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Abdominal Pain – Causes and Treatments

CAUSES:

  • Psychological factors.
  • Medical causes.
  • Surgical conditions.

abdominal pain

PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS:

Symptoms:

  • Recurrent pain is felt around the naval, but in most cases the pain is not severe.
  • It may rarely wake him up the child from sleep.
  • This pain may occur for few moments or in certain rare cases can last for few hours.
  • Children having abdominal pain seem to be quite intelligent.


Causes:

  • Emotionally upset of being bullied in school.
  • Afraidness of the new teacher.
  • Fear of examination and anxiety.
  • Getting upset because of quarrel between parents.

Treatment:

  • If symptoms persist, consult a doctor or can even refer a psychiatrist or a psychologist.
  • Treatment mainly lies in understanding the child, getting clear knowledge about his problem, helping him rather than being harsh.

MEDICAL CAUSES:

Medical causes for abdominal pain are mainly due to infections in the stomach caused due to various worms caused due to ingestion of mature eggs of common worms like roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, whipworms etc., It must not be misled that excess consumption of sugar foods causes worm infection, but it is advisable to reduce the consumption of those foods.

ROUND WORMS:

Round worms are biological termed as Ascariasis; they measure about 15 to 35cms in length and 3 to 4mm in diameter. Round worms actually get spread through soil infected by fecous and also through excreta or by flies.

Symptoms:

  • Mostly there are no symptoms.
  • In certain cases, pain in abdomen.
  • Distension of the abdomen.
  • Intestinal obstruction resulting in absence of stools and vomiting.
  • Grinding the teeth while sleeping is not caused due to worms.

Prevention:

  • Hands must be washed thoroughly with soap and water before meal and after going to the toilet.

Treatment:

  • Mebendazole or albendazole is prescribed by doctors for this disorder.

THREADWORMS:

These are the most common and are more of a nuisance and not serious.

Symptoms:

  • Children may not sleep well due to itching in and around the anus.
  • These female threadworms actually come out of the large intestine during night time and lay the eggs around the anus, which get transmitted from child under the fingernails and through contamination of food.
  • When these worms are swallowed, they grow to adulthood.

Treatment:

  • 100mg Mebendazole for children and adults with dosage repeating after 2 weeks.
  • For special cases dosage may be repeated every 3 months.
Mebendazole tablets

Mebendazole tablets

HOOKWORMS:

Hookworms are the worms that attach themselves to the upper part of the small intestine and suck blood for their growth, thus causing anaemia. Hookworms grow into adults within our body.

Treatment:

  • Mebendazole doses are given for the treatment of hookworms.

WHIPWORMS:

This is caused due to ingestion of eggs passed in the stools and they get spread through flies and unclean hands. Whipworms rarely cause abdomen pain.

Treatment:

  • Mebendazole or albendazole.

TAPEWORMS:

Tapeworms have several segments and are several meters long and they inhibit in the intestine. Tapeworms are infected due to eating pork or beef that are not cooked properly.

Symptoms:

  • Mild pain in abdomen.
  • In rare cases, they may from cysts in the child’s brain called as neurocysticercosis, which can lead to headaches, fits or even death.

Prevention:

  • Meat must be cooked well.
  • Personal hygiene is very important.

Treatment:

  • Milcosamide is useful in removal of adult worms.
  • Praziquantel and albendazole for cysts affecting the brain.

OTHER MEDICAL CAUSES:

Apart from these worms, other causes like bacillary dysentery, giardiasis, ancoebiasis, food poisoning, vomiting, tuberculosis of abdomen, sore throat and constipation also account for medical causes.

SURGICAL CONDITION:

APPENDICITIS:

Appendicitis refers to inflammation of the appendix. This condition if not detected may lead to a serious state known as peritonitis, where the appendix inflamed bursts open.

Symptoms:

  • Persistent pain in abdomen.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Vomiting.
  • Fever.

Treatment:

  • It needs immediate attention to the paediatric surgeon.

INTESTINAL OBSTRUCTION:

Intestinal obstruction is a very serious surgical condition.

Causes:

  • The causes include congenital obstruction when a group of roundworms block the intestine, intus-susception and inguinal hernia obstruction.

Symptoms:

  • Abdominal pain.
  • Constipation.
  • Distension of abdomen.
  • Projective vomiting, which may be green in colour or even contain faeces.
  • Child will like to lie quietly in spite of the pain.
Child lying quietly inspite of the pain

Child lying quietly inspite of the pain

Treatment:

  • Immediate diagnosis by surgeon is necessary.

OTHER CAUSE – ABDOMINAL PAIN:

Various other causes of abdominal pain in children include-

  • Allergy to animal milk.
  • Colic in small infants.
  • Dietary indiscretion.
  • Abdominal epilepsy.
  • Urinary infection.
  • Hepatitis.
  • Malaria.
  • Hunger with low blood sugar.
  • Pain felt in chest in case of children having pneumonia or pleural infection.

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