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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

DS, aged 7, claims to have had a tummy ache "every day for a year".

(35 Posts)
ilovehugs Fri 23-Nov-12 11:51:12

DS is always complaining about tummy aches. I took him to the Drs ages and ages ago about it who said he seemed fine.

He eats well, is growing, about the same height as peers (but skinny), no vomiting, active, no constipation, tummy not swollen, doesnt seem to have sensitive areas etc etc.

Yes he is ADAMANT that he always has a tummy ache and it never goes away.

What could this be? He's notorious for mouthing objects, even at his age, he chews lego (and get's told off for it). Could he have bits of plastic stuck somewhere?? Surely he would be poorly? Grasping at straws here.

Any other experiences of this or advice most welcome please!!!

NellyTheElephant Tue 27-Nov-12 21:57:27

Obviously you need to get all the usual checks / tests done, but on the upside it really could be nothing.....

I had a similar thing with my DD1 (now nearly 8). Since she was 5 she had almost constant tummy pain (we were advised to keep a symptom diary and it was pretty much every day, no particular time or triggers), leaving her listless and tired when she was suffering and sometimes in really bad agonising pain (although more usually a dull ache). She was never a particular hypochondriac and we tried not to make a big deal of it or draw attention to it (played it down a bit if anything)

A bit of history - my DD2 (who has never had a tummy pain in her life) had to have a couple of bowel operations which had really scared me and so I was worried it might be the same thing in DD1. Also when she was 5, DD1 had been really very ill in hospital for over a week on IV antibiotics and then another month of oral anti Bs (entirely unrelated to tummy pain which had started before that, although there was some concern that antibiotics might have made it worse), and for these reasons I was possibly more paranoid and much more pushy about tests etc than I otherwise might have been and also we were very much in the system so I already knew the consultant from the issues with DD2.

DD1's consultant always maintained it was probably a non specific childhood tummy pain and nothing to worry about (unhelpful I know as he himself said), she had every test / scan / xray he could think of and everything came back negative and he didn't think that it matched abdominal migraines. He said that it is hard to explain this sort of pain but that it is not uncommon in children. It seems that as adults most of the nerves around the gut etc are kind of 'switched off' so we don't feel the vast majority of what is going on in our digestive system, but in some children it takes a while for them to shut off the feeling and it can be very uncomfortable.

Anyway, I guess he was right as after 2 years or so I started to realise that DD1 was commenting on the pain less and no longer to be found lying listlessly on her bed and now it has completely stopped, so it seems that it really wasn't anything (that isn't to belittle the very real pain she experienced at the time).

Hopefully your DS's pain is similarly 'nothing'

Noren Tue 27-Nov-12 12:42:36

elibean giggles how foolish of me! Got my Xmas shopping links mixed up there I think! I can't remember what webpage I found, but if you want me to look for it again, let me know (I know someone with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy which was missed for years, so it might just be my paranoia).

charlieandlola Tue 27-Nov-12 12:30:38

It's not worms is it ? We had ds complaining of stomach ache for weeks, took him to the GP who could find nothing wrong, but suggested Ovex. Did the trick , miraculously

Elibean Tue 27-Nov-12 12:22:02

Noren - sorry, just noticed your post. Thank you, will google it - did try your link, but only found fascinating Giant Microbes grin

dikkertjedap Tue 27-Nov-12 09:44:10

What has the GP done to find a cause? Has he had a blood test, scans? If not I would go back to GP or ask for referral to a paediatrician.

SofiaAmes Tue 27-Nov-12 04:50:16

No, (I am in the USA now) but I looked at her website and it looks interesting. The doctor we are seeing is Dr. Boles at Children's Hospital in Los Angeles. You can google him and there are lots of scientific papers. Also, if you go to you will find lots of information (understandable to the general public) and links.
This treatment has been an absolute godsend for us...when ds' migraines were really bad they had him on a cocktail of drugs that got rid of the headache but made him pretty much non-functional. To be able to have him completely healthy, with no side effects is more than I ever dreamed of. I am now realizing that all sorts of things that happened ever since he was little and I just thought were normal (constant car sickness, long, heavy colds, vomiting, ear infections, high fevers, fatigue) were in fact, not normal, and symptoms of his mitochondrial mutation. I just want to shout from every rooftop that this exists so that as many other people as possible can help their children (priscilla101 - I totally understand that awful feeling of helplessness when your child is in pain and you can't make it better)
Dr. Boles believes that every child who presents with at least some of these symptoms (stomach aches, fatigue, headaches, vomiting), should be tried on a course of high dose L-carnitine and CoQ10 (and Riboflavin too). It can't hurt (ie no side effects), and could possibly help. We noticed a difference within a month. Ds had not been to a sleepover birthday party EVER without getting seriously sick afterwards from the lack of sleep and excitement. He went to one a month after starting the treatment and had no cold, headache, vomiting or anything!!!! First time ever in his 11 years.

mercibucket Mon 26-Nov-12 20:31:05

Ds is 'diagnosed' with abdo migraines ie nothing else turned up. We do have history of migraines tho and ds also gets regular migraines

Massively interested in the mitochondrial thing. Was that dr myhill?

mercibucket Mon 26-Nov-12 20:31:04

Ds is 'diagnosed' with abdo migraines ie nothing else turned up. We do have history of migraines tho and ds also gets regular migraines

Massively interested in the mitochondrial thing. Was that dr myhill?

priscilla101 Mon 26-Nov-12 20:16:53

Hi Ilovehugs....I read your post with interest, and I could have written it. My ds is also 7 and describes this as his every day stomach ache. I also took him to the doctors ages ago who were unconcerned. Like your ds, mine is thriving in terms if weight, height, development etc etc.
I have no idea what it is, and interestingly he does not complain about it every day, it if he does mention it he tells me he has it every day. I don't think it is food related, or anxiety related, but have no basis for this, just maternal gut instinct.
Unfortunately I have no advice or help to offer...but I totally empathise, it's horrid not being able to help your child.

