Abdominal pain is common in childhood and can often occur with illness. Chronic abdominal pain can have a number of causes, including reflux, allergy, infection, inflammation, constipation, anatomical abnormalities, as well as some non-gastrointestinal conditions.
There are usually associated symptoms that can help determine the cause of the pain. However, many cases of chronic abdominal pain cannot be explained.
At The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, children with chronic abdominal pain are evaluated and treated by doctors in the Division of Gastroenterology (GI), Hepatology and Nutrition.
The evaluation of chronic abdominal pain is usually guided by associated symptoms, but may include a combination of blood tests, stool tests, imaging, radiological testing (such as X-ray, ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI), and/or a camera test (upper endoscopy and/or colonoscopy).
Treatment of chronic abdominal pain depends on the cause of the pain.