What is IBS?
It can be diagnosed when an individual reports abdominal pain on average one day per week for three months. This occurs alongside two or more of the following symptoms: pain relieved by bowel movements, altered stool frequency (such as less than three times/week), and changed stool form (such as watery). It has no apparent cause, but it is thought to have something to do with abnormal function of the GI tract, which allows muscle contractions to slow down or speed up, causing diarrhea and constipation.
It can occur at any age, and there is no known reason why IBS only occurs in adults but not children. IBS often will start around age 35, usually after a stressful event. It usually hurts the quality of life by causing pain, altering bowel movements, and anxiety because it cannot be explained easily from a child's point of view. It is often diagnosed in the pediatric population alongside irritable bowel syndrome attributed to functional disorder or other types of functional constipation.
What treatments are there for children diagnosed with IBS?
Pediatric IBS accounts for up to 25% of visits to a pediatric gastroenterologist due to abdominal pain complaints, with a more significant percentage being girls than boys. It affects around 30% of children diagnosed with it, which means that at least 10% of all children experience it as a disorder. It often first manifests early in life, typically before age 35.
It is typically diagnosed between 30 and 50 years of age, but IBS can occur at any age. It usually occurs after a stressful event or another condition such as neurologic disease, post-infectious IBS, and inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn's disease and Ulcerative colitis. It cannot be explained easily from a child's point of view because children do not have the same self-awareness as adults.
When should you take your child to see a doctor if you suspect them of having IBS?
It is defined by recurrent abdominal pain with alteration of bowel patterns occurring for at least three months along with two or more of the following symptoms: pain relieved by bowel movements, altered stool frequency (such as less than three times/week), and changed stool form (such as watery). It affects around 10% of the general population.
It is more common in women than men, but it can affect anyone regardless of gender or age, even children. it is diagnosed when an individual reports pain on average at least one day per week for at least three months, along with two or more of the following symptoms: pain relieved by bowel movements, altered stool frequency, and altered stool form. IBS-C occurs alongside either constipation or diarrhea to make up 30% of IBS cases.
IBS is the most common functional bowel disorder, meaning it happens due to abnormal intestinal contractions, which disrupt normal digestion. It causes around 4% of visits to a doctor's office, and IBS accounts for 10% of all visits to a gastroenterologist. It can begin at different times in an individual's life. Typically it begins before age 35, but it could occur at any point during a person's life.