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Neck Pain In 14 Year-Old
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I have a 14-year-old girl who is one-month into a gluten-free trial diet after her functional medicine doctor told us her labs are "highly suggestive" of celiac. Her symptoms, which came on last year after a ruptured appendix and subsequent post-surgery infection, include abdominal pain, fatigue, sleep issues, anemia, neck pain, and protein malabsorbtion. So, here's the question. She's been gluten-free for one month and abdominal pain seems less but her sleep issues and most importantly, her NECK PAIN, is terrible and maybe worse than ever. Is this something anyone has experienced?

 

Everything I read in reference to neck pain and celiac seems more focused on older people (who have aches and pains anyway). It's totally not normal for a 14-year-old girl to be in such chronic neck pain. I would have thought the gluten-free diet would be helping her feel better by now.

 

Does anyone have thoughts or ideas about why or how long it may take for her to feel better?

 

Thanks.

 

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What sort of neck pain is it? I mean, does it feel like muscle or joint pain? Does it hurt all the time or only when she moves her neck or arms? Is it an ache or a sharp pain?

 

If gluten-free is the answer to her problems the sleep thing will probably clear up soon. Mine took a while but after years of chronic insomnia, I now sleep like a baby. It is also possible that the neck pain is what is harming her sleep. If she can't get comfortable, she will have a hard time falling asleep, and if she has a subconscious fear that she will move the wrong way in the night and hurt her neck, she will keep waking up.

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What sort of neck pain is it? I mean, does it feel like muscle or joint pain? Does it hurt all the time or only when she moves her neck or arms? Is it an ache or a sharp pain?

 

If gluten-free is the answer to her problems the sleep thing will probably clear up soon. Mine took a while but after years of chronic insomnia, I now sleep like a baby. It is also possible that the neck pain is what is harming her sleep. If she can't get comfortable, she will have a hard time falling asleep, and if she has a subconscious fear that she will move the wrong way in the night and hurt her neck, she will keep waking up.

I think it's more of a sharp pain that is worse when she sits or maintains the same position for awhile. It's not totally constant - some days it's okay and other days (or parts of days) it is excrutiating, and she's a tough cookie.

 

Good point about the pain harming her sleep - you are probably right. But the insomnia seems pretty consistent and present with or without the neck pain. 

 

Thanks for your thoughts.

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Interesting.... I had forgotten this but reading your post I remember I suffered terribly from bouts of neck pain when I was a child, and it stopped in my teens. I was only diagnosed a celiac a few months ago - I'm now in my forties - so I don't know if there was any connection, but I do know it really interrupted my sleep at times and can make you feel quite sick.  My friend follows a physio's tip and she punches her pillow into a sort of butterfly shape and putting that thinner part under the neck to sleep at night.   Maybe worth a try?  Is your daughter under stress and also, do you live in a cold part of the world?  I used to find that migraines that I suffered (I don't get them anymore) sometimes started in the neck and shoulders if I was cold or stressed. in either case I found applying warmth to the neck helped. Just some tips to help really, sorry I can't give any real advice regarding its relation to celiac disease.

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I have this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cervical_rib

 

 

Which causes this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thoracic_outlet_syndrome

 

 

It says here that it is rare, but MY doctor told me about one out of 100 people have it, and I have met four other people who have it. If I sit at a keyboard too long, try to use a slicer, or do anything where I have my arms out in front of me, I get sharp stabbing pains in my neck/upper back. I also sometimes get twitching in my left hand, particularly if I squeeze something with it. I also can't stretch my arms the way one does after getting up in the morning.

 

This is not related to celiac. It's something I was born with. When I lived in Connecticut where it is humid and life is stressful, it was BAD. Since I moved to South Dakota where it is dry and there is no stress, I haven't had too much trouble with it.

 

A doctor can diagnose this with xrays. I'm not saying this is what your daughter has, but it would be worth looking into.

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if you have a good chiro, you might start there.  I would wonder about positioning in the OR.

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