Irritable bowel syndrome in children

Irritable bowel syndrome in children

Irritable bowel syndrome is a very painful and uncomfortable condition for children. Although it has a high frequency in modern times, mainly due to the faulty lifestyle, parents do not always identify this condition and go on time with the little one in control. Here's how you recognize this syndrome in your child and when you should go to the doctor!

What is irritable bowel syndrome?

Irritable bowel syndrome is a disorder of normal bowel function. He is also called spastic colon.

What are the causes?

This syndrome appears to be caused by abnormal muscle activity of the intestinal wall.

However, the exact cause of this problem remains unknown, but there are some risk factors that favor the onset of the disorder:
  • certain foods;

  • exaggerated development of bacteria in the colon;

  • emotional stress (anxiety and depression);

  • a problem of communication between the brain and the gastrointestinal tract.

How does irritable bowel syndrome manifest in children?

  • abdominal pain or discomfort;

  • gas ballooning or emission;

  • alternating diarrhea with constipation;

  • changes in texture and color of the seat;

  • mucositis in the chair;

  • anorexia;

  • headache;

All these symptoms can interfere with the normal growth and development of the child.

How is the syndrome diagnosed?

Many people, including parents do not realize these problems, especially since the symptoms do not have to be acute for the syndrome to be present. They think they are slightly disturbed in the stomach.

However, if you notice that your baby is struggling very hard to evacuate his feces, that he has severe abdominal pain, bloating and has no appetite, it is advisable to consult your pediatrician to see if you need to investigate further.

At your doctor your little one might go through several tests to diagnose the syndrome:

  • an anamnesis (obtaining essential information from you regarding nutrition and medical history);

  • a physical examination;

  • fecal analysis (to see if there are infections or other problems);

  • if the doctor suspects the disease, colonoscopy is recommended (to exclude more serious diseases).

The doctor may ask you the following questions, for which you must be prepared with a clear and safe answer:

  • How often does the tummy ache for the baby? Every week? At 2 weeks? Every day?

  • When is the pain gone? If the pain disappears after the child has a stool, then he may have irritable bowel syndrome.

  • How often does the child have a chair? If you suffer from this condition the chair will be more or less frequent than usual!

  • What does the chair look like? Even if it is not the most comfortable question, it is essential in making a diagnosis and helps the doctor to do a clearer examination: specify the doctor if it is changed in any way as texture, quantity, content etc.

How is irritable bowel syndrome treated?

In the treatment of the syndrome in children it is mainly used to change the diet. It is recommended to take precise food measures to regulate the intestinal transit.

  • increase the amount of fiber by administering fruits and vegetables, cereals, etc .;

  • balanced feeding at fixed hours;

  • small and thick gates;

  • avoiding intolerant foods (eg spicy foods);

  • reducing the proportion of fats in the diet.

Be careful, not only what you eat might cause this uncomfortable syndrome, but maybe what you don't usually eat is a cause. Make sure the baby receives enough fiber resources, drinks enough water, etc.

There are some medicines that can be given to children to relieve this condition. However, they are indicated only by the doctor and depend on how severe the symptoms are. For example, the doctor may recommend laxatives if the child suffers from acute constipation or other medications to stop the excess gas emissions, bloating, diarrhea, etc.

The best way to find the right treatment is to keep your baby alert and see what causes them the most discomfort. Keeping a small journal of everything you do and eat and how you feel afterwards is a great idea. If the child is too young to write in the diary, do this instead.

The medical journal might even help the doctor to assess the baby's condition more accurately. In this journal you should note everything you eat, as well as crises of abdominal cramps, diarrhea when they occur, potential cause etc.

Tags Digestive disorders