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Thread: AIS, low level of fitness & poor nutrition... Is there a connection?

  1. #1
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    Question AIS, low level of fitness & poor nutrition... Is there a connection?

    I've been wondering if these three things are somehow connected. What do you guys think?

    Looking back on my son (14) who has severe scoliosis I have to wonder if his complete lack of interest in any sort of physical activity along with his constant cravings for junk food, fast food and sweets and treats might have somehow caused his scoliosis.

    He seemed pretty normal until he was about 9 and then all of a sudden he refused to participate in any sort of sports, games or just running and jumping around like most kids his age did and he became a hermit so to speak.

    He also seemed to dislike pretty much everything that was good for him, was extremely fussy and seemed addicted to all kinds of unhealthy foods which became such a battle of wits in the house.

    His PE teachers have written on his report card that he has a "low level of fitness" and at the time we kinda joked about it but never really did much about it, but then again he wasn't exactly cooperating with us when we tried to get him to be more physical. My husband even bought two little off-road motorbikes and two kayaks and a very nice BMX bike for him to have fun with but he had zero interest in any of them and my daughter ended up on the motorbikes and the kayaks.

    From age 9 to 12 something he lived this kind of lifestyle and at 13 was diagnosed with moderate scoliosis and now at 14 he is very severe. This does have me wondering if all of this is somehow connected.

    I should add that in the past six months he has completely changed his diet: almost no junk food, fast food, no pop and has developed a taste for healthy foods and pretty much eats nothing but. It's like all of a sudden he craves good food, fruits, vegetables, whole grain breads (before he wouldn't eat bread if it had seeds in it), green teas, water and all my daughter's vegetarian cooked meals. It's really bizarre how he's changed and of course we're really thrilled with this new attitude. The other night he ate brussel sprouts and loved them. He'd NEVER eat those before as he was extremely picky about absolutely everything; drove us nuts.

    He's still not very active but he has been doing a few exercises at home which is great but I'm sure that's b/c of dealing with his scoliosis discomfort.

    Does anyone else have kids/teens that have been very inactive, are extremely picky eaters, crave junk/fast foods, are really thin who also have scoliosis? Maybe there's no relation at all but it does have me thinking somewhat b/c he was definitely different than my other two kids.

  2. #2
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    I'm not sure why you think those thing caused the scoliosis as opposed to some condition causing those things AND the scoliosis.

    How would you tell the difference? Why jump to the conclusion that the scoliosis is a result of those things? Maybe it is DRIVING those other things.

    You might consider having him evaluated by a medical geneticist.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
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    "We are all African."

  3. #3
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    He was and somewhat is really different from my other two kids. Now of course every kid/person is different but he really stands out as a lot different not only between his brother and sister but to others his age in general.

    I guess I'm wondering but probably will never know if these things somehow caused his scoliosis of whether his scoliosis caused these other things, which came fist so to speak or if none of this stuff is even remotely connected. It does make me wonder though and gives me something to think about, so I was wondering if others out there experienced similar things with their scolio kids/teens.

    My son is also very odd in the sense that he appears to be very mature for his age, even wise and I honestly do not recall him ever having a temper tantrum and to this day he seems to just have this amazing intuition about things and a deeper understanding of the world around him. I'm sure that's just his personality type but I thought I'd throw that in there, lol.

  4. #4
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    You might want to consider that Marfans for example has a ~25% spontaneous mutation rate.

    That is, 25% of the time, a kid will have it with NO family member affected.

    If my kids have Marfans it will almost certainly be a spontaneous mutation.

    Other syndrome may have similar or higher spontaneous mutation rates. Only a medical geneticist can even try to connect his signs and symptoms to anything.

    Lay speculation is futile.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  5. #5
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    Lay speculation is futile.
    No doubt but it does have me wondering if there are other scolio kids out there that seem similar to my son's sudden lack of interest in physical activity, his hermit-like behaviour, thinness and junk food addiction.

    Now if others come on here and tell me that their scolio kids enjoy physical activity, are social and are normal eaters then there goes my connection idea, heh.

  6. #6
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    Well I see the main problem as there is likely a boatload of kids who meet that exact description and don't have scoliosis.

    The connection seems completely random at this point.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  7. #7
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    Well I see the main problem as there is likely a boatload of kids who meet that exact description and don't have scoliosis.
    Probably. He's such an odd bird though in so many ways it does have the wheels in my head turning b/c this whole "idiopathic" thing is just so... bewildering.

    Hey. off topic but your mailbox is full.

  8. #8
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    Hi Elisa,

    There are so many different factors involved and even once you find a correlation, it's so hard to know what is a cause and what is a symptom. I'm constantly thinking of new possible factors that make me different from my sister who doesn't have scoliosis. I think what you're describing could probably describe a lot of adolescent kids, with or without scoliosis, who tend to withdraw or rebel. I wouldn't worry about junk food or fitness having caused it. I was raised with a ridiculously healthy diet and I played soccer for years and I still got it anyway. These types of things may make subtle differences in the severity of the curve, but there's got to be something much stronger at work here.

    But for the sake of discussion I'll throw in a few more possible commonalities... shyness, poor vision, and left handed. Anyone?
    1993, Age 13, 53* Right T Curve w/ Left L compensatory
    2010, Age 30, 63* or 68* (depending on the doc) Right T Curve w/ Left L compensatory

    http://livingtwisted.wordpress.com/

  9. #9
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    I'll elaborate a little more...

    shyness - I think this has been reported as a result of diagnosis and/or bracing. But I have a theory (based only on anecdotal stories) that it might actually be present before the scoliosis develops. Again, just a theory, but curious to hear if this fits into others' experiences.

    poor vision - I believe there are studies that actually identify this as an environmental factor. If I remember correctly it has to do with leading with your strong eye, which tends to cause the whole head to shift off center.

    left handedness - I think that studies have dismissed the hypothesis that there is a correlation between handedness and scoliosis, but I wonder if it couldn't still be an environmental factor, depending on your environment. For example, I always had to sit in school desks that were made for lefties and had to twist my body into the exact position I'm in today in order to get my left elbow on the desk.

    Again, these are just theories based on my own experience and maybe I'm just grasping for some sort of common ground or explanation I can understand. Elisa, does your son have any of these? Anyone else?
    1993, Age 13, 53* Right T Curve w/ Left L compensatory
    2010, Age 30, 63* or 68* (depending on the doc) Right T Curve w/ Left L compensatory

    http://livingtwisted.wordpress.com/

  10. #10
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    Hey Mehera, glad I'm not alone sitting here thinking or perhaps over-thinking about which came first, my son's scoliosis or other factors that perhaps caused it. I have always been an extremely curious person and have this need to find out 'why' things happen and if I don't know why then I'm full of guesses.

    My son is right-handed. He is indeed somewhat shy but lately I've noticed he's much more outgoing, happy and more social even with his severe scoliosis. Maybe that has to do with his MUCH better diet? I do notice that he doesn't have such dark circles under his eyes these days. Good to know you had a good diet and was active as a teen and you still got scoliosis. Well not really, but you know what I mean.

    A few months back my son was complaining about vision problems in the classroom so I took him for an eye exam and it was determined that he did have one very strong eye but to be honest with you I didn't really understand exactly what all that meant. Bottom line was he didn't need glasses but it was recommended that he sit closer to the front of the class so he didn't have to strain so much. Like I said, it was explained to me a few times but I just didn't really get it and he didn't need glasses so off we went.

    When he was 9 and became a hermit he'd walk around the house in his boxer shorts only and he kinda moved his body weird like he was floating around and we used to call him Gollam (sp?) a character from the Lord of the Rings. He's still super sensitive to clothing and the absolute first thing he does when he gets home from school is strip down and put on his pj bottoms. When his new fleece hoodies aren't fluffy on the inside after washings he won't wear them b/c he says they're uncomfortable. Needless to say I've got a rack of them in my own closet b/c they are perfectly good but not to him.

    He has beautiful straight teeth with not a single cavity. Does that mean anything, hehe?

  11. #11
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    I keep thinking that my son's scoliosis just happened a year or more ago but now I'm thinking it might have started when he was 10. AIS is from ages 10-17 and I know I keep saying it was when he was 9 that he changed but it could have been 10. There has to be a precursor to the crooked spine, maybe? I know his spine was 'normal' looking when he was younger b/c he always walked around with just his shorts on so the rest of his body was totally visible. He did start shifting to the right about then though. Like I said, he seemed to float or glide when he moved and didn't take definite forward steps like most people. He still glides around, unlike his sister who stomps on the hardwood floor on her heels.

  12. #12
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    I've thought of another oddity Mehera, my son absolutely hates hates the sun and he won't join us outside for bbq's or just hanging out in the backyard unless he's totally shaded. He stays totally white all summer; maybe he's a vampire.

    Although, with this whole new change in diet and lifestyle maybe he'll end up enjoying sitting outside in the sunshine for five minutes.

  13. #13
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    Hearing your description of his eyesight sounds very familiar. I remember having to sit closer in class. And I was actually talking to my mom about all this the other day and she mentioned that when it was first noticed (probably 2 years before the scoliosis) only one of my eyes was bad and at the time they questioned whether or not to get me glasses at all. They ended up getting them and my eyes got progressively worse for years. Both eyes are now the exact same prescription.

    I also get home and immediately change into PJs most days. On the weekends I'll wear yoga clothes if I can get away with it. I think it has to do with a constant feeling that something just isn't right. It's not pain or even discomfort, just a yuckiness. And clothes that are scratchy, tug at you, or stick into you somehow exaggerate that feeling.

    Not sure I can relate to acting like Gollam or a Vampire, but we all have our idiosyncrasies
    1993, Age 13, 53* Right T Curve w/ Left L compensatory
    2010, Age 30, 63* or 68* (depending on the doc) Right T Curve w/ Left L compensatory

    http://livingtwisted.wordpress.com/

  14. #14
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    Elisa

    Its so hard to say.... I was extremely fit and ate well as a kid, yet kids in Africa with poor diets seem to end up with scoliosis often.

    I posted a thread here about living to 100 about a year ago. Both people from Okinawa, and Sardinia had different diets and different lifestyles. Both groups were active, but were not exercise freaks....One group was on a meat diet, the other on fish and veggies.

    I wouldn’t worry about why your son has scoliosis. I have friends and have known people with all sorts of different problems.... One things for sure, if you have your health, you are blessed.

    I was 10 when I noticed that I had problems doing sit-ups in gym. I would pull up slightly to the side.... I remember that very clearly to this day.
    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 59, the new 55...
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    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

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    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  15. #15
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    It is what it is Ed and I accept that. I'm probably more accepting than some that say "oh my God why me?" b/c I say "well why not me?". I totally accept my son's diagnosis, although he hasn't had an official one yet but I have a pretty good idea what's going on. I know what is now but I'm still so curious as to how it got there. It's all so very interesting and definitely a ride. Speaking of such, when is our ride to someone who actually specializes in this type of thing.

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