that contained lactose. Symptoms improved. But he still goes through spurts where he will throw up after he eats for no reason. We will all eat the same food an be fine. And it is no particular food. We have kept food logs and the doctor had him on an acid reflux medication for a while. Then she took him off it and he was fine for a while. We did blood tests a few months ago and doctor said he was no longer lactose intolerant. So we began giving him lactose products again. Since then he has thrown up again after meals, so we took lactose products away again. He is still throwing up on occasion. His height and weight is good for his age, and he has not stopped growing. Still, I am worried!

He says it just happens, he does not really feel sick when it happens. Sometimes he says his stomach will begin to hurt and then he will get just a bit of vomit in his mouth. I had thought that maybe he was making himself throw up to get out of school or homework, so I talked to him about the harm in making yourself throw up and he promised me that he was not making himself do it.

The doctor recently wanted to put him back on acid reflux meds, but I told her I want to bring him to a specialist and make sure he is ok on the inside and there was not some other cause for this. Make sure his esophogus is okay from all this throwing up, so she gave us the referral and we got an appointment for a few weeks.

Has anyone ever had any experience with this type of situation or know what this could be? I am worried!!!

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I would be concerned too. Poor little guy. Somethings not right. Does he throw up at school? Is he an anxious boy? Does he feel better once he throws up? Did the acid reflux meds help?
I would want an endoscopy done too, see what's going on. I was in highschool & parents were divorcing & I had alot of stress. I would vomit green stuff. Your body creates more bile when upset. The md put me on an ulcer med & it cleared up. Also, my Dad had similar symptoms & his was caused by a bacteria which gave him ulcers. Not stress induced. He was put on an antibiotic & it cleared. Although he still takes Protonix(reflux drug). It was a lifesaver for him.
It does sound like reflux, but that's just an uneducated guess. Does laying down after meals make it worse for him? Does he get diarrhea? Sorry for all the questions. I think you're doing the right thing by getting a referral. Especially if this has been a problem for awhile. The good part is his height & weight are good. You might want to also check his teeth. Stomach acid is horrible on enamel. Keep us posted.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2008 at 11:19AM
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Yes, absolutely get him to a gastroenterologist. He may need an EGD (scope into the stomach) to check for ulcers. A thorough investigation by a specialist would be at the top of my list for the boy.

Good luck. I hope that he feels better.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2008 at 12:36PM
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That is definitely acid reflux. Its quite common in adults who eat heavy spices and fatty foods, andin pregnant woman ( the baby pressing up on the stomach) I had it when i was pregnant.
He's not lactose intolerant. I dont know which specialist said this to you but genetically this runs in my family and i am also lactose intolerant. With this, you would get moderate to severe bloating and then the cramps, sometimes violent, and ALOT OF DIARRHEA! This happens pretty quick and it ain't pretty:(
You still need to bring him to a gasto specialist , to make sure the esophagus has minimal damages from the vomit ( very acidic) As well for ulcers..( though i doubt he has ulcer cause milk would have relieved stomack aches. milk helps the lining of the stomach.. Check his teeth as well!!! another side symptom unfortunately.
He may have a valve problem. The acid reflux will only help him relieve the symptoms but not the actual problem. If it is a valve probelm,he will need surgery. Its a common problem that can be fixed. My friend was on acid reflux medicine until he could see a specialist....takes forever to make an appointment!!!!! the scoped him and realized the valve was so damaged they had to repair.
I would be worried too, get him an appointment as soon as possible and placing him on those meds in the meantime wont hurt him either.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2008 at 1:32PM
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My son was always throwing up too, bile, he was very nervous, stressed kid..In second grade he was hospitalized and had the scope after throwing up some blood in the bile.He had esophagitis and had to take Prilosic...He was stressed because some kids at his school found out he was adopted and told him they knew his real mom and she was a bum, and since he was only 7 at the time, he actually believed the kids...Constant teasing got him this upset... I transferred him to another school....Is your son stressed out about something? I hope not, but for sure I d check into a scope for him for your own peace of mind..Good luck

    Bookmark   March 2, 2008 at 2:58PM
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I knew it was a good idea to post on here, I still have not gotton a response on the parents forum. lol.

He is not really anxious, though he has had some issues with a bully at school this year and has thrown up at school quite a few times, which is why I had talked to him about throwing up. At first I thought maybe it was an issue with not wanting to stay at school. But the problem has really gone on longer than just this school year. He is a hyper kid and is always moving around. I do try to get him to sit and relax after eating because I thought that maybe he was throwing up after food because he would get up from the table and go run upstairs or downstairs and be playing.

