IBS is a very difficult condition to diagnose in children. It is a condition that can exist for some time before it is recognised and parents through no fault of their own will fail to see the signs. IBS is often associated as an adult condition, and is rarely the 'go to' answer for many issues in youngsters.
I am lucky to have kind and caring parents, who have supported me throughout my life. IBS was the one thing they got horribly wrong and it is for this reason I urge caution to other parents. Whilst I may have had IBS already, it was not helped by my diet or by their misunderstanding of the situation.
What to look for:
Obviously frequent bathroom trips.
Frequent stomach ache.
Regularly bloated stomach.
Signs of anxiety.
Sometimes fatigue will play a role if they are having digestive problems.
This link will take you to a definition of IBS on our website. If these symptoms look familiar, do seek medical assistance. As a youth the symptoms are not particularly harmful, however if untreated they will leave a nasty psychological scar.
What to do:
Seek medical assistance.
Look at a low FODMAP diet
Listen and be patient – is very hard for the young to understand what is happening.
Talk with your child and help them understand the condition.
Emphasise the importance of diet to them, it is not nice to not be ale to eat the good stuff.
Visit our website for more free hints and tips www.IBS-Health.com
IBS Diet for children.
There is clearly a far greater focus on diet now anyway, but do not loose sight of a child's ability to procure nasty food. All the things children love are profoundly wrong for IBS, refined sugary sweets, fizzy caffeinated drinks, take away food.... If your child is showing signs of IBS it will help them if you can connect the problems they are having with those foods.
If you follow this link you will go to a list of foods which are grouped by their FODMAP rating. This appears to be the best way of tackling IBS, and will alleviate many of the symptoms. This is not any easy change, but it is a necessary change to make.
IBS Support for Children
If it looks like your child has IBS or even if they frequently go to the bathroom, this will test your parental patience to the limit. Modern lifestyles leave little time for time, patience and understanding. The patience of a saint will be tested by a child who can not go anywhere without multiple bathroom trips.
For the sake of their long term mental health and happiness, it is pivotal that you are able to deal with this calmly until you are able to treat the condition. My father would get very annoyed and tell me to 'control myself'. I can tell you that I would have loved to 'control myself' however it was a physical condition.
I say to any parent with a child of IBS, please be patient, it is a physical condition and failure to keep control of you irritation will ensure that your child will become increasingly anxious about his/her condition and it will make the condition a psychological and physical issue.
IBS in Children Summary
This is a very difficult condition to treat at the best of times, however it is far more difficult with the young. We get to know and understand our bodies as we grow older, for them it is all new and without help they may not be able to make the link between their condition and their diet.
We can not emphasise enough the importance of patience. This is not an issue of bad or good parenting, everyone has a patience threshold. If even the most basic of tasks is held up by a child that will not stop going to then bathroom, it is hard but vital to remain calm and patience.
Next to a healthy diet, a sense of calm and patience is the best gift you can give to a child with IBS. Do not allow their need for the bathroom to become equated with stress and panic. If things go wrong then again, no big deal, teach them to dust themselves off and move on. Try and get them to associate their need for the bathroom with calm, if you think of the Pavlovian experiment, you are conditioning them for later in life.
One final point. Having been kind, patient and caring, having done all you can for their futures, don't expect any thanks, most kids don't roll that way.
Visit – www-IBS-Health.com for free help and support for IBS / Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Taken from our blog first published 04/15/13