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Teenager with constant stomach pain (3 months +)

My 14 year old daughter has had constant stomach pains in her lower right side since the end Jan 2009.
It came on very suddenly as a sharp pain. She was admitted to hospital with suspected appedicitus but sent home again. Several admissions later and all sorts of tests have revealed nothing. Blood/urine tests have come back normal. She's had 3 ultrasounds - again they were normal. She had an x-ray which did show a small calcification around the pain area but the doctors said this was a red herring and not the cause of the pain. Upon having an MRI scan they said the calcification had now gone and everything looked normal? She and I are at breaking point - she has been unable to attend school since it started and this is having very serious effects on her education not to mention her health. She has been taking paracetamol, ibuprofen and codeine since it started. She has also had diclofenic and amitriptyline but nothing takes the pain away. She is not having any problems at school and prior to this was a happy and well teenager. She is having no problems at school with her education or bullying. I rang her consultant last week as she was in severe pain after attending school for a day but was told there is not much more they can do? Please, has anyone any ideas or suggestions???
26 Responses
Avatar universal
Hey, I was diagnosed with Crohns disease in December 2007 and I had pain in my lower right quadrant as well as diarrhea and nausea. So you may want to get the doctor to check for that or ulcerative colitis or IBS. I would suggest getting a good gastro doctor that is willing to stand by you until they figure out what is going on. Hope they figure it out.

Avatar universal
Thanks for replying. We are really at our wits end. I'll mention a gastro doctor to the GP and see what they say. Hope you are well.

Thanks again.
Avatar universal
My daughter started having severe abdominal pain when she was in 5th grade. It continued until senior year in high school. Took her out of school repeatedly. Multiple tests, er visits, it was a nightmare. She just wanted to be normal. Doctors tended to tell her and me it was in her head. They were never with us when she had the attacks. She would turn white, sweat and then cover her head and go to sleep to get away from the pain.  Finally one more test was done (not until senior year) by a whole different doctor(we had moved) that had not been done before, Gallbladder Scan. Before, just ultra-sounds where done and they kept saying everything looked fine. After the scan, they determined she had a non-functioning gall bladder and scheduled surgery right away. Her gall bladder was covered with lesions and was wrapped up clear into her liver. The doctors said it looked very suspicious, but no cancer was found. They figured all those years she was having gall bladder attacks from a bad gallbladder. She the gall bladder. They just don't expect kids to have bad gallbladders. It took her over a year to get back to feeling better.
Avatar universal
Has she been checked by a gynecologist?  It could be an ovarian cyst.  I have had surgery several times for them - the first time was when I was 16 and had been having severe pain in my lower right side for a long time.  The doctor said he couldn't find anything wrong and soon everyone was saying it was all in my head.  I kept saying something was very wrong and when I died I wanted "I told you I was sick" put on my headstone!  Then one early morning I got up to go to the bathroom and passed out.  I had always had heavy menstrual periods, and it had been especially heavy for several weeks.  I was rushed to the hospital and they thought I was either having a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy (which was ridiculous because I was an innocent 16 year old) but the doctor told my mom that was the only thing it could be.  You can imagine how she felt.  They did a D&C and discovered almost no blood in my uterus, so got permission from my mother to do exploratory surgery.  Turns out it was a ruptured ovarian cyst, which was causing internal bleeding and I nearly died.  All because of a cyst that should have been found months earlier.  I had two other episodes of ruptured ovarian cysts, and a total of 4 surgeries for them before having to finally have a complete hysterectomy at age 29.  Good luck, I hope they find out what is wrong with your daughter and it's not serious.
Avatar universal
Thanks for the replies. I hope you are both well now, it seems to be a common thing to tell you its all in your head.
My daughter has been seen by a gynecologist, they were the ones that organised the ultrasounds. They are still saying everything is normal. Since my first post, we have paid privately to see a pain consultant, he thought it could be something to do with nerve endings and gave her 4 injections directly into the area that is causing problems. Unfortunately this hasn't worked. We have a followup appt with them again in a few weeks time. In the meantime, her main consultant doesn't want to see her for another couple months and has referred her to the physcology team! (which has a 5 month waiting list!!!!!) She is still in pain but is now doing her best to try to lead a normal life, although this is proving difficult. I will keep you updated if anything changes.
914091 tn?1243109604
I to had a lot of pain in my abdominal area.  I took a test called Nuclear Medicine Hepatibiliary Scan I don't know if this test is for your daughter or not but it was the only test that found my problem (The Gallbladder) it was removed and I feel good now but they mess around for 3 years before I found this test myself.  It tracts the fluid as it runs throu your system.

Also I would say talk to your doctor about stronger pain medicine.

Note: When I had my attacts I would take my pain meds before a hot hot bath. The bath would take away the pain instantly (Make sure that the water is hot and covers the abdominal area) the bath would take away my pain while the pain meds had time to kick in.  I know this sound silly but it work for me every time (can't hurt to try it)  Hope you fine out soon.

