Inflammatory Bowel Disease Specialist

Kids and Tummies

Pediatric Gastroenterologist located in Gulfport, MS

The two types of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, can have a devastating impact on a young person's life. If your child is struggling with symptoms of IBD, the board-certified pediatric gastroenterologists at Kids and Tummies can help. At their office in Gulfport, Mississippi, the experienced team can diagnose your child's condition and provide expert advice on how to manage IBD. Call Kids and Tummies to find out more or book an appointment online today.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease Q & A

What is inflammatory bowel disease?

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a condition that affects the intestines, causing severe inflammation. IBD is chronic, although the symptoms can sometimes go away for a while.

The two primary forms of IBD are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Crohn's disease

Crohn's disease might affect any part of a child's gastrointestinal tract between their mouth and anus. The inflammation triggered by Crohn's disease can cause deep and extensive damage to bowel walls.

Ulcerative colitis

Ulcerative colitis affects the large intestine (colon) and rectum. It causes ulcers to develop in the inner lining of a child's colon that produce mucus, pus, and blood.

Children are twice as likely to get Crohn's disease as they are ulcerative colitis. The exact cause of IBD isn't fully understood, but it seems to be a combination of genetic factors, immune system malfunction, and environmental triggers.

What symptoms does IBD cause?

Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease don't share all the same symptoms, but the most common symptoms typical of inflammatory bowel disease include:

  • Abdominal pain, tenderness, and cramping
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Pus or mucus in the stool
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Depression and anxiety

An acute attack of ulcerative colitis can cause severe rectal pain, sweating, cramps, and multiple loose, bloody bowel movements a day. It can cause fecal incontinence in some children.

Inflammatory bowel disease can also affect growth and delay sexual development in adolescents due to poor nutrition.

How is inflammatory bowel disease diagnosed?

Your child's symptoms are likely to indicate that inflammatory bowel disease is a potential diagnosis. To confirm this and rule out other possible causes, the Kids and Tummies team runs tests on samples of your child's blood and stool.

They might also perform a colonoscopy, passing a thin tube with a camera on its tip (a colonoscope) into your child's rectum and large bowel. Your gastroenterologist can see whether there's any sign of inflammation or ulceration and take samples of the bowel wall for laboratory analysis.

How is inflammatory bowel disease treated?

Inflammatory bowel disease isn't curable, but there are effective treatments available to manage your child's symptoms. 

These therapies include:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Immunosuppressive drugs
  • Biologic agents
  • Nutrition therapy

Medications reduce the existing inflammation and help suppress the processes that produce inflammation. In a few cases, children might need surgery for IBD, for example, if they develop a blockage in their bowel, or their symptoms don't respond to medication.

If you're worried that your child has IBD, call Kids and Tummies today or book an appointment online.