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Topic of the Month

Child Diseases

Indigestion Infantile colic Intestinal worms
Common cold Boil Anemia
Constipation Teething problem Influenza

Indigestion :

Is a common ailment in children today and is caused by dietary errors. It is a condition of the stomach in which digestive juices are incorrectly secreted, resulting in discomfort.

Symptoms:

Abdominal pain, a feeling of undue fullness after eating heartburn, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting and excessive wind or gas is the usual symptoms of indigestion. Other symptoms include a bad taste in the mouth, coated tongue, foul breath and pain in the upper abdomen. Indigestion in children may be either acute of chronic. When undigested food remains for a long time in the stomach it causes inflammation. Chronic indigestion is followed by acute attacks.

Causes:

Discomfort and distress are often caused by overeating; eating too rapidly or not chewing properly .It produces excessive acid and causes the gastric mucous membranes to become congested. Many children gulp their food. When food is swallowed in large chunks, the stomach has to work harder and more hydrochloric acid is secreted. Certain foods especially if they are not properly cooked, caused indigestion. Some children react unfavorably to certain foods like beans, cabbage, onion, seafood, and fried foods as well as spicy foods.

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Infantile colic:

Colic is a painful stomach condition. Babies between the age of three and six month usually suffer from this condition. It is characterized by pain in the abdomen as a result of complete or partial blockage of one of the hollow tube ……intestines, uterus and bile ducts. The muscles lining the tube contract in order to expel the contents but cannot, and the resulting tension produces the pain.

Symptoms:

The main symptoms of colic in infants are a sharp stabbing pain in the stomach, which makes the child cry uncontrollably. The feet became cold and pain occurs in paroxysms marked by a loud violent cry with drawing up of the legs. The paroxysms are relived by the expulsion of gas.

Causes: 

The exact cause of infantile colic is not known. One of the most important causes of this disease is the faulty feeding habit of the infant on the part of the mother. It may result from inferior quality of the milk, or overfeeding the infant or more often, or both. The child may allergic to cow’s milk. Another important cause of colic is the swallowing of too much air by the baby. There may be large hole in the bottle teat, which may cause gulp of air to be swallowed with the milk. Breast fed babies are less likely to be affected with colic.

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Intestinal worms:

The worms and other intestinal parasites, which infest human beings, are more common in tropical and subtropical areas. Children are more prone to infection from these worms than adults. There are several types of intestinal worms. The most commonly noticed parasites in India are roundworms, hookworms, threadworms and tapeworms. Roundworms are giant intestinal parasites. Hookworms are small worms measuring one cm. Threadworms are small thread like creatures which can be noticed in the stool of children.

Symptoms: 

The usual symptoms of intestinal worms are diarrhoea, foul breath, dark circle under the eyes, constant desire for food, and restlessness at night with bad dreams, anemia and headache. Infants and young children are likely to be irritated all the time and are prone to throw tantrums at the slightest excuse.

Causes:

The eggs of these parasites are introduced into the human system through the medium of food or water; especially under cooked or badly cooked meat eating contaminated foods causes Roundworms. There is always a greater danger of contamination where human wastes are used in fertilizing vegetables. Great care should therefore be taken to ensure that all foods are thoroughly cleansed and properly cooked before use. Hookworms enter the human body through skin from infected water’s real cause of intestinal worms, however is the use of contaminated food or water. This medium is an intestinal tract clogged with morbid matter and systemic due to wrong feeding.

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Common cold: 

The common cold is also known as acute coryza, is an inflammation of upper respiratory tract. It is caused by infection with virus. It occurs in children more often than all other disease. Children are especially susceptible to this disease when they start attending playgroup or school and mix with large number of people in confined spaces.

Symptoms: 

The first sign of a cold are feeling or soreness of the throat and congestion of the nasal passage. The usual symptoms of common cold are running nose, sneezing, a rise in temperature, headache, sore throat, chill aches and pains in the body and loss of appetite. The skin around the nostrils may become sore .In very young babies, if there is pronounced nasal congestion, the infant may experience difficulty in breathing. Breast-fed babies have difficulty in feeding due to the blockade and this may leads to vomiting.

Causes: 

Viral or bacterial infections no doubt make way for onset of common cold. But conditions like constipation and the resultant putrefaction together with the accumulating toxins provide the germs a suitable atmosphere for their existence and growth. Another important causative factors of cold in children are over clothing. The wearing of woolen under garments is especially bad for young children. They should not wear wool next to the skin, but a porous cotton or linen material should be worn for comfort sake.

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Boil: 

The boils known as Furuncle in medicinal parlance, do large red areas surround tender swellings in the skin. They are infections of the sweat glands or hair follicles of the skin. They are common in children, and appear especially during summer season.

