Working With The School
The school plays an important role when kids develop physical symptoms of anxiety. Clinicians work with the school nurse and sometimes the psychologist or school counselor to set up a protocol for keeping the childs absences from class as short as possible. For instance, the recommended amount of time to wait before encouraging the child to go back to class might be as short as five minutes.
As much as we can, we urge them not to contact the parent or send the child home if theyre saying that theyre nauseous, adds Dr. Domingues, if we know that they are feeling this way because theyre anxious. The shorter the break can be, the better it is, because the longer theyre out of the thing thats making them feel anxious, she says, the harder it will be to get them back in.
This sort of symptoms can appear in a wide-range of children, but theyre most common in the grade-school years, notes Ms. Greenspan. As kids get older and transition into adolescence and adulthood, they are more likely to manifest their anxiety symptoms in other ways.
Should I Be Getting Screened Regularly For Colon Cancer Or Other Gi Tract Cancers
As of 2021, the United States Preventative Services Task Force and major GI medical societies recommend that adults at average risk for colorectal cancer are regularly screened beginning at age 45.
People who have a family history of colorectal cancer or other GI tract cancers, including stomach or pancreas cancer, or a history of GI conditions like inflammatory bowel disease may need routine cancer screening earlier than age 45.
Talk your primary care physician about your risk and ask if you should get tested.
Tips For Anxiety Relief
A number of short-term remedies may help bring immediate relief to your child, and more involved methods can help provide longer-term relief.
Short-term Anxiety Busters
Breathe!Breathing techniques are quick, easy-to-learn and can help your child de-stress on the spot. Diaphragmatic breathing, commonly called belly breathing, involves taking long, full breaths that work the diaphragm and make the belly rise and fall. Check out more tips in our post on Teaching Your Anxious Child to Calm Themselves with Their Breath.
Additional ways to bring near instant relief can be taking a quick break to listen to soothing music or giving your child your complete attention so he or she can cry, cringe, scream or otherwise share how they are feeling and why.
Longer-term Anxiety Helpers
Longer-term solutions include ensuring the basic are being met with success. These include ensuring your child eats a healthy diet,gets adequate sleep, engages in plenty of exerciseand takes time to unwind. Mindfulness and meditation are two more ongoing, anxiety-busting strategies you and your child can incorporate into your daily routines. And if the stomach aches become too overwhelming, dont be afraid to address the underlying issues with the help of a therapist.
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The Parents Role Is Key
Its only natural that parents dont want to see their kids in distress or make them go to school when theyre worried that theyll throw up. That puts parents in a difficult spot. What we hear from parents is, We just let him stay home one day and one day led to three months, says Dr. Domingues. Its a slippery slope the child may ask to stay home more and more.
So we work with parents a lot around how to find that balance between enabling anxiety and meeting a child where they are, she adds. And we also give them statements that they can use to be empathic and encouraging at the same time. For instance: I know that this is really hard and you feel like youre sick. But we also know that this is anxiety, and you can get through it.
Sometimes setting up a reward system can help by giving a lot of positive reinforcement for kids pushing through their anxiety.
Parents also face the challenge of tolerating their own anxiety about pushing a child who says she is ill or worried about vomiting. If your kid is in distress and talking about not wanting to go to school or feeling sick or thinking they might throw up, says Dr. Domingues, then youre, as a parent, also anxious that that might happen.
Breaking Down The Differences In Symptoms
According to a study in PLOS One about pediatric functional abdominal pain disorders, chronic abdominal pain is a common problem in childhood, with prevalence rates ranging from 0.319% in school-aged children in the United States and Europe. However, in almost 90% of these children, there is no diagnosable disease tied to their symptoms.
People with functional abdominal pain have a hypersensitive nervous system, due to early life adverse events, previous surgeries, acute infections or food intolerances, said Pattamanuch. If we think of the brain as a stereo receiver and speakers, it helps us understand how the gut-brain axis works. The gut reports pain to the spine, which relays the pain signals to the brain. Children under stress, whether it be physical or emotional, will often have the volume dial turned up on their stereo receiver. How the brain receives and interprets the pain signal is highly tied to our emotional state.
In Pattamanuchs practice, she sees many children with functional abdominal pain.
These kids are still eating and gaining weight normally. They may experience pain, but overall they are functioning well, going to school and sleeping at night.
In an initial visit with a child who is facing abdominal pain issues, with symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea, and nausea and/or vomiting, Pattamanuch always starts by asking parents if they think stress is a factor. This includes home, school and social stressors.
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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 â Of all the things, the most important is to listen to your child. If they are complaining of a belly ache and nausea consistently, itâs important to see a professional. This will ensure that you can find the root cause and deal with it effectively.
- Proper Eating Habits â Most kids love fried foods and sweets, but theyâre 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 wonât have to worry about a belly ache after eating!
- Breathing Techniques â 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 â 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.
Make A Drink With Apple Cider Vinegar
When your stomach is aching, a shot of acidic apple cider vinegar might be the last thing you want to put in it, but it could actually make you feel better.
There are two reasons for this.
First, apple cider vinegar kills bacteria, so if youve got a bacterial infection in your stomach, the vinegar can help clear it out.
Second, apple cider vinegar balances your stomach acid, which can help with acid reflux issues.
Dont ever drink apple cider vinegar on its own its too strong, and it could damage your teeth.
Instead, mix it with something else. Try stirring a tablespoon of vinegar into a cup of warm water or fruit juice.
Add some honey to improve the taste if you want.
