Answers For YOUR Health

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IBS and Children


Irritable Bowel Syndrome, (IBS) is not confined to any specific age, gender or type of personality. This chronic disorder can be a part of anyone's life if the digestive system is not functioning properly.

The syndrome often causes symptoms of abdominal cramping and pain, constipation and diarrhea. Because it can become a problem for anyone, it is important to identify whether your child has any of these symptoms. If so, then you can take a series of steps to help them.

One of the tell tale signs to help you determine whether your child has IBS, is establishing when and how long their symptoms have occurred. IBS is a chronic disorder that occurs for a period of more than twelve weeks in any given year.

You may notice the symptoms are triggered following a stressful event in the child's life, such as a sickness or school problems. While this will not be the direct cause for IBS, it will often help trigger the symptoms.

If you have noticed several of the IBS symptoms in your child, it is strongly recommended that you take them for a doctor's opinion. This will ensure the symptoms are due to IBS and not due to another disorder.

A doctor will be able to perform specific examinations related to IBS to determine whether your child's symptoms are due to IBS or whether they are due to a specific disease. From here, they can make recommendations on how to treat the problem.

It is also advisable to begin making changes in your child's lifestyle to prevent further recurrences of IBS. You are so much more in control of your child's diet than you will be ever again. Keep an accurate food journal. Make note of the days activities and any problems at school.

Do not administer the same medications an adult takes for IBS. Consult with your pediatrician on any medications you wish to try. 

Ask your doctor about vitamin supplements or any herbal supplements you may have heard about.

If your child is not physically activity, you might want to encourage a change by allowing them more time to run and play. You may have to restrict TV time. You may have to go for walks or bike rides with them.

One option you may also want to consider is talking with your child and establishing what might be causing them particular stress or anxiety. IBS symptoms are usually triggered by stresses in the child. If you allow them to open up and talk about what is bothering them, it will calm them down and help with the prevention of IBS.

Children will sometimes refuse to eat because they have figured out that eating causes pain. Children can quickly become dehydrated so make sure they are drinking plenty of fluids - not colas or sugary drinks. Do not allow the child to eat fatty foods in an effort to get him or her to eat.  Those foods will only aggravate the situation and lead to over weight as well. If you add powdered fiber to their diet you must ensure they have sufficient water as well.

Your child may be embarrassed by having to have frequent bathroom breaks at school.  Be sure to speak with the teacher so that he or she is aware of the problem and does not try to tell the child to "hold it" until class break.

When you combine a change in diet, shift in activities and talking to your children about the things that they are finding stressful, you will go a long way in preventing the symptoms of IBS.

Knowing and recognizing the symptoms occurring in your child, then taking the appropriate steps to treat or prevent them is a way to make sure that you are helping your child get rid of any discomfort.





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