Diagnosing And Treating Stress And Stomach Pain In Kids
Is this tummy ache real or is stress causing my childs stomach pain?
Although there is no way to be sure whether your child is faking it or has real stomach pain, it is important not to dismiss their pain. Rather, try and get to the root of the problem. You can usually pinpoint the cause by knowing where your child is experiencing pain. If you cant come up with a real concrete cause for their belly pain, talk to your child about the stressors in their life. Children cope with stress in many different ways. Ask them how they feel about school and exams and what concerns they have. Many times, they just need our support and reassurance. It is amazing what encouraging words can do for our children.
Diet along with school stress can cause gastritis. Gastritis is an irritation of the lining of the stomach. Your child will typically complain of a persistent burning sensation in the upper middle portion of the stomach. Depending upon the cause of the gastritis, this pain can either get worse or better with food. Along with this pain, they may also have symptoms of nausea, bloating, and decreased appetite. If your child is someone who already suffers from gastritis, you might find that their symptoms get worse during stressful times at school.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Functional Abdominal Pain
For Serious Constipation There Are Options
If your constipation is severe and does not improve withchanges to your diet and lifestyle, there may be other options that you candiscuss with your doctor. Surgery is the very last option.
A wide range of laxatives are available, plus there arepro-motility drugs that a doctor can prescribe. Sometimes at-home remedies canbring relief, too, like dietary vegetable or mineral oil to lubricate thebowels.
Heres the bottom line: Try simple fixes first, but if theyfail, dont suffer needlessly. If you think your bowel movements are not whatyou would consider normal, discuss it first with your primary care physician, whocan talk with you about treatments or refer you to a specialist who can helpget your bowels moving again.
Could It Be Worms
An infestation of roundworms can cause bad stomach aches if the infestation has been allowed to get out of hand. A stomach ache caused by worms stems from bloating and excessive gas. It can also cause cramps and possibly diarrhoea and will not respond well to any home remedies. Anti-worming medication is really the only thing that will improve this type of tummy ache.
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Before You Try To Reason With A Panicked Child Help The Child Relax
“You’re not going to be able to move forward until you get them to calm down,” says Sesame’s Truglio. “Because if you can’t calm them down, you can’t even reach them. They’re not listening to your words because they can’t. Their body is taking over, so talking and shouting and saying, ‘You’re going to do this!’ is not very helpful.”
How do you break through this kind of panic? We recommend the Swiss Army knife in the mental health toolkit: deep belly breathing. Take a look:
Now that you’ve managed to calm down your child, it’s time to …
Other Treatments For Ibs
The following treatments are also available for IBS. However, the effectiveness can be lower than for psychotherapies:
- Low FODMAP diet. This diet eliminates common âtrigger compoundsâ of IBS such as fructose and lactose and has been shown effective in treating IBS.
- Antidepressant medication. Low dose treatments of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and tricycle antidepressants have been shown to relieve symptoms of IBS.
- Peppermint oil. Its been shown that peppermint oil is a natural anti-spasmodic which means it can relax the smooth muscles in the gut, improving some of the symptoms of IBS.
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Msu Researcher Treats Pediatric Stomach Pain By Targeting Anxiety
When children or teenagers complain of recurring abdominal pain, one effective treatment option uses cognitive behavioral therapy to target both the discomfort and the anxiety that may be triggering it, says a Michigan State University researcher. Our previous research has shown anxiety is very common in kids with functional abdominal pain,” said Natoshia Cunningham, an assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine in the MSU College of Human Medicine. We see it in about 40% to 50% of cases.Cunninghams research was published on Oct. 29 in the Journal of Pediatrics.
Diagnosis And Treatment Of A Headache And Stomach Ache In A Child
Your doctor will take a health history and perform a physical exam. If the pain in your childs head is getting worse, your doctor will perform a neurological exam to check for issues in the brain. If the history is consistent with migraine or tension headaches and the neurological exam is normal, no further diagnostic testing may be necessary.
