Is your child constantly complaining of abdominal pain? Does the pain feel like hunger pang even though it is not so? Has your child been complaining of this pain on and off?
If you feel the above situations are applicable to your child, it is probably a case of peptic ulcer. Read on to know what are the causes, symptoms and treatment options of peptic ulcer.
What Is A Peptic Ulcer?
A peptic ulcer is like a sore or an open and painful wound. It will form on the lining of your child’s stomach. These can also form in the upper part of the small intestine, which is also known as the duodenum. If the ulcer is in the stomach it is known as a gastric ulcer. If it is in the duodenum it is known as a duodenal ulcer.
What Causes Peptic Ulcer In Children?
In many cases, it is wrongfully thought that eating spicy foods can lead to peptic ulcer. This is not the truth. In fact, the bacteria known as Helicobacter pylori are thought to be the main reason behind these ulcers.
The first cause of getting peptic ulcers is if your child is being infected with the Helicobacter pylori bacteria. Your child’s stomach and the duodenum are lined protectively with a layer of mucous. These bacteria attack the mucous shield, which leads to the digestive acids penetrate to the layers below. These acids and the Helicobacter pylori bacteria irritate your child’s stomach and duodenum lining and can lead to the formation of an ulcer.
The next cause of peptic ulcers in your child could be the use of the type of medication that falls under the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs) category. Medicines like ibuprofen and aspiring can also lead to these ulcers. Your child is more prone to getting peptic ulcers as a result of these medicines than the bacteria.
Peptic Ulcer Symptoms In Children:
One of the main symptoms that your child may have as a result of peptic ulcer is a constant stomach pain. Your child may also have a nagging pain in the abdominal area. This pain will most likely not be there at all times but will often come and go. Along with the pain, your child may also complain of nausea or a feeling of vomiting. Your child will have a feeling of bloating and gas. Your child may also have a pain or discomfort when on an empty stomach or several hours after having a meal.
How To Diagnose Peptic Ulcer In Children?
Peptic ulcers in your child will generally be diagnosed by an X-ray in the gastrointestinal tract. Your child’s doctor may also ask for an endoscopy. This is an examination of your child’s stomach and the duodenum. It uses a thin tube kind of thing known as the endoscope. It is lighted up and has a camera at the end to help see the internals of your child’s stomach or duodenum. Your child’s doctor may also ask for a blood test or a stool test that will help determine if it is an infection caused by the Helicobacter pylori bacteria.
Treatment For Peptic Ulcer In Children
Your child’s doctor will most likely recommend a course of antibiotics to remove the bacteria from your child’s gastrointestinal tract. The doctor may also prescribe drugs that will help to reduce the stomach acid. This will help to prevent any damage to your child’s stomach lining. In case your child has developed the peptic ulcers as a result of NSAIDs, your child’s doctor will recommend stopping the medications that may have caused it. Alternatively, your child’s doctor may prescribe medicines that will help to heal the lining of the stomach.
[ Read: Causes Of Nausea In Children ]
When Should I Be Worried?
You should ideally get your child checked the moment you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above. In case your child has already been diagnosed as having an ulcer you should be extra careful. Look out for symptoms like a sudden and sharp pain in your child’s abdomen, bloody in the stool or very dark stool and blood in vomit or very dark colored brownish vomit. Get your child to the nearest medical facility immediately in case of these symptoms.
Peptic ulcers can often be difficult to spot as your child may complain of stomach pain for a number of reasons. Keep an eye out for other symptoms. In combination, these symptoms may signal a peptic ulcer. Do not delay a doctor visit.
Does your child often complain about abdominal pain? Share your thoughts about the article and experiences by commenting below.
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