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Child having painful and bloated tummy. Suggest some effective treatment

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Pediatrician, Neonatology
Practicing since : 1970
Answered : 891 Questions
hi my son is 3 years old and has v bloated tummy all the time its worse at the end of the day .also at nite when in bed can wake 3 to 5 times a nite with pain in tummy then he passes wind and goes back 2 sleep . he also wants to eat but has 4 or5 mouth fulls and is full.or sick .thanks v worried mum.
Posted Sun, 4 Nov 2012 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Uma Rajah Ananth 28 minutes later
Thanks for writing to us.
I can very well understand your concern because it is difficult to see a small child suffering and as a mom you are observing him and feel helpless!
Before I comment on the possibilities, I would like to ask you some questions.
1. Is he growing well and gaining weight normally?
2. What is his dietary pattern? ( does he have preference for any particular food?)
3. Are you able to correlate the pain to any particular food, egg, citrus fruits etc and since how long this is happening?
4. Is he constipated?
5. Has he undergone ultrasound abdomen or any other investigations(blood work)?

Your answers will help me narrow down amongst the following possibilities
Food intolerance especially milk intolerance
Electrolyte disturbances like low potassium in blood
Sub acute obstruction due to bands

I suggest you consult a pediatric gastroenterologist and get him examined and investigated.
Awaiting your reply
Good luck
Dr Uma

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Child having painful and bloated tummy. Suggest some effective treatment 2 hours later
hi there. yes seems 2 b growin well not sure about weight no loss. no tests done. opens bowels every day.always had big tummy but i think gettin bigger looks pregnant its all up top if get wot i mean. does not eat fruit really. the wind and sick goin on for 6 months gettin worse. he does like yogurt. we eat pasta rice meat potaoes veg. and bread.also tends 2 choke alot on foods but thought not chewin properly.? thank you
Answered by Dr. Uma Rajah Ananth 7 hours later
Thanks for the details.

The food you are giving is ok.

If the abdomen is so big as you mention but then has no constipation, vomiting, eating fairly well, he may not have any major problem hopefully.

I suggest you go to the pediatric gastro specialist.

He needs an ultrasound first which will rule out any organ enlargement inside.

If ultrasound is normal, next step will be blood tests to rule out electrolyte disturbances like low potassium and liver function tests. If that is also normal, it may be just lax abdominal wall.

Anyway, please let the doctor examine him and confirm.

Wishing your son all the best.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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