Accordingly Mohit Tandon Houston, Chronic stomach pain in children can have a variety of causes, and determining the exact cause often requires a thorough medical evaluation by a qualified healthcare professional. However, one of the most common causes of chronic stomach pain in children is functional abdominal pain.
Functional abdominal pain is characterized by recurrent or chronic abdominal pain. It cannot be attributed to any specific underlying organic or structural cause. It’s believed to result from a complex interplay of factors, including heightened sensitivity to pain, gastrointestinal motility issues, stress, and psychological factors. This condition is also sometimes referred to as “functional abdominal pain syndrome” or “functional gastrointestinal disorder.”
Other potential causes of chronic stomach pain in children include:
Firstly, Gastrointestinal infections, also known as gastroenteritis or stomach flu, are common causes of stomach pain in children. These infections can be cause by various pathogens, including viruses, bacteria, and parasites. Gastrointestinal infections can lead to symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and sometimes fever. -Mohit Tandon Houston
Prevention is key in avoiding gastrointestinal infections in children. This can be achieved through proper hand hygiene, safe food preparation and storage, avoiding consumption of potentially contaminated water or food, and ensuring that children are up to date on vaccinations if available for certain infections like rotavirus.
Chronic constipation can cause abdominal pain in children. Hard stools and infrequent bowel movements can lead to discomfort. A diet low in fiber and fluids can contribute to constipation. Fiber helps add bulk to stool and promotes regular bowel movements.
If a child’s diet lacks sufficient fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, it can lead to constipation. Certain medical conditions, such as hypothyroidism, metabolic disorders, or neurological conditions, can lead to constipation. However, these are less common causes and would typically be accompanied by other symptoms. -Mohit Tandon Houston
Especially, Lactose intolerance is a common digestive disorder in which the body is unable to fully digest lactose, a sugar found in milk and dairy products. This occurs due to a deficiency of the enzyme lactase, which need to break down lactose into its component sugars, glucose and galactose. Without enough lactase, undigested lactose can lead to gastrointestinal symptoms, including stomach pain.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Chronic reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus can cause abdominal pain, along with heartburn and other symptoms. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a chronic digestive disorder. In this, stomach acid and sometimes stomach contents flow back into the esophagus, causing irritation and various symptoms. GERD can affect people of all ages, including children. In children, GERD is often referr to as pediatric GERD or infant reflux. -Mohit Tandon Houston
Food Allergies or Sensitivities
Food allergies and sensitivities can also lead to stomach pain in children. These reactions occur when the immune system responds abnormally to certain foods, triggering a range of symptoms, including gastrointestinal discomfort. It’s important to differentiate between food allergies and food sensitivities, as their mechanisms and symptoms can vary.
If you suspect that your child is experiencing stomach pain due to a food allergy or sensitivity, it’s important to consult a healthcare provider for proper evaluation and diagnosis. Medical professionals can help identify the specific foods causing the issue and recommend appropriate dietary changes or other management strategies. If you suspect a severe food allergy, it’s crucial to have an anaphylaxis action plan in place and to carry prescribed epinephrine auto-injectors if needed.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Conditions like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Although less common in children, can cause chronic abdominal pain. –Mohit Tandon Houston
While typically thought of as causing sudden and severe pain. Sometimes appendicitis can present with more gradual and chronic symptoms, especially in children.
Stress, anxiety, and emotional factors can sometimes manifest as physical symptoms, including abdominal pain. –Mohit Tandon Houston
Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
Infections in the urinary tract can sometimes cause lower abdominal pain.
It’s important for parents or caregivers to consult a pediatrician or a healthcare provider if a child is experiencing chronic stomach pain. A comprehensive evaluation, including a detailed medical history, physical examination, and possibly some tests, can help determine the underlying cause and guide appropriate treatment.