Crohn’s disease is an autoimmune disorder, which results in chronic inflammation of the bowel. While the condition can affect individuals of all ages, crohn’s disease in children can lead to severe development disorders and growth retardation. This article provides information about symptoms of crohn’s disease and how to treat the condition using an appropriate diet plan.
Researchers believe that the condition is caused when the immune system attacks certain organisms normally found in the bowel, by misidentifying them as foreign invaders. This results in leukocytosis and causes prolonged inflammation and ulceration in the bowel. Fortunately, following an appropriate diet plan can help alleviate the symptoms of Crohn’s disease and help in its treatment.
Usually, the food is digested in the small intestine and anything that is not digested passes on to the large intestine or the colon. In Crohn’s disease the small intestine gets inflamed which makes it less capable to breaking down and absorbing essential nutrients. This makes children with crohn’s disease prone to be malnourished.
While the symptoms may vary depending upon the severity of the condition, most children will suffer from weakness, tiredness, growth retardation, low energy levels and unintentional weight loss.
Chrons Disease Symptoms In Children
The primary and most important symptom associated with Crohn’s disease is abdominal pain and diarrhea. While the severity of the pain may vary depending upon the severity of the condition, some of the common symptoms of Crohn’s disease include,
- Loss of appetite with weight loss.
- Pain on or below the navel, usually affecting the right side of the abdomen.
- Rectal bleeding.
- Fever with fatigue and lethargy.
- Anal skin tags and fistulas may also be observed in patients with crohn’s disease.
- Malaise and joint pains may also be present.
Most of these symptoms appear after a meal. While these symptoms are very similar to other inflammatory bowel disease like ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel disease, peptic ulcer, pancreatitis and appendicitis, it is important to consult your physician to confirm the diagnosis.
Diet For Crohn’s Disease In Children
Here are some dietary tips that will be helpful in management of crohn’s disease in children,
- Ensure that your child eats regularly. Crohn’s disease can interfere with your child’s appetite which in turn can lead to malnutrition. Ensure that your child eats small quantities of food at least six times during the day.
- Avoid spicy foods since this can worse the symptoms, especially during an active episode of crohn’s disease.
- Don’t let your child get bored or tired of eating the same kind of food. In individuals with severe crohn’s disease, dietary restrictions are unavoidable. Try to keep your child motivated by explaining the importance of eating regularly to stay healthy.
- Ensure that your child’s diet is rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins and carbohydrates. Include diary, cereals and grains, fresh fruits and vegetables and meat and meat substitutes in your child’s diet.