7 Year Old with Stomach Aches/no Appetite

Updated on January 13, 2010
K.D. asks from Auburndale, MA
11 answers

My 7 year old daughter has been having almost daily belly pains for almost a month with a limited daily appetite. She will have a good day now and then where she seems to eat to make up for all the days that she doesn't eat. We've gone to the doctor twice about it. The first time we went it was about a week into it and were told to wait and see. The next time we went (Friday) we were told it might be constipation and to start her on Miralax (we are very familiar with this issue because our older daughter has been on Miralax for 5 years due to encoparesis). I told the doctor that she has a bowel movement every day so how could that be the cause of so much stomach pain. The doctor said it could, so we are to try the Miralax for 2 weeks and if her stomach aches haven't gone away then to come back.

Well she's been on the Miralax for 4 days and guess what? No bowel movements whatsoever since we went to the doctor. Like I said, she has NEVER had a problem with this before. She would have a BM at noon time every single day. Now 4 days with nothing? It's driving me crazy and I know it's because psychologically it has become an issue for her. I know from experience with my older daughter as soon as you start asking them to go or waiting for them to go they stop.

I tempted to stop the Miralax and stop waiting for her to go, but then again I don't want it to turn into encoparesis either. What should I do?

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answers from Tampa on

Increase FLUIDS!
If she is constipated now, a big reason may be dehydration. Kids don't drink enough water. Kick up the water intake (not soda and more than a glass of juice a day is too much).
Also, watched an episode of "The Doctors" and they mentioned children's stomach pain associated with lack of fluid intake.
Worth a try.....water, water, water!

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answers from Boston on

Just a thought but could it be something at school thats bothering her? Even the issue of going at school freaks them out sometimes.My 8yr old went through something very similar-she is in 2nd grade and would complain about belly aches-come to find out that school was a bit stressful at times for her and tie her up in knots.....we talk frequently about what goes on and I think it helps.I also try to encourage the bathroom at school and reinforce the fact the "everyone poops" even the "cool" kids!

Good Luck and I hope that it is resolved soon!



answers from Bangor on

have you thought gluten intolerance? good luck, don't give up, you know your kid, and yr with yr child 24/7.



answers from Boston on

My daughter started having a similar issue around that age. Stomach aches every night. We got the same answer from the doctor. Turns out she had developed an intolerance to wheat! I removed gluten from her diet for about 3 months, then had to reintroduce it to test her for celiac disease. when we reintroduced it, she was ok with it, no stomach aches!! Now if she eats lot of wheat, her belly will hurt, but she is not restricted like she was. My experience is doctors are very slow to admit it could be a food issue!!


answers from Boston on

Hi Kelli.
Try Aloe Vera juice. It's all natural and will really help with belly pains. My kids have acid reflux and they are ll on it. I notice a huge difference if I forget to give it to them. It comes in a strawberry kiwi flavor so the kids love it. The one I use has taken out the lanolin so no diareah.
Let me know if you want more info on it.



answers from Louisville on

I hope she is improvng by the Dr's medications and will pray for her to be fine very soon.

It had happened to my Neice who had constant stomach aches few months ago and her mom thought it would be due to the food items that she consumes. So, she started with light food items for few days like just some rice and Moong dal. Also she introduced many of Green vegetables that help proper bowel movemnets like Spinach and Fenu Greek. So, why not try some leafy vegetable soups. Check if these might help. However, would suggest to consult your doctor before giving them.



answers from Springfield on

I've gone through with this with both of my kids - they are 9 and 6. Sometimes my kids are constipated and other time they are not and their belly hurts really bad and then some days they will have 3 bowel movements. Last year my dr. suggested that this kids drink at least one glass of cranberry juice a day (any flavor will do). Things have greatly improved and my kids haven't complained with stomach aches in a long time. I actually have my kids drink this all week long and then on the weekends they can choose what to have as long as they have one glass. The dr. said it is the next best thing to having them drink prune juice (yuck) Please try it - it has done wonders for our family. Good Luck


answers from Boston on

I just met a woman yesterday whose child had these problems (and so did the mom). She put her whole family on Reliv products - put the child on the kids nutritional product (it comes in vanilla and chocolate and is delicious) and zero belly problems. She herself took the adult product and included the fiber product. It's safe, patented (so that means it's unique and effective), and the best bang for the buck out there. Her kid was on miralax and she knew it wasn't really a good idea to be on that long term. Doctors often don't know much about nutrition so they just throw stuff like miralax at you and hope for the best. Not a good idea - you should trust your instinct to stop using it.

Your child is definitely constipated and, while it's a good idea to increase fluids, that may not be enough. You can go the costly and hassle-filled route of pediatric gastroenterologists and ultrasounds and drugs, or you can start with something simpler.



answers from Indianapolis on

Are you in an area where you can seek another opinion from a different pediatrician? Or, can you ask your pediatrician for a referral to a GastroEnterologist?

Something isn't right, and it isn't normal. Pediatricians are very well trained at palpatating the abdomen to find abnormalities in organs, etc. But, if I were in your shoes, I'd want to know what the source was as well.

One word of caution if you're using the internet to search her symptoms, it can be the source of great information and really awful information. I'd only seek information from recognized medical institutions or organizations (for example: seeing information from the American Diabetes Association for a related matter).

That's my best advice.
Good luck!



answers from Boston on

I suggest that you consider removing gluten from her diet for a month and see what happens. My son had similar symptoms and more before we figured out that he was gluten intolerant. Gluten intolerance is extremely common, but most doctors know little about it and therefore it goes undiagnosed most of the time. For a good overview of the situation, I suggest this article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mark-hyman/gluten-what-y...

We're all gluten free now and not only was it easier than I anticipated, but we're all a lot healthier because of it! Good luck!




answers from New London on

I never gave my son miralax so I don't know much about it. but I did give my son MOM milk of magnesia, which works great for constipation. Then I increased his fiber diet. Fiber cereal, fibersure in his drink and things seem to working out much better. If she hasn't gone in 4 days, I would think about using the suppositories and a stool softener. She needs to get back on track. Also, I would visit with a specialist to rule out anything if the stomachache continues. I always had stomachaches and still do if I get irregular. I can't eat Ziti pasta without having horrible stomach aches. What kind of stomachaches is she having? Gas, acid reflux, knot in her stomach? Is she dairy sensitive? I go through parts of the month when I can drink milk and have icecream and then other times it really makes my stomach hurt. Best wishes to you and good luck!!

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