What is Pedi IBD?
Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease, or
Pedi IBD, is a group of chronic disorders that cause pain,
swelling and inflammation of the small and large intestine.
The two most common of these disorders are Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. In some instances, it can be difficult
to know if your child has Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis, especially
if your child is less than 5 years old. In this case your child's doctor
may label the Pedi IBD Indeterminate Colitis.
Is pediatric IBD the same as adult IBD?
No. Children with Pedi IBD are not small adults with IBD. Children with Pedi IBD often come to their doctors with different symptoms than adults with IBD. One of the most important issues that need to be addressed specifically in children with IBD is a lack of growth.
Because childhood is a time when nutrition has the most significant impact on growth, if a child is not getting enough calories and nutrients, they will not grow and develop at a normal and healthy rate. It is very important that a lack of or delay in growth be recognized early and treated properly so that the child’s growth returns to normal.
What Causes IBD?
We don’t know what caused your child to have Pedi Crohn’s disease.
Research suggests that the cause of IBD is a combination of 3 main factors:
- immune system
though it is not known yet exactly how these three factors work together.
What we do know is that approximately 1.4 million Americans suffer from IBD. We also know that almost 30% of people with IBD have a close family member who also has the disease.
More than 100,000 are children like yours.
How is Pediatric IBD diagnosed?
After taking your child’s medical history and performing a
physical exam, your child’s doctor has several tests that can
be used to diagnose Pediatric IBD.
- Lab tests
- Endoscopic procedure
Common symptoms of Pediatric IBD
Symptoms can begin slowly or come on suddenly and progress
quickly. Symptoms can also range widely from very mild to sometimes
severe. Though there is no cure yet for Pedi IBD, symptoms can be
well-controlled with proper treatment.
Common symptoms can
- Frequent diarrhea
- Stomach pain or cramping
- Blood in your child’s stool
- Weight loss
- Joint, skin or eye irritations
When to Call Your Healthcare Provider
The following are a list of symptoms that can occur in children
with Pedi IBD that your healthcare provider needs to know about:
- temperature above 101 degrees F
- abdominal pain or cramps that are out of the ordinary and
do not go away
- an increase in the number of your child’s bowel movements
- a change in the consistency of your child’s bowel movements
- blood in the bowel movement or a change in the amount
- new rectal pain
- throwing up for more than 3-4 hours
- vomit that has bile in it (yellow/green color)
- bloated stomach
- tiredness that doesn’t go away
- rashes, especially on the lower legs
- swelling or pain in the joints
- swollen or red eyes
Remember, you know your child best. Trust your judgment. If
your child is experiencing something that you are not sure
about or that makes you feel uncomfortable, let your healthcare
provider know right away.