Health Tips
Common causes of stomach-ache
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Abdominal pain is a symptom of a variety of medical conditions. In majority of cases, it is due to comparatively harmless causes, which can be treated without admission to hospital. In less than 5% of the cases, the situation is an emergency and immediate hospitalization is required.

  • Indigestion commonly known as "tummy upset", it is caused by bad food habits like overeating, drinking too many fizzy drinks or eating junk food. Drinking warm water, keeping hot water bottle over the stomach or taking antacids may help to relieve the pain.
  • Constipation This may cause stomach ache, nausea and vomiting. The stools are hard and dry. A high fibre diet and gentle laxatives helps to relieve the condition.
  • Gastroenteritis It may be caused due to a viral or bacterial infection. The most evident symptom may be diarrhoea, which is associated with severe abdominal cramps, vomiting and fever. A stool examination can identify the cause.
  • Worm infestation caused mostly by roundworms, it can cause recurrent stomach ache in children, particularly those living in conditions with poor sanitation and contaminated water supply. A course of anti-worm medications usually cures the infection.
  • Chronic recurrent abdominal pain this type of pain is seen in late childhood (8-15 years) and more often in girls than in boys. Typically, there is a history of three or more episodes of severe abdominal pain over a period of 3-4 months. This is associated with vomiting and headache. This pain is usually psychological in origin, caused by worry, anxiety or as an attention seeking behavior. Any physical cause is excluded after thorough examination and investigations
  • Food allergies abdominal pain is due to allergy to certain food constituents such as lactose in milk. Certain food preservatives used in cold drinks to give colour or in pickles can also cause of stomach ache in children.
  • Drugs certain drugs like those given for epilepsy or malaria and some antibiotics may cause pain in children.