pregnant belly

My 12 year old daughter has a pregnant belly. The rest of her body is small and petite. She has slow thyroid and has been on meds for two years. We are trying the gluten free diet now and it seemed to work at the beginning, but not so much now.

What may be the cause?

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Pregnant Belly NEW
by: Annette Young

Hello there,

I'm sorry to hear that your daughter is suffering at the moment. It's bad enough having Crohn's disease but to have an underactive thyroid too is certainly not pleasant.

I can sympathise because I also have an underactive thyroid and it has been the bane of my life. Luckily for me, my thyroid problems did not start until I was in my early 40’s, your daughter was still be going through puberty and will have massive hormonal changes to face and the thyroid is a part of the endocrine system so it is all linked.

Stress is certainly a potential cause for the thyroid and is a trigger for Crohn’s too. If she is anxious about anything, this can make things worse. Ensure she is exercising, yoga for example is something that you could both do together and this can help with all of the conditions as it works to balance the body but it also provides a type of coping mechanism.

The swollen belly can be a number of things, have you taken her recently to seek medical assistance? It is vital that she takes the right nutrients and let's be honest, many 12-year-olds will skimp on eating nourishing food preferring to eat snack food. You may need to monitor carefully if you are not doing so already.

Try to ensure that she does not have many processed foods as you will be amazed at the ingredients. Ideally she needs to have a simple diet, nourishing, natural with small but regular portions and it can be an idea to give her foods that are easy to digest.

Here is a link that might be of help for the thyroid but I would strongly suggest going to see a doctor for blood tests to eliminate anything more threatening:

http://kidshealth.org/teen/diseases_conditions/growth/thyroid.html#

I hope this helps.
Annette Young

pregnant belly NEW
by: Lydia D.


I assume that she also has Crohn's disease.

You don't say whether or not her underactive thyroid is Hashimoto's or not. Your description of her belly makes me think of Kwashiorkor patients http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1104623-overview

Are you sure that she is getting all the nutrients that she requires. Crohn's can cause severe malnutrition especially in children where stunting of growth will happen if it is not addressed. A referal to a nutritionist will help here.

Is she starving? Is she secretly eating crisps or other snacks with aromas in them? Most of the aromas have gluten in them. Check all the packet labelling and discard everything with aromas in them. Ideally, cook everything from scratch.

Selenium is required for optimal thyroid function in addition to iodine. http://www.journey-with-crohns-disease.com/benefits-of-selenium.html

The distended belly could also be due to internal inflammation, liver disease, tumours, etc. I suggest that you take her to the doctor again, get a blood profile, gastroesophagalduodenoscopy to check for coeliac damage, etc.

Coeliac disease is very dangerous because it not only leads to malnutrition/malabsorption if untreated, but it also leads to cancer of the intestine. Please get her medical help as soon as possible. If she is not given adequate medical treatment then growth stunting will be the least of her problems. It can have knock-on damaging effects on the heart, brain, female reproduction organs, etc.

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