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Possible allergy, or just being picky?

Lately I am having a very difficult time getting my 3 year old to eat. He wont eat breakfast, lunch or dinner. He does snack a little during the day, but not so much that he shouldn't be hungry during meal times. Usually I don't worry so much, I figure he's not going to starve himself and he'll eat when he gets hungry. But lately (the last month or so) he is always complaining about his tummy hurting, and yet he wont eat his food. I tried telling him that if he eats, his tummy wont hurt. But that isn't true if he has a food allergy, and I just don't know about it. He also has eczema, has had it since he was born so I didn't think it was related to his diet, but what if that's another symptom. We don't have health insurance, so I am hesitant to have him tested for allergies. Does anyone have any experience with food allergy tests? How do they do the tests, and how much do you think it will cost?

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Asked by my2.5boys at 11:19 AM on Jul. 10, 2009 in Kids' Health

Level 17 (4,394 Credits)
Answers (16)
  • Oh, I have started buying him Kid Essential drinks to help supplement the vitamins and minerals he's probably not getting from food. So I'm not too worried about him being unhealthy. He's a good weight, and he doesn't seem to have any other issues.

    Answer by my2.5boys at 11:21 AM on Jul. 10, 2009

  • Oh yeah, I can always get him to eat fruit (just about any kind), and he will drink smoothies if I make them in the mornings. But he can't live off just fruit, can he?

    Answer by my2.5boys at 11:32 AM on Jul. 10, 2009

  • Where are you? Many states have health insurance for kids. He should be allergy tested. You can try an elimination diet to see if that helps things.

    Answer by Arisce at 12:04 PM on Jul. 10, 2009

  • This has been going on for a MONTH and you've not spoken to a doctor about it?!?!?

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:14 PM on Jul. 10, 2009

  • Sorry anon, but I don't jump and run my kids to the doctor every time they sneeze or cough.

    It's not like he's not eating anything at all, he's just not eating as much as I think he should be. I'm not sure if he's just being picky, or maybe has an allergy I'm not aware of. Obviously it's not that severe. He says his tummy hurts, but he's still constantly running around the house, playing with his brother, so it can't be bothering him that much. He hasn't lost any weight, and he's not showing any signs of fatigue. Nor is he having any problems with bowl movements or vomiting. I doubt it is anything life threatening at he moment.

    Arisce, my husband and I are thinking about removing wheat from the family diet for a few weeks, to see if things improve. Next we will try removing dairy products, but I really hope it's not a dairy allergy because cheese and yogurt are two things I can always get him to eat.

    Answer by my2.5boys at 1:49 PM on Jul. 10, 2009

  • if he has excema, there is a very good chance that he has a dairy sensitivity.

    Answer by rkoloms at 2:27 PM on Jul. 10, 2009

  • Most states have discounted children's health insurance programs, so you should call your local DPW office to see if yours does & apply. Fees are usually based on family size & gross income, so you could not have to pay anthing or have to pay only a small amout per month.

    If you are concerned about a possible food allergy, it is best to have him tested, especially if you suspect wheat is the culprit b/c it could be Celiac Disease, but w/o appropriate testing you won't really know. Also, when he goes to school you will need proof of a dairy or wheat allergy in order for him to be able to get allergy-free breakfasts & lunches, unless you intend to always pack a lunch for him.

    It could also be something completely different, like reflux or Eosinophilic Esophagitis, both of which can cause tummy pain & eczema. Usually there are more sxs, but not always, so seeing a doctor is a good idea - better safe than sorry, kwim?

    Answer by mom2aspclboy at 3:01 PM on Jul. 10, 2009

  • I do know what you mean, and thanks for the advice. Believe me I have looked into all the health programs out there, and hubby and I make too much money for all of them, but we still can't afford the $1400/month for health insurance. (That's what his company health plan would cost us, which is more than our mortgage payment.) When we have an extra few hundred dollars, I will certainly take him down to be tested. I find it's a lot cheaper to just pay out of pocket for health costs, than to get insurance.

    I don't have to worry about school lunches and such because my kids are going to be home-schooled, but it's still a good idea to know if an allergy is present, so I know what kinds of food to avoid bringing in the house.

    Answer by my2.5boys at 3:32 PM on Jul. 10, 2009

  • Apply for state insurance and get him tested for allergies. Why have you waited so long? The Kid Essentials is a good idea, as is him eating fruit. Try making smoothies and adding spinach or kale...make sure there is a lot of fruit to hide the taste of the veggies. As for paying out of pocket for insurance being cheaper, it is until your child has an emergency or ends up in the hospital and you could then be in debt up to your eyeballs.There are some state inusrances just for kids and it doesn't matter what you make.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 5:05 PM on Jul. 10, 2009

  • You said yourself in your first post that he hasn't been eating and has been complaining of his tummy hurting for a month. A month of pain, a month of not eating and you don't take him to the doctor?

    That is not the same as running to the doctor because he has a freakin' sneeze or cough!!

    Either clarify so you can get good, honest answers or admit that you should have taken him to the doctor before now. But don't get down on someone because they asked a question!

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:16 PM on Jul. 10, 2009

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