Chronic abdominal pain is a stomachache that reoccurs for long periods of time and caused by one of several known or unknown conditions.
There are two types of chronic abdominal pain:
This type is idiopathic, meaning there isn’t an immediate, identifiable reason. This commonly happens with children, as it can be hard for them to accurately describe the pain or where it’s located.
This type means there is a specific reason for the pain that can be identified.
Unexplained abdominal pain can be the result of an offset nerve or referred pain (also known as reflective pain). This occurs when the pain begins in one area, but the child feels it another region.
Chronic abdominal pain typically occurs for a specific reason, including those listed below.
Symptoms will vary, depending on the location and source of condition, and include:
Pediatric chronic abdominal pain can be caused by unknown reasons (idiopathic), or by one or more conditions affecting a child’s abdominal region (lower chest to upper pelvis area). It becomes a chronic pain issue when it’s a consistent problem that reoccurs (repeats) for days or even years. Each condition has its own cause and average age of diagnosis, as outlined below.
American Board of Pediatrics/Gastroenterology