Imaging tests such as an MRI and CT scan will be done. They will take pictures of the inside of the head or abdomen to assess for any potential problems in the brain or stomach. A polysomnogram may also be done if your doctor suspects your child has a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea or another sleep-related problem.
When serious conditions have been ruled out, you can treat the pain at home by giving your child over-the-counter pain medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Aspirin should not be used to help treat pain in your child, and ibuprofen should only be used if your child is over the age of 6 months unless your doctor says otherwise.
Other home treatments for abdominal pain often depend on other symptoms that are present with the pain such as diarrhea and nausea. Try the following if your child has mild abdominal pain without other symptoms:
- Have your child rest. Most symptoms will get better or go away in 30 minutes.
- Have your child sip clear fluids such as water, broth, tea, or fruit juice diluted with water.
- Have your child try to pass a stool.
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What Does It Mean If My Child Frequently Has A Headache And Stomach Ache
Frequent headaches and stomach aches in children could be a sign of an underlying condition. If your child has repeated bouts of one or both ailments, keep a diary that records their symptoms, possible triggers, and relief methods that have worked. You can take this diary to your doctor to help them determine if more tests are needed to diagnose the cause of your childs headache or stomach ache.
Reading The Signs: What Anxiety Looks Like In Children
Anxiety disorders reveal themselves in physical and psychological ways. How an anxiety disorder manifests depends on the age of the child and the type of anxiety disorder. Because anxiety can manifest through physical symptoms, its important to consult a pediatrician to make sure the behaviors and symptoms are anxiety-related and not due to an underlying medical condition.
Some general symptoms:
What Are Some Of The Best Stress Management Strategies
Learning to manage stress can have a huge impact on your daily life and potentially prevent some of the serious issues mentioned above. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to stress management, the following are some of the most tried-and-true techniques.
1. Identify the Sources of Stress in Your Life
Like other problems in your life, its hard to address the issue if you cant identify the source. Stress management begins with recognizing the root causes of stress in your life. While it may be easy to pinpoint major stressors in your life, such as losing a loved one or your job, the minute issues are the most challenging ones. We recommend analyzing your daily habits to help recognize some of the daily stressors in your life. The following questions may help you draw a conclusion as to why the stress never ends.
- Is stress a part of your daily work or home life?
- Can your stress be attributed to outside factors?
- Do you play stress off as a temporary issue?
Your stress levels may be out of your control until you identify and address the root cause. One good way to do this is to start a stress journal. Anytime you feel stressed, write down about it. By keeping a journal, you may start to recognize patterns of stress, and youll be better equipped to deal with it the next time you are faced with the same situation.
2. Focus On a Healthier Lifestyle
Here are some tips to help foster a healthier lifestyle:
3. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
Types Of Anxiety Disorders In Children
: Excessive worrying that something bad will happen if the child is not with their parents, caregiver, or anyone to whom they are attached. The child may be reluctant or refuse to stay at a relative or friends house, sleep alone or go to school. Many children experience separation anxiety between 18 months and three years old when it is normal to feel some anxiety when a parent leaves the room or goes out of sight. Usually, children can be distracted from these feelings. However, separation anxiety may surface or resurface when the child is older and especially between ages 7 and 9.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Chronic anxiety and excessive worry about everything and everyday life. A child with GAD worries about the meaning of a canceled play date or a delayed response to a text. Children with GAD fret about bad things happening to people they love or that no one will come to the birthday party they didnt want in the first place. The worry is overblown in relation to the events that sparked the worry. GAD is exhausting as children worry chronically and constantly and cant control these thoughts. In addition, children with GAD often dont trust their instincts and seek constant approval or reassurance from others.
A panic attack usually lasts about 15-30 minutes whereas the resulting fear of another attack persists and that fear of panic returning is what triggers avoidance behavior to avoid another attack.
