Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Children
Irritable bowel syndrome is one of the most common digestive conditions around, and it doesn't discriminate. Nearly anyone can develop the illness -- including children. In fact, many people who seek treatment for the first time as adults report experiencing symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome as children. Because this condition can be so painful, it can be very confusing and scary for kids. Since many children often report experiencing tummy aches to their parents, it can take years of uncomfortable IBS symptoms to finally get treatment.
Irritable bowel in children can often show symptoms outside of the normal range experienced by adults. These can include:
- Weight loss - Oftentimes children with IBS will stop eating, or eat significantly less, in order to avoid the pain that this condition can create. Pain can often be avoided by limiting or eliminating trigger foods.
- Headaches - IBS is believed to have ties to communication between the digestive system and the brain. In children, and sometimes in adults, pain can manifest itself in the form of a headache rather than abdominal pain.
- Nausea - Since children have smaller, more sensitive digestive tracts, the pain and gas created by IBS can often cause nausea and even vomiting in young children.
If your child constantly complains of stomachaches or is experiencing any of the common IBS symptoms, or those listed above, it is important to speak with your health care provider. Irritable bowel in children, and adults, can only be diagnosed once other digestive conditions have been ruled out, and proper treatment cannot begin until a diagnosis has been reached.