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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.

9 year old with long standing tummy pain

(13 Posts)
Britchic Thu 18-May-17 12:35:42

Hi everyone

I would really appreciate your opinions on my son. He's 9, and he's always been prone to constipation. We keep on top of it with his diet.

For the last 9 months or so he's been getting tummy aches - mainly at night when he goes to bed, and bad enough that he's asking for calpol about 3 nights a week.

I have been to see my GP, who sent us to a consultant in February. He was very relaxed about it, prodded my son and decided that there was nothing wrong with him - just that some children get tummy aches. He told me to avoid giving calpol unless absolutely necessary.

Since then I have been trying not to give him calpol (but I feel really horrible saying no) - he probably still has it 1-2 times a week. I do sometimes wonder if it's not a bit related to anxiety (he gets it more in the term time than holidays - but he does really like school). I don't think it's related to food intolerance - I certainly haven't seen a pattern.

I don't really know where to go now. Should I go back to the GP? I'm not sure what they will do... Should I be trying homeopathic medicine? Is it ok if I give him calpol a couple of times a week? Has anyone had this with their child?

Thank you so much in advance for any input.


user1491572121 Thu 18-May-17 12:45:24

Could he be anxious? Some children with anxiety have tummy pain or they say they have because they can't vocalise worry.

Is he happy at school?

misscph1973 Thu 18-May-17 12:45:45

Your poor DS. I can totally understand why you don't feel it's okay to give Calpol, it's just treating the symptom, not getting to the core of whatever the problem is.

Do you think the tummy ache is related to the constipation? I would try some good quality probiotics, like Bio-Kult, I get it off Amazon, it's a well-known brand with lots of research behind it. They are also some of the smaller capsules, some of the more expensive brands like PrescriptAssist are very large. Try it for a few months so see any difference.

Also you could try a magnesium flake bath, for our family this has improved so many areas. It's very relaxing, so if you think there is an element of anxiety, this could help. Magnesium is a mineral that most of us are deficient in, and it's best absorbed via the skin, hence the bath.

Finally, you could see if you could find a good reiki master or craniosakral therapist who specialises in children. Both very alternative, but they do have good results with children.

hairygodmother Thu 18-May-17 12:47:27

I have a 9 year old DD with exactly the same thing. She's had it since last summer, I'd say. It is known as abdominal migraine apparently. We too have been to see a consultant and done all the usual tests (blood, urine, faeces, lovely). He thinks exactly the same, that she's basically ok and will apparently grow out of it. He's going to send her for an ultrasound just in case but hasn't recommended any further course of action.

I'm sure it's not diet-related with us too, as she eats a lot of fibre etc and has a pretty balanced diet. I do sometimes wonder if it's anxiety-related but it doesn't seem to follow any pattern. It definitely gets worse at night and we probably give her Calpol about 3 times a week too, I'd say.

Things that have helped:
– giving her a warmed teddy to put on her tummy. We've got a penguin that you can microwave to heat up the filling
– cutting out certain foods: our GP told us to cut down chocolate, citrus, cheese. This has certainly made a difference (especially the chocolate and orange juice), esp if she avoids them in the evening.

It's so frustrating when you can't pinpoint what causes it. We're just hanging on and hope she really does grow out of it and that it doesn't turn into migraine when she's older.

hairygodmother Thu 18-May-17 12:48:41

Someone else has suggested cranial massage as something that might help, misscph. I will look into that.

SofiaAmes Thu 18-May-17 12:49:43

Could be abdominal migraines. Do migraines run in your family (frequently maternal inheritance)? Get a referral to a neurologist if this is the case.

sticklebrix Thu 18-May-17 12:53:23

Have you checked for parasites? Tummy ache is often a sign of worms.

Britchic Thu 18-May-17 21:06:27

Hi everyone

Thank you so much for all your replies - I'm blown away by the kindness of you all, taking time to help me.

I've been googling and I don't think it's an abdominal migraine - that sounds more serious than what he has (i.e. he doesn't have nausea etc).

I don't think it's worms, Sticklebrix, but will check....! Would love it if it was - that would be an easy fix!

Hairygodmother - I'm so sorry to hear your daughter has been suffering too. It's interesting what you say about cutting out certain foods - he's been really bad tonight, and has had cheese and chocolate. I will start a food diary to see if there is any pattern. Good luck with her - it's so horrid seeing your child in pain.

Misscph - I don't know if it's related to the constipation, the 2 probably go hand in hand to an extent. Poor boy has prune juice every morning, and I get him eating home made yoghurt quite a lot for the probiotics. I'll definitely try a magnesium bath - where do you get the magnesium flakes from? And I will look into a craniosacral therapist - I had been considering that.

Thank you again, all of you, for your help - I really appreciate it.
Rachel x

misscph1973 Fri 19-May-17 09:45:44

Magnesium flakes from Amazon or eBay - Better You is a good brand.

Good luck, I am sure it will be fine eventually, but you probably have to try a few different things.

lacebell10 Sun 21-May-17 01:00:06

My dd1 was similar had various food tests all back negative but still had the aches. Luckly saw a consultant who looked again at the tests and diagnosed her as having an atypical lactose allergy. Lactose free for six months and now lactose free milk and cheese at home allow her to eat small amounts at school.

mrwalkensir Sun 21-May-17 01:07:29

our daughter had a lot of stomach aches and time off school - turned out to be lactose intolerance - def worth trying lactose free milk, just hard (ie less-lactosey) cheese etc. Milk chocolate of course has lactose

Britchic Sun 21-May-17 21:47:11

Thank you for your messages. Yes, I was thinking I should possibly do a couple of weeks lactose free to see how it affects him, tricky as he loves milk, yoghurt and really runny cheese! Oh.... and ice cream!

We've been doing baths with magnesium flakes for the last couple of nights, plus I've been giving him a tummy massage (!!) on the advice of a friend, which he says helps - so he's feeling a bit better, but definitely not 100%.

Thank you again for you help.

ShelaghTurner Sun 21-May-17 22:12:49

Loitering because I also have a 9yo with tummy pains. She's had them on and off for years, GP no help at all. She gets them at random times, pretty much every day and they're bad enough to stop her eating even if it's something she loves. I don't really know what to do with her.

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