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What causes pediatric pyloric stenosis?

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Doctors believe both genetic and environmental factors are causal factors in pediatric pyloric stenosis, and children of people who have the condition are more likely to develop it themselves, according to Cincinnati Children's Hospital. In families where one child develops pyloric stenosis, any siblings are at a higher risk for the condition. Pyloric stenosis is most common in infants between 2 and 8 weeks old and is four times more common in males than females.

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Pyloric stenosis is a condition where the lower part of the stomach narrows and prevents food from moving from the stomach to the intestine, Cincinnati Children's Hospital explains. This occurs when the muscles in that part of the stomach thicken abnormally. Infants with this condition exhibit forceful vomiting after eating. This vomit often projects with enough force to travel several feet. This can cause dehydration and the loss of important minerals, such as sodium and potassium. This can lead to a rapid degradation of health in an infant.

The first examination a doctor often performs to diagnose pylorc stenosis is a physical examination of the abdomen, which often reveals a firm mass about the size of an olive, Cincinnati Children's Hospital states. An abdominal ultrasound or barium swallow can confirm the diagnosis.

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