The doctor had him on the acid reflux medicine for about a month and he did not throw up during that month, but he has gone months without throwing up in the past so I can't say for sure it was because of the meds he did not throw up. And I hate to have him on any unnecessary meds. As for his teeth, he has his 6 month dentist appt during spring break. But, he has always had good teeth. The doctor did blood tests to see if it was anything bacterial, but blood tests came out fine.

We do have the appt with the specialist soon so hopefully that will give us some answers. I just hope that it is something simple. Thanks for all your ideas.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2008 at 3:34PM
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One thought of mine that I don't think was mentioned by other posters...
How does he eat? Sometimes your eating methods can affect things...
Does he chew his food too little or too much? (swallowing a lot of saliva from overchewing can make some people puke, and sometimes stomachs will "reject" large hunks of food that seem to challenging to digest)
Does he "wash it down" with a lot of liquid? (my stepmom sometimes throws up if she has a lot of liquid with her meal and no one can quite figure out why)
Does he have regular snacks? (sometimes I feel quite ill after a meal if I go too long without eating before the meal)
Just a few ideas to think about...

    Bookmark   March 2, 2008 at 6:46PM
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My DD throws up easily. The doctor said some kids do this more than others. Ran tests. Fortunately my DD is so neet, she reaches the toilet first.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2008 at 6:59PM
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Food allergies often cause diarrhea. However, some can result in vomiting. Lactose intolerance, as someone else pointed out, tends towards the diarrhea/bloating. But I have a friend with a bivalve (clams, scallops, etc.) allergy who vomits only.

I'm just saying, I wouldn't rule out food allergies (or "intolerances"). Food intolerances can be very difficult to diagnose. It took my sister years of odd illnesses and wrong diagnoses to figure out she had celiac disease.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2008 at 7:14PM
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My oldest DD always threw up easily. She was born with an underdeveloped stomach valve. She threw up nearly every feeding for her first year and a half. Now at age 33, she can still throw up nearly at will. Ironically, she had the same disorder in her bladder. She ended up losing a kidney because her only symptom was throwing up. The doctor had never had another patient with such far-gone disease and no symptoms.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 4:15PM
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When my DD was 2 or 3, she would run for the toilet and throw up standing up. I felt so bad for her, but the doctor just said some people have weaker stomachs. I wish I were one. LOL.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 4:46PM
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Thanks for all your stories. I am hoping that my son is like KKNY's dd and just has a weaker stomach. We have gotton his asthma under control over the past few years and I hate to see him go through anything else medical! He is such an active kid, and like any parent I hate to see my "baby" sick!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 9:46PM
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My DD is and was extremely active. The doctors said that most children in the US are welfed, and she was well nourished.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 10:43PM
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i put this is the the other forum you posted too but you should have him tested for Crohn's or Colitis.. DS threw up quite frequently and I finally found a specialist to run several tests and sure enough he had ulcers in his digestive tract and when they were tested it was clear he had Crohn's which is often misdiagnosed in kids. Stress makes it worse as does certain types of food.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 9:49PM
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my brother has ulcerate colitis (sp?), it was finally diagnosed when he had to be taken to the hospital by 911 after he was unable to take any food in and was almost comatose and delirious with pain and it turned out to be in such bad condition that he had to spend almost a week in the hospital, now he is on life long medication that has to be adjusted every few years.

prior to it being diagnosed all he heard from doctors was: watch what you eat (which he did anyways), it is just weak stomach etc. It turned out his guts were all covered with ulcers. And he always ate healthy, does not drink, exercises, is in a great shape. My brother was diagnosed in his 30s, but who knows how long he had it since it got to such a bad shape, he probably had it for a long time. so check your kid for that. or at least mention it to a doctor.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 10:02AM
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My little boy is nine years old. He has been diagnosed with acid reflux as well. He throws up far too often for my liking. However, when he does this, he has often eaten and then become active. At school he has breakfast and then P.E. where they have to run and exercise and all and he gets sick, throws up. He is average height and size for his ageÂpossibly just a little under weight, but if so really not much. He is active, and plays soccer and video games. He is really smart and knows that he would not get away with faking something this serious.

When I read this initial post it was so similar to what we are going through that I almost felt relieved myself. He has never been diagnosed with asthma, even tough I do have it. He was on acid reflux meds a few years back and it seemed to go away. He grew some more and all the sudden it is back? He is back on the meds just recently and they seem to help some, but he still throws up easily if he laughs too hard, or gets hot, or he said even sometimes if he yawns, that it just happens.

