Chronic Constipation In Children And Treatment: Chronic constipation in children is common nowadays. About 3% of children are suffering from constipation worldwide. This problem causes extreme discomfort and when neglected can lead to other health complications. Now, if your child is suffering from constipation, then it’s better to consult a proctologist, that will treat the problem of chronic constipation.
Chronic Constipation In Children And Treatment
What do you mean by constipation?
Constipation is a condition where the individual has irregular bowel movements. A child is constipated, if:
- Has abdominal discomfort, pain or bloating
- Has three or less bowel movements in a week
- Painful defecation
Causes of chronic constipation in children
Constipation is a painful condition for a child to deal with. This will have a significant effect on his body plus on his day to day life. This should be treated with urgency. For the treatment of constipation you need to know what causes it:
- Dietary habits: Dietary factors play an important role in body’s metabolism. But if the child has not eaten enough to give the body energy, he may not pass stools for some days. This could be because of lack of water. If there is some change in regular diet, then also it can cause constipation, as your body needs to adjust to new foods. Children who consume a lot of sugar are prone to being constipated.
- Low fiber diet: A low fiber diet makes it harder for the body to digest the food as it should. Fiber softens the stool and it helps the smooth movement via the intestine.
- Holding the bowel movement: Controlling the urge to pass stool can also cause constipation. When your child withholds stool, the colon will absorb the excess liquid and his stool turns hard and are difficult to pass. Children basically hold their stool when:
- Feel uncomfortable while using public toilets
- Worried about having painful bowel movements
- Do not want to break playtime
- Feel stressed
Diagnosis of constipation
To make sure that your child is suffering from constipation, the doctor may:
- Do a complete physical examination to determine if a child is constipated
- Review your child’s complete medical history
- Will ask about any recent changes in his life
- The doctor will also perform blood tests to check for any infections that can cause slow bowel movements
- He can also do X-ray of the abdomen
Treatment of constipation
Basic treatment of constipation includes enabling smoother bowel movements via laxatives. In the case of constipation due to a health problem, the focus will be on treating that.
Here are some medical treatments for constipation:
- Laxatives: A laxative can be medications, compounds or foods that soften the stool and makes it easier for it pass via colon. Use laxatives which are prescribed by the doctor and avoid any OTC medicine. Excessive dosage of these medications can lead to loose motions.
- Unplugging the colon: Unplugging may not treat constipation completely but can help to flush out the waste efficiently, thus cleaning the colon. Colon evacuation which can be followed by change in dietary habits should help your child to get back into a healthy routine.
Home remedies for constipation in children
In addition to diet and medications, here are some home remedies that will ease the bowel movements and relieve constipation in children. Try these remedies:
- Don’t rush your child’s time on the toilet. By rushing them, will increase the stress level.
- Toilet training can be stressful for a child and this can cause constipation. If that’s the case put toilet training on hold until the problem is resolved.
- Try some simple exercises which can relieve any discomfort. For example: make your child lie down on his back and gently stretch his legs backward onto belly. This exercise will work the abdominal muscles.
- Peddling the legs as you are riding a bicycle can also relieve any discomfort that your child has because of constipation.
- A warm bath can also sooth the tight muscles present in abdomen.
- Massaging the child’s belly can help to loosen the abdominal muscles
A healthy diet when combined with an active lifestyle is a great remedy for treating constipation. You can follow these tips and constipation will go away.