Tummy pain

Tummy Sore


“Sore tummy!” “My tummy is sore!” “I’ve got a tummy pain!”

So many children have tummy pain. They say I’ve got a sore tummy or My tummy’s sore .
This is so common that mostly these symptoms are ignored or explained away as attention seeking.

These children are not taken seriously. However, I have found that the majority of these children with chronic abdominal pain are affected by gluten sensitivity. They have high IgG-gliadin antibodies, and get better when they go gluten-free.

Tummy pain

Their pains are real and need investigation.  These children need help – not a scolding!

Unhappily, many paediatricians still believe the writings about tummy pains of the 1960s. About 50 years ago it was stated by children’s doctors that a child complaining about a tummy pain was being bad or naughty . Their discomfort and pain was dismissed as nothing serious they’ll grow out of it .

But I totally disagree. I know that their tummy pains are real and need attention. These children need help and understanding with their symptoms. They need investigation and treatment.

Often these pains are caused by food allergy / food intolerance. Some of these children may have unrecognised gastric reflux symptoms.

“I had a sore tummy, and now I am feeling much better”

The next story is written by Emily. She is one of the many children I have seen who predominately complain of a sore tummy or stomach aches. They sometimes call it “tummy sore” or “belly aches”. They often say: “my stomach hurts.”

The exact source of their pain is usually not clear. They often have high Anti-IgG-gliadin (AGA) antibody levels, but do not have celiac disease. They all made remarkable recoveries when they went gluten-free. Tummy pain usually means something is wrong

Recurrent abdominal pain in children has for decades been dismissed as a normal phase of growth. It has been defined as part of the “normal child”. I disagree. It is my opinion that children who are experiencing abdominal pain on a regular basis have something wrong with them. The most common cause that I see is gluten-sensitivity.

These children had tummy aches and pains. Their pains went away when they went off gluten. Many of these children were also tired and grumpy. They are now happy again. Some had symptoms for years.

Meet Emily

  • Emily, Age 6 years.
  • Symptoms: severe reflux, irritable, constipation
  • Tests: High Anti-gliadin-Antibody, but not celiac with a normal tTG level. Biopsy: not done

Emily writes:

“My name is Emily and I am nearly six years old.

I saw Doctor Ford as I was having trouble with my tummy. When I was a baby my mummy said that I had very bad reflux. I used to cry a lot. Later she said I had constipation. He did some blood tests and found out that I had gluten intolerance.

This meant that I had to stop eating everything that has wheat and gluten in it. I have now been gluten free for about six months. I am feeling much better and it is much easier to go to the toilet and I have grown quite a lot too.

Sometimes I feel sad that I can’t eat all the things that my cousins and friends are eating and it is very hard at birthday parties, as I can never eat the birthday cake.

Mum and I are finding lots of interesting “gluten-free” foods available now, as mum and my baby sister aren’t allowed to eat gluten either. We try all sorts of new recipes for school lunches. I am hoping that on the gluten-free diet I will continue to feel much better.”