I am at the point of wondering should be get him tested and then I found your post. They seem so similar that I canÂt help but wonder if this is just something that happens? He is a picky eater. Anyway I know my story may not help you with a solution, but reading your story helped me feel a bit less apprehensive. Life is so different from when I was growing up, there are more chemicals and there is more stress on children than there used to be.

I guess what I am trying to say is you are not alone, and I look forward to finding out what you find out from the test. I also hope that your so will be fine.

Thanks for sharing your situation.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 7:53PM
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Poor guy! Let us know how your appt. with the gastro. goes.

My DD has had stomach/bowel issues since she potty-trained. She gets really constipated and then has something called encopresis--warning, this is really gross, but basically her poop builds up and then EXPLODES.

She now takes an adult dose of Miralax daily plus a medicine called Benefiber. This has helped tremendously. But we did have to see a gastroenterologist about a year ago for diagnostic tests---she had a rash on her butt and apparently that can go along with celiac disease.

It all turned out fine, she did NOT test + for celiac. She started on the benefiber last year, and the Miralax about a year and a half ago, and those have really gotten the situation under control.

Anyway, good luck and let us know how your appt. goes!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 8:11PM
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This was from last spring. We saw the specialist and he could not find a medical reason for the vomiting. Told me that next time one of these vomiting episodes occured to call him and he would send us for ultrasounds right away.

Happy to say he has not had another episode since. The specialist attributed his vomiting to stress at school since most of the occurances were at school.

Made me look at how miserable he was at school a bit more. I started complaining about all the homework his teacher gave (2 hours most nights). It even got to the point his teacher called him "lazy" for not doing an assignment because he was with his dad for the weekend and he could only do one of the two assignments because he did not have the materials for the second!

I went straight to the principal and I made it clear to the teacher and the principal that Mon-Thurs nights were for school work. Fri-Sun nights were for family and fun and I would not be having him do any homework during that time. I also told the teacher and principal that my son was throwing up there because of stress and I could get that in writing from the specialist. Told them that something needed to change there.

This year he has a wonderful teacher and we have had no vomiting. So I am inclined to believe it was stress induced.

So my son is fine and I think I have been labeled as a crazy parent! LOL

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 12:07AM
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I have ulcers AND acid reflux. This sounds like acid reflux to me. I would throw up from time to time before getting a good dose of meds. Now, the reason I say it sounds like acid reflux is because ulcers are mega painful and don't usually cause vomiting...mostly a crap load of pain and at times mentally I brought myself to throwing up to get rid of the same of the pain I was feeling.

Does the pain go away after he throws up? An ulcer would still hurt for awhile.

My brother had a serious a nerve condition and threw up frequently when he was a child...but there was no stomach pain. Just vomiting. This told doctor's that his vomiting was nerve related. (When he was 6, our family had a HUGE surprise party for him. My aunt makes cakes and made him a "road cake" with toy cars all over it. He got so excited that he started throwing up.) Now, the most unfortunate issue here with my brother (who is 25) is that he has now struggled with anorexia athletica for more than 6 years. He has been hospitalized many times and refused to eat for long periods of time. Due to this, I would want to stress that ANY form of vomiting should be seriously investigated asap.

Pain right after eating that subsides soon after he throws up sounds like acid reflux to me. And acid reflux CAN lead to ulcers.

As for me, the bottom part of my esophagus which starts the digestive process, is paralyzed. Due to this, food will set on my stomach much longer than it should, causing HORRIBLE heart burn and sometimes vomiting. He should have a scope done to rule out acid reflux and ulcers.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 12:49AM
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I didn't have time to read all of the replies but wanted to suggest that you go on line and research the side effects of the meds he is taking. the ones that come with are not always complete. I do that to all of the meds I have to take which is not often thank goodness.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 10:44AM
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I know this is an old post but I just wanted to offer another suggestion that I didn't see mentioned (although I may have missed it.)
I have dealt with stomache problems off and on for years, and I agree that it does sound like acid reflux. It very well may have been caused by stress.
If it should happen to start up again- I would push for more thorough tests, including an endoscopy. It also sounds like a hiatal hernia. I have one and it gets pretty bad at times. A lot of the symptoms start just like acid reflux. And it can come and go.
I hope it doesn't come back and glad to hear he is doing better.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 2:51PM
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Oops!! I didn't notice that the post was older and missed the post explaining that he is doing better! That is great to hear!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 2:54PM
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Glad he's doing better. Didn't realize it was so old...

I just read an article on throwing up often. I'll link it here anyway, in case someone else comes upon this thread looking for help.

Here is a link that might be useful: When you can't stop throwing up...

    Bookmark   February 13, 2009 at 2:05PM
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