What Are the Common Stomach Problems in Adolescents?

One of the most overlooked organs of the body is the stomach. Many teens of their age call their pain off as a stomachache, which results in a bigger problem when treatment is delayed. As such, knowing the possible health issues your teenager can acquire at their age is important as a parent or a guardian is a must. To get you started, here’s a list of common stomach problems in their age group you can look into.

Stomach Ulcers

Ulcer results from the imbalance between the stomach lining and the digestive juices produced by the stomach. It’s an open and painful sore that affects the stomach and the duodenum, the upper part of the small intestine.

This stomach disease is relatively common in teens, especially adolescents experiencing stress. This usually happens when an illness involves severe physical or emotional stress, making it hard for the body to heal. Aside from that, people who smoke and drink a lot daily increase their chances of developing ulcers. The reason is that nicotine causes the stomach to make more acid, and alcohol wears down the lining of the stomach and intestines.

One of the primary signs of an ulcer is stomach pain that feels like a sharp ache between a person’s breastbone and belly button. This sign can happen any time of the day when the stomach is empty or after a few hours of eating. 

One way to help ease the symptoms is by decreasing the acid your stomach produces. Some medicines like Protonix help in easing the symptoms of stomach ulcer to relieve the teen’s pain. Fortunately, the medicine has coupons like Protonix Savings to help patients purchase the drug at a much more affordable price and save money for another cycle of prescription.


Appendicitis is caused by various infections in your digestive tract, such as bacteria, parasites, or viruses, which result in inflammation of the appendix. This infection risks the person’s appendix bursting if the infected organ is not removed quickly. If this happens, the infection can spread in the stomach and may result in death. As such, when the diagnosis is made, it is treated as an emergency that requires immediate care.

As you may have known, appendicitis is common in teens, and one of the signs and symptoms you should look out for is extreme pain in the stomach. It usually starts in the middle of the stomach, just around the belly button, or in the lower right part of the belly. The pain may come and go at first but gradually grow intense and steady. 

A mild fever, loss of appetite, and a swollen belly might accompany it. These symptoms might come off like a stomachache. That’s why you must pay attention to what your children tell you, and if their stomach continues to get worse, it’s best to bring them to the hospital.

Additionally, once the doctor identifies appendicitis, other necessary tests will be needed, such as blood test, CT or MRI test, ultrasound, etc. An IV will be inserted into their body to hydrate the teen, and antibiotics will be given to them into the IV as well. If the doctor deems it necessary, surgery might also occur to remove the appendix.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a disorder in the intestines that’s a common illness in teens and children that affects the body’s large intestine (colon). It causes pain in the stomach, diarrhea, gas, and constipation. Many people have IBS, especially teens, which lasts for many years but doesn’t worsen over time. Though embarrassing and uncomfortable, it doesn’t cause an immediate health issue.

Moreover, the cause of IBS is still unknown, but it’s usually linked to foods passing through your stomach too slowly or quickly. It might also result from oversensitive nerves in your gut, stress, and family history. 

Teens can manage their IBS by changing their diet and reducing their stress as much as possible. This means they should limit their intake of food that can cause diarrhea, such as alcohol, dairy products, foods and drinks high in sugar and fats, etc. Instead, they should consume more foods that are high in fiber, eat more fruits and vegetables, and drink more fluids.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

The exact cause of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is unknown, but it’s usually connected with the result of a weakened immune system, where the system responds incorrectly to environmental triggers. This inflames the gastrointestinal tract and can cause severe pain, diarrhea, fever, and blood in stools, toilet paper, or the toilet.

People with IBD have difficulty getting the sufficient calories and nutrition they need, which can cause significant problems in teens. It might influence their development, resulting in slow growth or a late start of puberty.

Once IBD is diagnosed, the physician will prescribe medicines, and changes in diet should accompany this. Surgery might also be required in some cases. Nonetheless, the goal of the treatment is the quality of life and restoring growth.

Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance results from your body not producing enough enzyme lactase that helps digest lactose. If adolescents eat dairy products, the lactose from the foods will pass into their intestines, leading to cramps, bloating, gas, and even diarrhea. People can eat small amounts of foods with dairy with no issues, but some are better off not eating anything dairy at all.

Teens can manage their lactose intolerance by drinking and eating less dairy products. As mentioned, they can eat in small amounts but have to eat them with something that doesn’t contain lactose. This disease is not fairly common compared to the others in this list, but they do exist in the same age group but only develop more in adulthood.

Final Thoughts

This list should already give you enough knowledge of what to look for. This list contains the primary causes, signs, and symptoms they might experience when experiencing the stomach problem. If symptoms persist, note what they report to you and bring them to their healthcare practitioner.