Rates of Kids With IBD on the Rise
The rates of Inflammatory Bowel Disease are on the rise in the younger population. Those who are 20 years old and below are presenting more frequently, with more severe symptoms and with co-existing conditions. It is not certain why this is the case but it is important to note for many reasons (1).
Children with IBD are at an increased risk of long term complications because they are in the process of growing. Lacking adequate nutrition during these critical stages of growth can be very detrimental. Unfortunately it can take a long time to get a correct diagnosis for some children because of the inability for them to communicate exactly what is going on to the doctor. Some doctors are also not aware of this growing risk for the younger population.
If you have a child who is having GI discomfort it is best to write down the symptoms. If you see frequent diarrhea, blood or mucous in the stools, pain, weight loss, loss of appetite, fever and fatigue that lasts longer than the normal virus of 7-10 days please talk to your child's doctor.
There are many diseases that can cause similar symptoms so it can be a guessing game trying to get an accurate diagnosis. Be your child's advocate and make sure to ask the doctor if IBD could be a possibility. Many pediatric patients experience a huge delay in diagnosis and a delay can result in more suffering and damage to the intestines.