Intussusception In Babies – 4 Causes, 6 Symptoms & 3 Treatments You Should Be Aware Of

Intussusception In Babies

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Once your baby arrives into this world, your schedule will be filled with tons of parenting work. If your baby is less than 2 years, it is natural for you to exercise hands on supervision and support on a day to day basis. Your little one will emote mostly through gestures and patterns only unique to him, and you will get used to identifying the same in due course of time.

Abdominal ailments are the most common concerns during the first two years of your baby’s life. Babies cannot communicate verbally with their parents, and hence use gestures in the form of giggles and cries. If your baby cries for no reason, he or she may be down with an ailment. Stomach related ailments form the majority here.

Intussusception is one of the frequent complaints experienced by babies. It is important to understand what causes this abdominal emergency so as to address the same promptly while seeking medical attention. Here is what you should know about intussusceptions.

What Is Intussusception?

Intussusception is a bowel related complaint. It causes discomfort when one part of the bowel in your baby’s abdomen moves into another, making the intestinal walls press against each other. This causes inflammation and swelling to your baby, causing increased pain due to the reduced blood flow to the intestines.

[ Read: Typhoid In Infants ]

Age Groups That Are Prone To Intussusception:

Babies falling under the below categories are most likely vulnerable to intussusception:

  • 5 to 10 months (80 percent)
  • 0 to 1 month (1 percent)

Signs And Symptoms Of Intussusception In Babies:

While the first sign of any discomfort will be your baby’s constant crying, it is important to check for the below intussusception symptoms in babies:

  1. Swelling in the abdomen
  2. Vomiting
  3. Stools filled with mucus or sometimes blood and mucus together
  4. Vomiting of bile-like substance that is yellowish green in color
  5. Fever
  6. Anaphylactic shock after inflammation

It is very important to rush your baby to the pediatrician as soon as you see any of the above indications.

[ Read: Blood In Baby Stool ]

Causes Of Intussusception:

The most important causes of intussusception in the babies include:

  1. Presence of gastroenteritis or stomach flu. It is difficult to understand as to how the viruses creep in, with possible culprits being bottle feed and unhygienic water.
  2. Viruses that get transmitted inside through upper respiratory infections.
  3. Bacterial gastrointestinal infections that infect the lymph tissue.
  4. Underlying secondary conditions such as tumors, blood vessel complications, enlarged lymph nodes, etc., (for the children aged between 3 months and 5 years).

Diagnosis Of Intussusception:

Your baby’s doctor will do any or all of the below checks to confirm diagnosing intussusception:

  • Study the medical history of your baby to know the frequency of stomach infections
  • Manual checking of abdomen to feel any masses in the intestinal region
  • Blood tests
  • Stool tests
  • Abdominal X Ray
  • Ultrasound (to measure the accuracy of the presence of any masses or blockages in the intestines).

[ Read: Croup In Babies ]

Treatment Of Intussusception:

Depending on the severity of the condition, your baby will undergo the below types of treatment:

  1. Will be prescribed medications in case of mild cases of intussusception.
  2. Correction of bowel obstruction via enema in severe cases, where intestines are exposed to the threat of damage.
  3. Invasive surgery is performed in the most serious cases, where the part of bowel blocking the intestines will be removed.

The enema method of bowel correction will be done by performing an air contrast enema. A small tube will be passed via rectum and air will be sent in. The air that travels into the intestine will show clear outline in the X-ray. In case of a blockage, a liquid mixture called barium is sent via tube to fix the same.

[ Read: Dehydration In Infants ]

Seriousness Of Intussusception:

  • It is always recommended to seek medical help at the earliest possible time after the symptoms are identified. The sooner the better.
  • When left untreated, intussusception can cause serious damage to the intestines, irreversible damage to the tissues, bowel perforation, abdominal infection and even death.
  • Do not delay or make individual decisions, which can significantly impact the well being of your baby.

Hope this information about intussusception in babies proves helpful to you. You can share your views by commenting below.

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