Abdomen Diseases in Children

Overview of Abdomen Diseases in Children

Abdominal diseases in children also known as (bachay ki pait ki bemariyan/  بچے کی پیٹ کی بیماریاں ) contribute to a variety of diseases but most of the diseases start from abdominal pain. These types of abdominal diseases affect children between the ages of 7 and 10.

The abdominal pain also relates to other common diseases of the stomach such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and Crohn's disease.

Among all stomach aches, gastroenteritis is the most common cause of abdominal pain in children. It is caused by both viruses and bacteria. The most common viruses are Rotavirus, Norwalk virus, Adenovirus, and Enterovirus and bacteria are Escherichia coli, Yersinia, Campylobacter, Salmonella, and Shigella.

Signs and Symptoms of Abdomen Diseases in Children

The first sign of abdominal pain is when the person feels dull or achy. The intensity of the pain ranges from moderate to severe, depending on the children’s condition.

Other general symptoms of abdominal pain are as follows:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Appetite loss
  • Pale skin

 

Each attack of abdominal pain lasts at least 1 hour to three days. Random in-between attacks mean children are healthy and not indicating any sign of abdominal diseases.

Types of Abdomen Diseases in Children

There are different types of abdominal pain that result from a variety of diseases which includes:

  • Abdominal migraine refers to severe abdominal pain with nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite.

  • Functional abdominal pain is a mixed type that is caused by the combination of one or more types such as chronic abdominal pain and functional dyspepsia. Due to this, children's activities are disturbed.

  • Functional dyspepsia is upper abdominal pain caused by bowel movements in children. It is very difficult to reduce it.

  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is abdominal pain resulting from bowel movement, but it is very treatable. The child's bowel movements produce more than normal.

Causes of Abdomen Diseases in Children

There are a variety of reasons for abdominal pain that affects the upper and lower left side of the abdominal regions. However, the main causes are infection, abnormal growths, inflammation, obstruction (blockage), and an intestinal disorder. Infection in the throat, intestines, and blood can cause bacteria to enter your digestive tract, resulting in abdominal pain.

Causes of Upper Abdominal Pain

A child feels upper abdominal pain because of different viral and bacterial conditions. Some of them are as follows:

  1. Gastroenteritis 

This disease refers to stomach viruses that cause abdominal pain along with other problems in children such as:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fatigue
  • Dehydration 
  1. Gastritis

Gastritis affects the stomach lining which makes it swollen and painful. There are two types of gastritis: acute and chronic. Both cause upper abdominal pain in children.

Acute gastritis is a short-term condition, occurring due to Helicobacter pylori bacteria. On the other hand, other conditions involve irritating the stomach lining, causing chronic gastritis. Some are given below:

  • Crohn’s disease
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Allergies
  • Viruses in people with weakened immune systems
  1. Gas 

Gas is often trapped in the digestive tract when a person swallows air while eating, as well as through natural digestion processes.

Gas can be caused by:

  • Digesting food that is prone to releasing gas
  • Swallowing air
  • Smoking
  • Chewing gum
  • Overeating
  • Undigested food
  • Bacteria
  1. Indigestion 

Indigestion is caused by a buildup of acid after eating. For most people, indigestion pain occurs in the upper part of the abdomen.

  • Causes of Lower Left Abdominal Pain

There are several possible causes of lower left abdominal pain. Some causes are more common and acute, while others can be serious and require medical attention.

  1. Diverticulitis 

Diverticulitis is one of the most common causes of lower left abdominal pain. Diverticulitis occurs when the diverticula (small pouches) In the intestinal wall become infected and inflamed. Diverticula form in weak areas of the large intestine, which is often referred to as the colon.

Additional Symptoms of diverticulitis may include:

  • Tenderness in the abdomen
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting 
  • feeling bloated
  1. Celiac Disease 

Celiac disease is a chronic condition that occurs in the digestive tract when a person cannot digest gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat and is present in several foods and healthcare products.

Symptoms of celiac disease may include:

  • Pressure and gas
  • Bloating 
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Diarrhoea
  1. Lactose Intolerance

A person who has lactose intolerance has trouble digesting milk and milk-based products, such as cheese and yogurt. This is because the person lacks a sufficient amount of an enzyme called lactase.

