ZocdocAnswersWhat causes stomachaches and shortness of breath?

Question

What causes stomachaches and shortness of breath?

I'm a dad, worried about my 8 year old daughter. She has been complaining of stomach aches, which we thought was just due to her eating things that didn't agree with her, until recently, when shes started being short of breath all the time. She's a little chubby, but not overweight. What could be wrong with her?

Answer

Stomach aches are common complaints from kids. In the majority of cases, the cause is either not found, or found to be something benign such as mild indigestion or constipation. Your child's pediatrician will have a huge amount of experience dealing with this type of thing and know what the next best step is. The symptom that worries me is your daughter's shortness of breath. This is not normal in a child and should be evaluated right away. Shortness of breath in a child may be asthma. Asthma attacks can be severe and life threatening, and thus you should have he evaluated right away. Make note of when she gets short of breath (only outside, only indoors, while exercising etc), so that the doctor can tease out what the trigger is. Simple in office breathing tests can help determine if this is the problem. More rarely, shortness of breath can be due to heart problems. From your simple description, I do not think that her stomach aches and the shortness of breath are necessarily related. I suggest that you schedule an appointment for your daughter to see her pediatrician. He or she can take a more detailed history of both of her symptoms and perform a thorough physical exam. Good luck getting to the bottom of this.

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