32 answers

My 8 Yr Old Is Always Nauseated

I have an eight year old daughter who frequently complains that she feels like she's going to throw up. She never does though, and I can't figure out what is going on. She feels sick when she gets hungry, but sometimes, like last night, she'll be eating, and suddenly feel sick and can't eat anymore. She'll come home with her lunchbox still full of food and tell me that she couldn't eat lunch because she felt like she was going to throw up. We've tried peppermints because someone said peppermint is a natural stomach soother, but the doctor warned that if she has an acid problem, the mints can exacerbate that. I give her Tums, and sometimes they help and sometimes they don't. When I mentioned it to her pediatrician, his main advice was to make sure she eats a balanced diet. I've searched on WebMD and other sites, but they include nausea and vomiting in one symptom and I need help with just chronic nausea. Let me know if you've ever had a similar problem, or know what else I should be trying! Thanks!

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So What Happened?™

Thank you so much for all of your responses!! I'm going to go get some ginger chews and she already eats yogurt to help with the probiotics, but I might switch brands... she's a bit of a worrier, but there haven't been any major changes or disruptions in her life, so I don't think that's it. Always something to watch though. You all gave such helpful and varied responses, and I appreciate it. I'll post again later and let you know what helped, in the meantime, I'll keep reading forthcoming advice. You mommas rock!

Featured Answers

You have gotten a lot of good advice. This may not solve the problem but maybe help with some comfort. Whenever I get nauseated the ONLY thing that helps me is drinking a coke. I have tried all the other colas out there, and sprite and seven up and there is just something in coke that helps soothe my stomach. I don't really like caffeine and I don't drink soda except for when i am really nauseated becasue its the only thing thatI have found that works. Like I said, it won't fix a problem but maybe give her some relief.

Just a tought, but does she eat a lot of sugar-free things? I've discovered that aspartame makes me nauseous (evenentually leading to a migraine), MSG is also a trigger for these sorts of feelings in me. I wasn't even aware that the soda I was drinking was sugar-free/diet, it wasn't touted on the packaging so I didn't realize I was ingesting so much aspartame until I read the ingredients.
something to look into.
kindly,
K.

You didn't mention whether there's a major stress in her life, such as death, dying, parents arguing a lot or discussing a bad financial situation in front of her, adult addiction, changing schools, changing homes, etc. If anything like that is happening, this could be stress-related. (I've seen this before.)

Other than that, I don't know.

More Answers

Could she be lactose intolerant? my husband is, and felt nauseated his entire childhood.

I know you already have great advice. But had to throw mine in there.

If nothing medical turns up, I do love the ginger ideas. I'm not huge on homeopathic stuff, but I use ginger a lot for nausea and swear by it.

I know people already told you that! I can't get my daughter to eat ginger chews, but I have made ginger cookies using fresh ginger and she loves them. If the chews don't work for you, let me know if you'd like the recipe.

Not sure if you've had her checked for h. Pylori, but its not commonly tested for. I went for years with stomach problems, as an adolescent and into adulthood- they checked for plenty of things- I even had US done on my kidneys and intestines to see if there was blockage. My doctor finally checked for h. Pylori and I came back positive! I'd lived with this for so many years and within weeks I felt much better. The treatment is a hefty cocktail of antibiotics and an acid inhibitor like Prevacid. The meds arent fun and you wake up with such a horrible taste in your mouth you still feel nauseous- but its only for 2 weeks. This is definitely something I always mention and ask if someone has been tested for. Some doctors are hesitant to test for some reason, and its not always covered by insurance- but its a simple blood test. Be insistant and make sure she gets tested. I'll always have problems with ulcers because of the damage its done to my stomach. Its a nasty bug that really eats you from the inside out. Good luck!

Hi E.,

Not sure if this is what your daughter is experiencing but it never hurts to cover your bases. My friend was having the same symptoms, said she had been dealing with it since she was a little girl. Nausea, disorientation, sometimes just mild and then sometimes is would totally knock her out. Turns out she was having equilibrium problems in her ear canals and was experiencing vertigo.
My son has tubes in his ear from chronic ear infections so I talked with my doctor about vertigo and such, she said that it is more common than most think.

So it might be something to ask your doctor about. Could explain the random nausea at weird times and the tums not helping all the time, that would lead me to believe that it is not a gastro-intestinal issue. Anyway, just wanted to throw that out there. You never know.

Good luck and hope she feels better soon.

Best,
A.

