Raising kids with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a challenge in itself as no one can see your kids suffering frequent episodes of pain and discomfort. You may have been gripped by several emotions, namely frustration, helplessness, and anxiety, after learning that your kid has IBS. After all, this painful disorder has the potential to completely hijack the lives of your little ones. While there is no specific treatment for this illness, you can still help kids diagnosed with IBS in many ways, some of which are discussed below.
Do Your Homework
You must have heard people saying that kids do not come with manuals. Well, it is true particularly for kids suffering from IBS. Despite huge advancement in medical sciences, we still know very little about IBS. This is why most parents, and sometimes even doctors, confuse it for something else. Sometimes, CT scan (also known as CAT scan) may fail to highlight the problem as well. In such cases, parents start to doubt their kids, thinking that they are faking the pain when it really isn’t the case. To avoid this, you must gather knowledge about this disorder. By the end of your research, you should have the answers to the following questions:
- What is IBS?
- How is it caused?
- What are its symptoms?
- How is it diagnosed?
- What are the treatment options?
- How to alleviate the pain associated with IBS?
Take Care of Their Diet
Health experts are of the view that taking care of diet can minimize the symptoms of IBS up to a great extent. This is why you must make sure that your kids are taking eating healthy. Don’t let them consume greasy, oily or spicy food, caffeine, chocolate, dairy products, particularly cheese and ice cream, etc. Instead, encourage them to eat fresh fruits and vegetables. Get them to eat four to six small meals instead of three big meals a day.
Help Them in Reducing Stress
A large number of studies have linked IBS with stress, identifying it as one of the many causes. Talk to your kids about the possibility of them being under some sort of stress. Encourage them to share their problems and insecurities, if any, with you instead of keeping them locked up inside. Do whatever it takes to help them relax. If they are feeling stressed because of studies, help them prepare a study plan and offer them your support.
Be Aware of the Symptoms
IBS causes severe abdomen pain followed by altered bowel motility i.e. diarrhea and constipation, or both. Some other symptoms include persistent vomiting and joint pain. Unfortunately, the disease can attack at any time of the day or night. This can be difficult for kids as they may not be mentally ready to handle the symptoms. This is why you should be really supportive. While there is no treatment for IBS, doctors usually give medicines to treat individual symptoms like diarrhea, abdomen pain, etc. Breathing exercises may also decrease the pain.
Provide the Support They Need
IBS not only causes physical pain, but also affects the mental health of kids. It also makes it harder for them to concentrate in class and thus affects their studies. You should constantly motivate them so that they do not lose hope. Reassure them that you know exactly what kind of pain they are going through, and that you will do whatever it takes to bring their suffering to an end. It would be a good idea to talk to the school administration about kids’ condition so that they can lend them their support as well.