Jump to content
  • Sign Up
0
OBXMom

Celiac Kids And Sports

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

My 10 year old son is not recovering as well from his lacrosse practices as I think he should. Three days later he is still wiped out, physically and emotionally. It was the same with soccer in the Fall. At the beginning of the soccer season we were thrilled that he finally had the stamina to play a team sport, and sure that he'd be less fatigued by the end of the season, but it never got any better.

He loves to play, and is one of those kids who goes all out. Years of pain prior to his diagnosis have made him a tough cookie, and he doesn't complain a lot or use his fatigue as an excuse, but he is sore all the time and everything he does seems to take huge effort. I have been thinking about taking him to the doctor, but doctors don't seem to worry too much about fatigue. One doctor gave me an inhaler in the past "in case" he had exercise induced asthma. (He doesn't.) Like many celiac kids, he has had numerous CBCs, and I don't know what else we should check on.

Is this a normal kid, or normal celiac kid, response to strenuous exercise? I would like to think I am over reacting due to years of having to worry about his health. I just wish the little guy could get a break . . .

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My daughter was diagnosed last June 09. She is really athletic and got really weak. She is slowly recovering and is able to play sports. She never stopped, but her strength and stamina have been not as great, but she definitely keeps up with kids her age and ran the best mile in fifth grade. She lost about 12 pounds from January to June of 09, which she has mostly gained back but has also grown about 3 ", so is super thin compared to other 11-year old girls. You may want to check that your son has proper vitamin levels. When we checked in October, her Vitamin D levels were low and the doctor gave her prescription for Vitamin D. I think they checked her other vitamin levels but they were all fine. My guess is if he is that tired and sore for days after a practice that something just isn't right. I get the feeling that you think that too. Do you have a doctor that you see that specializes in celiac? Have you repeated the blood work to make sure he isn't getting gluten? I also remember that our doctor always asks about joint pain and when I asked why she said celiac patients can have types of arthritis.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He loves to play, and is one of those kids who goes all out. Years of pain prior to his diagnosis have made him a tough cookie, and he doesn't complain a lot or use his fatigue as an excuse, but he is sore all the time and everything he does seems to take huge effort. I have been thinking about taking him to the doctor, but doctors don't seem to worry too much about fatigue. One doctor gave me an inhaler in the past "in case" he had exercise induced asthma. (He doesn't.) Like many celiac kids, he has had numerous CBCs, and I don't know what else we should check on.

I would encourage you to take him to the doctor and emphasize not that he is tired, and it's hard to do strenuous exercise, but rather that he is fatigued and it interferes with regular daily life. A CBC isn't going to measure vitamin levels or thyroid levels, or most other things. CBC Components at MedicineNet If it seems unusual for him, go with your instinct and keep searching until you find the answer. It is possible that it's just going to take him a while (months/years) to get stamina back, but if you think something else is going on, keep investigating, even trying new doctors if that helps.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am barely a beginner at exercise. Last year I started going to the gym and doing a little work on the machines-very very little, but was wiped out afterwards(for a day or more) so I started eating a protein packed meal within an hour of finishing and that seemed to help alot. I don't know if that's exactly the way to do it but just a thought for some direction. I agree with others, get a new doc and have some differnt tests run. Something's not right and it shouldn't be dismissed.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

See your doc if you're worried. However, kids don't always know where their limits are, and when they do know it, they don't always want to say so because they're having fun or they don't want to seem like a baby in front of their friends. So, you may be looking at something actually wrong, or you may just be looking at a kid who's doesn't want to admit he's got limits and as he builds stamina just does more and more. Does he take a good multivitamin? Glutamine can help with the muscle fatigue as well, but of course, check with your doc before giving any supplements. If your gut says his behavior is not normal, though, listen to your instinct and get things checked out.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seezee, thank you for sharing about your daughter. Does her reduced stamina seem to just affect her while she is practing and playing, or afterwards? Your mention of arthritis also brought to mind fibromyalgia, which my sister has. Hopefully it is nothing like that, but I do need to keep searching.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent points on how to address the doctor, thank you. "Interfering with daily life" is the important point for doctors, I learned when I finally convinced my GI guy that my son was sick enough to get aggressive about determining the root cause. Thank you for the CBC link, and mentioning thyroid. We've never had this checked, and I think it would be a good idea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Extra protein makes sense, doesn't it, when your muscles are being taxed? Thanks for mentioning it - we certainly have nothing to lose by a quick snack after practices.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nightingale, your comments totally struck home. My son is one of those get-to-the-ball-first-or-die-trying kids, and I guarantee that if he knows what his limits are in practicing, he doesn't care. And because his recovery has not been as fast as some, I do think his stamina is still probably not at his peak level. You mention glutamine - do you happen to know a child dosage? If not, I will try to research it a bit, I think that is a good idea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nightingale, your comments totally struck home. My son is one of those get-to-the-ball-first-or-die-trying kids, and I guarantee that if he knows what his limits are in practicing, he doesn't care. And because his recovery has not been as fast as some, I do think his stamina is still probably not at his peak level. You mention glutamine - do you happen to know a child dosage? If not, I will try to research it a bit, I think that is a good idea.

