My daughters stomach hurts all of the time

Jade - posted on 12/18/2008 ( 22 moms have responded )

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My 4 year old daughter tells me her stomach hurts all of the time. Sometimes I think she tells me this whenever she is tired or doesn't want to do something. Sometimes I think she might actually hurt. It never lasts long but it happens several times a week. She still plays? Should we take her to the doctor?

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Kristin - posted on 12/18/2008

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Wow, I've been wondering the same thing this week about my 5yo daughter. And here are a whole bunch of answers and suggestions! Thanks!

[deleted account]

My daughter complained of tummy aches starting about the age of 3? She would complain of them sometimes in the morning before day care, so of course we thought it was just a nervous tummy because she was fine when she came home from day care and I checked with them to see how she was at day care and if she complained of tummy aches and they said no. This slowly progressed over the next couple of years into more then just in the mornings, it was at night before bed as well sometimes, and then she started waking us up in the middle of the night about the age of 5 or 6 because she had vomitted, sometimes going to bed saying that she had a belly ache, usually not. This kept up a few times a month over the next couple of years. We may have had a few months off in between but she would wake up vomitting a lot during the night and sometimes vomit up to 15 times by morning. Mind you, during this time, we had had her into the pediatrician on and off and they would put it to a virus or her doctor would say, if she does it one more time we will test her to see if it is something more significant and then we would have our few months off and then she would start again. We started noticing a pattern of what she ate the nights that she threw up were a lot of the times either pizza with sausage, tomato based product, anything greasy. We also noticed that she did it when she was stressed out about something, good or bad stress. Well, the vomiting continued on and off up through the age of 8 when we had had enough and took her in and they did a thorough history and figured out that she has Cyclic Vomitting Syndrome or it is also called abdominal migraine. Since diagnosed, they have put her on Omeprazole (sprinkles on applesauce) for acid reflux which has cut her tummy aches tremendously and given me anti-nausea suppositories for when she starts with her vomitting (it typically starts at night, in the middle of the night) because it is the abdominal migraine that makes her tummy hurt so bad. She is just 9 now and doing pretty good. We still have a lot of issues vomiting, but not the constant complaint of belly aches like before the Omeprazole. My son is also on Omeprazole liquid for acid reflux and he has been on it since the age of 1 and he is 5 now. So, the point to my story is that hopefully if anybody reads this and has a child that has any of these symptoms, don't ignore your childs symptoms and just put it to being a nervous stomach or them just making it up because that is what we did and our poor child had an actual disease. She, to this day, says we made her feel bad when we did not believe her which breaks my heart. Unfortunately Cyclic Vomitting Syndrome is hard to diagnose because there is not a blood test or x-rays, you have to go by history. But Jade, your child may very well not be making it up and like Paulette had mentioned, I would journal the times she complains, what she has eaten that day, when she complains what are you doing at the time, does she have easy bowel movements, does she vomit at all, does she clear her throat a lot (a sign of reflux) especially after eating. All of this is what the doctor is going to be asking. Good luck to you. I am interested to hear what you decide to do and if you find anything out if you do decide to take her.

Cheryl - posted on 12/19/2008

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Just one point i wanted to add to all the mums great advice. My 3 year old says her tummy hurts atleast once a day..then its normally followed by a fart !! ...lol... Babies and toddlers get wind still but cant tell us, i think its because our 3 year olds are now old enough to vocalize their pain that we are hearing alot about sore bellies, whereas b4 they would just be grumpy in pain without being able to tell us where it hurts. It may sound funny, but when my daughter tells me she has a sore tummy, i ask her is she needs to fart, she normally says YES and thats it..pain gone !!!! :)

Connie - posted on 12/18/2008

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My daughter has the same complaint but as she gets older is gets more tough she has been to the doctors and to the hospital. They have said to me that if there was something really wrong she would have a fever be losing lots of weight and not eating but now she ends up pucking and bulkles in pain.

[deleted account]

Connie, I don't know if you read my post which was very longwinded (sorry) but I was reading yours and my daughter also had tummy complaints and does the puking thing with horrible tummy pain and it ended up being Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome/abdominal migraine. It sounds like yours has been going on long enough that there is a history there. Something to definitely consider. It is very hard to diagnose because there is not a test but they go by the history. My daughter is on Omeprazole (sprinkles on applesauce) for the tummy aches and Phenergan suppositories that we give her for anti-nausea at the onset of vomiting. Just a thought for you. I know how frustrating it can be.

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Nina - posted on 11/17/2011

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yes,take her to hospital and get her checked.my son had the same problem and when i took him to hospital he was diagnosed with H-PYLORI.please take her for check up

Stacie - posted on 12/19/2008

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I have a 3 year old son. Recently, he has been telling me he has a headache, a stomachache, etc. in the morning but sometimes during the day. When I couldn't figure out a physical reason for his tummy to hurt I finally asked what a "tummy ache" means. His reply was "I get to stay home". I have NO idea of how he developed that idea, but it could be that she wants to stay home or doesn't want to do something...I think it is wise to check out the physical piece, but if that is ruled out, exploring if she is using that to express other feelings....just a thought..

Jade - posted on 12/19/2008

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Thanks everyone. Luckily there has been no vomiting. I took her to the doctor yesterday. He told me to do the journaling thing. I will keep you up to date.

Ashley - posted on 12/19/2008

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My three year old daughter does the same thing, some times i think shes play n but the other day i found out she actually knows what shes talking about it was hurting her but we tried to explain to her to lay down and she would feel better she says no my tummy hurts , also think she does it to get out of doing things too .

Paulette - posted on 12/18/2008

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Hi Jade, In another post you mentioned that your son had went through acid reflux. Have you considered that may be the case with your daughter? She is older and would present differently than a baby. I would still journal the details so you know what direction to go whether food allergy or acid reflux or just a plea for attention. Hope everything get better.

Jen - posted on 12/18/2008

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How long has she been complaining of this tummy pain? What do her poops look and smell like? I know that sounds gross to ask but consistant tummy pain was one of the only symptoms my 2nd DD had and she ended up being dignosed with Celiac Disease.



I know that there are many innocent things that can be causing your DD pain in her tummy~ anything from feeling a little stressed, too much acid in her tummy and other light issues but it would be a good idea to have a doctor check into it if it has been going on for a while( more than a month).



Journaling is an excellet idea. It is great to be able to take this information to the dr.



If you have any questions just let me know.



Jen

[deleted account]

my daughters stomach hurts all the time and she is almost three.i learned her patterns and found she is actualy hungry,when she says it hurts.but also i would get her checked just in case.they didnt realy do much for me and she had been throwing up the wk i took her(but that was just a coinsedence)and he basicaly said she didnt have a fever so not to worry.

Debbie - posted on 12/18/2008

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My daughter tells me it daily - usually right before nap, or if I've asked her to do something or she thinks she has to go somewhere she doesn't want to. She is 4 as well. Honestly to this point I have brushed it off as a stage. I don't want to read into it as I think it will make her do it more. So I've let this happen almost daily for 3 weeks, but she forgets about it shortly after saying it. She is 4 as well.

Edel - posted on 12/18/2008

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does she have a consistant cough..or coughing spasms. My daughter has complained on and off for the past 2 years and the Dr felt it was reflux from coughing...it could happen while eating....shed go from starving to full in minutes and then complain of a pain...or if she was hungry..there it would be...it would pass if she lay down.....stopping fizzy drinks made a difference too.

[deleted account]

My daughter's stomach hurt all the time and it was acid reflux, have your child checked just in case because it's not always obvious and there's many children who suffer from acid reflux and go undiagnosed.

Melissa - posted on 12/18/2008

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My 2 yr old does the same thing.. I told the doctor but he did not do any checking maybe because I really felt like deep down she was using it because she knew mommy gave her attention those times she really was hurting and I would ask her if her tummy hurt . Then she would say that anytime she was hungry and other times when she was not wanting to do something . Amazing how She did not have a tummy hurt when I told her she could go lay on her bed to feel better when mommy had another fun activity on in the kitchen. I believe though deep down you have to go by your gut and if you don't feel peace about it ...go see the doc and have your journal of times and what she ate when she said her tummy hurt....leave your journal in the kitchen so you can easily just jot down what she ate and put a check by it if she complained within 30 minutes to an hour o her tummy hurting.