I would definitely cleanse out her bowels. A lot of times they will become backed up and cause nausea. Something natural like smooth move which is a tea you can find at most grocery stores and an enema would be great too! Good luck

The person below me mentioned strep. I would look in to that. My daughter did the same thing as yours. She had strep throat months earlier, we treated it, and it was gone. Then I went to the doctor for symptoms that I had for years and they tested me for Celiac Disease. My daughter was next on the list to be tested for that because she had been having stomach pain and nausea and didn't want to eat. She also started wetting the bed if we didn't wake her up by about 10:00p.m. to go before we went to bed. She wasn't complaining of a sore throat. Eventually (months had gone by and I was still waiting to be tested) she said she could feel something in her throat. She said it was like a potato was stuck. So they did a barium swallow test, some ultrasounds on her stomach and nothing was wrong. Then suddenly strep throat shows up, is treated again, and ALL of her symptoms went away. No problems since. I can't tell you how many times I heard "I'm car sick!!!!" (meaning nauseous)before the strep throat came back. She was just not ever feeling well and it was all a stomach kind of thing. Also, you might look in to Celiac Disease. Turned out not to be what was wrong with either of us but it would cause those symptoms as well. Hope she feels better and you figure this out soon!!

Hi E.!
I love that you are still concerned about this when you think there could be something to it. If i were you I'd get a bunch of second opinions. My daughter has had a miriad of problems since her birth. One being a dislocated collar bone... she had chest xrays when she was born, all sorts of things, and everyone thought she wasn't crawling because of her brain injury... come to find out, 3 chiropractors later, her collar bone was dislocated and she crawled 3 months later, and didn't scream at me when I washed her neck or put on a shirt anymore!
I guess I'm just saying, is that one person will have the answer out there for you. Do lots of research and don't discount "real" doctors, or as my husband likes to call them "witch" doctors... I would try anything and everything...
Also my great aunt always felt nauseous since childhood too ( my grandfather and his brother would take advantage depression era and get her so worked up she was too sick for her dessert, so they could have it.) about 2 years ago (in her 80's!!!!) she found out she has some sort of gluten intolerance, and for the first time in her life feels normal when she eats.
Weird.

My 10-year-old has had similar symptoms. When I asked her specifically, I found out she wasn't having regular bowel movements. Constipation can cause stomach ache and nausea. We increased the fruits and veggies and I make sure she drinks plenty of water (take her weight in lbs and divide by 2, that's how many ounces she should drink) but it still recurs. I've thought of getting her Mirelax, and I will ask the doctor about it if she has the symptoms again.
Might be the same kind of thing for your daughter.

You didn't mention whether there's a major stress in her life, such as death, dying, parents arguing a lot or discussing a bad financial situation in front of her, adult addiction, changing schools, changing homes, etc. If anything like that is happening, this could be stress-related. (I've seen this before.)

Other than that, I don't know.

If this is something that was a sudden onset, then you might want to consider an inner ear problem. I have vertigo off and on from an inner ear problem -- sometimes it feels like the world is spinning and sometimes it is just that I feel sick to my stomach. When it is nausea, it is hard to tell that it is coming from my vertigo, but it is. Good luck to you -- if you don't find a solution soon make your pediatrician pay more attention to the problem.

sounds like you got the advice you needed but just wanted to mention American Health makes a delicious chewable probiotic that both my kids take daily. it can help without having to overload on dairy which can be hard on your system.

also, I wouldn't be too quick to dismiss the "worrier" factor from all this. unfortunately kids are dealing with so much more in life than we ever did at their ages. if a child is prone to worrying it can definitely upset the balance of their delicate systems.

if you know of a homeopathic doc you might ask about Bach Floral Remedies or do some reading online about them. You can buy Bach's Rescue Remedy at stores like Whole Foods or Vitamin Cottage -- this formula is great for gently easing stress and agitated nerves. I used it the entire time I was pregnant to help me deal with my frayed nerves. Try the dietary things first, but if you see no improvement, you might try adding just a few drops of Rescue Remedy to whatever she's drinking two or three times a day -- just for a while to see if it seems to make a difference.

Good luck!

It could be reflux. It could be low blood sugar, if I don't eat I get queasy to the point I cannot eat because I feel like I will throw up but force myself and feel tons better. MAKE SURE SHE IS STAYING HYDRATED. Dehydration can cause stomach upset too. Have her tested for reflux. If her throat is burning, excessive burping when hungry or she can describe what is going on you can better access the situation. I wouldn't settle for a blanket statement from the Dr about her diet either. It could even be a food allergy, like dairy.

If she is overly stressed at school stomach issues are a huge symptom in stress. Make sure she isn't being bullied or under any abnormal pressure.

