A Guide To Common Digestive Problems in Children

The information included in this material is for informational purposes only. Always seek medical advice for any concerns about health and nutrition.

A child’s digestive tract is vital to overall health –where the ability to digest food and absorb essential nutrients is critical in early child development. Nevertheless, the digestive tract can experience issues from time to time, particularly for young children. While some digestive problems are common, they can cause distress.

Learn about the common digestive problems in young children to help you be better equipped to manage these conditions. Remember to seek immediate medical advice from your doctor for proper guidance.

Colic

The sudden recurrence of inconsolable crying for more than three hours per day may be a condition called colic. A child with colic may experience crying that lasts for over three days per week or for even longer than three weeks.

Flatulence

The condition called flatulence pertains to excess gas in the stomach during food consumption. This excess gas is simply air stored in the stomach or intestines, though it may be significantly painful for young children.

Constipation

When a young child experiences a delay or difficulty passing stool, this may be a sign of constipation. This condition may last from a few days to two or more weeks and may cause significant distress to your little one.

Final Note on Common Digestive Problems

While gastrointestinal problems are a frequent cause of concern for parents, most common conditions can be manageable. Remember that the most effective way to treat tummy troubles is to encourage healthy eating habits, promote adequate daily exercise, and be aware of children’s common digestive concerns. Moreover, you may choose a milk drink that can help ease your child’s digestive problems. For recurrent reactions or if your child is fussier than usual, seek immediate medical advice from your doctor for an alternative feeding solution that will help promote good digestive health.

Learn about five tips on improving your child’s digestive tolerance by checking out ourfeatured article

References:

American Academy of Pediatrics. Constipation in Children. Healthy Children Organization resource page. Available at: www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/abdominal/Pages/Constipation.aspx. Accessed April 20, 2022.

American Academy of Pediatrics. Infant Constipation. Healthy Children Organization resource page. Available at: www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/diapers-clothing/Pages/Infant-Constipation.aspx. Accessed April 20, 2022.

Biggs WS et al. Evaluation and treatment of constipation in infants and children. Am Fam Physician. 2006;73(3):469-477.

John Hopkins Medicine. Colic. Hopkins Medicine resource page. Available at: www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/colic. Accessed April 20, 2022.

Johnson JD et al. Infantile Colic: Recognition and Treatment. Am Fam Physician. 2015;92(7):577-582.

National Health Service UK. Bottle feeding challenges. NHS UK resource page. Available at: www.nhs.uk/start4life/baby/feeding-your-baby/bottle-feeding/bottle-feeding-challenges/constipation-and-bottle-feeding/. Accessed April 20, 2022.

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Eating, Diet, & Nutrition for Constipation in Children. NIH-NIDDK resource page. Available at: www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/constipation-children/eating-diet-nutrition. Accessed April 20, 2022.

Sadeghzadeh M et al. The effect of probiotics on childhood constipation: a randomized controlled double blind clinical trial. Int J Pediatr. 2014;2014:937212.  

Stanford Medicine. Constipation in Children. Stanford Children's Health resource page. Available at: www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default. Accessed April 20, 2022.

Vandenplas Y et. al. Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders in Infancy: Impact on the Health of the Infant and Family. Pediatr Gastroenterol Hepatol Nutr. 2019 May;22(3):207-216

Xinias I et al. Innovative Dietary Intervention Answers to Baby Colic. Pediatr Gastroenterol Hepatol Nutr. 2017;20(2):100-106. 


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