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Tummy Troubles

Mommy, my tummy hurts." What parent hasn't heard these plaintive words  -- then wondered what, exactly, they mean? Stomach flu? Too many gingerbread men? A ploy to miss a day of school?

And no wonder. Bellyaches can result from a wide variety of causes, some having nothing to do with the stomach  -- like, say, strep throat or a urinary tract infection. Fortunately, most are easily diagnosed and treated.

Bryan S. Vartabedian, M.D, a pediatric gastroenterologist in Houston, writes frequently on children's health.