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Bloody diarrhea in children: causes and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Diarrhea is one of the most common diseases in children, occasionally, it may contain blood, which warns of the presence of an infectious process that could be triggering this alteration.

This condition is among the main reasons for consultation in the pediatric service and hospitalization in a children’s health center. Children often have diarrhea several times during the year.

In the following FastlyHealarticle, we explain the possible causes of bloody diarrhea in children , as well as the medical treatment to be followed in each case.

What is gastroenteritis?

Gastroenteritis is an infection or inflammation of the lining of the stomach and small intestine. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), this disease is a cause of death in children under 5 years of age.

It occurs very frequently during childhood, especially in areas where proper hygienic measures are not kept with respect to hand washing, the consumption of contaminated food or the presence of parasites in the body capable of triggering bloody diarrhea in children .

Causes of bloody diarrhea in children

The causes that can give rise to bloody diarrhea in children are:

Escherichia coli infections

This bacteria is one of the most common causes of bloody diarrhea. Although this bacterium is present in the intestine on a regular basis, at some point, a specific type of it can cause this alteration.

Water and food contaminated by this bacteria can cause it to spread.

Rotavirus infection

Often, rotavirus is the leading cause of the onset of bloody diarrhea in children under 5, evacuations presented are accompanied by blood and mucus .

Diarrhea caused by this virus can last up to 14 days, so certain measures must be taken to prevent the deterioration of the child’s physical condition.

Shigella infection

Shigella is a bacterium capable of triggering bloody and snotty diarrhea in children. It happens when coming into contact with contaminated water or food in bad condition. Stools are characterized by blood, mucus, or pus , accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and colic. These symptoms can last 5 to 7 days.

Ulcerative Colitis

It is a disease whose cause is still unknown, it generates the appearance of small wounds at the level of the intestinal wall . Symptoms appear in periods of crisis with the presence of bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain and fever.

Intestinal obstruction

The intestinal obstruction may occur when the stool can not leave the gut and build up inside, causing bloody diarrhea also may be accompanied by vomiting, abdominal pain of high intensity, gas and bloating.

Intestinal parasites

There are parasites that can trigger bloody diarrhea in children. This can be acquired in places where children walk barefoot and the minimum hygienic measures are not observed, such as washing their hands, or consuming contaminated food.

Intake of some medications

The consumption of some antibiotics for a long period or abusing them when they are not necessary can cause the appearance of bloody diarrhea by affecting the intestinal flora, especially in children.

Symptoms associated with bloody diarrhea in children

Among the symptoms that accompany bloody diarrhea in children, it is common to find:

  • Abdominal pain.
  • Sickness.
  • Vomiting
  • General discomfort.
  • Fever.
  • Headache.

Bloody diarrhea in children: treatment

The treatment of bloody diarrhea in children should be indicated by a pediatrician after clinical and laboratory evaluation, where the main thing will be:

  • Food rest, as well as the replacement of water and electrolytes through oral serums .
  • The taking of antibiotics will also be indicated in cases where the cause is of bacterial origin, after culturing in order to supply the appropriate medicine to the bacteria that is causing the bloody diarrhea.
  • In cases where vomiting occurs, antiemetic medications will be indicated .
  • If the diarrhea is caused by Escherichia coli, the bacterial flora should be restored through foods that contain probiotics such as yogurt. In this case, the use of antibiotics is not indicated, with increasing fluid intake dehydration will be avoided.
  • When it comes to Shigella, you need to increase your fluid intake and consume foods that are easily digested. In some cases, depending on the child’s symptoms, the pediatrician will give antibiotics to fight the bacteria.
  • When bloody diarrhea is the product of ulcerative colitis, treatment will be based on food supplements. Depending on the patient’s clinic, surgery will be indicated to remove the part of the intestine affected by the disease.
  • If it is an intestinal parasite that causes bloody diarrhea, medications should be indicated to stimulate the elimination of the parasites and, consequently, the elimination of symptoms.

Finally, bloody diarrhea in children should be treated by a pediatrician, he will be the one indicated, according to the symptoms that he presents, to prescribe the pharmacological treatment he needs.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Diarrhea with blood in children: causes and treatment , we recommend that you enter our Digestive System category .

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