Tag Archive | "irritable bowel syndrome"

Coping with Irritable Bowel Syndrome

When a child is put under a lot of stress or is put in a situation where he feels nervous or embarrassed he can develop a condition that causes severe diarrhea called Irritable bowel syndrome. Sometimes called as “spastic colon” or “nervous stomach”, this disorder causes gas, cramps, bloating and alternating episodes of constipation and diarrhea. It is not regarded as a serious health threat but it is very uncomfortable to have the disease.

Stress, physical trauma and some infections can trigger the occurrence of irritable bowel syndrome or IBS. The specific cause of the disorder is still unknown but research shows a linkage in a child’s genes. Studies shows that children with IBS are prone to physical discomfort and pain. Triggers are often found in foods containing milk, caffeine, chocolate and spicy foods.

What are the symptoms of Irritable bowel syndrome?

  • Pain and discomfort that can be relieved by bowel movement
  • Pain and discomfort in experiencing constipation as stools become hard
  • Cramps brought by excessive diarrhea

Diagnosing IBS is based on symptoms experienced for a period of three months as there is no diagnostic test for IBS. Medical history will often reveal a family member experiencing the same disorder. Most of the time physical check up to the doctor can be embarrassing as doctors often asks a lot of embarrassing questions. Make your child at ease by being with him all the time and reassuring him that the doctor normally ask this questions.

Treating irritable bowel syndrome is based on managing the disorder as there is no cure for it. Treatment is geared towards reducing the symptoms.

  • Avoid eating large meals instead practice small frequent feedings. Avoid triggers like spicy and greasy foods. Stay away from caffeine and chocolates.
  • If your child is experiencing a lot of stress and you feel this is causing the disorder it may be good to talk with your child and listen to what is going on with him. Offer help on how to ease pressure from school, friends and everyday stresses that contributes to the development of the disorder.
  • Engage your child into regular exercise. Constant physical activity promotes healthy bowel movement and is also considered as a form of relaxation or stress release. If you suspect that your child is having an emotional crisis and might be depressed take him to a psychiatrist for further evaluation.
  • Upon doctor’s physical examination the child may be prescribed with medications that can help ease out the discomfort of IBS. Laxatives may be advised for episodes of constipation and muscle relaxants for intense motility and cramps. Consult with your doctor before taking any over the counter preparations.
  • Teach your child relaxing activities such as painting, music therapy, hypnosis, meditation and breathing exercises to help cope with the stress of irritable bowel syndrome.

IBS is not a serious health condition but it can greatly affect a child’s way of life. Maintaining an open communication with your child helps in managing the disorder and coping with it making it possible for your child to still experience an active and normal lifestyle.

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Common Inherited Health Problems and How to Spot Them in Your Child

Everyone wants to have their child pick up the best traits of each of his parents. If the dad is highly intellectual or if the mom is very attractive, one would wish to have the child of these two, inherit both qualities, so the child would end up smart and beautiful. Physical attributes are not the only traits that are passed on to children; our body’s genes also pass on health problems and diseases. What are these common inherited health problems? And How can we determine if the child is affected or not?

There are 6 common inherited health problems that affect a lot of families in the United States of America. First health problem is with vision, according to Dr. Stuart Dankner M.D., a pediatrician ophthalmologist in Baltimore; problems such as near sightedness, lazy eye, and color blindness are all hereditary. Parents can suspect if their child has visual problems if they observe him experiencing any of these symptoms, frequent headaches, squinting and tearing up especially after reading or watching TV. If eye problem is present in both parents, it is best to have the child regularly checked by an ophthalmologist. The second health problem is eczema; a skin disorder characterized by dry, red, itchy skin patches believed to be caused by an allergic reaction to certain irritants such as extreme weather, egg and dairy products. Eczema is easy to spot, and if the parent suspects her child of having such condition, it is advisable to seek consult from a specialist. The third hereditary health problem is migraine; these severe headaches have a 50% chance of getting passed on if one parent has it, more so if both of them have it. Similar to how adults manifest migraine, children will also feel a throbbing pain on the front or sides of the head, usually accompanied by nausea and vomiting as well as sensitivity to light and sound. As always, it is always best to consult a specialist to manage and treat this condition. The fourth problem is Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS, the major symptom of this disease is abdominal pain and alternating diarrhea and constipation. If found to have IBS, consult with a pediatrician and modify the child’s diet eliminating food that triggers such condition. The fifth health problem that can be passed on is allergies; there is more than 50% chance of inheriting allergies if either of the parents has it. Allergies can be triggered by different sources and can manifest in various ways such as colds, runny nose, skin rashes, eye swelling and in severe cases breathing difficulties. The child’s pediatrician might prescribe mild antihistamines to manage allergies. The final health problem that can be inherited by the child is psychological and emotional issues. Personality disorders, mood disorders and several anxiety disorders are highly genetic and children are strongly predisposed. To spot children who might be experiencing psychological or emotional disturbances, observe the child for depression, unusual sadness, irritability, and mood swings.

Early detection of these hereditary health problems is as important as treating the disease itself. Be very observant and always be wary of what your child has, learn how to spot the unusual.

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