Increased Number of Children with IBD
Inflammatory Bowel Disease has long been thought to be a disease that only adults get. This is just not true anymore. Gastroenterologists are seeing increasing numbers of children presenting with IBD. Most of this number are cases of Crohn's Disease.
Unfortunately many pediatricians do not have IBD on their radar and these children can go for quite some time with out an accurate diagnosis. Delays in treatment only lead to additional issues with malnutrition, anemia, poor nutrient absorption or stunted growth. It also increases the risk that the disease will progress to the point where more serious damage has been done to the colon or intestine.
Some of the symptoms of IBD in children include: abdominal pain, bloody stools, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, poor appetite, poor weight gain or growth, weight loss, pale skin or rapid heartbeat (indicating anemia). If your child has any of these symptoms, especially if they persist, it is important to discuss their risk for IBD.
Some of the testing may include: blood tests for anemia or markers of inflammation and endoscopy or colonoscopy. The faster a child is diagnosed the faster the appropriate treatment can be given. This can prevent many complications that could arise with untreated IBD. If you have a family history of IBD be especially aware of these symptoms.