Chronic Abdominal Pain In Children
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Chronic Abdominal Pain In Children (Inpatient Care) Care Guide
- Chronic Abdominal Pain In Children
- Chronic Abdominal Pain In Children Aftercare Instructions
- Chronic Abdominal Pain In Children Discharge Care
- Chronic Abdominal Pain In Children Inpatient Care
- En Espanol
- Children ages 5 to 17 may have chronic abdominal (ab-DOM-i-nal) pain. Chronic abdominal pain occurs in your child's abdomen at least three times in three months. Chronic means long-lasting, or something that happens over and over. The abdomen is the area between the chest and the hips, and contains organs of the digestive system. These organs include the stomach (belly), intestines (bowel), liver, gallbladder, pancreas, and spleen. The digestive system in your child's body breaks down and absorbs what he eats and drinks.
- Your child's chronic abdominal pain may be caused by infection, inflammation (swelling), menstrual cycle (period) in females, poor sleep, or stress. Your child's bowel may not empty right, or may be too relaxed. The cause of your child's abdominal pain may be unknown. Tell your child's caregiver if there are any abdominal problems in your family. Your child may need to have blood, urine or stool tests, x-rays, or other testing done. Treatment is done to help decrease your child's pain and symptoms. Treatment may include medicines, diet changes, or talk therapy. Rarely, children may need surgery to treat their abdominal pain. With treatment, your child's abdominal pain may decrease, happen less, or go away. It is possible that your child may have chronic abdominal pain as an adult, with or without treatment.
You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's caregivers to decide what care you want for your child.
Medicines may cause your child to have an allergic reaction, nausea (upset stomach), dry mouth, or sleepiness. He may bleed or get an infection if he has surgery. If your child does not get needed treatment, the pain and problems may get worse. Even with treatment, your child may have chronic abdominal pain as an adult. Call or ask your caregiver if you are worried or have questions about your child's treatment.
WHILE YOU ARE HERE:
A consent form is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that your child may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your child's medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done to your child. Make sure all of your questions are answered.
Stay with your child for comfort and support as often as possible while he is in the hospital. Ask another family member or someone close to the family to stay with your child when you cannot be there. Bring items from home that will comfort your child, such as a favorite blanket or toy.
Caregivers will check your child's blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and temperature. They will also ask you or your child about his pain. These vital signs give caregivers information about your child's current health.
Caregivers may give your child the following medicines to help decrease his abdominal pain:
- Antacids: This medicine decreases stomach acid that may be causing your child pain.
- Antibiotics: This medicine is given to help prevent or treat an infection caused by bacteria.
- Antidiarrheal medicine: This medicine is given to decrease how much diarrhea your child is having. Some of these medicines coat the intestine (bowel) and make the BM less watery. Other antidiarrheal medicine works by slowing down how fast his bowel is moving.
- Antinausea medicine: This medicine may be given to calm your child's stomach and control vomiting (throwing up).
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors: These medicines may be used to help decrease your child's anxiety. These medicines also may help to relax the top part of your child's abdomen.
- Abdominal ultrasound: This is a test that is done to see inside your child's abdomen. Sound waves are used to show pictures of your child's abdomen on a TV-like screen. X-rays may also be done. These are pictures taken of the organs inside your child's abdomen. Caregivers use these pictures to look for problems such as blocked intestines.
- Colonoscopy: This is a test that is done to look at your child's colon. A tube with a light on the end will be put into your child's anus (rear end). The tube is then moved up into his colon for caregivers to see if there are any problems.
- CT scan: This test is also called a CAT scan. An x-ray and computer are used to take pictures of your child's body. Your child may be given dye, also called contrast, before the test. Tell the caregiver if your child is allergic to dye, iodine, or seafood.
- Endoscopy: For this test, a scope is used to see the inside of your child's digestive tract. A scope is a long, bendable tube with a light on the end of it. A camera may be hooked to the scope to take pictures. During an endoscopy, caregivers may find problems with how your child's digestive tract is working. Samples may be taken from your child's digestive tract and sent to a lab for tests.
- MRI: This test is called magnetic resonance imaging. During the MRI, pictures are taken of your child's abdomen. Your child will need to lie still during his MRI. Never enter the MRI room with an oxygen tank, wrist watch, or any other metal objects. This can cause serious injury.
- Pregnancy test: If your daughter has started having periods, a pregnancy test may be done.
- Stool and urine samples: A sample of your child's stool (BM) and urine is collected and sent to a lab for tests. The BM and urine may show if a germ is causing his abdominal pain. This helps caregivers learn what medicine is best to treat your child.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy: This therapy is done to help your child learn to cope with stressful things. Your child will learn how to decrease or cope with his abdominal pain if it happens when he is scared or worried.
- Surgery: Surgery is rarely needed, but may be done if there is something wrong with your child's abdomen. This could be because an organ in your child's abdomen is out of place, or not working right. A blocked intestine is an example of why your child may need surgery. Your child's caregiver will let you know if your child may need surgery.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.