Ulcers and other underlying conditions can cause gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding in children. If your child vomits blood or has blood in their stool, the pediatric gastroenterologists at Kids and Tummies can help. At their office in Gulfport, Mississippi, the physicians offer on-site diagnostic services to identify the cause of GI bleeding. The team customizes treatment plans to relieve pain, stop bleeding, and protect your child’s gastrointestinal health. Call the Kids and Tummies office nearest you or book an appointment online today.
Gastrointestinal bleeding in children can be the result of several underlying causes.
Bleeding in the upper GI tract can indicate issues in the esophagus, duodenum, or stomach such as ulcers or persistent irritation.
Bleeding in the lower GI tract typically occurs because of issues in the large intestine (colon), including the rectum.
Lower GI bleeding can be the result of:
Inflammatory conditions like Crohn’s disease and colitis can also contribute to bleeding in the lower GI tract.
If your child has bleeding in their upper GI tract, they may vomit bright red blood or dark-looking specks that resemble coffee grounds. Some children may also vomit larger blood clots. In some cases, upper GI bleeding can cause tarry or black-colored stools.
Bleeding in the lower GI tract can cause bloody stools. You might also notice blood on the toilet paper after your child wipes.
If your child has any of these symptoms or unexplained abdominal pain, you can schedule a diagnostic evaluation with the team at Kids and Tummies.
The pediatric gastroenterologists at Kids and Tummies use in-office endoscopy and colonoscopy services to diagnose the underlying cause of your child’s gastrointestinal bleeding.
Both procedures are minimally invasive and involve inserting a slender tube with an attached camera into the gastrointestinal tract. The camera sends real-time images of the GI tract that helps the doctors identify ulcers, obstructions, and other issues.
During an endoscopy, the tube enters the GI tract through the mouth and down into the esophagus. In a colonoscopy, the tube goes into the rectum and up into the colon.
In some cases the doctors may use a capsule endoscopy. With this procedure, your child swallows a capsule containing a tiny camera that takes pictures as it moves through the GI tract and then exits the body. The images are transmitted to a device your child wears, so they can be retrieved and viewed.
Your child’s treatment plan for gastrointestinal bleeding depends on the underlying cause.
In general, treating upper GI bleeding involves medications to reduce irritation due to stomach acid. You may also need to make changes to your child’s diet to minimize acid production.
For lower GI bleeding, your child’s provider might recommend a colonoscopy to remove polyps or a minimally invasive procedure to cut off the blood supply to hemorrhoids.
Medications may be necessary to treat infections or to control persistent inflammation from Crohn’s disease or colitis.
If your child shows signs of gastrointestinal bleeding, you can find help at Kids and Tummies. Call the office nearest you or book an appointment online today.