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Persistent tummy aches in an 8 year old

(11 Posts)
IToldYouIWasFreaky Wed 20-Apr-16 11:07:34

DS (8.5) has been having tummy aches for the past couple of months. He complains most days of his tummy hurting but this can range from a mild ache (usually first thing) to more severe pain (though this is rare). He's had one day off school because of it. He says that the pain is low down, below his tummy button and it's an ache not a sharp pain.

We've been to the GP once, who said he was probably a bit constipated. DS does have a history of having blood in his poo which we've seen the doctor for in the past, who said it was fissures. So since then we've been trying to make sure that he eats more fruit and veg and is drinking lots of water

DS was in quite a lot of pain last week so his dad took him to the NHS walk in centre and the doctor there checked him over more thoroughly than the GP did, and ruled out anything serious, again saying he was probably either constipated or had a bit of trapped wind.

So, we're carrying on with the increased fibre and water plan, he's also having 5ml of lactulose a day and we're keeping a food diary to see if there's any correlation between what he's eating and the pain but so far have found none. He's pooing at least once a day and is not complaing of any pain when he poos but did say once last week that there was some blood (bright red) Sorry for the TMI but it's all relevant!

I do think that at least some of the pain is in his head. He's been having some problems at school and I think these are either making the pain worse (worrying?) or he's using it as an excuse or way to get attention. We're dealing with those issues and they are getting better, as are the tummy aches but still lingering...

We've got another GP appointment booked for next week but I'm not sure what else they can do or say. I did think about cutting out wheat or dairy to see if it's some kind of food intolerance but as we are pescatarian already (though DS only really has fish once or twice a week, so is mostly veggie) I don't really want to restrict his diet any further, especially not cut out dairy uncessarily as it's an important source of protein etc.

Sorry for the epic post, just didn't want to exclude any relevant details! Just wondering if anyone has experienced similar and got to the bottom (scuse the pun! grin) of what the issue might be?

NNalreadyinuse Wed 20-Apr-16 11:20:45

My dd has a lot of tummy aches. Conclusion from the specialist is that her bowel is maybe a bit sluggish - like your ds she does poo everyday so not constipated as such, but they gave her sachets of movicol to help keep things moving regularly.

The dr said that if a child is growing and thriving it os unlikely to be coeliac, but you might want to have him tested on the off chance. I have also taken dd for an ultrasound and blood tests, to make sure nothng was growing where it shouldn't.

lavenderdoilly Wed 20-Apr-16 11:25:02

We've had this. Suggested to us by GP that it is abdominal migraine related to anxiety about school. It has abated in the past few months but had been a real problem.

stealthsquiggle Wed 20-Apr-16 11:31:42

I was about to come and say abdominal migraine as a possibility, but see I have been beaten to it. DS had the same thing, which he eventually grew out of, but he scared a couple of teachers in the process (he would occasionally go suddenly ghostly white and wobbly).DD also seems to have lots of tummy aches, which I am less than sympathetic about because she whinges constantly about some ache or pain, mostly at bedtime, and seemingly self induced stress related.

That probably doesn't help much, OP, but in both cases being assured by the GP that there was nothing serious and that worry could indeed cause real pain seemed to help.

IToldYouIWasFreaky Wed 20-Apr-16 12:18:51

Thanks. I had not heard of abdominal migraines but sounds like that could be a possibility. DS can be a worrier and also has a tendency to keep it all in, someting that I am trying to work on with him, and they are working on at school too. We have had a chat about the tummy aches being worry related but maybe I need to emphasise that more with him.

I have also wondered about some kind of alternative therapies/healing. I don't believe in that woo stuff at all but DS keeps asking to do the doctor for "some medicine" and I did think that if I took him to do something then it might have a psychological effect?

stealthsquiggle Wed 20-Apr-16 12:22:02

You could try just taking him to the GP? The same messages you have been giving him about it being worry related could have a lot more impact coming from a doctor than from Mummy? It certainly did for my DD.

Otherwise, I would certainly not rule out relaxation techniques, including mindfulness (yes I know it's not just a relaxation technique) as an approach.

IToldYouIWasFreaky Wed 20-Apr-16 12:36:38

Yeah, except he's been to the doctor's twice and doesn't seem to be listening...grin He seems to think there's a magic pill that the doctor will give him and it'll all go away. But I will take him again next week and ask specifically about abdominal migraines.

I practice Mindfulness meditation myself for anxiety issues. I've spoken to DS a little bit about how my anxiety makes me feel physically and what I do to help that. I've also taken him to a children's meditation session a couple of times but he's really not a fan! Not keen on sitting still...But the guy who runs the session is very good with kids, and offers other therapies (sorry, being deliberately vague as it's a bit identifying!) that would not do any harm but might help DS to think that something was being done to help, IYKWIM?

SleepyForest Wed 20-Apr-16 12:48:39

Dd was like this for months. We tried movicol and diet, she had a blood test for coeliac, I was very worried. Then the consultant suggested treating for worms - even though she had no worm symptoms. She has been much better since.

It may be worth a try.

ChinUpChestOut Wed 20-Apr-16 12:54:19

OP I've just posted on another thread about moving schools when you know one's not right for your child. I didn't move my DS for 18 months when he wasn't doing well. For a good 12 months we had regular tummy aches - nothing specific but a few times a week. We changed schools and as well as his academics shooting up, we also eliminated the bedwetting, soiling and tummy aches.

Look closely into how happy your DS is at school. At that age, given your DS has already had specific medical check ups and you are watching his diet, I would say he/his body is trying to tell you something.

IToldYouIWasFreaky Wed 20-Apr-16 13:56:43

ChinUp He's already on a waiting list for another school as his is failing generally and him in particular. But schools round here are massively over-subscribed so it's not happening quickly.

He's not miserable at his school (doesn't want to move) but I agree that it's all part and parcel of something bigger going on with him.

ChinUpChestOut Thu 21-Apr-16 08:56:07

IToldYouIWasFreaky that's interesting that your DS/the school is failing.

I feel I failed totally to understand what was happening with my own DS, and I've never really forgiven myself for missing the signals. With DS, it progressed to naughty behaviour in the classroom and not paying attention, and then remedial classes as he was behind. DS also said he wasn't unhappy at school - he did have a lot friends. We were encouraged to see a child psychologist to understand his issues better where we received a diagnosis of ADD and ADHD. Because he couldn't concentrate. Well he couldn't concentrate because he was bored out of his head. He's now doing 10 GCSEs with real strength in maths and the sciences. And he didn't have ADD or ADHD - he never exhibited any of the other traits beyond lack of concentration. Grrrrr.

I won't go on. But I'm glad you're on top of it a lot quicker than I was.

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