Sarah - posted on 12/18/2008

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Does she cry when her tummy hurts? my son say's the same thing he is 3 years old. My son is a very picky eater and we realized when he said his tummy hurt he actually wanted something to eat. but when his tummy really hurts he crys in pain. if this is a constant tummy pain it wouldn't hurt to take her to the doctor. it could just be a little air that needs to escape.

Darrelle - posted on 12/18/2008

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I don't know why, but my mother tells me that I had the same problem when I was a kid. Sometimes it was just gas pains but oddly enough it was more of a problem if I had to stand for a long time. No idea why... I'm fine now and I've never seen a doctor. My advice would be to see if she can describe the "pain" and see if it has any thing to do with gas or see if there is a pattern. It wouldn't hurt to ask the doctor at your next appointment but I wouldn't panic unless it changes or gets worse.

Paulette - posted on 12/18/2008

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I would consider journaling....what she ate when she tells you her belly hurts and keep track the quantity of times for each food and with as much detail as possible. It'll help tell you if your dealing with food allergies...especially dairy. It will help when you take her to the doctor because it will help rule out things too. Dairy is in a lot of things. It can be listed as casein, caseinate, lactose and whey. It is in breads, cereals, etc. You'd be surprised where. I went through my childhood with my stomache hurting only to discover in my teen years, that when I did not eat as much dairy I had fewer tummy aches. If her tummy has hurt for more than a week and she is running a temperature I would then take her to the doctor. If no fever and the tummy aches have gone on for more than two weeks I would take her to the doctor so they can rule things out too. But before you think it is more or not...I would have a talk with her and ask her if something or someone is troubling her. She maybe internalizing it.

Wendy - posted on 12/18/2008

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Does it only happen when she doesn't want to do something or is it at random? My daughter did this for a short while when I asked her to do something she didn't want to do. I just made her lay down in her bed whenever her belly hurt and if she didn't want to do that she would gladly do what I had originally asked. It wasn't long before she stopped using that as an excuse for not doing what I asked because she didn't want to stay in her bed.

At another time she did however complain about her stomach hurting at random times it would come on suddenly but then she would go on as normal after a moment. I finally figured out that she was constipated. She could go a little but not much, not often and it was hard stool. I didn't think it was constipation because she was still having bowel movements but when I figured it out I felt really bad for not recognizing that she really was hurting. She was afraid to go and that compacted the stool in her intestines which causes cramping. I took her to see her doctor when apple juice didn't do the trick and she took a laxative for about a week to make sure she flushed out her system. She hasn't really had any problems since and I make sure to include apple in some form (sliced, apple juice or apple sauce) as a regular part of her diet. Hope this helps.

Melissa - posted on 12/18/2008

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My daughter is 2 and a half and she says the same thing (only once and a while tho) I didn't worry cause its not a everyday thing I thought it was just growing pains or shes hungry and doesn't understand the feeling.

I think if its been a couple times a week and for quite a few weeks I would take her to the Doc. its better to go and nothing be the matter with her then to just ignore it and something be wrong. :)

User - posted on 12/18/2008

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yes, just to be sure. I'd also get her on acidopholus. I put my kid on it. It helps w/tummy issues. Sometimes,like us kids get stressed or have "toddler" tummy. Does she have poops with the belly ache? It could be an excuse,but you dont want to over look anything.

[deleted account]

my daughters stomach hurts all the time and she is almost three.i learned her patterns and found she is actualy hungry,when she says it hurts.but also i would get her checked just in case.they didnt realy do much for me and she had been throwing up the wk i took her(but that was just a coinsedence)and he basicaly said she didnt have a fever so not to worry.

[deleted account]

My daughter's stomach hurt all the time and it was acid reflux, have your child checked just in case because it's not always obvious and there's many children who suffer from acid reflux and go undiagnosed.

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