Abdominal pain in children is very common and can be distressful for parents:
1. Constipation The 2 most common reasons for abdominal pain in children are constipation and gastritis. A constipated child can be in severe pain with a bloated abdomen due to hard, compacted stool that prevent the normal passing of wind. Common causes are changes in diet (usually during the holidays when veggies make place for hot dogs), dehydration during our summer months and fear of passing stool. Depending on the circumstances, your doctor may recommend: Over-the-counter fiber supplements or stool softeners: (Pegicol, Laxette, Duphalac Dry, Glycerin supp), an OTC enema (an amazingly quick way to give instant relieve) or a hospital enema which clears the bowl completely. I personally love the herbal drops : Iberogast. It stays in the bread bin and whenever one of my children complains of a sore tummy- the drops come to the rescue!Up the WATER!, add prune juice, limit refined foods (fish fingers, vienas, and chicken nuggets) and cheese, do regular exercise and ease up on toilet training. If all else fails: get a pediatric enema from your local chemist-it works like a bom.
Give constipation the runs and keep your family’s tummies healthy!
2. GastritisThe most common reason for abdominal pain in my practice including, adults and children, is gastritis: This is inflammation of the stomach lining due to excess acid production. The main area of discomfort is right under the rib cage, just to the left. Excess acid production is often a result of stressful situations, leaving the stomach lining red and swollen. Pain, nausea, burping and bloating will lead to heartburn and a stomach ulcer if not treated. Do not underestimate the effects of stress in small children: usually paired with either going to school after a weekend or participating in competitive sports. Reassure your child continuously. Do a trial of Gaviscon and consult your doctor if the symptoms persist. The same medication that is prescribed to babies with re-flux usually does the trick. If all else fails, a blood/stool test for Helicobacter Pylori can be done and treated successfully if positive.
Be pro- active! A healthy diet can make a huge difference.