pediatric digestive disorders

Pediatric Digestive Disorders Explained

Often times, children can suffer from digestive disorders more frequently than adults, because they are still growing. Their organs and other body parts haven’t fully developed, and this means that minor issues can quickly become major problems that need urgent treatment.

You need to be careful, though; your children may say that they don’t feel so well because they don’t want to go to school or do something else. But you also need to pay attention if they do complain, taking all the needed steps to ensure that the real problems are taken care of.

If they suffer from nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, it’s best to speak to their doctor or pediatrician to find a cure for the problem. Other digestive symptoms that should be treated include:

  • Reduced energy.
  • Reduced urination.
  • Constipation.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Food poisoning.
  • Dry lips.
  • Over-eating.
  • Gastroenteritis (a stomach flu).
  • Gastritis (inflammation of the stomach’s lining).
  • Abdominal pain.

Your child may simply look sick. He/she may look pale, have a fever or a chill and feel very weak. These symptoms can indicate a digestive disorder and should be discussed with your doctor. If there are severe problems, take your child straight to the hospital’s emergency room.

If your child isn’t moving his/her bowels at least once every two days, if this causes pain or blood or if they need to strain, a doctor’s visit is recommended, as these are commonly indicative of digestive disorders.

The age of your child can also be a factor in how you respond to health troubles. If he/she is under the age of 8, telling the difference between a “tummy ache” and something more serious can be hard to do. Ask him/her to point at where the pain is. If it’s the lower right region, it could be appendicitis and a trip to the emergency room is necessary.

Make sure to keep track of all existing and new symptoms, so that you can explain them to a doctor when asked. Often times, you will have to speak for your child, who may not be comfortable talking to somebody else about these problems.

Some pediatricians suggest that if young children say they have pain, they may simply need to go to the toilet. Let them go and then tell them to go and play. If they still won’t play, then something is wrong, and a doctor needs to be consulted.

If your child has pain in the upper right part of the abdomen, it could possibly be gallbladder disease, although that’s rare for children. If the pain is below their belly button, it could be constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), dyspepsia (indigestion from an unknown cause) or colitis.

Some children may not always tell you if they feel unwell, so you need to watch for signs such as loss of appetite, discomfort when sitting, standing or moving around, lack of desire to go to school or to play with friends, and other similar issues.

The bottom line is that your child won’t always be able to tell you what’s wrong, so you need to be proactive in finding that out, either by observing or by asking, if you have concerns. Their health is very precious and as a responsible parent, you don’t want anything to make them feel sick.

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