From mild to severe, there are several problems related to the intestine that children might suffer from. They can either exist since birth, or develop later. Let’s understand them better.
There are many intestinal problems in children, some that are commonly known and some that we have never heard of. It is important to have at least a rough idea of these problems as they can cause some serious damage at times. An intestine’s working might be hampered either by internal or external factors. All the problems related to the intestine are classified into two types: small and large intestine problems.
List of Problems
Diarrhea is one of the most common digestive health problems in children, caused due to increase in bowel movements. This is usually a result of a viral infection, and is not a reason to worry. The child will pass stools more than often, but the condition should improve in 2–3 days. Symptoms are frequent bowel movements or passage of a lot of stools. Treatment will include consumption of a lot of water and if the condition worsens, some prescribed medication.
Constipation is another such problem that can either be normal or absolutely serious depending on the cause. If constipation is due to a low fiber diet, it can be treated with consumption of a lot of water and a diet full of fiber. If this is due to external factors, it may be the result of a tumor or due to pressure of another organ inside the body. If there is too much pain, there should be immediate consultation with a doctor, as it may be a sign of irritable bowel syndrome.
Meckel’s diverticulum is a pouch found at the junction of the two intestines that is actually a prenatal formation. The tissue in this bag is made of pancreas- and stomach-like tissues, and not the intestine ones. Thus, just like tissues found in the stomach, this produces acid. This acid can form ulcers which may rupture and can lead to leaking of waste products into the abdomen. This can result in peritonitis as well as some colon problems in children.
Intestinal Malrotation or Volvulus
This problem is actually a birth defect. Here, the formation of the intestinal tract is disturbed, which leads to twisting of the intestine. This twisting of the intestine is called volvulus. In this problem, the twisted part gets no blood supply and can eventually die.
This is one of the most common intestinal problems, primarily by obstruction. A segment of the intestine folds into another segment of the intestine, forming a telescope-like formation. This blocks the passage of food through the intestine and of blood supply to that area as well. You may notice symptoms like irritation and swelling of the intestine.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
There is a formation of ulcers in the inner lining of the intestine. Symptoms include stomach cramps, nausea, diarrhea, and weakness. If the symptoms are not severe, this can be treated by prescribed oral medications. Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative colitis are the main forms of IBD.
As we have seen in this article, intestine problems in children can be of various types and severity. If you notice even the slightest symptoms, show it to your doctor immediately. The treatment for these problems differs according to the intensity of the problem and thus, should be resorted to only after consultation.