DeWe Mon 26-Nov-12 12:23:43

Are you sure he isn't constipated?

Dd2 is a bit of a hypocondriac so it took me about a year to take her to the doctors with a tummy ache. Turned out she was badly compacted-they found it on a scan. I wouldn't have guessed and she seemed to go as regularly as anyone else.

hellsbells99 Mon 26-Nov-12 10:25:52

My DD, now a teenager, is similar. She was diagnosed last year with mild hypermobility. She has had stomach pains with bouts of D&V since very young. Blood tests at approx 7 yo showed she was having allergic reactions but they didn't know what to. Had to do trial and elimination on different foods and drinks. We found the stomach pains have stopped after making sure she has no artificial colours and no aspartame (artificial sweetner in lots of squash, low fat yogurts etc) - this is much easier to control nowadays as Sainsburys products are free from all this.

ilovehugs Fri 23-Nov-12 23:15:21

Had a brief read earlier - the stomach is a muscle and the control of acids processes etc are due to muscles??

MoreBeta Fri 23-Nov-12 22:01:21


My son has hypermobility and often complains of joint and stomach pain as well constant itchy skin, rhinitis. I have non coeliac gluten intolerance and I wondered if that might be the problem.

However, interested to see hypermobility and stomach pain go together.

Any idea why that is?

ilovehugs Fri 23-Nov-12 21:51:38

Hmmmm he's getting on OK at school. My instinct is that it is a physical thing. Did the hyper-mobility test on him. Def not has that. Going to take him in next week and will report back.

tazmo Fri 23-Nov-12 15:53:53

Is he enjoying school? My husband had problems with a teacher who kept hitting him and feigned sickness everyday and looking at his reports, his attendance was terrible. Just a thought rather than it being physical....

Noren Fri 23-Nov-12 15:23:59

elibean with the shaky hands thing, it might not be this, but have they been checked for myoclonic jerks? It's a form of epilepsy which is often missed and can be worse in the morning due to tiredness.

SofiaAmes Fri 23-Nov-12 15:06:32

It's possible that he has abdominal migraines. They are very underdiagnosed. Do migraines run in your family (tend to be maternally inherited). It is also possible that he has a mitochondrial disorder which is currently reckoned to be in 5-10% of the population at some level. And quite often can be treated with simple/cheap nutrients that replace what the body is not producing/absorbing correctly.

Since birth, my ds had a series of complaints including vomiting, weird aches and pains, colds that went on forever and were much worse than the average child (like dd). At age 8 he started getting head migraines and then abdominal migraines, chronic fatigue and cyclical vomiting after that. He is hyper mobile, clumsy, low muscle tone and has problems with handwriting and is very very bright. I finally got him diagnosed this year (he just turned 12), through a series of fortunate coincidences. It turns out he has a mitochondrial dna mutation which impairs the working of his mitochondria which are the powerhouse of the cell. The best news is that it's treatable with simple nutrients (which the mutation is messing up the production/absorption of). He takes high doses of L-carnitine and CoQ10 twice a day. They have zero side effects and have completely "cured" ds. He has been illness free for 7 months now which is the longest period in his little life that he has been well. The doctor who is treating him is the world's expert on mitochondrial disease and recommends that any child with any number of these symptoms (I would include your ds in that) should try taking L-carnitine and CoQ10 in high doses for a few months to see if it makes a difference (obviously then continue it if it does). They have no side effects and are fairly cheap and certainly much easier than being sick...or traipsing around from one doctor/emergency room to another. If you want more information about dosage or links to the literature, please let me know.

IndigoBelle Fri 23-Nov-12 14:51:55

It def could be gluten which is giving him a tummy ache - even if he doesn't have coeliac disease.

I took my DS off gluten and it's helped enormously.

mamij Fri 23-Nov-12 14:51:10

When does your DS complain of having a tummy ache? Could your DS be confusing tummy ache with hunger? Dd1 complains of a tummy ache sometimes, but its because she's hungry (a glass of milk usually sorts her out). Sorry can't be more help.

Elibean Fri 23-Nov-12 14:49:23

She also has very shaky hands in the morning, but suspect thats not related - dh and dd2 also tend to have shaky hands first thing/when tired/nervous: they look like a bunch of heavy drinkers (dh=teetotal, dd1=8yrs old, dd2=5yrs grin)

Elibean Fri 23-Nov-12 14:48:28

reading your thread with interest, ilovehugs - and hope you find an explanation for your ds, and an easy to manage one.

dd1 often complains of stomach ache, but certainly not every day - I had no idea hypermobility went with stomach ache, but she is certainly double jointed in thumbs, has twisty ankles and flat feet (thus arched back). Without wanting to hijack - does anyone know why hypermobility causes stomach ache? From back/postural issues, or something more organic?

ilovehugs Fri 23-Nov-12 13:14:25

Your poor DD sad. A very close friend of mine had CFS. She is 100% recovered now. She got very poorly in her late teens. She went on something called the 'lightning project'. it really helped, but was in adulthood.

Floralnomad Fri 23-Nov-12 13:07:11

My DD didn't have half the symptoms for coeliac , all she had was a regular stomach ache and fatigue. Unfortunately she has got coeliac but has now got CFS .

ilovehugs Fri 23-Nov-12 12:52:40

Would just really like an explanation. Poor DS x

cathyearnshaw Fri 23-Nov-12 12:45:54

Chamomile tea is not a placebo!

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