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Children's Health

Tummy ache

05/29/2007

Question:

My 6 yr old daughter has had a tummy ache for almost 3 weeks now. A few days after it started, we saw the doctor because the pain was constant, and she was crying at times. The doctor said she was constipated and prescribed Miralax. After a week of taking it, nothing had changed. She saw the doctor again, who suggested Tums or Maalox. After 10 days of Miralax and Tums, and after a whole day of crying, I took her to the emergency room. Her X-ray showed no signs of constipation, and her blood work showed a possibility of a viral stomach infection. She was prescribed Bentyl for pain and recomended a simple diet. She took Bentyl for 4 days and we followed up with her pediatrician, who recommended to see a gastrointestinal doctor if the problem persisted. She is not taking anything at the moment. Her diet has always been healthy, and she has an appetite. I don`t see any other signs except for the tummy ache. She goes to bed and she wakes up with it. Her pediatrician asked her about school, but I don`t see a problem there. She loves her teacher, she has friends, and she never once complained about kindergarten. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you very much for your time.

Answer:

Thank you very much for the question.  This is a very specific question which I cannot answer without examining your daughter and reviewing her medical records.  As you probably know, abdominal pain is a common problem in young children.  There are a number of potential sources for the pain. From your description, it sounds like your pediatrician has been treating some of the potential causes. Some concerning signs for this abdominal pain are:

-  bloody bowel movements

-  vomiting bile or blood

-  Constitutional symptoms (fever, chills, weight loss)

-  painful urination

I would discuss this with your child's pediatrician.

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Response by:

Stephen E Wilson, MD, MSc Stephen E Wilson, MD, MSc
Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati