Over the last several months, Culex Wellness – as well as every other pediatrician’s office, urgent care, and Emergency Room throughout the country – has noticed a significant uptick in gastrointestinal bugs and stomach upset in young patients.
In addition to being harrowing for worried moms and dads, and extremely uncomfortable for our sick kids – the effects can be confusing and frustrating. But they might also be predictable. If, that, is you know what to look for.
Here are just a few things for concerned parents – and their children’s doctors – to keep in mind:
- Severity signifies sensitivity: The degree of discomfort and stomach upset directly correlates to the sensitivity of a child’s gastrointestinal system. Just like atopic individuals were predisposed to a recent uptick in RSV infections, many children with a pronounced inflammatory response will experience more nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain as a result.
- Bugs build pressure: Atopic children presenting with a stomach virus frequently experience abdominal pain caused by gas and the pressure it exerts on solid, backed-up stool. (Imagine a plunger pushing down on solids that don’t want to budge.) Many children unfortunately are prone to such symptoms but are unaware of the cause.
- Feed a fever, starve a cold, and deny Diarrhea typically reflects gastrointestinal sensitivity further impacted by dietary choices. Parents who are too eager to give recovering kids something to eat can cause an already irritated GI system to backtrack, leading to increased pain and more frequent dashes to the bathroom.
How exactly do gastrointestinal bugs affect atopic children? There’s no definitive answer to this question – yet. Every child is different. Studies have shown, however, that atopic children are far more likely to experience severe symptoms from gastrointestinal viruses than non-atopic children due to inflammation and an altered immune system that makes them more susceptible to infection.
If your child is experiencing moderate to severe stomach upset, it is important to monitor them closely for signs of dehydration or worsening of symptoms. And consider giving Culex Wellness a call. Our goal is to assist the families of atopic children to take charge of their symptoms. We can help you understand and navigate the common patterns of different illnesses – such as cold and flu, RSV, and – yes – gastrointestinal bugs. Together, we will connect the dots of what seem to be unrelated symptoms, but are in actuality part and parcel of a larger story. By doing so, you and your child can prepare for any future ailments, and lead healthier, happier lives as a result.