Lactose breaks down the lactose in milk, which consists of the simple sugar glucose and galactose. When a person has a high level of lactose in their bloodstream, they may develop symptoms associated with lactose intolerance. These symptoms include:

  • Loose stool or diarrhea
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Bloating 
  • Gas pain 
  • Nausea
  • A growling or rumbling Stomach 
  1. Inflammatory Bowel Disease 

Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are chronic conditions that can cause painful inflammation anywhere in the digestive tract.

Crohn’s disease is most common in the small intestine, and ulcerative colitis is most common in the colon.

  1. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic gastrointestinal disorder that a doctor may only diagnose once they have ruled out other probable causes of a person’s symptoms.

Symptoms of IBS may include:

  • Abdominal pain 
  • Pressure 
  • Constipation Or diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Bloating 
  1. Hernia

A hernia occurs when an organ or other body part pushes through the abdominal wall. Sometimes, a lump may appear in the midsection or near the groin.

Symptoms of hernia complications include:

  • Pain when lifting an object
  • Pressure 
  • Increasing pain
  • The increasing size of a bulge
  • A general feeling of fullness 
  1.  Constipation 

Constipation occurs when a person cannot pass a stool. It is due to the two most significant factors that are, poor diet and lack of exercise.
Symptoms of constipation include:

  • Straining when passing stool
  • Needing to apply pressure to the abdomen to help push out a stool
  • A lumpy or very hard stool
  • Feeling like the rectum is blocked
  • Feeling like not all the stool has passed
  • Having a fever than three bowel movements in a week
  1. Kidney Stones

Mostly, the stone is formed from calcium building and can form in either the right or left kidney.

A person may develop a kidney stone and not realize they have it until the stone causes problems, such as blocking part of the kidney or causing great pain as it passes.

Symptoms of a kidney stone include:

  • Abdominal pain 
  • Pain when urinating
  • Nausea or vomiting 
  • Blood in the urine
  • Fever
  • Frequent urination
  1. Intestinal Obstruction 

When a blockage occurs in the intestine, food cannot pass through the digestive tract.

Symptoms of intestinal obstruction include:

  • Abdominal pain 
  • Inability to pass stool
  • Distention
  • Vomiting 
  • Constipation 

Other Causes of Abdominal Pain

  • Stress
  • Chronic vomiting 
  • Bacterial or viral infection 
  • Excess alcohol consumption 
  • Bile reflux from your small intestine 
  • Pernicious anemia
  • Autoimmune diseases 

 

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Risk Factors of Abdomen Diseases in Children

Risk factors for abdominal pain are factors that are associated with the condition but not the direct cause.

Conditions that weaken the immune system such as diabetes, organ transplant, chemotherapy, AIDS, or sickle cell anemia increase your likelihood of suffering from abdominal pains.

Other potential risk factors for abdominal pain include:

  • Older age
  • Prior abdominal surgery 
  • History of bowel disorders
  • Exposure to a stomach virus

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Prevention

The main way of prevention of abdominal pain is to avoid spicy and processed food. Along with it, reduce the intake of beverages and other cold drinks.

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Diagnosis

The cause of abdominal pain is diagnosed on the basis of its characteristics, a physical examination, and testing.

Diagnosis for abdominal pain according to the children’s age and condition. This may involve:

  • Physical examination
  • Laboratory tests-complete blood count(CBC), liver enzymes, pancreatic enzymes (amylase and lipase), pregnancy, and urinalysis test
  • Plain X-rays of the abdomen 
  • Ultrasound 
  • Computerized tomography (CT scan)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Barium X-rays
  • Colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy
  • Endoscopic ultrasound 

Treatment of Abdomen Diseases in Children | When to Consult a Doctor

Initially, parents treat abdominal pain by using natural products such as:

  • Yogurt
  • Ginger
  • Chamomile tea
  • Honey
  • Banana
  • Baking soda
  • Mint and lemon

The Treatment for abdominal pain depends on its causes. Treatment can range from medications for inflammation, GERD, or ulcers and antibiotics for an infection. In some cases like appendicitis and hernia, most require surgery along with medications. 

Other treatments include the treatment of children are the following:

 

  • Over-the-counter pain relief 
  • Prescription medication for inflammation, GERD, ulcers, or general pain
  • Antibiotics 
  • Low-dose antidepressant 
  • Change in behavior, including eliminating certain foods or beverages that may be contributing to abdominal pain
  • Surgery to remove intestinal blockages, pediatric hernia, or infected organs

In case of any concerning signs and symptoms, you need to consult a certified pediatrician