Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects up to 20% of children in the United States. To help your child find relief of stomach upset, constipation, and other symptoms of IBS, the medical team at Kids and Tummies in Gulfport and Ocean Springs, Mississippi, provides personalized treatment plans to manage their IBS symptoms. If your child is frequently constipated or complains of stomach pain or loose stools, call the Kids and Tummies office nearest you to schedule a diagnostic evaluation. Or you can book an appointment online today.
Irritable bowel syndrome is a condition that develops when there’s dysfunction in your child’s colon (large intestine). The colon is responsible for absorbing water and a few nutrients from the foods you eat. Whatever is left as waste material moves out of the body in the form of stool.
When the muscles in the colon aren’t working properly to move food through the lower digestive system, the contents of the colon can irritate the bowels. This irritation causes a wide range of symptoms that interfere with your child’s comfort and quality of life.
The reasons for the dysfunction in the lower digestive tract are many. While stress doesn’t cause IBS, it can make it worse by affecting how the colon functions. Your child might also be at increased risk for IBS if you have it or there’s a family history of the condition.
Certain foods can also contribute to IBS, especially spicy foods or those that are high in fat, sugar, or fermentable carbohydrates. In some cases, eating large meals can also trigger IBS symptoms.
IBS symptoms can affect children in different ways. Children with IBS may experience frequent constipation when their stool becomes too hard to pass. On the other hand, IBS can also cause loose, watery stools.
Some kids with IBS often feel like they can’t finish going when they use the bathroom. They might have gas that feels trapped inside, leading to cramping and stomach pain.
The goal of treating irritable bowel syndrome in children focuses on relieving pain and other symptoms while protecting their gastrointestinal health.
The team at Kids and Tummies initially works with you and your child to determine the triggers of their IBS symptoms. This might involve reviewing your child’s daily routine, their diet, and their activities. Depending on their trigger foods, diet changes may be very helpful in alleviating their symptoms.
Lifestyle and diet changes are key to improving IBS symptoms. Your provider can recommend fiber-rich foods and supplements that promote colon health, and your child should drink plenty of water each day to prevent constipation.
Stool softeners and other medications can also help relieve existing stomach discomfort, nausea, and pain.
To schedule a diagnostic evaluation for symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), call either Kids and Tummies office location or book an appointment online today.