Recurrent Abdominal Pain

About Recurrent Abdominal Pain

When your child complains about abdominal pain, it is usually minor and often recedes within a 24-48 hour period. Common causes for this pain include viruses, constipation or even anxiety. However, when the pain has no known cause, is severe enough to restrict activities, and occurs at least 3 times over a period of as many months, this is referred to as recurrent abdominal pain and should be investigated.

Examination and Diagnosis

Dr McIntyre will take a detailed history and examine your child to explore the type and location of the pain and any associated symptoms or family history.

Treatment Options

Despite being a relatively common condition, especially in children aged 5 to 6 years old as well as pre-teen years, one-third of patients who experience recurrent abdominal pain show no associated disease. In these instances, the pain is likely “functional” and may be treated with dietary changes, medications, and/or psychological techniques.



The good news is in most cases where there is no disease associated with recurrent abdominal pain, children are often able to return to their usual activities within weeks. Where investigation results in diagnosis of a gastroenterological disease, this may require a longer-term multi-disciplinary treatment program. To find out more, see our other Services.

Promoting good health in our children

“Working closely with children and their families, it's immensely satisfying to be able to make a difference to their lives by managing their medical conditions with care and compassion.”

Dr Emma McIntyre