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?
What is it:Infection of the stomach or intestines
Typical Symptoms:Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cramping, muscleaches, slight fever
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
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
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)
What is it: Sore throat, can lead toabdominal pain
Typical Symptoms:Fever, enlarged “glands,” sore throat, redness inthroat
What is it:Lung infection, can lead to abdominal pain because of coughing
Typical Symptoms:Fever, cough
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
What is it:Reaction to lactose, a sugar found in milk and cheese
Typical Symptoms:Bloating, cramping pain
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
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)
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)
- abdominal pain