God be with you guys
Avatar universal
Bless you hearts.  You need a doctor like House.  Hope you get it figured out.  Had my GB removed about 7 years ago and felt better then after my son 2 1/2 years ago I have pain similar to GB spasms and no doctor knows what is wrong with  me either.  One says kidney the other said bladder but my pain is more in  my back than abdomin.  Anyway, hope you are all well soon.

Avatar universal
Avatar universal
Thanks again for all you advise a support. Unfortunately we are still no further on. My daughter has now seen the physcology team a couple of times and while it helps her to talk about her feelings the pain is still on going and is now having a serious effect on her education. She has missed out on so much that when she takes her GCSE's next year she is unlikely to do too well. The pain clinic were helpful in thinking that the pain was caused by nerve endings, however, despite some extremly powerful drugs and finally some patches she is still in a lot of pain. No-one know knows what to do so they appear to have stopped worrying about it and have told her to live with it. Great help when some days she can barely walk. I have hit a solid brick wall and don't kno where else to go.
Avatar universal
My son is sick everyday.And my Dr. also thinks it's in his head.As a mother I want to scream.This is the hardest thing to watch on a daily basis.My son is also out of school,this is his senoir year and now I don't know if he will graduate.He is going for a barium enama Tuesday and it is hard to find a Dr. because he will be 18 in May and I don't want to have to change them.He has had every test out there and they are all normal.He also has had no problems in school and really wants and trys  to go but he just can't make it for a full day.Now he is out with a tudor but he is missing  o ut on the senoir year thing.I am soooo sick of people and friends saying he is faking it.They do not know what we are going through.This has put his life on hold .Sorry if I sounded bitchy but I just needed to vent...lol , hope your daughter and my son get better soon.take care
Avatar universal
Hi Gretagirl, I hope that the barium enama shows up something to put you both out of this awful situation. It is a strange feeling when they tell you its all clear/normal. You get the relief that there is nothing serious wrong but the frustration that they still don't know what is causing the problem. Don't worrying about sounding off .... you carry on, I know exactly how you are feeling. Take care x
Avatar universal
OMG my son is right now mirroring the same thing.  He is in his Senior year and now is hospital homebound---he has missed so much of his senior year it is unreal.

I need 'house'

Avatar universal
It's the chair! LOL.  I just went through this.  Turns out it's chronic tendon pain from sitting in my computer chair.  I lead forward a lot and the chair is soft.  Irritates the muscles and tendons in that area.  Different chair, better posture. . . problem solved (after $700 CT scan/doctors visit/CBC)
Avatar universal
My son has abdominal pain as well, for the last 3 years.  He has missed school for a year now, he is on homebound schooling with the district.  Do you have any other symptoms besides the pain.  

We went through the round of doctors, each telling us it was anxiety.  We saw a diagnostician who they said was like "Dr House".  Well he wasn't.  He spoke to my son for 10 minutes, gave him an examination, and told me my son was depressed.  Anyway,  my son finally got a diagnosis of autonomic dysfunction.  A psychologist he was seeing (who said it wasn't anxiety) researched what he was telling her.  She sent us to a cardiologist (who'd have thunk).  That's where we got our diagnosis.

The autonomic nervous system runs everything that is involuntary( blood pressure, digestion, body temp, heart rate, etc...  If the wrong signals are being sent to the organs it can make you sick.

Look into autonomic dysfunction--It took us 3 years to get the right diagnosis.  Most doctors are not up on this and therefore hard to get diagnosed.  We live in St Louis and have to travel to Cleveland to get help.  Not a lot of doctors out there for this.
Avatar universal
My daughter is exactly the same.  She is 15 now and has had stomach pains for nearly a year.  She had tests and found out she had H Pylori and took the tablets.  She has been clear of that for about 6 months now but still the stomach pains are there.  She has lost loads of schooling.  She also was admitted and tested for appendicitis but came back normal as did her blood and urine samples.  She has gone back to school this week and is in agony.  She is being sent home.  I am at my wits end.  She just wants the stomach pain to go away.  
1225228 tn?1267117760
Hi !
Just to let you know that Nausea can be traced to an infected gall bladder.
my wife had this problem.
the duct was partially blocked with very small stones, which were not considered serious during an ultrasound.
But all the same it caused internal infection and nausea.
they admitted my wife into hospital and injected her with antibiotics in IV, for many days, and her body swelled up like a balloon due to some allergy or something to the medicines.
Finally it was solved in another hospital when they cleaned out her gall bladder duct of some small dust.

