Abdominal pain over and over again – what really helps children


Abdominal pain over and over again – what really helps children

Psychosomatic pain: When the soul makes you sick

Psychosomatic pain – when the soul makes you sick

Not every pain has a physical trigger, but emotions can be the cause of pain. The video summarizes typical psychosomatic pain and recommendations for action.

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Constant abdominal pain in children can be extremely stressful. The analysis of 33 studies shows which therapies really help.

Berlin. Abdominal pain is one of the most common disorders in children. If, despite a thorough study, there is no organic cause, it is talked about functional abdominal pain. “For the affected children and their families, the frequent abdominal pain can be extremely stressful for no apparent reason. But the fact that no physical cause can be found does not mean that the pain is imaginary or even false,” said Burkhard Rodeck, secretary general. for the German Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine.

You know it’s about 80 percent of recurrent abdominal pain are functional abdominal pain. How they occur is not yet fully understood. There is evidence that a familial disposition may exist. But previous intestinal infections can also contribute to the development.

Stomach ache – is the incorrect communication to blame?

In medicine, it is believed that in functional abdominal pain, communication between the gastrointestinal tract and the brain is disrupted. Rodeck explains: “In the affected children, ‘normal’ body signals, such as stretching of the intestines when feeding and defecating, are assigned to the pain category much faster in the brain than in other people.”

In practice, it has been shown that herbal preparations like Peppermint oil capsules may relieve functional abdominal pain in some children. “They attenuate the intensity of the signals sent from the gastrointestinal tract to the brain,” Rodeck says. “Some children also benefit from taking probiotics.” If the children do not get better with these drugs, the pediatrician often offers them psychotherapeutic measures.

The results of a recently published analysis of scientific studies show that this approach is quite correct. It showed that functional abdominal pain is best treated by one cognitive behavioral therapy be relieved. Hypnotherapy can also be helpful. Trance and suggestion are used therapeutically to promote healing.

Functional abdominal pain often leads to a vicious circle

For Burkhard Rodeck, the results of the scientific analysis are not surprising: “Psychosocial factors play an important role in functional abdominal pain. It is therefore often very relieving for the children and their parents when they are told by the doctor connections and mechanisms that play a role in functional abdominal pain, ”says the pediatrician. Also interesting: Online therapy: Can apps help with depression?

Because children with functional abdominal pain are often caught in a vicious circle: “In some people, the ‘gate’ to the perception of pain in the brain is very small, only strong signals come from the brain gastrointestinal tract arriving is classified as pain, ”says Rodeck. In others, such as children with functional abdominal pain, this port is very large, so even the weakest signals are perceived as pain. If children with functional abdominal pain perceive the pain signal but are not taken seriously by their parents or doctor, it leads to frustration and despair. This negative experience can open the pain gate even more.

The goal of therapy for functional abdominal pain is therefore to break this vicious circle and down-regulate the perception of pain – eg with cognitive behavioral therapy, educational support, hypnotherapy, relaxation exercises, yoga or osteopathy. So far, however, it has not been clarified which of these methods are actually effective.

33 studies with more than 2600 children evaluated

A group of British researchers therefore analyzed 33 studies in which different therapy methods were used in more than 2600 children with functional abdominal pain were examined. Professor Morris Gordon from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and his colleagues report that of all the therapies studied, children with functional abdominal pain benefited most from cognitive behavioral therapy or hypnotherapy. Also read:

Children who received cognitive behavioral therapy had significantly less functional abdominal pain than children without such therapy. If abdominal pain occurred, it was usually less severe. Something similar was observed in children treated with hypnotherapy.

“On average, these therapies were successful in one in five children,” the researchers write in the journal Jama Psychiatry. The other therapy methods studied were no more effective in the studies than no therapy at all. However, Morris and his team point out that the results of the studies examined were not always clear.

Professional support is not always necessary

“The treatment of functional abdominal pain can not be compared with the therapy of, for example, scarlet fever, where penicillin is given in the knowledge that it is guaranteed to be cured,” Rodeck explains. “There is also evidence from daily practice that cognitive behavioral therapy, and possibly hypnotherapy can help, but it does not have to apply to all patients. ”

For children with functional abdominal pain, you as a doctor must take the time to talk, explain and show options and strategies that help cope with the pain, the pediatrician explains. It does not directly mean the referral to a psychologist. Initial behavioral therapy measures can also be taken directly by the pediatrician.

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“Some patients cope with the behavioral therapies we also offer as pediatricians, others need a professional supportsays Rodeck. If outpatient treatment does not succeed, there is also the possibility of inpatient treatment in special psychosomatic clinics.

Mon, 05/09/2022, 10:58

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