About Pain & Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Most of the time it turns out to be caused not by anything physically wrong but is a sign of an underlying emotional stress or anxiety which the child may not be able to talk about and which causes quite genuine pain as though the bowels are 'all knotted up'. However before going any further down this route it is essential that she is thoroughly checked out by your GP to make sure that there is nothing physically wrong. Constipation, urine infections, throat, chest or bowel infections, viruses, inflammatory bowel disease (such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis), diabetes and abdominal migraine are just some of the important causes of abdominal pain which should not be missed. You ask about irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Yes this can cause stomach ache at this age. We do not know exactly what causes IBS but it seems that the bowels contract spasmodically rather than in smooth regular waves, causing trapped pockets of painful wind and bloating and diarrhoea or constipation. Certain factors seem to stir up IBS such as stress and anxiety, certain foods, a change in daily routine or diet, skipping meals or eating irregularly. It is worth looking at your daughter's diet and eating habits. It may be that a certain food may be an obvious culprit or that making sure she sits down calmly to eat three meals a day rather than grabbing a snack 'on the run' will help.
Diarrhea or constipation that occur in the absence of abdominal pain suggests something other than IBS. For any pain complaint, a doctor will usually ask specific questions to determine the diagnosis and treatment. Onset Common triggers for IBS pain include eating and waking up in the morning. In a broader sense, many patients can also trace the onset of symptoms to a stressful event or, for women, the beginning of a menstrual period. Duration Physicians diagnose IBS based on the 2006 Rome Criteria, which specifies that abdominal pain due to IBS must occur at least three days of each month. Individual pain episodes usually precede an alteration in bowel habits and improve or resolve with a bowel movement. You Might Also Like Suitable Diets for Location The location of IBS pain appears to vary by patient. According to Dr. Chung Owyang, chief of gastroenterology for the University of Michigan Health System, IBS pain localizes to the lower abdomen in 25 percent, the right side in 20 percent, the left side in 20 percent and the upper abdomen in 10 percent of patients.