Avatar universal
Thanks for your messages. My daughter has now been sufffering for 13months and we are still now further on. They will not take out her appendix because the scans/ultra sound don't show anything up. She has had to drop all but 3 of her GCSE's which she is due to do in the next few months. She is still seeing a physcologist (been seeing her for 5 months now) but is still no better. In fact sometimes she is in so much pain she cannot move. Her consultant has given up and says it is all in her head. I had a second opinion last year from another consultant who told my daughter "to get on with it and go to school!" great help he was! I just don't know where to go next?
Avatar universal
Just to let you know after 3 years of constant pain, being told it was all in her head, physcologists, scans, pills etc etc, my daughter had her appendix removed last week and they discovered scar tissue "glued" tightly around the area of the pain she has experienced. He freed it whilst taking out the appendix and hey presto, no more pain!!
What a shame it has taken 3 years and ruined her education and early working life.
Still, all I care about is that she is now pain free x
Avatar universal
my daughter has celiacs and chronic abdominal pain...with no relief .  Did you ever figure out the source of her pain
Avatar universal
Hi my 15 year old daughter in exact same boat!!! Got told pain all in her head even got put in mental hospital for eight days, yes she does experience depression but who wouldn't if you felt like crap constantly and pain never stops! She has low stomach pain, low back pain,acid reflux bad especially picking up stuff or bending over, she vomits and gags quiet regularly. Had blood work tested positive for h pylori got antibodics, did endoscope byopsys state np more h pylori after her antibodics. Ct scan shows noyhing, xrays show nothing gastro refused to do the camera the other way now states my kid can return to school just no heavy lifing or running rest of the year, seriously did this dr never attend high school? Backpack alone will make her vomit plus instrument and god forbid she has attacks there were shes throwing up violently screaming from pain or crap herself because she gets diaeria and constipation back and forth and has no schedule to go by for eating can only eat when her body allows her to be able to keep most of it down. Im going crazy to shes been this way since her return from a 17 day trip to Australia summer 2012!!!! She has missed more school then attended this year. She in advanced classes and normally loves school and trys to go everyday. She is ate up now with terrible guilt to because im disabled and im lieratly worn out and can't work my issues because scared to leave her or shes to sick to travel. What is wrong with drs now days? I need house!!!! We feel ur pain believe me please feel free to contact me directly im very interested that our daughters are having and getting same treatment from drs and still in pain! ***@**** (all lowercase) hope to hear from you soon.
Crazy mama also,
Avatar universal
My 14 yr old had her gallbladder out now two months later she is complaining that her right side hurts. The doctor did an uper GI and found nothing. They just did blood work it showed that her vituim d is at 17% so they put her on vituim d pills that she takes once a week for 12 weeks then they are going to test her again to see if that helped. It doesn't help with the pain she feels like she is going to through up after she eats. The school is on our backs because she has missed so much. I'm at my wits end can anyone help me?
Avatar universal
My 15 year old daughter is going through the same thing Jean! It started a year ago and they did an ultrasound of her Gall Bladder and there was so much sludge and debris in there. Her normal doctor said she was to young to have her Gall Bladder out.. Pain kept so I brought her back in and seen the surgeon that takes out the Gall Bladder and she said it needs to be removed right away. She was pain free for about a year and now she is back to square one. We are taking her up to see a GI specialist to see what they find out. I'm wondering maybe if she has a food allergy now. Hoping for some answers. Hope you guys do too!!
Avatar universal
I am so glad I found this site. My daughter who is 14 has been having pain issues since August. The first episode was a severe attack and I rushed her to the ER thinking appendicitis. No, but while doing the CAT scan they found water on her kidney (a sign of stones) however no stones. We saw a pediatric urology specialist. She said her kidneys are a variation of " normal" and since he had never had a UTI or kidney infection she certain it was her ovaries. I was inclined to believe her as my daughter gets doubled over in pain the first two days of her menstral cycle. She said at the first sign of her period take two aleeve and two ibuprofen. That worked for two months now she has stomach pain constantly and has missed a ton of school. Last week I took her in again, this time they did an X-ray and found she was terribly constipated. Started her on Myralx and suppositories to clear her out. She has been having bowel movements but SO much pain. I had her back two days ago and the Dr said its still constipation and keep her on the Myralax. She woke up this morning screaming with pain.....I don't know what to do!
Avatar universal
My daughter is in exactly the same situation and has just turned 16 years. It happened during her GCSEs in June, and was admittted to hospital for suspected appendicitis. All tests came back clear. She seemed to get over it but last week it reared its ugly head again, and she has been in agony since. She has been sent for tets on her bowl (IBS) as a possible suspect but I'm not convinced. She has terrible pain in right lower side, grumbling noises,which can cause nausea and sweating. I'm worried that this is going to affect her education as she has just started A Levels if its not managed. The Dr has given her painkillers but I'm worried that she will rely on this to manage the pain on a long term basis. I want them to treat the cause and not just the symptoms.  I have read numerous posts about this issue in adults as well as adolences, so there must be a medical reason...? It can't be all in our heads now can it????
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