Belly ache or gut pain is very common in children, what can cause it and how can we alleviate it?
If you have a child, you have surely faced the dreaded stomach or tummy pain at some time. It is most common in children under 12 years of age and is one of the most common symptoms that young children have. Luckily, it usually has an easy solution, but for this we have to know the causes that led to it, since depending on the problem the solution will be different.
In order to identify the causes, the first thing we will do is ask the child the exact area that hurts (in the case that he can already communicate in some way, with words or gestures).
1. THE FOOD HAS MADE YOU FEEL BAD
It may be because you have eaten too much or because a food has made you feel bad, perhaps because it is too fatty or spicy. Here the stomach ache is a call that the body makes to indicate that it is having a hard time breaking down food . Watch what you eat in the following days, checking that it is not too strong or that you eat excessively. If the stomach ache was because of that, as soon as a day or two passes, at most, you will be better.
In the case that they are only gases, they will pass in a couple of hours.
2. CONSTIPATION AND BAD EATING HABITS
It is one of the most frequent causes. If you notice that your child has not gone to the bathroom for several days and his stools are hard and small, he is constipated . In these cases, try giving your child more fiber. Change the breads, pasta and white flours for whole wheat for a few days. Incorporate more vegetables and especially fruit into the diet, because although it has less fiber than vegetables, as it is sweeter, children tolerate it better. Of course, you have to know what type of fruit to choose because there are some such as banana and apple that tend to constipate. Plum, orange, cherries, and apricots help make stools softer .
It is also better to eat them whole and not in juices because it is in the skin where most of the fiber is found. For example, in the case of the orange, the white part of the peel is where the fiber is (it contains a large amount by the way) if we discard it it will not have served to eat it if what we want is to relieve constipation. On the other hand, if the child does not finish evacuating, go without fear to the doctor, he will give him a light laxative that will relieve him.
3. SOME KIND OF INFECTION
Tummy pain can be caused by several types of infections. The most common is gastroenteritis , caused by different types of viruses, bacteria or even parasites. The symptoms are: abdominal pain, diarrhea and sometimes vomiting. They can be more or less serious but regardless of that you have to control them. If the pain is accompanied by diarrhea, vomiting and loss of appetite, you could end up suffering from dehydration . In those cases, take him to the nearest doctor, prevention is better than cure. In the meantime, give her plenty of fluids to keep her from becoming dehydrated, even if she’s not thirsty.
Other infections accompanied by a stomach ache can be a sore throat, a urine infection, or an ear infection . In these cases, the disease causing the pain will have to be attacked in order for it to disappear. Go to the doctor to make sure of the type of infection your child has so that he can prescribe a medicine that speeds healing. There are times when antibiotics will be necessary, for example in some throat infections.
4. FOOD INTOLERANCES OR ALLERGIES
Are you lactose intolerant ? Are you allergic to milk ? Some people have a hard time digesting lactose, the main sugar in milk. It is because your body does not produce the enzyme responsible for breaking it down, which is why a series of reactions is triggered in the body such as skin rashes, diarrhea, vomiting, gas and stomach pain. In young children it is not usually seen but from adolescence.
IF YOUR CHILD DOES NOT TOLERATE LACTOSE, ASK YOUR DOCTOR FOR A SUBSTITUTE
In cases of appendicitis, children complain of a tummy ache in the lower right part of the gut, below the abdomen. They are linked to vomiting and a fever that does not decrease with acetaminophen or ibuprofen. If you are also unable to retain all kinds of liquid or food, that will surely be the reason. Go to the nearest center or hospital because you have to be treated urgently.
On the other hand, in children under 2 years of age an intestinal blockage may appear. The child suddenly complains of severe pain that increases over time. As in the previous case, take him to the emergency room immediately because he could require an operation to unblock and relieve the intestine.
It has happened to many of us. We have a job interview, an exam or an important appointment … and our belly makes us have a hard time. It hurts, we get cramps, etc. The same happens to children. If they are nervous for any reason, their tummy may hurt. Ask them if there is something in particular that worries them , if there has been a problem at school …
If the stomach pains are recurrent, we can be talking about functional abdominal pain . They are episodes where the child complains of stomach pain but there is no apparent organic cause and they repeat over time, at least 3 episodes in a 3-month period. In reality, the true causes are unknown but it is suspected that they are psychogenic, due to anxiety and stress.
Finally, if you are concerned about the type of illness your child may have, go to the doctor without problems. If the pain is frequent and you can’t relate it to anything in particular, don’t hesitate to ask . In the event that there is an organic cause, he will give you a treatment and if the cause is psychological he will be able to advise you. The important thing is not to take risks.
Dr. Tabriella Perivolaris, Sara's mother and fan of fashion, beauty, motherhood, among others, about the female universe. Since 2018 she has been working as a copywriter, always bringing to her articles a little of her experience and experience as a mother and woman.