Children's Hospital Colorado

Functional Abdominal Pain (S3:E11)

Functional abdominal pain disorders are the most common cause of chronic abdominal pain in children and adolescents.

Listen to our pediatric gastroenterologist discuss functional abdominal pain

In today’s episode, we talk with Jaime Belkind-Gerson, MD, to unpack the presentation, diagnosis and management of functional abdominal pain from the primary care perspective.

Dr. Belkind-Gerson is Director of the Neurogastroenterology and Motility Program at Children’s Hospital Colorado. He is also an Associate Professor of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

In this episode, our expert discusses:

  • The staggering numbers of persistent or chronic abdominal pain in pediatric patients
  • Red flag symptoms to distinguish between functional abdominal pain and abdominal pain caused by an organic problem
  • The best approach for discussing functional abdominal pain with families and next steps for treatment
  • Evidence-based strategies for families dealing with a case of functional abdominal pain
  • The importance of follow-up and addressing behavioral issues in patients with functional abdominal pain
  • Concrete examples of the brain-gut connection
  • Understanding that managing family dynamics, supporting kids and managing their life stressors i are important ways of managing functional abdominal pain
  • The importance of teaching children appropriate coping mechanisms and strategies to deal with functional abdominal pain
Intestine Lining
At the beginning of the episode, Dr. Belkind-Gerson described this photo: a photomicrograph of intestine lining of a young female patient who had a biopsy done during a colonoscopy.

Treatment of functional abdominal pain at Children’s Colorado

At the Digestive Health Institute, our physicians provide consultation to community physicians for many common childhood GI problems, including complex and rare disorders. Our physicians are nationally recognized for their expertise and innovation and are skilled in the most up-to-date diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for kids. They work closely with primary care providers to provide a timely evaluation and diagnosis and initiate the appropriate treatment plan.

Refer a patient to Children's Colorado.