http://content.nhiondemand.com/psv/monoAll-style.asp?objID=100186

I've found a couple of websites... most seem to recommend starting out at 500 mg, but check with your doc before giving any supplement to a kid. Personally, I used to take creatine before a workout (not recommended for children), and glutamine after to help build back the muscles I'd broken down in the workout. It made a massive difference for me. I'd just mix the powder in a bit of juice and let it sit for about five minutes to dissolve. You need to let it sit or you'll be able to taste it, bit once it's dissolved, you can't even taste it in plain water.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seezee, thank you for sharing about your daughter. Does her reduced stamina seem to just affect her while she is practing and playing, or afterwards? Your mention of arthritis also brought to mind fibromyalgia, which my sister has. Hopefully it is nothing like that, but I do need to keep searching.

Just during practice and it is just that she isn't quite as strong, but she is getting better and stronger. She is usually very hungry but quite perky after practice.

People also say her skin looks better and she has gained about 12 pounds. She is still kind of a toothpick, about 5' 4" tall and 90 pounds, no body fat.

Does fibromyalgia run in families like celiac?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have found that strenuous exercise really points out issues with my gluten free diet. The same was so with my son (12). He did cross country running this spring and threw up after each run. We finally removed processed corn products from his diet and now he can run without throwing up. Oddly enough, he can still eat corn in the flour that I make myself. The corn I got wasn't certified gluten free or anything so I need to remove the gluten grains and wash it before we eat it.

I find the same for myself. If I start getting GERD burps when I exercise, I know I have to examine my diet carefully and remove questionable items.

I hope whatever the reason, that you can get it sorted out.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does fibromyalgia run in families like celiac?

A tendency toward fibromyalgia does seem to run in families, but unlike celiac, it is not an autoimmune disease. It is great to hear that your daughter is getting stronger and better. When I think back on how far my son has come, I feel so grateful, and I love to hear about other kids doing well. My guess is that your daughter's weight will catch up. I remember a nutritionist telling me that I might even see my son looking a little chunky eventually, at least compared to how he had always looked. It hasn't happened yet, but he isn't skinny anymore, either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Corn - it is so funny, I was just wondering if my son might be eating too much of it. He had to avoid it at first, and I was just thinking about how much he probably eats now between his cereal, popcorn, corn tortillas, etc. Thank you for reminding me that I can't give up sleuthing. Guess I'll dig out the old food diary and see what I can figure out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Corn - it is so funny, I was just wondering if my son might be eating too much of it. He had to avoid it at first, and I was just thinking about how much he probably eats now between his cereal, popcorn, corn tortillas, etc. Thank you for reminding me that I can't give up sleuthing. Guess I'll dig out the old food diary and see what I can figure out.

We eliminated and then re-introduced corn when my son tested positive for a possible allergy. He was tired and had dark circles under his eyes the first few days. We are going to go a second round with it to see if it really was from the corn. Boy it's in everything! We didn't go so far as eliminating corn syrup, just things with the protein but even baking soda, powdered sugar, pre-shredded cheese etc. can have cornstarch in them. Then you think of all the gluten-free baked goods and breaded stuff that have cornstarch etc. Whether or not we end up eliminating it completely, we are switching over to simpler snacks without it and fewer processed things with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know this will seem really wierd, but have you had his feet checked out? My son is in the beginning diagnosis of celiac and such, but I had to take him to the podiatrist and found that his feet were messed up and the doc explained that with his issue he would work twice as hard and it would exhaust him more than the average person.

never know.

Thanks!

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Corn - it is so funny, I was just wondering if my son might be eating too much of it. He had to avoid it at first, and I was just thinking about how much he probably eats now between his cereal, popcorn, corn tortillas, etc. Thank you for reminding me that I can't give up sleuthing. Guess I'll dig out the old food diary and see what I can figure out.

Jane and all,

My son has also had trouble with fatigue from PE and when he started his first team sport (flag football) last fall. He's always hyperpronated, and wears high stability shoes with orthotics or Superfeet. In addition to eating what I think is too much corn, he gets too much sugar from desserts/ice cream, gluten-free cake/snacks, juice, sometimes soda. He craves sugar all the time. When he started getting more physical activity, he began having problems with athlete's foot and jock itch. I did some research and found that this may be due to an overgrowth of yeast in the digestive tract and throughout the body. Yeast overgrowth (Candida) is known to cause fatigue and many people are diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. So, now, in additional to a Gluten Free diet, we will cut his sugar and carb intake. See the following link for more info and let me know what your thoughts are. I think there is a connection, and will bring it up at my son's next dr. appt.

http://cassia.org/candiscussion.htm

- Kim

Son Age 11 diagnosed with Celiac in spring 2008, celiac blood panel, confirmed via endoscopy at UCSF.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent thought. My son does have flat-looking feet. Sometime I read that if they can arch in some way you can't actually call them flat feet, but he does roll inward. I purchased some decent orthotics for him one time, I'll dig them out and see if they help. Are flat feet part of the damage celiac can cause to bones, I wonder?

