Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Growing Pains

I have just realized the importance of this topic as my child is going through it. It had started a year back. She used to hold her foot and curl up lying down. This used to happen mostly during night time. During the day time she had rarely complained of pain. When asked where it hurts, she used to rub over a wide area or point to her toes or middle of the foot.

I had heard about growing pains and the solution I knew for it was massage. So I used to give her a oil massage and the pain would subside. It would come back again after a few hours.

This continued for a year and now back in India where she plays more everyday, the pains also grew. We decided to get a pediatric opinion on this. The doctor on first examination referred to the same growing pains. She explained that since this is related to Vitamin B12 and D, we should get a blood test done to ensure what needs to be done.

The blood test showed insufficient Vitamin D for which supplements were advised. B12 levels were normal. Still a B12 supplement was advised as we are vegetarians and our diet does not contain much of B12. It has been 2 days now and she has not yet complained of any pain. But the medication will continue for 3 months. Also insufficient exposure to sunlight can cause insufficient Vitamin D in a body. In the last 2 years, in USA, her exposure to sunlight was low. It was mostly during summer time which lasted for 4-5 months in a year.

I had to get more information on this and found out a few things:

1) Vitamin D is also called the sunshine vitamin. So expose your kid to morning sunshine to fulfill the vitamin D requirement for the body.

2) Though the kid is a healthy eater and suffers from growing pains, he is not able to meet the body's vitamin D needs through it. Supplements are required so get the blood test done for Vitamin D and get the required supplements from the doctor.

3) A kid should get sufficient sleep as the body repairs itself during this time. The sleep should be regular, undisturbed and consistent.

4) Drink sufficient water to keep the muscles loose and connective tissues hydrated.

Growing pains are common but do not ignore them. If massage or heating pad does not help, get a doctors opinion to ensure what needs to be done. Kids need a healthy and playful life.

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