Among his recommendations: Minimize stress

A simple test proved that canada goose outlet store near me a teen with stomach pain wasn’t a hypochondriac after all

canada goose coats on sale Alana Broe had hoped college would mark a turning point in her health. canada goose coats on sale

Canada Goose Parka Since third grade, Broe had battled a constellation of ailments that had kept her home from school more times canada goose vest outlet than she could count. She had frequent stomachaches and migraines, and seemed to catch every virus that swept her high school. Even so, she pushed herself, taking AP classes, running track and playing club volleyball; sports and academic achievement canada goose outlet nyc were expected in her family. Canada Goose Parka

Canada Goose Outlet College promised a respite. For the first time in years she would not be playing sports. She canada goose outlet in toronto would have time to take better care of herself and make new friends who didn’t know her as “The Hypochondriac” as a coach had dubbed her in a public dressing down that still stung. Canada Goose Outlet

canada goose So when her freshman year at an Alabama college canada goose outlet winnipeg address turned out to be the sickest period of her life, Broe felt “extremely defeated” and genuinely worried about her future. canada goose

A friend’s advice coupled with subsequent testing revealed that she had a much publicized disorder, a revelation that seems most surprising because it was overlooked for so long.

canadian goose jacket Because of health problems that plagued her in high school, canada goose outlet store quebec Alana Broe said, she turned down several athletic scholarhsips to colleges, deciding not to play sports at all. (Courtesy of Alana Broe) canadian goose jacket

canada goose store Although the news required a radical change and the knowledge that she will have to manage its effects for the rest of her life, “I was thrilled to have a diagnosis,” said Broe, who is now 22. canada goose store

For nearly as long as Broe can remember, her stomach canada goose outlet miami hurt.

Her childhood in canada goose outlet suburban Atlanta was marked by numerous trips to the pediatrician, who invariably diagnosed a virus. The dull ache in her lower abdomen made sitting difficult; lying in bed seemed to relieve the pain. To settle her stomach, she would nibble on crackers or bread.

buy canada goose jacket cheap Her mother, a labor and delivery nurse, was as baffled as canada goose outlet germany Broe’s pediatrician about the cause of her pain. “My mother knew enough to know I wasn’t faking,” Broe said. “I loved school and hated to miss it.” Her grandfather, a surgeon, was also at a loss. But Broe’s teachers suspected that her stomachaches were a reflection of the social stress she felt at school. buy canada goose jacket cheap

This wasn’t an outlandish theory. Broe’s absences were so frequent that her elementary school canada goose outlet in new york classmates devised a “game” guessing how many days she’d be out that week. When she did come to school, she was teased.

canada goose black friday sale When Broe was 12, her mother took her to a pediatric gastroenterologist. He ruled out ulcers. “She is a high achiever and strives for perfection,” the doctor wrote, canada goose outlet uk and sometimes experiences “stress related to this.” canada goose black friday sale

Canada Goose online The specialist, who did not order blood tests, concluded that she suffered from visceral hyperalgesia essentially, a highly sensitive stomach. Among his recommendations: Minimize stress. Canada Goose online

Sleep didn’t help

cheap Canada Goose During middle school, Broe felt somewhat better. But high school brought new symptoms: severe headaches and alternating attacks of constipation and diarrhea. cheap Canada Goose

She was repeatedly tested for canada goose outlet las vegas mononucleosis, a common virus that causes fatigue. Sometimes when her headaches became severe, she would leave class to take naps in the school canada goose outlet store uk infirmary. She took more vitamins: Blood tests showed that she was anemic and deficient in vitamin D. More sleep didn’t seem to boost her energy. After eight hours she canada goose outlet online uk awoke feeling exhausted, not energized.

Volleyball provided something of a refuge: When she was playing, she did not notice the pain. “I think I just compartmentalized it,” she said.

One of the lowest moments occurred during her senior year, when one of her coaches, canada goose outlet boston in front of the team, accused her canada goose outlet in canada of being a hypochondriac, a characterization that seemed to resonate with her teammates. Broe wondered if the coach was right. “I’d question myself and wonder, ‘Why am I always sick?'”

canada goose clearance sale Her attendance that year was so spotty she missed more than 20 days that the dean of her private school told her that if she missed any time during the month before graduation, she would be unable to get her diploma with her class. By then Broe had canada goose outlet seattle turned down several athletic scholarships to colleges, fearing she would never canada goose uk be able to compete all four years. canada goose clearance sale

She also decided that in college, she would not play sports at all, “which had never really been an option in my family.” Not playing would free up her time to take better care of herself, she thought. In contrast to high school, she planned to take a canada goose outlet usa light course load her freshman year.

Before she left for school in the fall of 2012, her pediatrician took 13 vials of blood to test for a host of potential illnesses but found nothing. “She told me, ‘At least we canada goose outlet toronto know there’s nothing serious,'” Broe recalled.

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During her freshman year. Broe felt worse than ever. “I was nauseated every morning when I woke up, I had piercing migraines and I had to take a nap or lie down after every meal,” she remembered. Her diet consisted largely of student fare: grilled cheese, canned soup and microwaved quesadillas. She gobbled over the counter pain relievers to feel well enough to get to class.

Canada Goose sale On the days she was too sick to get out of bed, she would curl up in her dorm room, eating Wheat Thins and relying on friends to bring her water and food. A few times she was in so much pain that she literally crawled to the bathroom. Canada Goose sale

buy canada goose jacket Her visits to the student health center followed a pattern. “I guess you have the flu again” seemed to be the habitual response, Broe said. buy canada goose jacket

She decided that maybe this was her new normal. A month later, a friend mentioned that her own stomach problems had greatly improved after she adopted a canada goose outlet woodbury diet devoid of dairy products and gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley.

canada goose coats “I thought gluten free was just too hard,” said Broe, who decided to see how she fared without dairy. After a month she noticed a slight improvement. canada goose coats

In May 2013, soon after she returned home from school for the summer, Broe consulted Atlanta gastroenterologist Marc Sonenshine.

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