Abdominal pain with fever is considered one of the common complaints among children. There are various causes for these symptoms. The best way to identify the exact cause is to take into consideration the age of the child and other symptoms such as diarrhea or vomiting. Take note that some of the typical causes of abdominal pain with fever among children include infections and surgical conditions.
The common cause of abdominal pain with fever among children is gastroenteritis which is commonly called as the “stomach flu”. Children who have gastroenteritis typically have abdominal pain that is general and difficult to localize to a specific area in the abdomen. Take note that fever is common and reflects the ability of the body to fight off the infection.
Other symptoms of gastroenteritis include diarrhea. The stools become watery and foul-smelling. When it comes to bacterial gastroenteritis, the stools might contain blood. The abdominal pain frequently reflects the accumulation of gas from the diarrhea within the intestines, causing them to dilate and become painful which causes discomfort to the child.
Even though pneumonia is an infection involving the lungs, children can also experience abdominal pain and fever as the main symptoms. Take note that this occurs in cases when the pneumonia is localized in the lower region of the lung, close to the abdomen where it causes inflammation that triggers pain that feels as if it is in the abdomen. Other possible causes are assessed before identifying pneumonia as the cause of the fever and abdominal discomfort.
Appendicitis is considered as the most common surgical cause of abdominal pain with fever among children. This condition involves the inflammation of the appendix which is a short, tube-like structure that protrudes from the intestines. The pain often starts in the area around the belly button and then moves to the right inferior part of the abdomen where the appendix is located.
Fever is quite common but it is not usually high. Remember that appendicitis is an emergency that requires prompt medical care and surgery in order to prevent complications such as rupture that can lead to peritonitis which is a generalized infection of the abdomen.
Mesenteric adenitis involves swelling of the lymph nodes surrounding the intestines. This condition is usually triggered by viruses. The symptoms of mesenteric adenitis include fever and generalized abdominal pain. The pain can be severe and can be mistaken for other conditions such as appendicitis.
This condition resolves on its own after a few days. In the meantime, children who have mesenteric adenitis require adequate hydration as well as fever and pain management.
Depending on the cause of the abdominal pain with fever, it is best to consult a doctor so that proper assessment can be carried out to come up with the right diagnosis. Once a diagnosis is confirmed, the appropriate treatment can be started.