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Imaginary stomach ache in preschooler and any solutions for?

(20 Posts)
sherby Sat 30-Aug-08 08:53:42

DD has just turned 3 in June. In herself a very happy little girl, just 3 IYKWIM.

About 2 mths ago she started complaining of tummy ache, seems to move all over her tummy. TBH we ignored it for a couple of weeks (thought she might just be saying it for attention) but she was quite persistent with it so took her to the GP. He couldn't find anything wrong hmm

We thought that after going to the GP she might stop but it is still coming and going and I am not too sure she is doing it for attention now, yesterday she was swimming with her uncle and wanted to get out of the pool because her tummy was aching. This is really unlike her as swimming is her most favourite thing. She was off colour and didn't want any food yesterday so took her to the walk in centre and again they said they couldn't find anything wrong.

So presumably she is saying it for attention? I really don't know, but she is quite insistent about it. What would you do? Is it a case of saying no you don't have tummy ache and being quite firm, although I really don't want to just deny her feelings, aarrgghh really lost here, any ideas?


lilolilmanchester Sat 30-Aug-08 08:59:10

A friend's DD tends to get constipated quite easily even tho she has same diet as her DS who never gets constipated. Could it be something like that?

Yes, could be attention seeking - but if she was off-colour and didn't want food then it sounds more like a proper tummy ache this time.

Mine rarely use tummy ache for attention seeking but I give them milk of magnesia if they get tummy ache/constipation. They really hate it so just the threat of it tends to get rid of an imaginary ache!

Janni Sat 30-Aug-08 09:01:42

I'm surprised you call it imaginary, just because the medics couldn't find anything wrong. They would have to do some pretty invasive tests to really know and they probably wouldn't do them unless there were other symptoms other than a child's vague complaints. You might have more luck going to an alternative practitioner who would take the time to really go through the history with you and suggest a change in diet, perhaps.

I personally think she is too young to be consistently coming up with imaginary symptoms. Will be interested to see what others think.

sherby Sat 30-Aug-08 09:04:20

Bowels absolutely fine

I'm really unsure if she is doing it for attention or not, sometimes she will say 'mummy my tummys aching' and we will be in the middle of doing something she really enjoys or reading a story or something. So it seems strange that she would use it for attention then

But there doesn't seem to be anything actually wrong with her so who knows!

thanks for reply

sherby Sat 30-Aug-08 09:06:14

i can see what you are saying janni and tbh they seem loath to do anything at all about it

they instantly just say oh tummy ache is very common in preschoolers, could be her glands up or constipation or attention seeking

sherby Sat 30-Aug-08 09:07:00

sorry meant to say, because she doesn't have any other symptoms with it I can understand that there is not much they can do

WhereTheWildThingsWere Sat 30-Aug-08 09:12:42

Am lurking, as my ds 4 has been complaining of 'my tummy hurts' for 2 months now, again often in the middle of something he is enjoying.

Sometimes when asked he says it hurts 'all the time' but the somethins he says it is fine.

Gp can't find anything.

Not really sure what to do either.

FlightAttendent Sat 30-Aug-08 09:16:51

Sherby I wouldn'tput it down to attention seeking, as such - she is perhaps feeling insecure? Children can often experience anxiety as pain like this.

Can you think of any reason she might be worried about anything? Perhaps she doesn't like being away from you at preschool? Some reassuring tactics might help it lift. smile

orangehead Sat 30-Aug-08 09:18:03

ds1 had this, after several visits to gp they finally referred him to hospital. The docotor gave him a physical checkup (felt stomach etc) but no actual tests. Said she couldnt find anything and was probably an abdominal migraine as apparently they are very common in that age. She suggested just calpol.
I agree with janni about alternative practitioner. They instantly diagnosed ds2 with wheat intolerance despite him being under the hospital for 3 years for constant vomiting and bowel problems. For 3 years they couldnt find anything wrong and kept saying he will probably grow out of it, we will see him in 6 months hmm. Its just ashame you have to pay to get answers

sherby Sat 30-Aug-08 09:20:21

I have been going through a list of things trying to think what it could be anxiety wise

She is on holiday at the moment from preschool but utterly loves it there and asks everyday if its time to go back to playschool yet so its not that

And tbh without sounding smug she does get an awful lot of attention already, I am a SAHM and we have at least an hr everyday of just one on one time, we also have extended family who take her swimming on her own and to the zoo and things at least once a week

In fact the more I think about it I think the only reason I started thinking it could be for attention is because thats what the gp was getting at hmm

wessexgirl Sat 30-Aug-08 09:20:53

I used to get chronic unexplained tummyaches, from about 4 to 13/14. The doctors could never find anything and eventually put it down to 'nerves', but looking back I think it had to have been some kind of food intolerance. Possibly an anxiety element as well, because I was a shy child, though the pains never came on at 'obvious' times iyswim.

There are certain foods that I digest really badly, but nobody ever looked into that kind of issue back in those days.

micku5 Sat 30-Aug-08 09:21:16

DD1 who is 5 has been complaining of stomache aches for ages. At first I dismissed them because she would use them as an excuse to leave the table to go to the toilet or not to finish her food.

I took her to the doctors a while ago who said he couldn't find anything wrong. She still continued to have the stomach pains and it was even with favourite foods so its not that she didn't want to eat.

I took her again to the docs on Wednesday (i thought maybe she had a wheat or dairy intolerance because it seemed to be after she ate pasta or bread). Doctor didn't think so but did say to do uring test to rule out kidney problems then we can take it from there.

In the mean time I went to the chemist to ask for some colic drops (maybe she had wind problems) then if that doesn't work maybe indigestion or heartburn medicine.

sherby Sat 30-Aug-08 09:21:52

abdominal migrane hmm is that for real?

orangehead Sat 30-Aug-08 09:23:52

Yes, probably better websites but this was the first that come up

micku5 Sat 30-Aug-08 09:24:42

urine even duh

Katw3kitts Sat 30-Aug-08 09:26:35

My DS was diagnosed with abdominal migraine by the GP.

He quite often felt sick, although rarely was, and had a tummy ache just above the navel. It often occurred when he was a bit nervous, typically just before school. I think he outgrew it by about 6, but he very occasionally has relapses. I used to give him milk of magnesia too. Foul, but it seemed to settle his tummy too.

The GP also suggested could be worms.

micku5 Sat 30-Aug-08 09:26:39

Doc mentioned abdminal migraine as well to me, but because dd1 didn't have nausea as well she ruled it out.

wessexgirl Sat 30-Aug-08 09:27:51

I've just googled abdominal migraine - certainly sounds like what I had, though it does say it's almost always accompanied with vomiting (mine usually was). You didn't mention any vomiting, Sherby?

orangehead Sat 30-Aug-08 09:41:47

My son didnt have vomiting either, but then again Im not 100% convinced it what he had. I have had some bad experiences with docotors with both my sons and myself. So tend to be hmm when they make a diagnosisis just because they cant find anything.

Beeper Sat 30-Aug-08 16:07:20


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