Question: My girl lately keeps complaining of tummy pain before & after she passes motion. The pain is more severe before she pass motion and will only feel better only after 10-15 mins. What causes her to have tummy pain? Should I be worried?
Answer: Tummy pain can be very non-specific and debilitating for the child. The commonest cause of abdominal pain in children is functional abdominal pain with constipation. Check the consistency of her stools and the amount she is passing each time to see if there are hard stools or if she is not completely evacuating her bowels. Generally, abdominal pain that is around the belly button that comes on and off and is not associated with awakening at night with pain, weight loss, diarrhoea or blood and mucus in stools should be benign. If she continues to experience her symptoms, please consult with a paediatric gastroenterologist.
Question: My 6-year-old boy goes toilet to poo after every meal, is this normal?
Answer: Meals tend to trigger the gastrocolic reflex and some people, including adults, go to the toilet after every meal. If the consistency of the stool is normal, with no blood or mucus and if the child does not have chronic, severe abdominal pain and is thriving well, this may be normal bowel habits for the individual.
Dr Nancy Tan
Paediatrician, Sub-specialty in Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition
SBCC Baby & Child Clinic
SBCC Baby & Child Clinic (Gleneagles)
6 Napier Road
#07-01/03 Gleneagles Medical Centre
Tel: 6235 6706/ 6397 6966 (Hotline)