20 answers

My 8 Year Old Feels Nauseous Every Night.


My 8 year old son is nauseous every night. The pediatrician has done blood work and has tested stool samples - both have come back normal. For a while I cut out dyes in his food and am not sure if that helped or not, but it is almost impossible to keep him from eating food color. While at camp or with other kids, he shares food. If I were sure that food color was the culprit, I would insist on a strict diet. He plays normally during the day, but does sometimes complains that his stomach hurts. Has anyone else experienced this? Any ideas?

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My daughter always complains of being sick to her stomach too. Somebody suggested it could be too much juice (too acidic for their tummy). She had had success with omitting it from her child's diet. Good luck.

My advice: GET A SECOND OPINION! I'm not saying that there's anything serious to worry about, but seriously I don't put all my faith in one doctor. There are many good ones in the area -I'd get a second opinion if I were you. Good luck.

More Answers

Given that the pede has ruled out other issues, I'd consider that it might be an emotional issue, rather than physical.

The first thing that popped into my head reading this was my daughter. She has a very 'nervous' tummy--when she's anxious, or nervous, or going into an unfamiliar situation, she gets nauseous. Is there anything going on (new school year, family stuff, etc.) that might be on his mind?

Hope you are able to determine the source of his nausea.

Has he been tested for acid relux/gerd? I have it and it is worse at night and in the AM it can be triggered by certain foods, fruit juices, etc. I had endoscopy to determine mine. If it is age appropriate try giving him some pepcid or prilosec otc see if that helps.

Sugars and fats can cause tummy aches. Have you tried removing most of those? Have you tried to give him tums? He might have acid reflux or might be gassy. Those cure a multitude of problems around here and the come in yummy citrus flavors - and they get calcium - albeit a very small amount...

My 8 yr old son does the EXACT same thing! He's been tested, poked, proded, xrayed, etc. Nothing. I have noticed lately that when he eats tomato sauce that the aching begins almost immediately. This weekend, he even asked me to stop making spaghetti cuz it made him hurt. I don't think its an allergy to tomatos, cuz he's been tested for that and eats ketchup with no problems. I don't think its wheat, cuz he does eat bread...but he's never been tested for wheat..

I don't know why the pediatrician hasn't sent you to a gastroenterologist. It could be as simple as heartburn or it oculd be reflux. Either way, if he has discomfort, it might be worth trying some heartburn medicine (doctor perscribed of course). I really don't like medicating kids and would emphasize diet, but there is no reason for him to be uncomfortable if it can be avoided. Also, persistent heartburn can casuse other sever problems over time and into adulthood.

Have you kept a food diary, where you note wha the ate and how he felt afterward? After a few weeks, you could start eliminating foods.

Also, cold it be stress or aniety? Does he have nighttime fears or fears realated to going ot school/camp? Anything big happening in his life? It may be mild, but if he is feeling a physical sign it may just mean he is very sensitive to his body's signals, which is a good thing for a young man to be.

Hope he feels better.

i've most of what afflictsy family's tummies including stress and post-nasal drip but i have not seen constipation. this can be a result of stress of problems with certain foods but can definitely cause naseau.

Has he been tested for allergy to Gluten?? sounds like he is allergic to gluten, a friend of mine has similar symptoms and he is allergic to all soy products,and gluten.hope you will find the right cure, it is so hard to have your child suffer and not be able to help him/her.

Hi S.. Sorry to hear about your son, that's a rough way to spend evenings. Good luck with a diagnosis, I hope he feels better soon.

My daughter always complains of being sick to her stomach too. Somebody suggested it could be too much juice (too acidic for their tummy). She had had success with omitting it from her child's diet. Good luck.

My pediatrician told me that often a child's stomach will hurt because they are concerned about something and they cannot express it. Of course this is not always the reason, but just a thought. =)

It could be post nasal drip from sinus or allergies. I had this problem alot when I was young, still do if I don't take my Allegra. By the afternoon my stomach would start to feel upset from all the drainage. I did not have have a really runny nose and was not congested. Just a constant drainage down my throat. It would really upset my stomach. Just a thought.

I would find out what he's eating at camp. I would also make sure he's hydrated. Sometimes our kids complain about their stomachs when they've had too many snacks or too many bad snacks.

My advice: GET A SECOND OPINION! I'm not saying that there's anything serious to worry about, but seriously I don't put all my faith in one doctor. There are many good ones in the area -I'd get a second opinion if I were you. Good luck.

My daughter has the same thing in the morning. Our pediatrician recommended cutting out milk/milk products and adding fiber which we have done and this seems to be helping. Good luck.

Hi S.,
Are there any changes in routine or anything that might be causing him to have anxiety at night? Sometimes that alone can cause nausea. Maybe school starting or a certain kid in his class? Or if this has been going on for the summer, was there anything new introduced? Like a sport where he has responsibility/pressure? Just some thoughts. Good luck.


sorry he is going through that. I would have him allergy tested. Even if those come back negative, many people do not digest milk well (even children) and could be the source. The problem is that dairy is in EVERYTHING. If you all can do it, try an elimination diet starting with dairy. Unfortunately, it takes a good solid month of VERY strict diet to find out if any particular food is the culprit.

Good luck!


gastrointestinal is the first thing, and it looks like you're trying to cover all those bases. If he's still nauseous and especially if he's dizzy, don't rule out inner ear imbalance too. A lot of ailments become "my stomach hurts" when kids aren't as tuned in to their bodies yet. Just a thought.

Have you considered acid reflux? Sometimes kids when kids complain their stomach hurts, what they mean is heartburn.
It would get worse when he ate a big meal, and then laid down. Just a thought.

I didn't read through your other responses, so sorry if I duplicate. We are just going through this with my 9yr old. She's lost 5lbs this summer and has been feeling nauseous after meals. First the doctor suggested having her slow down while she eats and to drink water in between bites. That didn't work. Then they suggested the same above and to give her Tums as needed in case she had a bit of reflux. That didn't work either. The next step was to cut out all things dairy for 2 weeks. We've just finished up our 2wks yesterday and have had no stomach problems since. So...it appears that my daughter has a lactose intolerance. The next step, had this not worked would be for her to be tested for a gluten allergy. I hope this helps you some.

It's probably not dye related but food related. Sounds exactly like my daughter if she has had dairy. You may want to look into an elimination diet dairy and/or gluten are usually the first places to start though we started with corn and dairy. No corn makes my 3 yo a much better person. Http://groups.yahoo.com/group/foodlab is a great place to start

I also want to add allergy testing can only test for ig* type allergic responses not sensitivities or intollerances which are different but can cause reactions as well. Most drs are dismisive of reactions as well because hnestly the gut is something not much is k own about

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