Parents Guide To Crohn’s Disease In Children

Any type of chronic disorder may be especially difficult for a child to cope with. Likewise, being a parent to such a child may leave you feeling helpless and cheated. Unfortunately, the presence of Crohn’s Disease will not be any easier to bear or deal with, as it has particularly unpleasant side effects.

Crohn’s Disease is a form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease which occurs when the immune system overreacts to an agent of the digestive system, sends excessive white blood cells to the area, and causes inflammation as a result. The exact cause of Crohn’s Disease is unknown, but doctors believe it is because the body misperceives positive bacteria naturally found in the intestines as being harmful. However, once the reaction occurs, the immune system is unable to stop the attack on the digestive tract.

Any area of the digestive system may be affected by Crohn’s disease, from mouth to rectum; however, the area most affected is the lower portion of the small intestines and colon. Depending on which portion of the system is disease, different symptoms may arise. Some examples of symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, loss of appetite, and vomiting. Also, as a result of many of these symptoms, certain side effects occur, such as anemia, weight loss, stunted growth, and delayed development.

There may also be complication in areas outside of the digestive system, such as arthritis, skin rashes, mouth ulcers, or eye inflammation.

Although Crohn’s is a chronic disease, meaning it is ongoing, it does have periods of inactivity. During these periods, no symptoms may occur. However, they will inevitably return at some point. There is currently no cure for Crohn’s Disease.

Treatments for Crohn’s Disease include medications and surgery in severe cases. Medications are usually taken to decrease swelling in the bowels, control the reaction of the immune system, treat infection that may arise, or to treat the symptoms of Crohn’s. Surgery is usually only utilized when other treatment methods are ineffective. Unfortunately, many of the medications taken cause a myriad of side effects, many very severe in nature. However, often medication is necessary in spite of side effects to eliminate potentially life threatening issues, such as infection.

It is important to maintain a healthy diet and to intake plenty of fluids. Malnutrition sometimes occurs from lack of absorption of foods. Likewise, dehydration is a concern due to diarrhea and vomiting.

Your child will also more than likely experience a lot of emotional issues as a result of this disease.

Reduce Stomach Gas The Natural Way

Are there natural ways to reduce the gas you pass? Try preventive measures first. Learn how to move gas through your intestines more readily.

While there are several reasons you may find yourself to be gassy, there are many solutions for reducing belching, flatulence, abdominal bloating and pain. Excess gas commonly is associated with irritable bowel syndrome. Other serious gastrointestinal disorders usually produce other symptoms besides just being “gassy.”

Doctors usually recommend a plan to help move gas through the intestines more readily, combined with preventive measures, such as eliminating certain foods from your diet and avoiding chewing gum. Although many products on store shelves promise to help, their success is not guaranteed and often depends on the individual. There are also prescription medicines and some alternative therapies.

Keeping a diary of the foods and beverages you consume can help you systematically eliminate one food or group of foods at a time to determine which may be most responsible for your symptoms. One of the first questions at the top of the list would be ‘Could this be related to dairy products?’. If it is, the first step should be to eliminate these products from your diet for about seven days. If you feel better, then try to add dairy products back to your diet in smaller amounts to see if you can tolerate them.

There are some recommended home remedies and lifestyle changes. Chew more slowly and thoroughly because gas can be a sign of undigested food, the enzymes in saliva begin the first stage of breaking down food in the body’s absorption process. Avoid foods you know cause indigestion. Common food sources of gas include Brussels sprouts, bran, beans, milk products, cabbage, artificial sweeteners, carbonated beverages and alcohol. Take a short walk after you eat to prevent gas accumulation.

Maintaining a regular exercise schedule in the form of walking, jogging and calisthenics will help stimulate the passage of gas through the digestive tract. Perform chest-to-knee stretches. Lying on your back, bring your right knee to your chest. Hold for 10 seconds and, then repeat with the other knee.

If those remedies don’t provide relief, your doctor may recommend that you take an over-the-counter antacid, activated charcoal, or a lactase or bismuth product.

