Summary: A rumbling tummy or occasional upset stomach can arise from pediatric GI issues such as GERD, lactose intolerance, celiac disease, and more.
A rumbling tummy or an occasional stomach ache is a common occurrence for children and teens of all ages. However, in the event the aches and pains happen more consistently, are you aware of what remedies can relieve these symptoms? If your little one needs pediatric digestive care in Jackson, MS, please connect with our gastroenterology experts. At GI Associates & Endoscopy Center, we maintain the skills and expertise needed to offer reliable treatment protocols. Read on to discover additional facts about common childhood GI conditions, along with several tips and tricks from our team.
How frequently are children affected by digestive conditions?
As indicated by the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders, 40 to 50% of healthcare appointments with a pediatric gastroenterology physician are due to functional GI disorders. Encopresis, or constipation, occurs in around 10 to 25% of children who are advised to see a pediatric GI physician, and about 17% of high school-age students experience symptoms representative of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Our Jackson, MS gastroenterology specialists want to help your family identify treatment options for pediatric GI conditions.
What variations of GI disorders are common in teens, children, and infants?
A sample of the pediatric GI disorders that are commonly identified in infants, children, and teenagers include the following:
GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease): Frequent heartburn in children and infants can lead to a GERD diagnosis. General signs and symptoms are burping, lack of a desire to eat, throwing up, stomach pain, hiccups, and gagging or choking.
Lactose intolerance: A treatable condition, lactose intolerance is one of the gastrointestinal conditions that may affect children of all ages. It happens when the child's body is unable to break down the sugar present in dairy, known as lactose. Loose or watery stools, gas, a stomach ache, or bloating experienced after consuming dairy are all indications of this condition. Ingesting lactase enzymes prior to ingesting dairy can enable the body to digest lactose properly.
Constipation: Constipation arises when stool becomes dry, large, and/or challenging to pass. In kids, this can cause them to avoid routine bathroom habits. Avoiding bowel movements can result in more constipation and additional discomfort.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): This digestive concern may arise in teenagers and children. It describes two individual GI conditions. Ulcerative colitis leads to inflammation in the colon (large intestine), and Crohn’s disease can impact all portions of the GI tract. Signs and symptoms of both disorders may include bloody or watery bowel movements and stomach pain.
Celiac disease: Celiac disease is a digestive health problem that develops when an adverse reaction occurs after consuming gluten. Gluten is a protein found in rye, barley, and wheat. If uncontrolled, it can cause serious damage to the small intestine and hinder your child's body from taking in the necessary nutrients from the food they consume.
EoE (eosinophilic esophagitis): This condition is present in the esophagus. EoE can lead to chronic allergic inflammatory disease. Kids may have abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, regurgitation, and a burning sensation similar to acid reflux. Additionally, they may gag frequently and report trouble swallowing.
What steps can be taken to maintain good GI health in children?
We know that as a parent, you want the best for your family, from planning doctor appointments to ensuring they eat a well-rounded and healthy diet. Some ways to help your child achieve digestive health are to infuse these suggestions into their day-to-day life:
- Eat at a slower pace: We know that between after-school activities and spending time with friends, it is easy for teens to quickly grab a snack from the pantry while on the go. Urge them to take time to enjoy the food they eat to help prevent stomach upset.
- Eat meals together as a family: Try to make mealtime pleasant for everyone in the family and incorporate a family mealtime. Doing so allows for consistency and stability, helping to ensure time spent sharing a meal is enjoyable for everyone. Allowing your toddlers to feed themselves during family meals is also a good way to help them create a healthy association with food.
- Watch portion sizes: Portion sizes can affect how food is processed and digested. If your child eats excessively, it may cause digestion difficulties and result in an upset stomach.
For additional tips on how to help your child experience good GI health, request a consultation with our team at GI Associates & Endoscopy Center. Our gastroenterologists will partner with you to find a solution that suits your family’s lifestyle and needs.
Find treatment for pediatric GI disorders in Jackson, MS
Children's GI issues do not have to result in persistent, uncontrollable discomfort. You can find treatment options for every member of your family when they are needed. For additional information on the common gastrointestinal conditions affecting children, please request a consultation at GI Associates & Endoscopy Center. Our digestive health team offers pediatric digestive care in Jackson, MS that can help your little one maintain optimal gastrointestinal health for years to come.