The small and large intestines (colon or bowel) are part of the digestive system. About 90% of the digestion and absorption of nutrients occur in the small intestine. Disorders or injuries to the intestines can cause pain, disrupt digestion, slow development, or create life-long or life-threatening complications.
What are the different types of Pediatric Intestinal Disorders?
There are several types of intestinal disorders, including those noted below. They can be found in the small or large intestine only, or in both.
Large intestine disorders
Colonic polyps – also known as colorectal polyps or colon polyps; these are tissue masses in the colon or rectum that can become cancerous.
Diverticulitis – inflammation (swelling) or infections of diverticulosis pouches, located in the colon. Occurs when the wall muscles of the colon weaken and lose elasticity (ability to expand/contract) due to continual stress from hardened stools. This also includes Pediatric Meckel’s diverticulum.
Intestinal atresia (IA) – occurs when a child’s intestine doesn’t properly form during development and prevents food and bowel movements from properly moving through digestion stages.
Obstructions (blockages) – happen for several reasons, including damaged sections from Crohn’s disease or diverticulitis, hernias, medications and scar tissue. Obstructions can also prevent food from digesting and bowel movements.
What are the signs and symptoms of Pediatric Intestinal Disorders?
The type of condition defines the symptoms. Symptoms will appear at various ages, locations and range in severity. Children can experience one or more of the following: