Stomach Pain Ache in Children
If your child is getting regular stomach pain, then it is important to take them to see the GP. If there is nothing wrong physically, then the problem may be due to anxiety.
We are all aware that if we feel anxious or nervous, then we get ‘butterflies’ or we feel nauseous. With some individuals, this feeling can feel more severe.
Children find it difficult to explain if they are feeling anxious and sometimes they are completely unaware of any subconscious worries. The only symptom they may have is stomach aches. This sometimes can be associated with nausea and vomiting The child can then think they are suffering from an illness or are going to sick. This, in turn, can cause more anxiety and worsening symptoms. Fear of being sick can be common.
Why does Anxiety Cause Stomach Pain?
There is a direct link between anxiety and the stomach. When we are anxious and go into ‘fight or flight’ our bodies borrow some of the energy from our stomach and bowels to make our muscles stronger and faster. Consequently, this diversion of blood can leave us feeling nauseous. It is not unusual to feel like we need to urinate or defecate. These symptoms are completely safe and reversible. Our mind and bodies are just trying to help us and protect us.
Due to the link between our stomach, bowels and anxiety, children can suffer from IBS. We don’t know why some individuals are more prone to these symptoms and there is lots of research being done (please see my IBS page or the IBS therapists register). I am seeing an increasing number of University students suffering from irritable bowel symptoms and this is no surprise when you think of the pressure on young adults when they go away to University and have to suddenly survive on their own in a new environment, as well as all the academic work.