Common digestive disorders in children

Posted by Seema Nigar Alvi on Sat, Mar 12, 2011  
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Our Digestive system comprises of mouth, pharynx, stomach, small and big intestines, liver, gall bladder and rectum. Any dysfunctioning or malfunctioning in these organs will lead to appearance of signs and symptoms of the various digestive problems such as belching, diarrhea, constipation, etc.

The common digestive ailments encountered during infancy include colic, diarrhea vomiting, constipation, abdominal pain, dyspepsia, gastroesophageal reflux and regurgitation. Majority of these disorders manifests quite common symptoms. They can lead to malnutrition or dehydration in children and can even have deleterious effects on the health of the little ones.

The first most important disorder is colic which refers to pain in the abdomen because of partial or complete intestinal blockage, blockage of ureter or bile duct blockage. Generally there is recurrent or continuous crying or irritability in apparently healthy child. The exact cause is still unknown but we can attribute it to faulty eating habits, overfeeding etc.

Another important disorder is diarrhea which is excessive or frequent evacuation of watery stools with cramps, abdominal pain, fever, nausea, bloating, etc. Diarrhea is mainly caused by bacteria( Salmonella, Shigella and E coli} .It can be of viral origin (Rotavirus, Cytomegalovirus, etc) or parasitic origin ) Entamoeba histolytica, Giardia etc.)

Vomiting is the third important symptom seen commonly in children. We can understand vomiting as the forceful expulsion of gastric contents. It can be caused due to distension as a result of colic or abdominal pain. Sometimes over- eating or air swallowing also causes vomiting.

Let’s talk about the fourth common disorder of gastric tract which is constipation. Delayed bowel movements causes stool retention. Difficulty in evacuating stools is constipation. The commonest causes of constipation are low fibre diet,birth defect, Hirschsprung Disease and Down Syndrome.

Dealing with these disorders is not a difficult task. What we require is a proper care of children’s diet. The diet should be rich in carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fruits, etc. They should be given sufficient amount of fluids in the form of healthy juices, energy drinks, lemonades, etc. to cope with water imbalance. A proper diet regime is necessary to maintain health of the children.



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