9 Year Old W/ Nervous Stomach

Updated on August 24, 2009
N.W. asks from Knox, IN
15 answers

Hi, I'm back! I have posted questions here several times before, and have always received helpful answers, so here I am again. My 9 year old granddaughter is experiencing a problem that has me stumped. When she gets afraid or upset about something, generally out of her control, like the weather (tornadoes and lightening specifically) or sometimes issues at school, she will wake up in the morning with a severe stomach ache, cramping and diarrhea. This has so far only happened in the morning. Its like she stores up all her fear, goes to bed and sometimes has nightmares, then pukes it all up in the morning. I have tried giving her tylenol for the cramps, but sometimes it won't stay down, she never wants to eat, though I suspect she might be hungry, and I have tried warm tea to settle and calm her stomach. The tea works pretty good, but I still have to deal with the cramps and diarrhea. I thought about giving her Pepto Bismol, but there is an age warning for children under 12. Any thoughts or ideas for mental or physical solutions?

2 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Dayton on

Hello! My son who is 8 had this problem as well. I am happy to say that he has outgrown it. I took him to doctors and they could not find anything wrong with him. We ended up trying yoga. It seemed to work. I also bought Childrens Pepto Bismol.

More Answers



answers from Indianapolis on

There's probably a couple things to do - and many have offered great suggestions. Basically, it sounds to me like it needs to be addressed both mentally and physically. Poor little kids shouldn't be stressing like this at that age.

We were always given ginger ale to sooth our stomachs too. I know some stores sell small glass bottles of Schweppes or cans of Canada Dry. I'd keep some of these in stock - as well as some saltines.

Also, try to find ways to help sooth her. No, we can't prevent tornado's, but we can have a "preparedness plan" so we know what to do if one might come around. It might be time to consider therapy, or maybe writing in a journal, or even some activity that will help calm her down. OR even find a stuffed animal that she can carry around with her when she gets nervous.

I've noticed that my 5 year old - before she goes to sleep, I go in her room with her, and we get settled into her bed - and we just talk for a few minutes about whatever is on her mind. I'll tell her I "Love her love her love her", and about some things she did that were really great that day - that she did a good job. She'll tell me the "whole story" which includes "having good good dreams and snuggling up in the bed." I only stay in there for about 5 minutes - enough for her to get past the "fidget and wiggle" stage and actually get almost asleep. But all of that helps her have a good nights sleep.

For what it's worth...



answers from Cleveland on

Hi N.,
My neighbor is going through the EXACT same thing with her 12 year old! It started when she was a baby & has stopped her from doing lots of things (i.e. going out of town with my daughter this weekend b/c she's anxious about school starting & doesn't want to get sick in front of my parents ~ the ones who were taking them out of town. That in turn causes more anxiety b/c she feels bad.)My neighbors have taken her to the dr. & there is a different type of stomach medication that the dr. perscribed for her anxiety & getting sick. I'd see a doctor maybe he/she has some techniques to help your granddaughter (or medication to use on an as needed basis). Good luck!



answers from Indianapolis on

Peppermint and ginger are both great for calming the stomach. Whether you're sucking on a peppermint or make ginger or peppermint tea.......either work.

HOWEVER, the bigger problem and REAL solution is to work on her COPING SKILLS. People need to learn NOT to worry over things they can't control!!! Do what you can....have an evacuation plan for fires, a plan for tornadoes, etc. and DO WHAT YOU CAN and "LET GO" from there. If she doesn't learn to do that, not only will she drive herself nuts, but everyone else in the process!

People need to realize that 98% of things you worry about.....NEVER NEVER NEVER happen! THAT'S statistics!!! On top of that.......there are 365 "FEAR NOT'S" in the Bible, one for every day. So what does that tell you.....you should NEVER, not ONE DAY....FEAR.....anything but God. Talk about those fears and how to overcome them.

It's WWWWAAAYY more about coping skills (and a long term solution) than it is her stomach issues!


answers from St. Louis on

I had what I considered to be a 'nervous' stomach when I was younger - from the time I could earliest remember was around 2nd grade when I got so excited and hyped up about the Valentine's Day party that I threw up and ended up having to stay home from school! It stayed with me through high school (during pep rallies when I was a cheerleader I would get sick to my stomach but no throwing up/ diarrhea). I was tested for ulcers but that came back negative. I think I just had anxiety which is sounds like your granddaughter may have too. I would work with her on relaxation techniques such as breathing or finding something to do to try and get her calmed down. If hte tea works, keep doing that. If nothing else helps, I would take her to a doctor.
Good luck!



answers from Elkhart on

Hi N.,
Last year we went through what sounds like your grandaughter is going through with our then 13 yr old daughter. She was mis-diagnosed with ovarian cyst, cycling vomiting syndrome, and various other wierd things. After about 8 months they finally figured out that she has irratable bowel syndrome brought on by anxiety. She has been lots better since they figured out what was going on with her & have been treating her for that ever since, She still gets sick from time to time when she gets anxiety attachs, but it's a whole lot better than it was last year. She actually missed about 75 days of school last year because of it.
I hope you don't have to go through everything we did. Talk to your Dr about it.
Good luck




answers from Cincinnati on

I don't have any suggestions from the medical side, but just a thought from the emotional side. Not sure if it will help all that much, but I had a little girl in my class that was worried about all kinds of things little people should not have to worry about. We tried many things to help her, but the best solution was when her mom found a guardian angel necklace at a christian store. She wore that every day, and squeezed it and said a prayer when she felt nervous. It really seemed to work for her. They also talked about what a guardian angel is and how it can help you when you feel nervous/scared. Obviously if it is a medical condition, this idea reallly isn't going to solve her problem, but just a thought! Good luck :)



answers from Fort Wayne on

I have an nervous stomach and have my whole life. I don't remember ever throwing up but I definitely get the diarrhea. The best thing to do is to try to help her cope with the feelings that are causing the upset stomach. She needs to calm herself down.I use lamaze breathing techniques and some yoga techniques as well. I will lay in bed and imagine that I'm lying on the beach. The warm water starts to lap over my toes, then my feet, then my legs, etc. It really helps to calm me. If the water thing doesn't work, just have her focus on relaxing one body part at a time. And breath deep! Breath in all your troubles, then blow them out. If you or she is religious, have her write her problems down on a piece of paper and then burn them.Tell her that when she burns them, the smoke takes her problems up to God and He can deal with them. After all, He's much better equipped then we are!



answers from Fort Wayne on

Please do not give your daughter pepto-bismol without your doctor's permission. It can cause serious health issues if used inappropriately. Maybe the doctor can prescribe something more safe or give you specific directions on the pepto-bismol. Maybe try plain tums- the calcium in the tums is a good supplement and also could have a side effect of constipation (might help with diarrhea). ask your doctor first. :)



answers from Fort Wayne on

Wow, your nine year old sounds just like me as a kid. Unfortunately, treating the physical symptoms won't solve the problem. I was OCD, I became convinced that I was going to throw up in public and therefor didn't want to leave the house. I also KNEW that I was going to die in a tornado and was terrified of thunderstorms when I was away from home (it was OK to die surrounded by your stuff). My parents put me through all kinds of medical tests thinking it was something physical. It wasn't until I was in high school and these irrational fears began interfering with my ability to lead a normal life that I went out and sought mental health counseling on my own. I have learned the skills to stop the irrational thoughts before they become obsessive.



answers from Cleveland on

Hi N.,

We always had ginger ale when our stomachs were upset. If it is too fizzy, warm it up a little or pour it from one glass to another a few times, to get rid of some of the carbonation.

I'd also check with her doctor.

Good luck!

K. Z.



answers from Cincinnati on

You received alot of responses already! I used to be that way when I was a kid. I remember getting nervous which intern would make me sick to my stomach. Only one time did I ever throw up because of it. I never had diarrhea with it.
I don't know if there is any kind of anti anxiety medication that they can give but it may just be something that will get better as she gets older. Just make sure all the worrying dosen't give her an ulcer!
But like someone else said, she just has to talk about what is eating at her and learn to relax. Easier said then done though!! Good luck and hope it gets better.



answers from Cincinnati on

Hello! My daughter (who is 8) is also very internal with her emotions and has similar issues. We often don't even know something is bothering her until her stomach starts cramping up. Our doctor told us to use miralax to get things moving and, of course, to talk with her, her teachers, school counselor, etc. to discover the emotional sources (which I'm sure you are already doing). This combination has worked wonders for my daughter. When you have a child who thinks and feels things very deeply, it can often be very difficult for them to even have the first clue what is bothering them, let alone know how to release it. But with your loving guidance, she will get past this and learn how to deal with it in a healthy way. I will be praying for you both.



answers from Cleveland on


Does she like chocolate or vanilla? Our product tastes great, but more importantly has excellent benefits for children. Below is a link to an article on children's health & also our website. I would love to share how this can possibly help your granddaughter.






answers from Columbus on

Please take her to the doctor. It sounds like she might have irratable bowel syndrome. The diarreaha should not be happening if she is just afraid. Pepto bismol contains asprin and should never be given to children.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches