She says her tummy hurts - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-13-2010, 12:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My daughter (22 months) is always saying her tummy hurts. She has no other signs of digestive distress (poops are perfectly normal, no stinky gas, no signs of discomfort). We are already gluten free. I usually respond by suggesting that she try to go poop (she is potty "trained") or eat something. She also has been nursing like a newborn for the past month.

So, I guess my question is: is it possible to have something going on with her stomach that would give no outward signs of digestive issues? I have to wonder if she is just saying that phrase like she says other phrases (such as, "ouchy-boo-boo" while pointing to an old scrape on her knee that surely doesn't hurt anymore). I'm reluctant to take her to a doctor because if she is just kind of saying it to try out the phrase then it seems like making a big deal out of it will just get her more focused on saying it. But if her stomach really does hurt, then I certainly want to figure out why!

Oh, and she almost always follows "tummy hurts" with the phrase "Be OK" which she also says in regards to just about everything.

: Mountain biking mama to one beautiful baby girl, born happily at home 8/26/2008.
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Old 07-13-2010, 12:45 AM
 
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Have you tried asking her to point with one figure where it hurts?

Your description of what you are saying and the fact she is nursing all the time makes me think of acid reflux.

Heidi
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Old 07-13-2010, 05:28 AM
 
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Is it after eating anything specific? My DD has been having tummy troubles and we finally narrowed it down to milk. She is lactose intolerant as far as we can tell.

: Robyn : Increasingly crunchy Mama to Kya (8) , Makena (7) , and Keegan (4) :
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Old 07-13-2010, 01:23 PM
 
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For a lot of kids that age, "My tummy hurts" can mean a whole lot of things. It can mean they're hungry, thirsty, tired, nervous, stressed, worried, anxious etc.....

I'm not saying to ignore it but, my DD used to say that a lot to express other things she didn't have the words for. I just gave hugs and cuddles and sympathy and it seemed to make it better.
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Old 07-13-2010, 04:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Have you tried asking her to point with one figure where it hurts?
I've asked her several times now. She generally points right to her belly button, but sometimes to a spot on her left side, and sometimes just about anywhere (even moves her finger to various spots).

Quote:
Is it after eating anything specific? My DD has been having tummy troubles and we finally narrowed it down to milk. She is lactose intolerant as far as we can tell.
I've had fears of it being dairy, but I made sure neither of us had any since yesterday morning, and she has continued to say it, even first thing this morning, and this afternoon.

Quote:
For a lot of kids that age, "My tummy hurts" can mean a whole lot of things. It can mean they're hungry, thirsty, tired, nervous, stressed, worried, anxious etc.....
My gut (bad pun) is telling me that it is more along these lines. It is so hard though, it isn't that I don't believe her, and I really don't want to brush off her communication, but it just seems unrealistic to me that she is constantly having a tummy ache without any other symptoms or signs.

Thanks for everyone's thoughts, I welcome any more too!

: Mountain biking mama to one beautiful baby girl, born happily at home 8/26/2008.
Her signature would be: Sleep is for the Weak
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Old 07-13-2010, 09:22 PM
 
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Dairy would take at least 4 days to get out of your system. With my kids, they always drank/nursed more when they were reacting to a food (and dairy is the #1 allergy and intolerance, so odds are good, or bad depending on how you look at it). If you've stayed off it today, could you both stay off it another week and see if that helps. Is she sleeping all night, or waking up to nurse a lot?

Kathy, mother of 3, wife of 1. My new recipe blog: www.kathysrecipebox.wordpress.com (no longer searchable by allergen, but at least it doesn't have a virus!)
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Old 07-14-2010, 02:14 AM
 
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I, too, immediately thought dairy. A friend's daughter had a tummy ache almost every day. They took *most* dairy out and saw some improvement, but things turned completely around when they removed ALL dairy (including the dairy-based probiotic).

DS, 10/07. Allergies: peanut, egg, wheat. We've added dairy back in. And taken it back out again. It causes sandpaper skin with itchy patches and thrashing during sleep. Due w/ #2 late April, 2012.

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Old 07-14-2010, 05:31 PM
 
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My oldest daughter had random tummy troubles from about that age also. She's now five and things have improved. Things we've learned:

* Definitely an improvement with less dairy in her diet. She's not dairy-free (we love our ice cream in this family!), but she's off milk and prefers not to eat cheese. Yogurt just kills her stomach so I generally don't let her have that. I also find that the dairy+sugar stuff is worse (except ice cream, unless she's not telling me about that because she wants to keep eating it). So, chocolate milk is an instant tummy ache, as is sweetened yogurt.
* Early on, she didn't differentiate between the "I'm going to need to poop soon" feeling and a stomach ache
* I think that we (meaning DD, me, my mom, my grandmom) are prone to displacing our emotional anxiety in our stomachs, so if I help her manage anxiety, she's better.

Stacey teaching teens to read & write... Daddy plays ska, DD1 (7/05) loves trees & princesses, & DD2 (3/10) loves mommy-milk! Please get your kids tested for lead.
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Old 07-14-2010, 05:37 PM
 
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My DD says this sometimes when she wants a hug. Sometimes I think she says her tummy hurts when she is sad or distressed over something. I know that I felt emotions in my gut when I was a kid.

I cut milk out of my DDs diet and replaced it with goats milk about 8 weeks ago. The bloating and constipation are totally gone. I have not had to intervene for her constipation since cutting out the milk. I cant tell you how happy that makes me. She still eats yogurt and cheese occasionally but it doesnt seem to bother her like the milk did.

Me(33), Mama to a crazy DD (6), Wife to a wonderful mountain man(32) BF my babe for 2 years
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Old 07-14-2010, 05:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I really appreciate all your personal stories.

I have wondered about yogurt specifically, more so than cheese (and she doesn't do any straight milk...still nurses so much, why bother?). In fact, I've wondered about yogurt and my own stomach issues. So staceychev, you might really be on to something here. Cutting yogurt would be easy; cutting cheese (ha!) would be really hard for us.

I'll give that a try and see what happens...

: Mountain biking mama to one beautiful baby girl, born happily at home 8/26/2008.
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Old 07-17-2010, 10:00 PM
 
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I had to go dairy free when nursing my newborn son as he had colic, which improved dramatically but not completely within a couple of days. Stopped the constant crying *such a relief* and was also great for losing those extra post-baby pounds

When he was later diagnosed GF and lactose intolerant, we eliminated dairy including cheese from his diet for 10 (long ) months. Fortunately we discovered that he can eat hard cheese (edam mainly) even though he can't tolerate milk, cream or butter. Planning to test yoghurt tolerance soon (the ones without cream).

Eliminating cheese is hard - but you can now buy soy cheeses, some of which are OK. For pizza and toasties I used to make up a eggy mixture with creamed corn, salami, bacon etc as a topping. Looked a bit different but tasted OK.
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