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- What is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?
- What is the GI tract?
- How common is IBS in children?
- What are the symptoms of IBS in children?
- What causes IBS in children?
- How is IBS in children diagnosed?
- How is IBS in children treated?
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Quick GuideIBS - Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Symptoms, Diet, Treatment
The health care provider will select medications based on the child's symptoms. Caregivers should not give children any medications unless told to do so by a health care provider.
- Fiber supplements. Fiber supplements may be recommended to relieve constipation when increasing dietary fiber is ineffective.
- Laxatives. Constipation can be treated with laxative medications. Laxatives work in different ways, and a health care provider can provide information about which type is best. Caregivers should not give children laxatives unless told to do so by a health care provider.
- Antidiarrheals. Loperamide has been found to reduce diarrhea in children with IBS, though it does not reduce pain, bloating, or other symptoms. Loperamide reduces stool frequency and improves stool consistency by slowing the movement of stool through the colon. Medications to treat diarrhea in adults can be dangerous for infants and children and should only be given if told to do so by a health care provider.
- Antispasmodics. Antispasmodics, such as hyoscine, cimetropium, and pinaverium, help to control colon muscle spasms and reduce abdominal pain.
- Antidepressants. Tricyclic antidepressants and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in low doses can help relieve IBS symptoms including abdominal pain. These medications are thought to reduce the perception of pain, improve mood and sleep patterns, and adjust the activity of the GI tract.