Kids Say “My Tummy Hurts,” But They May Actually Be Anxious
“Mommy, mommy my tummy hurts.” Is this sentence familiar? It’s something which kids say when they feel anxious usually before bedtime. Nighttime is the time when most children’s anxiety intensifies.
They are lonely, it is dark, and there are no distractions. You should know that anxiety might express itself in different ways and abdominal pain is one thing which doctors and parents see over and over again.
Between 8 and 25 % of all kids experience ongoing stomach ache which comes with no detectable medical explanation. This is a condition which physicians call “functional abdominal pain.”
This term functional kicks in since the digestive system is functioning correctly, without any disease, blockage or infection. However, this does not mean that the pain is not real even if the cause comes from your kid’s head.
The Gut as the Second Brain
Often the stomach reflects feelings so that Dr. Michael Gershon invented a phrase for the stomach is the second brain. You see, the stomach is actually home to the enteric nervous system, that holds millions of nerve cells.
Probably you have experienced this in action when you have butterflies in the stomach, or you are nervous. Your kid might be having it when she or he is anxious, and their tummy is peppered with pain.
Even if the anxiety and nervousness are only in your head, it might make a real sensation or pain in the abdominal area.
The Pain-Anxiety Cycle
If anxiety and stomach aches are common in the life of your kid, they might fall into the syndrome “chicken or the egg” trying to understand what comes first.
No matter what did come first, they may also begin to fuel one another to make an ongoing, vicious cycle.
Anxiety leads to stomach pain that causes bigger anxiety that leads to bigger stomach pain that makes greater anxiety that causes the stomach to hurt more and so on.
Why Do Kids Say Their Tummy Hurts?
Why does this happen? Well, since their stomach truly hurts. You should know that the stomach is the home of the enteric nervous system. As we previously mentioned your second brain.
Anxiousness and big nerves might make a true sensation in your belly.
According to one study more than half or around 51% of people ( participants in the study) that experienced stomach pains as kids ended up with some kind of anxiety disorder later in life.
The most crucial thing to remember when it comes to your children is that if they often complain of stomach aches is that they aren’t lying surely if you have ruled out any true stomach problems.
Understand that it is their body talking their anxiety and showing it right in the pit of their tummy.
What Can You Do As Parent
Remember that taking your kid’s complaint seriously is the first step. Both medical problems and anxiety might cause the pain in their tummy. Extremely serious complaints should consider a trip to the doctor.
If everything is alright, then ask the doctor about advice on how to deal with anxiety.
Source: Love and Marriage Blog