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Tummy ache: Treatment, symptoms, advice and help

About tummy ache

The term refers to pain arising in the abdominal region, the area between the lower margin of the ribs above, the pelvic bone below and the flanks on each side.

Tummy ache: Incidence, age and sex

It is more common in children and almost every child experiences tummy ache now and then .More than ten per cent of schoolchildren have recurrent tummy ache for several weeks but a cause is found only in one in ten.

Signs and symptoms of tummy ache: Diagnosis

The pain may range in intensity from a mild tummy ache to severe acute pain. The pain is often non-specific and may be caused by a variety of conditions. The type and location of pain may help the physician find the cause. Usually blood tests, x-rays and imaging studies are ordered to help make a diagnosis.

Causes and prevention of tummy ache

In most of cases, the cause is never found and it settles without a diagnosis. Some common causes include constipation, psychological stress and inflammation of the lymph glands due to a viral infection known as mesenteric adenitis .Infections such as gastroenteritis, appendicitis, hepatitis, pyelonephritis, pneumonia and urinary tract infections may cause abdominal pain. Tummy ache may also result from obstruction of the intestines, a hernia, sickle cell disease, migraine, lead poisoning and conditions outside the abdomen such as hip problems.

Tummy ache: Complications

The tummy ache may be due to serious causes and it's important to rule these out as early as possible, especially in younger children, before they become very ill. The complication depends on the cause of tummy ache.

Tummy ache: Treatment

The child should lie in a comfortable position with a warm pack against their tummy. Simple painkillers like acetaminophen may be given. If tummy ache persists for more than a few hours or if there are other symptoms like fever, vomiting or a painful lump in the groin, a doctor needs to be consulted.