my 9 year old daughter has been having stomach pains for over a year now, mainly in the mornings. Sometimes is hurts so bad she crys. I have gave her gas meds and prilosec for it. I think it helps, but it keeps coming back.I thought maybe her stomach just wasn't awake enough to eat in the mornings so we decided to let her eat about an hour or two after she has been up, it still happened though. We took her to the ER a couple of days ago because of the pain,however, it went to her chest this time. They ran stomach and chest xray which was normal. All her vitals were normal as well. They thought her nerves were upset but there is nothing going on in her life that would make her feel that way. She loves school and she is a very out going child. I don't understand what is causing this . Any thoughts?
It could be GERD (reflux) - especially since you said it happens mainly in the mornings. a lot of times GERD symptoms will be worse in the morning simply from laying down all night and the reflux happening while you're laying down.
A few things you might have her try:
a) Eat several small meals throughout the day rather than three larger meals - try not to overfill the tummy
b) don't lay down or go to bed for at least two hours after eating
c) limit caffeine (sodas, chocolate, tea)
d) avoid spicy foods
e) elevate the head of her bed - you can purchase bed risers at places like Walmart - they are sold ina set of 4, however, you only need to use two of them to raise just the head of the bed - this will help eliminate the stomach acid/contents from leaking up into the esophagus when she goes to bed. You can try propping her with pillows, however, that is not optimal because pillows move or get moved during the night and end up not doing what they're supposed to and also, sometimes propping on pillows can actually put the stomach in a "crunched" position, which can actually cause more GERD symptoms.
Now a couple of questions:
a) Have they checked her gall bladder? Gall bladder pain can definitely go into the stomach and chest and even back
b) Does it hurt more AFTER she eats or when her tummy is empty? Does it matter what she eats - is there anything that she eats/drinks that makes it feel better?
c) Have you been able to attribute it to any particular food or type of food - such as gluten (wheat, barley, oats)? dairy? soy? As a trial, you may want to try elminating some things from her diet to see if it makes any diffference and then slowly adding them back in - add one back in for a couple of days and see how that does before adding the next thing back.
d) Where abouts in her stomach does it hurt? Upper right? Lower right? Center? Upper Left? Lower left? Any diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, constipation?
I hope some of these suggestions are helpful and hope she gets to feeling better soon!
Just a few ideas for you. Pay attention to what you give her to eat in the mornings, it may be related to something she always eats in the morning. Some people get gas from fruit and that can hurt like the devil, best way to do fruit is have her eat it before her meal, and also if she is getting gas from fruit or in general, ordinary Alka Seltzer Original will make it go away.
Another thing is, could be she has a tendency to have constipation, which usually happens from lack of enough water and enough fiber. If someone is constipated and they try to eat, it will create gas and acid. Also, if a person is constipated, and when they eat and the food really has nowhere to go, this can cause the bowels to try to move against all odds, and when waste will not go anywhere, the person winds up with lots of pain and very bad cramps in the intestines. So, you must find out if your daughter is constipated. If morning is when she usually goes to the bathroom as a regular thing, I'd put my money on constipation.
So, you need to ask your daughter about her bowel movements, like this, "Is it coming out every day?" If she says no or anything close to that or reluctance to respond, that means she has a little constipation, and you will need to first find a suppository or drinkable/eatable laxative for children that will help waste move, just long enough to get her digestion straight right away, and if it doesn't work then go to a doctor and let him prescribe something better than over the counter, and at the same time give her a glass of water with each meal and give her enough fiber foods thru the day (includes oat cereal, whole wheat bread, vegies like spinach with a little salt and pepper, frozen brocholi cooked with butter, dark green salads, and sometimes spagetti will help stubborn digestion).
For breakfast, and I apologize if you already kind of know this stuff, but most kids really like to eat cream of wheat cereal with milk poured on top and some sugar, couple that with orange juice, and every other day some scrambled eggs on the side, all this should go down well. The orange juice may be a problem, tho, it IS acidic, in which case switch over to V-8 perhaps or another juice with lots of Vitamin C. Cream of wheat is good because it is warm, very easy to digest. Now, milk, lots of kids are allergic, and there are these pill type chewables they can take when they have milk.
Cheerios is another great way to get oats, great fiber. Milk and sweet rolls or wheat toast are fine. A fun meal on weekends is toastable waffles (the kind with wheat, if they have them), with butter and either honey or syrup, and milk, with a side of scrambled eggs with cheese in them and small amount of OJ. Always cook eggs with a little olive oil, and in my opinion REAL butter is better than any other, as long as you only use it sparingly. Bacon may be a bit much, by the way. Boiled eggs can actually cause a little acid and discomfort in the tummy. . But if you can get even ONE combination that works, and you are certain she is NOT constipated, just feed her that and that alone. You can even ask her what she would like to have.
If you try some of the ideas that have been posted and she is not one bit better, you will have to take her to her pediatrician, he should check for constipation, he should talk to your daughter about what the pain feels like (encourage her to talk to this doc), and he ought to give her some sort of medicines besides what you've already tried, and make sure the doc knows she almost always gets this in the morning. Hopefully the doc will recognize what is wrong with your daughter's digestion.
One more thing, on the off chance that she IS under some sort of stress, there are ways of asking this sort of thing without introducing fear in her and ruin any chance to share with you. Since this always happens in the morning, if there is some activity she frequently does right after breakfast and away from the home, one day just ask her if she would like a week away form that routine. You can guage if there's a problem with the activity by how relieved she seems to not have to do that activity. Also, see if there's any difference on weekends when she's in school, and if she doesn't have tummy upset then but always does on school days, you must find out what bothers her and then you must either talk to her teacher or better yet the principal about this, so they can watch for any antics from other students that are making her very uncomfortable and unhappy.
I didn't mean to write a book. I just remember being that age, and having been around my own family's children, that it should be a time when she is not sick, she is fairly happy with school (except for homework), and she is active and carefree. Speaking of homework, help her if she needs it, could be that's out of whack somehow. Gosh, there are just so many possibilities. I just hope SOMEthing of what i say fits what is going on with your daughter. GG
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