Ginger is a GREAT natural stomach settler, you can get them in like candied form in a health food store too if nothing else can be found wrong. She can suck on them when feeling her stomach is upset and it will soothe it.
Try giving her Activia yogurt every morning with natural probiotics in them that helps the digestive system.
Rule everything out though and dig deeper with her Dr.

i am just going to throw this out there is she anxious?
When people have anxiety they feel nauseated and loose their appetite.

Hi,
Emely I hope your little ones feels better.
My name is Maria my 9 year old daughter have exactly the same problem for few years but it's gotten a lot worse in the last 4 month. I have taking her several times to her pediatric they have done blood test H. pylori they also believe that it is an acid problem we try Zantac, Omeprozole twice a day didn't work and now we are Nexium 40mg. unfortunatelly she is not feeling much better. We are now going to the gastroenterology and we have scheduled a endoscopy for the 7th of January.
Did your little one's problem get any better?
Did you find out what the problem was?
I'm desperate anything work for you little one that I should try?
Thanks in advance
Maria

One of my kids would always have strep and the stomach was the only problem. Sounds strange but true!! Good luck!!

Your daughter needs probiotics to balance the good bacteria in her gut. (check out: http://www.babybites.info/2009/02/24/probiotics-healthy-k... and http://www.babybites.info/2009/02/26/probiotics-food/ Bacteria can get out of control with a poor diet, antibiotics, etc.
Also, there are foods that will help with an acid stomach: apples, lemons, peppermint, and especially organic apple cider vinegar (Braggs is a good brand available at a whole foods store). Organic apple cider vinegar works wonders for an acid stomach. Mix a tablespoon in 4 ounces of water (add a little honey to help with the taste). She can sip this with her meals or before meals. It may take a day or two to stabilize her stomach acid, or it may work the first time she takes it. Key in "acid stomach and apple cedar vinegar remedy" in your internet search and see the number of sites that come up!

My friend has a daughter who has food allergies and she reacts the same way. A D.O. (doctor of osteopathy) instead of an MD will probably look into the situation a little bit further. In the meantime, Good Earth carries ginger chews and ginger is fantastic for the digestive system. An MD and a DO start out in the same medical field and then the DO branches out into a more natural (getting thing solved) path and the MD likes to cover things with a bandaid instead of getting to the root of the problem. Good luck and I hope this helps bunches!

I have a 10yr old daughter that is going through the same problem she feel nauseous all the time I have taken her to doctors and can't seem to find anything wrong with her. I have tried everything with her from tums to pepto to mylanta and mints, don't know what else to try. I feel hopeless not been able to help her.Any suggestions

You are smart not to discount her complaints. Something is obviously wrong and the nausea is her body's way of trying to express that.

If some of these other suggestions don't work, you might want to try National Jewish. They have awesome allergy testing and they can do food challenges and other in-depth testing and analysis that other doctors and facilities can't do.

Just as a way to help alleviate the symptoms until you find the cause -- fennel seed. Give her just a very small amount of the seed and have her chew it really, really well (tastes like licorce). Ginger and fennel before meals can be very helpful.

Good luck.

My 9 year old has been complaining about a stomach for a couple of years. We finally have pinpointed it to being a dairy thing. She now takes lactaid pills before consuming dairy and it seems to be helping. We started keeping a journal every time she got a stomach ache and we figured it out.
Good luck.

DOes she have an ulcer? I know some people think it sounds silly for children to have ulcers at such a young age, but I think kids these days are having to deal with quite a bit. My son complains of feeling sick after he eats breakfast. I don't know if the sugar content in the cereal is just too much for him or what. I try not to have my children eat sugary cereal for breakfast, but maybe it's just too soon after he wakes up to eat. Perhaps that is what your child is going through too. Diabetes runs in my family so maybe the sugar content has more to do with it than I realized. Anyway, it was just a thought.

I like all the responses that you have recieved. This one will sound kind of odd. Does she go to the bathroom regularly? Pee and poop? My son could hold it for 24 hours. It was amazing. But then he started complaining about his tummy. I discovered that he would go to the bathroom maybe at 5 in the evening. Not go again before bedtime. Sleep all night then get up and play and by noon he had a tummy ache. I thought it was all this other stuff. He was so "busy" he would forget to go and he could hold it for soooo long he just forgot about it and didn't recognize the 'signs' when they came. When we started paying attention and making him go every four hours or so it got better. It did take some time for it to get better. But if she is real busy she may be forgetting to go. Just a thought and not one you really think of.

WHen I was in high school, I had an ulcer. My symptoms were that I felt nauseous until I ate something, and then I felt s little better. I ended up eating lots of small meals, snacks, etc., plus the medicine, and it eventually got better. Good luck. Hope your daughter feels better soon!

E.,
It sounds like your daughter may have an eating disorder.
Have you considered that this is not physical at all?
With my whole heart, C.

E.,
One more possibility, among the many, could be migraines.
Weird as it sounds, there are now a few kids at our elementary school who have been dx with migraines and their major symptom is nausea.
good luck, A.

You have gotten a lot of good advice. This may not solve the problem but maybe help with some comfort. Whenever I get nauseated the ONLY thing that helps me is drinking a coke. I have tried all the other colas out there, and sprite and seven up and there is just something in coke that helps soothe my stomach. I don't really like caffeine and I don't drink soda except for when i am really nauseated becasue its the only thing thatI have found that works. Like I said, it won't fix a problem but maybe give her some relief.

Just a tought, but does she eat a lot of sugar-free things? I've discovered that aspartame makes me nauseous (evenentually leading to a migraine), MSG is also a trigger for these sorts of feelings in me. I wasn't even aware that the soda I was drinking was sugar-free/diet, it wasn't touted on the packaging so I didn't realize I was ingesting so much aspartame until I read the ingredients.
something to look into.
kindly,
K.

Hi E.,

Have you had her tested for a gluten or dairy allergy? I was experiencing the same thing and I have a both. I saw Jean Brickell, naturopathic, in Parker and she has helped me with getting to the source of my problem. (20 years no doctor could help me like Jean did)
Jean Brickell
Designs for Health
9998 N Dransfeldt Rd
Parker, CO 80134
###-###-####
There is a bout a 3 month wait to get in to see her. I the mean time if you are interested check out Juice Plus. It's a whole food supplement conatining 15 different fruits and veggies. This help get her the nutrients she needs in a yummy gummies.
www.DenverJuicePlus.com

Good Luck and I hope that helps!
L.
###-###-####

Hi--
You might try a chiropractic adjustment. Reflux issues can be caused by something called a hiatal hernia--it's when the stomach gets wedged up under the diaphragm (usually from stress or nerves, but not necessarily). A chiropractor can do a simple adjustment that will fix the problem. Also, if it is her pancreas and not her stomach food enzymes will help. And to heal her esophagus if it is swollen you can try aloe vera juice, slippery elm (you can get it in a tincture), and marshmallow root (also in tincture form). Another herb combo that helps the stomach is catnip and fennel. Wish garden makes a product specifically to calm the tummy--I can't remember if it's called colic ease or calm-a-tummy--it has peppermint, ginger, catnip, and fennel. This is what a naturopath would prescribe in lieu of an antacid. Also, dairy can upset the stomach because it can be hard to digest, so yogurt may not be the best way to get probiotics into her. You can get a chewable probiotic (my 4 year old loves them!) Oh, and acupuncture also can treat nausea--you can get the motion sickness bands at walgreens and it tells you where to put them on the wrist. They worked great for me when I was pregnant!
Good luck!
J.

I found this method helpful for things like this in my family. It's an easy way of eating that helps to counteract the acid. You can also sign up for Sherry's free newsletter filled with tips and testimonials. It's really a shame to go through life like that, especially so young. I hope she will feel better.

http://www.1shoppingcart.com/app/?af=716707

I think your pediatrician is not taking you seriously enough. If antacids are not working, you need to seriously consider other options, such as reflux, a disorder where cramps in the esophagus pushes food back up out of the stomach, or even an ulcer. I would ask for a fuller workup from the dr. since this seems to have lasted for some time. maybe a consult from a gastroenterologist.

Has she been lethargic at all?
Have you had her tested for diabetes? food allergies or other nutrition-related conditions? Does she have any headaches or vision / ear problems that could be making her nauseous?

I have a cousin who was nauseous all the time as a child, and it turned out he was type 1 diabetic. Nausea and some lethargy were the only symptoms for he first few years of his life, till someone in the family suspected diabetes might be the problem.

Constant nausea is not normal, so if your pediatrician doesn't take it seriously, I'd suggest switching to someone who listens and will investigate further. You may need to consult with other specialists too. But don't give up... if you don't find the answer, keep asking "what else could it be?" If you're a reader, check out the book "How Doctors Think" because it will give you great insight into how to approach and handle a problem like this.

Finally, one last thing - when I was nauseous with morning sickness, the only thing that quelled the nausea was ginger. Real ginger, I mean. I would cut a tiny piece of the root and suck on it. That's strong medicine for a little one but you can also make tea from it, and it really really helps.

good luck to you!!

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