Does your little one suffer from constant stomach upsets? Does he suffer from blood in the stool? Are you worried about his condition? If you nodded along, you might want to read our post here. Crohn’s disease affects many children. Here, we look at the causes, symptoms, and treatments for the disease.
What Is Crohn’s Disease?
Crohn’s disease is a form of inflammatory bowel disease, in which the child’s intestinal tract becomes inflamed. Though the disease is chronic, it is manageable. It is important to recognize the disease and take your child to a health care specialist. Crohn’s disease mostly affects the end of the small intestine, but sometimes it can happen in any place on the digestive tract from mouth to anus. Since, the disease is chronic the child has to deal with it all his life.
It is possible that the child has a long period of remission, and can experience no symptoms for months to years, but the disease can return at any stage in life. There is no cure for the disease, but it can be controlled with the help of treatment.
Causes Of Crohn’s Disease In Children
Research suggests that the main cause of Crohn’s can be one of the three factors:
- Genetics: Through a close family member who was diagnosed with the same disease.
- Immune system: Sometimes, even the good cells in the body get affected by mistake.
- Environment: Food and other habits.
Symptoms Of Crohn’s Disease In Children:
As a parent, it is important to keep a check on the child’s digestive system and on any abnormality that is frequent but not common. Some of the crohn’s disease symptoms in children include:
- Stomach ache and cramps
- Frequent diarrhea
- Blood in the child’s stool
- Weight loss
- Skin, eye or joint irritation.
- Dehydration due to loss of fluid.
- Sores in the intestine, which can also cause bleeding.
- Tears in the anus or rectum that can cause bleeding.
- Short-term constipation, due to swelling in the intestine.
- Delayed puberty, weight loss, and slow growth.
- Arthritis or joint pain
- Skin problems
- Weak bones (1)
Diagnosing Crohn’s Disease In Children
The Pediatrician might suggest one of the following:
- Blood tests can be done to check anemia, poor nutrition absorption, high while blood test count and whether the treatment is working on the child.
- A stool sample can help in checking the bacteria that causes inflammation, blood in stool if any, and also show areas of swelling in the intestine.
- X-Ray can decide whether the child has Crohn’s disease, to detect the exact location of the disease and also show areas of narrowing in the small intestine.
- Endoscopy elaborates on the child’s digestive tract; it is also considered one of the best ways to detect the disease (2).
Health Problems Due to Crohn’s Disease
Lack of Growth is one of the major concerns of Crohn’s disease. As childhood is when nutrients and calories play an important role in the development and growth, the earlier the disease is detected; the better the treatment works.
Treating Crohn’s Disease In Kids
The Purpose of Treatment is to control inflammation. Correct and improve nutritional deficiencies, control and relieve symptoms of crohn disease in children. The effectiveness of any of the above treatment depends on how early the disease was detected and what are the complications that the child encounters. It is also important that the child responds to the treatment.
As a parent, it is important to support the child both mentally and emotionally. Children might get irritable and frustrated as they are unable to keep up with friends. Your child might also experience difficulty to concentrate on school work, be supportive and keep him motivated.
If you have any other information on this disease or want to share tips with the other parents – Please do write to us.