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Eat Properly To Help Your Digestion
It’s very easy to spend our working lives eating on the move or at our desks, gulping down food between meetings and then crashing out in front of the TV with a takeaway in the evenings.
But eating this way can play havoc with our digestive system.
Follow some basic rules to prevent problems:
- Do not rush your food. Take the time to eat slowly. Try putting your fork down between bites and chew each mouthful well.
- Do not overeat. Reduce the size of your portions at mealtimes, or try eating 4 to 5 small meals instead of 3 large ones.
- Eat regularly and try not to skip meals.
- Avoid eating a big meal just before you go to bed. Eat your last meal at least 2 to 3 hours before lying down.
- Make sure you have plenty of water to drink.
What Are Some Signs Stomach Pain Is More Serious
A child with belly ache often points to constipation, overeating, or the flu. However, this issue can sometimes point to a more serious condition. If your child has pain by their belly button that moves to their abdomen, this abdominal pain could be appendicitis. While this needs to be treated immediately, there are other gut issues that may be present. A gastrointestinal disorder, urinary tract infection, or even food poisoning can be the cause of vomiting and stomach aches. If stomach pain is ongoing or severe and accompanied by other physical symptoms, it’s important to discuss it with a medical professional.
Experiencing a cramp or stomach ache isn’t pleasant for anyone. While theyâll usually pass without incident, itâs important to know belly ache causes so you can effectively treat them. Do you have any tips for dealing with a child’s anxiety? Share it with other parents in our comments! A stomach ache is pretty common but thereâs no reason it canât be a little easier to bear!
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Stress Anxiety Vomiting And Stomachache: What You Can Do
If you or your child suffers frequent stomachaches or nausea, first see a doctor to rule out any physical cause. Physical causes — bacteria, a virus, acid reflux, lactose intolerance, constipation — are usually behind the stomachaches and vomiting of younger children.
Its beyond toddlerhood when you tend to get into the stress-triggered abdominal complaints, says Chris Tolcher, MD, FAAP, a pediatrician and clinical assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Southern California School of Medicine.
Once youve ruled out physical causes, take a close look at how you or your child react to stressful situations.
We all know that our mind influences our body, and vice versa. The science of emotion and stress is starting to catch up with our intuitive understanding of this, Dennis says.
Therapy can help children and adults. But, often theres no need for a therapist. Learning how to regulate emotions more effectively also helps.
The key may be to learn how to look for the silver lining in each emotionally challenging situation before we have an emotional reaction, Dennis says.
For example, perhaps an upcoming job interview or school test would normally make you or your child anxiously fear failure. This fear leads to a cascade of negative emotions, stress, and physical distress. Instead, try to see the situation in a more positive light: An opportunity to share your expertise or enthusiasm, or to learn.
Causes Of Anxiety Related Back Pain
There are many different issues that can lead to back pain, and it is helpful to speak with a doctor to determine what your cause may be. When anxiety contributes to back pain, it is believed thatthe cause of back pain from anxiety is mostly secondary – meaning that anxiety isn’t literally causing back pain, but anxiety is causing behaviors that lead to back pain.
There are many theories that describe a situation where back pain may be directly caused by anxiety. The most common is theory is that anxiety, which causes muscle tension, may be tensing muscles in the upper or lower back, and that that muscle tension causes pain in anxiety sufferers.
Massage therapists will tell you that their most stressed clients often have knots in their muscles, especially in their shoulder and upper back, so anxiety-related back pain really does exist.
But anxiety may also be causing separate issues that simply lead to back pain. These include:
Anxiety isnt believed to cause severe back pain. But its also important to remember that there is often a back pain cycle. Those with greater perceived back pain are more likely to over-adjust in an attempt to avoid the pain. Chiropractors see this often. A patient with mild back pain will make their back pain worse because they’re constantly walking, sitting, or twisting in ways that are unnatural in an attempt to reduce that back pain.
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Are There Foods That Reduce Stomach Pain
Anxiety-related stomach pain is not usually the result of your diet , so there arent necessarily any dietary changes that can help reduce stomach pain.
That said, those with panic attacks are more prone to experiencing more severe stomach discomfort, even when no anxiety is present. In other words, when you have panic attacks, its possible to have stomach pain even without a panic attack.
Also, those with anxiety attacks and severe anxiety are prone to whats known as over-sensitization. That means that they are more likely to notice and feel smaller, normal changes in the body, and these can trigger an anxiety attack. So if your diet does contain foods that cause you gas, stomach discomfort, or mild indigestion, it may be best to avoid them because the slight amount of discomfort could feel worse than it should and may trigger a panic attack.
Thats why healthy eating is important in those that get stomach pain with anxiety. Make sure youre getting:
- Whole-Grain Carbohydrates
Also, if you suffer from stress-induced hyperacidity, then it is recommended that you consume dairy products and non-spicy foods. In moderate amounts, over-the-counter antacids may be needed as well.
In addition, if possible, try to avoid eating until youre too full. Those with severe anxiety sometimes interpret the full feeling as pain, and this could trigger a panic attack and further pain.
Saying Goodbye To Your Nervous Stomach
Dealing with anxiety and stomach pain is definitely not fun, and it can be tough to implement stress-relieving activities on a busy day. But over time, your incidents of stomach discomfort or nausea will fade into the past! Remember that consistency is key and that getting frustrated will only increase your stomach pains.
Try to be patient and give yourself some grace.
As always, be sure to talk with your doctor before implementing any major changes in your lifestyle. They can even connect you with valuable resources to make sure your new routine sticks and continues to prevent episodes of stomach discomfort.
For more information on exercise, lifestyle, and mental health, check out the rest of our blog!
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