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My son complains of stomach problems, could it be stress?


FayeCooper August 30, 2012

Only three days into the school year and my son stayed home sick today, complaining of stomach problems. He has no fever, so I can't tell if he's really sick or is stressed about school. Anyone else have a middle-schooler with this problem?

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MagnetMom September 1, 2012

Hi FayeCooper,

Hopefully you can talk to him honestly, and put the issue to rest. The hard part is you will have to send him and make it clear he needs to go to school.

Middle school is a lot to master--class changes, more kids, sometimes up to seven teachers, and all in a much bigger school where none of these people know him. Make sure you tell him you understand it's a lot and ask if there is anything he'd like to talk about, anything you can help him with, or anyone at school you should talk to. Ask who he's having lunch with, and who he's hanging out with at nutrition. Just not all at once :)

If this continues through Back-to-School night, set up conferences with the individual teachers.

Good luck, and hopefully he'll find his way. Sometimes it takes a little longer.
But honestly


NAlicia September 2, 2012

I have had a LOT of experience with my daughter in this area. It actually began in Elementary school. She has always been subject to stress depending on how much interference there was from other kids in the classroom and how the teacher reacted to it. I monitored her and took her to a gastrinterologist when it seemed to be a regular issue. I felt like an overreactive hen already then the doctor wanted to do an upper endoscopy. I felt terrible exposing her to a hospital experience when I was sure that just did not want to go to school. I was really really surprised when the proceedure was over and doctor came out and told me my daughter had ulcers!!
So to answer your question...Yes it certainly can be stress but stress and the very real physical symptoms must be delt with.
What did i do? I took my daughter for therapy to help her deal with situations that were stressful to her and she took medication to heal the ulcers. Beyond that we have also found that she does naturally "pump" a lot of acid and more so because of a slight lactose intolerance which is controlled by lactose pills. She had ulcers again in middle school when I thought she had "grown out" of the stage. So we stay on top of the diet and lactose situation more strictly. She continues however to be unnerved by a lot of commotion at school which we talk about often. She tends to be a high anxiety person but she is a driven person who just has a lot on her mind. its not a bad thing but as humans sometimes we have to be taught how to make the best of what gifts we have rather than let them control us in a negative fashion.
Good luck with your son!

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