Chronic Abdominal Pain

In diagnosing the cause of your child's chronic abdominal pain, the doctor will first record a detailed history of your child's symptoms. Blood tests, stool and urine tests, and imaging tests of the stomach and pelvis also may be recommended.

In addition, a pain diary that tracks your child's pain during the course of a week can be very valuable in determining the cause of pain. At the end of each day, you or your child will record information about any symptoms your child experienced. Your child's pain diary should include information on the following:

  • Time of day pain started
  • Whether pain occurred before, after or nowhere near a meal
  • The type of pain and severity on a scale of 1 to 10
  • How long each episode lasts
  • Where the pain is located in the belly
  • What was done to help the pain (what worked and what didn't work)
  • What your child was doing right before the pain began
  • If the pain was related to something your child ate (for example, dairy products)
  • If the pain awakened your child
  • Your child's location when the pain occurred (at school, home, etc.)
  • When the pain occurred (certain days of the week, etc.)

Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.

Related Information

UCSF Clinics & Centers

Gastroenterology & Nutritional Disorders

Gastroenterology & Liver Practice
1825 Fourth St., Sixth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 353-2813
Fax: (415) 476-1343
Appointment information