My 7 year old daughter is struggling with both severe leg cramping (usually at night and infrequent but painful when it occurs) as well as more chronic but mild/moderate generalized leg pain which is causing her to sit out normal child activities (like gym class or simply walking around at times).
When the leg cramping occurred numerous times last month, I took her in to her general pediatrician who ran her calcium, magnesium, potassium and some b vitamin levels - all normal.
Additionally, she was diagnosed with celiac disease 3 years ago. She has been on a strict gluten-free diet since diagnosis. However, her body is extremely sensitive to gluten and although lower, her antibody levels are frequently still slightly above normal.
My question is: do I ignore these leg pains as growing pains? If not, do I take her back to her general pediatrician, her GI or a different specialist?
You describe a young girl with celiac disease and leg cramps, your ped did some excellent labs ruling out electrolyte related problems. Patients with celiac disease are prone to having other autoimmune disease like thyroid or adrenal. I would also be sure that the tsh and free T4 levels are checked. Growing pains usually occur at night, resolve with tylenol or ibuprofen and occur just at the growth plate below the knees so yes it is possible, she is on a gluten free diet and you are doing well with this. So start with one more look at things, consider xray of the legs to see if she has any findings and if things limit her participation in sports maybe an orthopedic doc needs to see her, don't want to miss something more serious like juvenile rheumatoid arthritis or a bone disease of some sort.
I am not a medical person, however, I know there's a tie-in with celiac and other food intolerances. My son (also 7) gets leg pain in the middle of the night, only after having a lot of milk products (he is dairy intolerant). I have read in that milk intolerance is a common cause of leg pain. Pain relievers never did anything for my son's "growing pains" which is why I thought they might be something else. If I give him Gripe Water, he is back to sleep in about 10 minutes (which led me to the digestive problem). Good luck
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