Introduction to stomach ulcers in children
People used to believe that only adults could suffer from stomach ulcers, but this was proven to be false.
Children can also suffer from this condition. The other common misconception with stomach ulcers is that they are caused by eating spicy foods and drinking alcohol. Even those these activities could lead to an ulcer developing, there are many other factors that can lead to this condition, especially since most children do not drink or eat spicy foods.
Even though ulcers are possible in children, it should be noted that they are rare and unlikely.
The most common cause of a stomach ulcer in children is an infection that is brought about by the H. pylori bacteria.
The bacteria invades the stomach and destroys the inner lining of the stomach, which leads to the ulcer forming.
Sometimes, children who are using anti-inflammatory drugs can get ulcers as well. These drugs create too much acid in the stomach, which then leads to the creation of an ulcer. Stress can also lead to an ulcer in both children and adults.
The symptoms for children who have ulcers are pretty much the same as those seen in adults that have similar stomach-related problems.
They will feel a burning sensation in their stomachs and sometimes might find blood in their vomit or stools.
Other common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, discomfort after eating, chest pains, lack of appetite, bloating, flatulence, and increased weight loss.
In order to confirm the presence of the stomach ulcer, the doctor will first do a physical examination of the child, which will include, usually, an X ray, endoscopy and blood tests in order to diagnose the problem.
If the stomach ulcer is a result of the H. pylori bacteria, then antibiotics will be prescribed for the child.
The antibiotics will usually be accompanied by some other medication that is used to reduce the amount of acid that is found in the stomach and body in general.
If the ulcer was caused by the use of anti-inflammatory drugs, then the doctor will tell the parent to stop giving them these drugs immediately and will prescribe medications to get rid of the symptoms of the ulcer.
The child will most likely have to eat bland food for a while and stay away from food that is acidic, spicy or hot, as well as cut out all caffeine and soda from the diet as well until the ulcer has been healed.