Antacids contain aluminum hydroxide, magnesium hydroxide (known as Milk of Magnesia), calcium carbonate, or other ingredients individually or in various combinations. Antacids help to control the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease, a condition in which the stomach’s juices (acid and digestive enzymes) flow backward, or reflux, into the esophagus.

Tablets of activated charcoal may provide relief from gas in the colon. Studies have shown that when taken before and after a meal, lower-intestinal gas is reduced.

However, activated charcoal can cause black stools and constipation. While these are harmless side effects, black stools can be confusing to a physician, because color changes in stool can be a sign of a serious illness. Evidence concerning the benefit of activated charcoal is contradictory. Its effect in alleviating symptoms of intestinal gas has been supported by some studies yet refuted by others. As a result, physicians may recommend that patients consider trying activated charcoal to see whether its use results in some symptom relief. The usual dose is two to four tablets taken just before eating and one hour after meals.

Gas is often a symptom of lactose intolerance, which makes digesting dairy products difficult. It occurs when the body has too little of the enzyme lactase in the small intestine to break down lactose, the main sugar in milk and milk-based products. Although lactose intolerance can happen at any age, it tends to affect most people as they grow older. Lactase comes in liquid or tablet form. Adding a few drops to milk before drinking or chewing lactase tablets just before eating helps people who have difficulty breaking down lactose.

Bismut has salts to relieve inflammatory conditions of the stomach and intestines and can sometimes relieve gas. It also reduces the odor of unpleasant smelling gas caused by hydrogen sulfide, a sulfur-containing compound. Like activated charcoal, bismuth may result in black stools. Take before or after meals, on either an empty or full stomach.

In summary, stomach and intestinal gas is normal. Excess gas can be distressing, but rarely is it caused by a serious medical disorder. If your symptoms cannot be easily controlled or you have additional problems such as abdominal pain, change in bowel habits, or rectal bleeding, you need to contact your doctor’s office.

Menopause and Gastrointestinal Distress

Numerous women report that menopause comes along with gastrointestinal distress causing uncomfortable symptoms such as indigestion, flatulence and sudden bloating. Not only are these annoying and embarrassing, they can also be quite painful.

During menopause, gastrointestinal bloating is caused when air fills the abdomen, creating a full feeling. Even though your stomach remains the same size, your pants probably feel tighter and your waistline just seems to keep expanding. Excess intestinal gas is produced by bacteria in the intestines. Sugar located foods often contribute to the growth of this bacterium.

Poor digestion, a lack of lactose – an enzyme that breaks down food and liquids, can cause gastrointestinal distress as well. Gas distress can also be rampant during menopause due to lack of estrogen. Medical studies have suggested that a menopausal woman’s diet can be to blame – particularly too many high sugar foods including fruit, and certain vegetables such as cauliflower, onion and broccoli that create even more bacteria in already inflamed intestines.

Of course your hormones might also be the trigger for bloating. For example, progesterone in the right doses has a calming effect, but in too high doses can cause bloating and breast tenderness. A form of estrogen called Estradiol, on the other hand, is sometimes prescribed as a relief for bloating.

People who eat too much protein at once can cause bloating because the stomach can’t digest it all. Enzymes that help digestion such as Beano aid in the consumption of products such as soy that can have numerous positive effects for menopausal women.

Herbs can be used to restore balance in menopause. You need to be clear on what stage of menopause you are in. Different hormone levels vary significantly from peri-menopause to menopause and post-menopause, and of course your doctor needs to help you with these decisions.

For bloating as well as headaches and breast tenderness, an herbal tea that provides minerals in a dissolved form can help. Minerals help your body handle waste loads as well as provide a good source of calcium. You can use a combination of raspberry, dandelion, lemon balm, nettles, and green oat straw tea. Drink one cup of tea per day. Don quai can increase the effectiveness of estrogen released from fat tissue and help soothe menopausal discomfort as well.

The information in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice.