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Child has stomach upset, sore limbs, no vomiting, bloating. Now lethargic and coughing. Is it a stubborn virus?

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My 9-year-old girl has been ill for weeks, started as a stomach upset and sore or tired limbs, no vomiting but "whirly" and bloated stomach, according to our GP a virus/flu. No medication, just some 7-up to get her through the first few days. Weeks later I thought she was getting better but today she's crying, feeling rotten, a bit dizzy and queasy. No fever, no vomiting, but still a bit pale and she's unusually lethargic. Slight cough, but not worrying. Is it just a stubborn virus or could it be something else? I don't want her to miss any more days from school!
Posted Mon, 21 May 2012 in Child Health
 
 
Answered by Dr. Aashish Raghu 1 hour later
Hi XXXXXXX

Thanks for the query.

You have provided good information and I appreciate it. In order to guide you appropriately, I will need a few more details regarding your problem, so please answer the following questions in as much detail as possible.

Did your daughter start out with fever and cough which progressed to stomach upset, or vice-versa?

Does your daughter have fever, wheezing, breathing problems, diarrhea, jaundice, seizures or epileptic fits?

Is your daughter accepting food and water well?


When your daughter cries, are the tears from the eyes seen, or are her eyes dry?

Is there any rash developed on your daughter's body recently?

Is your daughter on any medication?

In children her age, the virus is usually responsible in causing a flu which will cause fever, coughing, difficulty in breathing, sweating, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Usually such viral infection does not require specific treatment but more of a symptomatic treatment just to take care and prevent any complications like dehydration, hyperthermia, seizures, etc.

Usually for vomiting or diarrhea, one of the best measures to prevent dehydration is the use of Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) concocted by the WHO. This ORS powder should be dissolved in one liter of previously boiled and cooled water and administered to the child as much as she wants. But if there are severe signs of dehydration like lethargy, lack of acceptance of food, dry eyes during crying etc. it usually indicates hospital management with intravenous fluids.

Flu usually subsides on its own but it would be wise to show your daughter to her Pediatrician as she is getting worse at the instant.

Continue feeding her the regular food that she consumes, administer home available fluids like natural fruit juice, tender coconut water, lemon juice in sips to prevent dehydration and vomiting as well.

Kindly do answer the above mentioned queries for me to better guide you in this regard.

I hope I have answered your query. I will be available to answer your follow up queries.

Wishing for a speedy recovery.

Regards,







Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Child has stomach upset, sore limbs, no vomiting, bloating. Now lethargic and coughing. Is it a stubborn virus? 53 minutes later
Thanks so much for your speedy response. I'll try and answer your questions:
Did your daughter start out with fever and cough which progressed to stomach upset, or vice-versa? - Vice-versa, it started with a stomach upset, but not the usual stomach bug as there was no vomiting. She described a "whirly" stomach, very bloated and no appetite for a good few days. This is over 3 weeks ago. The cough only started the last few days. Not a very chesty cough.
Does your daughter have fever, wheezing, breathing problems, diarrhea, jaundice, seizures or epileptic fits? None of those really, although she said she felt like she had difficulty breathing in school one day last week. She's describing a "chest burn", not sure exactly what she means by that!
Is your daughter accepting food and water well? Drinking OK, eating some but not as much as she normally would. She doesn't even feel like candy, and then I know she's not 100% ! Trying to get her to drink plenty of water, juice and fruit smoothies, and she likes that.
When your daughter cries, are the tears from the eyes seen, or are her eyes dry? Yes, tears, I don't think she's dehydrated.
Is there any rash developed on your daughter's body recently? No rash.
Is your daughter on any medication? No medication apart from some Paracetemol on a couple of occasions over the last few weeks (not sure that made any difference to her wellbeing).
Thanks again for your advice, best regards Lin
Follow-up: Child has stomach upset, sore limbs, no vomiting, bloating. Now lethargic and coughing. Is it a stubborn virus? 2 minutes later
Sorry, also want to add that she's had headaches over these weeks, and general dizzy/ woozy spells.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Aashish Raghu 1 hour later
Hi XXXXXXX

Thanks for your reply.

Your answers to my questions are very informative. It is good that she is being kept well hydrated with the fluids.

The chest-burn she is experiencing is because of possible gastritis which may have occurred because of a virus which may be causing a kind of stomach flu. This can also explain her reduced appetite which usually is an associated complaint in gastritis.

Viral infection usually causes the stomach flu and is associated with terrible headaches. In most cases Paracetamol should relieve these headaches.

Paracetamol will be good at preventing her from getting fever as well, which will also improve her activity indirectly, should there be an infective process in her body.

It is advisable to consult her Pediatrician following her sudden worsening of symptoms as this could indicate use of more specific medication to clear a possible infection. Certain laboratory tests may also be required to diagnose other associated problems like anemia, kidney or liver dysfunction.

Keep her well hydrated and nourished as you are doing, as well as get her Pediatrician consult as soon as possible for her to get maximum benefit and early recovery with least chance of any complications.

Wishing a speedy recovery.

Regards,


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