A constant stomach ache and fatigue in a child might indicate several conditions. In most cases, the problems are a result of lifestyle choices or temporary illness. To determine the cause of the symptoms, note any other symptoms your child is having and how long the symptoms have lasted. Contact your pediatrician if your child is in severe pain or her symptoms last for more than a few days.
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Diet and Exercise
Sugary foods, inadequate hydration, low activity levels and soda can contribute to nausea and fatigue. Sodas and processed sugars cause a sugary rush that leads to fatigue. Dehydration makes it more difficult for a child's body to metabolize some foods and frequently causes severe fatigue. Children who get insufficient exercise may also experience fatigue. Carefully examine your child's diet for unhealthy choices. Eliminate sodas and sugary drinks and replace them with water.
Allergies and Sensitivities
Many children have food allergies or sensitivities. Allergies typically provoke severe reactions such as vomiting or a rash. Sensitivities, however, may cause fatigue, stomach discomfort and general feelings of discomfort and ill health. Keep a log of the foods your child eats and note any symptoms he has after eating. Eliminate any foods that correlate to your child's symptoms.
Influenza and the common cold frequently cause stomach aches. Though both illnesses can cause fatigue, the flu is more commonly associated with low energy and lethargy. If your child's symptoms suddenly appeared without any other lifestyle change, she may have a virus.
There are several other, less common conditions that may cause stomach problems and fatigue. Anxiety and depression are particularly likely among teenagers and children under stress. Serious health problems such as chronic illnesses and autoimmune disorders are also possible. Consult your pediatrician to determine the precise cause of your child's symptoms.
- "The Portable Pediatrician"; William Sears, et al.;2011
- "Caring For Your Baby and Young Child, 5th Edition"; American Academy of Pediatrics; 2009
- "Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care, 8th Edition"; Benjamin Spock; 2004
- "Health, Safety and Nutrition for the Young Child"; Lynn R. Marotz; 2011