Having a child is an exciting chapter in any parents’ life. From having your first scan to seeing them graduate high school, nothing quite beats this adventure of a lifetime! Understandably, you want to do what you can throughout this time to ensure the safety and health of your child. Some of the actions that must be taken to ensure your child is healthy are obvious, whereas others, not so much.
With a whole host of pediatric health conditions that could strike at any moment, you naturally want to be as prepared as possible. None more so than when your child is experiencing issues concerning their digestive tract. One of the critical parts of the human body, common ailments like these, should be addressed as soon as possible.
Generally speaking, it can sometimes take some time for symptoms of these health conditions to emerge. Others, however, can be spotted in earnest. Knowing what you can do as a parent to address these health conditions is crucial, but it can often be challenging to know where to start. This is where we come into the equation!
Detailed within this guide, you will find a list of some common pediatric digestive issues, alongside some common ways of treating or managing them. Read on for more!
Symptoms Of Digestive Issues In Your Child
Diagnosing a digestive issue can be challenging, particularly if it has been present for some time. Understanding what symptoms your child is experiencing and how long they have been around for will go a long way in determining a course of action.
Naturally, the digestive issue that is affecting your child will differ from what is affecting another child. It is always best to treat each instance separately, for much like other health issues, these require different treatment for each. It would be impractical to treat an issue with your stomach using medication that is tailored to the intestine and vice versa.
Common symptoms indicating issues with the digestive tract in your child include the following:
- Feeling or being sick,
- Changes to the bowel habits,
- Changes to appetite,
Some of these symptoms can be picked up upon by you as a parent, but others will take communication from your child to determine. When symptoms such as these are present and persistent, you must seek the assistance of a healthcare professional, who will be able to conduct a range of tests. These tests will be able to determine what the cause of the symptoms is and how best to treat them.
Concerning the different pediatric digestive issues that could be troubling your child, this leads us into the next section, where you will learn all about that.
Common Digestive Issues, Causes and Treatments
Learning about what could potentially harm your child is something we feel confident every parent wants to do. Knowing what symptoms to look out for will give you a bigger window of opportunity when seeking medical treatment for your child. Not to mention, you will have a better idea of what treatment will be used for your child and be able to explain and reassure them with this information.
Crohn’s Disease and IBD
This health condition typically falls under the umbrella of Irritable Bowel Disease, also known by the acronym IBD. Crohn’s Disease is a long-term condition that will most likely affect your child for their entire life. While there will most likely be times when the condition is not as bad, it will not disappear. Coming to terms with something like that can be challenging, no matter your age.
This digestive issue occurs when there is redness and swelling present within either or both of the intestines in the body. This digestive issue can also cause sores to develop throughout the digestive tract, which can be uncomfortable and painful.
Unfortunately for those experiencing this digestive issue, many experts are unsure precisely what causes Crohn’s Disease. For the most part, it is thought that this is an immune response from your body that does not seem to end.
Treatment for Crohn’s Disease and other IBDs vary from one case to the next. The main objective is to control and maintain the swelling of the intestines, which, to you and me, can seem a lot easier said than done. Medication is often used, including the likes of steroids and other medications, to control inflammation.
Dietary changes are also thought to alleviate symptoms of Crohn’s and IBD, as certain foods are thought to aggravate the symptoms more than others. An SCD diet, also known as a Specific Carbohydrate Diet, is thought to help manage symptoms associated with digestive issues like this. Free of various nutrients that are thought to cause a flare-up, this guide to the SCD diet from the Ruscio Institute is well worth consulting to determine if this is a potential course of treatment for your child.
Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) and Liver Failure
While it might be hard to wrap your head around the fact that children can experience liver failure, it is worth noting this could impact your child in some way or another. The liver is the largest organ in the body and has several important jobs relating to the overall function of our bodies. As it has so many jobs, various factors can cause it to fail, including a build-up of fat. With an estimated fourteen million children experiencing childhood obesity in the United States, there is no doubt this is a potential risk.
Symptoms of NAFLD in your child include symptoms such as feeling or being sick, abdominal pain, fatigue, and, most notably, jaundice. The symptoms tend to get worse as the liver failure progresses, so naturally, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Much like when treating Crohn’s and IBD, there is a range of treatments available for NAFLD and liver failure in general. IV fluids are administered if the liver failure is thought to be caused by viruses, along with monitoring in a hospital environment. Alongside a whole host of medications, those with the most severe cases of liver failure might require a liver transplant in order to survive.
These can be startling facts to read. No one wants their child to experience these or any other health condition! While we recognize this is the case, it also helps to know what could happen and get ahead of the game. Go forth with a better understanding of what digestive issues could impact your child and what ways you can manage them as a family.