Symptoms: 

Boils can occur anywhere on the body but they appear most often on the face, eyelids, back of the neck, upper back and buttocks. Boils occurring around the eyes and nose are especially serious because their poison can spread to the brain. There may be a single boil, or several may develop in the same area or different areas at or about the same time, or they may come in successive crops. There may therefore be many opening when the boils ripen and discharge. Fever may sometimes accompany the boils.

Causes: 

Boils are mainly caused by staphylococcus germs, which enter the sweat glands or hair follicles. They can be transmitted from person to person and in fact, some live harmlessly on the skin all the time and in infected areas like cuts or pimples. Boils generally appear when a person is in a run –down and devitalized condition.

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Anemia: 

is the most common blood disorder of childhood and is widely prevalent early in life .It denotes a shortage of rich red blood cells and colourings matter called hemoglobin .the disease is more frequent n premature infants in twins or in infants whose mother had an inadequate diet during pregnancy.

Symptoms: 

A haggard look, grayish skin, and dull and tired looking eyes are the main symptoms of anemia. Other symptoms include poor memory, weakness, dizziness, and tiredness, lack of energy, shortness of breath of breath on exertion, headaches and impairment of general health and vitality. The only sure way to diagnose anemia, however, is to test the sample of blood in the laboratory. This will establish the degree of anemia.

Causes: 

There are three principal causes of anemia .It can result form reduced or low formation of red blood cells either due to defects in the bone marrow or an inadequate intake of iron, vitamins and protein or due to excessive destruction of RBC or hemoglobin lack of digestive acid or hydrochloric acid is needed for digestion of iron and proteins may also result in anemia. A young child who suffers repeated infections interfere with the absorption and use of iron in the body.

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Constipation: 

Constipation is a common disturbance of the digestive tract. The stools are unduly hard and unusual straining may be required to achieve defecation. It is one of the most troublesome disorders of childhood and a major cause of maternal anxiety.

Symptoms: 

The most common symptoms of constipation are infrequency, irregularity or difficulty of elimination due to hard faecal matter. Among the other symptoms are coated tongue, foul breath, loss of appetite, constant fullness in the abdomen and diarrhoea alternating with constipation.

Causes: 

Improper diet and irregular habits are the chief causes of constipation .all foods in their natural state contain a good % of roughage which is most essential in preserving natural balance of foods and also in helping peristalsis the natural rhythmatic action by means of which the food is passed down the alimentary canal. Much of the food children eat today is deficient in natural bulk or roughage and this results in chronic constipation. the intake of refined and rich foods lacking in vitamins and minerals, insufficient intake of water, insufficient chewing ,overeating ,wrong combination of foods, irregular habits of eating and drinking may all contribute to poor bowel function. Other causes include faulty and irregular habit of defecation and frequent use purgative.

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Teething problem: 

Teething usually commences in an infant from the sixth month. the temporary or milk teeth appear first. Before the baby is born, the teeth buds placed under gum are soft and under developed. After the baby’s birth the teeth begin to grow up by absorption the covering material and gum, thus covering them into bone. The teeth make their appearance with the removal of the covering capsule. The period of teething is one with many changes in many directions. During the period the child becomes irritable and very susceptible to digestive or nervous disturbances. Many diseases may coincide with the time of teething, but it would be wrong to presume that the various ailments suffered by the child at this period are due to teething.

Sign of teething: 

There are certain signs, which would indicate the approaching cruption of teeth.the body, may suffer some pain and discomfort. There may be a little inflammation of his gum or it may even bleed as a tooth pushes its way through. He may frequently put his fingers or other hard objects in the mouth, or bite hard upon the nipples of the breast while being fed. Other signs include tenderness, swelling or redness or tonsils and eyes. If all these signs are present the child is beyond doubt affected by its growing teeth.

Cause of the teeth disorder : 

Teething will be both early and easy, if the child is born of healthy parents after a full period of pregnancy, his mother has followed a proper nutritious diet and fed her child with wholesome breast milk. A healthy child thus cuts teeth without disorders. In case of weak child, however his constitutional defects are accentuated.

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Influenza: 

Influenza also known, as flu is the clinical condition that results from infection by influenza viruses. The main effects of the influenza viruses are on the upper respiratory tract, the nose and throat, with possible spread and involvement of the lungs. The disease is highly contagious and it has potential to cause widespread epidemic effects.

Symptoms: 

Influenza strikes suddenly. It usually begins with chills, fever, headache and severe muscular pains. The patient feels miserable and week. There is an inflammation in the nose and throat, which may spread down the windpipe to the lungs resulting in a sore throat, cough running or the nose and eyes.In the milder cases the temperature rises to 102 F and lasts for two or three days. In severe cases it may go up to 104F and last for four or five days.

Causes:  

Influenza is what is known as germs diseases. It is however, not caused primarily by the action of germs as is generally believed, but develops due to a toxic and run – down condition of the system of the affected person. No system of a person who is perfectly healthy in the true sense of the term. Influenza is passed on with ease from the affected person to many others who are also in an equally low vital state. This give rise to an epidemic.

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