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Herbal approaches to treat pediatric functional abdominal pain

Himani Dhiman

One of the most frequent issues that pediatricians and pediatric gastroenterologists encounter is chronic abdominal pain. Children with persistent and recurring stomach pain who match certain clinical criteria are diagnosed with abdominal-pain-related functional gastrointestinal disorders (AP-FGIDs). Rome IV's criteria are a set of standards. AP-FGIDs, which include functional dyspepsia (FD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), functional abdominal pain (FAP), and abdominal migraine, impact about 20% of children globally. 45% of pediatric AP-FGIDs are caused by IBS. Functional abdominal pain is caused by a pathophysiology that is a result of a complex interaction of early life experiences, genetics, psychosocial influences, and physiological factors such as visceral sensitivity, motility disturbance, altered mucosal immune function, and altered central nervous system processing. Depending on the multiple facets of the condition and the specific patient's needs, treatment techniques can include nutritional, pharmaceutical, alternative medicine, and psychosocial support therapies. Both patients, medical professionals, and families have a keen interest in alternative and integrative medicine approaches to pediatric pain. We address several well-known herbal remedies for treating pediatric AP-FGIDs in this article, including peppermint oil, Iberogast®, cannabis, fennel, and licorice.

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