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Stomach ache is one of the most common ailments observed in case of babies and children. The cause for the stomach ache can vary from minor to life-threatening. However, as the baby or the child is not able to express the type of pain properly, it is difficult to diagnose the condition immediately. Therefore, it is wise to consult the doctor if the child complains of stomach pain. At the same time, it should be remembered that stomach pain, which is accompanied by diarrhea, is a symptom of a severe disorder that will require immediate attention.
Causes of Stomach Pain and Diarrhea
Infections caused due to bacteria, virus or any other parasite is one of the most common causes of stomach pain. Viruses like rotavirus, norovirus; and bacteria like Escherichia coli (E. coli), salmonella, etc., lead to symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting and stomach pain. Secondly, stomach flu or viral gastroenteritis is another common cause that leads to these symptoms. Many children and babies are sensitive to food and may also suffer from food intolerance, of which the parents may not be aware of initially. Other food related illnesses includes food poisoning and food allergies. Similarly, disorders like irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, etc., can also cause diarrhea and stomach pain in children.
Treatment
Most of the time, if stomach pain and diarrhea is caused due to any of the above mentioned conditions, they will be accompanied with other symptoms like vomiting, dry mouth, irritability, dehydration. Therefore, it is essential to get the condition diagnosed immediately. The doctor will diagnose whether the condition is caused due to viral / bacterial infection or any other cause. In case of bacterial infections, antibiotics will be prescribed. On the other hand, if caused due to other cases, it is essential to get these condition treated first. Similarly, the doctor will prescribe electrolytic fluids to recover the lost fluids and treat dehydration. You should avoid giving over the counter anti-diarrhea medications to babies and infants.
If the child suffers from chronic stomach pain and diarrhea, parents should consult the doctor immediately and make necessary changes in the child's diet. For e.g., it is essential to find out the foods that cause allergies or intolerance and exclude them from the diet permanently. Secondly, it is wise to have a light meal until the diarrhea subsides. The toast, apple, porridge meal is usually advised as it helps in prevention of diarrhea. Similarly, the child should be refrained from consuming raw or uncooked food, frozen food, preserved food, greasy and fried food, etc., until the symptoms subside completely.
Prevention
Diarrhea and stomach pain in most of the cases is caused due to contaminated food or food related illnesses. Therefore, in order to prevent these conditions, the food should be cleaned and cooked properly. At the same time, the utensils used for cooking and for eating should also be clean. Children should be encouraged to each fresh and home cooked food. Secondly, they should be encouraged to wash their hands before having food, after using the washroom and after playing with pets. Maintaining cleanliness and hygiene helps in prevention of most of the infectious diseases.
Although diarrhea accompanied with stomach pain is a common condition, it should not be ignored as it can be a symptom of a serious disorder. It is advisable to look for quick medical treatment and also follow the precautionary measures after the treatment is over. Lastly, you should remember that having healthy and nutritious food also helps in prevention of most of these conditions. Take care!