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Stomach Remedies For Infants and Children

Stomach Remedies For Infants and Children

Gas in newborns and babies under one year old is a common condition, which every mother has faced at some point or the other in their child's growing years. According to lactation specialists, gas is produced when a newborn feeds for the first time, either breast milk or baby formula. The components of milk are such that they produce gas in the process of digestion. Nevertheless, some babies are more susceptible to have gas problems than others.

For a mother, dealing a gassy baby with discomfort symptoms is very painful. There are virtually many factors responsible for presence of gas in the baby's digestive tract, out of which the main reason is the immature digestive system of the baby. To be more precise, the digestive system of a baby is not fully developed, hence gas formation to some extent is quite a common case. However, understanding the main causes and profound symptoms is imperative to help relieve a gassy baby.

Causes and Symptoms of Gas in Infants
While feeding, a baby can engulf air bubbles due to the suction created during breastfeeding or bottle feeding. Another cause for gassy baby is maternal diet; it is found that nutrients and gas causing agents pass from the breastfeeding mother to her baby. Hence, if a mother's diet is enriched with food that cause gas, such as cabbage, legumes, dairy products, etc. the risk for developing gas in babies is higher. Also, too many citrus fruits and acidic food items cause stomach irritation in the baby.

Causes and Symptoms of Gas in Infants

Babies who are between 3 - 6 months old are prone to gas pain and related problems. Some of the most noticeable symptoms are sleeping problems, irritability, fussiness and crying for a longer time, without any apparent reason. Usually, such irritation signs are manifested after feeding. Other symptoms that indicate gas in babies is abdominal bloating, distended stomach and frequent passing of gas. While massaging a gassy baby's tummy, bubbles can be felt in the stomach and abdominal area.

Remedies and Cure in Infants
Baby crying to some extent is natural, after all it is the only way for your child to express verbally for any uncomfortable reason. However, strenuous crying causes engulfing of air, which in turn exacerbate the condition of a gassy baby. So, how to calm a flatulent baby? Practicing a proper baby feeding habit is one way to get rid of gas in babies. Following are some effective methods regarding how to relieve a colicky baby:

• Speaking about gassy baby breastfeeding tips and tricks, burping the baby and patting his or her back at regular intervals (after every 3 - 5 minutes) is a sure way to reduce gas accumulation in the digestive tract.
For bottle-fed babies, the nipple size should be accurate; otherwise a larger nipple size causes a baby to feed very fast, while a smaller one leads to intake of more gas.

• Consider gentle massaging over the baby's tummy with a massage oil. This will help relieve gas bubbles from the digestive system.

• Laying the baby on his or her tummy for a while also aids in expelling gas. However, keep a close eye over the baby to ensure that he or she is comfortable and safe.

• In case of any suspect that gas in a baby is caused by diet intolerance, the mother should strictly watch her diet. Eliminating lactose, peanut and soy one by one and then, monitoring baby's tolerances is an effective way to help a baby relief from gas caused by food intolerance.

Following proper baby care will definitely help in improving gassy baby symptoms. There are several products formulated for alleviating gas in babies. However, it is to borne in mind that anything other than mother's milk or baby formula may cause unusual side effects. Hence, never indulge in providing herbal remedies or therapeutic formulation without consulting a qualified pediatrician.

Stomach Problems in Children
Upset stomach in children mainly arises due to infection caused by some virus, bacteria or parasites. These microbes enter their digestive tract either through contaminated food or water. Other causes include any kind of food poisoning, metal poisoning or side effects of strong laxatives that have been used to get relief from constipation.

Stomach Problems in Children

Stomach problems in children can manifest in the following way:
1. Diarrhea: In this condition, the child defecates watery stools and frequency of bowel movement also increases. The child may go to the toilet 3 to 4 times in a day to pass stools. Diarrhea is a viral infection and causes abdominal pain during bowel movement. In most cases, diarrhea in children does not last long and within a week the condition goes away without any treatment. As diarrhea leads to dehydration, it is essential that the child drinks plenty of water and other fluids.

