IBS in Children: How to Spot the Symptoms
Everyone knows that as soon as you become a parent, you stop shying away from the topic of poop. All of the daily diaper changes and trips to the potty condition you to take an interest in your kids’ bowel movements, which is equivalent to caring about their health.
If you’ve noticed a recent change in your little one’s poop or if they’re troubled by stomach pains on a regular basis, your child might be suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
IBS in children is more common than you think; “KidsHealth” estimates that anywhere from 5% to 20% of kids have IBS. Here are a few tell-tale IBS symptoms that can make this condition easier to spot:
Stomach Pain or Cramping that Won’t Go Away
In the case of chronic IBS, stomach pain can persist for up to three months, while other times the pain will be partially relieved after passing a poop. Pay close attention the next time your child grabs for their belly - it could just be too much candy, but maybe it’s a sign of irritable bowel syndrome.
Constipation or Diarrhea
Both constipation and diarrhea could be signs of IBS in your child. Loose, watery poops, the need to go all the time, and dry, hard, infrequent movements could be problematic. In fact, it may not always be consistent. One day your child may be running to the bathroom all the time, and the next, they’re completely stopped up and unable to go.
Excessive Gas and a Bloated Feeling
Most kids are completely uninhibited when it comes to passing gas, but if the farts become smelly or excessive, it could be a symptom of IBS. With IBS, sometimes the gas gets passed, and other times it can get trapped in the belly causing swelling and an uncomfortable, bloaty feeling.
Loss of Appetite
Whether they’re a picky eater or a bottomless food pit, any changes in appetite could be a warning sign of something worse. Since certain foods can trigger IBS in children, they may equate the feeling to meal-time in general. If your child is refusing to eat their dinner, don’t be too quick to play the blame game- try and see if there’s a root issue instead.
Mucus in the Stool
That clear sticky liquid that’s normally responsible for coating the GI system can make its way in to the toilet from time to time even in a healthy body. However, if you start noticing excess amounts of mucus alongside your kids’ poops, the culprit could be IBS.
Feeling Like They Haven’t Finished Pooping
Kids with IBS commonly report feeling like their trip to the potty has left them dissatisfied. If your child feels like they haven’t “finished going” or the whole poop hasn’t passed, it may be Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Do these symptoms sound familiar? It may be time to see a doctor to confirm the syndrome. Next, find out if the low FODMAP diet is right for your child. It may just be the answer to relieve them of those stinky symptoms.