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Peptic Ulcer In Children – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

4 min read

Peptic Ulcers in children
It is commonly assumed that the adults in high-pressure jobs are mostly affected by peptic ulcer. Well, even though peptic ulcers are less common in kids, it can affect any age group. Moreover, if you think that spicy food is the root cause of this health condition, then you are again mistaken. These ulcers can also be caused because of the bacteria called Helicobacter Pylori. Most of us never know that even kids get ulcers, unlike elders.

What Is Peptic Ulcer?

Peptic ulcers are the ulcers that are formed in the stomach or in the duodenum (the upper part of the small intestine). These are caused either because of the bacteria or when the mucous coating gets weekend.
Depending on where the ulcer is formed, peptic ulcer is broadly divided into two. If the ulcer is formed in the stomach, it is called gastric ulcer. Whereas, ones that form in the duodenum is called duodenal ulcer.

What Causes Peptic Ulcer In Children?

Peptic ulcer basically happens when the protective mucous coating of the stomach and duodenum weaken. This will let the gastric acids to damage the sensitive inner layer of the stomach. This will, in turn, pave the way to the formation of open painful sores in the stomach lining- peptic ulcers. The mucous lining of the stomach can get damaged due to several factors:

  • Helicobacter pylori infection: It is found that pylori are the cause for over 90% of duodenal ulcer and 70% of gastric ulcer. When coming to peptic ulcer in children these bacteria is considered a major culprit
  • Stress: If the children went through a stress, just as in the case of adults, they can also develop severe symptoms of peptic ulcer. Therefore, any type of trauma, injury, major surgeries, etc. can bring on peptic ulcer in children.
  • Obesity: One of the side effects of obesity is that it can alter the normal intestinal bacterial flora. If the number of friendly bacteria in the intestine is reduced, gut cells will be more prone to inflammation and ulcers.
  • Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs: Theoveruse of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) is found to bring about peptic ulcer both in adults and children.
  • GERD: Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a chronic acid reflux condition. Severe reflux of acid into the stomach can bring about ulcers in some cases.
  • Medical Conditions: it is reported that certain medical conditions can trigger peptic ulcer in children. For instance, children suffering from severe burns or children who befall septic  can develop ulcers
  • Second-Hand Smoking: Yes, you read it right. Continuous exposure to secondhand smoke can potentially bring about peptic ulcers in children.

Peptic Ulcer Symptoms In Children

The signs include burning pain and as well as nausea. Parents must also take to the doctor’s notice if there is blood in bowel moments or in the vomit as these are the signs for the peptic ulcers. After eating well regularly, if the children are showing up with some feeding difficulties, then it is the sign to take him to the doctor. Also, the other concerns could be weight loss or loss of appetite and chest pain as well. It also includes burning pain in the abdomen and that is between the breastbone and the belly button.

How To Diagnose Peptic Ulcer In Children:

In the process of diagnosing, the doctors will usually suggest getting the upper gastrointestinal series done. This is an X-ray for the esophagus, stomach and as well duodenum. Depending on the condition, they will also prescribe upper endoscopy if they suspect any sort of ulcers. All the tissues test and doctors check the throat, stomach, and duodenum through this endoscopy. It is here, they will know about the allergies, ulcers and any sort of inflammation that is present. They also check for the presence of the H.Pylori bacteria. One can also use the pH probe to know about the acid levels entering the esophagus. The other tests include the tissue tests and as well the blood tests and all these are very easy to do. Stool tests, breath tests also give out accurate results.

Treatment For Peptic Ulcers In Children:

It is once the treatment starts, the pain because of the ulcers will be cured. It doesn’t take more than a week. However, the doctors prescribe the acid suppressors and antibiotics. The course will be given for a week or two. It is after the course, the doctors still suggest a stool test which helps to check out the presence of the H.Pylori. It is needless to go for surgery as these are treated with medicines only.

Approach The Doctor:

Do not neglect and approach the doctor when there is a sudden and sharp pain the belly. One can even check for the black bowel movements. Perforation and obstruction of the food going to the intestines are the other concerns which one must notice in their children. Never delay or neglect the treatment and take them very soon to the doctor. It helps the children to be ease and even with fewer courses, the ulcers will be completely reduced.

Care To Be Taken:

When your child is diagnosed with an ulcer, all you need to do is ensure that she or he takes the entire course of medicines given by the doctor. Even though you feel that they are fine after using few medicines, never neglect and make sure to complete the entire course, so that the infection will be completely reduced. Be clear with the diet restrictions if the doctor prescribes any otherwise you can end up giving all the healthy food to the kids without fail. Never entertain them taking carbonated drinks or caffeine products as they produce more acid in the stomach.
Ensure that always healthy and nutritious food is given to the children. Let them understand that their cravings for junk food or spicy food will not be happy and healthy for their body. It is right from their childhood, create a healthy taste which doesn’t cause any sort of future problems just because of their diet.
Conclusion:
Take proper care of your children and include the regular hygiene habits which help them to get rid of the harmful bacteria. It is always easy to prevent the things instead of getting medication for the health issues in the later stage.

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