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Child has constipation and stomachache with sulphur smelling belches. What treatment should be done?

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Emergency Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 2006
Answered : 300 Questions
Hello ~ my daughter is awake at 2 a.m. with sulphur-smelling belches and complaining that her stomach hurts. She often deals with constipation and says that this pain is different. She describes the pain as "down the middle of her stomach". She is 8 years old, weight approx 72 pounds.
Posted Mon, 18 Feb 2013 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Sheeba Stephen 2 hours later
Hello and welcome to Healthcare Magic. Thanks for your query.

From the description of your daughter's symptoms, it appears that she may be suffering from a stomach or duodenal ulcers. This is caused due to excessive acid production which can cause ulcers in the stomach or duodenum(the first part of the intestine). This condition can commonly present with stomach pain and foul-smelling belching. Specifically, duodenal ulcers typically present with disturbing pain in the early mornings (around 2 - 3 am).

Now, you don't have to get too worried about this problem or the medical terms which I have used. It is a fairly common problem and is caused due to irregular and unhealthy dietary habits or due to a bacteria called H. pylori in the stomach.

I would suggest the following remedial measures:
1) Over-the-counter antacids can provide symptomatic relief. There are also medication which can decrease the excess acid formation in the stomach as well as eradicate the H. pylori infection. You will have to see a doctor for these medication.

2) I would also advise you to follow dietary and lifestyle modifications, in order to tackle this problem:
- Avoid foods that cause gastric irritation like spicy foods, carbonated drinks, coffee, tea, etc.
- Ensure that your daughter eats at regular intervals and avoid delaying meals.
- Increase the fibre content in her diet - she should take more of fresh fruits and XXXXXXX vegetables.
- Give her more of milk and yogurt.
- Avoid eating outside; especially avoid junk food and fast foods.
- She should also adopt a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and proper sleep habits.
(Regular exercise is very important as she seems overweight for her age)

Wish you all the best.

Dr. Sheeba Stephen
Emergency Medicine Specialist
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