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Childhood Stomachaches



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Childhood Stomachaches

“Mommy, my tummy hurts.” It’s a common complaint heard by parents every day. Children often seem to have stomach discomfort – and it is very real. There are times when a stomachache can be more than just an upset stomach, and a sign of something more serious.

“Children can have stomachaches for many reasons. Frequently children will have discomfort because of anxiety or stress in their lives,” said Jeffrey Hyams, MD, pediatric gastroenterologist at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford. “The pain is quite real though not dangerous. At times more serious disorders may also accompany stomachaches.”

Many parents think that stomachaches are something that come and go as a result of different factors, including diet and stress. However, there are cases where a stomachache accompanied by other symptoms can indicate constipation, food allergies, chronic liver problems, functional bowel disorders, and ulcers.

According to Dr Hyams, if your child’s stomachache is accompanied by one or more of the following symptoms, you should consult a pediatrician: Fever, weight loss, blood in stool, irritability or lethargy.

“When a child’s stomach discomfort starts to affect his or her daily functioning, it should be addressed and consultation with your primary care physician is important to make sure there is not a more serious problem,” said Dr Hyams.

Stomachaches are definitely something parents should take seriously. Monitor your child after the first complaint to make sure  there are no additional symptoms. If there are, call your pediatrician.

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