Crohn’s Disease is an incurable condition that affects the digestive tract. The symptoms are often painful and if untreated can lead to more serious conditions down the line. Children, while not the age group most likely to suffer from Crohn’s, are potentially at the greatest risk from the disease.
Children and adults are diagnosed with Crohn’s using the same diagnostic procedures. It is sometimes difficult to differentiate Crohn’s from a host of other digestive disorders, however, once it is pinpointed, it can be treated. When dealing with children, it is important to remember that since Crohn’s can affect the absorption of nutrients into the body, the disease can potentially sabotage growth and development in a young sufferer. In addition, children may experience disruptions in their academic and social development due to frequent absences from school as Crohn’s Disease often causes cramping and severe abdominal pain.
It is important for parents to become familiar with all aspects of Crohn’s Disease and be able to relate them to their children. This process of communication is not only important for Children with Crohn’s are at high risk for problems with growth and proper sexual maturity. Furthermore, since they are often treated with various medications at an early age, the complications due to side effects from pharmaceutical drugs becomes much more prevalent.
The most common medication treatments for Crohn’s Disease in children include aminosalicylates, which are often used to treat mild to moderate cases. Corticosteroids are usually reserved for severe cases to reduce inflammation and hopefully drive the disease into remission. Corticosteroids are highly effective; however, they often result in serious physical and mental side effects.