CP, digestion and weight loss

Taking a break from my usual writing, these are my thoughts today. What they don’t tell you when you’re born prematurely with Cerebral Palsy is that you may have a whole host of other issues to deal with.

For anyone with reflux and digestion problems, it’s also easy to struggle with weight loss through reflux. There is no information out there to explain that every time you bring up acid, the body is failing to absorb nutrients and that causes weight loss.

We tend to have to adjust our diets so that we eat without dealing with these problems, particularly at night. Reflux and digestion problems are more prevalent in twins and being born premature. If you’re unlucky enough to be premature and have Cerebral Palsy, it makes it slightly more difficult.

Where does anyone go from here?

We need to make sure we put on weight, eat foods that agree with us, take supplements to encourage wellness, particularly a probiotics. Our biggest challenge though, is to make sure we stay well.


8 Dec, 2010

18 thoughts on “CP, digestion and weight loss

  1. I understand what reflux is like having dealt with it for years as well. The sitting up at night to get some rest just so the acid won’t come up isn’t easy.

    I took some Zantac which helped me greatly. There are many over the counter medications to help with this problem, but I also understand your reluctance to take another pill to cure a problem which may carry a whole new host of issues.

    I wish you improved health and hope you can gain some of your lost weight.

  2. This is a real problem, but is so important to our overall health to try and make sure we eat properly. It is clear that properly for one person may not necessarily be properly for another, especially when digestion problems are present from CP or for any other reason.

    I guess we all learn through experience what agrees with us and what aggravates problems as far as digestion is concerned and it’s often its trial and error to work out what we can eat and when we can eat it.

    It’s so important that we get our full quota of protein, carbohydrates and fruit and veg, but often difficult with our busy lifestyles and as you say, because of reflux and digestive problems, this makes it very hard.

    Persevere and hopefully any further weight loss can be halted, if not reversed.

    1. You are absolutely right, CP and other problems like being born too early have all added to the problems I have with reflux and digestion. I intend to continue to do my best with your help, smile!

  3. Sorry you are having such a hard time with digestion problems. I don’t have any digestion problems, except when I was pregnant a long time ago. I wish you continued health and possible resolutions to your problem.

  4. I’ve always wondered if there was any true connection between CP and maintaining a lower weight over the course of one’s lifespan.

    I was born with an extremely low weight from being 3 months premature and still have a low weight for my height and age. For me I’ve always had a hard time keeping weight on. If I don’t eat a descent amount everyday and If I stop working out then I actually lose weight.

    I’m trying to gain weight myself. Haven’t made much progress yet, but I’m hoping too soon.

    1. LeAnna as far as CP and weight issues are concerned, there is no information out there that suggests that weight loss is associated with CP, but I know that’s where my problems have stemmed from, particularly as I was always struggling with reflux, digestion problems and being sick.

      My twin sister, weighed less than me at birth, doesn’t have CP and is an okay weight for her height and build. I can draw no other conclusions.

  5. I’ve taken care of several premature babies as a nurse and they all had two things in common; reflux and low weight.

    I haven’t any experience with working with anybody with CP, but I know of a case now that the child does have digestive problems, mild CP and low weight. I agree with you that diet plays an important role in gaining control.

    I use to have a lot of problems with digestion but could never lose weight. Now I don’t really have any problems except mild indigestion occasionally and have lost down to a good weight for me and am maintaining it well.

    I do tend to lose more when my stomach is out of sorts. I do have slow peristalsis which is related to the diabetes, so I just don’t feel like eating sometimes.

    I do hope you find the answers you need and gain some of your weight back.

  6. There could be a connection between CP and weight loss, but that really depends on the type of cp I reckon. If involuntary movements are present, you use energy, burn fat and lose weight. Maintaining a healthy diet generally is important, but more so for those with CP as it is crucial to keep all bodily components functioning at their prime in efforts to prevent unwanted CP-related repercussions.

    My son was 6 weeks early, but yet weighed 7 pounds; now he’s 2, with CP and has slimmed down. He didn’t really have an appetite as such, he eats small portions. I make sure the small quantity he eats is well balanced. I’m not sure if he slimmed down because of his gene pre-disposition (both his dad and I are slim) or because of his CP.

    I have an extremely high metabolic rate. I have to consciously eat 3 times a day to maintain a healthy weight for my height. If I miss breakfast twice in a row the pounds start shedding. I also had horrible reflux before I got pregnant, then it got worse when I was pregnant – didn’t think it could have been so very uncomfortable – my solution was to chew tums daily. Since having my son however, no sign of reflux!

