5 Common digestive health problems in children and how you can help
Does your child suffer from digestion-related health problems? Here is how you can help
Does your child suffer from indigestion, gas or constipation? Does she cough or sneeze a lot, or develop rashes after eating certain kinds of food? Or does she suffer from frequent of stomach aches?
For parents the world-over, complaints like this are not uncommon.
Children can suffer from many kinds of digestion-related health problems that may or may not get detected early.
These health issues can range from mild (such as indigestion) to severe.
Here are some common digestive health issues in children that parents should be aware of:
Colic is a problem that affects some babies during the first three to four months of life. Doctors have defined colic as prolonged or excessive crying in an infant who is otherwise well. Colicky babies can cry a lot for hours together, making parents feel frustrated and anxious.
It is not clear what causes colic, but health experts believe it is caused by abdominal cramps or gas.1
Children with diarrhea have watery, loose bowel movements that occur very frequently. They may experience painful cramping with the diarrhea.
Diarrhea can lead to rapid and severe dehydration unless treated in a timely manner.
3. Food Allergies
A child who sneezes or coughs a lot, frequently develops a rash or hives, or gets a stomachache, cramps or nausea after eating certain foods may have allergies.
The most common allergies in children are to peanuts and milk. Other common allergy triggers include eggs, fish, shellfish (crab, lobster, crayfish and shrimp), soy, tree nuts (for example, pecans, cashews and walnuts) and wheat. The most severe reactions are typically to peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish — all allergies that can last a lifetime.
Children often outgrow allergies to milk, eggs, soy and wheat. However, parents of a child with a food allergy should be aware of the possibility of anaphylaxis — a potentially life-threatening reaction that impairs breathing, causes a sudden drop in blood pressure and can send a body into shock. 2
4. Lactose Intolerance
It is hard to know if your child is lactose intolerant or if they have a milk allergy. Lactose is a sugar found in dairy products that many children love, such as yoghurt and cheeses
Many parents confuse the terms “lactose intolerance” and “milk allergy”. They are entirely different conditions. Lactose intolerance is a digestive problem, while milk allergy involves the immune system.
A milk allergy is an immune reaction to one of the many proteins in animal milk. It's most often caused by the alpha S1-casein protein in cow's milk.
The main difference between the two is that lactose intolerance can cause a great deal of discomfort but it will not produce a life-threatening reaction such as anaphylaxis. Also, milk allergies tend to appear within the first year of life.
Lactose intolerance can start in childhood into adolescence and can become more noticeable into adulthood. The symptoms of Lactose intolerance include nausea, abdominal pain, cramping, and bloating, loose stools and gas, and watery diarrhea with gas.
Lactose is present in milk, many food products and in some medications 3
When it comes to kids, constipation is a very common problem.
In kids, constipation not only can affect their growth but also can also have an indirect effect on their academic performance. Irregular bowel movements can lead to lack of concentration and hence weak academic performance in kids.
According to one study, fecal incontinence is a common problem among children and it results in marked loss of self-esteem in children.4
Another study concluded that “chronic constipation may retard growth status in children, and a long-term medication for constipation in children appears beneficial to their growth status.”5
Parents, therefore, should be aware about the rising incidence of constipation in kids because it leads to many problems such as lack of focus in school and falling sick often as the body is not purged of toxins regularly
What should you do as a parent?
While each digestive problem requires specific treatment, perhaps one of the best things you can do as a start, is to give your child probiotics, or “good bacteria”. These are highly beneficial for gut health and therefore, good digestion. Some mums like Rhea F. Mejia, rely on kid-friendly probiotic options like Erceflora Probibears.
Rhea’s 3-year old son suffered from constipation. But she has seen improvement in his bowel movements after using Erceflora Probibears. Before using it, the child used to cry while passing motion. Usually, he would take half a day to move his bowels as his stool was hard and big. He threw tantrum every time he felt the need to poop and would break into cold sweat. He would not let anyone touch him then.
Rhea is an internet-savvy mom. She read about Erceflora Probibears online and tried it. Her sister also used to give her niece Erceflora liquid when she encountered digestion issues, hence she knew that this is an effective brand.
Now her son, even though not fully potty-trained, happily passes motion, without making any fuss about it.
Other tips for parents to help improve their children’s gut health:
1. Encourage your child to drink plenty of fluids: Drinking enough water and other liquids (like fresh juice) helps stools move more easily through the intestines.
2. Serve more fibre. High-fibre foods (such as fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain bread) can help prevent constipation. Include them in your children’s diet.
3. Promote physical activity: Regular physical activity helps stimulate normal bowel function. It can be as simple as playing catch, riding bikes, or shooting a few hoops.
4. Develop a regular meal schedule: Regular meals may help kids develop routine bowel habits.
5. Teach your kids to heed nature’s call and create a toilet routine: They should not ignore nature’s call just because they are engrossed in play!
6. Keep Erceflora Porbibears handy
Keep Erceflora Probibears handy: the 2-in-1 Probiotic Protection to help improve your child’s intestinal ecology, help improve lactose malabsorption, and will enhance natural resistance to intestinal infections.
“Erceflora ProbiBears: The 2-in-1 Probiotic Protection for Kids Tummies!” is a yummy tummy supplement with the combined 2-in-1 PROBIO-BOOSTER of not just Lactobacillus acidophilus, but also Bifidobacterium lactis.
Lactobacillus is good bacteria that are present in a lot of food and have huge health benefits, both for children and adults, especially in digestive improvement and immunity enhancement 7. Bifidobacterium helps ease digestive issues such as bloating and flatulence.8
Erceflora ProbiBears is composed of one billion good bacteria that help prevent gut problems such as diarrhoea, gas and other digestive issues to help keep kids happy and healthy every day.
It’s a delicious and healthy way to strengthen your child’s tummy in yummy chewable bears!
Even though children will suffer from one or another kind of digestive problems once in a while, good gut health practices and a balance diet and healthy lifestyle will help prevent the occurrence of such health issues.
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All content found in this advertorial were created for informational purposes only; and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Kindly seek the advice of your attending physician regarding questions you may have about a medical condition. Please do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of information you obtained on this advertorial.
SAPH.LABL.18.06.0184o / Certification 1.2 / 03DEC2018