Gastric Problems in Childhood May Be a Precursor for Future Emotional Health
Gastrointestinal problems in children may be an indication of some emotional health issues they could face in the future, according to a new research finding of Columbia University.
The findings are based on a comparative study of 115 children raised in orphanages and 229 children raised by biological caregivers. Children with history of caregiving disruptions were seen to suffer from stomach aches, vomiting, constipation, nausea. The researchers then selected eight children each from those raised in foster care and biological parents. It was found that the gut microbiomes were different in both categories. Brain activity patterns also showed a marked difference among the two groups. Children raised by biological parents showed more diversity in microbiomes linked to prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that controls emotions.
The study has implications on treatment of gastrointestinal disorders in children as underlying emotional issues due to lack of parental care also need to be addressed by the physicians and caregivers.