[Recurrent stomach complaints in children]
Kliniken for barnsjukdomar, Tammerfors universitetssjukhus, Tammerfors universitet.
Next to headache recurrent gastro-intestinal complaints constitute the most common reason for medical consultation among daycare and school children. The use of more sophisticated examination methods has shown that in up to 50 per cent of cases the cause of the gastric complaints is a treatable disease or a functional anomaly of the gastro-intestinal tract. The commonest conditions are lactose intolerance, gluten sensitivity, gastro-oesophageal reflux, and gastritis. In some cases stomach pain is triggered by psychosomatic mechanisms. Depending upon the child's age, aetiological indications can sometimes be derived from history taking. In many cases the investigations can be made in the out-patient clinic. The cornerstones of treatment are various kinds of dietary elimination regimens, prokinetic agents, and antibiotics. Recently, the investigation of neuroendocrinological and neurophysiological processes related to psychosomatic causes of gastric complaints has once again become common.