Welcome to the board, hope you get as much great information and moral support here as I have.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kim, I would love to hear what your doctor says and what you continue to learn about this. I looked at your link and a few other webpages, and learned my son has many signs of a yeast overgrowth: dry skin, athletes foot, recurring diaper type rash (without the diapers, of course), cracks under his ears and at the corner of his mouth. Unfortunately treatment looks really tricky, and I haven't sorted through all of that yet. Less sugar is something that is good for all of us, but some recommendations say to avoid corn, peanuts, dairy and grains as well. I'll be interested to hear what you do.

I see you are new to the board, welcome! This group is a fabulous resource.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting. My son has "flat feet" or the low arches. He also steps correctly on his heel, but then he turns his foot inward. Also, if you have him try and bend his big toe up (try moving your big toe up and over your next toe) he cannot.

I don't know if regular orthodics would work - they never did for my son. Most ins plans cover them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just had to let you guys know that protein has helped enormously. This was an easy thing to try first since my son is a major carnivore. Anytime I gave him a little snack, I made sure it was high protein. (Lots of cheese sticks and vienna sausages.) At first he started saying, wow, my arms aren't bothering me all the time. Then, he had TWO games Saturday, and was complaining about his legs that night, as you would expect. But the next morning he was amazed that they didn't bother him at all.

I am embarassed to admit that I did not realize celiacs generally need a higher protein diet, something I have read on the boards just recently. Better late than never!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just had to let you guys know that protein has helped enormously. This was an easy thing to try first since my son is a major carnivore. Anytime I gave him a little snack, I made sure it was high protein. (Lots of cheese sticks and vienna sausages.) At first he started saying, wow, my arms aren't bothering me all the time. Then, he had TWO games Saturday, and was complaining about his legs that night, as you would expect. But the next morning he was amazed that they didn't bother him at all.

I am embarassed to admit that I did not realize celiacs generally need a higher protein diet, something I have read on the boards just recently. Better late than never!

That's great that you've found what seems to be a very simple solution that is making a difference!

Having been there myself(exhaustion after exercize) I am so happy for him that he feels so much better and being a mom, I know what a joy and relief it is to see our kids bloom.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kim, I would love to hear what your doctor says and what you continue to learn about this. I looked at your link and a few other webpages, and learned my son has many signs of a yeast overgrowth: dry skin, athletes foot, recurring diaper type rash (without the diapers, of course), cracks under his ears and at the corner of his mouth. Unfortunately treatment looks really tricky, and I haven't sorted through all of that yet. Less sugar is something that is good for all of us, but some recommendations say to avoid corn, peanuts, dairy and grains as well. I'll be interested to hear what you do.

I see you are new to the board, welcome! This group is a fabulous resource.

Jane,

Thanks for the warm welcome! It is nice to be able to share stories with people who get it.

Well, we never did make it back to the regular doctor, but I met a pretty knowledgeable nutritionist who prescribes Metagenics brand supplements. For the candida, we are now supplementing with probiotics capsules. I add them to my son's smoothies. I've increased protein, reduced sugar, and things seem better. His feet have definitely healed. He's 11, but he's always been a very picky eater, and it's really hard to get lean protein and veggies in him. I feel like a broken record every day, but I'm not giving up. I've been turning on Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, The Biggest Loser and some of the Dr. Oz shows to get my family to understand that protein, fruits and vegetables and grains such as brown rice are where it's at. My husband and I also watched Food Inc. and another Youtube movie about fructose (Google "sugar the bitter truth"). We've already eliminated the bad stuff from our kitchen, but we're now converting to organic, hormone, antibiotic free foods.

It really bothers me that between the gastroenterologist, the pediatrician and the nutritionist, there was no mention of any process for truly healing the gut after all those years of damage from gluten. And, when I asked about the yeast overgrowth, he said just go buy some Lamasil and spray it on his feet after every shower. It works temporarily, but that stuff is toxic and it stinks. I have yet to take my son in for his annual blood work this spring. You better believe I'll be asking for vitamin and mineral counts now. And, I'm also seeking an alternative doc who specializes in Celiac Disease and am crossing over to the alternative world to get some answers about this fatigue, bloated belly, yeast overgrowth and healing. We're also getting a treadmill in our garage!

Let me know how your son is doing.

Take care,

Kim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
0

×