Center for Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Board-Certified Pediatric Gastroenterology & Nutrition located throughout Illinois
It is estimated that as many children as adults suffer from irritable bowel syndrome. If your child suffers from abdominal pain at least once a week, and this has occurred for at least two months without any explanation, call or make an appointment online today at one of the seven locations of The Center for Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition throughout Illinois.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
What is irritable bowel syndrome?
When food reaches the large intestine, your child’s colon absorbs water and nutrients. Anything not consumed continues on a pathway out of the body as waste. To have a bowel movement and get rid of the poop, all the muscles in your child’s colon need to work together.
Irritable bowel syndrome results when the process gets interrupted. The interference makes it so that the contents of your child’s colon don’t move through smoothly. The disturbance makes the colon stop running or move too fast, causing discomfort.
Also referred to as IBS, irritable bowel syndrome is the name given to several different medical conditions, including:
- Mucous colitis
- Spastic colon
- Nervous colon
- Spastic bowel
Historically, these conditions were thought to be psychological; the name change shows that this disorder has both physical and mental causes.
What are the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome?
The most common symptoms associated with IBS include abdominal pain that accompanies bowel habit changes. You notice that your child has either more or fewer bowel movements. When your child does poop, it is either looser and more watery or harder and lumpier than usual. His or her stool could also alternate between the two. Other symptoms of IBS include:
- Incomplete bowel movement
- Passing mucus
How is irritable bowel syndrome diagnosed?
The doctors at The Center for Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition diagnose irritable bowel syndrome through a review of your child’s medical history and performing a physical exam, which includes lab tests to check for infection and inflammation. Additional testing helps rule out other causes of your child’s discomfort including:
- Blood tests: rule out anemia, infection, or illness caused by inflammation or irritation.
- Urine analysis: to assess for urinary tract infections.
- Stool sample: to check for bacteria, parasites, and blood
- Lactose breath hydrogen test: to determine if your child is lactose intolerant
- Abdominal X-ray and ultrasound: gives the doctor a peek at your child’s internal organs
- Endoscopy and colonoscopy: to examine the inside of the digestive tract
How is irritable bowel syndrome treated?
The best way to treat irritable bowel syndrome is by trying to figure out what causes the symptoms to occur and avoiding those foods. Beyond that, the doctors at The Center for Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition recommend increasing your child’s fiber intake.
For treatment of your child’s irritable bowel syndrome, call or make an appointment online today at The Center for Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition in the Southern and Western Chicago suburbs.