Intestinal disorders in children

When something is wrong with our intestines, we generally notice this quite quickly. Our stools almost always show abnormalities. The stool may be too thin, too watery or smelly or there may be constipation. These intestinal problems can have various causes, including celiac disease, intestinal blockage, intestinal infection and intestinal cramps. These intestinal problems are discussed in this article.

Celiac disease

Celiac disease results from a hypersensitivity to gliadin , a substance found in gluten, which causes intestinal complaints . Gluten is a protein that comes from certain grains . Children with celiac disease cannot digest the substance properly due to hypersensitivity. When someone with a sensitivity to gluten ingests gluten, the mucous membrane in the intestinal wall is damaged and food processing is disrupted. A possible consequence of this is greasy diarrhea .
In the beginning of this condition, the stool often still shows a normal pattern and appearance. After a while, however, only greasy stools remain. The appetite often decreases, which leads to a disturbed eating pattern.
The condition can be kept reasonably under control
with a gluten-free diet , although there are still ups and downs with this condition. The cause of celiac disease is not entirely clear, but it is believed to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. The consequence of celiac disease can be, among other things, that the child does not consume enough food and therefore lags in growth, that the child develops teeth late or has abnormal bone development. The latter is called the English disease .

Intestinal blockage

Fortunately, intestinal blockage rarely occurs. There can be various causes for intestinal blockage. For example, a piece of intestine may travel to the next intestinal section, blocking the passage. There may also be a “kink” in the intestines, which is often the result of a compressed hernia . An intestinal blockage can be recognized by severe and intense pain attacks accompanied by vomiting and a swollen abdomen. The stool is often bloody and slimy .
This condition mainly occurs in children between the ages of 4 months and about 2 years, but can also occur later in life. Although this condition is very rare, it requires immediate medical treatment.

Intestinal infection

An intestinal infection is usually colloquially referred to as ‘ stomach flu ‘. With an intestinal infection, part of the abdomen is inflamed, which is accompanied by abdominal pain and mild diarrhea or constipation . An intestinal infection is very contagious and can therefore easily be transmitted to the rest of the family.

Intestinal cramps

Colonics are the cramps that a baby often experiences in the first few months of life. This can also occur in older people and is usually called intestinal colic.

Treating intestinal disorders in children

Most doctors are very reluctant to prescribe medication or painkillers for young children with intestinal disorders . This is because of the many side effects that such drugs can have. In some cases the doctor will prescribe Dimeticone , this is a medication that is not absorbed by the body and is safe. This medicine reduces gas accumulation in the child’s gastrointestinal tract. In some children you can relieve the pain by exerting some gentle pressure on the abdomen .

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