My Child Complains Of Stomach Aches. What Can I Do?

Question: My Child Often Complains Of Stomach Aches, But The Pediatrician Says He Is Okay. What Can I Do?

Answer: Stomach aches are very common in childhood, yet few have disease. Pediatricians examine children to look for physical signs, and help them determine whether the child has an organic or disease-based abdominal pain, or whether it's something called functional abdominal pain.

Functional abdominal pain is seen in children that are 4-18 years of age, where a pediatrician can't find any physical signs on the physical examination to go with the pain, and that can find also no alarming signs such as blood in the stool or the urine, persistent high fevers, involuntary weight loss, or pain that may wake the child from sleep.

There are many possible treatments for functional abdominal pain. And these treatments depend on really the symptoms and the description of the pain that's present. In many ways, functional abdominal pain is a lot like headaches. Most of the time, they do not indicate that a serious disease is present. They may be made better by certain types of medications, they may be made worse by certain types of foods, they are almost made worse by stress, and they often respond well to relaxation therapy and positive family support.

However, if your child has abdominal pain that persists or gets worse, another visit to the pediatrician is warranted.

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