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How Can You Prevent And Treat A Nervous Stomach Ache
There are a number of things parents can do if their child is experiencing belly aches related to anxiety or stress:
- Listen Of all the things, the most important is to listen to your child. If they are complaining of a belly ache and nausea consistently, its important to see a professional. This will ensure that you can find the root cause and deal with it effectively.
- Proper Eating Habits Most kids love fried foods and sweets, but theyre not going to help their digestive system. Healthy eating habits will ensure your child is getting the nutrients they need so they can take on the day! A healthy body means they wont have to worry about a belly ache after eating!
- Breathing Techniques The concept of just slowing down the moment may be easier said than done, but breathing techniques can really work. By teaching your child to take deep breaths, this will work their diaphragm and may stop a belly ache. It will also help them to gain clarity and decompress.
- Counseling If your child is dealing with ongoing anxiety, it may be helpful for them to talk to a counselor. A counselor may be able to get to the bottom of their issues and determine how they can find balance. Be sure to share your own anxiety stomach pain remedy with other parents on your favorite family app.
Sometimes Abdominal Pain Is Physical And Mental
If you have a gastrointestinal condition such as IBS, Crohns disease, or ulcerative colitis, stress or anxiety can exacerbate your symptoms. This can make your physical and mental health even more inextricably linked.
This relationship can be cyclical, Sperling says: Stress or anxiety can prompt gut inflammation and intestinal spasms, leading to more GI symptoms, which can just translate to more stress or anxiety. Its pretty unfair. If you have a GI condition and feel like youre stuck in this rhythm, talk to your doctor to see if theres a way to make your gut and your brain get along a little better so that you dont have to suffer.
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Kids And Anxiety: By The Numbers
- About 2.6 million American children and adolescents were diagnosed with anxiety and/or depression in 2011-12
- The prevalence of current anxiety increased from 3.5% in 2007 to 4.1 % in 2011-12,
- Median age of onset for anxiety is 11 years
- An estimated one in 20 American children has anxiety.
- There areat least 1 in 200or 500,000kids and teens that have OCD. In children, OCD tends to first appear between the age of 6 and 12.
Dont Let Anxiety Impact Your Recovery
Stress and anxiety are normal parts of life. However, chronic worry can have a detrimental effect on your physical, emotional and mental well-being, especially if you struggle with addiction. If you need help, 7 Summit Pathways is here for you.
We understand that issues like anxiety or depression often serve as catalysts for addiction. Our team of interdisciplinary specialists addresses not only the addiction but also any underlying conditions that may have triggered your substance use.
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Could It Be Indigestion
Stomach aches that are sharp and high and are possibly made worse by taking a deep breath, are usually due to indigestion. Indigestion is a major cause of tummy ache in kids and is usually due to overeating, eating too quickly or drinking too many fizzy drinks or juices. Resting quietly with a hot water bottle over the tender area should provide some quick relief.
What To Do About It
Taking your childs grievance seriously is key to helping him or her get over the anxiety and not experience stomach issues or any other kind of pain.
Start by validating your childs experience. This means listening to your child while keeping the urge to offer a solution in check. It also means not judging your child and minimizing his or her experience by telling your child that there is nothing wrong with him or her.
The goal is to help your baby understand his or her emotions and giving it a name. Yes honey, your tummy aches and that is because you are feeling nervous. Acknowledging your childs feelings conveys your acceptance and love, and that is why this step is important.
Then, reframe your childs experience more helpfully. This implies changing the way your child looks at things. Things that cause anxiety in children include separation, abuse, phobias, or other stressful events like visiting the pediatrician. Thus, encourage your child to stop and ask, What is on my mind right now? when he or she feels anxious in the stomach.
Lastly, remember that avoidance fuels anxiety. Therefore, do not let your child avoid things he or she is afraid of. For instance, do not allow your child to skip the math test or school when he or she is complaining of a tummy ache. That is unless the ache has no medical explanation.
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