I have a tummy ache and I’m sick!
My parents are worried….
Your parents feel just like you. The doctors have told them there’s nothing wrong with you, but they don’t understand why you’re complaining, and they don’t know what to do to help you either.
At school I feel awful and the teachers either don’t believe me or send me home. I don’t feel like going out with my friends because they say I’m annoying, that I’m always complaining…
People who haven’t experienced chronic pain don’t understand that you have pain even though you don’t have any disease.
Why is this happening to me?
You’re not alone. Many people feel the same. Although it might seem that it only happens to you, having tummy aches and not having a disease is a very common disorder. But unfortunately, it’s also pretty unknown.
But if I don’t have a disease, why do I have tummy ache?
A very simple explanation is that your gut and your brain are VERY SENSITIVE. Any stimulus that your gut receives, for example, normal movements during digestion or passing wind or stool (poo), activates the pain receptors, and through nerve pathways that communicate with the brain, you perceive this stimulus as painful. The pain makes you alert, and as your brain receives these stimuli, it makes you more aware of what is happening to you, you get nervous, and your brain transfers these nerves to the gut through the nerve pathways that connect it. The gut gets upset, and moves in a disorganised way, re-activating the pain receptors, so that you enter a LOOP that you think you can’t get out of.
What can I do not to have tummy ache?
The first thing those around you have to be clear about is that:
- THE PAIN IS REAL. You are not inventing it or using it as an excuse.
- YOU ARE NOT SICK. There is no physical illness that is causing the tummy ache.
And what you have to have clear is that: YOU CAN LEARN STRATEGIES TO KEEP THE PAIN AWAY. You can find some of them here.