    Use a Vitamin B complex. It is doctor recommended for those with no appetite and need to be reconstituted. I started my son on the kiddie version recently and I have noticed a significant increase in the amount he eats now.

    Hope you find a solution to your concerns quickly! Optimistic

    1. I still believe there is a correlation between CP and weight loss, but as with all things to do with CP there is no guidance or information out there to link cerebral palsy problems.

      Thanks for the advice on the use of Vitamin B. It’s always helpful to hear from others, who have different thoughts to share. Thank you for posting.

    2. Hi Nosa… I believe that Athetoid movements dose burn up energy and thus weight loss.

      I have always been a large eater, ask my mother! A friend at work called me a gannet guts as I had a whole loaf of meal bread made into sandwiches for lunch. Weight loss has been more of an issue since my 40’s and got down to 40kg as way too thin. Had problems with pressure areas as my bones were sticking out of my body and had to have surgery to have a feeding tube inserted into my stomach.

      I stayed eating although my Dr was concerned as my swallow wasn’t working that well due to the complexity of the coordination that is involved to swallow safely. I did have to sleep semi reclined to stop reflux and food coming out my nostrils when lying flat to sleep. They pumped a high-power liquid formula though my feeding tube so I wouldn’t lose more weight and hopefully gain some over time.

      I had that tube in for 12 years until I gained my optimum weight at around 67kg. I have stayed at this goal with a lot of determination not to go back to below 50kg or lower, but its a combination of eating a diet of high protein and carbohydrates to keep my weight without eating fats that clog up your system and then heart problems further up the track.

      I only got digestion and reflux problems after my surgery to have the feeding tube fitted and have re-occurring issues ever since. I still have to remind myself to eat at a time that it less tiring and when my fatigue is at its lowest but that’s not at the later times when a meal will have stayed and put on some more weight. Keep your wee guy snacking as when he gets more active he may need some more weight to burn and keep up his protein and carbohydrates as they are the healthy way to gain and keep weight on… take care.

  7. My Cerebral Palsy (CP) condition is a characteristic among all my other traits, as a 72 year old person. When I dealt with the Acid Reflux characteristic, it really overwhelmed me.

    Finally I found out Acid Reflux is caused by the basic American diet. Too much protein, too much dairy, too little plant based foods. I started learning how to eat more plant based foods.

    I also discovered apple cider vinegar stops Acid Reflex within seconds of taking it. So as I deuced the acidic foods in my meals and used apple cider vinegar to reduce too much acid, I got better.

    Over a two year period, I learned about a plant based diet and became a vegetarian and several years later, a vegan which I am today. I have no more Acid Reflux, my weights have been stable for 30 plus years; and my energy is good.

    As you transition to a more plant based diet, remember a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar will neutralise too much acid in your body. Be sure to dilute the apple cider vinegar in water; (1 tbs to 2 or 3 oz of water).

    Thank you for your blog. It allows all of us with the extra responsibility of Cerebral Palsy, to support each other. Yours in healing… Thomas.

    1. Hi Thomas and welcome to the site. I have tried Apple Cider Vinegar myself, but unfortunately it made me feel poorly. I agree that it’s important to deduce the foods we eat and try to eat what’s right for us. I have found that isn’t so easy. I can resonate.

      Having had reflux in the past myself I know how nasty it can be; but it’s finding out what foods work for us and sticking with the winning formula and taking stress out of the equation too.

      It’s important we look to support one another, I agree. Thanks for your response. I look forward to seeing you on the site again.

    2. If the apple cider vinegar makes you feel poorly with an upset tummy, try eating an organic apple.

      I have been on a long search and experiment for calming down some of my spasticity? Do any of you have suggestions?

      And a Blessed New Year to us all.

      1. Thanks Thomas. I hope you have a Blessed New Year.

        I’m okay with certain apples not all. I think it’s got something to do with the reflux. Unfortunately, because of acid reflux, there are certain foods we need to steer clear of. I take alternative supplements and they help. I am certainly not as unwell as I used to be.

        In the past, I have struggled with IBS, acid reflux and digestion problems of which stress is very much a factor.

        As far as spasticity is concerned, there are treatments out there such as botox. I have one or two friends who have gone down that route and although it works for a short time, it does give some relief.

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