In children, the stomach ache can be of 2 types: pathological and functional.
· In pathological stomach ache, the child will also have other symptoms like severe fever, huge swollen belly, vomiting, problems in urine and stool. Here the child is actually sick.
· Here the doctor can ask to get some blood work or urine stool reports done.Ultra scan of abdomen may be required. Such severe cases are generally not very common.
· From the history of your child, the doctor will be able to identify whether the child is suffering from functional pain or not.
· This kind of pain has a long history like it occurs over 15 days, 2 months, or so. Normally these types of pain are not considered severe. There is no particular reason behind it. There will be no pathological sign or symptom apart from pain.
· The child can experience functional stomach pain due to stress too.
· When the child experiences stress, certain chemicals are released in the stomach which can lead to stomach pain. So remember, when a child is complaining about stomach ache, (s)he is not lying or making things up.
Situations under which child can experience stress and can complain of stomach ache:
· When a child has just woken up and he sees his mom with a glass of milk
· When the child is trying to finish school work and the school bus arrives.
· When the teacher scolds him in the school.
· When other kids bully him in the school.
· Sometimes there is sibling rivalry when you compare two children in the same house which can also lead to some stress resulting.
Ultimately all the stress in the body gets out in the form of stomach pain. So the child feels like avoiding school and any such situation which is uncomfortable for him/her. When the child is rescued from such a situation or distracted, this pain is also relieved.
One thing that is important here is how a parent treats the child during situations of stress.
· If the parent starts giving special treatments or pampers the child by allowing them to stay home after stomach ache complaints or if they say it is okay not to work, the child would know for sure that anytime he doesn’t want to work or don’t want to do a thing he can use this excuse of stomach pain.
· Parents can instead, talk to the child, understand the problem and find out the reason behind stress. You can help your child calm down and explain to them that you are there for them if anything goes wrong.
· Give some time to your child to accept changes and you will be good to go.
Sometimes constipation also leads to stomach ache:
· Constipation is again one of the major reasons behind a child’s stomach pain.
· Generally after half an hour of the first food in the morning the child can get nature’s call.
· Now, when the child gets up, the mum is ready with a cup of milk and hurries up to get him ready for school.
· In that situation the child feels the stress causing him pain. There is no time to attend nature’s call and he has to leave for school.
· When the child reaches school either the toilets are dirty or the teacher doesn’t allow the child to go. So to avoid these, the child suppresses his natural urge to go to the toilet and hence develops constipation.
· When he gets back home there is no natural urge and constipation increases
· Here, the doctor needs to check for constipation as a reason for stomach ache.
Stomach-ache and stomach worms:
· Stomach worms could also be one of the reasons for stomach ache.
· Children above one year to the age of 12 years need to be given stomach worm medication after every six months even when there is pain or not.
· The child’s lifestyle has to be improved.
· Parents should check that the child is stress free
· Give the child a suitable and balanced diet.
· Avoid giving outside food or junk food from hotels and restaurants
· Parents should keep the house atmosphere pleasant.
· Gentle behaviour from parents can improve this condition.