Management of chronic pain in children and young people: summary

A summary of the available evidence, combined with a consensus group agreement on key recommendations and suggested patient pathways.

8. Dietary Therapies

Much of the work in this area has focussed on abdominal pain. Each systematic review noted that their conclusions are based upon a small number of studies [51, 86]. There is overlap between reviews on the use of fibre in functional gastro-intestinal disorders however the findings and conclusions are consistent.

The evidence suggests that dietary fibre does not influence pain in children with functional gastrointestinal disorders [86]. A good quality systematic review supported a positive effect for probiotics in treating irritable bowel syndrome [51] as a significant reduction in abdominal pain was found in the VSL#3 group (1.0 ± 0.2 versus 0.5 ± 0.2 in control participants).

Clinicians should consider the use of probiotics Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG ( LGG) and VSL#3 in treatment of children and young people with functional gastro-intestinal disorders – especially if symptoms are severe. Probiotics are not available as a prescription medication so they must be obtained from health food stores or supermarkets etc., and are not subject to the same regulation as prescribed medications.


  • The use of probiotics ( LGG and VSL#3) should be considered in children and young people with functional gastro-intestinal disorders.


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