Tackling gastritis in kids

Gastritis is an irregularity usually found in children. It is caused by the inflammation of the mucosa of the stomach. It results in upper gastrointestinal tract haemorrhage in children.

In children below five years of age, “Stress” gastritis is the most commonly form of this disorder. Also referred to as physiologic gastritis, it leads to chest pain, hematemesis, or melena. Other possible causes of gastritis include radiation, vascular injury, and trauma.

For school going kids, gastritis get initially characterised as recurrent abdominal pain. It is based on the precise location and duration of the pain that the disorder gets confirmed as a case of gastritis. Doctors might also consider certain other factors such as onset and progression of symptoms, presence or absence of abdominal distension, if the pain is relieved by bowel movements etc. Food allergy and increased sleepiness after an attack are the other major characteristic symptoms of gastritis.

It is based on the age of the child that medication gets prescribed. A mild attack of gastritis is considered to be one, which is not accompanied by severe and painful symptoms. In such a case, usually medication involves therapy with antacids. Acid blockade therapy with H2 antagonists also gets initiated in some children. Serologic or faecal testing is also warranted.

Depending on the clinical scenario, monitoring of hemoccult-positive stools, complete blood counts and endoscopies might be required. In some children, psychosocial counselling is also administered. An effective counselling will be extremely beneficial and is often considered as a vital adjunctive part of medication.

Most specialist doctors stick to combination therapy in the treatment of gastritis. It consists of a proton pump inhibitor along with two antibiotics taken twice daily for a period of one or two weeks. However, recent research studies in this regard, antibiotic resistance cause a strong hindrance to the complete eradication of all the various paediatric ailments.


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