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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.

Help re DD (4yrs) with tummy pain - what to do next?

(58 Posts)
mabelbabel Fri 11-Jul-14 15:52:39

I took my daughter to the GP this morning, with tummy pain. She's been complaining of this pretty constantly for a few days now. Yesterday told me (twice) she thought she would be sick as well. Wants to go to bed early, but otherwise is more or less her usual lively self.

When I thought about it, actually she's complained many times of tummy pain over the last few weeks/months, particularly feeling tired and sorry for herself at bedtime, which is unusual - Hence the visit to the doctors. Her appetite is low at the moment, particularly in the evening. She has no other serious/on-going symptoms, other than a few patches of excema (which was much worse at times when she was a baby). She is not constipated.

Doctor was very friendly, did all the usual stuff, said there was nothing wrong. Possibly she's coming down with an infection of some sort, but that tummy ache is very common etc. All of which is fine, and I understand. I asked her under what circumstances I should consider bringing her back - eg if it is persists for a length of time, and whether we should keep a record. She said there were only three circumstances in which a repeat appointment would be required:
(1) if we notice DD is not growing properly in relation to her peers;
(2) if she has constant diarrhoea, or
(3) if she cries when she goes to the toilet.

I'm a bit sceptical of this (these sounds like extreme symptoms!). My plan was to keep a record. If the pain is constant for another week or two, then I think it deserves another look. Or if it goes but comes back frequently over the next month or two, then also it deserves another look.

Does this sound like a sensible approach? WWYD? Any other advice in the meantime?

mabelbabel Fri 11-Jul-14 15:54:09

(I know this is just an internet forum and I'm not after medical advice etc. Just wondering how best to manage this without over- or under- reacting. Of course if the pain suddenly got much worse, or other worrying symptoms appeared I'd be back at the doctors like a shot).

notapizzaeater Fri 11-Jul-14 15:55:58

Before I'd do anything else I'd start a food diary and make notes when she's complaining to see if there's a link.

Thumbwitch Fri 11-Jul-14 15:57:20

Is it stomach pain or belly pain or both?

It's possible that she could have an intolerance - although lactose intolerance does usually have bouts of diarrhoea as a symptom, it's not a given; and wheat/gluten intolerance (coeliac or not) can just cause pain, and no adverse bowel movements.

As you've said it's been going on for a long time, I would think that rules out most infections - DS1 had a horrible adenovirus thing that affected his abdominal lymphatic system, but it only lasted 5 days - so intolerance seems more likely.

Keep a diary of what she eats as well as her pain levels - see if you can see a correlation.

mabelbabel Fri 11-Jul-14 16:08:55

She points to around about her belly button, sometimes is quite specific but not always. I'll start a little diary and see what happens. If it was caused by something dietary, what sort of reaction times are we talking about?
She has had occasional short-lived bouts of diarrhoea, but nothing too serious (eg not desparately running for the loo). A few times over the last few weeks we've put her to bed thinking that she'd have a full-on stomach bug by the next day (because she's tired, a bit sad, and complaining about her tummy), but that has never materialised.

Thumbwitch Fri 11-Jul-14 16:13:03

If she's sensitive it could be anything from between a few minutes and the next day.

Thumbwitch Fri 11-Jul-14 16:15:42

Thumbwitch Fri 11-Jul-14 16:15:50

Thumbwitch Fri 11-Jul-14 16:18:03

NHS doesn't list symptoms of gluten intolerance other than for coeliac disease, but you can look on other websites for them if you think it might be appropriate.

They're the most likely offenders; but once you've done the food diary, you'll be able to see if there's anything else that crops up regularly.

Intolerances aren't like allergies, they don't create a dangerous situation like anaphylaxis but they can still be pretty damn uncomfortable, and coeliac disease, if severe, can be quite dangerous if not dealt with (malnutrition, growth retardation etc.)

