18 answers

Nervous Stomach

My daughter will be 9 in a few weeks and is in the 4th grade. I have always taken her to school, but she is riding the bus to school this year. She has about 1 hr between the time she gets up and the time she catches the bus and routinely goes poop at least 2-3 times per morning (most seem to be normal stools – no diarrhea) . She also feels like she has to go poop several times during school, but has difficulty going when she gets to the bathroom.

Last week was TERRIBLE with multiple times in the potty, tears and her saying she didn’t want to go to school. This week has been somewhat better in that we’ve not had any tears, but she still spends a lot of time in the bathroom.

We've gone to the pediatrician and have ruled out anything medical. I've also spoken to the guidance counselor at school who has spoken with my daughter. She told the counselor that she likes riding the bus because it makes her feel like a "big girl", but has some anxieties about leaving me and says she thinks about me and her Dad several times during school. She has always been somewhat of a clinger, but it seems to be worse now.

My husband and I are happily married for 15 years, rarely argue and would never do so in front of our daughter.

The pediatrician suggested using a homeopathic mist which we have been using for about a week. Last night we started reading & discussing as a family a new book that talks about feelings and emotions. I’m almost at my wits end and don’t know what else to do. Has anyone else had a similar situation? How did you resolve?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

My 9 year old son just went through the same thing. We just moved here 6 months ago and his nerves about going to school were very bad. Sometimes he'd be constipated and other times he'd go several times a day complaining of stomach problems. We took him to doctor too and nothing was wrong but stress. Sometimes kids over react or really don't even know what's going on. I tried to make things as comfortable as I could. Talk to her about when you or husband took the bus and fun times on it. Changes are really dramatic to children. It'll take time, but she'll get used to it. Keep telling her how proud you are of her. I talked to my son's teacher, principal, and guidance counselor. Everyone can work together for a child to get through a difficult time. The counselor even told us for him to take 3 deep breaths, close his eyes, sing a part of his favorite song, then tell himself he's safe and he's gonna have a good day.
Good luck and best wishes!!

2 moms found this helpful

You may want to take her to a child psycologist to see if she has any anxiety issues. It can strike very young children. My brother started having severe anxiety issues when he was in 6th grade and I have a friend whose daughter started to have anxiety issues in 2nd grade. A psychologist can at least talk to her to find the root of the issue and see if the problem is environmental or something more severe.

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

I would go and get a second opinion from an allergist just to rule out any intolerances. This would be the type of thing a general pediatrician wouldn't be equipped to test for. My hubby has a lactose intolerance and has the same type of symptoms you described. If he drinks too much milk, he gets an urgency for bowel movements (sometimes nothing happens) and uses the bathroom frequently (it's not diarrhea, either), or has an upset stomach. When we got married, I told him this was not normal- he just thought this happened to everyone! He mentioned it to the doctor who said to scale back the dairy in his diet, and it has helped tremendously. Anyway, I didn't know if you had considered this, but it might be worth looking into. Nerves may just aggravate an already existing problem, or bring it to light as she is probably embarrassed to go the bathroom around her peers. I hope she feels better soon!

3 moms found this helpful

Hi K.,

I'm not sure that you've really ruled out anything "medical" by just seeing the pediatrician. I think you should see a pediatric gastroenterologist. Also start making a food diary, at least a few weeks worth, detailing everythng that she eats so that you can take it with you.

It is kind of unusual for an 8 year old to have to poop so many times during the day. We make poop because of what isn't used after we eat, though diarrhea is a bit different.

The books you are reading sound great, but I would do more investigating on the physical side of the equation, if I were you.

Good luck,
D.

3 moms found this helpful

You might want to consider Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) a tapping technique on acupressure points that is perfect for fears like this. There is a free downloadable manual at www.emofree.com - click on Get Started Free.

Here is a link with many examples of how it has helped children - http://www.emofree.com/articles.aspx?id=9

Here is a link that explains a simple routine for using it at bedtime - http://www.emofree.com/tutorial/tutorofifteen.htm

Good luck.

3 moms found this helpful

Has your daughter said much about her experience on the school bus? A simple ride to school with 20 other kids can become a real experience, with all the drama of a television series. There can be teasing. And even if none of that is going on, a school bus is a noisy, rowdy place. (My 14-year old calls me sometimes when he's on the bus. It sounds chaotic.) If your daughter is quiet, and especially if she is sensitive, the bus ride alone could be causing anxiety.

2 moms found this helpful

My 9 year old son just went through the same thing. We just moved here 6 months ago and his nerves about going to school were very bad. Sometimes he'd be constipated and other times he'd go several times a day complaining of stomach problems. We took him to doctor too and nothing was wrong but stress. Sometimes kids over react or really don't even know what's going on. I tried to make things as comfortable as I could. Talk to her about when you or husband took the bus and fun times on it. Changes are really dramatic to children. It'll take time, but she'll get used to it. Keep telling her how proud you are of her. I talked to my son's teacher, principal, and guidance counselor. Everyone can work together for a child to get through a difficult time. The counselor even told us for him to take 3 deep breaths, close his eyes, sing a part of his favorite song, then tell himself he's safe and he's gonna have a good day.
Good luck and best wishes!!

2 moms found this helpful

perhaps she is hitting her teens early. Her body may be starting some changes, and could be in before out, so only she knows and finds it awkward and embarassing. The seperation is getting more common with teens, as the news scares them. No one is safe anywhere and the children are sensing that more than ever. Good luck and God Bless.

2 moms found this helpful

My daughter also had "ruled out anything medical." That left... what? "Mental"? What we found years later , in her teens, is that there are hundreds of medical things to rule out before you can really rule out a medical cause. By then, she had early osteoporosis.

You may want to look into candida overgrowth (needing probiotics) food sensitivities, especially to gluten and cow casein. You may want to take a look at http://www.enterolab.com . Also, I particularly liked the book "Your Symptoms are Real" By Dr. Benjamin Natelson, M.D. about Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue, and Fibromyalgia. We found that most doctors don't actually help. It was mind-boggling after years of treating the "mental" that what we should have been doing was treating the physical. Once we did, the mental took care of itself.

I am not suggesting that your daughter's intestinal problems might not be due to an emotional problem. I am just suggesting that there is a lot to look at. I am also not suggesting that psychological therapy is not wonderful even if a problem is biological. Any child with physical problems, pain, suffering, embarrassment, can benefit from psychological counseling.

A glimpse into the path I wish we'd taken instead of the "mental" one with our youngest child is here: http://www.itsnotmental.com

Another great website is: http://www.theglutenfile.com

2 moms found this helpful

Add more fruits and vegetables to her diet and encourage her to drink more water and see if that helps get her more regulated. Did you doctor check her thyroid functions?

2 moms found this helpful

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