9 answers

I Need Help Diagnosing My 10-Year-old's Stomach Troubles

My 10-year-old has had a stomach ache for 3 weeks. We ruled out strep. The doctor sent us to the ER and they ruled out appendicitis, diagnosed it as gastritis. We've cut out most wheat products, looking to see if this is a source of the stomach ache (someone suggested that ciliac might be causing the problem. He woke this morning with what he described as intense pain in the center of his body, right beneath his ribs, with some discomfort radiating outward, but not down into his lower abdomen. He's been taking digestive enzymes for 2 weeks now. He's an anxious child altho one wouldn't know it by meeting him and I can only assume that this is somehow contributing to his discomfort/pain.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

It's been a journey and we don't have any concrete answers even today. However, here's what we've done and what we're doing. We had him tested for lots of things, including some emotional and intellectual issues. He's very bright. He's very anxious. He tends to respond to any stressful (and he experiences many things as stressful tho you wouldn't necessarily know it to look at him) situation with a stomach ache of some nature. I began studying Ayurveda--the Indian approach to health and wellness--and have found some answers and some relief for him thru Ayurveda. Ayurveda addresses these types of things thru diet, lifestyle, and herbs. We continue to address his anxiety which I believe will alleviate most of the symptoms. We're working to do so without medication; that will be our last resort. (We have also been using ayurvedic methods to address his anxiety.) Thank you to all of you who have offered support and ideas. Good luck and keep plugging to those of you who have shared your own situations.

Featured Answers

Contact the CHildren's Memorial Hospital gastroenterology dept. They will get to the bottom of it instead of guessing. Constipation should've been the doc's first concern i think, if not, it could just be that.

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

My 11 year old daughter had exactly the same problems last year. She was being sent home from school with severe stomach aches at least once a week for over two months. She also has a severe anxiety problem. Her doctor ran test after test and couldn't find anything wrong. When we ran a stool test to check for blood in the stool (which I recommend if you haven't done so already), I found out she was EXTREMELY constipated. We increased the fiber in her diet (we use benefiber every night now) and we also switched from cows milk to soy milk. Overnight the stomach aches went away.

I hope this helps. Good luck and I hope your son feels better soon.

3 moms found this helpful

Hello P.,

Need some more info- For allergies I recommend a book my doctor told me about for my son.
Is This Your Child by Dr. Doris Rapp
If he has a gluten intolerance it may take a while for the new diet to work, and many times gluten is in things you would not think it would be in. Really look at the ingredients.
Talk more to him, make sure that there is not any emotional issues associated with the stomach problem. Stress can definately cause stomach issues, for example-
Is he being bullied at school? Did someone hurt him? Is scared of something? Make sure that the line of communication is wide open.

And it always helps to keep a journal of his daily meals and activities. You may be able to pin point what is causing the problem.

2 moms found this helpful

Contact the CHildren's Memorial Hospital gastroenterology dept. They will get to the bottom of it instead of guessing. Constipation should've been the doc's first concern i think, if not, it could just be that.

2 moms found this helpful


if you believe ( and I am sure you are correct) that it is a stomach issue how about a nutritionist? I would recommend Renee Barasch ###-###-####

Breastfeeding and Parenting Solutions

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter is 6 now, also has anxiety problems, and complains of stomach aches - often severe - around times of change and stress. For her, though, the stomach aches come a couple weeks after a big change in her routine, and we have noticed that she seems to become a little constipated around those times of stress. We bumped up her fiber with 2 things she actually loves - Kashi Go Lean Crunch cereal and Fiber One bars, plus extra water to drink. We ruled out medical concerns, but her anxiety does have physical symptoms and side effects. Our doctor recommended getting her involved in something outside of school and not letting her have too much alone time because while she enjoys being alone, she seems to overthink things and work herself up to really worrying and then ultimately feeling sick. She's not much of a group activity person, though she does make friends easier than she used to. We started karate through our park district - just once a week, low commitment, and we've found that she's very focused and her stomach aches, when they do appear, are less severe and stick around for a shorter and shorter duration of time. In our situation, there's no big bully or nothing scary going on, but it turns out she's lacking some reading skills that her peers have and she wasn't able to express this to us, so she was internalizing it all and couldn't manage the anxiety. The symptoms of her anxiety were presenting themselves to us on a more regular basis, and it was very hard to get to the root of it without freaking her out with tests and doctors, which seemed to make it worse. For us, a little extra time and attention, as well as giving her new methods for coping, have really made a huge difference. She's also talking to us about much more at school than we could ever get out of her before. I can't offer a diagnosis, of course, but I do hope you'll consider everything and find the cause. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi P.,

oh gosh... first let me say i'm sorry your little man is having to put up with this.

I would do like many of the other mom's are saying...rule out dietary problems. Also, I know we lose touch with our kids bathroom habits once they are self sufficient, but i would pry a bit in that department. just remember to ask very specific questions like 'how many times a week do you poop?' 'does it hurt?' 'does it feel like it's hard?' 'do you have stomache pains before you poop?' 'does it feel better temporarily after you poop?'. consider the area he is having pain, and what organs are there. ask him to tell you about every episode (if it's not constant). think about things that are going on at school, with friends.

Digestive issues can span such a broad spectrum, it's so hard to say one way or the other whether your son has allergies, stress, anxiety or some other medical problem.

Unfortunately, we need to take a bigger responsibility for our health and those of our children/spouse. I think the medical community as a whole has become,... for lack of a better term, dismissive... Keep pushing if you are not satisfied.

Me personally, I have ulcerative colitis and stomach ulcers... both can be very painful when I am not taking proper care of myself. I have to say, in my case, an apple a day does wonders to keep me 'regular'. I seriuosly have not had a firm bowel movement in years, but the apple helps to keep it a bit happier moving thru me and not be nearly as painful.

Good luck to you in helping your son feel better.

1 mom found this helpful

I woke up this morning to find my daughter saying that her stomach hurt, it got worse and worse until she was screaming in pain. She was shaking, and then went into the bathroom, she threw up all over the floor. She felt better after that, but then she threw up again later. What can I do to help her?

1 mom found this helpful

It could be many things.Keep a food diary and write down when his stomach hurts. You may be able to see if it is something he is eating. I have one daughter whose allergic to milk and after 2 years of stomachaches we have found out soy bothers my other daughter. My youngest daughter was diagnosed with IBS at about that age. Try to limit is stress and keep his routine as regular as possible and see if that helps any. I agree with the fiber also. Sometimes the kids are constipated and they do not even realize it. I wish you and your son the best. I know how frustrating this can be.

1 mom found this helpful

My 9 year old neice was just diagnosed with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrom) sounds like it might be the same thing. I would ask a dr. about maybe that. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

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