Wineandcakes Fri 11-Jul-14 16:30:43

My DD2 suffered for months with intense pain around her belly button. GP was rather super, tested for coeliac which was negative so referred straight to paediatrician.

Was tested for every stomach complaint under the sun, also had ultra sound. All negative.

Decided was abdominal migraine which normally does manifest around belly button. There is no test for this but if all other tests are negative they can assume it's migraine.

She was put on Pizotifen for a few months which seemed to work. Is now off medication and symptom free. Her triggers were very hot weather, very cold weather, dehydration and excitement.

mabelbabel Fri 11-Jul-14 16:31:44

OK, thanks for the info. I bet the minute I start the diary she's suddenly better and never mentions it again smile (Actually I really hope that does happen...).

mabelbabel Fri 11-Jul-14 16:35:46

wine that's interesting. Maybe if things not better in a couple of weeks I will pester the GP a bit more. Was your DD incapacitated by the abdominal migraine (in the same way that I would be with a 'normal' migraine)? I ask because my DD is generally able to get on with things apart from the fact she's not eating much, and is more sleepy than usual.

Wineandcakes Fri 11-Jul-14 16:41:12

It never incapacitated her but she would double over in pain crying. She was nine at the time and not a child to make a fuss. They kept her awake at night and made her really pale and tired as she was in almost constant pain. The general thought on migraines is that they can last up to 72 hours but hers went on for days at a time.

Do you suffer from migraines yourself? My mum has migraines, my sister has ocular migraines. Paediatrician said that it can be hereditary and passes down the female line.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Fri 11-Jul-14 16:45:07

Are you certain she is not constipated?

mabelbabel Fri 11-Jul-14 16:48:27

Yes, I have migraines, which started when I was young, maybe 9 or 10. As a child, they always came with headaches, and I felt severely nauseous. DD is not in as much pain as you are describing, but I will keep a record of when and for how long in the future.

mabelbabel Fri 11-Jul-14 16:51:04

ItsAllGoingToBeFine I'm certain in as much as I know she is poo-ing with normal frequency! (she still needs help with bottom-wiping...). But could she still be constipated in this circumstance?

Wineandcakes Fri 11-Jul-14 16:51:59

Really does sound like migraine to me although I am no expert.

DD had no nausea but it can happen, and if the abdominal pain was really bad she would get a headache with it too. Her pains worsened over time and they became more frequent and lasted longer as though her body was starting to give up fighting them.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Fri 11-Jul-14 17:00:22

This has some info on constipation ( link triggers PDF download)

Thumbwitch Fri 11-Jul-14 17:01:26

Mabel - how long does it take her to produce a poo? The time it takes can indicate constipation, more than the frequency.

mabelbabel Fri 11-Jul-14 17:07:29

Thanks. I don't think she's constipated based on that, but I'll certainly bear it in mind, and note in the diary if it seems to be a problem.

mabelbabel Fri 11-Jul-14 17:09:18

Production time is usually fairly quick! She doesn't hang around too much. But to be honest I've never paid too much attention to that. (I will now).

mabelbabel Mon 14-Jul-14 19:34:17

DD was a bit useless again on Saturday evening and around Sunday lunch, but has been noticably more perky since then and no longer mentioning tummy ache.
She has, however, developed a fairly large round mouth ulcer just inside her lower lip. She says it doesn't hurt and that she didn't injur it (not a bite/bump). Any significance to this?

mabelbabel Mon 14-Jul-14 19:35:20

It is swollen and yellowish on the top. Doesn't look like a cut or open sore.

MsRainbow Mon 14-Jul-14 19:38:36

Frequent mouth ulcers can be a symptom of coeliac disease.

Timeforabiscuit Mon 14-Jul-14 19:41:55

Have you checked for worms?

Sometimes comes with an itchy bum (but often not) and stomach aches. check when they're asleep with a torch, little white feckers like thin cotton strands - but they wriggle sad

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