Digestive system disorders are conditions that occur when your kids experience problems in one or some parts of their digestive system, such as the stomach, intestine, etc. These disorders can cause a lot of discomforts. Common signs and symptoms of digestive disorders include gas, diarrhea, constipation, cramps, nausea, and vomiting. These common symptoms can have very different causes. This is why it takes time to diagnose the underlying problem.
One of the most common digestive disorders in kids is celiac disease. Celiac disease is a digestive disorder in which the body’s immune system reacts to a type of protein called gluten. Therefore, if a person eats food containing gluten, the immune system will gradually react and damage the lining of the small intestine. As the result, the small intestine is damaged, making it difficult for the body to absorb vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients from food. This can affect a child’s overall health and growth.
Gluten is a chemical substance that can be found in rye, barley, and all forms of wheat, including durum, semolina, spelt, kamut, einkorn and faro. Gluten is also found in some non-food products such as stamp adhesive (glue) and some medicines. Celiac disease cannot be cured, but it can be managing by adopting a gluten-free diet. Seek medical help if you suspect that your child has celiac disease.
Inflammatory bowel disease
The second digestive disorder is inflammatory bowel disease. Inflammatory bowel disease occurs when the small or large intestine (bowel) is inflamed. When the intestine is inflamed, it becomes swollen and painful. Common signs and symptoms of this condition are diarrhea, bloating, stomach cramps and, sometimes, weight loss. Scientists classify inflammatory bowel disease into two main types: Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Crohn’s disease can affect any part of the digestive tract. It causes the walls of the affected part to thicken and develop a cobblestone-like surface. Additionally, depending on where Crohn’s disease occurs, signs and symptoms can be stomach pain, vomiting, loss of appetite, bloody diarrhea, poor growth, and mouth ulcers.
Ulcerative colitis is similar to Crohn’s disease, but it commonly affects only the colon (large intestine). When a person has ulcerative colitis, the lining of their colon develops ulcers or tears. This can lead to stomach pain, bloody diarrhea, bleeding from tears around the anus, weight loss, and decreased appetite.
Treatments for inflammatory bowel disease include medicines to fight infections, medicines to suppress the immune system and special nutrition to provide the nutrients that the body may not be able to absorb from food. Ultimately, in many cases, surgery is required to control the disease. It is easier to diagnose and treat IBD without the risk of a serious flare-up when the person affected is aware of their signs and symptoms.
Irritable bowel syndrome
Finally, irritable bowel syndrome is considered to be one of the most common digestive disorders. Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic (long-term) condition that affects both the large and small intestine. The food moves through the colon too slowly, too quickly or unpredictably. Consequently, the colon does not absorb the right amount of water from food. This can lead to diarrhea or constipation.
However, it is not clear what causes inflammatory bowel syndrome. Some people confuse irritable bowel syndrome with inflammatory bowel disease. Indeed, their symptoms appear to be similar at first. However, it is important to know the differences between them to diagnose and treat each condition properly.
Inflammatory bowel syndrome comes and goes and is different for each person. Treatments include lifestyle changes to reduce stress and dietary changes to limit the foods that could trigger a flare-up.
You might also want to read:
- How Does A Poor Diet Hurt Your Digestive System?
- Help A Child with a Severe Digestive Disorder
- 5 Rules to Boost Your Child’s Digestive Systems
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: August 30, 2017 | Last Modified: August 30, 2017
Preventing Digestion Problems. http://www.healthline.com/health/digestive-health-maintenance#outlook6. Accessed April 24, 2017.
Common Children's Digestive Problems. http://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=common-childrens-digestive-problems-90-P01984. Accessed April 24, 2017.