Common Gastrointestinal Problems In Children

Common Gastrointestinal Problems In Children

Gastroesophageal Reflux

Gastroesophageal reflux is the bringing up of stomach contents or acid into the oesophagus. Children may suffer and find it difficult to communicate typical heartburn symptoms. Also, stomach aches and sometimes chest pain may trouble them. A bout of coughing and wheezing is also observed in affected children and it is further deteriorated by reflux.

An upper intestinal endoscopy with biopsies is generally performed to find the traces of inflammation in the oesophagus. Esophageal pH probe is another test used in current time to diagnose the acid reflux and it is considered most helpful.

Children and adolescents who suffer with this disease should follow some dietary restriction. They should avoid acidic and fatty foods and other foods like chocolate, citrus juices, carbonated drinks, coffee, tea and hot chocolate etc.

Lactose Intolerance

Infants with the lack of this enzyme may suffer feeding problems with diarrhoea and vomiting. Infection by a virus called rotavirus can also be the reason behind lactose intolerance and it can affect both young children and infants, alike.

The victims of lactose intolerance may suffer symptoms like abdominal swelling and pain, burping, excess gas and diarrhoea.

Breath hydrogen test is applied to diagnose the presence of this disease and this condition can be treated by including some dietary modification and by taking supplements to aid the digestion of lactose.

Diarrhoea And Dehydration

Diarrhoea often troubles children younger than five years of age and acute diarrhoea is a condition when the stools are softer and more frequent then normal. Diarrhoea may occur due to infections with bacteria, viruses or parasites.

Dehydration too is a common problem suffered by children and it occurs when someone is incapable of taking enough fluid orally, to meet their daily requirements. Parents can look for signs by checking the frequency of urination, for dry lips and if the child is crying with tears. Also, the energy level of the child decreases and the child often becomes fussy.

Diarrhoea is diagnosed by collecting and examining stool samples of the patient. Oral rehydration solutions (ORS) can be used to treat mild dehydration but in severe cases of diarrhoea and dehydration, children may need medical intervention.


Constipation is a condition defined by infrequent, hard or sometimes a difficulty in passing bowel movements. Someone may experience painful bowel movement as well. This condition may also be associated with stomach aches or pain in other parts of the abdominal area. Constipation can be treated with some dietary and behavioural modifications, along with prescribed medication.

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