Pain in abdomen is one of the most common complaints found in children. There are ample reasons for abdomen pain in children most of them are trivial. But sometimes they may be life threatening. Therefore even if the cause seems to be small, it is necessary to consult the doctor. Even for the doctor tummy ache can be a challenging task to diagnose.
Abdominal pain can be constant or colicky (spasmodic pain). In between the two episodes of colic, pain may disappear completely and the child appears normal. If the cause is minor, pain may subside after sometime with simple home remedies.However, if the cause is serious medical attention is necessary. Let us find the reasons for pain in lower abdomen.
Causes Of Lower Abdominal Pain In Children
Abdominal pain occurs as a result of inflammation of any organ present in the abdomen. Most often the pain arises from intestine, stomach, urinary bladder, liver etc.
- Constipation is one of the most common reasons for lower abdomen pain in children.
- Presence of intestinal worms can give rise to pain in abdomen. Hookworm, roundworm etc are the common parasites that reside in the intestine. They cause inflammation in the walls of intestine. Large number of roundworms can get entangled and form a bolus. They can cause intestinal obstruction.
- Urinary tract infection is another major reason for lower abdominal pain in children.
- Pathogens causing bacillary dysentery can produce pain in abdomen with concomitant symptoms such as blood and mucus in stool, vomiting, fever etc.
- Appendicitis, diabetes and lead poisoning are some more reasons for pain in lower abdomen in children.
- Children suffering from sickle cell disease.
- Injury to the abdomen.
- Allergy to certain foods, formation of gases or overeating can also produce abdominal pain.
- Pain in abdomen is also common when a child suffers from hepatitis. It can be viral hepatitis or obstructive jaundice.
- Ovarian lesions must be considered in girls, especially in the older girls.
- Acute rheumatic fever, infectious mononeucleosis must also be considered a diagnostic possibility.
- Torsion of testes in children may produce excruciating lower abdominal pain together with swelling of testes.
- Functional pain or psychological abdominal pain is common among children.
Symptoms Of Pain In Lower Abdomen
An elder child may complain of abdominal pain and may also locate the exact region of pain. However, infants may express abdominal pain by crying and curling their legs towards the abdomen. The face of baby becomes red and flushed. If the pain is colicky, the baby cries with each episode of spasm.
- The child may pass flatus when there is excessive gas in the abdomen. Pain may last for few hours if the problem is minor. However, medical attention is needed if the pain lasts for more than 12 hours.
- Vomiting is associated symptom in many cases, especially if it is gastroenteritis, appendicitis or intestinal obstruction.
- Fever is a common associated problem with many diseases.
- There may be history of constipation.
- Associated diarrhea is present with intestinal infection.
- In testicular torsion, child becomes pale, sweats and vomits. Testes become tender and swollen. The child complains of pain in lower abdomen.
Diagnosis Of Lower Abdominal Pain
Pain in lower abdomen can be diagnosed with physical examination and proper medical history. If the child is able to speak, he may pin point the area of pain. In infants history from parents about the food eaten, abdominal tenderness on clinical examination, excessive crying are some of the ways to diagnose.
- Child may be constipated.
- There may be history of diarrhea in other family members.
- Passage of worms from anus or in stool suggests worm infestation.
- If there is urinary tract infection, he may have difficulty while passing urine. The child may cry while passing urine.
- Some girls may complain of pain in abdomen before the menses.
Natural Remedies For Baby Stomach Pain
In most cases when the problem is minor, such as constipation, pain is relieved after the bowel movement.
- Place a warm water bag over the tummy. It alleviates pain in abdomen.
- Avoid giving the child heavy meal. Instead give him small and light meals. Such as tomato or vegetable soups, rice etc. Feed him in lesser quantity but more often.
- Give him small quantity of water frequently, especially if the child has diarrhea.
- Avoid any self medication. Consult the pediatrician before giving any medicine.
- Avoid milk and milk products when the pain is acute.
- Lemon tea with honey is beneficial to alleviate abdomen pain in children.
- Grind few pieces of ginger and extract juice from it. Apply it over the painful area of the lower abdomen. It is an effective home remedy to alleviate abdominal pain in children.
- Soak aniseed for two to three hours. Give half glass of strained liquid two times in a day. Add small amount of sugar for taste.