Intussusception Symptoms in a Young Child
Intussusception symptoms in a young child may include abdominal pain, blood or mucus in the stool, and diarrhea. Children may also experience dehydration, fever, and lethargy as a result of intussusception. Symptoms in a young child with intussusception are often similar to those caused by other conditions; if your child exhibits any of these possible symptoms, consult a doctor so the problem can be properly diagnosed and treated.
Intussusception is a rare blockage or twisting of the intestine, most commonly occurring in young children during the first year of life. Intussusception can be life threatening if not detected early enough.
With intussusception, one portion of the intestine telescopes into a nearby portion, causing the intestinal obstruction. The most common site is where the small intestine joins the large intestine. Because the two walls of the intestines press against each other, this causes inflammation, swelling, and eventually, decreased blood flow.
If it is not detected early, internal bleeding, a hole in the intestines, and infection in the abdomen may occur because the intestinal tissue has died from the decreased blood flow. Understanding the impact of intussusception is helpful in understanding intussusception symptoms in young children.
Specific intussusception symptoms in infants and young children can include:
- Intermittent abdominal pain
- Bowel movements that are mixed with blood and mucus
- Abdominal distention (or a lump in the abdomen)
- Vomiting bile
- Shock (low blood pressure and increased heart rate requiring immediate attention).
Some infants will have periods of crying in pain alternating with periods of exhausted sleep.