A lag in growth could be a sign that a child might suffer from undiagnosed inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), especially Crohn’s disease, one pediatric doctor says.
“Growth charts are one of the most important things we look at with children because sometimes a slower growth rate is the only sign of IBD, especially with Crohn’s disease,” Dr. Marc Schaefer, a pediatric gastroenterologist, said in a Penn State University news release.
Symptoms of IBD in children
Other symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease in children include:
- not wanting to eat
- persistent stomach pains
- diarrhea or bloody stools
Children with these symptoms should be evaluated, he suggests.
Symptoms of Crohn’s disease in children
Crohn’s disease can happen at any age. Although it most often affects people ages 15 to 35, it may also occur in young children. It affects both males and females equally.
Children or teens may have Crohn’s if they exhibit the following symptoms:
- Belly (abdominal) pain, often in the lower right area
- Loose stool (diarrhea), sometimes bloody
- Rectal bleeding
- Weight loss
- Delayed growth
- Joint pain
- A cut or tear in the anus (anal fissure)
Some children can go years without experiencing any symptoms. This means they are in remission. There is no way to know when your