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Suffering from loss of appetite, stomach ache and feeling lethargy. Using calpol. Any suggestions?

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7 year old girl, loss of appetite, tummy ache, eaten little for 4 days, lethargy, she is drinking a lot of Yakult probiotic yoghurt drink which worries me, I am trying to make her drink water. Has temperature of over 38 degrees and am using calpol to reduce it
Posted Tue, 6 Nov 2012 in Abdominal Pain
Answered by Dr. Asra Ishtiaq Ahmed 2 hours later
Hello there.

Thanks for writing to us.

From the complaints you have described, your child has been suffering from a gastrointestinal problem considering that she has loss of appetite and stomach ache. Contaminated food and water are likely sources of infection leading to gastroenteritis. Taking probiotic youghurt may in fact prove to be beneficial in such cases as it helps to replenish the intestinal flora that maintain a normal XXXXXXX gut environment. Bringing down the fever with paracetamol(calpol) is a wise decision and please ensure that the dosing and frequency is correct. Since she is not eating well for the last 4 days, she can get dehydrated and you need to watch out for signs like decreased urine output, irritability, dry skin and dry eyes and dizziness. If her condition does not improve, please do not hesitate to show her to your doctor.

I would be grateful if you could provide a little more detail regarding her tummy ache. Does the pain aggravate or get relieved with food intake ? Or does it have any relation with food at all ? PUD or Peptic Ulcer Disease presents with tummy pain and reduced appetite and in majority of cases , caused by H.pylori, an organism that can be eliminated from the gut with an effective course of antibiotics.

However it is prudent to know that all the above symptoms might be part of a prodrome of viral hepatitis if we must consider other possibilities. Loss of appetite with lethargy are the first few features of hepatitis and the child may present with very vague symptoms early in the course of disease. If the symptoms continue to persist, a liver function test will aid in the diagnosis.

Lastly, in all girls with fever and lethargy, please enquire any history of burning micturation or increased urinary frequency to rule out the possibility of UTI (Urinary Tract Infection). She would require a urine routine test to confirm the same.

I hope I have responded to your query to your satisfaction. Please do not hesitate to revert back to me with any medical detail, query or report.

Wishing your child a speedy recovery.

Take care.
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