According to the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation more than 100,000 children have Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Unfortunately these numbers are on the rise as more and more cases of pediatric IBD are diagnosed. While there is no known cause for the increase in the numbers of children with IBD we can help diagnose and treat these children more efficiently.
Currently most children with IBD see a delay in diagnosis of months. The delay can allow out of control IBD to stunt the child's growth, cause anemia or malnutrition and even damage to the colon or intestine. Crohn's Disease appears to be more rapidly appearing in this age group than Ulcerative Colitis. This, according to researchers, may also be why it is hard to diagnose. UC can have more clear symptoms, such as bloody diarrhea (1).
Some of the symptoms seen in children with IBD include but are not limited to:
family history of IBD
Maria Oliva-Hemker, M.D., chief of the Gastroenterology & Nutrition division at Hopkins Children's suggests in a recent article that parents whose children have these symptoms should ask about testing for anemia and for markers of inflammation (1).