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Health Information For Parents
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common intestinal problem that can cause cramps, gas, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. It’s sometimes called a “nervous stomach” or a “spastic colon.” Certain foods can trigger the symptoms of IBS. So can anxiety, stress, and infections.
Although IBS can be uncomfortable and embarrassing for kids, it doesn’t cause serious health problems. Doctors can help kids manage IBS symptoms with changes in diet and lifestyle. Sometimes doctors will prescribe medicines to help relieve symptoms.
The specific cause of IBS is unknown, though it tends to run in families. Kids with IBS may be more sensitive to belly pain, discomfort, and fullness than kids who don’t have IBS. Some foods — like milk, chocolate, drinks with caffeine, gassy foods, and fatty foods — also tend to trigger IBS. Sometimes, people never find out what triggers their IBS symptoms.
Some kids with IBS tend to be more sensitive to stress and emotional upsets. Because nerves in the colon are linked to the brain, things like family problems, moving, taking tests, or even going on vacation can affect how the colon works.
People with IBS have belly pain or discomfort and a change in bowel habits (pooping). Other signs of IBS may include bloating, belching (burping), flatulence (farting), heartburn, nausea (feeling sick), and feeling full quickly.
IBS symptoms last for at least 3 months and include at least two of the following:
There is no specific test for IBS. Doctors usually diagnose it by asking about symptoms and by doing a physical exam. Your doctor will also want to know if anyone in the family has IBS or other gastrointestinal problems.
Answering questions about things like gas and diarrhea can be embarrassing for kids. Assure your child that the doctor deals with issues like this every day and needs the information to help your child feel better.
The doctor may suggest that you help your child keep a food diary to see if certain foods trigger IBS symptoms. The doctor may also ask about stress at home and at school.
Most of the time, doctors don’t need medical tests to diagnose IBS, but sometimes they order blood and stool (poop) tests, X-rays, or other tests to make sure another medical problem is not causing the trouble.
There’s no cure for IBS. But many things can help reduce IBS symptoms, including:
IBS can affect your child’s quality of life. Talk with your doctor about ways to manage IBS to help your child lead an active and healthy life.
Almost all infants are fussy at times. But some are very fussy because they have an allergy to the protein in cow’s milk, which is the basis for most commercial baby formulas.
When life throws problems your way, learn how to stay calm, de-stress, and solve problems.
It’s normal to get a stomachache once in a while, but some kids have something more serious called inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Find out more about it.
Ugh. Bellyaches. Find out what causes tummy trouble in this article for kids.
Visit our stress and coping center for advice on how to handle stress, including different stressful situations.
Caffeine is in many foods and drinks, but it’s wise to keep caffeine consumption to a minimum, especially in younger kids. Here’s why.
If you have lactose intolerance, you’re not alone. Millions of Americans have the condition. Check out these tips on dealing with lactose intolerance.
Kids with lactose intolerance have trouble digesting a type of sugar found in milk and other dairy foods. But by making smart choices, they can eat delicious foods without feeling sick.
Being a kid doesn’t always mean being carefree – even the youngest tots worry. Find out what stresses kids out and how to help them cope.
Inflammatory bowel disease is an ongoing illness caused by an inflammation of the intestines. There are two kinds of IBD: Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Most people think digestion begins when you first put food in your mouth. But the digestive process actually starts even before the food hits your taste buds.
Having irritable bowel syndrome can make a kid feel awful. The good news is that kids can take steps to feel better.
Some teens get stomachaches and diarrhea often. Read about irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a common intestinal disorder that affects the colon.
Constipation is a very common problem that usually happens because a person’s diet doesn’t include enough fluids and fiber. In most cases, making simple changes can help you feel better.
The digestive process starts even before the first bite of food. Find out more about the digestive system and how our bodies break down and absorb the food we eat.
Constipation is a very common problem among kids, and it usually occurs because a child’s diet doesn’t include enough fluids and fiber. In most cases, simple changes can help kids go.
Most kids battle diarrhea from time to time, so it’s importantÂ to know what to do to relieve and even prevent it.
Kids who have celiac disease, a disorder that makes their bodies react to gluten, can’t eat certain kinds of foods. Find out more – including what foods are safe and where to find them.
Nearly everybody gets diarrhea every once in a while, and it’s usually caused by gastrointestinal infections. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Read this article to learn more.
If you aren’t pooping like usual, you could be constipated.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) refers to two chronic diseases that cause intestinal inflammation: ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Although they have features in common, there are some important differences.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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