Abdominal Pain at Child

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What it feels like: varies from a gnawing pain near the top of your abdomen, to cramping pain in your lower abdomen, to sharp shoot-ing pains in many areas.

What can make it worse: food, medications, movement, position,bowel movements, emotional stress.

What can make it better: food or milk, antacids, medications, posi-tion, bowel movements, passing gas, burping.

What your doctor will ask you and your child about: headache,coughing, vomiting, changes in bowel habits, the color of the stool,weight loss, constipation, blood or worms in stool, flank pain, bloodin the urine, painful urination, joint pains, attention-seeking behavior.

Your doctor will want to know if your child or anyone in yourfamily has had any of these conditions: recent “stomach bug,”sickle-cell disease, mumps, or strep throat.

Your doctor will want to know whether your home has lead-based paint, and if you’ve seen your child eating paint chips.

Your doctor will want to know if your child is taking any med-ications.

Your doctor will do a physical examination including the fol-lowing: temperature, blood pressure, pulse, weight, listening to yourchild’s chest with a stethoscope, pushing on your child’s abdomen,listening to your child’s abdomen with a stethoscope, testing yourchild’s stool for blood, thorough skin examination, tests of yourchild’s hip joint for pain.

Your doctor may do the following blood tests: blood count, bloodchemistry, liver function tests.

 

WHAT CAN CAUSE ABDOMINAL PAIN, AND WHAT IS TYPICAL FOR EACH CAUSE?
Cause:Gastroenteritis
What is it:Infection of the stomach or intestines
Typical Symptoms:Nausea, vomiting,  diarrhea, cramping, muscleaches, slight fever

Cause:Unclear cause
What is it:Alternating diarrhea and constipation, sometimes  occurring during periods of anxiety
Typicacl Symptoms:Attention-seeking behavior, cramping, diarrhea,  constipation, with minimal  pain, no fever

Cause:Colic
What is it:Crying spells seen  between the ages of  2 weeks and 4 months, probably due to abdominal pain
Typical Symptoms:Crying spells, usually  resolves on its own by age of 4 months

Cause:Constipation
What is it:Constipation
Typical Symptoms: Diffuse pain

Cause:Appendicitis (unlikely before the age of  3 years)
What is it: Infection or inflammation of the appendix, a small  pouch of the large   intestine
Typical Symptoms: Pain in the lower right part  of the abdomen, low-grade  fever (less than 101  degrees F)

Cause: Pharyngitis
What is it: Sore throat, can lead toabdominal pain
Typical Symptoms:Fever, enlarged “glands,” sore throat, redness inthroat

Cause: Pneumonia
What is it:Lung infection, can lead  to abdominal pain because of coughing
Typical Symptoms:Fever, cough

Cause:Mumps
What is it:Infection that causes the  area around the cheeks to swell, now prevented in large part by vaccination (MMR = measles, mumps, rubella)
Typical Symptoms: Swollen cheeks, fever

Cause:Lactose  intolerance
What is it:Reaction to lactose, a   sugar found in milk and cheese
Typical Symptoms:Bloating, cramping pain

Cause: Sickle-celdisease
What is it: Painful “crises” caused   by misshapen red blood  cells, an inherited   disease found most often in African Americans
Typical Symptoms: Severe pain in abdomen  and joints, sweating, sometimes fever

Cause: Intussuscepti(common  between ageof 5 months and 2 years)
What is it:“Telescoping” of tubes of  intestines into one   another
Typical Symptoms: Slight fever, acute sudden  pain, vomiting, often  decreased bowel  movements

Cause:Ulcer
What is it: Severe irritation of the  stomach or intestinal  lining
Typical Symptoms:Burning upper abdominal  pain that is worse when  lying down, sometimesrelieved by antacids andmade worse by aspirin oribuprofen

Cause:Henoch- Schönlein purpura
What is it:Inflammation of the   blood vessels that often   follows respiratory  infections
Typical Symptoms:Joint pain, vomiting, dis- tended belly, bruising  (occurs later)

Cause:Hepatitis  (unlikely)
What is it:Infection or inflammationof the liver, can be  caused by viruses
Typical Symptoms:Weakness, fatigue, right  upper abdominal pain,  jaundice (skin taking on ayellowish appearance)

 

 

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