Pains in the stomach should not be ignored.
Have you heard your children say this before? Functional abdominal pain (FAP) is extremely common; most children going through school experience it at one time or another. Children often experience this pain when they are worried, excited or hungry; however it can be from an organic disorder. Meaning, it can be a gastrointestinal disorder when there is no specific structural, infectious, inflammatory or biochemical cause.
Most current research is in general agreement that FAP is linked to an altered gut-brain interaction. Children are highly sensitive to influences around them and can experience pain as a response to these influences. Stimuli that would not normally cause pain can produce exaggerated symptoms in a child with altered gut-brain interaction. The triggers can be physiological stimuli, psychological stimuli or other stressful stimuli. The most common triggers are stress in the home or at school.
A few pointers on what can be done with natural therapies include. Peppermint essential oil - 1-2 drops of peppermint oil in a base cream (vitamin E cream) rubbed in to the stomach or put a few drops in an oil burner. Other herbs of choice would be Chamomile, Chen pi, Lemon balm, St Marys thistle and Cramp bark. I would also consider probiotics and prebiotics like lactobacillus acidophilus, bifidobacterium lactis and lactobacillus rhamnosus, found in Flora care for kids which you can purchase from Petrie’s Cottage.
Leanne’s acupuncture advice - This is one of the main areas of pediatric acupuncture that I see time and time again. Kids respond very quickly to acupuncture and most actually find it enjoyable. We have the option of either the pins or the infra-red medical laser which is a completely needle-free alternative. Our approach with addressing functional abdominal pain is individual as the child we are treating. Points are used to calm the nervous system (which is affected by worry, stress and over excitement), support digestion, regulate bowel movements and ease pain.