2. Constipation: Constipation that causes infrequent bowel movement, is marked by passage of dry and hard stools. Painful defecation is a common complaint among children affected with constipation. In most cases, the condition is not serious and resolves without any medical intervention. Drinking plenty of water, complemented by a high fiber diet, will make the stools soft and bulky, allowing painless bowel movement. Laxatives (if any) should be given only after consulting a doctor.

3. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): This condition causes development of ulcers in the inner lining of the large intestine. IBD in children is characterized by inflammation of the large intestine, followed by stomach cramps and diarrhea. When IBD is severe, blood in the stools is observed. Oral medications are prescribed to relieve symptoms associated with IBD.

4. Parasitic Infection: Intestinal infection of parasites such as roundworm, whipworm or hookworm can also cause abdominal cramps, gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea, foul-smelling stools and distended stomach. Coming in contact with infected soil and eating contaminated food are some of the factors that increase the risk of exposure to parasites.

5. Stomach Flu: Also known as gastroenteritis, the condition can occur due to a bacterial, viral or a parasitic infection. Often marked by nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, stomach flu can cause severe abdominal pain.

6. Appendicitis: Appendicitis is a term that refers to an inflamed appendix. The appendix is a tube, 3-4 inch long, bulging out from the large intestine. Actually, it is an extension of the large intestine that gets inflamed due to an infection. An obstructed appendix not only causes infection, but also causes unbearable stomach pain. Appendicitis requires urgent medical attention, and mostly a surgery is performed to remove the appendix.

On the whole, washing hands before eating is one of the prerequisites to keep digestive tract healthy. All in all, proper food handling and sanitation is the first line of defense against food-borne pathogens and will surely keep stomach problems at bay.

When the toxins enter the body, they cause irritation in the inner lining and intestines. This condition triggers vomiting and diarrhea. A few more symptoms are observed in children like stomach cramps, fever, loss of appetite, weakness, etc. Diarrhea usually subsides within 3-5 days but weakness and appetite loss may continue to bother them for some more days.

Remedies for Kids
The medicines that are used for the treatment are very bad in taste and hence, most children refuse to take them. For this reason, parents try to treat it with the following home remedies:

1. Water: Give them plenty of water to drink. There is no better natural solution to the problem than water. It helps to flush out the toxic substances from the digestive system. Moreover, it replenishes the water lost due to diarrhea and thus prevent dehydration.

2. Ginger: This is an excellent remedy for indigestion that restores normal functioning of the stomach. Ginger stimulates the digestive juice which neutralizes the acids and has a soothing effect. Half a teaspoon of ginger juice should be given to them twice a day until the symptoms subside. If your child finds the taste of the juice terrible, you can mix it up with half teaspoon of honey.

3. Fresh Fruits: Combination of apple and banana can give relief from the annoying stomach ache associated with it. Steam a few pieces of freshly cut apples for about 5 minutes. Then mash a banana and put all the steamed apple pieces into it. Stir it well and serve it to the child. The fiber and enzymes of the apple and mucous building quality of the banana will heal up their stomach. They also love the fresh flavor of the fruits.

4. Mint and Lemon: Both these natural substances are good for children. Mint is effective for killing the bacteria present in the digestive tract and lemon will ease off the constipation. Prepare a soup by boiling a few mint leaves in a cup of water and add a lemon slice to it before offering it to the child in the morning.

5. Yogurt: Most children are fond of yogurt and if you give them as a medicine I am sure they will have it without much complain. Yogurt supplies certain useful bacteria which your child's body might be lacking. If your child suffers from stomach upset quite frequently, then yogurt should be in his or her daily diet.

These remedies will work provided the child is given the right kind of diet. In the initial stage, only liquid diet is suitable. Later on, as the condition improves, some semi-solid food can be given. You have to be careful before giving the solid food as it can relapse the problem. At any point of time, if you feel that the condition of the child is serious, consult a pediatrician. It is not advisable to give any pain relieving medicines or antibiotics to kids unless the doctor has prescribed it.

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