It is not uncommon for children to experience bloating, abdominal pain, gas, and diarrhea at some point in their childhood. In most instances, these symptoms represent a short-term stomach virus or something else minor. Parents should be aware however, that occasionally these symptoms could be a sign of a more serious condition. A small percentage of children who experience chronic symptoms like bloating, abdominal pain, gas, and diarrhea could be suffering from Congenital Sucrase-Isomaltase Deficiency, or CSID. CSID is a rare genetic disorder and will not be outgrown over time.
It is common for CSID to be misdiagnosed for other digestive conditions. This is understandable since the symptoms of CSID are almost identical to irritable bowel syndrome, Celiac disease or gluten allergies, and colitis, conditions that are much more common than CSID. Too often, physicians do not even consider CSID as a possibility when diagnosing a patient showing these chronic digestive symptoms. If your child has persisting digestive issues, ask your doctor about the possibility of CSID.
CSID often manifests when the individual is still in infancy, usually when he or she is weaning from breast milk. During this time, the baby is being introduced to new sugars and starches. For babies with CSID, the digestive system cannot absorb these new sugars and starches. The child’s system cannot digest and absorb many common foods such as fruits, grains, juices, and other sugar substances that most children are able to tolerate well. Symptoms such as chronic diarrhea, chronic abdominal pain, gas, and bloating arise, and parents are left wondering what is ailing their child. Often, CSID symptoms can persist for months or years without being properly diagnosed.
There is currently no cure for Congenital Sucrase-Isomaltase Deficiency, although research is continually being conducted. Right now, individuals living with the condition are instructed to limit their intake of starches and sugars. This low-sucrose, low-starch diet can be difficult to follow. Some CSID patients use an artificial enzyme replacement that allows the child to ingest sucrose in limited amounts. This way, the child can eat fairly normally, without the stigma of the chronic digestive symptoms.
If your child is experiencing chronic digestive issues, ask your physician what he or she knows about Congenital Sucrase-Isomaltase Deficiency and whether or not it could be a possibility for your child. The diagnosis for this condition can be long and frustrating, since the symptoms are similar to other digestive conditions. Luckily, there are ways to manage one’s lifestyle with this condition.