Stories about: gastronenterology

Tummy talk: Treating stomach aches and pains

Stomach aches and pains

It’s the same morning ritual. You rush around to get your child dressed, make her breakfast and try to get her off to school on time.

But one morning, your daughter refuses to eat her breakfast and complains that her tummy hurts. Is it something she ate? Constipation?

Stomach aches are very common. Almost 25 percent of school age kids complain of intermittent (on and off) stomach pain that lasts more than two months.

Rest assured, while stomach pain can happen for any number of reasons, the discomfort is usually short term, and children continue to maintain their overall good health.

“Often, a stomach ache is not cause for concern,” says Dr. Lori Zimmerman, a gastroenterologist with Boston Children’s Hospital Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. “More often, it might mean a child is constipated or withholding her stool, is sensitive to a certain food (possibly lactose intolerance), is too hungry or too full or is worried and feeling the stress in her stomach.”

Dr. Zimmerman offers the following tips and home remedies to help alleviate stomach pain and discomfort.

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“I’m the face behind the phone.”

(Katherine C. Cohen/Boston Children’s Hospital)


Nikiay Kelly

Gastroenterology Scheduler, Care Team Member


I answer frequently-asked questions using the live Web-chat feature, and I answer questions and schedule appointments by phone. I enjoy helping patients, especially when I see the impact on patient care.

I recently received a call from a new patient who wanted to see a doctor immediately. He was experiencing some stomach upset and was questioning whether he had IBD (inflammatory bowel disease.)

I was able to contact a doctor and quickly coordinate a consultation for a time that worked best for the patient. I felt really good at the end of the call because I got him the appointment and the care he needed.



care-team-logoCaring for patients is a true team effort. Care Team highlights the dedication of the people throughout Boston Children’s who do their part to comfort and support patient families each and every day.

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