Together with Miraco Nutripharm, let’s find out more about abdominal pain in children and the possible causes and management of this disorder!
A collaboration between BYKidO and Miraco Nutripharm, we will be sharing 4 articles on children’s gut health over the next 4 weeks, covering a range of common gastrointestinal disorders:
- Abdominal Pain
For the first article, let’s find out more about abdominal pain in children - the possible causes and management of this disorder!
What is Abdominal Pain?
Source: kwancagi.c / Shutterstock
Abdominal pain, also known as stomachache, is 1 of the most common complaints during childhood. In Asia, around 16.5% of children is affected by abdominal pain, unrelated to other diseases.1
Abdominal pain is a general discomfort in the belly area that can be present or experienced as cramping, aches and uncomfortable sensations.
Signs & Symptoms of Abdominal Pain
Abdominal pain may be accompanied by other signs and symptoms including nausea, constipation, diarrhea, bloating and loss of appetite.
If your child has the following symptoms or characteristics, you should consider seeking medical attention2:
- Child is less than 3 months old
- Child is unable to pass stool, especially if accompanied with vomiting
- Blood in stools or vomits
- Sudden, sharp abdominal pain or prolonged, intense pain
- Recent injury to the abdomen of the child
- Difficulty breathing
- Fever or chill sensation
- Other concurrent diseases
What are the Common Causes of Abdominal Pain?
Abdominal pain may be caused by various gastrointestinal causes, such as:
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Food intolerance such as gluten or lactose intolerance
Abdominal pain may also be caused by other non-gastrointestinal causes, such as:
- Acute poisoning
- Other medical conditions
Management of Abdominal Pain
Abdominal pain can usually be managed at home if the symptoms are mild, with no alarming accompanying signs and symptoms. Otherwise, please consult a doctor or medical professional.
Here are some ways to manage abdominal pain:
- Keep a food diary
Keeping track of what your child eats enables you to identify foods that causes abdominal pain. These foods are known as trigger foods.
- Avoid trigger foods
Table showing common foods that are high and low in FODMAP. Source: practicallynutritious.com
After identifying trigger foods, avoid these foods or reduce the intake of such foods to prevent abdominal pain in the future. Common trigger foods include fatty foods, dairy products or foods high in FODMAP (Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols).3
FODMAPs are short chain carbohydrates that our small intestine absorbs poorly. Some patients experience gastrointestinal distress after eating them.4
- Clear the bowels
For some children, abdominal pain could be due to constipation. Therefore, letting them sit on the toilet bowl to clear their bowels may be an effective way to alleviate abdominal pain.
- Rub your child’s tummy
Sometimes, all your child needs are some love and concern from you! Rubbing your child’s tummy could distract their attention from the pain and make them feel less uncomfortable and more loved.
- Engage in fun activities
You may also want to engage in some activities that your child enjoys to distract their attention from the stomachache. However, do avoid strenuous activities as it may worsen the symptoms.
- Take probiotics
Probiotics can also help with abdominal pain. Probiotics help to balance the intestinal microflora, helping with abdominal disorders such as abdominal pain, bloating, constipation and diarrhea.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), probiotics are defined as ‘Live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host’.5
To choose a probiotic, consider the following criteria:
- Live culture – to ensure that these good bacteria can confer health benefits
- Multiple strains – to address a wider range of gastrointestinal indications
- Adequate amount of bacteria – measured in Colony Forming Units (CFU)
- Fits the intended indication that you need – for abdominal pain and gut health in this case!
As part of the collaboration between BYKidO & Miraco Nutripharm, we are currently giving away 3 sets of probiotics free each week – 1 full size bottle of BioDrop plus 1 full box of Pro-Gut™, worth $89.90, starting from 25/01/2022.
Simply register via the link below! Winners will be contacted via email or phone.
Next week, we will be sharing about Bloating & how to prevent bloating in your child during the festive CNY season!
- Korterink, J. J., Diederen, K., Benninga, M. A., & Tabbers, M. M. (2015). Epidemiology of pediatric functional abdominal pain disorders: A meta-analysis. PLOS ONE, 10(5). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0126982
- Encyclopedia, M. and 12, A., 2022. Abdominal pain - children under age 12: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. [online] Medlineplus.gov. Available at: <https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007504.htm> [Accessed 10 January 2022].
- American College of Gastroenterology. 2022. Functional Abdominal Pain in Children - American College of Gastroenterology. [online] Available at: <https://gi.org/topics/functional-abdominal-pain-in-children/> [Accessed 10 January 2022].
- org. 2022. FODMAP Diet: What You Need to Know. [online] Available at: <https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/fodmap-diet-what-you-need-to-know> [Accessed 10 January 2022].
- int. 2022. [online] Available at: <https://www.who.int/foodsafety/fs_management/en/probiotic_guidelines.pdf> [Accessed 10 January 2022].
Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only and does not provide or constitute any medical advice. You should not use the information for diagnosing or treating a health problem. All information stated in this article is accurate at time of publication and is subjected to change without notice. Miraco Nutripharm Pte Ltd will not be held accountable for the management of patients, including but not limited to their health outcomes.